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It was the first of times - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
It was the first of times
Yes, hello, I have been hiding under a rock for a while. In lieu of tedious diaryism, here are some things I have done for the first time in the last couple of weeks:

Installed Ubuntu. What feels like several hundred times, though I've actually only done two installs, and the rest has been booting live CDs/DVDs, and CD images in virtual machines, testing boot times. ... I have now been in the new job for two and a half weeks, and I've got so little done, and my colleagues are all cool and interesting and frighteningly clever, and I sometimes feel like they must have hired me out of pity.

Walked to the top of Boar's Hill to see the dreaming spires. Okay, we only walked from Wootton, but still. And you can't see the spires unless you're nine feet tall and have a telephoto lens the length of a telegraph pole. I am five foot one and a bit and have a point-and-click Canon Ixus, and got a photo of my feet, though that was deliberate. There is a thing you can stand on, which you're not meant to stand on. I will post photos. ("The photos are in the next post" is the LJ equivalent of "The cheque's in the post".) We saw llamas mating on the way back down the hill. I won't post photos of that, don't worry.

Tried to fix my grandad's hair... in Second Life. He's inspired by the whole idea, and currently determined to build a virtual Switzerland, and to recreate the voyage of the Titanic. We had trouble getting the "dignified" look he wanted for his hair. He turned 80 last year.

Bought a computer on eBay. It doesn't have a hard drive. I may have to buy another one. Or a hard drive. Or both. I'm hedging my bets.

Executive summary in pictures: [Ubuntu | Standing on maps | Scary llama ]

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nou From: nou Date: June 6th, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Two monitors!

I think I've been to the top of Boar's Hill, but I'm not sure. Someone'd taken the street sign away.

(Have I been in London too long?)
j4 From: j4 Date: June 7th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Two monitors == pain. At several points during the last week I would have happily given the second monitor to any of the people who went "oooh, two monitors", in return for a working x config. It's more or less working now, but still stops talking to the monitor if I hibernate/suspend. Bah.

As for Boar's Hill... there's a viewing platform at the top, and on the platform there's a stone thing with a flat circular map on top. It was surprisingly hard to find (you'd think the top of a hill would be pretty easy) once we'd got nearly to the top. That's how we found the bus shelter in the wood (see the rest of the photos on flickr).

You have definitely been in London too long. Visit Oxford. :-)
From: fluffymormegil Date: June 7th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Getting so little done in the first two and a half weeks of a job hardly feels surprising to me.
j4 From: j4 Date: June 7th, 2007 08:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Mm. It's hard to know objectively how useless I really am when everybody else here has written books on stuff, and given courses on stuff, and in some cases invented stuff. I mean, even if I was brilliant I suspect I'd feel like an underachiever here, and I'm a very very long way from brilliant.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: June 7th, 2007 09:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Left-handed compliments, intentionally so

Oxford never hires *anyone* out of pity. It is far too heartless to do anything remotely so charitable.

Nor do they work on the principle of "Hire the handicapped - they're fun to watch" because it's inefficient and not fun.

They DO hire their mates-from-the-pub or their lovers or the chronically otherwise-unemployable, but you clearly don't fall into any of those categories, either.

So I guess they actually hired you because they think you will grow into doing the job they ASKED YOU TO APPLY FOR. [coff coff. Even Molesworth 2 sa if the beak ask you to do somthing you hav to oblige "in du corse, Molesworth, in du corse" which ma mean anething fr two wekes to six mos. Or more. If yor contrakt sa three yrs you ma take that long unless the beak hav forgotten and you ma have five yrs after that unless you escape first with the rockit you hav bilt in yr spare tim.]

You get my point.

Now go have a really good meal and a b33r and relax about not reinventing the world in 2.5 weeks.
brrm From: brrm Date: June 7th, 2007 09:13 am (UTC) (Link)
According to my dad, the trees around the Boar's Hill viewing platform have grown up rather a lot in the past few years - when he was at Oxford, you could see the view quite easily. Given where you live, you might want to try going up Harcourt Hill: go up Westminster Way, keep going past the bit where you'd join the A34, and up the hill, then take the first left near the top - 'Vernon Avenue'.

I will try and find that dodgy hard drive for you...
imc From: imc Date: June 7th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's "few" in relative terms, of course. I went up there about 6–10 years ago and it was impossible to see anything above the trees even then. What I should have done was go back in Winter, but I never did.
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: June 7th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a spot on the road round the corner with a lovely clear view across fields at dreaming spires. Not quite at the top, but you get the effect. I can't remember quite which side it is but it's worth a wander round to find.
brrm From: brrm Date: June 8th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ahem. That should be /second/ left; Stanton Avenue. Vernon Avenue contains nothing but seriously scary-expensive looking houses that have the same view.
sion_a From: sion_a Date: June 8th, 2007 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
The scary llama makes me think that maybe the time has come for a photorealistic Llamatron.
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