Personal

Espresso!

I drink less coffee (and Red Bull) now than I used to, owing to the fact that I no longer pull the 70+ hour weeks which used to be par for the course for me, and on the whole I feel a lot better for it. It’s one of those things where you don’t really realise just how much you’re trashing your body until you stop and get a bit of balance back.

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The Mass Effect Effect

I’m still not planning on finally deciding my HD console allegiance until the new year, on account of the fact that I’ll have a bunch of stuff to play in the run-up to xmas anyway, like Guitar Hero III, Mario Galaxy, the new Zelda on DS etc, plus the fact that we’re on holiday for 2 weeks in between now and then. However, I’m edging toward a conclusion that there’s really only one console-exclusive that really, really excites me, and that’s Mass Effect - on the 360.

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Lightning 0.7 (Thunderbird calendar add-on)

Thunderbird has been my primary email tool on all platforms for some years now, and the relatively recent version 2.0 update was great. Let’s face it, Outlook is one of those tired old applications that was worth some money in bygone years, but email is so ubiquitous and commoditised now that pretending you can add real value in a commercial application without doing anything radical is frankly ludicrous. Its popularity continues to stem mostly from unimaginitive corporate policy, bundling with Excel & Word, and ongoing Exchange Server lock-in, and the associated spill-over into home buying preferences.

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Schrödinger's Mac

My MacBook Pro appears to now be in a state of quantum flux. As previously mentioned it worked fine yesterady when I took it in, and indeed I used it for most of the morning (testing) and most of the evening (doing some Dx10 work). This morning though, it was back to the same problem so I took it in again to demonstrate it. As if to mock me, whilst it at least demonstrated the problem on boot up, as I was filling the incident report form in and it was sitting idly on the desk untouched next to me, it suddenly decided to right itself.

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MacBook Pro Lives!

Typical. Not unwelcome, but still typical. After experimenting multiple times with my broken MacBook Pro last night, I’d given up and first thing this morning I took it to my local Apple reseller, iQ (actually there are 2 in the island, but iQ are ‘Premier’ resellers and that’s where I bought it). I was explaining the problem and fired the machine up, and what do you know, it was fine. 😕

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MacBook Pro Dies

Yes, I fired up my MacBook Pro today with the intention of getting on with some more Dx10 work, but was greeted with a completely corrupted display. It appears that other things are still working, as I can still make some things out through the garbage - right from power on I get the top third of the screen as mostly greyish blank, and the bottom two-thirds as a ‘smeared’ version of what I should be seeing, although when I tried sleeping and waking it, I temporarily got a correct login screen view in the top third but it slowly faded into garbage, whilst the bottom section was still smeared.

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Back, photos

Typically having had just enough time to finally adjust my various mental and physical cycles by 8 hours to GMT-7, I’ve returned and am undergoing the exact same process in reverse. As such I’m feeling a bit rough but at least I can adjust in familiar surroundings. In the meantime, here’s a few photos of me doing the rounds at various Silicon Valley locations (click for full size versions): I managed a few hours in downtown San Francisco too on Sunday before heading back to get the flight (all of yesterday was travelling, what fun), which was ok I guess.

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A busy day with NVIDIA & Intel

Phew, the jet lag certainly isn’t beaten yet. Even though I managed to stay up until about 9:30pm last night before succumbing (remember, this was actually 5:30am according to my body clock), it hasn’t entirely compensated and I’m feeling pretty tired now (6:45pm aka 2:45am). I didn’t notice until I got back just now because I’ve had a really busy and interesting day. This morning I was at NVIDIA where I had a tour of the campus and some really interesting discussions on a variety of subjects.

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The joys of travelling

I recently touched down at San Francisco International (SFO) and have made my way to the hotel, which as you can tell, has wireless internet. Well, this is Silicon Valley, I’d personally expect pedestrian crossings to be internet enabled here (they’re not, I’ve tried). I didn’t expect to get a lot done today, owing to the jet lag, and indeed, I’m feeling it. It’s ostensibly 6pm but of course, due to this being GMT-7, which because of daylight savings is 8 hours behind, I’m in a sort of grey half-wakefulness right now.

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The problem with being self-employed

Being self-employed has many advantages, but I’m sure one bugbear we all share is debt collection. When it comes to payment, customers generally fall into a number of categories: Those that pay immediately on receiving the invoice, or even all in advance; you want to hold on to these with both hands! Those that pay precisely on the 30-day due date; which is fine, we all have cash flows to manage Those that pay on the first reminder; not too bad Those that pay sometime after the second reminder (when I start threatening interest) or not at all; now you’re yanking my chain After almost a year of doing this full time, and almost 3 years before that part-time, I’ve had at least one customer in each of these categories, although I guess I’ve been fortunate that most are in the better groups.

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