Sunday, 31 January 2016
Friday, 29 January 2016
As Julie's worked almost exclusively on issuing invoices in the past three weeks, all I had to do was copy the missing files to a flash drive, and upload them to OneDrive form another machine, then Julie could continue working uninterrupted. For me, it gave an impressive reminder of how productive she's been recently. I completed the missing template task after Julie had finished work for the day and didn't get home until well after eight.
Thank goodness we haven't given up using a network drive and flash drive to back up all that we also keep into the Cloud. Frankly, I wonder if this new way of working is ever going to be quite as good as office back up hardware system under our exclusive control. Mobile computing is great for anyone who works at different locations. In our outfit, I'm the only one that does. Before Windows 10 and OneDrive file system sync by default, we kept files in the Cloud, accessed them from a browser, and/or emailed documents being worked on, admittedly struggling some times to maintain version control. Moving from there to the new status quo seems not a big step, but three sync breakdowns in six months without an obvious reason, using reliable hardware and internet services is ominous.
Trouble shooting to find out exactly how the sync mechanism aborts could take a long time, and might not be possible in the limited hours I have available to spend in the office from Monday to Wednesday, to do the job while she's not at work. Julie's machine's been in use two years and four months. It was solidly reliable syncing to OneDrive under Windows 7, but now no longer. It's the one machine which does need to be completely reliably up to date in every respect.
It's time to get a new PC and set it up, make sure it syncs correctly, before next Thursday so as not to interrupt Julie's workflow. Then, if syncing proves unreliable on an all-new machine, we simply revert to the way we used to do things, restrict our file system to office hardware, and back up to the Cloud just once a week. And maybe ditch OneDrive for Google Drive storage. It's not slick and perfectly safe, but better controllable and safe than sorry.
Our company accountant works on what seems to me like an insanely fast depreciation rate for office electronic equipment, and regularly expects us to include a sum for replacements in our annual budget. So far I've avoided replacing equipment unless its really dead. Older kit has not necessarily proved to be much slower in action for normal office tasks, thanks to our increased use of on-line resources and a faster office internet connection. As with one's car, reliability is the most decisive criterion, not glitz or speed.
Thursday, 28 January 2016
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Sunday, 24 January 2016
Ministry shortages are echoed also across the diocese in Europe. The propagation of new congregations is still happening so the need for ministry grows. It can draw upon the resources and experience of people interested in a different sort of ministry in and around the time of retirement, but it's that much harder to recruit younger clergy with spouses and families that can't re-locate so easily. So, the waiting time to appoint chaplains gets longer.
Saturday, 23 January 2016
Friday, 22 January 2016
Thursday, 21 January 2016
Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Monday, 18 January 2016
Sunday, 17 January 2016
After Mass, there was an infant baptism to perform, before having a brief chat with Hamid about language learning smartphone apps, and then heading home for a late lunch. Enquiries about finding him liturgical service books in Urdu are not going well at the moment. An Urdu translation of the Roman Missal has been made by a Roman Catholic Bishop, post Vatican II. Obtaining one will be the challenge.
The afternoon was cold and wet, with snow in the Brecon Beacons. Nothing to tempt us to go out for a walk. Responses to the email notification we sent out giving the date of our Golden Wedding anniversary celebration have started to arrive, and quite separately, I received an email from Darren in Singapore.
We met when we were both working in Geneva, and have kept in touch over the years since then. mainly by exchanging Christmas newsletters. His letters are always interesting to read, as he packs a lot more into his life than just being a busy University law lecturer. He admits to following this blog too, and said his generation of Twitter and Instagram users is less inclined to write regular blog posts at length. I imagine some must save up all their words for writing novels. There seem to be quite a steady stream newly published authors today.
I haven't yet publicised my photo presence on Instagram, but over this weekend have spent some time browsing my collection of images and uploading ones that catch my eye. It's most enjoyable if there's nothing else I need or want to do, and there's nothing entertaining on telly.
Saturday, 16 January 2016
Friday, 15 January 2016
Thursday, 14 January 2016
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Hamid's stray baptism certificate turned up, so I countersigned it and sent a photo of it to his lawyer, before handing it over to him, ready for his tribunal appearance tomorrow. I'm very glad to have the car back from repair, to drive me to church for a nine o'clock rendezvous with him and Peter tomorrow, thus avoiding an even earlier start to get across town in good time, than today.
As I had to collect the car, I forgot that I had another eye test appointment after Mass. I couldn't have reached the clinic in time without a car anyway, and that hand't crossed my mind when I booked it in. Later in the day the eye clinic texted me to flag this up, and I was able to rearrange for a fortnight's time. What a nuisance for them. Yet, the receptionist was most gracious about my lapse.
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Monday, 11 January 2016
Sunday, 10 January 2016
During the Peace, I relieved him of his baptism candle and certificate, given during the ceremony, to allow him to circulate and greet one another. I handed it to someone else, and later I couldn't find it. Hopefully it will turn up sooner rather than later, as I need to countersign the certificate to establish its status for the benefit of his Tribunal hearing, this coming Thursday. Many a slip 'twixt cup and lip, as the saying goes.
The congregation sat down to an excellent three course lunch in the church hall after the service. There were more than expected, but plenty of food to go round, thanks to the generous imaginations of the cooking team. Hamid, Amjad and his family, also Jim Stewart his wife and toddler son sat down to lunch together and chatted. Jim is Wales Evangelical Alliance Welsh Assembly liaision officer. He started with EA when I was still at St John's, and has now been in post ten years. He and Amjad have recently got to know each other, as both work on advocacy relating to the freedom of people to convert to another faith. It's a subject fraught with social and political difficulties throughout the world.
