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Sunday
Jul272014

Sansa the itty-bitty-kitty

We have a new cat (kitten) in the house. My son’s girlfriend was keen to get a kitten and with 14 cat-years on his clock our existing house cat, Jazz, was getting close to the end of his run. So the girlfriend started putting the wheels in action to get a kitten.

As things ended up working out Jazz went off to cat heaven the day before the kitten was to be picked up.

She has called the kitten Sansa.

Following are a couple of snaps of Sansa who is a lilac Burmese. Personally I am not really seeing the lilac part of this. She is more like dirty cream. But anyway . . .

Sansa-270714-01-Small

Sansa-27072014-3-Small

Sansa is little more than a handful although in these pictures it is hard to judge her size.

These shots were taken using existing light which was provided by a skylight on an overcast day. The shots were taken using my Pentax K-3 with the sensor at ISO 800.

BarryMark

Sunday
Jul272014

Share Market 6,000 by the end of the year … I don’t think so

Earlier in the year the ‘experts’ were predicting that the Australian stock market All Ordinaries index would make it to 6,000 by the end of the year, and should then achieve 6,600 by the end of 2015. This would have seen it back up around where it was before the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/08. Back then, at the time, this even seemed possible.

But with the iron ore price in the doldrums, the dollar remaining high despite all efforts to try and get it under 90 cents, more wars going on than you can count on a hand, and Australian’s generally unhealthy budget position, the All Ordinaries is only just managing to stay above 5,500.

Now we have ‘experts’ warning of a possible 20 percent crash before Xmas. If that happened it would take the Australian market back to under 4,500.

Some ‘experts’ are even going for a 50 percent correction.

ShareMarketFall

Image links to full article in ‘Money News’.

Based on this it would seem very unlikely that the market is going to get to the expected 6,000 mark by the end of the year—but you never know. The price of iron ore might zoom back up.

BarryMark

Saturday
Jul262014

Trying out Windows 8.1

It’s about four months since I last posted. I hope I still remember the password to my SquareSpace site.

Today I decided to install and try out Windows 8.1. I had previously tried out Windows 8 (8.0) and I promptly uninstalled it from my notebook. Hated it. Stuck with Windows 7.

So today after five hours of updates and installing on my i7 A11 Toshiba notebook I finally have Windows 8.1 up and running.

It is a lot better than Windows 8. I feel that although it still needs some final polishing Windows 8.1 is now something I could use on a non-touch screen notebook with a mouse—which is something I would not have said about Windows 8.0.

One of the improvements is that now you have a close control with Metro or RT applications for people who work with a mouse.

Windows 8 Close

It is also seems smoother and I like the new Start Bar which is available from both modes (RT mode and Desktop mode).

Now to see if I can remember my SquareSpace password.

BarryMark

Saturday
Mar292014

Windows 8.1 Update 1

When Windows 8 initially came out—which was back in August 2012—I gave it a try. I installed Windows 8 on my Toshiba A11 Intel i7 notebook. I even bought three license packs for Windows 8, assuming at the time that I would be upgrading all my computers to Windows 8.

But like about 90 percent of everyone you talk to, I didn’t like it. Didn’t like that it booted into the new ‘Metro’ or Modern (I think they are calling it now) tiled interface. Didn’t like that using the mouse interface sucked big time. Didn’t like that you could not launch applications from the what was now called the ‘Desktop’ view. Didn’t like where Microsoft had hidden all the controls and settings that I needed to use.

After about three months I re-installed Windows 7 on the A11. Which is pity, because behind the scenes there is a lot of great new technology in Windows 8. But because of the way Microsoft have forced people to use it nobody is really going to like it on their ‘main’ computers. It might be okay on a tablet, but when it comes to Windows users that is by far the minority of users.

My main workhorse computer on my desk is running 32-bit Windows 7. I have never got around to making the move to 64-bit Windows 7 on that machine. I assumed at the time I would be moving it over to 64-bit Windows 8, but after I experienced Windows 8 on the Toshiba that never happened.

Well since Windows 8 first came out there has been a ‘dot’ release update taking it to 8.1. And now, in the next few weeks Microsoft will be releasing what the press is calling Windows 8.1 Update 1; but we are not sure what Microsoft will call it when they make it available.

By most reports Update 1 makes a number of badly required changes so that Windows 8 does not rely so much on a touch interface. If you boot Windows 8.1 Update 1 on a computer that does not have a touch screen then it boots to the ‘Desktop’ and not the Modern interface.

Maybe with Update 1, which should be released sometime in mid- to late- April, I will give Windows 8 a second chance on the A11.

BarryMark

Sunday
Mar162014

Twin Peaks article in the Big Issue

BigIssueTwinPeaks_01This is actually quite old but as it relates to Twin Peaks I decided to post it anyway.

This is a magazine published in Australia called ‘The Big Issue” and, as far as I know, is only available in Australia.. Sales of the Big Issue raise money to financially help women who have lost their husbands or find themselves in financial difficulty for other reasons.

From what I can find out on the Web the money raised goes to help employ homeless women. Something like half of the price of the Big Issue goes to this cause.

At my workplace they purchase a ‘block’ of these magazines and then distribute them throughout the workplace for people to read.

In issue no. 442 back in September 2013 there was s two page spread relating to Twin Peaks.

Following are the two pages from The Big Issue. To see larger 1200y versions of these pages stored in the Abalook SmugMug folder click on the images below.

BigIssueTwinPeaks_02

BigIssueTwinPeaks_03

I am hoping that the publishers of The Big Issue are not unhappy with my scanning and posting of these pages. I appeal to them as a huge Twin Peaks fan not to take any copyright action. Should they be unhappy with this then please leave me a comment and I will immediately remove these pages from this post and also the copies in SmugMug to which they link.

BarryMark