Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday randomness

Random thoughts today :-)

There was a science experiment in the work kitchen today. And I know what you're thinking but ... It wasn't me ! Honest ! Actually, I didn't believe that Scotch Eggs could grow furry, I thought they were fairly inert. I reckon they were left behind by someone who's now left the team.

It's a curious thought actually ... whatever was growing on those eggs is similar to the drugs I'm taking at the moment. It was one of those wonderful accidents that brought us Penicillin.

I still have a few days of drugs left and I'm hoping that the improvement in my skin keeps going. I have to avoid damaging my arms any more though. Thinking of damage though, my legs are so much better and it was great today to have full power available in them again. Not that I used it but I did push reasonably hard on the walk from the bus to work (it was raining!). It was good while it lasted, the reason I didn't have that full power available last week was a tight hamstring which is a side effect of how I damaged my back. Oh and a month or so ago, I couldn't use power in my legs because it would literally split the skin.

Oh the bus ... It's ok having the stress avoidance of the bus. I get on, turn off my sense of time and avoid the stress of coping with Bristol traffic. However ... it takes literally 1 hour to get from bus stop to desk. That's to go just under 3 miles as the crow flies. Not acceptable ... I'll be getting out the door early tomorrow to make a 9am meeting.

Since getting the Macbook, I've been enjoying listening to the library again with a fresh ear. I've managed to listen to 616 tracks so far (1.4 days worth so Itunes tells me) but that's just a tiny dent in the library. I'd like to get more music and have my eye on singers like Lucy Spraggan. However ... I refuse to spend £8 on an album speculatively. It seems a little sad that music prices are set high and stay high. I and others would buy that album immediately if it were available for £5. Same with the Rachel Sermanni album. It was worth the high cost but you can't really justify spending that much on someone new. And the cost stayed high months after the initial release.

I firmly believe more revenue would be gained if prices were dropped to "bargain" prices. Even if it's like occasional quick sales. Some minority items just stay at high prices long after people stopped buying them.

Talking of music. One disappointment with the Macbook is that it's more susceptible to interference on the wifi. However. I have a Cunning Plan. In a couple of days, I'll pick up a new Apple Airport Express. This is a device which accepts audio being streamed over a network and sends it to a hifi. Magic and it works effectively. Except ... when there's someone nearby with a jammer.

I haven't got the pic handy but the jammer was giving a signal strength of about 0dB. My own router was giving about -40dB, neighbourhood routers were about -80dB. So this jammer was producing a signal far stronger than my own router, through walls. I hate to think of what it's doing to the people who own it. Perhaps it's a baby monitor (which operate in the same frequency and are anything but cooperative).

Oh - the Cunning Plan - the new Airport Express will let me shift to a different frequency band which should avoid the interference. It's a necessary buy anyway because my current one is too old for the software to recognise. (I'm buying it on Ebay for half the price it is in the shop).

I've made a note about Xmas stuff and can't figure out why ... It'll be in the shops soon. Oh I remember ! Xmas munchies are popular this year. I'll be at one with the wider team, one with the project, one with the old project's acceptance people (will the Pretty Contractor Lady return ?) and there will be a Crazie gathering too.

I've been comparing Microsoft and Apple more. They both have their disasters, there's actually two reported this week. Microsoft have seriously dropped the ball again with Windows 8.1. Apple have a problem with the hard discs in the last generation of Macbook Air and the reason I stumped up for Applecare is because they have issues with display screens.

I'm getting to be more of a fan of Apple now. They make genuinely usable software and the hardware backs it up too. There is that price premium though. However, it's good to see a genuine minority alternative survive when the big boy in the game tends to knock the little boy out of the market. Especially when the big boy's products are as bad as they are at the moment.

Talking of stuff that's a disappointment ... I've followed gaming for as long as I can remember. There's highlights and there's lowlights. One that caught my eye over the weekend was called Dark Matter, it's a survival game set on a spaceship. Right up my alley you'd think. However ... word is it's not finished. Ouch. Glad I didn't leap and buy it. We see that a lot at the moment, products being unleashed on the market before they're ready and the product is effectively left like that. We've even seen that on big names like Championship Manager 3, Windows 95 and a bunch of others.

That's enough randomness for now. Except. I still need to find a TV guide application for the Macbook. I have a workaround but it's clunky. I can install the TV guide on my desktop and look at it via a web browser running on the Macbook. Or I could install a virtual machine on the Macbook and run the TV guide app through that. That's clunkier (and would involve running cursed Microsoft software).

Any recommendations for a TV guide application ? I used Digiguide but it doesn't have a Mac version.

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