Tag Archive: Laptop


Drafts Lost in the Sea of Time

Pathetic – yet another lost draft. This should have gone up last Monday.

It’s half-term, Parliamentary recess and this means that this week should be nice n quiet, at least from the perspective of work. Socially, things are pretty involved this week – dinner, quiz, games, more games, birthdays…

Weekend recap: wasn’t impressed by the ugly downpours on Friday, had some vague ideas/plans to do stuff that evening but trudged my way home, crashed in and almost passed out. Had an hour with the lights off before rallying and thought about dinner. Later on, went for my first swim in a month (really need to get back into the routine) and managed sixty lengths before I gave up.

Saturday – started off with a slow day, ragging on Dr Do(o)m and his poor choice of…sleeping companion. Sufficed to say, we now have enough material to last three months of abuse and torture. Thought I’d run some errands in the afternoon, specifically selling my laptop and iPad to offset the cost of the new iPad. It took a little wrangling and chasing but managed to get £373 for both which is only £27 off my target/ambition. Whilst I was at Cex selling the laptop, I decided to use the last of my vouchers to buy Family Guy s14, Borderlands and Ghostbusters on blu-ray so spent most of that evening binging on the first of the list. In my defense, I had walked almost fifteen miles on Saturday in total (splitting foot in process) and after I sank into the couch, there was no way I was going to be getting up again.

Sunday – mostly a rest day with a brief intermission towards Clapham to go to the supermarket as all three bloody kitchen bulbs blew…one after the frigging other. And for a few other odds and sods. Probably should have kept feet up after Saturday’s marathon but hey ho. Decided to do an Empire at War campaign as the Empire for most of the day whilst doing chores and the like. Was supposed to have a date but yet again, was stood up. Oh. Little Lord Fontelroy decided to send a snottogram yesterday that managed to push all the right buttons. Felt like flinging my phone across the room when I read it, I was that incensed. Lord save me from the perpetually insecure; just because I have something of a life again…FFS.

Think that’s yer lot for today. I’m severely lacking in motivation and general interest. I think I need to book my time in Berlin for April, something in the diary to look forward to.

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Aspire? v7.

T’other weekend ended up costing a packet as the old laptop ended up conking out again and rather than immediately book it in for a service a second time, I just decided to buy a new one. This of course meant I have the fresh agony of setting up a new computer and transferring files across. Somehow, everything worked the first time, especially with iTunes. However, not quite so well with this computer, having lost a fair amount. And the bloody downloading of Steam Games AGAIN! I have no idea what EE must think of my download rates but it can’t be good.

That all said, Civ V runs so quickly and smoothly!

Been a crummy couple of days – nay – a crummy week. With all the lack of excitement over preparing an Explanatory Memorandum on some policy as well as trying to finish a letter which has been almost three months in the making (don’t ask), morale has been sub-basement level. With a couple of rows added to the mix, some old-fashioned standing up/last minute plan changes thrown in and early morning shrieking from across the road, yeah – been better. So the laptop packing in couldn’t have come at a worse time. When the chips are down, familiar clichés run through my head, sayings like “this builds character” and “all life is pain” – it generally works.

After the initial set up and installation (and no 700 Windows updates with v8.1 either!), the first game I downloaded was the Solitaire package from Xbox Games as I do enjoy the occasional foray into four-suit Spider Solitaire. What that led to was a four hour solitaire binge scoring achievements and medals – what is it about achievements that are catnip to me? I would have gotten Minesweeper also but that wouldn’t download from the store.

Summer looks to be on its way out. From the muggy days of June and July to the decidedly cooler and wetter days of August – am already thinking about sleeping with the windows shut. The insipid and incessant rain yesterday brought a chill to the air but allowed duvet cocooning. It’s sleeves down weather, definitely. Did I mention atop my current set of woes, I left my umbrella in Sainsbury’s on Sunday – or at least I think it was Sainsbury’s, could have been Curry’s or in the Plaza, dunno. Thank heaven there was a spare in the office, the sort with its own built in lightning rod.

Am currently toying with the idea of having all of October off of work – from the 29th September to 3rd November. That’s 25 days of leave (five weeks) which I will more than have as my current entitlement is 31 and my leave year expires on 19th September. Given schedules for the next month, can’t take it any sooner. There’ll be the last of the summer to enjoy, quiet contemplative days at home, debauchery, depravity and the like. Kinda feeling the squeeze lately with an extreme reluctance to get out of bed in the morning, a desire to maximise time at home and even the prospect of several nights out of the country failing to rally spirits. No wonder I’m not excited about my new laptop the way I would used to have been.

Hungry now.

Surgery Was A Success

With my data now transferred to my laptop and it’s brand new hard drive, so begins the long road to recovery.  It’s taken me the best part of three hours to sort out my iTunes and getting it all functioning properly but after gutting the library and starting again with a new approach to system restore, I’m confident that the issues are now all resolved.  Phew, there’s something very reassuring to know all your data is where it’s supposed to be.

