Friday, 19 January 2007

Now why is it? - post from yesterday

I’m so darn tired this morning?

Had a decent nights sleep. Pleasant evening last night out for dinner. Didn’t cycle in.

Probably it’s the ‘not cycling in’ that did it. My body is now used to – even anticipating eagerly – the 15 slightly strenuous minutes riding here, and is still waiting for its proper wake-up call. I hope it’ll eventually realise that I’m actually here and start to come round from the post-breakfast torpor that I’m stumbling through. Mind you, it’s so windy here, I wonder if I’d have actually made it in at all. As it was, I looked outside at 6.30am and it was dry and quiet. 7.30am when I put the cats out it was soaking wet and blowing an absolute gale! VERY unseasonally mild though.

On a quite different note, I’m increasingly frustrated by Microsoft’s approach to windows: both installation and updating. On one of our work laptops I’ve just gone back and restored the factory settings (basically a virgin install from a partition on the hard drive). This is not a base level machine by any means (IBM T30 with 1Gb RAM) but the install took a full hour from first hitting the F11 key. That’s SLOW as a full Linux install takes around 20 mins and likewise a win 95 full install (on a Pentium 166 MMX) would take 20 mins.

Worse than that, windows update (utterly essential with the string bag approach to security M$ seems to have employed) takes literally hours and hundreds of Mb in downloads and then installs. The initial 2 downloads weren’t too bad – around 30Mb. Then service pack 2 – 200+ Mb. I left that downloading overnight, and it was waiting for me this morning: 25 mins of the hard drive hashing away before it installed. Then another minor download/install/restart. Then a 50Mb download/install/restart. I’m watching the installer now “Downloading security update for Windows XP (KBXXXXX)(Update 16 of 66)…Done” etc. 20 mins later it’s now INSTALLING all those downloaded files. Almost 35 minutes after going to automatic update the machine could finally be restarted.
So back to the windows update page, checking…. And next we download a security update for iExplorer 7 that was installed in the LAST round of installs. I’m sure this un-integrated approach to security and updating is one of the reasons that it’s such an arduous task.

Anyway, that was the last update required for a basic XP install. I wonder what it’ll do once I’ve popped Orifice XP on it? That’s a 480Mb complete install for the professional version BTW. I do have the corporate version of Office 2003 kicking around but don’t have the corporate product key, and in any case I think XP is a slightly better product. Just 2 updates, 5 mins and I get a warning from the newly installed windows GDI tool that I have a security vulnerability. Thumbs virtual nose at M$ - little surprise there then.

On a completely different topic, it’s now a full week since I decided that I would not use the net for personal purposes AT ALL from work. Today is the hardest I’ve found it not to go play on the net, but by the grace of God I’ve managed to stick with it. Writing this is something of a compromise (I’ve done it in the odd 2 min breaks between things) but it’s one that is positive, rather than partially giving in to my negative desires. I have to say, I really do feel much happier about things, sticking to this. It’s stopped me feeling a continuous pull and I’ve been able to get on so much better. Bargain.

And yet again, on a completely un-related topic…. There’s an ESHRE conference on PCOS in March – 1 day at Thessalonika. Wonder if I can go?

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