Tag Archives: laptop

Anarchy, Charity and Charles III

Julia is on duty providing water and encouragement at the Robin Hood Marathon. And that was how I ended up with my alarm set for 6.30 this morning. I don’t even get up at that time when I have to go to work. To add to my misery, some of the roads were already closed by 7.30 and I got lost in the road system returning from dropping her off. This involved driving along a road reserved for buses and taxis (it’s not a good system around the railway station at the best of times) and I am now waiting to see if I get a ticket in the post later in the week. The council can’t organise bin collections, road signs or recycling properly but they do have  top class system of cameras which they use for fining motorists.

I believe my words may have more dramatic impact if I leave it there rather than dwell on the evils of local government.

The bet thing I can say is that it is probably better than local anarchy as a way of running the city.

First job of the morning after returning home was to set up my laptop on my normal computer table. I have already been productive. The current set-up, with my PC mouse and keyboard plugged into the USB ports of my laptop, is hardly sophisticated, but it is much easier to use. The only problem is that the screen now appears minute compared to the normal screen. I’m not sure what I can do about that. It isn’t really that mush smaller than the other, so I may just stand it on a couple of books to raise it to a better level.In fact I just did that, and it is much better once it is raised into my eyeline.

The coin is a shilling of Charles I. The equivalent coin of Charles III will be made by machine and will be a lot less interesting and impressive. The hammered coins of Charles I were produced by putting a silver blank between two dies and hitting the top one with a hammer. There were experiments with machinery, starting in 1561, but milled coins (as they were called) were slower and harder to make and it was 1662 (just after the restoration of Charles II) before all coins were milled. The Newark Siege coin I showed a few weeks ago doesn’t look quite so bad when you look at the standard coinage of the time, does it?

Laptop Woes (Yesterday’s Post)

I have a problem. It is a long-running problem. which I haven’t had to think about for a while. but it is now starting to affect me again. Put simply, I have trouble composing on a laptop. Balancing a piece of plastic on my lap and prodding at a keyboard with one finger is not a good way to write. It’s not just the laptop, of course, it’s also difficult to compose when you are sitting in the living room talking to your wife and coping with TV in the background. As a younger man I was able to follow TV whilst reading a book but as I get older my concentration isn’t what it was.

Last night I found myself grinding to a halt. I have haibun and tanka prose to transfer from paper to computer but the task was beyond me. The same goes for blogging. I stared at the screen, I tried a few paragraphs and I decided that even by my lax standards I was writing rubbish. I tried three times. I failed three times. I deleted three times. Then I fell asleep, woke at 2 am and made sandwiches. The sandwiches – herby cream cheese and cucumber, are not quite as bad as the blog, but they are far from my best. I was intending to make a mackerel spread from smoked mackerel fillets, spring onions, herby cream cheese and lemon juice, but at 2am it isn’t just sparkling prose that evades me.

At the moment I am writing this blog post (which will count as yesterday’s post) at work, and will email it to myself. Then I have one to write for today, and hopefully I will manage some poetry too, before everyone arrives. That was the plan yesterday, though it didn’t work out.

Tonight I will spend time making room for my laptop on my normal table and will plug a keyboard into it. Not only will it make it easier to type, but I will be able to divide my time clearly between work (or writing, eBay and procrastination) and relaxation (TV, conversation and napping). It is important to keep the balance between the two parts of my life.

The picture is the badge we sold to Germany today. I’m sorry to see it go, but that’s what I get paid for.

Two Parcels Arrive

It’s been a quiet day, just a blood test and a visit to the jewellers. The new computer has been delivered and is now charging. That’s it. It has not been a particularly active sort of day. To be honest, none of my days are. I was listening to Giles Brandreth on a podcast recently (I really am starting to embrace the 21st Century) and he said that he was once told by a successful businessman that the key to success was energy. I’m not very energetic, and this is reflected in my success rate.

There was one small wobble when the post arrived. There was a parcel for me, which should have been delivered to the shop. This would have covered up my delinquency in bidding in an auction last week when I am supposed to be economising. However, the vendor got this wrong and the parcel ended up in Julia’s hands. If you look in the dictionary under “caught bang to rights”, you will see a picture of Julia holding my parcel from the auction. Look under “shifty, guilty husband”, as she pointed out, and you will find a picture of me. She actually used a different word, but “husband” is accurate and politer.

We’ve agreed that I will now start my economy drive. It wasn’t a difficult decision as the car and lap top have emptied the reserve I keep to allow for this sort of thing.  It’s also not difficult to give up spending when the evidence is delivered to your wife.

Anyway, that’s enough for now, I want to go and test the new laptop.

Me, moaning about computers and photographing birds

It’s been a strange Sunday. Julia’s laptop has been playing up and refusing to connect to the internet so we went to the computer shop where they told us it would cost £60 to have it sent away, after which they would tell us how much it would cost before we could get it back. Forgive my cynicism but that seems to me to be a good description of how kidnappers operate.

That’s how I ended up looking round Curry’s/PC World looking at new laptops.

It’s also how I ended up sitting in the car whimpering. It’s been an expensive couple of weeks, and the process of spending money

I’m sure it must be possible, bearing in mind the advance of technology and the economics of mass production, to build an acceptable laptop for around £150. We don’t need a terrabyte of memory or the ability to use huge amounts of graphics. We just want to write emails. surf the net and brighten up a few photos.

That’s before I even start on the evils of the new way of selling Microsoft Office. If you own a copy and haven’t replaced your computer in the last few years you’re in for a surprise. You don’t own it now, you just rent it for a year at a time. When your subscription expires you don’t have access to Office.

That’s like buying a car and only renting the ignition key.

After that I had to go to the park and photograph birds.