What I wasn’t expecting was a reinitialisation of the generic software suite with the latest updates; I had assumed I’d get a version of Windows 7 exactly like the one I left.  They gave me new stuff – new Games, new System Tools to play around with.  And perhaps another unexpected side effect for the better was a brand new, clean file registry.  The only downside is that my copy of Office 2010 is in absentia and I’m damned if I can remember where the key is.  However – the work offer is still on IIRC so I can get Office 2013 for £8.

It’s 1am here and I’m trying to set up my download list for Steam (I decided to just leave those games when recovering data and download upon return) so I won’t be going into too much detail about Belfast.  Sufficed to say it was better than expected – I think that I preferred it to Dublin though based on a single trip apiece, I’m willing to go again to both.  Not that the two cities are in competition.

I will say I got all 50 achievements on Lego Indy 1 today – so that’s a mere 7 games I’ve completed start to finish.  Sense of accomplishment tho’.

Später

Hard? Not any longer

Near to where I live is Vauxhall Park – not to be confused with Spring Gardens/Pleasure Gardens. It’s a piece of land – say 100 metres square, that’s not an unreasonable guess. There are several key/distinct sections to the park: tennis courts, a café, dog walking area, children’s playground, Heather Garden. On Sunday it was host to the annual Vauxhall Park fete and Dr Dom and I attended briefly. But what struck me about the Fete was that there was too much park and not enough activity. That’s not to say I thought it was a bad fete, I believe that way, way more could have been made of it, of the area, the space etc.

What would I have done? Well, there was a dog show so this might be difficult to reconcile but the first think I’d have done was brought on board Vauxhall City Farm, introduced perhaps a petting zoo or maybe some pony rides for the children. Then, I’d have brought more of the local businesses on board – chances are their employees eat lunch in the park. Some of the many charities that also call Vauxhall home like Leonard Cheshire – employees + the fact that they’re set up to target events like this and show what they’re all about.

At least that’s what I’d have done. Of course, saying all this is easy, organisation – now that’s hard.

Sad news at the weekend – laptop hard drive failed on Saturday so I had to add that to the list of things to do. At least we suspected it was a hard drive failure, me and the diagnostician at Curry’s. I also tore the house apart looking for the back up external hard drive and having checked just about everywhere twice, wrote it off as lost in action together with that A3 Box file which disappeared during my move. Of course it was located the next day quite by accident but I’m getting ahead of myself here…

I decided to kill two birds with one stone and went to the Curry’s on TCR, not least as it was close to Cex and I was going to finally do something about my old iPhone. After a little wrangling and testing, they begrudgingly gave me £110 for the handset – store credit rather than cash. I thought I’d wait rather than splurging on DVDs, Blu Rays and video games. Went into an Eat for lunch for the first time, kinda reminded me of Exki. Wanted Wasabi but the store at the bottom of the road was packed.

Spent the rest of the day moping for my laptop – it’s been a while since my last back up so I don’t feel I can rush out and buy a new machine. Most of my personal docs and pictures should be safe enough – it’s the back up of the music, videos and video game (save) data which is of most concern. Thank heaven for an increasing usage of Steam. Although it’ll take an aeon or three to get back all those downloaded games, especially Civ V. Still, it forced me back to the Xbox and I decided on a whim to try the current freebie, Charlie Murder which wasn’t a bad little RPG as it happens. I’m quite far in the game, it’s just so wonderfully corny. Also decided to fire up Lego Indy (the original) and clear that game off of the backlog, hopefully getting 100% completion which’ll make 7 fully completed achievement game-things.

Sunday – worse than breaking my laptop. I’m going to skip ahead several hours and after my thumb-sized blister on my foot. After browsing the fair, I went to the Griffin for Sunday lunch. It was quite quiet in the pub, but I was there way later than normal. Not that I minded though, the mood I was in was conducive to a little peace and quiet. Good food and I rounded it off with the Hepburn Bar from the Real Food Market. Decadent but great with my coffee. Played more games, fumed quietly at the universe, finished Picross 4 on the 3DS and couldn’t sleep at all. Hurrah!

Pinch, Punch

“2012 hasn’t exactly has the most auspicious of beginnings”, writes our beloved author after the first 8.3% of the year has expired. Whilst a pub quiz win and the concept of a fortnight-long break did much to bolster spirits, there have already been several setbacks to the overall sense of progressiveness that was forecast about 31 calendar days ago.

Rather than list a litany of grievances and failures, I’m just going to name the number one bugbear which threatens to send my scrabbling up the nearest clock tower with a high-velocity assault rifle and an unquenchable thirst to thin out the neighbourhood.

My laptop.

It’s been six months since I bought my new laptop, a supplement and eventual replacement for my desktop PC and the wretched, thrice damned machine gave me the complete pleasure of a hardware failure on Thursday last week. I was playing Civ 4 when the sound began to come through slightly distorted. Then there was a complete slow down followed by a graphics failure, speed failure and finally the inability to shut down without a manual shunt and then to start up again. Yes, one suspects that again the motherboard has decided to die.

