Stoopid Fings!

Two little things that came to my attention today when I got my replacement Acer. The first one, FROM Acer’s guides…

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Honestly! If you’re going to hold a laptop like that, you deserve to jam your fingers!

In case the writing’s a little small to read, it says “Please do not hold the Aspire one as shown, as this may injure your fingers when closing the cover.”

The other was this statement of the obvious – or is it?? Take note of the quotations…

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Really? Oh, shitting hell! That was going to be my tea for tonight! But seeing as it “is” in quotes, can I eat it anyway? LOL

STOOPID!

Reunited!

…and it feels so goooooood!

Remember that song from the 80’s? That’s how I feel at the moment. I have been reunited with my netbook by way of the arrival of my replacement purchase.

At long last, I feel as if things are TRULY back to normal.

It has been such a routine for the past 10 months for me to do MY thing on my netbook whilst Em sits at the Mac mini doing hers. Although the Mac is not replaced, we will be getting a replacement PC – sometime – when Em FINALLY makes up her mind on what she wants the spec of the machine to be!

Getting the spec right is becoming truly elusive. Hopefully by tomorrow she’ll be finally happy with her choice and start ordering parts.

We’ll see.

I’m just glad I got my netbook back!

Photos From The Archives: Langkawi Airport, 31st March, 2005.

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Langkawi Airport 4, originally uploaded by Larelle_M_R.

I was making my way out to Australia for one of my extended trips home. Before arriving at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia), we had a short stop at Langkawi Airport.

Not all the passengers had to alight from the plane, we were only stopping about 90 minutes. Most chose to exercise their legs, but a few remained.

As I alighted and made my way to the TINY terminal, I decided I might as well take a shot of the plane. I took two or three before quickly being approached by a security guard politely asking me not to take any more photos. I quickly obliged. I know how security in some Asian countries can be and I *didn’t* want to rock the boat.

The terminal had one tiny little shop. I had no Malaysian money so I couldn’t buy anything, so I had to take just ONE more shot inside the terminal.

I don’t know why really. It’s juvenile, but the name of these sweets made me giggle. Nips! In a bag! LOL

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Well, I only had about 13 hours more flying ahead of me and several hours of hanging around in KLIA. Never the thing I look forward to when travelling, but KLIA *does* have an executive lounge that anyone willing to part with about $US20 can enjoy. That always helped pass the time away.

More Trials and Tribulations!

We now have a “decent” Internet connection but I still can’t write a proper post at the Blogger site as T-Mobile (the mobile broadband) has got an adult content lock on the SIM inside the stick. Blogger is blocked FFS! That is SO stupid. I have tried unsuccessfully to remove the block. You have to either give them credit card details – which weren’t accepted, or register with t-mobile – which I can’t do because it doesn’t recognise my post code!!! The only other way is to go to a t-mobile store. What am I meant to do? Take the stick with me? It’s PATHETIC T-MOBILE!!!

Anyway, apart from that annoyance with it, the connection is quite good and relatively speedy. It’ll definitely help us through the next few days.

While I’ve been here trying to get the broadband going, Em has been at her parents’ house contacting Virgin Media (re: Internet connection/cable modem), Apple (to book a slot for an inspection of the Mac mini at an Apple store), and Acer (potential repair of my netbook). Em looked for the netbook’s particulars yesterday and despite what I had believed in my mind, the netbook is under 12 months old and therefore STILL under warranty. Yay!! Acer want us to send it to them via DHL so they can look at it. We have an appointment at the Apple store in Milton Keynes tomorrow at 1.20pm – DON’T be late they said, or you’ll lose your slot!! And Virgin have agreed to send out a new cable modem which should be with us in the next few days.

Re: the netbook. Although we will send off the netbook for potential repair, we are still going to invest in a new one, as we can get a better spec machine (still an Acer, still an Aspire One, but with 1GB of RAM instead of 512k and a 16GB SSD {hard drive for the layman} instead of 8GB in my current one). If they can repair the original, we’ll sell it on eBay.

The Mac has more life in it too than we initially thought. The OS loads and we can see the drive, but we can’t navigate around it as the USB ports seem to have died. We couldn’t see it on the monitor as it seems that the DVI connection is gone. Em put a VGA adaptor on it and linked it to the monitor and we could then see the screen. So it might just be repairable for a reasonable cost. We’ll see tomorrow, no doubt.

Anyway, here’s hoping we’ll be mostly back to normal by the end of this week.

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, 22nd July (Em’s birthday, btw), 1.00pm

I’m on PROPER. Yay!! We just received a replacement cable modem, so now we have full Internet access back.

This morning I have ordered my replacement Netbook, so hopefully that’ll be here by Friday.

