Dangerous signs

Saturday August 21, 2004

I think that, if I ever buy a new computer, I shall grasp the nettle and change over to a decently powerful laptop. Or ‘luggable’, as we prefer to call them. I’ve been growing towards this idea for some time, for the classic reasons, but today, witnessing Graham struggling to install my present computer in its hutch in the new desk, I decided that the desktop PC has, for me, had its day. Too many cables. Too big. Runs far too hot. And is simply too much hassle for any sane man to have to handle.

The job took at least two hours, and that, to me, is ridiculous. It’d be easier, quite a lot easier, if the computer were not to be housed in a hutch. And I have to say, I don’t think hutches are a good idea for tower-cased computers. In fact, given the heat produce, and the racket made by the fans, I’m no longer sure that tower-cased computers are a suitable thing to have in any home in which I’d really want to live.

Anyway, the thing got installed, and the new desk is already growing very close to my heart. We’ve made a conscious decision here to go for stand-alone furniture rather than built-in units. It irked me intensely to have to leave my desk and storage behind in the last house and, should we ever move again, I want us to be able to take all such things with us, accelerating the process of establishment in new quarters. We’ve been here now for almost five months and we’re only just getting to the point where we can think about decorating rather than shifting stuff around. And, looking at the photograph of the new desk, and the other new cabinet furniture we’ve recently acquired, the wallpaper and carpets really have to go. Soon.

So. Graham’s day has been almost entirely spend on building the new desk and putting it into operation. It’s a job he enjoys greatly. I took a leisurely trip down to Boston for weekend provisions, playing a tape of Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers all the way. Both ways, actually.

I’ve now got eBay and PayPal set up and talking to one another, though there still seems to be an oddity on eBay which prevents me from setting my email address the way I want it. And, irritatingly, the eBay tutorials refuse to work on my computer. I think Norton Firewall, or something, is sitting in the way but, look at the lists of prohibited and enabled processes as I may, I can’t figure out what to change. I think the uneasy triumvirate of Norton, Spybot and AdAware, while effective in protecting my computer, makes for a clumsy and impractical operating environment. Graham runs the McAfee internet security suite, which includes a firewall, rigorous virus checking, and effective adware and spyware control. If things do not improve with the impending SP2 upgrade for Windows XP, I shall ditch Norton, Spybot and AdAware in favour of the simpler but equally effective McAfee integrated product. Our current difficulties with networking the two computers will probably go away when we’re both running the same firewall product, too.

In the meantime I shall have to borrow time on Graham’s computer to study the eBay tutorials. That’ll be fun.

I’ve spent far too much time recently wrestling with business, pensions, computers and other technicalities. I’m fast approaching the point where I shall pronounce the ‘up with this I shall not put’ challenge. While there’s been slack time in my days, I’ve not had the right kind of time, or the right frame of mind, to tackle reading my backlog of books, let alone sit down to enjoy reading some poetry. I get all rebellious when this happens.

No complaints, though, not really. The weather is cooling, the skies are filling with interesting clouds, and I’m ready to get out and about once more. It seems an age since I could ride my bike. It’s only some four or five weeks, but I’m getting itchy and scratchy about it. Always a dangerous sign, that.


Stickford, Aug 22,'04
The new desk



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