Stream of (semi-)consciousness...

Various inane ramblings in a multimedia sauce. Wait one minute to allow contents to cool before opening.

The BNP as MEPs?

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

I have no doubt that minds far greater, and far better educated in matters of politics than mine, will debate for some time yet how it came to be that the British National Party has secured itself a seat in the European Parliament.

Since I am a political atheist (yup, I don't believe in politics, Santa Claus or council tax...) I'm not going to comment, but the indignant coughing and spluttering from tonight reminded me of the rally I attended at the start of 2007 when Oxford Union was due to allow BNP leader Nick Griffin and "controversial historian" (to quote the BBC's news article) David Irving to speak.

I don't claim to know where or how to draw the line between the right to free speech and one's obligations to allow others to live without fear of xenophobic attack, but I wonder if this is another sign we're heading down a dark path.

Feel free to read more about this result on the Times or BBC sites (since I already have these articles open in Firefox). I'm off to bed. G'night :o)

is getting comfy to LOL at the...

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

is getting comfy to LOL at the Apprentice final. Unintentional comedy ftw (yes, I'm a git... ;o)

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Patience fail: one very smashed laptop (mine)

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

Ok, you might have noticed my Twitter updates (1st, 2nd, 3rd) a few days ago where I mentioned a broken laptop. Well, I the end result has left me so impressed with the engineering of my little HP Mini laptop that I'm going to 'fess up to being a little bit crazy just so I can tell you about it.

This could be will be embarrassing...

To cut a long and very boring story short, I was having a bit of a rubbish day - I'd come home to find that two iPhone's I'd bought off eBay as having "a slight fault" had turned out to be registered stolen.

Then, I turn on the Media Center PC - which is excellent at recording Eastenders and Road Wars when it's behaving itself - to find that it had eaten its hard disk, along with 500GB of movies (that's about five years' worth of collecting). Of course, I don't have backups - who has a 500GB hard disk lying around spare?

So, with two broken iPhones (which cost me a lot more than I have cash to burn), and one probably dead computer, all I wanted to do was sit down with a nice cuppa tea and look up the cost of a new hard disk.

Cue massive fail number three: I open up the laptop, an HP Mini - which is a very nicely-built Apple Macbook-like 10 inch netbook - and wait for it to wake up.

And wait. And wait a bit more.

After a minute of sitting watching the Media Center saying "fail", and the laptop saying, well, nothing at all, I take a deep breath and go make a cup of tea.

Five minutes later, I get back. The Media Center still hasn't repaired itself (ok, I guess that's probably expecting too much), and the laptop has managed to display its mouse cursor, and nothing else.

At this point, my logical brain disengaged itself and walked off into a far corner of my brain.

Meanwhile, forgoing thousands of years of civilised development, I reverted to caveman mode and, without thinking, threw the laptop across the room at a fair rate of knots, only vaguely remembering not to aim at anything breakable which didn't belong to me.

I may also have done the whole slamming-the-fist-down-on-the-keyboard thing so beloved of angry stereotypical American business execs when a business deal goes bad (or their partner walks out. Or their cat dies. Or something...).

The resulting explosion of plastic parts, battery bits, computer innards and - hey, where did the skin go from my knuckles?! - left a debris trail across the living room.

Still, I have to admit, I felt better - technology and eBay might have beaten me four times that day, but I'd managed to get one over on Microsoft. Oh yes. I felt very good about that.

A microsecond later, it occurred to me that throwing a laptop - which had cost me £400 more than I owned right at that moment in time - across a room, probably wasn't the brightest idea.

I collected a plastic Sainsburys bag from the kitchen, scooped my very broken laptop up, and tried to figure out how I was going to live without Facebook and Google Reader.

Three days later, armed with a bottle of superglue and some electrical tape, I set about putting the laptop back together. Three hours and a superglue headache later, here's the sum total of the damage:

  • The base was twisted from the initial impact (it's aluminium), but it was easy enough to realign it once I'd removed the motherboard,
  • Battery superglued back together. Works fine - only slight marks where the superglue ran,
  • Keyboard straightened out as best I can - it's still rather wavy, but all the keys work fine,
  • The clear plastic cover over the screen has a tiny chip broken off the corner,
  • And the hard disk - the only moving part - didn't survive.

So, not a single dent. In all fairness, the battery took the full force of the impact, but still - not a dent, and only the wavy keyboard to show that anything had gone wrong.

All in all: the HP Mini 2140 - an excellent piece of rugged and very attractive engineering. Well done HP :o)

I'm now thinking about treating my laptop to a nice fast SSD instead of a hard disk, which should pretty much make it bomb-proof ;o)

(p.s. if you're looking for one, I bought mine from Misco, but they double-charged me and lied to me, saying delivery would take two days when it took almost three weeks, and made no effort to apologise even when I demanded to know what the heck they were playing at, so I'd recommend avoiding them like the plague. Maybe try Oyyy or Kikatek instead? :o).

has just been woken by a massi...

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

has just been woken by a massive thunderclap in rainy Surbiton!! :)

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is eyeing up G5 PowerMacs (bor...

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

is eyeing up G5 PowerMacs (bored and lonely while other half is in a foreign country - company fail)

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