Blog archive September 2022

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08.09.22 / 01 / death of the queen

When the official news came through at 6.30pm I was still in the office and worked for another hour. My colleague wondered if I would go to the palace and I said no, but the photographer rather than the royalist in me said, it's not far to walk, let's go and see. The weather was bad, the heaviest rain for months breaking the drought. The rain and sea of black umbrellas added something to the scenes. The royals were all at Balmoral so there was no-one to greet the crowds, but people had to be there, for the historic occasion. Advertising screens on bus shelters and street totems carried pictures of the Queen, the information screens in railway stations also with condolences from railway companies.

I'm genuinely sad at her passing. An age has ended, though it's hard to see it as any kind of cohesive period like the Victorian era. I had hoped she would last another couple of years and surpass Louis XIV as the longest reigning monarch of a sovereign state. It will be strange to have a king - we will probably now have kings until the 22nd century at least. The national anthem will be 'God save the King' again (if only we could have a different song!). There will be new money - doubtless they have had designs in readiness for years. And a coronation. Haven't had one for 70 years.

05.09.22 / 01 / new laptop

Bought a Macbook Air M2 on Saturday, to replace the Macbook Pro I've had since August 2016. I reckon on replacing laptops every five years, but the last one made six in fine style. No performance issues, but the battery life is collapsing, the power cord has frayed, and I doubt the next major OS upgrade will work on it. It was actually a 2015 model, preferred because it had all the ports that have been removed from subsequent models. Of course I now had to buy a multi-port dongle for the Air.

Reasons for the Air: It's a more advanced model than the current base Pro. More ports, better screen and camera. It's lighter, now that I'm regularly taking the laptop to work and meetings. It's amazing how heavy my old Pro suddenly feels. My work machine is in the cloud, accessed by a thin client with a big screen in the office, and working just the same way on my laptop. I go into a pod for a Teams meeting, log in on my laptop to share my virtual machine, then back to the open-plan desktop. Or I log in and work live in CAD with a client in their office - the technology now allows that kind of agility across normal wifi, without the painful latency of five years ago.

Not sure what to do with the old laptop. I still have a 2013-ish model which I keep for its DVD drive and scanner connection. I have my 2001 white 9" iBook, for OS9 and because I love it - the size, the thickness, the cable puck. I guess I could keep the 2016 Pro because it has a VGA connector, required in the church. Or I could buy a new VGA connector. Maybe I can trade the old laptop in for the price of a VGA connector...

Update: a miracle! I was in the church connected to the projector by VGA, unplugged it to fix a setting, and found I was still connected to the projector, no wires. After the initial confusion, it seems they installed Airplay and my machine found it automatically. So no longer tethered to the AV desk - I can join the congregation up front and run the visuals.

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