Niall's virtual diary archives - August 2008

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Tuesday 12th August 2008: 11.08pm. It's taken a while, but I have finally transferred most of my day to day work stuff like email to my mini-laptop as I prepare for moving back to Ireland. It's an excellent wee laptop, everything I always wanted one to be: light as a feather, quiet, small, cool (doesn't burn you) and powerful enough to not be annoyingly slow. In fact editing this page in Microsoft Expression is the very first time its speed has been a problem as there is a definite lag between me typing and it drawing it on the screen - but at least it is keeping up, and it is after all my own fault for having such a ginormous page!

I have tried editing my book in Microsoft Word 2007 on this laptop and it will, just about, fit two of its pages on screen readably at once. I wouldn't type into that for extended periods, but it's good enough for getting a sense of layout. It's surprising what a 1024x600 screen can actually do - it's tiny compared to my 24" 1920x1200 screen above (that can fit eight pages without breaking a sweat but I normally type into six pages onscreen at once) but obviously enough this mini laptop is rather more portable. I also have Mac OS X installed onto it which runs an absolute treat though it was a royal pain in the ass to install because I had to clone the hacked Mac install disc onto a USB flash disc and boot off that - the mini laptop, obviously enough, has no optical drive. So all in all, I am very pleased with it - upon my recommendations, my sister has bought one too for college. Unlike most mini-laptops, this MSI model has a very decent keyboard - I type quickly enough, and even the reduced width punctuation keys haven't caused me issue.

UCC finally accepted me yesterday which is really about time: I am now doing a Masters in Business Information Systems. Who knows what might come thereafter, just the next few months are still very opaque most especially with how much money we'll have spare after buying (hopefully) a car and running it for as long as the money lasts, and hopefully get a job before impending doom! I think I have everything on track for our move to Ireland even though we don't pack for another eleven days - can't think of anything else I can do as sooner than is possible. The book currently stands at nine chapters in varying degrees of readability, spanning some 220 pages and nearly 90,000 words which isn't at all bad for two months of writing from what I understand - though of course it won't be finished by the end of August, though before classes start is still doable. We'll see. Anyway, be happy!

Wednesday 27th August 2008: 8.31pm. Do you know that the more I use this mini-laptop (the MSI Wind clone) the more I like it? I don't think I have ever bought a consumer appliance that just keeps on growing upon me day after day and I keep finding new and even more convenient uses for it! This little thing really is worth its weight in gold.

Furthermore, it's fairly shocking how powerful computers have become. This little laptop has taken over from my 3Ghz Core 2 Quad desktop surprisingly well - apart from typing into this crappy Microsoft Expression Web which only just about keeps up with my typing, a 1.6Ghz Intel Atom is more than fast enough for almost every purpose I have thrown at it (I did try reencoding video to h.264 - I wouldn't recommend that, though encoding to MPEG4 works okay). And its keyboard is surprisingly easy to use for extended periods - book writing is pretty easy on this, not as nice as on my 1920x1200 24" supermonitor, but equally it's more comfortable because I can write anywhere I like eg; my bed or a sofa. All in all, me likes this 'toy' supposedly for web browsing alone (and as I mentioned before, it doesn't burn my crotch with heat no matter how long I use it)!

Today, actually specifically this afternoon, is the first in many, many weeks that I have felt relaxed. This is because at long last, after weeks of preparation, the pallet transport guys came to pick up the second pallet of stuff for transport to Ireland. And just like that, all the anxiety, stress, worry etc. which have become the norm of oh, maybe the last two months or so evaporated. In fact, I wandered - actually wandered, not power walked - into town in order to shred all my bills & financial info accumulated during the last four years and to pay some money into my poor, ailing bank account. Feeding the shredder in the student's association office was lots of fun even though it kept jamming, and I felt strangely like a prawn cocktail sandwich which I couldn't find anywhere so I settled for a three combo pack with one prawn cocktail in it. I then bought a small cafetière so I would regain coffee making ability sadly lost with the departing of my expresso machine. I actually had fun wandering around town - for the first time I think in at least six, maybe nine months. It felt quite unnatural to be honest - I even stopped to watch the ducks at the Burn, there were six little chicks jumping into the river and crawling unsteadily back onto the bank.

So all is good. Actually, all is not good in the slightest - there are lots & lots of other sources of stress eg; I somehow stupidly packed my train tickets & passport into the stuff sent to Ireland so I will have to repurchase tickets plus there is a fair chance that Ryanair, being dickheads, won't let me travel without a passport which will necessitate a journey via ferry which really sucks monkey balls. But hey, I'm not feeling it right now. I am feeling rather hungry though and Johanna is busy upstairs pulling stuff around her room noisily - I deep cleaned my room last night, so apart from the rest of the house there are no worries. And I really do feel genuinely relaxed unlike during the last few weeks - still a lot of muscle pain from all the lifting, but I bet I'll sleep well tonight for the first time in ages!

You may have noticed that I have changed the advertising again - I have moved from Direct Right Media to the Rubicon Project taking a two thirds hit in revenue by doing so. However, they pay me by unified transfer without minimum payouts so to be honest, it's better to get some money quickly than three times more in about a year. Advertisers suck - they're like banks, they're basically there to screw you over and suck you dry. Such is life!

Anyway, it's long overdue for filing all the entries in this one page into the archives and thus to massively speed up the loading times for this front page - pertinent too as the next chapter opens in my life. What fun! Hope you are all being very happy!

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