Archive for May, 2007
I’m more than partial to a nice dinner. Somewhere between three and five courses is about right, followed my liquers and coffee if you can manage it. It should leave you feeling well fed, but still able to walk to the cab to get you home.
This is the story of a dinner at L’enclume, which sounds fantastic but I expect cost between five and ten times what I’d be prepared to pay for it: I’d go to £100 if there was a (small – 50mls or so) glass of wine to match every 2-3 courses. But not one of these courses was actually a meal. When it comes down to it, they’re all basically the chef showing off, and there’s a maximum number of courses in a meal which should be the chef being clever: one.
If I’m entertaining (and I need to be organised enough to do more), I aim for one course to impress and two to delight. In other words, I cook one course purely to show off. It might be the souffle to start, the perfectly roasted potatoes with the meat, or the secret weapon creme brulee. And if I can figure out how to insert accents when editing this blog, I’ll come back and add them. That’s partly because if I’m cooking, that’s all I have time for, and partly because food is about the enjoyment in eating it, not the smugness factor of the chef.
If Heston Blunenthal at the Fat Duck (almost on my doorstep) or the chap at this place wants to invite me to prove me wrong, I’ll happily take them up on the invitation. But I’m not sponsoring the vanity of these guys by actually paying for the stuff until someone can prove it’s worth it.
Oh, and if you’re can cook that well, how come you can’t hire a web designer who understands that the usual screen ratio is 4:3 or 16:9, not 37:3!
Now I don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that me having a bath is sufficiently noteworthy to justify a blog entry!
The city of Bath is a stunning place with it’s Georgian Facades and Roman Antiquities. Well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. We were there yesterday, playing at being tour guides for an American colleague of mine and her husband.
I spotted this lovely, and clearly well used, Land Rover on wedding duty outside the Abbey. It makes a lovely change to see a vehicle like this “dressed up” for wedding duty. When we got married, we found it quite difficult to find stuff that made the day different without being tacky. So full marks to this couple, though I think the Land Rover was actually the transport for the bride’s father!
As if that wasn’t enough, later in the day in the same area we stumbled across this stretched, open top VW Beetle. I think the Beetle rivals only the Land Rover and the Mini for sheer icon status — not to mention being modified — and this was a particularly fine example.
We finished the day with a rather fine dinner at the Crown and Garter pub in Inkpen – recommended!
These days of imaginative product naming lead to the chance to write some odd headlines for the blog.
When I moved my home PC to running Linux, one of the things I didn’t think too hard about was the ability to transfer MP3s and Videos to my Creative Zen media player. I googled, and found lots of complicated instructions about building layered libraries to be able to run gnomad2. Well, I started downloading bits, and realised that, as of Feisty, gnomad2 is a standard software package that can just be installed via Synaptic. Download, install, start. Sync data. Job done!
I’ve actually got almost everything running. I still haven’t tried to convert video for the Zen, and I still haven’t fixed the Pocket PC sync – but, to be honest, Calendar sync is probably a bigger concern than the PPC itself. I can sync that at work.
Making a strip cartoon by photographing Lego figures is a wonderful example of how something fundamental – being unable to draw – is not necessarily an obstacle to becoming a cartoonist. OK, there are some that might say that Scott Adams can’t draw, either.
Today’s strip is just priceless.
Thames Valley 4×4 Club held an off-road training day and I turned up to help out. I didn’t expect to be doing much driving myself, so I went over in the Discovery.
And took it in the bomb hole.
It was interesting to see how the Discovery handled some of the (tamer) challenges compared with the Dakar. Much more refined, more evidence of the technology doing its stuff, and a lot less wheel spin climbing out of that hole (and the picture doesn’t over-emphasise the slope at all – if anything it looks steeper in real life).
The site has been upgraded to WordPress 2.2. You shouldn’t see any difference, though I’m working on some new features and extensions to be added. Watch this space.
This will be a useful quick ref for moving to Linux.
Well, I’m here. This post was written from the Linux Desktop.
It wasn’t quite the plan I had, since I ended up trashing the windows boot process when trying to install Linux to the USB drive to get things moving. My data is all intact, but I can’t boot the Windows drive any more.
I’m still trying to figure out whether I care. I’ve discovered the WINE emulator is supposed to run the two programs I use most that aren’t available under Linux – Legacy (family tree application) and Autoroute. So I might just stick where I am right now. I’ve got all my e-mail, though I need to do some work to get Firefox working just the way I like it. I’ve got my documents, I can edit them and print them.
I’ve been debating moving my home PC to Linux for some time now. In theory the process is pretty simple.
- Back up all my files to a USB hard drive.
- Install Ubuntu from CD
- Install VMware Server so I can boot up Windows under VM for legacy applications. I expect issues with activation when I do this.
- Restore my files into Ubuntu
- Never pay for software again.
Of course, it’s a little more involved than that, because I have a number of applications I need to transfer over.
- Email – well I use Thunderbird, so no change there.
- Web Browsing – there’s a few sites I use that really need IE. IEs4Linux looks like a solution here. For everything else, it’s still Firefox.
- Word Processing etc – can all be done with Open Office.
- Image Editing and uploading images from my camera – GIMPshop is a good start.
- Rip CDs and DVDs to my MP3/Video player
- Edit Video (occasionally)
- Edit HTML. Bye bye, Dreamweaver. Hello Nvu.
- Keep track of my finances. Currently using MS Money. GNU Cash looks like the option here.
- I need an alternative for AutoRoute for route planning. Moving Autoroute onto the laptop could be one approach.
- Scanning documents to PDFs using my HP All in one printer/scanner.
- I can use Pidgin (formerly GAIM) for Instant Messaging.
- Synchronise contacts and calender to my Pocket PC. Hmmm….
Things I need to test (using the “Live” Ubuntu installation)
- How do I get DVDs from DVD to the Creative Zen player?
- Can I easily grab images off my camera?
- What’s a good video editor for Linux?
- How much of my existing hardware will work under Ubuntu?
- Can I get a second monitor?
- What else have I got installed that I need to take over?
- Does the printer and scanner work under Ubuntu?
- What’s the solution for Pocket PC? Do I still need to go back to
This site has more on the transition to Linux.