Shiny new things

1. My new laptop. It’s purple – enough said.

2. itunes 8. The Genius tool – genius.

itunes requires a certain amount of patience/effort. There’s adding in album artwork when it can’t find it; making it aware that compilations are in fact, compilations; adjusting volume levels; sorting out playlists…

Playlists are rather essential when you’ve got a 180GB storage capacity, yet I kind of can’t be arsed to put the effort into creating them.

I basically had four:
“Female Diva Showtunes” [The default playlist for all cleaning/baking activities.]
“Gym” [I believe that may be self-explanatory.]
“Freedom” [I’m not going into what that is here…]
“Worship Tracks” [Again, self-explanatory.]
Plus the handy itunes standard ones, like “purchased”, “recently added” etc.

Now I have Genius I can create playlists at the touch of a button. (Gosh, it’s like Apple marketing are paying me to write this! They’re definitely not, by the way.) Basically, you pick a song, press a button et voila: 25 tracks from your library that are similar to the one you picked.

To test it, I picked The Feeling’s Never Be Lonely and it came up with tracks to go with it. It included some logical choices, like Razorlight and Queen and some slightly more unusual ones, like Damien Rice and Will Young (actually, maybe it just knows me very well!). Overall, a great playlist with minimal effort.

Whilst I’m on the subject of itunes, I’m also very happy that my external hard drive succeeded in backing up my library complete with song stats and my top 25 tracks. It was very important to me to keep that – I’ve worked hard at making it look respectable as it’s ocassionally the focus of a competition!

And on the subject of other new things, I like new facebook too! Yes, it took a while to get used to, but it’s so much more aesthetically pleasing than the old one.

Change is good, embrace it!

Hooray for technology!

Those that know me well understand that I’m not much of technological geek. I like my technology to be easy to use (hence my having the same brand mobile for 4 years), shiny (like my ipod classic), pretty (like the purple, slightly flowery new laptop I intend on buying) and useful…

In my view, nothing would be more useful than a TV you can watch in the bath. Don’t you think?

Lets face it, the bath is a wonderful place. You can soak for hours, let your imagination run wild, decorate the bathroom with beautiful scented candles, read… The problem is, the combination of books and bath is not a great one. It’s not happened to me so far, but one day I will drop my book into the water and I will be very upset.

A waterproof TV would be the perfect solution to this problem. I love being in the bath. I love watching TV…who could ask for more? [Actually, I could. I currently live in a flat with no bath, so first of all I would like a bath please!]

And finally, after a few false starts, it looks like it’s going to be possible:

It’s not perfect (the screen’s rather small), but it’ll do for now. What I really want though, is a waterproof flatscreen just above the bath, with a waterproof remote control.

And, whilst on the subject of conveniently placed screens, anyone else spotted the advert for some furniture store that has a bed with a flat screen in its footer? Genius.

Succumbing to materialism

For some unexplained reason I’ve always had an issue with products that are omnipresent and/or over-advertised. It’s the main reason why I’ve not bought Pantene hair products despite regularly rotating through most of the other brands on the market.

No product typified this rationale more than the ubiquitous ipod…itunes…iphone…anything with an “i” in front of it. [Noteable exception being the BBC iplayer.]

Sure, it was exciting enough when it first appeared but for years it was out of my price range & I had no desire to commit to a seemingly restrictive music format and library. I stayed loyal to my generic mp3 player and looked down upon all the Apple junkies.

I had a dramatic change of heart last month when I used itunes for the first time. The only reason I went on there was because it was the only place I could buy a friend’s EP. All of a sudden there was an online store that remembered my credit details & seemingly had any track I could think of.

Then I realised how cheap ipods had become, how shiny the new silver classic was, how big the storage capacity was…I nearly justified to myself that once my current 2gb player died, I’d replace it with an ipod. Then my mother went and gave me a particularly generous & unexpected cash gift – so I was all set.

[Annoyingly, at the same time as this happened a good friend made a similar decision and being a quick-thinking male, bought one immediately. I on the other hand, waited till after my holiday and had to wait a week for it to arrive from Amazon.]

It arrived at my office today in a lovely compact little box – no excessive packaging – and looking lovely. I’m now on a mission to find the perfect clear skin for it to keep it nice & shiny.

Jeez…today’s probably been my geekiest day ever!

DIY Diva or Loser?

I’m not a pathetic girl who can’t lift a hammer, I’ve had my DIY successes: putting together ikea flat-packs; hanging pictures; changing light-bulbs, not to mention last year’s lessons in laying laminate flooring

I went to Brownies & Guides and learnt how to re-wire a plug and change a fuse. I even have my own tool kit, which is practical & efficient even though it’s not covered in a flowery pattern (such tools do exist & they’re very cool!). But every so often, I seem to have a bit of a blonde moment.

Today I discovered that the kettle I threw out in the autumn probably just needed a new fuse. Whilst I know how to change one, I’d completely forgotten that their death can be the reason behind an appliance’s sudden not-working-ness. Still, at least my new kettle matches my toaster. My job for the weekend is to check whether the not-working-ness (since November) of my bedroom’s storage heater is due to a similar fuse failure.

My colleague at work was an engineer in a previous life, which means he knows/understands all this technological stuff. He even explained how extension cables usually only have 5amp fuses, whilst kettles run on 13amp fuses, which I think means that you shouldn’t plug kettles into extension cables, but to be honest I got lost somewhere around “amp”!

Just a few weeks ago I discovered how storage heaters work (I’ve lived in a flat with storage heaters for nearly 2 years now), having had a panic that the heater I’d accidentally left on overnight was going to explode because it was still super hot 10 hours after turning it off. I would feel like a particularly dumb blonde, were it not for the fact that my male, non-blonde friend who has the same heaters and has lived in his flat longer, was also unaware of how they worked.

Hurrah for ignorance!