The Outdoor Retailer Show is yielding all kinds of goodies. Here is my haul from today - not easy to fit Bridgedale socks, a UV monitor, an underwater pen, a head torch and a Tilley hat into one photo, especially when one hand is occupied with holding the camera, but here is my best shot. There should have been some Larabars in there as well but I've eaten them all.
The weekend yielded some intangible (and inedible) goodies as well - meetings with Eric Larsen and Lonnie Dupre, Will Steger, and Ben Saunders - all polar trekkers.
My MacBook may have gone off to hospital in Memphis for 10 days, but nothing gets in the way of the Pacific sponsorship campaign. There is a marvellously handy technique called 'cloning' or 'ghosting' a computer, that creates a phantom version of my MacBook on an external hard drive. So I can sit here in the Palo Alto Apple Store, using one of their MacBook Pro machines hooked up to my external hard drive, and it's exactly as if I'm using my own laptop.
Not just my data, but also my applications, bookmarks, passwords, settings - absolutely everything is replicated. I used Carbon Copy Cloner, a free application, to create my ghost. It's so lifelike, it's almost spooky....
Here's another Google Video Giggle.
There are many useful, productive, interesting things I was going to do today. I was going to send out sponsorship letters, arrange my Oct-Dec itinerary, edit my Atlantic videos into a 3-minute promo. How many of these things did I get done? Precisely none, nada, diddly-squat. Instead, I spent my entire day to-ing and fro-ing from the Apple Store in Palo Alto, trying to get some customer satisfaction and failing.
I haven't slept properly for two nights - nightmares about melting MacBooks keep waking me up. I feel depressed, stressed and anxious. A tight knot of tension has lodged in my chest. It seems that my ailing laptop has to go to hospital in Memphis, a journey that will take up to 7 working days and could potentially return my laptop to factory settings - no data, no post-purchase software installations. All my software disks, of course, are in England.
I hate to bad-mouth Apple because I am a huge fan of their products. So I won't. But how can it be right that here I am, overseas, trying to run a business, with only one computer at my disposal, and there is nothing that can be done to speed up the process or lend me a replacement while mine is in for repair?
On the Atlantic I learned to my anger and frustration through yell therapy, hollering and screaming at the waves until the veins stood out on my temples. It made me feel a lot better. But I suspect that this would be unseemly behaviour in a technology store in downtown Palo Alto.
On other Atlantic days I started to learn to be philosophical and to accept that **it happens. I started to adopt a serene indifference to high winds or no winds, communications or no communications, progress or no progress.
I am trying to maintain that equanimity now, but failing dismally.
Having said that, I do now feel a lot better for having shared. Thanks for listening.
As laughter is the best medicine, here's a video that made me giggle - watch the teeth, and enjoy!
I love my new Google homepage. I feel like the pilot of an aircraft with a glorious dashboard of data laid out in front of me, but instead of speedometers, odometers, this that and the other-ometers, I've got quotes of the day, technology updates, headlines, moonphases and weather. I've got an all-dancing, all-singing life-ometer. Here's how you can create your own customized overview of the world....
1. Choose Google as your homepage in your browser, if it isn't already. How you do this will vary depending on what operating system and browser you use. I use a Mac and Firefox, and I go into Firefox/Preferences and set my home page there to http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en
2. From the Google home page, click on the link top right that takes you to 'Personalized Home'.
3. Then click on the link top left to 'Add Content'. You'll be presented with a dazzling array of possibilities. You can filter them according to the categories on the left if you want, or just wander at will through the wonderful world of the internet, clicking on the ones that catch your eye. You can easily remove them later.
4. My laptop died while I was doing this exercise, and I swore loudly, thinking that I'd lost all my selections, but luckily Google updates your home page as you make your choices, so system crashes are not a problem. (Well, obviously they ARE, but not for the purposes of setting up your homepage.)
5. Once you've finished your selection, you can remove any items you decide you don't want simply by clicking on the cross on the top right of each item. And you can drag and drop them so you have your favourites at the top, with less frequently used ones below.
These are the ones I chose:
How to of the Day
Wired News: Gadgets and Gizmos
Quotes of the Day
Quotes 4 All: HIGHLY recommended
Quote of the Moment
Date and Time
Current Moon Phase
This Day in History
My laptop has to go back to Mac this week. The interface from the hi-lo-triple-conflabdabricator to the thingummywingummywotsit is overheating, so it keeps shutting down without a moment's warning. It's going to be a nightmare for me - so much to do, and without my third arm. I should be able to carry on blogging using the computer up at the main house, but it's all desperately inconvenient. How will I manage without my dashboard to give me an inspiring quote or tell me what phase of the moon we're in?