A case in point

(Reminder to self… stop trying to make puns for Subject line.)

Well, let’s see. What unexciting things have I been up to this week?

Well, work’s mostly involved dull and boring things purely getting things ready for the new term such as spending 2 days trying to get quotes for consumables. Yes, it took 2 days to get proper prices out of 3 firms, all because they wanted to beat the others on price. Maybe it is a good idea to find the cheapest supplier, but I could have saved a whole load of time, and hence to the department almost as much money they’ve been paying me for that time, as I saved on cheaper prices by merely going to the first supplier.

Oh, and the rest of the week was spent creating new accounts and updating software. On that front I’ve still got KDE to update in the next week.

Other than this, I’ve had a couple of nights of extremely poor sleep patterns and met Kat and her boyfriend Stu in the King’s Arms last night.

Yesterday, I finally decided that I needed to replace my current PC case with one which is better at removing heat and is quieter. So, in the afternoon I went onto the Scan web site where I’d seen the Thermaltake Xaser III models which had had good reviews. Amongst other things they have a front panel with a temperature read-out and fan speed control knobs. As always, I looked on the “Today Only” page and saw that they were selling off SCSI CDROM drives stupidly cheap. eg. The Toshiba 32x one I went for was £11.16 (yes, that’s not a typo!).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, ‘cos I couldn’t find a way to get special delivery (to get Saturday delivery) on the items using the web interface I phoned them up and ordered those two items and 256MB of PC100 memory for the iMac.

At 8:15am this morning the whole lot arrived in a yellow and green Initial City Link van. Pretty good service, I’d say. Still, I did pay £15 extra for the priviledge.

My first impressions of the PC case are as follows:-

Good points

  • Looks pretty good.
  • Has lots of fans which are controllable.
  • IDE cable management buit in.
  • Nifty no-screw PCI card fixings.
  • Nice, screwless drive fixing mounts.

Bad points

  • The aluminium is rather thin and flimsy. I’d have expected sturdier stuff from an expensive case.
  • The fans are fitted but each has a big power connector on their cables and all the connections are left dangling so that the purchaser has to do all the wiring up. I’d have thought that Thermaltake would have kitted the case out with a wiring loom with all the fans attached to their fan control front panel. It wouldn’t have taken much to do.
  • The side panel is a sod to get off. There’s been no real thought in the engineering concerning this.

In Thermaltake’s defence, the basic chassis is one they’ve bought in and modified. Still, for such an expensive case, £111, I would have thought they would have at least connected up all the equipment they put into it rather than leaving all the wires dangling horribly. I’m going to have to get some cable tie pads to stick around the thing. I may even get some sound deadening matterials for the sides and top so as to stop the thin aluminium from drumming.

Share and enjoy?

On the doors of the contractor’s safety barriers we currently have over our
lift doors at work we have the following notice:-




Why do I have this urge to place an addition to this at the bottom?:-


Strange isn’t it?

PS. This was also posted to Bullet’s GENERAL folder, but who cares?

Arborial wandering

This afternoon i decided to go to the Harcourt Arboritum at Sutton Courtney. This was mainly as I’ve never been and partly because I wanted a nice quiet walk away from people and their noise.

Well, other than the £2 parking fee, which I feel is a bit steep for what is mainly a research facility and partly a public park, it was a nice enough place to spend an afternoon, if it were not for the constant din of internal combustion engines.

OK, I should have known that as the place was near a pretty busy road that there should be some road noise. However, this road seems also to be used as a raceway by a gathering of motorcyclists who love to produce the wail of high RPM motorcycle engines when riding. Add to this the pretty well constant drone of light aircraft overhead and the hiss of tyre upon tarmac and you come to realise that you can’t actually hear anything which isn’t man-made.

I walked as far as I could away from the road and lay behind the curtain of meadow grass and finally found at least semblance of quiet where I could here the jackdoors cacking, the pheasant croaking and maybe, just maybe, the call of a raptor of somekind. Even so, I only managed at most a 30 second break where I couldn’t here the drone of an aero engine.

Oxfordshire is such a crowded place, it’s impossible to get any peace.

On another front, I noticed when I got home that my car’s odometer now shows 20012.. ie. I’ve now driven precisely 20000 miles since I picked the car up from the dealer on the afternoon of the 9th November, 2000.


Just now I have been watching a flock of birds feeding in my garden. This is a rather unusual sight as the most I usually get are 4-5 starlings, maybe a single sparrow or a couple of blue tits passing by or a marauding magpie.

This morning it was different, a whole host of birds arrived all at once. They were mostly sparrows (which itself is unusual here) but in the host was at least one robin and a couple of birds I can’t identify. Alec, you may be able help out here:-

Size: Approximately the same as a sparrow.
Colour: Slightly countershaded light grey, darker on top.
Shape: Slight. Rather more streamlined than a sparrow with a sharply pointed head and a thin beak.

All the birds enjoyed searching through my honeysuckle for spiders and insects, along with my budlea(sp?) which has large number of old flower spikes which are now brown and probably full of insects.

Forgive me journel as it has been a week since my last whittering

OK. so, it’s been a week.

Actually, there’s been little point in updating the journal as pretty well nothing’s happened in the intervening time other than work and that’s been nothing to write home about, or even write about in a journal. Basically it’s been lots of little things which have not mounted up into anything which can be shown to have been done.

Happy Hour at work last night was the only social event. I was feeling too tired to go off to find food with the rest of them afterwards. Even so I wasn’t home ’til 9pm-ish.

Today I thought I’d treat myself to a hedonistic pleasure. Well, sometimes you have to do this sort of thing you know.. So, I went down to the cinema and watched Terminator 3. I even ate a very over priced small tub of strawberry ice cream. As you can see, I was being very wicked and totally over the top.

I’m currently sitting here on the sofa with the laptop on my, erm, lap, typing away with the light and the telly switched off, watching cotton wool clouds wander by in the dimming blue sky. All I can hear is the ticking of a clock and the very slight hiss of the hard disk drive.