rmc28: Face of toddler smiling (Nico2014-11)
I discovered Nico playing with the power switch to the house router, singing "switch it on, switch it off" to the tune of Let It Go.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I went to work today, leaving Tony and the children at home.   Late morning I got a call on my mobile from an incredibly distraught Charles, who had applied the latest update to his Angry Birds Go app, which had wiped out all the upgrades he'd earned over hours and hours of gameplay.

This is how you can tell I am a parent and a software developer: first I spent several minutes expressing sympathy and suggesting local sources of comfort; then I said that when he was ready we were going to write down exactly what happened and send it to Rovio.  And finally (after he'd rung off, much calmer), I looked up the support page and mailed it to both Charles and Tony.

My colleague (also a parent) was amused.


(I have only just sat down after coming home; the bug report has yet to be written)

rmc28: (glowy)
I have an email from 11 months ago where I wrote "[the pc] takes so long to boot up and down that I am *not* doing so every time I'm pulled away from it". That was when I was still running Windows. It would take 5-10 minutes from power-on to being able to do useful work. I think after that I did start getting it to hibernate rather than shut down, and that improved things, but it was still a great faff.

One of the things I noticed after switching to Ubuntu was the startup was much quicker. I timed it this morning and it takes 60s to get to the login screen, and then about 35s more after typing username and password to stop opening windows and restoring my previous state. It takes 30s to shut down.

All this means that I am much happier to shut down every night, and during the day if I know I'm going out, and as a result my computer has gone from being on pretty much all the time to about 70 hours a week or less, saving 98+ hours a week. I base that 70 hour estimate on a rough schedule of 2pm-10pm Mon-Fri, 8am-11pm Sat & Sun. It goes on later if Charles is demanding or we have other things to do, and of course once it is on, I am repeatedly and unpredictably drawn away from it at no notice.

I haven't got data for my new hardware yet, but using a cheap power meter from Maplin, I collected data on the old hardware before deciding to be rid of it. Among other things, the meter measured consumption in kWh and number of hours on. Following the timetable given above, the pc unit was drawing 130W and the monitor 80W. Being off for 100 hours a week saved 21kWh per week. Assume leave and weekends away mean I'm away from home 6 weeks of the year, that's 966kWh per year, assume a cost of ~10p per kWh (reasonable based on my bills during 2007) and that's nearly 100 pounds saved annually just by an improved start-up process.
rmc28: (grouchy)
So I'd been getting increasingly concerned about the performance of my PC, and Task Manager occasionally freezing, and then I discovered a highly-suspicious set of folders called "microsoft frontpage", and basically decided it was full reinstall time. So I backed up everything (the backup clone drive had the same suspicious folders, sigh). And then after much faff involving making sure to format *both* disks otherwise you get the suspicious folders back, I discover that my Win2K disk is an upgrade disk and it wants a 95, 98 or NT disk to continue.

At this point we go to meet people for Sunday lunch, and I decide that perhaps I should just do my long-planned jump to Ubuntu. Never mind a slow transition, I've got the data backed up, and we have an Ubuntu disk, let's just do it.

Actually it's been pretty painless. I've got most things working and found applications to open pretty much everything, except for MS Money. That's all my financial information for the last n years, plus my planning to make sure we can pay the mortgage every month. I backed it up, and I *can* reconstruct most of it from paper records and online banking, if I have to (I'd really rather not). I've tried installing MS Money under Wine and the machine starts off hopefully but then whirs for ages under "Setup is searching for installed components". I've poked at GNUCash which was very unfriendly, and KMyMoney, which claims to import MS Money files, but only if they are exported in a different file format to the backup.

So I can leave Wine longer and see if it's just me being too impatient, or I can poke GNUCash a bit more, or I can find someone with a working Windows PC, install MS Money on their machine, import my backup, and then export the data in the right bloody file format to import into KMyMoney.

In the meantime I have to be very, very careful with money.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

June 2017

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