Birthday present


My March home

My birthday present arrived yesterday. It’s a Dell XPS15 laptop. Yep, I went ahead and replaced my eight year old Sony VAIO 13″ with a new 15″. But the kicker, the reason for choosing the 15″ over a 13″, is that the display is UHD, Ultra High Def 3840 x 2160 pixels. That’s four full HD screens! It’s pretty nice, that’s for sure. That means it can play 4K video in all its glory.

The drawbacks so far: it’s a fair bit heavier than the Sony. It’s 2Kg, vs about 1.4Kg. (Update: the Sony is 1.56Kg and the Dell is 2.05Kg, so they’re not that much different.) Doesn’t seem much, but I can’t really pick it up with just the fingers of my right hand, as I’m used to doing with the Sony. The power supply for the Dell adds 450g and the Sony is 350g.

The other drawback is, it’s Windows 10. I hate it. I had Win10 on the old laptop too, so I should be used to it, but I’m not. I can’t see that it’s an improvement over Win 7. I’ll have to stick with it for a year while it’s under warranty, I suppose, but after that I might go back to Win7. But then I’d have to reinstall all the software, which is what I’m doing now, and it takes hours!


Banks again. The ANZ are in the shit again. I mentioned that they lost the court case about excessive late fees on their credit card accounts. That was last week.

This week, yesterday, they are reported to have, allegedly, been colluding with other banks to manipulate the inter bank lending interest rates. This is like the British LIBOR scandal of a couple of years ago, where several traders were convicted. ASIC here are not far from laying charges against a couple of ANZ traders for similar offences.

As one journalist said, by manipulating these rates, the bank makes increased profits and the employees, the ones doing the manipulating, get increased bonuses. As the journo said, they play, we pay.

So, another case of management corruption, but on a far greater scale than any union corruption. Does the Liberal government show any interest, run any royal commission? Of course not! These are their mates.



View from the “dining room” at Kintamani 20 Dec 2015 7pm.

Phew, this heat is pretty bad. Three consecutive days of 40ºC and above so far, with another one to come today (Wednesday). Cooling off to 31C on the weekend, then back to 38C next week. As I said, I’m going to Bali to cool off!

Update: yes, 40.3ºC today, the fourth day in a row above 40deg. It equals the record set in 1933, but we’ve had more days over 40ºC this February than ever before (since records started in 1879.) This is climate change. WA is heating up and drying out. Our dams are essentially dry. We lost more water due to evaporation than we gained from runoff last winter. Scary.


I’ve been trying to book a rental car for the trip to the airport. Unfortunately I can’t get that $52 I got on the last trip just before Xmas. The best fee I can get is $72, but that’s for a Nissan Micra manual. No thanks. For $84 I can get a Corolla automatic. Not booked yet, better get onto it.

Packing – I’ll leave the tripod behind this time, so that will compensate for the increased weight of the laptop. I’ll really try to cut down on the clothes this time (no Myrtle, I’m not going nude). Since I’m staying in one place, I’ll be able to either do my own washing or get laundry done. It’s cheap if you use a street laundry.

But my CPAP machine weighs 2.3Kg, and adding the 2Kg of the laptop chews up nearly 25% of my allowance before I’ve even started.


And the coincidences (coincidii?) just keep on comin’. Listening to the radio in the car and the song on 6iX was Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. I switched to the ABC and she said, “Trump and Sanders have had a win. What’s your prediction for Carolina?”



It’s cloud, not smoke. (C) PJ Croft 2015


Eight years ago I bought a soft foam/neoprene slip cover for my Sony laptop, but it was too big so it’s sat in a drawer ever since. I nearly threw it out only a couple of months ago. But I’ve just tried it on this new laptop and it’s a perfect fit. A win at last.


Rolex watches are in the news today, which reminds me that I’ve seen an item in a magazine about a new smart watch just out. This is a watch with an LCD or OLED face that can be changed from a normal time display to other info displays. It looks very nice and I was a bit tempted.

But it’s $1,500 (it’s a TAG Heuer). Being so new, it will be superseded within a year to 18 months. What would you do? Put it on the shelf and go for the new model, at another $1,500? This is the problem with new technology, it goes out of date so quickly. Although I’d love to have one of these, I would never pay more than a couple of hundred, at the most.


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