Dumping Outlook

It was hard, tedious work, but, today, I finally dumped Outlook. Nearly six months of using it and it was driving me mad. No decent threading, slow interface, battery sapping processor requirement and a wrist-aching dependency on the mouse. Awful, truely awful. So, it’s back to Gnus. The irony is, this is all unnecessary. Our local systems people, ISS, have a daft policy of actively trying to stop people using other clients. This is to reduce the amount of work they have to do, and to encourage the use of Outlooks shared calendars. So, they’ve switched the IMAP interface to Exchange off. Result, if you want the calenar, you have to use the Exchange email, and therefore, outlook; in my case, the cost of UI is such that it’s not worth advantage of the shared calendar. I…

Freaking Out

Graham Coxon played the Newcastle Students Union last night. I felt nice and old; seemed terribly loud. Had a great time, though, bouncing up and down near the moshers at the front. Very talented guitarist, excellent band. I think he lacks as a front man: I always liked a bit of repartee, myself. Also, you have to wonder how long his disaffected youth lyrics are going to work. Noticed that James Taylor Quartet are coming up soon; I’ll be there. Originally published on my old blog site.

Sausages and Beans

Decided to do sausage rolls and beans after a hill walk on sunday. Nice idea, but I turned out to have no beans, no self-raising flour and forgot to put fat into the pastry. The pastry was solid. The sausage actually worked okay, though. Some dodgy Sosmix from down the road. Just add boiling water. I put in spinach and garlic flakes into the water first, and lots of pepper. Pretty good, actually. Originally published on my old blog site.

Mutliple networks

Windows seems very confused; if you have two network interfaces, one with an internet connection and one without, windows seems unable to work it out; sometimes, it tries to access the world through the wrong one. Confusing. Answers on a post-card, please. Originally published on my old blog site.

Weekend of Vids

Future generations may call it a DVD session, but to me they are still vids. And I’ve watched quite a lot this weekend. On Saturday, I went around to Dan’s; he’d plugged his stereo in and projected the image on a wall, which worked well. We watched some Frazier, which I haven’t seen for ages; it was good, the dialogue was fast and furious; sadly, for the authors, perhaps, the funniest thing was Daphne’s old boyfriend, and his unfortunate attempt at an English accent. Only Dick Van Dyce ever said "lov-er-ly". After that, we watched Serenity. The cinematograph was good to watch, some reasonable fight scences and lots of very beautiful actors; ultimately, though, I didn’t care about any of them. The stand out vid, though, was today; I watched S…

Irritating Interfaces

I’ve been using iTunes, recently, to play my music. It’s quite a nice interface; it’s sad, however, that it’s crippleware. It doesn’t include other peoples’ shared music in its "recently played" or "most played" lists. It also lacks a "watch directory" option; if you add music to a directory, you have to add all the files individually: add the directory, again, and everything becomes duplicated. Picasa has this, why not iTunes? Originally published on my old blog site.

The Economics of Science and Teaching

Had a slightly daft conversation in the pub last night, covering science, industry and economics. As is inevitable from such a conversation, this failed to reach any big conclusions. Thinking about it later, though, I’ve decided that research and teaching have fundamental economics. Thinking back into the past, my educational experiences have all been valuable to me; just not that valuable, at least not for a given piece of teaching. Teaching, then, seems to pay off, in that it’s for a given course you chances of getting some return are high, but the return is likely to be small: anything you learn you are going to use, just not that often. Science and research in general are very different; most of the research done in the world, more or less by definition, comes to nothing…

Think Twice

I’ve been listening to Groove Armarda a lot recently; their "Love Box" CD is phenomenal. The stand out track is "Think Twice". I was surprised to learn that the vocals where by Neneh Cherry. I remember when I first heard "Buffalo Stance" and, then, later "Manchild" a decade ago. It was great to hear her rich, sultry voice again. It draw you in; its warmth envelopes you; removes you from immediate. Originally published on my old blog site.

Aduki beans

I used to think that aduki beans were a joke from the Beano. When I was a kid, Baby Face Finlayson used to eat them after coming up with some dastardly scheme. More recently, I discovered that they were real. So I tried cooking them last night. Rather nice, as it happens. The meal was this: tofu red onion garlic flakes rice vinegar soy sauce All of this was fried in garlic flavoured olive oil, tofu first with the soy and vinegar till brown and then all the rest dumped in. This was eaten with rice, with peas and broad beans, with a light drizzle of liquidizied chilli. Very nice as it happens. The aduki beans taste like a cross between baked and kidney beans, but didn’t overwhelm the rest of the meal. Originally published on my old blog site.

More curry

Decided to try the curry house from a few nights ago, as I was on the Quayside last night. I think it’s called "the Rasa" but I forgot to write it down. Sadly, it was suffering from the Newcastle disease — it was fully booked. I don’t understand why this is such a common problem here, but there you go. Instead, we ended up next door at Vujon. It was okay. The seafood angle was well covered, but the veggie options were poor. I ended up with the set of side dishes option, which were adequate. Originally published on my old blog site.