Categories
Life

A Chromebook by Any Other Name

Late last night I discovered a company called “Neverware” created the software to install on a USB stick that allows a computer to boot from the stick and turns it into a Chromebook. The software is called “CloudReady”, and the home edition is free. What’s more, if you like what it does, with a single click you can wipe the computer and install the Chrome operating system onto it’s internal storage – turning it completely into a Chromebook. Neverware did their job so well, Google acquired them.

I almost did a happy dance.

Needless to day, I now have a recycled Chromebook of sorts – built from an old laptop that has been sitting in the bottom of a bag for months. Granted, it’s not quite as good as a shiny-new-chromebook (new Chromebooks can run Android apps), but it’s pretty close.

In other news, I went for a mental health walk at lunchtime with my eldest daughter – a promised wander to the park to get some fresh air. We fed the swans, avoided the legion of parents with small children that have never heard of social distancing, and found a park bench to sit at for a little while – watching the world go by. Afterwards we bought soup and nice bread for everybody (it’s half term), and carried it home.

I have no idea what I’m going to spend the rest of the day doing. A part of me says I should use today as a writing day (I have Mondays off work at the moment) – but another part says I should kick back and have fun. Hang on – shouldn’t writing be fun?

Perhaps I’ll put some music on. Where’s that Sara Bareilles playlist?

Categories
Life

A Mental Health Walk

I walked into town after lunch with two of my daughters – a “mental health walk” – an escape from the walls that have been our prisoner for several weeks. It was good to get out of the house, if only for an hour.

We walked to the big park in town – mostly curious to take a look at the river that burst it’s banks last week. It’s receding now, but that hasn’t stopped the ducks and swans from taking ownership of a huge swathe of the riverbank. I quietly walked up to some of the swans, who showed no fear at all – walking slowly towards me as I approached. My eldest daughter backed away, making worried noises – she had a run in with a swan a few years ago while trying to take a picture of it.

The park was mostly quiet – predictable, given that it was a weekday – but also because it was so cold. After leaving the house snow began falling, and got heavier during the time we were out – beginning to settle on the ground. By the time we got home my face had become numb.

It was good to get out though. The cold weather seemed to remove the idiots that think the Corona Virus doesn’t apply to them. It’s strange how some people are more fearful of the cold than a deadly pandemic.

I found myself in an online debate of sorts with a particular kind of idiot last night, and something occurred to me. The people that complain about political bias, unfair reporting, and support conspiracy theories tend to do so because they have actively chosen to narrow the opinions they take notice of to those they agree with. It’s helped along by the very same algorithmic timeline they also complain about – because they fear missing out on anything. Figure that out – they fear missing out on the very same stories they don’t want to see.

Anyway.

It’s getting late, and I have a meeting first thing tomorrow. I need to sleep.

Categories
Life

Priorities

I just got back from a walk through the warm evening air to the supermarket and back. It was intended as a mental health walk of sorts – I’ve been going increasingly stir crazy working from home. Of course then “people” intervened to ruin it, but I’ll get back to that.

While wandering around the supermarket, picking up all the exciting things – lightbulbs, dishwashing sponges, deodorant, and so on – I happened upon all the “back to school” things that are now being sold at a huge discount. I came home with two stationery sets I don’t really need – filled with notebooks, rulers, pens, pencils, and so on. I showed my other half, and she rolled her eyes.

“But they were on offer!”

I laughed at myself, and remembered a girl I used to work with – who once commented that her Mum would buy dog food if it was on offer, and they didn’t even have a dog.

I also bought nice coffee. If I’m going to be hunched over this desk for days on end, I’m going to damn well have nice coffee to give me higher quality shakes.

In other news we received some bad news tonight – a friend of my Dad – a fellow flight simulator enthusiast that he has virtually flown with countless times, made friends with, and visited for meals and nights out – died unexpectedly. He was a virtual air traffic controller for many of the flights my daughter has taken part in – I told her a little while after she came home from college tonight. Everything seems very sombre now.

While walking into town, I thought about those that knew the guy that passed away – and if they might be changed by it. None of us is here forever – there’s a saying about not getting a second go at this life business, isn’t there.

I suppose this brings me neatly to the ass-hats that ruined my quiet walk to the supermarket. While waiting at the checkout, 2 metres away from the next customer, an older gentleman walked up right behind me, well within the markings on the floor. While being quietly annoyed with him, the middle-aged women at the checkout couldn’t find her bank card, so pulled her face covering off to tell the girl on the checkout that she was looking for it – and didn’t put her mask back on.

What is it with older people not caring about the lockdown rules? Is it any surprise that a second wave is sweeping the world? I keep reading about people going on foreign holidays, and wondering “WHAT THE F*CK?”. Nobody seems to have any understanding at all about combinatorial explosion, or the potentially devastating consequences of not know you were spreading anything for the several week gestation period of the virus.

Why are people so frustrating?

Anyway.

Deep breaths.

I’ve switched back to writing in a text editor. I’m rocking Windows Notepad, and saving the text files into OneDrive. It requires very little effort indeed. Not having the daily car-crash news from the US a tab click away helps keep me on track.

p.s. Miss 16 loved her first day at college.