I sometimes feel that we've regressed somewhat, back to the time when your "portable" phone and associated battery pack was the size of a small sewing machine. Also, I feel a right dick holding up what feels like an A5 notepad to my ear ... but I digress.
While I'm digressing, we had a friend who'd kitted himself out with one of the first car phones, all those years ago. Good thing he had a Range Rover: he didn't really need a trailer for the batteries. Although it was a tight fit for two in the back.)
The guy looked at it dubiously, and did the sucking of the teeth and the sighing of gloom, but promised to see what he could do ...
That turned out to take a bit longer than I'd expected. I read up a bit on it, in between checking up on security bulletins to see if I needed to rebuild a kernel for Cla-Val to block some gaping security hole in their gear, and thought I'd try Mint with Cinnamon, which everyone agreed was a nice, lightweight system suitable for installation on a gruntless processor ...
"Fear not!" I thought, "I have but to diddle with the parameters, and all will be well, and we shall be able to watch 'Death In Paradise' tonight" ... sad to say, it was not to be. I set the screen resolution to the native full-colour, 1920x1080, and lo! it changed - and then, 30 seconds later, reverted. I finally worked out that it was displaying a dialog box asking me to confirm the changes and that this dialog box was being displayed on the built-in screen at a location suitable for a 1920x1080 screen, which sadly made it invisible.
Because for some reason, running the external monitor at full resolution slowed things down to the point where you'd click on an icon, or on a button in a dialog box, and three minutes later something would happen. This is not what I would personally call a reasonable response time, so it was back to the drawing board.
After a couple of goes I got it to recognise the timezone as Paris and - I thought - the keyboard as French, and let it carry on installing: it chundered on for a while, cheerily told me that installation was complete, and would I please reboot. So I did, and it asked me to log on, and as I hadn't created a user I just tried to log on as root with the password I'd supplied ... after the third fruitless attempt I actually noticed that the date and time were displayed in Magyar, and that this probably did not bode well for the keyboard layout.
Oddly enough I had to tell it to connect to the WiFi but - to my stunned-mullet surprise - when I plugged in the monitor it came up, straight away, native resolution and no noticeable delays. Not more than you'd expect from an Atom processor. The only tweak I had to make was setting the external display to be on the left side, because that's how it physically is and I see no point in straining my brain more than necessary.
I know I said something at some point about how, sometime soon, the almonds would blossom and then, eventually, the wild plums (not feral prunes) would follow: got it wrong. Under normal circumstances this is indeed what happens but as it happens this year the plums are out first, enjolivating the roadside.
And incidentally, I could not but notice at the market that the first Spanish strawberries of the year have made their appearance. I shan't be buying any: I am not really one of those who abjure and abstain from any fruit that is not in season and grown locally, nor do I knit my own yurt out of farm-sourced sustainable yoghurt, but I must admit that I do like my fruit to have a bit of flavour.
Forewarned, they say, is forearmed: I shall thus let you know now that Jeremy is headed off to NooZild on or about March 12th, for an indefinite stay. We must head up at the end of the month to remove him and all other superfluous junk from his apartment before he hands the keys over: then we come back down here with the junk and enjoy the pleasure of his company for a week or so before tearfully decanting him onto the TGV, hoping that he will not manage to miss the flight out of Charles de Gaulle.
If you need another reason to avoid Christchurch, that's where he's heading. Just saying.