Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bad luck series 2: The conference

Actually, what happened in the conference isn't bad luck, but for continuity we will keep the same title. These are just complaints, although I am not the only one to make them.

The first thing is that I must have submitted to the wrong conference. I didn't notice that Banff is another national park (after Yellowstone in 2003). It all felt like a family retreat. In a very expensive hotel/conference location. There were no air conditioning in your room at over 30 degrees Celsius. Some people paid 120 canadian dollars for an extra banquet ticket which actually is nothing more than a common buffet. And so on. (By the way, they had a "game" or lottery during the banquet, which (1) is a bit too silly to describe here, and (2) no one understood it at first, and (3) no prize was given out at the end as if it never happened.)

But the real interesting thing is this. Usually in these conferences the organizers will arrange some tours or things like that. This time, they listed a "conference fun day" in the programme. A whole day in the middle of the conference without talks, but they never mentioned what it really is. Last time the experience in Sanya was already very "memorable". This time you simply can't complain about the tours, because there was nothing as such. It is a "fun day on your own". And no one told us so (well, until you ask). Come on, people who want to have fun at the national park can choose to stay behind by themselves after the conference. Why on earth do you want to put it in the middle of the conference? Haven't we wasted enough money already?

Coming up: What would you feel if this happens to you? While you are taking a shuttle to the airport, 5 hours before the flight departure time, the driver of the shuttle semi-jokingly tells you that your airline is not flying today...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bad luck series 1: Calgary

Now then, perhaps I can finally write what's happening from the beginning...

I went to COCOON'07, this time in Banff, Canada near Calgary. For various reasons I was forced to arrive one day earlier and stayed in Calgary. On the flight I somehow managed to lose a still-usable HK mobile SIM card... (I just couldn't understand why I brought that to Canada and took that out on the plane...)

Anyway, in Calgary. Not knowing what to do, I went to the Calgary tower, which has a glass floor observation deck. It is not as impressive as it sounds, though. Well, in fact, I think they could do some cleaning to the glass...

I also went to the Calgary stampede. I am not interested in these things, but since it happens to be in this time of the year, I went in. I didn't watch the rodeo stuff and therefore effectively just "walked around"...

Light at the end of the tunnel??

The problem with my notebook is the immediate-logout problem. In theory you only need to change one or two entries in the registry to fix it. However you need to get to regedit first... Using the remaining battery on the notebook, I boot it using another harddisk, and fix the registry on the original harddisk.

Then I bought a new power adaptor for the notebook. I don't know they are that expensive; perhaps I should actually buy a new notebook instead (the current one is rather old anyway). With power supply, I can finally run the machine a bit longer. Although I can now log in, it still has numerous mysterious behaviour, such as disappeared recycle bin, disappeared control panel items, missing filetype-application associations etc. It looks like somehow it is not reading from / writing to the registry even when you ask it to.

But I can tolerate this, as long as it is stablized. Moreover, I get wireless access from my neighbor... Actually I can't stop it even if I wanted to, because anything about network connections in the control panel (or anywhere else) disappeared... It looks like there is no fix without reinstalling everything, which I would only do later...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Could it be worse?

Health problems. Lost mobile phone SIM card. Flight delay of 24 hours. Notebook got a virus and cannot boot. Fuse in power adaptor of notebook blown. Then the adaptor itself. I don't even know where to start blogging all these. Maybe not until I get some reasonably-working computers. I mean, this one I am using in the office is populated with 7 viruses and has some other strange problems...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

terrorists in arithmetic progression

Forget about the years for the moment:

30/6 Glasgow airport
7/7 London (tube and bus)
14/7 ?
21/7 London (failed)

What happens in 14/7? Nothing important except that I will be flying...