# Friday, 04 November 2005

While I was over ten thousand miles from home, my laptop started to get weird on me. First, it started to spontaneously power itself off, for no reason at all, while I was using it. Alarming! But then I eventually discovered that it only did so if I pressed the left Ctrl key. Confining myself to the right Ctrl key was a challenge -- I am hugely keyboard oriented and do Ctrl-S, Ctrl-B, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V sort of things all the time without looking or to be honest even thinking keystrokes, I think Bold and my fingers do the right thing -- but I was able to do a whole presentation without it powering itself off. Then it started to get more delicate. Any pressure on the left side of the keyboard would power it down. And it got harder and harder to power it up. 5 tries, 10 tries, 20 tries... I did manage to power it up in the Jo-burg airport but it shut down while I was working and never did come back up again. I just slept instead of working and put it out of my mind.

When I got home, I confirmed it was still under warranty, next day on site service, and arranged a service call. Then I wanted my files back... I wasn't going to last all weekend without my files. Luckily the hard drives in laptops are delightfully standard things. For $13 Canadian, I bought a little wrapper that turns any 2.5" drive into an external USB drive:

I put the drive in it and ---ooooh, there are all my folders! Yay! But I can't see any actual files! Boo!

Turns out the power cycling and hard power downs (many many of them) had not been nice to the drive. So I got a little utility called File Scavenger from QueTek. I started with the trial version to prove to myself it worked, then got a personal licence and set to work bringing back everything I cared about -- the pictures I took while I was away, my Outlook PST file (yes I backed up before I left, but a lot happened that week) and a lot of work I was in the middle of. Phew!

The service call ended up stretching over several days ... replacing the motherboard, keyboard, palm rest, and hard drive wasn't enough, it also needed a new processor. But now it works again. And what do I get to do with my copious free time? Reinstall things. A lot of things.

Ah well, a good way to clear out junk you don't need any more. It was pretty much repaving time anyway, the machine had been kind of flaky for the last few months. And I'm ready to leave for SF and Vegas now... or at least my laptop is :-)

Kate

Friday, 04 November 2005 14:06:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 03 November 2005

I promised my South African friends that I would show them how our autumn compared to their spring. We have our own beauty here and while we're pretty much giraffe-free, there are charms in this northern landscape. These pictures were all taken within minutes of my home on one of the many walks and rambles we do. Gregory Consulting board meetings are quite often held under an arch of golden leaves; it's one of the things I like about living this way.

 

Kate

Thursday, 03 November 2005 08:02:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Monday, 24 October 2005

When you go to a conference, there's a tendency to see nothing beyond the airport, your hotel, and the convention centre. Maybe a few nice restaurants if you're lucky enough to be invited to a press dinner or the like. The minute I got off the plane a year ago for Tech Ed Africa, I knew I wasn't going to have that kind of experience. And this year Julie and I have upped the ante by taking advantage of the Gametrackers services offered right from within the resort where the conference is being held. I took over 40 pictures this morning, here are just a few:

    

Wish you were here?

Kate

Monday, 24 October 2005 07:21:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [4]
# Saturday, 22 October 2005

Julie and I have a twelve hour layover in Frankfurt so we decided to go into town for a little sightseeing. Here's where we had our lunch:

What did we have? Sausages (bratwurst to be precise) and potato "salad". Yum!

Next stop, Johannesburg and then on to Sun City!

Kate

Saturday, 22 October 2005 12:06:05 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 21 October 2005

Leave my house 11:30 am. Flight to New York departs 2:30. Here I am in New York, at about 5:30. In four hours my flight to Frankfurt leaves. 8 hours across the Atlantic. 12 hour stopover in Frankfurt. 10 hours down to Jo-burg. Clear whatever we need to clear, get baggage, wait for the bus, that's another hour, then two more hours to Sun City. Total travel time: 43 hours. Six of it is behind me. It's extra-rehearsing time for me now, here in the Lufthansa lounge of Kennedy airport. Friday night and Saturday night the only sleep I will get will be on planes. Luckily, I'm good at that.

Kate

Friday, 21 October 2005 17:27:03 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 19 October 2005

No kidding. What will they think of next? (The keyword-matching for the ads needs work, though.)

Kate

Wednesday, 19 October 2005 20:04:48 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 12 October 2005

I just registered for the global launch in San Francisco November 7th:

(Yes, I will be in Las Vegas that whole week to speak at C++ Connections. I'm just going to the launch on Monday and then to Vegas.)

If a flight to SF is out of the question, why not see if you can get into one of the Canadian dates?

November 8 Toronto
November 10 Ottawa
November 15 Edmonton
November 17 Victoria
November 22 Vancouver
November 24 Calgary
November 29 Montreal
December 1 Quebec
December 6 Halifax
December 8 Winnipeg

http://www.microsoft.com/canada/launch2005/default.aspx has all the details and registration links.

Didn't act soon enough? Didn't think a launch event could sell out? Watch for announcements of user group launch events through the fall.

Kate

 

Wednesday, 12 October 2005 14:11:01 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Monday, 10 October 2005

The Code Camp web site is up and running and ready for you to sign up!

  • Want to speak? Get the speaker registration form and send it in.
  • Want to volunteer behind the scenes! Please do, we need as many of those volunteers as speakers.
  • None of the above, but you're planning to attend? Get registered before the spots all go.

See you there!

Kate

 

Monday, 10 October 2005 13:22:06 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]