Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Laptop Heaven

That title isn't a good thing. I haven't just bought a beautiful new laptop with all the latest shiny gizmos - My (not so) trusty laptop has left this mortal coil and ascended up to a higher plane of existence - No, not the loft (I don't have one) but it's own laptop heaven (similar to Calculator heaven I think...)

I knew it was coming for a long time. The graphics went all funny (I could use a technical term, but I won't) and I've been using it for the past few months in a really crap basic graphics mode. It was fine for writing (what's more basic than a white screen with black text?) but for surfing the net it was a bit of a pain in the arse! It took about 10 seconds to scroll the window up and down!

Anyway, it finally decided it was finished with it's own pitiful existence and decided to present me with a blank screen covered in thin lines when I booted it up a couple of days ago (and every subsequent time from then on). I know what the problem is (the graphics card) but they cost about £120 for this model, so that will have to wait for a while (I need the money to get my car through the MOT) but in the future I may pull out the shiny paddles and shock it back to life...

Meanwhile, I've had to blow the cobwebs off my desktop computer, which is located in the spare room, next to the cat litter tray (beautiful!) It's actually quite refreshing (not the litter!) using a computer where the screen keeps up with me scrolling the mouse wheel. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise? The screen looks a lot sharper too... In fact, stuff the laptop! Let it rot in Laptop Hell!

The only downside is that I didn't back up the latest draft of my current project (tut tut - and me an IT guy too!?) onto the internet (I use SkyDrive) so I need to get the copy from the laptop hard drive - which is no problem really because I've got a gadget at work that can do it for me.

Talking of the project - I'm almost finished with the latest draft, which I hope will be the last (or somewhere near!) But of course, as everyone knows, the BBC have thrown a spanner in the works by announcing a nice little opportunity to write for CBBC. They're only giving us just over a month to submit something - not long at all! I'm desperately trying to think of an idea for this, but I have most of my ideas when I least expect them, so I really should try not to think about it too much... which is hard when there's a deadline so near!!

I hope everyone had a good bank holiday weekend. I spent most of it repairing my car, so that it will limp through the MOT. It's been off the road for about 8 months (since it failed last September) and I haven't had the money or the time to do anything about it until now. I'm no mechanic, but I'm a dab hand with repairing computers, so I thought how hard can it be? It's the same sort of thing... isn't it? A few parts held together with screws and such? Yeah right! I didn't take into account the fact that everything is covered in about 10 litres of grease, oil, rust and mulched whoknowswhat! Mechanics must have 3 or 4 arms 'cause some of the bolts you have to unscrew require you to hold about 4 tools at the same time! Who puts these things together in the first place? Robots!? Oh yeah, that's right...

Well, I've done all I can myself - replaced the exhaust and headlight, repaired the rear bumper (sort of) and a few other minor jobs, so it's now ready to go for the MOT. There's still a couple of minor things that need repairing but they're beyond me so I'll have to pay for those, but I reckon I've saved about £150 doing the other bit's myself. Let's just hope nothing else has developed a fault while it's been sitting for more than half a year!!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Gotta get back to it!

Right! It's time I made a post! I'm tired of seeing my "Back to Work!" heading! I've had another week off my real job since then and I'm now back at work from this second holiday (well, time off - I haven't been anywhere).

Okay, so what have I been up to? I haven't written anything new. I've still been working on the script I originally started for Channel 4. In the end I decided not to send it off as I just didn't think it was right for the type of thing they were looking for. Instead I've been revamping it and tweaking it (to death!). When it's finished I'm going to send it to the delightful Michelle over at Sofluid. Michelle left me some very nice comments on one
of my posts and we ended up chatting via e-mail and have agreed to read each other's work and provide feedback. I sent Michelle a copy of the script I submitted to the BSSC. She read it and provided some excellent (and extrememly fast) feedback on it. Of course, I'd already sent the script off but any feedback on scripts past or present is very useful and always appreciated! In return, I read one of Michelle's scripts (which was brilliant) and provided her with feedback. It's basically the same sort of thing that we do over at the Sharpshooter group, but this is a mutual 1 to 1 exchange, rather than putting a script into a pot for everyone to read. SharpShooter is great though and I'll continue to post scripts and give critique to others. Basically, the more feeback you can get for your writing the better!

So, I really want to get my current script finished, so I can get on with the next one! I got to write something new 'cause my notebook is starting to burst open with all of the ideas packed into it! It's all these weird dreams I keep having!

What else have I been up to then? It was my girlfriend's birthday last week, so I bought her a Nintendo Wii that she's been afte
r since they first appeared! It's great fun! I'm a bit of an Xbox 360 man myself, but even though the graphics on the Wii are nothing to write home about, the fun you can have with a few beers and some friends round is brilliant! Golf is a favourite! ;)

Finally, I've been looking at other blogs and noticed that they all have nice pictures dotted around here and there, whereas mine has none. So, in the interest of brightening up the page (and testing a picture post) - Here's one of my cat, looking deep in thought...