Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day off

There was a country song in my childhood which began "I put on my cleanest dirty shirt…" and I found that so funny and apt that it's stayed with me. Right now I am wearing my cleanest dirty shirt while the washing machine runs, which is desperately needed and long overdue. My clothes crawl away from me as I try to get into them in the mornings. [Updated] well, I've just spent over an hour waiting for the washing machine to finish up: it was just sitting there, still and silent but full of water at the end of its cycle. Eventually I figured out that "empty yourself" is a separate cycle which one must specifically select and run. What the hell kind of idiocy is that? Under which circumstances could it be useful for the machine to remain full of rinse water? Bah.

Since moving here, I've had a stiff and sore lower back; I assume it's from sleeping on this sofa thingy, a wierd mix of softness and utter inflexibility.

Ingrid and AY are away meeting the curators, so I have the day off. What to do? It's grey and windy and cool out, but not (yet) raining, so this might be a suitable day for a walk around the Alster, the west bank of which is a long thin park. Or perhaps I'll go back downtown and schmooze about, possibly combining this with a visit to SIC and Rose and crew in their office in the Speicherstadt (which I haven't yet seen).

Which reminds me of something I'd meant to mention earlier. Last Monday (the 6th) Ingrid and I had a dinner meeting with AY to discuss the project, because he's too busy and important to visit our office. We met at his second-favourite restaurant, because the first is closed Mondays. This Monday (the 13th) she again met him for a working dinner, which I didn't attend because I was moving in with Rose and Axl that evening. We walked together as far as the same second-favourite restaurant, near to Rose's apartment. As we passed the closed favourite, Ingrid said "My God, another week gone by so quickly;" but I was thinking "was that only a week ago? It seems like ages." Time is indeed relative.

It has been decided that I will work Monday and Tuesday next week, then return to Stuttgart. The probability is high that I'll be back at some time to work on one project or the other, but nothing has yet been planned for this. And I'm still waiting for a decision from the Münsters; I'll have to chase them up next week, but I don't have my contact man's e-mail address here (and don't even remember his name).

In geek news I've been running Windows XP on an Apple MacBookPro during these three weeks, and can report that it works almost perfectly—well, as close to "perfect" as Windows will ever be. I've only encountered two problems: it seems that the Windows OS doesn't always get notified when the battery is empty, because the laptop sometimes falls into emergency save-my-context sleep mode without warning me; but sometimes it does give out a warning, oddly enough.

The second problem is also minor but vastly more annoying: because the MacBook has a reduced keyboard (obviously: it is a laptop) with only one (left) ALT key, the ALT-GR key is missing, so one cannot enter "special" characters like @ directly from the keyboard. The solution is to use Windows' "Character Finder" system utility to copy-and-paste such things as needed; but that means that the previously selected clipboard content is lost. Why doesn't Character Finder support drag-and-drop? Bah. Pathetic.

Still, after three weeks of constant Boot Camp use, those are the only niggles I have found; and chances are very high that a desktop Mac with a full-size keyboard would avoid them both. On the positive side, I discovered that the Windows partition is visible to the Mac (though not vice-versa) so one can transfer files between the operating systems if/when running MacOS.

If I were Dell, Toshiba, Compaq (are they still in business?) etc, I'd be worried: the coolest and fastest Windows hardware that one can buy today, is an Apple.

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Blogger Savtadotty said...

One of the cycles on my AEG washing machine does that hang-around-full-of-water thing. I use it for delicates only, so they don't get wrinkled during spin-and-wait-to-be-emptied. It's kind of dopey; I figured it was designed for Hausfraus who have nothing better to do all day than operate washing machine dials. Clearly designed by a guy.

August 16, 2007 at 3:22:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

If you have a loverly Mac why are you running Windows?

August 16, 2007 at 4:15:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Savtadotty: ah, yes, the delicates bit does make sense. I'm a non-delicate robust male-clothes-wearer so it wouldn't have occurred to me :-) But you're right, the presumption is that somebody remains on-hand to service the machine.

Joe: it's a case of cheapness. The office has only two CAD-software dongles, but needs to run it on four computers. The dongles are with the Macs in the Speicherstadt, Ingrid and I are using undongled (cracked, i.e. pirated) Windows versions.

August 16, 2007 at 8:37:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Rob said...

I'd always assumed it was for if you were setting the machine to run while you were out, so that you'd come back and whirrrr, newly spun clothes instead of wrinkled old things that had been in the machine all day. As a feature I would think it became obsolete when they introduced delay timers on washing machines (though if you're not sure what time you'll get home....?)

The composer of the 'cleanest dirty shirt' (Kris Kristofferson) still sings it. He it was who pulled a harpoon out of his dirty red bandanna, and even though
i know exactly what he meant by the expression I am unable to this day to suppress a Hermann Melville moment.

August 17, 2007 at 6:24:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

a Herman Melville moment


August 18, 2007 at 9:46:00 a.m. GMT+2  

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