Sunday 7 September 2008

Sunday catch up

It's been another busy week, and another busy weekend. Yesterday I was off down to see my folks - the primary purpose of the visit (apart from catching up of course) was to help them set up their broadband. Mission accomplished, my parents finish their migration to the twenty-first century. We did it online using their dial-up 46kbps connection... it would have been quicker to do it by phone!

Whilst I was there my mother was going through the drawers in the sideboard, looking for more photos for me to scan into the computer. The drawers of the sideboard are an amazing collection of years of collected flotsam and jetsam. There are ashtrays (in a house of non-smokers) assorted old coins, cards from various occasions, and all sorts of other items presumed lost forever; amongst which: a thermometer, a tape splicer for 8-track tapes, a radiator key, a music box and something for drawing curves. Uncluttered is something that is never going to apply to my parents, and with genes like that what hope is there for me?!

Saturday night movies last night were an interesting collection. First up was 'King Solomon's Mines'. Not a new movie, it must be admitted. Chosen by me because I loved the book when I read it as a kid. Deeply (deeply) disappointing film. The script was terrible (laughable sometimes, and not in a good way), the acting was awful - there really was absolutely nothing to recommend it. The poor man's Indiana Jones (and that is a bit insulting to Indy). Do not (on any account) bother with this one. I'm afraid it get's 0 out of 10. Next up was 'Hot Tamale' - pure comedy. I was worried it was perhaps going to be a bit silly - but as it turned out it was just pure fun. Although it was all about a guy who wants to play salsa they didn't go too heavy on the whole salsa bit. 6 out of 10. Here's hoping that movies by post are going to be sending us some of the new releases we are eagerly awaiting soon!

This morning was completely disastrous. I woke up and turned on the rubbish TV, as I usually do on Sunday; made myself breakfast (tea and croissants) again as I usually do on Sunday; and settled down to the Internet, as I usually do on Sunday. The funny thing was that the laptop was in power-saving mode with the screen brightness turned down. Oops, I thought, the power cable must have fallen out. Nope, power connected. Ah well, I thought, the power cable isn't plugged in properly. Checked the socket. Cable plugged in. Then I noticed that the little green light on the power-pack wasn't lit. Uh-oh. Tried another socket. Nothing doing. Tried every socket I could find. The power lead is dead. Quickly turned off the computer to preserve what little battery power was left.

Off I raced to PC World. It's quarter past ten and they don't open until eleven. Then I decide that actually Maplin Electronics might be a better bet anyway. Rich and I ran across it a few weeks ago when we were on the way somewhere, and noted how useful it might be that we had one so close by. Where were we going? Where is Maplin? I get to Maplin just as they open at eleven and explain to the (very young) sales assistant that I need a power adapter for my laptop. He shows me one that has many connectors and will fix into 'any' laptop. I purchase the power cable (for £35 ouch!). I drive all the way back home (two junctions down the A2) and settle down to plug in the computer. Amazingly none of the eight or so connectors fit into the power output on the back of the computer.

Back into the car. Off down the A2 to Maplin. I explain to a different (very young) sales assistant that I want to return the power adapter I just bought as it doesn't fit my computer. This time I have had the foresight to bring my power lead with me. I am given a replacement (which he shows me the output to prove it will fit). Back into the car, back down the A2, back home. Hurrah. The power cable fits! However because it isn't Dell the laptop notes that it isn't the right cable and that the computer may 'work sluggishly' (what even with all the new memory?) but even worse - the battery doesn't charge.

Next I go to eBay and buy a power cable (that will arrive in about a fortnight). Luckily this costs me very little, and even less because I have a free postage voucher. Sorted - just about, although not quite what I had planned for my Sunday morning!