Sunday, October 22, 2006

Where the underworld meets the elite

I seem to be the proud owner of my old house again, albeit with an 80% markup over the intervening 8 1/2 years. I've never ever lived in a house for longer than 4 1/2 years, so it will be nice to extend my acquaintance with it some day in the future. My (first) housewarming there coincided with my 30th birthday, and I had a very memorable open day with the first guests arriving at 10am, the last leaving about 4am, with a bizarre but ultimately successful integration of all the communities I bounce between. There's a note in my Wesley valete article (commenting on my four years at this Sydney University residential college) to the effect that I was never a member of any particular group, but was a happy fringe-dweller amongst many disparate cliques. No change there after 21 years.

Although a wee bit jetlagged, I'm starting to work on a mini-expedition to the southwest to research a pair of ancestors from Devon & Cornwall. They were born and married in the quarter-century prior to national records being maintained in 1837, so I'll be relying on local registry and church records.

Beta-testing programs for Windows Vista and Windows Media Player 11 have each come to an end, and frankly I'm not happy with the state of either of them, particularly with blocking issues apparent for many months not being resolved even in the final release candidates: in such cases you can't properly test a product. Users from English-speaking countries outside the USA will find problems from the very beginning since Vista does not respect language and keyboard settings in such cases. I noted that Internet Explorer v7, finally released this week, still attempts to switch users configured for Australian or UK settings to US language settings. That issue was bugged many times in months gone by.

I had a nasty run-in with some of Chris' fellow building tenants today, while trying to get one to move her car, which was parked across the small driveway, blocking everyone in. Her son, upset with my polite suggestion that she at least leave a note so that one doesn't have to ring a dozen doorbells to find the car-owner, threatened me with bad things, so I had to file a pre-emptive report with the local police.

Bondi & I spent the remainder of the afternoon haunting Barnes & Chiswick while the sun fought through bursts of cloud and showers.

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