A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for November, 2009

Have *I* Got News For You…

Posted by Alan on November 27, 2009

Last night I got the chance to queue for Have I Got News For You. It’s the kind of stuff London dreams are made of (well, a few of them) and a great reason for living in the city… Having queued and been disappointed before we headed off early arriving about 1h30 before doors! 1½ hours of cold didn’t matter too much when we got into the studio.

It was widely reported beforehand that one guest would be Bob Crow, leader of the RMT so perhaps it could be a great setup.

Alas, as another blog notes (http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2009/11/27/bob-crowe-on-have-i-got-news-for-you/) it was not to be. Pitted against Bob and Paul were Ian and Jimmy Carr.

Bob came on to a chorus of boo’s. There were the inevitable late and strike jokes. Bob hit back with some assumptions about Ian’s upbringing. There were awkward silences many “moving on” moments.

Nevertheless, if you get the chance to go – do it. Be prepared to queue for ages, it is worth it.

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“Just make it less shit!”, I yelled

Posted by Alan on November 23, 2009

Not so long ago I bought Windows 7 (Home Premium). I bought it because I wanted rid of Vista. Vista caused me so many little irritations but since I’d paid £70 or so for the OEM licence I wasn’t going to be swayed to play with Tux the penguin, not for all every day activities anyway.

So, £65 quid later and some cursing later I arrived at Windows 7. Delightfully, there amount of effort (therefore cursing) in the upgrade from Vista to 7 was fairly minimal. It wasn’t as simple as Ubuntu 8.10 > 9.04 but then I didn’t have many applications installed on Ubuntu. Of course Windows doesn’t acknowledge Linux so I can’t boot there now but it’s not exactly a problem and I guess I should put 9.10 on anyway…

So… what is it all about?

Desktop

Desktop - Very much like Vista

Well the desktop is very much like Vista. The bottom toolbars have changed though, starting with the library dock:

Library Dock

Library Dock

Sure, I think Mac’s may have been able to do that for ages. But it is quite a nice feature – as you hover over different windows in the dock the main window comes up behind. This is good, but what does irritate me immensely is the new taskbar icon hiding in the bottom right.

Irritating!

You have to left click on the more icons menu then right click on your desired icon. It’d be loads better if it was just a pop out when hovering over the date/time area.

Another irritation is the the minimise all – thankfully still Windows+M but the icon has moved from the left hand side to the right.

The start menu is changed slightly, now the menu is better at context sensitivity and provides you with additional menu items based on the main items:

Start Menu

As you can just about see – the word menu shows you my most recently opened files. Similarly, most MS applications have been redeveloped to take account of this feature.

Perhaps the best feature is the concept of libraries (again I doubt this is an completely original idea – but it is well executed). One of my biggest gripes with Vista was that it was near impossible to separate Windows from my files. I don’t want to put my precious photos onto the same drive as Windows – even though I have an off site backup! With libraries it was very simple to define where things resided – in fact a library could span multiple drives which could come in really handy when I finally buy that SLR. Of course it could be improved – it’s no ‘4D data store’ like the true geek inside me wants but it’s a bloody good step in the right direction.

Overall, it is definitely an improvement. But arguably Windows 7 is everything Vista should have been.

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Hurricane

Posted by Alan on November 7, 2009

I haven’t done much new music lately. I am hoping not to get stuck in the 00’s!

I have however really enjoyed Lungs by Florence + The Machine. Favourite track is Hurricane Drunk (Spotify required). Lyrics as follows…

Hurricane Drunk – Florence + The Machine (Lungs, 2009)

No walls,
Can keep me protected
No sleep,
Nothing inbetween me and the rain
And you can’t save me now,
I’m in the grip of a hurricane
I’m gonna blow myself away.

I’m going out,
I’m gonna drink myself to death
And in the crowd
I see you with someone else,
I brace myself,
Cause I know it’s going to hurt,
But I like to think at least things can’t get any worse.

No home,
I don’t want shelter,
No calm,
Nothing to keep me from the storm,
And you can’t hold me down,
‘Cause I belong to the hurricane,
It’s gonna blow us all away.

I’m going out,
I’m gonna drink myself to death
And in the crowd
I see you with someone else,
I brace myself,
Cause I know it’s going to hurt,
But I like to think at least things can’t get any worse.

I hope that you see me,
Cause I’m staring at you,
But when you look over,
You look right through,
Then you lean and kiss her on the head,
And I never felt so alive, and so.. dead.

I’m going out,
I’m gonna drink myself to death
And in the crowd
I see you with someone else,
I brace myself,
Cause I know it’s going to hurt,
I’m going out, woah-oh-o

I’m going out
I’m gonna drink myself to death
And in the crowd
I see you with someone else,
I brace myself,
Cause I know it’s going to hurt,
I’m going out, woah-oh-o
I’m going out, woah-oh-o
I’m going o-o-o-o-o-o-out
I’m going out, woah-oh-o
I’m going out.

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Windows 7 Fail

Posted by Alan on November 3, 2009

This (for geeks anyway) is brilliant.

Win 7 Fail

Beautiful Fail

So, the “Problem signature” – is Blue Screen. Yep a proper fail. And the Windows version is actually 6.1.

Bill, can I have a refund now?

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