Tag Archives: technology

Right town, wrong continent

Couldn’t understand why, when the weather widget on my computer’s ‘dashboard’ said it would be cloudy and 4º C, I positively sweltered in the hot sun when I went out dressed for winter yesterday. Then for today’s weather it said sunny and 2º, while I had just heard the TV forecast say it would be cloudy and 7-8º.

Then I clicked the little ‘info’ sign in the bottom right corner of the box, and discovered I had been monitoring the weather for London, West Virginia! That is so embarrassing. A few clicks later and I now have a daily forecast for London, UK (they also offered London Colney in Herts, a place with which I have an intimate acquaintance but really don’t need to know the weather in). By the way, the London, UK forecast for yesterday was 13º, which certainly explains why I spent lunchtime stripping off.

Provided I get to know what it can actually do, my new iMac is proving to be a daily pleasure. Everything works!

What the *#?”&*@?

As my son was off school last Friday, we didn’t receive the school newsletter which he normally brings home at the end of the week. As a result I decided to read the newsletter on the school website, which has been a most educational experience. Not the content of the letter so much as the interesting use of asterisks. For example the newsletter records that the ****nal Double Club has been involved in a football and literacy project (clue: we are in North London).

I then went on to read, as far as possible (it is very detailed), the newly written Behaviour Policy. This informs me that ***ist behaviour will not be tolerated, and that responses to the policy will be ****ysed.

Guess the omissions! It seems the child protection software on my new iMac is a little overzealous…

Upgraded

Woo hoo! While I was out shopping for exciting stuff like boys’ vests, my dear Grouch set up my new iMac which he had bought me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I now have a wonderful wide flat screen which, unlike the old one, can actually be made bright enough to read without peering, and doesn’t have a mushy green area all down one side. I have suddenly discovered the true colours of this blog – it isn’t black and grey at all, it’s purple and blue!

I also have a DVD drive, a built in camera, a remote control for watching media, and all sorts of nice stuff. Using it is such a joy that I shall be blogging several times a day just for the pleasure of typing text I can actually read.

I do have a good husband. In spite of the grouchiness..

A lightbulb moment

In an effort to alleviate the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which I may or may not have, I have recently acquired a Dawn Simulator which is supposed to wake the sufferer up gradually by half an hour of increasing light (and then a beep just in case). You can use it at bedtime too, in reverse of course, going to sleep by a gradually diminishing light, at which point I suppose it becomes a sunset simulator. The object is to regularize your circadian rhythms, whatever they are. It has a rather fetching sunray effect too, extending beams across the bedroom wall in a display which reminds me of nothing so much as 1930s adverts for the healthgiving properties of Weetabix or Ovaltine.

Last night I bit the bullet and plugged it in with the intention of programming it. There was a flash of light as I did so, which I suspected wasn’t meant to happen. I then lit the touchpaper and retired while my 13 year old son, who believes me to be totally technically inept, got to grips with the manual.* After a while he threw in the towel, exclaiming, ‘It’s not working and this manual is incomprehensible’. Now it was my turn, and I very quickly ascertained from the troubleshooting section, and the simple expedient of trying another bulb (luckily we had the same type)**, that as I had suspected, the bulb had blown. After this, all was plain sailing, and I set it to light my way to sleep and wake me up gradually this morning. I don’t notice any great difference in wakefulness yet, in fact I slept really badly last night, but these things work gradually, and the coffee at the Indian restaurant last night might just have been a bad idea (normally I don’t drink coffee after noon!).

I will persevere, as well as spending a sensible amount of time (like, more than five minutes) at the light box I already had at my desk. If getting up time could be pulled back from 8.30 to 8.00 am, this would revolutionize my life.

*(Son is of course right about my technical ineptitude, but I am considerably more ept than he thinks I am.
**Well, it was also a screw in candle bulb, but didn’t have the extra factor of being a ‘neodymium bulb’, which the one supplied by the manufacturer claims to be. What is a neodymium bulb? In fact, is there such a thing as neodymium or is it something David Icke invented?