Freedom

Back from the Slow Zone

Having spent over five weeks with no broadband, and running out of our second 10GB top-up on the mobile wi-fi dongle, we decided to go the whole hog and spent the last five days in the back of beyond where the best we could get on any device was a 2G signal (that was herself's mobile phone: mine was on a different (read: utter crap) service and I got no signal at all). This limited our communications with the Beyond to the occasional email and tweet, which to be frank was not a bad thing.

Anyway, we got back today to find that, despite their best efforts, BT/OpenReach had run out of excuses not to link us back up. The OS and program updates I've been holding off on have taken around 2GB to date, and I don't even want to think about the bandwidth being used by No. 1 Daughter catching up on her YouTube habit.

This is of course the stage where I feel so relieved that I've finally got some serious bandwidth back that I don't refer them to the Ombudsman. I must resist this.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/196088.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
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    tired tired
Freedom

No Broadband, week 5

Well, today was the day BT was supposed to switch on our broadband. But they couldn't. Because OpenReach, having discovered a Very Important Card in our local exchange had gone missing a week ago (presumably why we got put back a week for installation), left it off their list of things to do to replace the bloody thing.

We've been promised this will be fixed tomorrow. We will see.

I think tonight I'll catch up on Game of Thrones and take notes on new and interesting ways to kill people slowly and painfully. You never know when it might come in useful.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/195576.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
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    disappointed disappointed
Freedom

A Fantastisk laptop stand for two quid, and other techie stuff

No, that's not a typo: I picked up a paper-napkin stand from Ikea yesterday, added a few translucent rubber-type studs from the same emporium and an Apple sticker I had lying around; and saved a fair amount of space on my desk.

Laptop stand in action

(Click to enlarge)

As well as two studs each side to stop the stand scuffing the laptop, there's a pair on the bottom that also raise the laptop a bit. I added those more to stop the power cable on the left bending too much - magsafe cables have a reputation for breaking at the joints.

On the right, there's the monitor adapter and a link to a USB hub for keyboard/mouse, LAN adapter, etc.

Disclaimer: the stand is definitely not my own idea: it surfaces on Maker sites from time to time, and I spotted it here. If you're into tinkering, the site's well worth a look.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/195104.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Freedom

The question is not, am I paranoid? It's am I paranoid enough?

My experiment in networking printers and USB drives has died in a firmware upgrade. It's under guarantee, given the email from their support desk I don't think I'll be carrying on with it:

1. Please enable the SSH function of your NAS.

2. Please confirm with the firewall that do not block the ports we need. Standard Ports we need you to open on your router/firewall : 22, 5000 (5001 if you want HTTPS by default )

3. A password for admin account of your NAS.

My ports will remain very firmly blocked, thankyou very much. I record enough "to whom it may concern" pings off my IP address to know that unlocking the door and leaving it open to all and sundry is a very bad idea.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/195057.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
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    disappointed disappointed
Freedom

The Desolation of Smaug, revisited

This afternoon I took No. 1 son off to see 'The Desolation of Smaug' - having previously expressed no interest whatsoever, he got all ticked off when herself and I went out on opening night. As we saw the film in 2D that time, I decided to try not only 3D but also High Frame Rate (48fps instead of the normal 24).

Where the HFR shines is in 'Smaug''s many, many action sequences, especially Thorin's Wild Barrel-Ride - the water is much more recognisable as a torrent rather than a white smear - and the showdown between the dragon and the party through Erebor. And while nothing can stop the Giant Golden Gummi Dwarven Statue from looking horribly like the T-1000 from 1991, the sequence immediately afterwards more than makes up for it.

The HFR also helps the 3D, if the 24fps trailers shown just before were anything to go by: those were blurry, and lost the effect badly in a couple of places (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man 2, and if I have any say in the matter, never again). When Mr. Jackson isn't launching decapitated heads out of the screen at you (which to be fair isn't that often), it's judiciously used to create a proper sense of depth away from the viewer that definitely adds to the impressive scenery.

I won't comment on the storyline, other than that the additions to the book were by and large entertaining. Unecessary, perhaps, but then so was the 20-minute Shire travelogue in 'An Unexpected Journey' which I enjoyed every frame of. I'm confident the film makers can pull it all together in part 3, and look forward to seeing that in a year or so.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/194312.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
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    content content
Freedom

Where's Eastercon? Here it is...

I've been sufficiently amused by the idea of the What3Words site - find anywhere on the planet in three words - to buy a personalised OneWord off them.

Clicking on http://what3words.com/*EasterconUK will take you to the front door of the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow. Depending on the outcome of the bidding session for 2015, I'll move the pointer to the location for that; and the year after that...

The nice thing about this is that nobody else needs to change a thing: the above link will keep on working no matter where it's pointing to.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/194193.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
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    accomplished accomplished
Freedom

A slight Windows embuggerance

I have a dual-boot PC running XP on the (original) mechanical hard drive and 7 on an SSD. Despite setting the 7 control panel so that it never goes to sleep, it still does - and then refuses to come awake again with a mouse click or a keypress. The only option seems to be hitting the reset button, which is not good for 7's delicate psyche.

The XP disk does not have this problem.

I've got a workaround by installing Caffeine, a small program that emulates an F15 keypress every minute or so, but it's not ideal; and I'm looking around for a solution that fixes the OS. So: any ideas?...

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/193861.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated
Freedom

Sunflowers

No. 1 Son has been growing things this year. There's a tub of what I think is beetroot in the porch (not investigating too closely: I don't like beetroot, and the feeling is mutual), and various flowers in tubs outside. His major contribution to the tubs is a trio of sunflowers Collapse )
Update: I've heard from a friend that her ISP is demanding her credit card details to prove she's over 18 to see these pics. I'm assuming they're getting into practice for the impelementation of the Great Firewall of Cameron. For anyone who's got this far but been stymied by something similar, her's a direct link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0kvytaozal9ay08/FDL76PzKPJ/Sunflowers

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/192889.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Freedom

Hacking Android phones for fun and functionality

I've been a bit disenchanted with my Galaxy Ace phone for a while - it's got 190MB of internal memory to run all its stuff in, and after the main OS and all the Google / Samsung crapware that doesn't leave much to install what I want to run. For the last couple of months, I've been getting "insufficient memory" warnings for updates, which is not a good sign. Fortunately, it's possible to "extend" the system memory on this phone, and for anyone who's interested, Collapse )

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/192632.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
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    accomplished accomplished
Freedom

Everything is worse with Libertarians, part 8,225

Oh, this is special:

Tim Worstall, writing in Forbes, theorises that the banking collapse is down to having the laydeez on the stock floor, because "the presence of the opposite gender increases the risky behaviour of both genders".

The obvious solution to this? "No gurlz allowed" notices outside the treehouse trading floor (the cootie-carrying ones can trade on their own floor if they want).

To his very limited credit, Mr. Worstall also points out: "Underneath all the modern day sophistication we are really still a plains ape...". This nicely supports my favourite theory about stock trading: that it is run by troops of strategically-shaven monkeys in smart suits, on the grounds that whenever anything goes wrong all they seem to do is scream loudly and throw shit all over the place.

Cross-posted from DreamWidth at http://murphys-lawyer.dreamwidth.org/192510.html (provided Frank the Goat hasn't been at the vodka again). There are comment count unavailable comments there so far.
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    Astounded