Building the van, rebuilding the laptop

One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was a “build your own” VW campervan.  I’ve jokingly said that I’d like one some day to tour around Europe.  Well, now I have one sitting in my lounge which I can look at every evening!


Opposing my success with the van, is the regression with my laptop.  After running defrag my laptop power cut out every time.  So I decided to take the plunge and rebuild it (software wise).  After finishing the full NTFS format the power cut again.  Arrgh… There must be some overheating problem going on and when the PSU detects this it just shuts down to prevent the whole thing bursting into flames.

After much waiting and frustration I’ve now reloaded Windows XP, Office 2003 and now I’ve got to wait while Windows Update downloads the hundreds of updates and service packs….zzzzz

(More visits to Lenovo today)

Laptop Struggling

My laptop is over 4 years old now, purchased from Novatech after my Compaq died and I did rather well on the insurance.  It has served me very nicely, running most of my development software and the long list of essential utilities I have now amassed.  During my time at Xerox, it went through a couple of upgrades, the most interesting of which was repacking the battery.

A mate of mine at work discovered a place in the Far East where you could order the individual cells from so I jumped in with him and we ordered a whole batch between us.  They came with the rather daunting warning of being highly explosive if punctured!  It rejuvenated the battery for a year and I can still get an hour out of it, so not bad for a £50 investment.  Here I am re-soldering the pack:


I’ve left it defragmenting the hard drive – 24% defragmentation over 30GB of data, no wonder it’s been chugging a bit.  It’s got more serious problems though, the power keeps cutting out, which I think must be to do with the location of a temperature probe and the surroundings getting too hot, so the power unit just switches off as a safety mechanism.  I’m loathe to dive into that circuitry and given that it will run happily from AC without the battery I might turn it into a portable desktop.

My browser history is starting to fill up with visits to Lenovo 🙂

Turnover a new leaf?

Continuing in the cookery theme I used up the rest of the puff pastry last night to make some delightful Apple Turnovers. The rest of the leadership team and student team enjoyed them over coffee as we caught up on the year just gone and the year now ahead of us.

Nice cooking does not have to be complicated – all it takes, as with so many things in life, is just a little time and concentrated effort. And when you get results like the following (badly captured in poor light with my O2 XDA) it really is worth it:


Note I finished this post using Windows Live Writer, which seems like a nice little Windows App for posting to a variety of blogs.  More on that later.

Tomorrow night will be Sea Bass – my first real adventure into the fish world (apart from the no-brainer Salmon, Cod or Plaice).  Food is so diversely interesting!

Car Fun

My new year project has begun – get my car up to scratch. The first challenge I took on was to sort out the windscreen washers which exhibited a serious leak after filling up the reservoir. I’ve come to learn that any jobs on cars take a lot longer then they should, and that comments like “just remove the three bolts here” can take half an hour.

Anyway, after jacking up the car (I was very nervous about this), removing the near-side front wheel and removing the wheel-arch lining, I finally found the windscreen washer pump, which was indeed leaking.

Being a true Huggill at heart I decided to see if I could fix up the leaking part. So another overnight wait whilst my sealant dried and another test – but to no avail. New part time 🙂

Our Ford Focus Collection now has a fully working washer system so I’m happy. I was in the garage last night spraying a new wing mirror cover. Time to fit it later on today….