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Monday, 1 September 2008

Install fest update



I haven't quite got to that state - I tried to remember St Ignatius' teaching on accepting the will of God. Actually, it helped. In the "Install Fest" post, I wrote: "I'm hoping that my backup drive is all OK." Silly me! Well the laptop is now at Base Computer Services in Eltham and they are promising to try and recover the data.

Not all bad news, though. A while back, I opened a Google Mail account and my email has been shooing into that as well as into Thunderbird. So I had a backup of all the email since February and have been forced by circumstance to work with Google Mail.

I'm not going back - Google Mail is completely brilliant. It is hard to explain why - rather as it was hard to explain what was useful about email when I first started using it back in the early 1990s - or blogging, for that matter. It is certainly a different way of working with email, based primarily on google's very powerful search engine. There are no "folders" as such - you simply label emails (either manually or automatically) and then you can call them up easily. I put a star on the emails that need a reply or some action - etc. As I say, hard to explain but it works - in spades.

Also in the "good news" section is that the Tiscali broadband is working very well - at a very reasonable price, I've got properly fast broadband as well as free landline calls in the UK and probably all of the countries abroad that I am likely to want to call. So that has saved the parish some money as well as saving me time.

Office Professional has gone on the new PC with no glitches - but Microsoft Money is causing problems since it won't update in order to read the (quite important) files that I have. Lots of other little apps have to go on - Paint Shop Pro which I use for editing photos, Calendarscope (although I may have a good look at Google calendars), the silly Microsoft "active sync" thingy for the mobile (I'm dreading installing that), and perhaps an offline blogging app: I was looking at some of those recently.

This whole experience has made me think more seriously about backing up lots of stuff online. I know there are security issues but we will all be in the soup anyway if google becomes a totalitarian government. I may have a serious look at Flickr - or do you recommend any other photo storage services? Flickr would be good because of providing different sizes of photos, avoiding the need to edit them. I'm wondering about buying some space on a server somewhere to back up everything and have it available on the net when I'm travelling with the new diddy laptop. Does anyone do this? Any recommendations?

Before the old laptop started sulking, I had bought a small webcam to use for Skype calls. I was bowled over by Skype when I was taking the other day to Fr John Zuhlsdorf and had a view of the interior of the Sabine Farm. So that will go on in due course. (Also - must download Skype again.)

We also have a new colour laser printer in the parish office now. The previous one was a complete dog: it would not print paper weighing more than 80gsm: can't remember where I saw that on the box! We generally use 90gsm paper in the parish because the newsletters look better as do general correspondence, leaflets etc. A small part of the complex of evangelisation in a developed country, I suppose.

Frankly it was simplest just to junk the printer. It is now in the tender hands of Bexley Council's Reuse and Recycle Center - a fancy name for what used to be the Council Dump. I have a buyer for the spare toner cartridges we have in the cupboard. They are the most expensive item, of course.

Sadly, having to do all this in a hurry has left me yet again without an opportunity (should I say "window"?) to move over to Linux. One day...

Anyway, here is a video for all you cat lovers - my new technical support assistant:

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