Thursday, 30 March 2017

Farewell Dell XPS

Unusually this morning, I mistimed my departure and needed to drive down to St John's to celebrate the Eucharist in order to avoid being late. It's something I don't like doing and try to avoid, as I try to walk as much as I can around the parish to balance the times I need to drive across town to St German's, currently four times a week. There were a dozen people in the congregation, wondering what's happening about the episcopal election, worried about brexit. 

Afterwards I drew money from the bank and did a small amount of shopping before returning home for lunch. There was a call from the Touro Tec computer shop about the broken Dell which I took in there for assessment a couple of months ago, so when I'd eaten, I walked there get the report. As I suspected it would need a new motherboard, making it a BER device, as we'd say in RadioNet-speak. This is - beyond economical repair'. I asked the guy in charge if he could recycle or make use of the machine for spares and just let me have the 500mb hard drive to re-purpose myself. I already had a plan in mind if it was in good working order.

It was pleasing to drive to St German's in daylight for Stations of the Cross at seven. There were just half a dozen of us, but I feel it's worthwhile doing with other people. rather than as a personal devotion at home or in church. I wonder if we pay enough attention to telling, retelling and reflecting on the passion story these days. In my youth I was influenced by Franciscan spirituality and devotion to Christ crucified. I still find that things I learned then have value today, and can speak with freshness, even if i haven't used them often during the long years preoccupied with creative liturgical innovation in telling the story of faith. I have changed, and how I interpret the tradition has changed in the light of experience. 

When I got home, I booted up the Acer Aspire portable given to me by Kath from someone at her gym last year. I had Linux Mint running on it, but not satisfactorily, as it kept failing to boot to the graphic desktop, through what seemed to be a read error which persisted regardless of which desktop interface I used. I started it up using the Linux Mint 18.1 live DVD I acquired last week, and using a special USB dock, was able to get the old Dell hard drive running and proving its health, on this machine. So, I wiped and reformatted the spare hard drive and used it to replace the existing dodgy one. Installing Linux Mint 18.1 on it worked after one false start, and has restored to me a stable functional Linux portable machine for occasional use. 

Although this has a pre-UEFI BIOS Core i3 processor which can run a 64 bit version of Linux, with due regard for its age (six years), I installed the 32 bit version. Perhaps I should have done that originally, as it runs quicker and so far error free than it did the first time around. All in all a satisfactory experience, making up for losing the Dell XPS, a real classic top of range machine nine years ago.

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