Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Playing Away

I'm on an away trip !

Yes I know, it's not usually a good idea to advertise these things to the wider internet. But then again. my circulation isn't that high.

I have one of those awkwardly timed meetings tomorrow, starting at 8am and 120 miles away from home. I don't mind that too much, it's inconvenience but the long days will fund the flexi credit for a few good Friday afternoons off a good few weeks ahead.

Happy Days.

I'm currently tapping this out on my Macbook from the hotel room. Oceans Thirteen is on the telly. Not a bad film :-) I won't be stopping up too long as that 8am meeting means I'll ideally want to be out of here by 7am. There's traffic issues on the site I'm headed to ...

But ... I did want to talk a little about how I'm bringing this post to you ...

Big item is the Macbook. It's a Macbook Air, from 15 months old now. I like my Macbook, I'm glad I took the step of walking away from Windows. Microsoft seem hell bent on destroying their own business. Hopefully Win10 will be an improvement but they're steadily abusing a dominant market position and steering their products down a line that's just plain hostile to the users. Apple can be a little similar but at least the fundamentals are a system that's easy to use and .... reliable. I've had one application level crash on this Macbook in that 15 months. One only. And that's just an application crash, it hasn't had a full machine crash.

Step two is the internet connection. Because I've just changed my contract, I can tether my laptop to the phone again. That's the phone rebroadcasting its internet over a wifi signal. So laptop is talking to phone, is talking to the internet.

How's it work ? I haven't tried watching a youtube video on it yet. Maybe later. It's slower and the latency is higher but you'd expect that coming from a wired cable broadband that's rated at 30MBps. I'll be curious to see how it handles video but I'm happy with the performance as it stands. I dread to think what it would do to the phone battery if I didn't have it plugged in !

Other stuff - I have my portable speakers here with me today. I was anticipating listening to stuff but ... I suspect I may well just head off to try and get sleep after Ocean's Thirteen finishes. (Am tired already !)

A thought that hit me in the car was - if there are 10 albums you would want with you if you were suddenly disconnected from the world, what would they be ? It's kinda irrelevant now, it comes from the time when we'd carry cd's around with us in the car. But it's still a nice idea to pick out those albums that move you, that you couldn't do without, that you just love. Now, instead of carrying the cd's around, the music is on that laptop with huge capacity with everything compressed. There's 13000 tracks on here ! That's a lot of albums ...

But ... 10 albums ? Let's have a go :

All About Eve - self titled debut album. The others have arguably better songs but this one works so well as a complete album.
Nina Persson's A Camp - self titled album. This has awesome song after awesome song too and I especially identify with Song For The Leftovers.
Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones - this is a surprise ! This album is full of amazing songs too. Underrated.
Bat For Lashes - Two Suns. Because it has Moon and Moon on it.
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love. The first half is all the commercial songs but the second half tells a wonderful story. Fantastic singing.
Air's Moon Safari - more excellent chill out with two of my favourite songs in You Make It Easy and All I Need.
Alisha's Attic - Illumina - so many feels here being sung by two ladies that were so good, I adopted the name Alisha's Addict for a while.
Caro Emerald - Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor. A nightclub style singer with a silky seductive voice. Could listen to her all day.
Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms. This has the classics but is one of their's that's All Good. Their other albums tend to be just Mostly Good.
Seal - the one with Crazy and Killer on it. So soulful.
Duffy's Rockferry - a quirky voice that works for me, bringing out the emotion in some sad songs here.
Edie Brickell - Stranger Things. Another nightclub style singer, different to the Caro in a more country style. She's the type that would look at you while singing and give you that "get me a beer" drink while Caro's would be "pour me the wine darling"

I'm going past 10 aren't I ? Ooops. You know me and music.

There's so many more that could be here too. Like Evanescence, Hannah Peel. The Sinatra collection I bought. The Veronicas making an impression the other week. Cranberries if little Skye is along. So many amazing Garbage albums for a little grunge.

I left out Goldfrapp ! Seventh Tree is amazing chill out, Supernature is amazing disco.

There's also the KT Tunstall and Katie Melua. Not to mention Lene Marlin and Lily Allen.

Are you getting the feeling I'm glad I have that laptop with 13,000 tracks on so I don't have to choose between cd's any more ?

I'll leave it there.

Oh - before I close - status update.

Speakers sound lovely.
Internet connection - dodgy. Not even going to attempt watching a video. Although that could be because Steam might be sucking up all the bandwidth.

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