Saturday, 7 January 2017

Long walk between shops

Another late and lazy Saturday morning, time to complete downloading and then uploading to our Golden Wedding Anniversary web album the series of photos emailed to me by Richard Johnson over the past few late nights. He's a late bird, as I am, and we talk about computers and Linux in our email exchanges, one of the few regular users I know. 

Just after an early lunch, Clare was collected by taxi,  for an afternoon at the University School of Optometry, where she had agreed to let her eye condition be examined by different post graduate students, as part of their training. With a free afternoon, and a couple of small shopping errands, one in Canton and one in Gabalfa, I went out on a long walk connecting the two. First, down Llandaff Road to the Apothecary Shop, then along Cowbridge Road East, over the Taff River bridge and into the Castle grounds. The weather was mild and the rain stayed away, but there was a slight mist in the air, letting you know it was winter. Bute Park was busy with people walking dogs or shepherding children, taking advantage of a break in the wet weather. We're so fortunate to have this resource, right at the heart of the city. 

I walked out at the far end of Bute Park, and along the trail that leads to the retail zone, that is home to Staples, my second port of call, to buy another flash drive so I can experiment with doing a system back up, something I've not done so far with Windows 10 on any of my machines. These no longer seem to come with a separate partition for system backup/restore files. It stands to reason that a drive failure could make it impossible to perform a system restoration from a partition on the same hard disk. Yet hard drives may well outlast the usefulness of a computer in an ordinary domestic context, and maybe most offices too. Pre-installing operating system software and not setting up a recovery partition saves manufacturing costs, making for cheaper mass market pricing. 

Users get nagged about making their own system backup these days, but it's not easy. Even when using a separate hard drive, this process has a reputation for failing, and requires a certain measure of experience and confidence. I suspect many people don't bother, if not forget to, like me. I have not been motivated by anything other and wanting to learn how to do so. Any Windows operating system which fails on a machine of mine will simply get replaced by Linux, sooner or later. Anyway, I got a 32GB flash drive for just £6.99, the January sales are on with a vengeance now, shelves to be cleared to make way for new stock, with threatened price increases due to the weaker pound. Pity there's no longer anything I need.

Clare called to say she was home, just as I got to Staples, so I got back as quickly as I could, my poor knee performing better than yesterday. When I arrived, Google Fit told me that I'd done 7.2km and exceeded (for the first time) the 10,000 steps daily target, and by 10%, in a hundred minutes walk. I was pleased with that, but it's not something I'll have enough time to repeat every day. I was pretty tired and sore footed, too tired to go out to Fr Roy's 'at home' as intended this evening. I had to settle for taking it easy, preparing a sermon, investigating backup image making. The two good crime series on telly were both repeats of episodes seen a couple of times already. It gets easier and easier to spend an entire evening without feeling compelled to switch it on.

What I did discover about Google Fit, when later in the evening I looked at the day's data on first the phone and then the tablet was that only the walking time elapsed was correct and the same on both devices. The distance walked, on the phone was half what it had shown when I'd stopped walking earlier, and on the tablet, a tenth of the amount. Both devices had been in the same location all the evening, and only the tablet moved, very occasionally. Very odd behaviour indeed. I wonder why? Perhaps the GPS tracking gets muddled inside a house where it may be masked. Or not quite as smart an app as it seems?

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