Monday, October 26, 2015

Is Tired

An honest tired though.

First day back at work today after the week off and I found myself throwing myself back into it.
I think I'm mostly caught up with what's going on now, although there's more to do to get caught up with the situation, gotta get the work done as well as know what work there is to do.

But that said, I have a clearer picture now of some stuff we're doing than I had before. Now we need to implement it ... Normally we buy small numbers of Very Big Things. However, one of the projects I'm involved in is going to be buying a collection of Little Things. They all need to work together, so instead of doing what we did before - a requirements document to cover everything that then goes off to the contractor, we need to do something different. That requirements document will still be there, we'll own that and it'll be the picture of Everything. But the stuff that goes to contractors will be jigsaw puzzle pieces. We just need to make sure all the pieces make up the picture of Everything. No gaps and all fitting together nicely.

And that's just one thing to catch up with at work.

Tired now though. But that's because I wanted to be out of the house for a little bit longer and I had a bit of possible buying and definitely techie research to do. And then there's the peek in HMV for Stuff.

Stuff first - I rather liked the Laura Marling album I bought the other week and if I end up spending money in HMV soon, I'll get some more of her albums. There's another album going for £3. Oo eck - I better get the Amazon wish list updated before birthday time ... I'm also looking for blurays with San Andreas, Tomorrowland and Jurassic World being on my target list for stuff out recently.

They also have a full bluray set of James Bond films for £40 ... interesting. I have a very few Bond films on dvd (Goldeneye, Casino Royale, Tomorrow Never Dies and that one with the gorgeous Sophie Marceau which I should walk across the room to check its name instead of relying on a bad memory) (It's The World Is Not Enough). Pierce Brosnan was a pretty decent Bond, let down by some very ropey scripts. Daniel Craig is an excellent Bond supported by some fantastic scripts. Definitely looking forward to watching Spectre.

Yep. Stuff is wanted but I'm going to wait until it's cheaper.

Other stuff ? Techie research !

The parents are on the hunt for another laptop, which means I'm scouting stuff to see what's worth buying. Personally, I think the techie market is a great big AVOID right now. The hardware is the best it's ever been if implemented well but the software has gone massively downhill. Windows 7 is just about acceptable, although it does far too much. Windows 8/8.1 is garbage, Windows 10 feels slightly better from what I've seen in the shop but an Operating System should MOST CERTAINLY NOT be spying on you. It should be serving the user, not the writer of the software. If it is doing anything other than serving the user, it is not being as efficient as it should be.

And Windows has always been a security mess since they abandoned the heady enlightened days of the microkernel.
(Malwarebytes Anti Malware aka MBAM is a godsend).
MacOS X is just hanging in there as the better system to use, however its sponsors Apple have forgotten that they should be making software for the users. I'm unimpressed with what I hear about reliability issues when putting newer software into older Mac hardware. Like OSX updates and firmware updates that have bricked machines. The software on my Macbook Air is very close to Day 1 versions and I'm quite happy with that. The vulnerable software (Firefox browser) is updated, the stuff that Just Works is kept ... just working. I think the current or last (Yosemite) version of OS X is the one to stick at.

Apple have been outstanding but I do disagree with their belief that they are god.

If I need to change my own PC hardware, I'm highly likely to go back to something Linux based. That's a tough choice because you lose compatibility. But you do regain control of how the system looks and behaves. I'd need to have a good run with it before recommending it to people less familiar with techie stuff. That's a choice that's hopefully a few years off, the core of this machine is still going strong.

The graphics card is slowly dying though. Since the weather turned cold here, I've turned my PC into a heater again.

An electric heater will make a room warm by wasting energy. How about if you put that energy to good use instead of wasting it ? I've turned on the BOINC application for the desktop again. It's a program that takes all that unused processor time and puts it to good use. At the moment, this computer is running 1 instance of Rosetta (medical research), Pogs (science) and 2x Asteroids (sky search). And it's doing that without impacting at all on me doing Stuff.

(That said, it would be doing Seti alien hunting research but I turn that off when doing Stuff because it can interfere).

So having the computer doing BOINC research when I'm not gaming will keep the house warm just as well as an electric heater, plus it's Being Useful.

But ... I also used to run Milkyway@Home on it (more astronomy science) but that hasn't gone too well. All results are coming back invalid ... I suspect that's due to my dying graphics card but it could also be bad software. I've updated BOINC since I ran it before and that may have caused problems. That graphics card does have problems though. Massive texture corruption in Endless Legend (must have a look at that again) plus the dots that run rampant over the screen.

I may be changing back to AMD/ATI ... I've had a couple of nVidia cards (currently using a 760) but they're another company that push bad software on to unsuspecting users. I'll routinely run a version or two behind due to knowing their bleeding edge software has problems.

Yep. Brave choice is a R9 380, coward's choice is a nVidia 960. Both are about £150 which I don't really want to spend at the moment. The card I have has problems ... but it still puts Internet Spaceships on the screen.

Which is enough for now. There's a couple more games coming soon (No Mans Sky and Deus Ex Mankind Divided) which may need more power.

Enough techie talk ! Oh wait - laptop. I was going to recommend a HP laptop but ... really nasty touchpads on all of them. That's absolutely critical. Spec is irrelevant on a laptop, they're all pretty much the same there. If you're laptop hunting, only look and feel at 3 things : Screen, keyboard and trackpad. Those are the bits that make the difference. Everything else is largely irrelevant.

Haha ! There's my wisdom on laptops. Buy what you can interact with, it's what really swung it for me with the Macbook. Lovely keyboard, excellent trackpad, great user interface. Errrr ... but you pay for that and Apple have this idea that they control your machine.
And I wouldn't run that BOINC software on a laptop because ... hotness. Laptops aren't built for running full tilt 100% of the time.

Gosh - this is a long one. I feel better for the week off, although my knees currently hate me (they don't like the cold) and my body needs to wake itself up again. I'm pretty sure though that I made the right choice by ditching the antihistamines and the remaining bad spots are gradually healing.

Hurrah !

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