Back to regular service

Sean Bean taking the lead in Game of Thrones

I’m making up for the later post than usual with an earlier one. It make take slightly longer to write it though, as I’m back on the HPC again, which despite having a full QWERTY keyboard is still a challenge to type quickly on. Writing has overtaken my reading lately, and I’m still on the second book in the Song of Fire and Ice series. They are excellent books if anyone is interested, and the accompanying series on HBO is very good too. Even my book reading has to involve a gadget – for me it’s the COOL-ER ereader I bought at the start of the summer. Everywhere I travel I bring it with me; it’s much handier than bringing ordinary books, and easier to bookmark. It set me back £50 with a case due to the company going into liquidation. Elonex did buy out the stock, and still give a year’s warranty which is always nice. E-ink screens are the way forward as far as I’m concerned. I hate reading for long periods on an LCD display because of eye strain, and general discomfort, but I can look at e-ink for hours. It’s frighteningly similar to a real book. The Kindle would have been my main choice, but I didn’t want to shell out twice the price I paid for something when I didn’t need the wireless connection for the bookstore.

That was a rather large tangent – back to writing. I have been doing a lot more lately with the blog, and submitted an article about Gamescom into the local paper, which should be featured in the coming weeks. I think my writing style is improving (it would improve even more if I didn’t keep getting a warning about extremely low backup battery level) as I hadn’t written much aside from scientific essays over the last few years, and even they were pretty basic. My last big one was a 5000 word dissertation for my Student Selected Component, human evolution. My chosen subject was the ape-human divergence, which was a complete nightmare as there is so little information, and all of it speculative. I made it through in the end and scored a pretty decent mark so all was well, and the whole field of evolution continues to fascinate me. And if you don’t believe in evolution, go back and read some stuff. Seriously, it’s pretty much the basis of modern biology and not believing in it is like refusing to believe in gravity. (In the words of Phoebe, “Don’t get me started on gravity…”) And just because it’s called a theory, doesn’t mean it’s a guess. Theory, in a scientific sense, can be considered the best possible explanation for observations and experimental data.

In keyboard news today, I have a source of Model Ms in Belfast! I’m yet to find out specifics – price, DOB etc. but hopefully this will be the end to my keyboard journey. I’m optimistic, but also wary. People in the UK have a tendency to over value keyboards, particularly with sought after models like the Model M, but fingers crossed there won’t be any problems here. An active PS/2 to USB convertor would also be needed, but that is the least of my worries. The epic keyboard quest resumes! There may be an after keyboard party if anyone is interested and down in Belfast when I find one…

I have also recruited a new kayaker, Jaime, so hopefully we’ll get down to the river a few more times before university starts. After a bit of a shaky start like most people, he picked it up really fast so hopefully I’ve got a new kayaking buddy for the future. It’s a really fun sport and more people should give it a go. I guess I’m pretty lucky having access to the river so close to my house, but it’s worth joining a club to have a go on some more exciting rivers than the sedate Lagan. It is quite relaxing though, drifting lazily down the river in peace and quiet. Today was also a day of thinking and planning, for the new project. The £25 Xbox 360 is still RROD, so it is being relocated to a PC case in an attempt to build a properly cooled Xbox. An ambitious project, you might say, as all the cabling has to be extended and integrated into the new case, along with a new back panel and all the usual painting. I may also have to break out the cable I created, or a similar idea anyway to extend the USB ports. All in all it could be a big project, and a disaster, but I still want to give it a go if it means the Xbox will be brought back from the brink of death.

Thankfully the backup battery warning hasn’t been bothering me the last few minute due to a quick replacement, and typing is definitely more bearable. I might have to make the wireless network open so I can upload directly to wordpress from here. This has everything I need for blogging, and is almost pocket sized, so relatively convenient. I need to establish a decent way of signing off, as I never know how to end these things. Probably best just to end mid sent-

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