Why Thunderbird beats Evolution on a really small screen

I’ve used Evolution as my main mail client for ages, but it really doesn’t like my EeePC, so I thought I’d give Thunderbird a try. Not only does it display all my folders and messages far more clearly, but with the addition of a couple of extensions it makes navigation and moving messages a whole lot easier.


I’m still going to use Evolution at work, because I’m very much tied to Exchange, but I think for home use Thunderbird has come on a lot in the two years since I used it last, and I should at least give it a chance.

Why green is the colour of productivity

I’m sitting in the Green Room in the OLRC on Selly Oak Campus. The Green Room is what used to be the Literature Hall, where it housed books between 800 and 899 on the Dewey Decimal System and also hosted a vast array of teaching resources. Now, it is a new Learning Space, with comfy seats, plasma screens, and wifi access. Think a cross between a really posh living room, and a space-age cybercafe and you won’t be far away. Everything here is new, and is designed to give the students of the 21st century what they need to be productive. There are no books, no journals, and no remnants of the past here. It is exactly the sort of space I would have liked to have when I worked here, and I imagine that students love it. I say “imagine” because I am currently the only person here and can’t see or hear another human being. Yes, it’s Saturday, but I think that with a bit more publicity and promotion this could turn into a flagship learning space and could really put both the Univeristy and Selly Oak campus in particular at the forefront of innovative learning spaces. And that’s something I never thought I’d say when I walked through the doors of this building for the first time over 8 years ago.

Although, I must say, I do appreciate the quietness sometimes.

Window shopping for a new PC

If I was buying a new PC, I think I’d get it from EfficientPC. 8Gb of memory and 3Tb of storage for under £700, or more realistically some decent PCs that blow anything I use now out of the water for around £300 means it would actually be possible to buy a new PC for less than the amount of money I have left in my bank account at the end of the month.

Not that I’m going to buy one, I just like to price things up every now and again.

An interesting find

I was going to write something about an album by a new British folk singer that I downloaded yesterday, but then tonight I stumbled upon a newer mini album and thought I should probably lump them both together as two records that anyone who likes folk music, music with lyrics, or just music should download and play to death. Robin Grey likes Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen a lot. He also knows how to write songs, carry a melody, and has a decent grasp of crafting unusual but still accessable lyrics. I’ve played “Only the Missile” a few times over the last 24 hours, but think that “I Love Leonard Cohen” (particularly the title track) shows even more promise, and certainly stands head and shoulders above certain other British singer-songwriters who get played on the radio a lot and have the first name James.

I’ve also downloaded a fair amount of good music from emusic (Julain Cope, The Wedding Present, Okkervil River and I Am Kloot), but that will have to wait for another post.

Why I hate this time of year

This is not a post about any of the things I usually blog about, but I thought it was worth making a note of.

October and November are fast becoming my least favourite months of the year. It’s too cold, everyone is miserable, and our household is in a state of siege mentality due to the constant sonic bombardment that comes from the endless firework displays that our neighbours seem to love.

I actually like fireworks. I think they are pretty and that they cheer people up at a time when shorter days and less sunshine can drag us all down a bit. However this view is not shared by our cats, and most especially by our dog who has now been prescribed a herbal remedy for his firework phobia (valium didn’t work and we’ve run out of other viable alternatives). He’s currently sat on the floor underneath my desk and he’s visibly shaking. He’ll probably be like this for a few hours during which time he’ll not eat, not sleep, and be very fractious and downright unpleasant.

So yes, that why I’m not too keen on this time of year and also why we’re unlikely to be out and about after dark for the next couple of weeks at least.