347 days of isolation . . .

Today is the 25th of February. The Tesco van has just been, and as an indication of how good they have become, our booked slot was from 12.00 to 1.00 pm. They put a message on their website to say they were due to arrive between 12.35 pm and 1.00 pm, and that is what happened. We have now been isolating since 16th March of last year a total of 347 days, so it will not be long now before we will have spent a whole year of doing nothing very much. We have got through it pretty well so far, but we have both said that we feel the effects of age more now, so for us it has been a precious time – we haven’t got a lot left – so this year will have been largely wasted.

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Kubuntu disappointment . . .

I enjoyed using Kubuntu and getting to know it, but at somempoint it acquired some new cups drivers for printers and my Canon Pixma MG 5750 would not work any more. I tried in various ways to get rid of the new driver, but my geekiness was not up to it, so I have reverted to Linux Mint 20 and so far all is well.

You can’t win ’em all.

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Professor Chris Grey’s blog – and mine . . .

Screenshot of Professor Chris Grey’s blog header.

I find Professor Chris Grey’s blog invaluable. He sorts out the disjointed news reports and makes it all into a coherent message. We need more like him. Here is a link to my blog about this Friday’s post . . .

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Kubuntu again . . .

Having posted about trying out Kubuntu, and having tried it once or twice using the trial facility I decided to “go for it” and so this machine – a Lenovo B50-80 laptop now has Kubuntu fully installed, by which I mean it occupies the whole disc, and is not a dual boot set up. I am very pleased with it. It has a clean interface in pleasant colours and all the programmes a user like me is ever going to need. Computeractive magazine urged its readers to try and to use the Brave Browser and that runs nicely on here. In place of IrfanView on Windows there is Gwenview, Thunderbird provides a good clear email client, but for those who want to try native software there is Kmail, and for those who like a bit more of a Personal Information Manager there is the Evolution suite. When I am doing Family History and want a screen shot of a register’s page, there is the built in Spectacle software. So at the moment, although I still take Computeractive, all its advice aimed at Windows users (of which I have been one for many years) becomes a bit redundant and its main use now lies in its new equipment reviews and general computer tips.

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And Kubuntu to you too . . .

Just by way of a laugh – and a test for the writer – this blog is being written using Kubuntu the KDE Distro from Ubuntu. I downloaded the *iso file and burned it to disc but although the disc loaded up satisfactorily it would not proceed to the next stage which is to give you the choice between “Try” and “Install”. I then discovered that Linux Mint comes with a built in USB writer, so I wrote the Kubuntu *iso image to the USB (all new stuff to me), rebooted from the USB and here we are successfully it seems, running Kubuntu as a trial.

I do not think I shall install it just yet – although it looks very good – because when I have tried it in the past it has always defeated me at various points. But I will use the USB stick to try it out from time to time and familiarize myself with it, and with its possibilities.

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Fake news – it must have been photoshopped . . .

Me ?

Trump ?

Never met the man !

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Covid 19 Vaccinations . . .

A strange wet, foggy day in which to be going out. We turned up at the Hall, were met at the door and instructed to sanitise our hands and then ushered in to the hall proper which was set out in screened cubicles – I didn’t count, but probably about half a dozen. The Nurse to whom we were assigned was the same one that did our flu vaccinations a month or two back. She nattered away, bless her, but I couldn’t hear a word she said, and then remembered my “Live Transcribe” app on my mobile phone. I fired it up and put it in front of her and it worked a treat. The only slightly comic bit was that it occasionally put up a pink box with “Music” in it, and at times her conversation had the word “violin” inserted.

The vaccination it self was absolutely unnoticeable, and the Nurse opined that it might be most of the 12 weeks allowed before we got our second ones. That takes us up to the 13th April next. This dose is reckoned to be protective in two to three weeks time from now. So we continue to isolate as before, and will continue to do so util we have had dose No.2 and that has had time to take effect – which could mean early in the month of May. That would be a year and two months since we self isolated.

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Tesco triumphant . . .

A year ago were discussing fitfully whether we should try having groceries from Tesco via their home delivery service. We could both see that it would avoid the business of having a trolley load of stuff to unload and reload at the check-out, then to unload and put away once we got home. But somehow, in typical procrastinators’ fashion we just never quite got around to it.

Then came the coronavirus, and self isolation, and suddenly home delivery was no longer a labour saving luxury, but the lifeline by which we might live. There were initial difficulties because Tesco themselves were overwhelmed by demand, but also because we were novices to the web site, which like many web sites, does the job splendidly once you have learnt your way around it, but has pitfalls for the untutored. Fortunately for us, our son and his partner, miles away in Lincolnshire, were able to put us right where we were going wrong, and also to point us towards facilities that we did not know existed.

This morning, a few minutes ago, I booked our next delivery for the 11th of February on a chart of that week’s dates which was empty. This is a measure of the way in which Tesco reacted to the situation (nearly a year ago now) because back then we were sitting up till midnight waiting for Tesco to put up the next new day, and then jumping in to book a time and date wherever we could.

It is fashionable these days to criticise supermarkets for their alleged crimes against humanity, but few people seem to acknowledge that they are really the nation’s food suppliers. They feed us. There are of course those famous High Street shops, so beloved of journalists, but quite incapable of feeding a whole Nation, and Farm Shops, which also do a good job but whose total contribution to overall food supply is small. The other piece of this jigsaw, never mentioned, are seafarers. It is as though, living on an island we avoid anything which reminds us of that fact. At the moment lorry drivers and fishermen are getting lots of coverage, but shipping is never mentioned unless it is a supertanker going aground and leaking oil. The men and women who crew these things, and are often very badly treated by their employers might as well not exist.

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Mint Sauce . . .

Linux Mint has recently been updated to version 20.1. Not having used this laptop for a week or two I fired up the Update Manager and sorted out the existing set up. This installed the new version of Update Manager, and then announced that a new version of Linux Mint was available – something which I already knew from updates on the Linux Mint Blog. The Update Manager contained the necessary link to install the update which happened with no trouble at all. And once installed a set of up to date updates appeared and got done. The whole process was speedy and simple.

An hour or so before this I had been through a similar process on a Windows 10 laptop. It was not difficult, but tedious and slow in the usual Windows way. This laptop is now a better machine than the Windows one from the users point of view, and if the makers of “Family Historian” were to produce a Linux version of their programme my life would be all bliss. (A Linux version of Irfan View would be good too please.)

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Here we go again . . .

New day, new blog . . .

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