Archive for March, 2003

installation update

Monday, March 31st, 2003

So I was a little mean about Dell a couple of days ago, when I was getting frustrated at not being able to remove existing drives and generally access the parts of the machine I wanted to get to. But after casting around their support pages, I’ve found some info on removing existing components, and more on installing a new drive, which should come in very helpful this evening, if I have time. Only problem is that it takes about half an hour to unplug all the stuff I have currently connected to my machine. Anyway, I’m sure this is very interested to everyone reading. I’m quite enjoying learning all this stuff about how my machine actually works.


Monday, March 31st, 2003

Yesterday, with a little help from Toby, I got the new hard drive installed to my PC. The firewire card handily came with a power chord extension, so that allowed me to get power to the drive, and the ATA data cable juuuust stretched far enough to go into both drives. Using Maxtor’s very easy installation software I got the drive up and running, then installed the Sony drivers for the camcorder, and within minutes was using the firewire/iLink connection to the camera. Very slick.

The new drive also seems very fast compared with the older one, and I’m toying with the idea of using the Maxtor utilities to make the new drive the master, so that hopefully the machine will start up and run more speedily than it does currently. But if that’s going to involve changing where the drives are plugged into the ATA cable it’s not going to be possible. If you have any ideas about this, please leave a comment.

best blog

Friday, March 28th, 2003

One of the best news sources in the whole Iraq war is the BBC’s reporters’ blog. Very unvarnished stuff, doesn’t feel filtered and you get a good sense of being right there.

geek fun, kind of

Friday, March 28th, 2003

Seeing as we got a digital camcorder last weekend, I had to make a few upgrades to my PC, with mixed results so far. Adding a USB hub was very easy, and putting in the Firewire card last night was no problem, although I was out of PCI slots so had to take out the TV tuner card, which I never use any more.

However, installing my new 120Gb hard drive was another matter, thanks mostly to the good people of Dell. I wanted to use the new drive as the master boot drive, assuming that it will be considerably faster than the old drive (and the CD supplied with the drive has a utility to do this – nice). However Dell appeared to have welded the old drive to the computer chassis, so it was impossible for me to change the jumper settings on it, or even to unplug the old drive’s cable. Plus the cables in the box are about 1/4″ too short to reach to where I want the new drive, so I’m at a bit of an impasse.


Thursday, March 27th, 2003

Choir rehearsal at St Mark’s last night was one of the best in a while. We’re preparing for the Easter season so there’s lots of quite challenging but very rewarding music to brush up. Some of the best is for the Tuesday night of Holy Week and our Tenebrae service, which is my favorite of the year. We’ll be performing the Lamentations of Jeremiah by Lassus, kind of post-medieval so a little unusual to our voices and ears. The service itself is very moving, mostly candlelit and has plainsong psalms mixed in with the choral music, and becomes almost more like a concert than a service sometimes. It’s a very intense singing experience – the music demands that you are at the same time very relaxed and very focused, so I’ve found myself in an almost trance-like state at points which is quite amazing.

satisfied customers

Tuesday, March 25th, 2003

Yesterday we took delivery of our first home grocery order, from We’d been thinking about it for a while, but now that we have broadband at home it was extremely quick and easy. Perhaps a little pricier than the cheapest supermarkets, but when you factor in that the food we got was very high quality, as well as the time saving, it’s completely worth it. I guess we’re a little behind the curve – isn’t web grocery a little 1999? – but I don’t think they would have delivered to us in an apartment so that’s our excuse. Plus it’s impressive that there still are successful web grocery services running these days.

toby’s checkup

Tuesday, March 25th, 2003

We took Toby to the doctor’s this morning for his two month checkup (cannot believe he is two months old already!). He’s doing just fine, Dr Williams said that it sounded like he was a happy guy. It was a little traumatic to watch him getting his immunization shots, but we gave him something to eat right afterwards which helped. He’s kind of like a cuttlefish in that he changes color with mood – he was bright red when he was crying, but went back to his usual pink as he calmed down.

Anyway, here are his stats:

Length 24 inches (90th percentile)

Weight 13 pounds (75th percentile)

Head circumference 39 cm (50th percentile)

I have no idea why they mix inches and centimetres/centimeters, but there we go. The doctor also assured us that his (Toby’s) head is not shrinking.

oscar night

Monday, March 24th, 2003

We were supposed to go to an Oscar party last night at the house of some friends, but Toby wasn’t feeling too good and we didn’t want to share a cranky little person with a bunch of other people. But we watched a fair bit of it at home, and some of it was kind of fun.

Here is a link to a roundup of what happened, including Michael Moore’s slightly rash but also brave acceptance speech:

“I’ve invited my fellow nominees on the stage with us, and they are here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time when we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons, whether it’s the fictition (sic) of duct tape or the fictition (sic) of orange alerts, we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush! Shame on you!”


Friday, March 21st, 2003

One thing today that made me realize how lucky we are – lots of people sitting around in the office looking at the war news, as the huge “shock and awe” air attack has gotten underway. It’s sort of surreal almost for us to be here, safe and sound, while who knows what it’s like to be sitting in Bagdhad with all that maelstrom going on around you.

And still despite my repulsion at the political way this whole spiral to conflict has gone, I am hoping that by the fact that the military might is so intense that this will be a relatively bloodless war, and that humanitarian aid will indeed go to the long-suffering people in Iraq.

One more thing – it’s strange how we had never heard the phrase “shock and awe” until a couple of days ago; now it feels like it’s been around for ever.

dumb century

Friday, March 21st, 2003

I know, it’s really cheap to try to make up an entry here just because I enjoyed another web page. But I was in need of cheering up today – getting over jetlag and a rather sleepless night with Toby, who seems to have picked up a cold and is not happy – and this page of The Onion In History is a complete classic. Hope you also enjoy it.