Quick general-purpose update.

Mopman starts his new job before I finish mine. He is going to try to keep both jobs, well he’s 20 years younger than me so maybe he can, but I suspect the almost total lack of any days off will mean he’ll pack in the cleaning job soon. The other job will have a ‘probationary period’ because they always do. As soon as he knows he’ll be permanent, I can see him dumping the cleaning job.

Perhaps sooner, if he finds he’s expected to do many extra hours after I leave.

Manager wants to meet with me to try to persuade me to stay. I am considering offering to do Saturday and Sunday only. I know that she will have problems getting young staff to sign up. The young want a job so they can afford to go out at the weekend. They don’t want to work at the weekend. Whereas I don’t care about weekends any more, since Smoky-Drinky can be any night. I am considering this not for the money (it will be hardly a decent whisky’s worth) but because after spending those years cooped up working at home, I know what cabin fever can do to your mind! It depends on her attitude, which isn’t usually good.

Another six years and my pension starts. I could take the Osborne option next year and cash in some of it but that would be silly. If I do manage to get old I don’t want to have to work every day! So I’m leaving that one alone.

I have not yet tried fixing the computer. I’ll leave it alone until work ends. Really it’s time to look at buying a new one. I have worn the letters off at least five keyboards on this one! Its current keyboard is that fancy Microsoft bendy one. It used to be the ‘posh option’ but now it’s the cheapest one around. That’s because it still has a wire and a plug. Everyone now has wireless keyboards and mice but not me. If they are not wired to the main box I’ll lose them. As for the 25-metre range, seriously, how far away from a monitor can you get and still see it?

It’ll be an older model because really all I need is basic spreadsheet, word processing and internet. The only games I was ever interested in were Doom, Quake and Descent, which will run on just about anything now. It will be a desktop. I have laptops but for hours of typing I like to be able to shift the keyboard around and laptop keyboards don’t ‘feel’ right. I will also refrain from buying one until after I return to the home planet for a while (visiting Wales later this month) since my luck lately has been…

A computer that was perfectly reliable all the time I had a small but regular income, then dies just as I resign.

Just as I was looking forward to many days of uninterrupted writing, along comes the threat of jury service again. I hear the best thing to do is to turn up in a full suit and tie and make a point of being called ‘Doctor’. No defense lawyer would let me on the jury. I didn’t get that far last time.

I have a tall lamp in the living room that has just died too. It went ‘fzzz-pop-dark’. Okay, I thought, I have a big box of light bulbs. Nope, it’s the lamp. I noticed the plastic shade was cracked and fell apart at a touch. New lamp required too. Sigh. At least those are cheap although maybe I shouldn’t go for the abolute cheapest this time. I just need light, not fashion, but even so.

So, with that run of luck, I’d best not get any new electronics in the house until I get back from holiday!

Now for the proper post…


6 thoughts on “Quick general-purpose update.

  1. When looking for a keyboard, I cannot recommend highly enough one with Cherry MX keys. They are the real deal, and make typing a dream. They come in many tactile variants, named after colours, to suit your preferences. I use blues, as they are for typists and coders (who are typists). Gaymerz use reds.

    Numerous keyboard makers use them.

    Blues have great tactile and aural feedback – similar to the old bomb-proof IBM keyboards.


  2. It doesn’t really matter what you wear if you are called for Jury duty. At the High court in Edinburgh all the names if potential jurors are put into a big glass bowl and the Clerk pulls them out until they have 15. If you got a big trial going on for weeks you get your pay and expenses and free lunches and coffee etc. more than one of my fellow jurors recently had no clue whatsoever what was going on.


  3. Leggy, with regards computers a spot of advice (for though I started as a humble parasitologist, I now work with computers; the pay’s better). Avoid laptops; they’re fiddly and eventually break, and there’s no such thing as a standard anything with laptops. Avoid most miniaturised desktops; a nice big case is easier to work on, easier to upgrade, easier to keep cool. Overheating is the killer for most systems; a nice big case with nice big fans is much better.

    Wired keyboards and wired mice are the way to go. The venerable IBM model M is the gold standard for keyboards; when Russia and America finally go at it and fight a nuclear war there’ll be nothing left of humanity save cockroaches and IBM modem M keyboards, and they’ll still work perfectly. If you’re an untidy soul like I am, a Logitech trackball works very well indeed.

    As to OS, Ubuntu LTS linux works well, as long as you turn on the firewall (look at the package ufw to do this) and turn on auto-update. Contact me privately if you want my Ubuntu hardening script. If you can’t get on with Ubuntu Unity desktop, go with Linux Mint and their Mate desktop.

    Lastly, make backups. Lots of duplicated backups. Hard disks always die, eventually.


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