New Computer!!

A few weeks ago my Inspiron 8100 died (again). Having already replaced the hard disk, I decided it was time to replace the whole machine and went shopping for a new laptop. A few days later I had decided that an iBook was the right choice.

Why? Well, on the desktop I am a very happy Linux user, particularly since the Gnome desktop is now a very polished and pleasant environment to use. But recently I have found something lacking about Linux support on laptops: power management still doesn’t Just Work™ and wireless card support is patchy, particularly for newer features such as WPA.
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Random Late Night TV

A short spell of insomnia last week caused me to watch a late-night TV programme about the top British bands of 2004. Liking what I heard, iTunes’ excellent music sharing facility allowed me to preview the albums of Snow Patrol and Franz Ferdinand. I’m not convinced about the latter, but Snow Patrol’s Final Straw is excellent and needing to purchase something from Amazon anyway, I added it to my shopping cart. I also noticed they were selling the first Stereophonics album for a bargain £3.33.

Ordered Sunday afternoon, arrived today — Amazon really do have a fantastic service. 🙂

The Downside to Online Shopping

Online shopping is great. You can shop around for the cheapest prices from the comfort of your bedroom instead of having to tramp around town (or worse, drive from place from place), you can check out online reviews and product specs that are far more detailed and knowledgeable than any shop assistant and best of all, you can go shopping at sensible times of day, like 2am in the morning…. Unfortunately there’s also a downside: waiting for your fantastic new purchase to arrive. 🙁

I purchased something from Apple’s excellent HE Education store nearly two weeks ago. Three days ’til it ships it said, then 3–4 days for delivery. To my delight it actually shipped just over 24 hours later, but the delivery time had then extended to 7–8 (business) days. By Saturday it still wasn’t showing up in the delivery tracking system, so I phoned Apple who said that the projected delivery date was 17th Feb. So I had to wait another five days, but at least I had some information now.

Fast forward to Monday and at last there is progress: the package tracking website says it has safely arrived in the Netherlands, and Tuesday morning to Stansted, just 40 miles from here. At midday the website claims it is “Out for Delivery” — fantastic!

Alas, when I go into College this afternoon to check my mail only two of the three packages are present, despite the website claiming the entire consignment had been delivered. More phone calls to Apple who will raise it with the shipping company.

More waiting…

Full credit to Apple and the shipping company (TNT), the situation was handled very well and the next morning the package tracker revealed that something else had arrived at Stansted over night and was “out for delivery”. The final box duly arrived about 24 hours after the first two, and I’ve been having lots of fun ever since! Will post more details soon.

Superbowl XXXIX – Bed Time!

A close end to the match — I’m glad I didn’t go to bed at 24-14, but in the end the Eagles just too sloppy in their execution.

Interesting to see the game shown on ITV this year — clearly more money to spend on presentation than Channel 5’s usual offering. Lots of ad-breaks in the first half but I guess there wasn’t much happening to talk about. Good to have Gary Imlach back too as he was excellent on C4 before they axed their NFL coverage and even the US “export broadcast” commentators seemed much less condescendingly irritating this year, although they were always at their worst at the beginning of the match which I missed tonight.

Final score: Patriots 24-21 Eagles

Superbowl XXXIX — 4th Quarter

As hoped the Eagles came back almost straight away with a nice drive to level the score and open up the game. Ominously for the Eagles though, the Patriots are beginning to look very comfortable running the ball, giving them control of the line of scrimmage, the clock and I think, ultimately the game. We’ll have to see…

Patriots 21-14 Eagles (4th quarter).

Superbowl XXXIX

Having seen just one gridiron game this season I wasn’t sure if I was going to watch tonight’s Superbowl, especially being so busy at the moment. When I joined 5 (game) minutes into the first quarter it was a very scrappy affair with lots of unforced errors on both sides of the ball (Eagles in turnovers, Pats in penalties) but things began to liven up in the second quarter.

A much tighter looking Patriots came out of the locker room for the second half, scoring on the opening drive and so I think the Eagles next drive will be crucial.

Patriots 14 – 7 Eagles (3rd quarter).