Posts Tagged ‘iMac’

A Tail of Two Mice and a Rat

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Thanks to an understanding boss and CEO, I have had the blessing of being able to work from home this week so that I can get a few personal matters sorted while still covering my work.  However, a day working at home can throw up things that are unlikely to happen in corporate life – like having my very own Rodent Day.

Open-mouse surgery on my iMac's Mighty Mouse

The First Mouse was the Mighty Mouse on my iMac that decided that it was going to stop scrolling altogether after threatening to do so for a month or so.  Having solved the same problem before and tried almost every other trick without success, I grabbed my trust Swiss Army knife, a craft knife, a Phillips’ and jeweller’s screwdrivers and performed open-mouse surgery on the ailing Mighty Mouse.  After decrudding and decrusting the ball assembly and putting it all back together in the right order, it was working more reliably once again.  That said, the interior workings were showing wear & tear so, knowing that the family were just heading to the mall, I asked around a few friends and checked the forums to get ideas for good replacement.

Dude, don't look now but...

I encountered The Rat at the mall when we ducked into a pet store next to the computer store to buy a plant for our fish tank.  I noticed one of the staff doing a strange, wriggling dance as he walked down aisle and thought he might be either listening to his iPod or having a seizure.  As he got closer, I saw a tail flick from behind his ear and discovered that he had a small white rat poking out of his collar, who was hitching a ride back to his cage after a little walkabout time.  Just as the guy was about to relieve himself of his passenger, his passenger relieved himself – down the guy’s neck!  After securing his very personable and inquisitive stowaway, the guy grabbed a handful of paper towel and cleaned up while we paid for our plant and laughed at his unintended sideshow.

Let the weapons-grade mousing begin!

The Second Mouse was the awesome replacement mouse that I found a few stores along from the pet store.  After looking at a few of the high-end wireless offerings, I went for the highly-regarded Logitech MX518.  When used in conjunction with one of the many third party mouse driver app (for there’s no Mac driver out of the box), this seven-buttoned and superfast scroll-wheeling will do everything the Mighty Mouse did and more besides.  One of the reviewers was spot on when he commented that the mouse glides like it’s coated with melted butter.  What more could I ask for?  It takes a little getting used to after the smaller Mac mouse but seems well made and does the job very nicely.

NB: For my understanding boss and CEO, it is perhaps worth pointing out the shopping took place during my lunch break and this post was written after the working day ended – honest!

Catch up

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Life has been busy since my last post and I have had a fair amount to occupy my time. Consequently, blogging has taken second place to real life but, in the fashion of my good chum David, here’s a quick visual catch up.

Home made Cornish Pasties

SWMBO is a great if somewhat reluctant cook and regularly surpasses herself in serving up just the right dish at the right time.  In recent weeks, we have been treated to a few dishes and flavours that recalled memories of our life in England. One of these greeted my nostrils when I arrived home one evening recently.  A great and enticing smell wafting from the kitchen heralded a great supper of homemade Cornish Pasties which tasted as good as they looked.

Homemade goodies were supplemented with a few bits and bobs from the shops. On a recent trip to Countdown, our local chain supermarket, she picked up some English Marmite which, in my opinion and those of most other UK folk I know here, is far superior to the Aussie and Kiwi varieties.  However, even this tasty surprise was trumped by a lovely chunk of Tuxford & Tebbutt Cheshire cheese.  While the Kiwis make some good cheeses, I do miss the drier, crumblier and saltier British cheeses like my Dad’s favourite, Wensleydale.

Fush without chups

We headed into our local pet store a couple of weeks ago to check a few things out, little knowing that they were having an open day.  Having successfully deflected pleadings for another kitten or puppy, we left an hour later with a starter cold water aquarium but no fish.

The instructions from the very helpful fish lass in the store was that we set this up in the family room for a week, filling and treating the water so it could get a good stock of healthy bacteria in it before we introduced this fish.

Last week, SWMBO returned with the smallest of our four to choose the occupants and came home with a bug-eyed black eyed fish and a white and orange bug-eyed fish (the proper names elude me).  These were joined a few days back by the last of the additions to our menagerie, a skinny golden algae eater who vacuums the glass and stones free of algae.  There was a mild panic earlier today when this little fellow went missing. Presumed eaten by the other, he was eventually traced to the interior of the tiny amphora we had picked up for a dollar and sunk in the tank. Hopefully, he’ll come out before he grows too big to do so.

Never say never

With redundancy a real prospect later this year, I have started to be a little more intentional about seeking alternative work.  I have a few avenues to explore including a secondment that will see me working in a different area of my field in a very different environment.

To aid me in this and keep things neatly divided, I have grabbed up an HP Mini 210 netbook running Windows 7.  This is my first purchase of a personal computer running Windows in about 7 years. I like the form factor with the 10″ screen being a good compromise between the 7″ of my Eeepc’s and my iMac’s whopping 24″ screen.

It is early days yet but Windows 7 is also proving to be more user-friendly than the XP of my employer-supplied Omnibook or the Vista machines that friends moan about.  I am also trying to keep the apps to a minimum and use web-based stuff where possible, keeping the reasonable resources freed up for document writing, PDF work and the multi-tabbed browsing of desktop research.

The Agile Three

After church, SWMBO and I took our youngest to Scruffs, a local fun dog show.  We got there pretty late but had enough time to enter our Jack Russell/Maltese Terrier cross Abby into the scruffiest dog competition and give her a run out around the agility course.  In two clear runs around the course, Abby managed to reduce her time from 45 seconds to a very creditable 39 seconds, giving all three of us humans a brief but energetic workout at the same time.

We rounded off the day at a friend’s place, eating barbecue and salad whilst catching up on news and swapping offspring horror stories.