Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Good news about the news

The announcement that Moira Stuart is to read the news on Chris Evans' new Radio 2 breakfast show is very pleasing. Quite apart from giving the obvious ageist nonsense of her ousting from the breakfast prog on BBC1 a well-aimed kick in the balls, having met Ms Stuart on a couple of occasions, I can testify that she's fun, twinkly and mischievous. Here's hoping that side of her comes out fully with Evans.

Transcription ahoy

As part of my new year work ethic, I'm getting stuck into my transcription backlog for the Dawson book. During my chat with Con and Dec Cluskey of the Bachelors, Con remembered the medical advice given to Tony Mercer of Black and White Minstrel Show fame:

'He was told not to drink. He said “I do like a drink” and the doctor said “Well just have a glass of wine”. So, he started drinking pints of wine.'

Which is a funny story until you remember that Mercer died in 1973 at the age of just 51. Heavy drinking was the norm at one time, and it continues to astonish me how much actually got done considering how pissed everybody must have been. One comedy writer told me that seven rounds of drinks in a standard lunch hour was nothing unusual, and that they went back to work afterwards, and produced good stuff. Now he says he can't concentrate in the afternoon if he has a glass of wine at lunch time. I know what he means. I once drank a lot more than I do now (well, I suspect that I spent 1998 to 2002 at least slightly drunk, with all the book launches I felt compelled to attend), and I enjoy what I do drink far more.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Credit crunch computing part 1

Over the last few weeks, my XP-equipped desktop machine (the core elements of which I've had for nearly 5 years, although the rule of Will Hay's mortarboard applies) has been freezing and slowing. As I've been doing much the same, I've been inclined to forgive it. However, in the last few days, it was getting so painful that I was considering a clean reinstall of XP, never something to be undertaken lightly, even with my rigorous backup procedure in place. It didn't occur to me until yesterday that the heatsink might be clogged up with dust. After all, I last flushed it out a few months ago at most. When the brainwave landed on my bonce, I checked the CPU temperature and, sure as eggs is eggs, it was nudging 60 deg C, which while not meltdown is far from ideal. A quick go over with the compressed air and we're back down to 30 deg C when idle, and 40 deg C when pushing the system very hard indeed. How many people get to a similar stage and think "Computer's fucked. I need a new one?".