Week Notes 8 & 9

Eventually I suppose I’ll have to give up and call these entries “Fortnight Notes”.

Health

Not having a cast on has made a huge difference. For the last couple of weeks I’ve still been using a crutch for journeys to and from work, but I really haven’t been using it much during the day. This weekend I haven’t picked it up at all. And I was out and about in Balham for over an hour yesterday.

One of the reasons for using the crutch while commuting was to increase my chances of being offered a seat. After doing this for two weeks I can report that having a crutch is almost useless for the purpose. I think I’ve been offered a seat about four times. Each time it has been by a young woman. Make of that what you will.

Speaking and Training

Last week I ran four days of training in conjunction with O’Reilly and FlossUK. It went well. We had nine people on each of the two two-day courses. About half of them did both courses. The feedback forms all seemed pretty positive.

And I’ve already confirmed my next set of training. I’ll be in Edinburgh for the week 30th April to 4th May. If anyone in Edinburgh wants to meet up in the evenings then please get in touch.

Writing

It appears that in the last two weeks I have managed exactly one blog post. That’s just not good enough,

I have, however, discovered some interesting (well, interesting to me) old writing. It seems that it’s almost exactly ten years since I started my first blog. I thought I’d lost all of the entries, but I found them in a database back-up. More about that next weekend.

Technology

I spoke too soon when saying how easy it had been to install Fedora on my new laptop. When I got it to the training venue the Mini DisplayPort wasn’t working correctly and couldn’t detect the projector. Need to work out what’s going wrong. I think it has something to do with the laptop having Nvidia’s new Optimus technology which means it effectively has two GPUs – an Nvidia card for high performance graphics and an on-board Intel unit to save battery life when you don’t need the Nvidia card. There’s a project called Bumblebee which is aimed at supporting this on Linux, but it all seems a bit cutting edge for my tastes.

Luckily I’m always suspicious of video output on new laptops so I took my old one to the training with me as well. But I want to get that sorted out before going to Edinburgh.

I get my broadband connection from Be. About three months ago they offered my the chance to get the actual phone line from them as well (instead of renting that from BT). It saved a few quid a month so I took them up on the offer. As a thank-you for being one of the first customers to sign up they sent me a new BeBox (their name for their ADSL modem/router). This made me happy as the old one had suffered greatly from being in a dust-ridden building site for most of 2010. I was amazed that it was still working – but it had a nasty habit of overheating and cutting out regularly.

I kept meaning to set up the new one, but didn’t get round to it before breaking my leg. And then I wasn’t really mobile enough to crawl around on the floor setting it up. Yesterday when the old unit overheated one time too many I decided it was finally time to set up the new one.

And what a difference it has made. I reckon the connection now appears good 50-100% faster than it was. I don’t know if that’s because the unit is just newer and better or because the new unit isn’t full of dust – but it’s like using a whole new internet.

Films

Don’t seem to have been watching many films. Or, at least, films that I’ve never seen before. Oh, I watched Starship Troopers for the first time. People tell me I should see it as satire, but I just saw it as dull and uninteresting. On the other hand, the new trailer for Avengers Assemble has me very excited.

TV

Continuing through Lost. We’ve just stated series five. Gave up on Grimm after two episodes. Been enjoying Homeland. And we’ve been rewatching some old episodes of The West Wing. It’s as good as it ever was, but it’s making me a little depressed. I keep wishing that the real White House was run by people as sharp and intelligent as that.

Books

Reading has been going slowly this year, but this week I finished a book that I want to recommend to you all. The English Monster is great. It’s a historical novel. It’s a detective novel. It’s a London novel. It has pirates. And it has a tiny touch of magical realism that brings it all together. I enjoyed it thoroughly. You probably will too.

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