3 Mar 2011 nutella   » (Master)

Can't get any sympathy 'round here...

Me: My girlfriend says I am too nerdy because at the moment I keep my whiteboard in the living room.

Colleague: You have a whiteboard?


Now that the rain is declining I am trying to walk to work as often as I can. Until lately I have usually tried to make use of the time by spending it planning out my day. However I finally caved and entered the 21st century with a portable audio player. I now have a Sandisk Fuze and after some experimentation it runs Rockbox (3.7.1), mainly because the original firmware will not allow you to add compatible files, other than MP3 format, unless you register at the Sandisk site and install some Windows software. Rockbox works very well (and does waaay too many things) so that I only have to activate the legacy firmware for USB transfers. Beaujolais to the Rockbox developers! The only gotcha was that I don't have easy access to a computer with both an internet connection and administrative privileges. To reduce the chance of bricking Rockbox wants to download the appropriate files for you but I can't install Rock box on the internet machine and can't access the internet from the machine with the Rockbox installation. I didn't know how to get the files directly but then found I had overlooked download.rockbox.org. Doh!

So, I finally deleted my bookmark for Slashdawt. I realise I am probably the last person to do this but I had clung to some positive memories from years gone by (1990s) when postings there were occasionally funny (as well as being duplicates, poorly-spelled, poorly-worded and totally lacking in facts). Alas, the version of the site introduced at the beginning of the year seems to have eliminated humour as well as pumping up the space devoted to adverts. The main symptom is that all article tags have to be in corporate suitspeak. I miss the days of andnothingofvaluewaslost, noshitsherlock, zomgponies and goodluckwiththat. It is also very telling that the recent polls have all been thinly veiled market surveys ("will you be using cloud computing in the future?", "what storage devices do you purchase?"). These days there are better things I can do with a few minutes free time. ANDNOTHINGOFVALUEWASLOST

Another recent goodbye was my local Borders store. I will miss them much more. Unfortunately they decided to play nasty at the end as I received a message that "everything will be 20% - 40% off" and that I could still use my Borders card. I turned up at the store and looked around and could see the prominent "20% Off" labels. After some exploration I gave up and asked one of the staff to point me in the direction of something that was 40% Off. They were unable to do so and argued that "20% - 40% Off" didn't actually oblige them to have anything available with a greater discount than 20%. At the counter I also found the Borders Card was a waste as the person at the register pointed out that they were "not actually Borders any more" but were a liquidation company so they didn't have to honour Borders' offers. (Can you say "Bait and Switch"?) I'm still not awarding them an ANDNOTHINGOFVALUEWASLOST as they've been a source of much happiness over the years. However, I'm less likely to be venturing to any of the remaining stores. Time to make more use of the local independent stores.

One other oddity I noticed recently. Like many of the people I know my Gmail account has lately been bombarded by Tea Party spam ("the sky is falling!"). The weird thing is that Gmail will not allow me to classify it as spam (it always appears in the Inbox). Maybe the crazies have all the Google juice.

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