Sunday, 28 August 2011

Just popped up a couple of small photo-galleries.

garden birds and Hook Norton brewery.

I hope to take more bird pics soon. They are changing - colours becoming more defined, feathers moving into place - as the year is aging. I think many of these were just the young from this spring's hatching.

Hooky has been brewed on that site for about 150 years, and the building itself is over 100 YO. Quite a fascinating place, with much of the original machinery still in place and - like the grist mill - working. The old steam engine isn't used as a power source any more, although it can run.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Today I managed to sync the HTC Desire with the Macbook

For those out there allergic to iPhones (in my case, primarily because of the cost and dislike for the Apple empire) but who are saddled with a Mac, I recommend Syncmate. You require the main application on your mac, plus a small app on the phone. In the free version you can sync just address books and calendars, with the option to include folders, music, images etc using a paid upgrade.

I already had most of the contacts moved across from my old Sony Ericsson W650, but this just helps keep stuff together a little better and allows me to get reminders from the phone. I don't need to control my HiFi with it - all I really want is a simple device for calling, sending text messages and (in rare circumstances) letting me wish 'happy birthday' to certain facebook users when I can't get near a computer.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

We are booked.

India in October.

I chickened out, and we're going with a travel company which is certainly not especially economical, but will enable us to see things in a relatively low-stress fashion. Also if we ever do decide to return under our own steam it will feel a little more familiar and a little less awkward.

If we were moving there then that would be different - there would be justification for huge amount of research and subsequently investment of lots of time getting to know people and places. Unfortunately we don't have too much time for that, so we decided to 'cheat' in the hope of maybe returning one day at a more leisurely time.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

So last night I installed AVLinux

It wasn't as completely simple as most linux distros - in other words I actually needed to read and understand a few simple instructions about partitioning the hard disc and then later about installing Nvidia proprietary graphics drivers. But it wasn't hard at all, really.


I can't get sound (yet) because (I think) it's recognised the chipset audio even though it's disabled in the Bios, as well as the audio card separately, and unfamiliarity has prevented me from finding where to disable that facility. And it isn't printing yet because it needs HPLIP installing.

Apart from that it looks great, and the Nvidia drivers really crisp up the display so that even small icons are sharp and clear and screen effects smooth and snappy. I'm not tempted to move away from Sabayon (yet) because I'm now comfy with that environment and the image processing tools I've assembled work well for me, even though it's slow by comparison. But as a workspace for audio, when I can get the sound sorted, it'll be great.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

One of those 'penny drop' moments?

Mike Mahoney has a post about music stored 'in the cloud' that provoked some thought. I wonder if we're 'not getting it' with music, and these services are a way of monetising something that many have missed.

Kids grew up listening to the radio. Music was always free - it was broadcast everywhere on the radio! All these streaming services are doing is offering the equivalent of 'radio on demand' without the annoying DJs, and playing the tunes people want. The old paradigm of owning a copy of the music hasn't disappeared, but instead people are treating music as they've been taught by several generations: that it should be everywhere freely available, and you only buy it if there's a reason.

And that, of course, explains why downloading and listening to music for free is not perceived as theft - there's a conflict between what they have been brought up to enjoy and what the law says. The conflict is at the deepest level, since they've always known music playing without restriction, and observed their parents apparently enjoying it freely, confirming it to be right and natural. Listening to music without payment is what they - and we - have been brought up to expect, so when it became detached from a physical product (and therefore cannot be stolen) why would they ever pay for it?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

There is a sad and faintly ridiculous irony.

Here we are as a country, supporting those seeking freedom in Libya, Syria etc while people riot on our own streets, abusing genuine freedom. I suspect many of these have more in common with Gaddafi than they do with people seeking any kind of liberty.

There were pictures on the BBC last night of fires in all sorts of places, but the 'Reeve's Corner' furniture store which was torched yesterday evening was where we bought our first ever suite. That was more than 25 years ago, but I remember them as being helpful, friendly and not at all snooty toward a young couple who couldn't afford much. I hope their business recovers.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Well happy rainday to me.

The weather is always sympathetic on my birthday. It knows to cry when I've added another year to my age, and it's doing it really well today to mark 50 years.

Chris has arranged to take me to Hook Norton brewery later, so I can drown my sorrows at joining 'club aching dirty' (many of you may be too young to remember club 18-30). She also was kind enough to buy me a pair of special handlebars for the bike that should help my wrists to ache less.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Amazing how some intellectualise their faith

For me it's always been so simple - just kind of God and me walking together.

Sure there's info and detail that supports it, but at the end of the day it's friendship and love. I don't need to understand God in the Hebrew or Greek. He doesn't insist that I exegete society around me in the light of the latest scriptural understanding. Some seem to need theology to be complex, difficult, convoluted, full of answers to questions no-one asks and even fuller of questions no-one wants answers to.

Wonder if that's how some people see me too, sometimes?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sometimes that rain sounds so sweet.

And the temperature is dropped from about 28 to 21ish.