We went to Milton Keynes yesterday and took the Mac to the Apple store. The motherboard would need replacing. Cost of motherboard £120, plus labour to refit = £200, but they could reduce the labour by £30, so it could be £170. Why not just quote £170 in the first place?? Anyway, Em said “Erm, I’ll think about it.” and came back with the Mac. Think we might end up getting that high spec Linux machine to replace it. At least a PC is always upgradable. It’s sort of a shame to say goodbye to the Mac mini, but for a £170 outlay, we can get a higher spec machine to replace it.

We’ve also ordered a new cable router. A bargain at £25 (compared to around £45 to replace our existing router). All the bells and whistles, good reviews, so we should be SWEET by the weekend.

The Linux PC will take a bit of time to build, but in the meantime we’ll have a new netbook and an old G4 Mac to use, so we’ll be fine. Thank goodness it’s all come good this quickly.

SAY NO TO LIGHTNING STRIKES!!! lol

Outage From Lightning

Sorry if this is looking funny or has typos. I’m using the email on my phone.

Today has been “black Friday” for us. There was a rumble of thunder and a bolt of lightning and then my netbook died. We thought initially that was it, but after an inspection it became apparent there were MORE casualties. We’ve lost the netbook, the Mac Mini, the cable modem, and the wireless router.

So we have no internet, I’ve lost my netbook, but we at least have a backup old style Mac tower.

Sky is now getting £17 a month for a Sky Player package I can’t watch. I’m back to having to listen to the cricket on the radio. Despite the weather we’ve had here, there has been play at Lords today.

Em has just gone off to catch the bus to in to her parents to contact our ISP re: loss of cable modem. I’m sure we won’t get anyone out here before Monday at the earliest. She just called me as I’m typing this to say she’d missed the bus. It never rains!

I’m sure we’ll be able to get it all back over time, but it’s not really something we need.

God damn weather!


Larelle

Photos From The Archives – The Gremlin from The Kremlin

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Chrissy046, originally uploaded by Larelle_M_R.

This is my favourite picture of Chrissy as a kitten. I think we’ve had her only a few days when this photo was taken. The photo would date around mid February 2000.

I’d been in the UK seven months. I missed my Oz cat, Tiger, like crazy and *SO* wanted to have a cat here. Obviously being in a rented property we were not meant to have pets. But I worked it all out and ‘gently’ persuaded Em to take a chance on us getting a kitten.

Early in February (the 10th, to be exact), 2000 I was at the local laundrette doing some tumble drying. The local rag was there to read and so I looked in the classifieds section to see if there was anything under pets. To my joy there were some kittens listed for sale in the nearby town of Dunstable for £10 a pop.

I had my mobile with me, so I called the number there and then. The lady said she had one female (Chrissy) left. I asked her to please keep her for me and I would pick her up that evening.

That night we went over to Dunstable to collect Chris. She was sitting on the ladies lounge with her mum. There were 3 or 4 of her brothers all around in the loungeroom. They were all playing while she was sitting contently with her mum. I remember seeing her and falling instantly in love with her. She was gorgeous!

We paid the £10, thanked the lady, and were on our way home with our new bundle of fluff. I was in raptures.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Chrissy will be 10 on December 1st, 2009.

Timber!

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wooden heart, originally uploaded by gobayode photography.

Yesterday one of the nearby neighbours had three large conifers chopped down. It’s JULY. That’s still in the nesting season.

Now I know for certain that Mr & Mrs Blackbird had their nest in one of these conifers. Yes, their two chicks had fledged quite some time ago, but it proves to me that other bird species would have been nesting in those trees.

All afternoon I watched endless pigeons fly around wondering where their “houses” had gone. It’s so terrible to see animals in distress.

This morning there was a juvenile blackbird in our garden, sitting on the lawn looking sorry for himself. What if Mr & Mrs B had bred again? There was time enough in the year for them to do that. Lots of bird species have more than one brood if there is ample time in the season to do so.

It is illegal to fell trees that have active nests. You are meant to inspect before going ahead with any fells. I really get the impression this did NOT happen yesterday.

I haven’t seen Mr B at all in the last 24 hours. I’m sure poor Mr & Mrs B will move on now and we’ll no longer have resident blackbirds 😦

I want to cry!

I’m not against the peoples right to fell the trees in their garden. But what I *DO* object to is them doing it at this time of year. They should have waited until September, when the nesting season was fully over with.

It made me feel SO sad yesterday. I couldn’t help but feel for the birds.

The misanthrope in me was at its highest yesterday.

Gadget Gals.