So in a pique of fury and barely restrained rage I stormed off to PC World at Westfield and politely requested they take a look at it. Not only was I going to have to wait 5 days for the damn machine to be collected by the repair team but that it was going to take a further week to look at it. My Premier Plan contract does state I am within my rights to request a brand new laptop and I was very tempted to do so purely out of malice but the prospect of restoring the backup was unsettling and therefore I decided to let the team do its work.

However, if next week I cannot collect my machine on schedule, I will request a new machine rather than mess around – I had completed a backup within the last week so very little data would actually be lost.

If I remained on leave this week, I’d now be crawling the wall as my desktop, repaired though it might be is proving to be an inadequate substitute. The noisy fan and the lack of RAM on the machine are frustrating and I don’t want to go back to my five year old machine, time to retire it. But here I am at work, only just over my holidayitis and armed with my iPhone for interweb company.

Came third in the quiz last night, don’t want to talk about it.

That aside, there’s some good stuff in February to look forward to – first would be the fact there’s no Council Tax to be paid this month which is always welcome. And it’s a shorter month, the least amount of time between pay days. It’d be great if I could write that the weather will be improving but a quick step outside the range of a radiator will quickly disabuse one of that particular notion. There’s a few birthdays this month but other than that, nothing of critical importance.

Ah yes, quick gaming update is in order methinks. First of all, I finally got round to trying Sid Meier’s Pirates but not Epic Mickey although I did lift it up long enough to contemplate taking it out of the cellophane. I tried a second game as a French Privateer but the damn Wii crashed half way through the game and I switched the console off in disgust. I revisited Wii Sports though for the first time in as many months and found I have lost aptitude for bowling but am a superior tennis player, easily defeating the hardest AI opponents but the score ranking increases only in tiny steps rather than in leaps and bounds.

February will also see a number of 3DS games released or about to be released such as Luigi’s Mansion 2, Resident Evil Revelations (released last Friday but close enough) et al. Tempted by them all but whether or not money will change hands is another matter entirely as there’s just not enough to one interested. However, I’ll either get Super Mario or Professor Layton next though I’m also hoping for a quick release of Miles Edgeworth 2 or Phoenix Wright vs Professor Layton. Storybook games are so in.

Playstation Vita – ha ha ha ; what crummy sales figures. Another nail in Sony’s coffin.

Vacation Blues

Holiday-itis has set in but nowhere near as bad as last year when I sulked for a week after coming back from an extended period from work. Last night/this morning was the hardest as I was awake for hours fearing with each passing hour this return to GMH. That, and the fact I began an epic game of the Star Trek Civ IV mod as the Federation and got really into it. I’m not far off of pulling a “Domination” Victory out of the bag thanks to elimination of the Gorn and the Romulans as well as some aggressive expansionist policies. If peace can be kept, a series of Starbases should push the territorial requirement to 25% and victory. I think I was unconscious for about ninety minutes in total so copicious amounts of Café Parisen are in order today.

I am tempted to begin to ask for the right to work at least one day a week from home, not least as it’ll mean only four days in the office rather than five. I have long since suspected that certain colleagues work from home so that they don’t have to endure the same day to day restrictions at home they do here; core hours, unrestricted internet etc.

In response to the increased levels of stress, my unconscious has been applying tried-and-tested methods of reduction: liquor, sex, video games. Sometimes all three in a short space of time. Last year’s journey of personal exploration seems parsecs away as there’s definite entrenchment and stagnation. Given the premise of external influence, it’s more difficult to strive to overcome. Though I note that the lack of opportunities has forced more people to gym it as the muscle-heads are in danger of taking over which clearly points to more time spent on the bench-press et al.

Today is the finale of the Griffin Quiz and there’s going to be a huge turn out from Yoshi’s extended family with about nine people to come this week; team members past and present. We’re on course to win, Team Science are supposedly down a couple of team members today so unless they buck the trend and win by a massive margin, first prize should be ours. Then we’ll have to fight out who gets what prize. I still say Alex and I are first in line for whatever comes, then Joey, Lee, David and Jack can fight out for the other two.

Well, September is almost here, pay day is tomorrow (mercifully) and I have at least four birthdays to consider (as well as Andy S belatedly) but otherwise a quiet month. I think some scaling back is in order though there won’t be an expensive day out to Brighton, no new Blu-Ray player, no dentist etc etc. And there’s only six months left of loan repayment; under £2000 to go.

It’s quite strange writing on a standard keyboard again, raised keys and a different noise when they’re pressed and de-pressed. A laptop keyboard has a much friendlier sound imho but the number of times I keep hitting the CAPS LOCK button rather than the “a” can get vexatious. Still, the one positive thing about tapping away on my work PC means that I can’t load a game up when I get bored and then lose five hours trying to outflank Napoleon before crushing him completely.

I know this is fairly inane stuff but if I gave voice to what’s really on my mind, I’d lose it completely, spending several hours ranting or whining (I cannot differentiate between the two). Still, I’ll endeavour to make up for it tonight with a glorious victory and triumph.

Oh – you can tell Xmas is on the way. Supermarket was full of large tins today, all “half price”.