After the meal, I drove over to Bristol to deliver Amanda's new computer kit, and set up for the first time a wireless printer. Not difficult once you know how, but something of a puzzle when you have to read small print on a sheet that's set out in six languages. The printer is an entry level Epson XP-235. Google Chrome's cloud print facility is something I'll have to get used to. I have tried setting up a wired network computer to work with a Chromebook via wi-fi, with unsatisfactory results, but that was a couple of years ago. Amanda's Chromebook and printer seemed to talk to each other as intended. If it goes on strike, I don't fancy troubleshooting.
As I was approaching Southmead, the car indicated that it was overheating again. I pulled into a garage and steam was issuing from the overflow tank. I put three litres in and drove carefully to Amanda's, then added another litre or so later when it had cooled. I returned home gingerly, to say the least, stopping four times because the overheat warning light kept flashing. The engine, wasn't overheating however, but I suspected the cooling system was far from full. I stopped at a garage and bought some radiator sealant, but the coolant level hadn't dropped enough to add any. The last leg, from Newport I did on the old A48, as a precaution, though heaven knows why, apart from it being safer to stop in an emergency as there are few late evening buses travelling this road late on a Sunday evening. I made it home OK. Tomorrow the car goes to N G Motors for repair.
Saturday, 9 January 2016
Friday, 8 January 2016
It's been one of those phone nightmare weeks. A few days ago Ashley took charge of his new Samsung Galaxy 6. Its built-in SIM tray came out easily enough, but as he was inserting it with the nano SIM card aboard the SIM slipped from the tray (it didn't 'click' in) fell into the destined slot, and couldn't be straightforwardly extracted. It took him two hours to retrieve it, and insert it properly before he could carry on configuring it for use.
I wonder how often this may happen to others? New SIMs of nano size specification are manufactured attached to a tray mounting that allows them to be mounted in an older phone with a larger housing, as well a a new one. They can be 'popped' out of the larger housing, but they can be 'popped' back in as well. Can we expect a common fixation standard for this from all manufacturers eventually?
When I arrived home Owain, had just got in from Bristol, and we enjoyed a couple of hours catch up with him, after his Berlin trip. He showed me the photos he'd taken and posted on his Instagram account. One was of the river Spree, covered with sheet ice. The temperature was minus ten while he was there. This prompted me to sign up for an Instagram account of my own.
I only use my phone for taking pictures when I forget to slip a camera into my pocket when leaving home. As Instagram can display a caption with each image and links easily with Facebook, it occurred to me that I could indulge in a little photo blogging when I'm out and about. I often see things which I'd like to share a comment about, but don't make the effort to take and process a picture. So, let's see if it is something I can make use of in relation to other tales I tell on-line.
Thursday, 7 January 2016
Wednesday, 6 January 2016
Tuesday, 5 January 2016
Monday, 4 January 2016
Today, the new Business Crime Reduction manager, Ian Tumelty started with with Cardiff Business Safe. I met him in the office at ten as arranged. Hopes were dashed of arriving earlier to make sure things were in order, as I narrowly missed two buses at different stops. I briefed him on the CBS story so far, and gave him the required password access to the office systems to get him started.
Then Ashley arrived and shortly after chairman Gerry. The conversation was a good way to round off his first morning. In the afternoon I prepared and sent out the invitations and documents for the next BCRP meeting, at which Ian will be introduced to the Board and to Police and Council invited representatives. It's taken six years to get this far and get it right. A hard slog, but worth it in the end.
I left for home at four thirty and called in John Lewis' store, where I caught sight of Clare browsing the cushion department, when we'd both completed our errands, we had tea and a scone together. I'd forgotten about lunch. We visited a few shops together in the Grand Arcade. Clare bought a small blue plastic bucket to occupy the space under the kitchen sink, which I carried home. It reminded me of the one kids have on the beach, although it was twice their size. The bus driver also thought so, as he commented on it as we were getting our tickets "All you need now is the spade to go off to the beach." he said.
Nothing worth watching on telly to I spent an hour trying to clear space in Ashley's BT Office 365 email account, which keeps announcing that it's full. Between us we've spent hours deleting old messages to no good effect. The titles vanish, but the space is not reclaimed. Ten email addresses are assigned for a 250mb account. Only two are active, one of which is empty. No emails have been received since 31st December last, and we know some copies to his account were sent. A test email sent from another account was not received. It's possible to log in but few webmail administrative functions work. It's a complete disaster, and not for the first time has complaining to BT about this yielded any results. And to think we're paying for this non-service!
Sunday, 3 January 2016
Friday, 1 January 2016
The only thing of note today was finding that the Windows 10 'Settings' menu allows one to switch off aspects of synchronisation, including hardware, allowing each device using the same OneDrive account to retain a separate configuration. It's not obvious, and the reason hardware sync is 'on' by default is incomprehensible. Not that many organisations will simultaneously bulk purchase all new machines, so that all are in lock-step with each other. Hardware diversity is more likley and even if diverse languages and keyboard use is a tiny minority in some cultures it is far from being universally the case. Not just in Switzerland, with four national languages plus English, but also India, with Hindi and English at a national level and twenty two other official languages at a regional state level, argue against monochrome, monolingual presumption.