The Cheslyn Close household is a gadget minefield at the moment. I’ve just taken possession of my first ever iPod yesterday. I am LOVING it. Don’t know WHY I ever went for the X-Fi in the first place, or persevered with it for SO long! Money, I suppose. It sort of dictated my decision.

But I’m not the only one in the house who’s got a new toy to play with. Em has also got a gadget to play with. I only ordered it on Monday night and it arrived this morning! It was meant to delivered next week, but arrived this morning. No complaints here!

It’s an Internet radio. It’s a tinny, pink box, but it was VERY affordable for an Internet radio. At first it didn’t look like it was going to link to the ‘net, but with perseverance, Em got it connected. She’s still fiddling with it now. I’m not sure if it’s working or not at the moment. But it WAS working just before. We were listening in to Australian radio stations. Yep, it’s all up and running…

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As for me with the iPod. At arrived yesterday afternoon around 4.00pm and I did an “unveiling” with photos I uploaded onto Flickr. Em plugged it into the back of the Mac, it started charging. Shortly after Em started the iTunes syncing process and about an hour later 60GB’s worth of songs (some 8000 tracks) were loaded onto it. Amazing!

The one thing I WILL say is that, in agreement with most people, I would highly recommend getting a good set on in-ear headphones for it, as the Apple phones ARE crud! I’m keeping my Creative phones that came with the X-Fi as they are KILLER phones! Other than that, I cannot fault it. It’s got a lovely, earthy, rich sound and it works like a dream.

Photos From The Archives – A Day at Wild Britain – nr Bedford

Click the image of the butterfly to see the whole album.

A beautiful butterfly in the butterfly house at Wild Britain. It was formerly known as Bedford Butterfly Park, but it wasn’t just butterflies!

Em and I took a visit there on August 31st, 2004. I remember it being a nice sunny day, but it wasn’t overly warm for a late summer’s day. But the butterfly house was stifling! What is it about flutties and humid conditions?

It was lovely seeing all exotic kinds of flutties. And there was a petting zoo there with pigs, goats, bunnies and other small animals.

One of my favourite sights of that day was seeing all the owl butterflies having a feast on the rotting fruit left out for them to gorge on. There were about 6 of them on the feeder.

I do love butterflies. It really *IS* an amazing aspect of nature that just a few months, even a few WEEKS earlier, a lovely butterfly would have been in a chrysalis, and before that would have been a caterpillar munching away on your cabbage leaves. They really are something to behold. I can’t believe there are people that are scared of them!

There are other photos from the day to view. You can see them by clicking the butterfly photo.

I Have Officially Bitten The Bullet!

For a little while now I’ve had a niggling doubt about my X-Fi. Not to do with its performance, it’s a GREAT player, but for its ease of connectivity.

See, I live in a Mac/Linux house. All forms of Microsoft and/or Windows are banned in this household (my choice, along with Em’s).

When buying the X-Fi I knew I was taking a gamble with connectivity. When it connects to a PC (and when I say PC, I mean PERSONAL COMPUTER – PC does NOT equal WINDOWS based OS computers!) or laptop/netbook, the X-Fi wants to connect using Creative’s Centrale` software, which is Windows specific. Us non Windows based PC users have to use MTP software to try and have the X-Fi be seen by the non-native software.

This hasn’t been the most successful undertaking. In the early days of owning my X-Fi, it seemed to work, but then I just ended up having endless connection problems (the software would see the X-Fi, but the X-Fi would crash, etc) and resorted to putting things on an SD card. Only problem with that is the SD card doesn’t integrate with the X-Fi, so the music on the SD card doesn’t get played in shuffle mode, for example. And you can’t load songs from the SD card on to the player! A real pig.

I’ve sort of come to the end of my tether with this and have now decided to get an iPod Classic 120GB player. I’m able to get it on a “buy now, pay July 2010” offer. So I’ve gone for it. It arrives tomorrow and I’m a little excited. Reserved excitement – which is RARE for me!

I tossed up SO much between the X-Fi and the iPod at the time I was initially looking to buy into a substantial MP3 player purchase. The price difference swayed me, backed with some negative feedback Apple gets for its prized player.

I’ve gone for the Classic as it offers SSOO much space! One of the bonuses I thought appealed with the X-Fi was its expansion slot for SD cards. But non integration makes it a help AND a hindrance. I’m sure the 120GB space I’ll get with the iPod will take a LONG time to fill, and also the fact that I actually HAVE a Mac will make file transfers so much more straight forward (I am REALLY hoping!).

So, I’ll let you know how I get on in days to come.

I fell like SUCH a lemming for finally relenting and buying into the iPod phenomenon. As much as I love Apple products, many can be a bit too “style over substance”, but we’ll see. I hope I’ll be eating my words in the next 48 hours.