How we used to live.
Posted Aug 23, 2005
Rooting through the Big Cupboard O'Stuff this afternoon, looking for forgotten gems to sell for huge profit on a well known auction site, I came across something which wouldn't raise any cash but I found very interesting. It's the box which housed the 8Mb RAM upgrade I bought for my very first PC back in 1996. The PC came with a whole 4Mb of RAM built in, so with this upgrade I clearly had as much memory as I would ever need, as confirmed by the blurb on the back of the box:
Recommended memory expansion for your application
2MB - Basic word processing, small spreadsheets, basic communication packages
4MB - Windows, desk top publishing, extensive spreadsheets, large database user
8MB - OS/2, sophisticated Windows 3.1 user, advanced desk top publishing, Computer Aided Design
16MB - Power user, advanced Windows 3.1 user, network file server
It's nice to think that I was a sophisticated Windows 3.1 user, although I'm not sure what that might involve. Donning a smoking jacket and smoking a cigarette through a holder while waiting for the b*stard to boot up, I suppose.
The other interesting thing is the price label - for a mere 8 megabytes of RAM, remember - £119.99. And that's with a special offer - was £199.99.
The stupid tax.
Posted Jul 30, 2005
Bleeding lottery numbers! How much closer can you get?
I picked 2 - 3 came out.
I picked 7 - 9 came out.
I picked 12 - 13 came out.
I picked 33 - 35 came out.
I picked 42 - 43 came out.
I picked 45 - I got that one.
Drinking against GNER
Posted Jul 19, 2005
Up until about 3.45 on Sunday afternoon, fords and I had had a very enjoyable weekend in London. Then it all started to fall apart as we tried to get back to Kings Cross for the 4 o'clock train home. With the minutes ticking away, it suddenly became clear that the Northern Line still wasn't stopping at Kings Cross and we were going to have to keep going until Euston and catch the Victoria Line back from there to Kings Cross. One mad dash up the escalator and through the maze of corridors later and we belted onto the train with seconds to spare...
...only to find people sitting in our seats. After a bit of a "discussion" it was established that all the seat reservations on the train had been cancelled because the printer wasn't working and they couldn't print out the little tickets to put on the reserved seats. Obviously pens have been banned from Kings Cross station for security reasons. We trudged through six carriages, eventually finding seats just outside the smoking compartment and settled down for a couple of hours, until...
...just north of Durham the train ground to a halt. Not unusual for a train in this country, of course, but we became more and more suspicious as the delay dragged on. Eventually someone was forced to make an announcement. There was a fire in a scrapyard just north of Newcastle and they were having to switch off the overhead power lines to allow the fire brigade to put it out. This meant taking the train back to Durham. Twenty minutes later they decided that they might as well just terminate the service at Durham while they worked out what to do. Another twenty minutes later a diesel Virgin train arrived to take us to Newcastle, but as the fire had now completely closed the line north of there, we ended up being bussed fifteen miles further north to Morpeth, where a GNER train that couldn't get any further south was commandeered to take us to Edinburgh. We gladly boarded the train and sat in the first class compartment, confident that nobody would have the guts to challenge us. Of course, once we were on that train it had to go south for about ten miles before it could turn around, stop to pick up more people who had arrived at Morpeth, and start the northbound journey. Finally we were on our way home...
...until signalling problems just north of Morpeth delayed us for another half hour. We should have been home and uploading the meet photos by this time. Rumours were now spreading that GNER were offering complimentary food and drink from the buffet car. fords went to investigate and came back with the goods: a small bottle of warm water and two broken biscuits. It was at this point that I lost my temper, emptying the remnants of biscuit onto the first class saucer and throwing the wrapper over my shoulder in disgust. The train rumbled on, stopping at all stations north of Morpeth, finally reaching Edinburgh at 11:40...
...ten minutes too late to catch the last connecting train from there. Fear not, as the nice GNER man had promised that everyone's journey would be honoured, by taxi if there were no more trains running. So we all trooped into the GNER customer service office, where we were offered a complimentary pack of peanuts (average contents: seven) and a hopelessly incompetent office monkey tried to arrange taxis for fifty tired, digruntled passengers, some travelling as far as Aberdeen and Arbroath. Pens and paper were obviously in short supply here too, and the office monkey seemed to have some form of short term memory loss, as he asked us at least four times where we were going, and didn't get around to ordering us a taxi for at least half an hour. We finally hopped into a taxi with a very nice girl who was going to Stirling (and had been sold a ticket for a train that didn't exist, full marks again GNER) and stumbled home at 1 o'clock on Monday morning, a full three and a half hours late.
Will we be travelling with GNER again? I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.
The all new "What's Just Happened?" conversation
Posted Jul 2, 2005
Seeing as the "What's just happened?" conversation in askh2g2/Misc Chat has degenerated into horoscopes, fights and postings from the speaking clock, I'm starting a new one. But it's my journal, so these are my rules:
Rule 1: No posting the time, even if it's just turned 25 o'clock BST (or GMT). We all have clocks and most of us can tell the time.
Rule 2: No posting "Nothing much." If nothing has just happened, don't post to "What's just happened?"
Rule 3: No spamming. If your wife takes the dog for a walk at the same time every day, you really don't need to post it every day. It's very dull.
Rule 4: Try and keep it interesting. If you've just downed a pint of absinthe in one, I'm interested. If you've just had a sip of tea, I'm not.
Rule 5: No copying and pasting huge swathes of text from other sites. If you find an interesting site, post the URL and we'll go and look at it.
Rule 6: There is NO rule 6.
So, with all that in mind: what's just happened?
Approach with caution; having a bad day.
Posted Jun 21, 2005
The main headlines:
Giving fords a lift to the station this morning, I had to swerve to avoid a cyclist who had decided that he was going to have right of way no matter what, resulting in the left front wheel of the car hitting the kerb with an almighty bang.
Came home from work to find that hootoo was all over the place and a certain researcher had flooded my conversations with pointless drivel posted to the h2g2 Announcements page despite the very clear message which asks you not to do so.
Went to get another to replace Derek (RIP) and got a bollocking from the woman in the pet shop because I hadn't brought the deceased back to the shop. Of course, I'm going to go out in the middle of summer with a dead fish in my pocket.
Bough a new kyboard and foun tha it works evn less well thn th useless one I bought it to replace.