End of an Era

27 June 2003

I’m packing up my stuff; after lunch today, I leave Cambridge for the forseeable future: my home for three years, home to many, many happy memories and times and some wonderful learning (as well as all the rough bits). It’s one of the most beautiful cities in England, one of the loveliest to live in, and I’m going to miss it like a bastard. I leave it happy, glad, relieved, with a good degree and a good life ahead of me. I’ll probably replace this post later when I’ve got time to write something decent on my time here. But yeah. Felt I should let you know. Next post from the hell of a modem, or something…


27 June 2003

Things are not real until you write about them on the Internet


26 June 2003

I’m about to run along to my graduation – neatly dolled up in Cambridge’s version of subfusc, and from the glorious sun of the past week, a big grey cloud forms above the sky. The spots of rain are on the ground.

This is irksome.

Anyhow: in three and a half hours, I will be Tom Armitage BA. Which sounds rather nice, spoken aloud…


24 June 2003

So I’ve done it. I’ve finally switched from a Windows machine with a tempramental network card to an aluminium box of Apple goodness.

It arrived this morning after a brief mess-up with delivery addresses (wherein Apple confused the billing and delivery addresses, merging the two. Oh dear. Anyhow, it got here. Observation #1: Apple packaging is as great as everybody makes out. A relativlely tiny black box marked ‘G4 Powerbook 12″‘, and inside, that piece of cardboard stating that it’s “Designed by Apple in California”. And another layer down, all the wires and stuff laid out neatly in the polystyrene. And under the polystyrene: the Powerbook.

There are pornographic photos of people unpacking Apples the web over, so that’s all I’ll say on that front. Since then, I’ve unpacked it, set up and patched OS X, installed Office and all manner of useful little freebies and had a little play. Further observations:

  • This is the best designed piece of hardware I’ve ever used. Everything fits. The keyboard is a work of genius – sturdy, tough, responsive. The slot-loading Combo Drive scares me a little, sucking disks up like that, and it sounds like the damn thing’s going to take off when it’s ripping or copying, but it’s a lovely piece of design all the same.
  • Word X is surprisingly crap all things considered.
  • Terminal is my friend, SSHing very nicely into my University email server. As is Safari. Sadly Safari doesn’t have typeahead find, but configuring Camino will take a while so it will have to do for now. Other freeware and shareware I’m enjoying: Kung-Log, NetNewsWire Lite, and Hydra. Am wrestling with Proteus.
  • It runs Quake 3 better than my old PC. Especially the new True Combat mod. And the screen is fine for games, trust me. Only thing: when you’re gaming, the fan will kick in. The fan is moderately loud.
  • The heat issue: yes, it gets hot. I tend not to rest my hands on the wrist rest anyway, and my posture is thus better. And the heat is not an issue. If anything, it’s pleasant. Still wouldn’t want it on my lap.
  • iChat is good. Shame half the world’s on MSN; iChat really is one of the nicest chat clients I’ve used in a long while.
  • Brushed metal: OK for some things. But please, Apple, not the Finder!

All in all: I’m a happy camper. It’s a damn fine piece of kit, all seems to be working for now (though just you wait til I have to wrestle with the modem) and it’s genuinely making me enjoy computing again. And there’s all sorts of clever stuff i’m waiting to learn. And the size is just perfect. I switched. I feel clean.

testing kung-log

24 June 2003

This post is posted via Kung-Log; I’m currently listening to Chase & Chaser from the album “Shallow and Profound” by Yonderboi.


24 June 2003

New computer arrived today, making this entry from it.

12″ Powerbook G4. Like I said. Shiny.


23 June 2003

Damnit. Wish my Powerbook would hurry up and bloody arrive.


20 June 2003

Today, I got my degree results. Final comment on three years at Cambridge of, well, relatively hard work – certainly pretty hard this year. And last year I got a 2:2, which didn’t set the world alight.



I’m happy.

oh dear

20 June 2003

Word of note: tomorrow I get my final degree result. Erk.

OK. So gesture-based recognition is nice and quick and stops me having to move my mouse-cursor to buttons. And type-ahead find is really nice because it stops me having to take my hands from off the keyboard to link, yeah? Let’s take this one step further, and find a use for the crappiest of all PC accessories, the webcam (which you probably bought when you thought people wanted to see you on your weblog but then you realised RSS is the future anyway so that was kind of