Week Notes 37 & 38

Blogging

Two blog posts here in the last fortnight – one classic album review and some advice for recruitment agents. There was a rant about magazines publishing bad code over on my Perl blog too.

Not a hugely productive two weeks – but there have been worse. I have a few ideas for posts (and I’m a couple of classic albums behind).

Alternative Freak is still running. And Wasted Inches is getting very near the end.

Health

I’ve stopped running. That’s not intentional. Three weeks ago I hurt my leg when out running and decided I’d take a few days off. But I haven’t got back into it. The colder weather and darker mornings don’t help, I suppose, but I really need to galvanise myself into getting out there and starting again.

So, of course, my weight loss has slowed down. But this week I passed another important milestone. When I weighed myself on Friday, I was two stone lighter than I was on 1st January. Now I know that losing two stone in nine months isn’t a  particularly impressive rate, but it makes me happy. I reckon I need to lose about another stone and a half.

I’ve been buying quite a lot of new clothes as my older ones were starting to look a bit loose on me.

Training & Speaking

The Perl School course in two weeks time still isn’t anywhere near selling out. I’m really surprised that a cost of just £30 makes such a large difference to the sign-up rate.

And immediately after that course (well, I get Sunday off) I’m running three days of training for a corporate client. So there has been a lot of slide-tweaking going on around here this weekend.

Then I need to start thinking about the next Perl School and my tutorial at the London Perl Workshop. Conveniently, the LPW tutorial will be a cut-down version of the Perl School course. You could even seen it as an advert. It’s almost like I’ve thought about this stuff.

Technology

I’ve been having one of those periods when technology is actively fighting against me.

First there’s my BeBox. That’s the combined ASDL Router and Wifi access point I get from Be. A few weeks ago I got several emails from them telling me that I had to upgrade the firmware so that it would support their new network (I suspect that has something to do with IPv6). The upgrade seemed to go ok, but since then none of the devices on the home network have been able to see each other, although they can all connect to the internet with no problems. I thought I’d fixed it two weeks ago, but the fix didn’t seem to last long and the problem is back.

Then there’s my Nexus 7. During the week it slipped out of my hand and fell onto the pavement. Now there are annoying lines on the screen. I suspect that the guarantee won’t cover that, but I’m hoping that I can claim it under the accidental damage cover on my household insurance.

During the week the Amazon Cloud Player became available in the UK. This is good news, but it had a big downside. They’re revamped the way you buy MP3s from them and, in the process, have removed support for clamz (an unofficial piece of software that made it far easier to download MP3s purchased from Amazon). It seems that they want you to buy MP3s and then download them from Cloud Player. But under Linux, you can only download MP3s one at a time. So effectively they’ve made it incredibly difficult for Linux users to buy MP3s from them.

I’ve been using Linux as my primary desktop for about twelve years. I’ve survived the years when you had to compile you own network drivers if you wanted to connect to the internet. I thought that things would eventually get better.

But over the last few months I’ve had too many occasions when I couldn’t do what I wanted because a web site or a piece of hardware didn’t support Linux. I’m seriously considering switching to a Windows desktop with Linux in a VM (or, perhaps, the other way round).

Films

Finally got round to watching Primer last night. Might need to watch it a few more times in order to understand what the hell is going on.

Gigs

Last weekend I saw Dexys (the band formerly known as Dexys Midnight Runners) at the Barbican. I was a little disappointed. The main part of the show was their new album played through. I knew that was going to happen, but I thought it was a little self-indulgent. Once that was finished, they played a few oldies. But too much of the time was wasted by a stupid extended sketch about a policeman. And the Come On Eileen went on about twice as long as it needed to. It seems that they find it really difficult to end songs. I shan’t bother going to see them again.

In sharp contrast, on Friday I saw Kathryn Tickellat the Purcell Room. She also played her new album all the way through. But Northumbrian Voices is an excellent show. She combines spoken word (taken from interviews) and music into a fascinating look at a dying way of life. It’s well worth seeing.

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