You know what I really don’t need ? Another mobile phone. But today I fell in love and, within an hour, I had bought the object of my desire. A Motorola F3. No bluetooth, no camera, no wi-fi, no Java, no hi-res colour display and no data. It’s the antithesis of my M600 but as soon as I saw it I feel in love. Mainly because it costs less than 15 quid brand-new, with no contract. But also because it looks nice, feels nice, uses next to no power, is beautiful and well-made. William Morris would have been chuffed. In a way, it’s very UNIXy: it does one job, but it does it really well.
These were designed for use in the third world and don’t use LCD. Instead they use “e-ink” that only needs power when you want to alter the display. Consequently, taking the battery out leaves whatever was on the screen intact and looking like it was written with quink on parchment.
A guy I work with introduced them to me; he bought three of them in different colours. Now I want to collect the set.
Yes I know, and I do plan to get a life one of these days.
For various reasons the last couple of weeks have been very tough. Despite that I’ve been lucky enough to have several life-affirming moments:
- Me and Tony (and his mate Tony) meeting up with Hubert for his birthday. Hubert went to our school and it was so, so lovely to see him again. We even got a chance to hear his new band play a few tunes.
- Spending more time walking around with Michele. The quack really thinks I need more exercise and so we’ve spent a lot of time walking around, just enjoying the pockets of wildlife, and chatting.
- Replacing my former employer’s aged OpenBSD/ipf firewall with a nice new OpenBSD/pf firewall. pf r0xx0rz.
- Bizarrely, two days after seeing Hubert, whom I haven’t seen for a few years, I bumped into Corine, whom I haven’t seen for over 11 years. We had a long chat in the pub and it turns out that not only has she has expanded her circle of friends to include world leaders, philosophers and Jeremy Hardy, but she’s also a rather cool documentary filmmaker. It was so nice to see her again…
- My friend Claire did the Marathon!
- Spending a lot of time talking to James
Apologies for being so crap with the blog recently. I’ll make it up…
Thank the stupid people. Don’t they do a wonderful job ? Without them going out and buying every piece of overpriced crap as soon as it hits the shops, we’d never be able to afford modern consumer equipment. As soon as some piece of new technology becomes available, stupid people go out and buy it, seemingly unconcerned by whether it’s the “new Compact Disc” or the “new Betamax”.
- Without these pioneering pillocks, the people that spent more than 150 quid on a CD-ROM drive, we normal people would never be able to pick up a DVD+-R/CDROM/EVERYTHING drive for less than 30 quid.
- Thanks to the armies of stupid people who went out and bought a mobile phone when they cost so much to buy and rent that it made houses look cheap. As a result of your massive stupidity we can now own mobile phones for next to nothing.
- Stupid people went out and bought DVD players when VCRs still worked perfectly. As a result the DVD manufacturers could afford to sell their warez off at a reasonable price.
- Privatisation is so massively stupid that it’s doomed to failure. A nice example is how, on the trains, they can no longer afford the inspectors they employed to ensure everyone pays their fare. Of course they can’t! Privatisation doesn’t work! You can’t keep increasing your profits without reducing your costs. As a result, they’re in a position where they can’t afford the ridiculous fare, but secure in the knowledge that the organisation that caused the rise through greed can no longer afford the inspectors to enforce it. All rail travel is now free!
After a truly delicious home-made gastronomic extravaganza this evening, I bludgeoned Michele into watching the first ever episode of Peep Show. Half way through, one of the characters was eating a bowl of spag bol.
“Hmm,” said Michele, “When you’re hungry, that looks really good.
“But,” I protested, “you can’t possibly be hungry after that massive meal.”
“No, but it still looks good.”
I don’t know why I laughed so much.
Michele was convinced that it was Humphrey’s “official” birthday tomorrow and in order to “officially” verify it we turned to our normal source of personal historical information: this blog. Michele was a month out on her assertion, but after reading a few nostalgia-inducing entries I realised that this blog has recently passed its 5 year anniversary! Five years I’ve been writing bollocks to no-one and on reflection it seems even more worthwhile than I could have imagined. If you don’t have a blog, then start one! It’s good and everything.
Over the past few days I’ve been getting hangups on my mobile phone from an 0161 number and it’s been getting right on my tits. The phone ringing at all is a pain in the arse these days, but ringing from Manchester, where I know no-one, and then hanging up as I answer is more than I can deal with.
Today, in the office, I managed to answer it in time. The conversation went like this:
- Caller: Hello Mr W*******, My name’s Monkeygirl and I’m calling from HappySlapUK, an Orange business partner…
- Me (angrily): Don’t ever call me again!
- Caller: Par…
- Me (as before): Don’t call me again! I’ve had loads of calls from you over the past few days and every time I pick up you ring off and it’s a pain in the arse!
- Caller (sheepishly): Sorry Mr W******** I’ll make sure your number is removed from the list.
I hang up.
Now, I know I was wrong to have a go at this poor girl, it wasn’t her fault (probably), but that pisses me right off; selling my number to some bunch of crooks who harass me all week in an attempt to sell me something that I’m not even eligible for in the first place…
Tom, a work colleague who had overheard one half of the conversation, touched me on the shoulder compassionately and asked,
“was that your mum ?”
Watching Secret Army and the Belgian resistance sending messages to London by morse, made me wonder about the possibility of using morse-code over the Internet.
Of course… of course… it’s been done:
CW over IRC!
Waking up in the morning, even with a hangover, can be the most life-affirming experience. Especially when you don’t have to work that day, you’re married to a cuddly bat, and you have a Dunlopillo. In fact it’s the purest form of joy I have experienced since I turned off voice-mail on the mobile phone. Mobile phones are truly evil pieces of work and yes, I own many and take at least two out wherever I go; this makes me a terrorist according to the recent alarmist government propaganda.
Years ago, when mobiles were becoming cool, I worked for a tech company that was moving into WAP. At the time my colleague told me how evil he thought they were because people always thought that if you didn’t answer, you were avoiding them. Well in the last year or two I have developed a hatred for them that borders on psychosis. People get genuinely angry if you don’t pick up! That’s outrageous! There are many reasons for not picking up and, quite frankly, just fuck off. The motivation for not having a phone-call at any particular time can be just as strong as yours for wanting one. At least in the cable days you could only answer if you were at home and, presumably, were in more of a mood to talk to people. The number of people that get the hump with me being uncontactable is increasing by the day and it’s beginning to make me wonder why they want to talk to me at all… If you really want to stay in touch then send an email or text and we can perhaps meet up in person and talk like civilised humans. It might be nice! We could even have food and a drink. Imagine that. You wouldn’t have to listen to me moving my bowels on the phone.
Anyway, Easter here has been lovely. An indolent, selfish, self-indulgent, avian-centric, family and friend based pleasure. We’ve seen my family, taken Humph in to a couple of gardens and spent time with friends. I’ve also managed to watch the complete Ripping Yarns and a bunch of Secret Army, which I missed at the time and now, thanks to Suzanne for lending me the complete box set, think is the best series ever made.
Happy Easter, and God bless Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson.