Friday, 28 August 2015

Upgrading - various

Wednesday afternoon, as I was going into the office, I bought a prime lens to go with my Sony Alpha 55. No telephoto capacity, just a set focal length F1.8, much like my old Praktica SLR film camera. In fact the 49mm UV lens filter from the Praktica fitted the new lens, although sadly it's acquired a scratch and will only be temporarily useful. This kind of lens works best for portraits and landscape. I shall enjoy exploring how to use it, having got used to variable focal length lenses on all the different digital cameras I've had over the past 15 years. I can't believe it's that long since I started to abandon 35mm film photography.

Thursday was broadband upgrade day - at some time unspecified, the line would drop, and then restart and it would all happen some time before midnight, as the TalkTalk upgrade letter said. It was a day when there were several work matters I needed to deal with and be on-line for, thankfully the old speed link was stable and uninterrupted until just after two. By then I'd done all I needed to do. It was much later in the day when I got around to unpacking the new router and installing it. 

Happily it started up quickly and was soon delivering a much smoother service in getting the household devices all on line without IP address clashes. I say smoother rather than faster, as I've formed the impression that Windows 10 computers still load programs with a degree of latency, more than one would expect for faster modern day computers. Once fully loaded the speed is obvious, but while they load an assortment of internet checks are being made. How I wonder are really necessary? I think it is presumed that people will leave computers permanently on with programs open, or else configured with a pre-load feature operating at boot time, to give you a quicker program start, but a longer wait from switch on to first use. 

It used to take four or five minutes to get a computer system up to speed. Windows 10 gets you to a login screen in under ten seconds, unless inconveniently updating at the time. This always seems to happen to me when I'm in a big hurry to get started. How impatient we've become! Loading programs and work files, brings the time from switch on to starting work down to a minute. In the early days of home computers, there were office suites of programs etched on ROM chips, were extensions of the ROM based operating system. You were ready to find the work file you wanted in seconds from switch on. The nearest matching device for speed today is a Chromebook with fast broadband, though less so when off-line. Such systems are limited in scope, but great if your needs are limited. A good smartphone or tablet always on even when charging, is also quick to get you working, though I'm not a virtual keyboard fan, and prefer a traditional computer to work on. Other devices get used mainly for media consumption.

Today is Kath's birthday. We exchanged messages and greetings in Spanish. They're staying in Toledo on their way home from Sta Pola. I've been enjoying the smooth and uninterrupted quality of broadband access. As at work, this takes a certain tension out of doing what you have to do, as well as reducing delays - except to the imagination, which works at a pace that's not time dependent. After lunch I went for a stroll to Llandaff Fields with prime lens equipped camera to see what I could see and record. I take pleasure in enjoying the bigger picture, landscapes and townscapes are what I look for. The prime lens challenges me to look at detail. Its range of focus gives you a sharp clear subject set in a de-focussed background, so you need to think carefully about what you're looking for in a picture as well as what you're looking at. 

I stopped and had a coffee in Cafe Castan. So glad it continues to flourish, ministering food and drink to park visitors. It's a real enhancement to the locality, and the staff are friendly. Then, late afternoon I went into the office for a couple of hours, and found myself with the task of completing the re-install of Windows 10 on the new Acer desktop PC. It crashed badly and had to be reverted to factory settings, Windows 8.1, then 148 updates had to be made before it could be accepted in the queue for upgrading to Windows 10. 

This dragged on for days, leaving Ashley un-confident about whether or when he could use it, so I finished the job and re-configured it, turning a short visit to talk business into a long one machine minding, so I got home late for supper, resentful that these processes don't always function as smoothly as intended. I never found out why this PC's crashed in the first place. It might have been something simple, sync or an email attachment failing to find an app to open it, locking up the system and leaving the machine useless until it drops into sleep mode. The on/off switch tell tale is so dim, you cannot tell whether it's off or in sleep. At that stage, a wrong move may have caused damage that confounded the various system repair and recovery options. There was no success in recovering settings data stored in OneDrive either, hence the need for a hugely time wasting factory reset.

After supper, we settled down together in front of the TV and watched 'The Last Quartet' a fine film about the middle aged members of a string quartet, thrown into crisis by the impending retirement of one of its members, based around the sublime music of Beethoven's last quartet. Wonderful.

No comments:

Post a Comment