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I have a sore back again. Ouch.

I've not updated for a while. I've been tired and, now, sore. Last week we went to Cambridge to see the Illuminations (illuminated medieval manuscripts in the Fitz and UL basement).

I gave Sue the guts of my PC and a new case and got some new bits. So she can play Civ4 (which requires a DX8 graphics card). I got an Athlon64 3200+ and an XFX GeForce 6800GS. O-M-F-G. The difference in HL2 is *astounding*. It supports all the shaders and effects for the Lost Coast demo too. And it came with a full version of Far Cry, which is proving fun to play. I also installed the Doom 3 demo, but tbh although I think it's very well done, I don't really like it. I put on the Perimeter demo (which just ground to a halt on a large-ish level on the old PC) but haven't had time to get very far in it yet. I should have the F.E.A.R. demo somewhere too.

Sue's case is funky. I remember when Alex got his Chieftec case (I think it was the same as the ones I got later) we were impressed at the features like not needing a screwdriver to open it, the CD-ROM trays, the removable HD cage... Sue's case (Antec Sonata) goes beyond that, with the HDs being mounted from the underside with rubber grommets onto sliding trays, that then go into the case sideways-- so when you open the case, the back of the HD (where the cables and jumpers are) are actually *visible*. And as graphics cards have got bigger I've had trouble getting the HD cage in and out without having to take the graphics card out-- not helped by Gigabyte's "feature" of a retainer thing for AGP/PCIe cards that is not designed to be opened for people with hands my size. And it has a washable filter at the front, and front USB/audio ports...

I have been completely failing to cycle/run anywhere for the past month or so. I need to get back in the habit-- again. This is not helped by me colliding with a goose last time I tried to cycle into work. It was on the right-hand-side of the path and decided to try and run across in front of me to get into the water. When I'd picked myself up, I saw it had got to the canal and was rearing up at me, so I shook my fist at it and shouted "Plum sauce!", and then had to pick down out of my chain before continuing. When setting off back home, I found I had a puncture. I tried to fix it but the fix didn't take. So I went to Paddington to get a train home-- by that time there weren't any more trains. So I ended up having to take the bike on the tube to Hammersmith and thence home. I think it took 2½ hours all-in-all. I haven't tried it since them-- in fact I haven't even got round to fixing the puncture yet :( Should do that this weekend-- except I have a sore back, so I've come full circle :(

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Steve Haslam

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