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Technology (#9 in the series)

Negotiating with Gadget for a new laptop computer. The plan is to use salary sacrifice, which means that the machine is purchased before tax, which I pay at an marginal rate of 48.5%. Work will also hand back the GST of 10% Gadget profits too, which sort of spreads the love around.

Truth to tell, the laptop (Julie) doesn't get a lot of use. Mostly, I use it when I am out of town. The battery actually worked okay last time but I was afraid that some security guard in the US would ask me to turn it on to prove it wasn't a bomb. It's also kind of heavy.

Gadget says that the new machine may not have an operating system on it. This gave me pause. I mean, talk about cheap. OTOH, Bill gates doesn't need any more money. The question was whether I could live with Linux. Mostly, the laptop will be for thesis documents, so it needs to be able to process words and trade them with Jessica.

Word processing can be done with Open Office. Documents can be transferred with the Samba. Had to check whether Samba would allow it to talk to Jessica and Sandy.

Time once again for a heart-to-heart with Judy, the Linux box under the desk. Speaking to Judy has been a pain since the KVM stopped working, so I took it in to work for EL to straighten out. This he did - literally. It seems that some of the mouse pins were bent (this is why the mice weren't working) and were shorting out the system (this is why everything stopped working). With the help of magnifying glasses (the kind that jewellers used to wear) and special pliers, he repaired the KVM.

Now the KVM is working again! I can switch from Jessica to Judy at the touch of a button! Or a few choice keystrokes. They still have separate mice but I'm getting very fond of Judy's optical mouse - Jessica's old-fashioned one handles like an Abrams tank by comparison.

Transferred some Perl modules across from Jessica, so Judy can control the router. Also loaded up Jessica's bookmarks into the browser, which is Mozilla, which looks pretty much like Netscape, only bigger. For some reason, Judy cannot handle a screen resolution greater than 1024 x 768. Jessica is set to a more reasonable 1600 x 1200 - more than twice as much. It might have something to do with the video card although Judy has a pretty nice one - an NVIDIA TNT2. Some say that a good video card in a Linux box is decadent. Most important, I installed Apache 2 so Judy can serve web pages for me. Must find her a LiveJournal Client.

So no work tonight but I have put my hand up for a seminar at ADFA on Wednesday and I'm taking the whole day off.