2016 — 23 October: Sunday

When I (briefly) opened my front door1 I didn't really need my wall thermometer to tell me it was barely above freezing. But said thermometer is currently AWOL waiting for its owner to get the Round Tuit needed to put it back on the wall (from which I removed it during the brickwork repointing exercise several months ago).

Having remembered to set the Rotel to "NUC" before booting my i5NUC, the pleasant music curation of Verity Sharp is already accompanying my first cuppa. There's just been a pleasant burst of harp music played on a 1950s album by Harpo Marx himself, in a bid to popularise the naked piano. I've always enjoyed it myself, but then I like the theremin, too...

Much of yesterday...

... was happily absorbed working systematically through the contents of just four of my smaller external backup drives. A mere 1.6TB or so of assorted goodies, including a forgotten cache of radio drama items. It doesn't take much to make this pensioner happy, does it?

I note...

... that possession of a physics PhD allows one to drop a Shakespearean quote into an essay about the Multiverse theory:


As the author of the nice essay notes, "After training as a theoretical physicist, I took up the harmless occupation of writing novels while many of my contemporaries went into finance. And look where they got us." Quite so!

On the grounds...

... that it probably does more good than harm — and in the wake of a mildly-paranoid chat with my guru while on our way to Badger's Farm for my next chunk of well-fired bread, the Recommended Daily Allowance of dark choc ginger biccies, and a couple of emergency bars of Lindt 'intense' chili chocolate (which is currently cheaper there than in Waitrose) — I have just disabled WPS wireless access on my router:

WPS access

This may be either, both, or none, of "necessary and sufficient" for slightly greater peace of mind. (Link.)

I'd not seen...

... an actual definition of a Retina display, though was aware of Apple's term. I've just plumbed in the 34" Dell settings:

Dell viewing distance

My viewing distance is about 30".

Having mentioned storage latency...

... as my prime motivator in setting up my little SSD NAS, I was tickled to see this slide, asking "How far away is the data?":

Data distances

It's from a Jim Gray presentation in 1999. Using SSDs instead of spinning rust means we only have to go about as far as Jupiter these days. (Link.)


... makes me think there may be a teeny-weeny problem with my email at the moment, I wonder? Unassociated, I hope, with my recent changes to my router's security settings...

Gmail stutters

I hope we're not being jammed by that Russian fleet sailing through the Channel!

This just made me laugh — it's from a Jeremy Bernstein essay I'm reading — "Having Fun with Tom Lehrer" — that first appeared in the American Scholar:

... the London show's master of ceremonies noted that "he's fifty-two now but
so fears old age that he prefers to think of himself as eleven centigrade."

Know the feeling. [Pause] So, an hour later, my Thunderbird email client still gives no results. Yet the webmail interface (both on Chrome and on Firefox) shows no sign of having any problems. [Pause] I found "A Very British Deterrent" gripping viewing. (For many years I carried a 19-thou thick piece of stainless steel [as used for "Blue Streak"] around as a key fob.)


1  Somewhat after midnight.