In January 2014, I turn 50. Rather more significantly, in November 2013, Benjamin Britten would have turned 100, if he hadn’t been unlucky enough to die in 1976. But whatever: the end of this year, one way or another, turns out to be of great personal significance… and, as a result, me and will be travelling back to the UK in late November, to celebrate both occasions with family, friends and any strangers that want to take pity on a couple of wandering Aussies.
Yes, we are both completely bonkers, and fully understand that we are facing average maximum day-time temperatures of around 8 degrees Celsius (46 Fahrenheit for old-timers and American readers). But we will be in Aldeburgh on November 22nd, standing in the graveyard and paying respects to one of the great composers of our time. So it’s worth it.
I have also wangled a lifetime-desired trip to Bletchley Park (where we won the war by decrypting German Enigma traffic, happening also to invent computers along the way, just in passing). I’m looking forward to that a lot.
The trip comes with some costs attached, however (and I’m not talking about the unheard-of amounts that Aldeburgh’s White Lion hotel wants to charge us!). Specifically,says that a new camera is needed since the last lot of London photos were a tad disappointing, and thus last Thursday we shelled out around $3000 for the Nikon D600 you see above. I coughed a bit, but since I’ve only just recently splashed out $2000 for a new Toshiba laptop, it’s difficult to complain much!
In fact, of course, there is no need to complain at all, because’s former Nikon D80 gets handed down to me (definitely the ugly step-sister when it comes to matters photographical), and I accordingly take a rather large step up from the little Lumix DWC-FH20 I’ve been using for the past 4 years. The last time I used an SLR, digital or analogue, was back in the 1980s, when my trusty (built like a Soviet tank, in fact) Zenit did me duty in the likes of Bulgaria, Zimbabwe and Botswana… so it’s going to be a learning curve for me.
Of course, this means having to deal with RAW images and learning to stitch and crop them as the mood takes me -and thus I feel compelled to renew my hitherto fleeting acquaintance with Photoshop. And Photoshop, of course, means Windows (for Wine will let Photoshop 3 just about pass muster, but cannot cope with Photoshop 5, which we use chez Dizwell). And thus it is that only a fortnight after having purged the house of the last non--owned Windows machine, I have felt compelled to dump Fedora from my desktop and reverted to Windows 8. After 6 months uninterrupted Linux loveliness, I somewhat regret the move, but no way, no how am I going to try to wrestle GIMP into submission!
I hasten to add that it is not all’s fault, since work is asking me to pick up some SQL Server administration duties, thus making domestic installation of Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 look like a sensible proposition for career prospects. Time to wipe CentOS off my two HP Proliant Microtower servers, then, after 9 happy months of just sitting there and working beautifully…
Some updates about Windows 8, Windows 2012, Hyper-V and SQL Server to come, too!