Sunday, 23 September 2012

Dashlane to the rescue...

So my poor old work laptop was feeling the strain and work decided that I needed a desktop which could cope with all the development work we're doing at the minute. I'm not a huge fan of big old clunkers but on this instance I thought I'd give it a whirl... WOW! Peter specced and built it and it's the bees knees, he only sniggered a little when I said that I'd like to try Windows 8 but he did check that I was joking, Gawd bless him!

Anyway, I've not long been through the whole Windows re-install procedure so I had a little idea of just what was entailed in transfering all my stuff. There's the huge music library managed by MediaMonkey and then the eBook collection manged by Calibre and synced across various machines with AVGs Live-Kive. But then there's all the little things that need passwords and such-like. Chrome is lovely and manages to remember everything but what with being a development team I test everything on other browsers. There's Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and (if I'm feeling brave) Safari too!

I need to remember the log-ins I've got for all those little services too, thankfully most of them have a web front-end so it's just a matter of logging in and downloading the installer but then I need to remember the password I used as well for the client application. That's where Dashlane comes in so useful. The link will to Dashlane will credit me but will offer no financial gain but I'm putting it there anyway as I trust that you'll love it too!

It was pretty much the first thing I installed on the machine so that I didn't need to worry about remembering all those passwords and log-ins. I have at least two browsers open at any one time - one for development (Firefox with Firebug) and one for GMail and Google Reader (Chrome usually). Dashlane syncs my credentials between these two browsers beautifully so taht I only ever have to remember the Dashlane password. Utterly brilliant! It's nice that things just work, especially at the minute.

But hey, don't just take my word for it, give it a try! There're apps for Android and iPad too - you wouldn't believe how useful they are too. Just fire them up and I can get access to my credentials without having to boot a big machine!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Flirting with Catholicism

I've been polishing this anecdote for a while so I thought I'd best share it.

I've been going through the mill over the past two or three weeks and last Thursday (13th September, 2012) I couldn't sleep. I was well into my cups at this point and just not able to turn my brain off, not even Tesco's value whiskey was working - though I kept trying and purposefully ignoring the head-ache I knew I'd have in the morning.

I got to thinking about all the lovely people I knew who were getting some measure of comfort from their faith. One of my mates at school was one a Catholic, a good friend from work is one. One of people who's been phoning regularly in order to insult me and who's helped me ever so much is one. The lady up the road is one and, shock and horror, I discovered that I would've been one if my Grandma hadn't lost her faith. Most of my extended family are Catholics and they, as well as the people I've already mentioned are lovely, bright and sincere people. I felt that I simply must join their ranks! I'm re-reading this now and realising that the list of lovely people I know who are Catholics is staggering!

It all made perfect sense to me - I've always felt guilty of something or other: I've always felt as if I was to blame! Goodness knows I've an awful lot to feel guilty for, but even when I was too young to remember having done anything wrong I felt guilty. Perhaps a little confession would help ease that...? But without that feeling of original sin (whether it was real or imagined) what would I be left with? If I were washed clean of all my previous sins what'd be left? Would I be reborn as a psychopath? Without all the anxieties I have about doing right would I feel able to do what's wrong? All these questions and so many more were whirling around in my head lubricated by the ever so gritty whiskey - so I decided to do what every good geek does - I looked online.

I picked up the iPad and started up Chrome and entered "convert to Catholicism Cambridge UK". The number of results returned was just staggering but eventually I found a link which had a list and not just blah blah blah words. Ahh, a list, something I can work down and check I can fulfil the requirements.
  1. These was something about taking communion... I'd been to one when I did some voluntary work in a hotel for the disabled as a teenager in Southport and a lady needed an escort but the staff had been lovely about me not having to take the bread and wine. My old history teacher at school had talked for ages about Transubstantiation and the idea of mystic cannibalism had me thinking of all sorts of things like developing some sort of kuru. If I ignored the possibility of divine Mad Cow disease then I guess the option of a bit of plonk and a biscuit on a Sunday morning wouldn't be too bad - though with my propensity for strong drink the afternoon service might be better: at least the sun'd be o'er the yard arm! Tick!
  2. There was something about leading a good and moral life. Please refer to my rant about guilt! The load I carry is so huge that I really can't face adding to it so I try to lead as good a life as possible. I don't even kill bugs or anything like that. That crunch you hear when you accidentally stand on a snail in the dark means that I have to turn around and apologise. If I were anymore twitched I'd end up being a Jain! Tick!
  3. Confession? Hell yes! That's what I want. Feeling unguilty (should that be innocent?) for at least a little while (until I stood on a snail on the way out of the church or something) would be lovely. Perhaps my back would miraculously unkink and I might be able to stand up straight (Having said that I think I stoop because I was a tall kid and I didn't want others to feel intimidated by my height - of course I'm no longer tall what with diets improving over the last few years and me hitting 40 a month or so back (aren't you suppossed to loose an inch in height for each decade over the age of 40 you hit)). Perhaps I'd be able to do something immoral without fear of being crushed by guilt? Tick!
  4. There were ever so many other things, things that looked just strange and ridiculous but things that I felt I could do. Tick, Tick and Tick!
  5. Then there was the one about believing in Jesus as my lord and saviour (I'm pretty sure I should've capitalised that lord before?). Arse! Busted! That'll be a big fat angry red Cross!
At that point my crushing disappointment was met by the accumulated alcohol and I was able to retire with some hope of oblivion so I went and cuddled up with 'er indoors, sniggering at her groan and shiver when I placed my cold legs against the back of hers. Ohh goodness, more guilt ;-)

Perhaps though, I already am, my ex-wifes Grandmother was suspicious of me for ages because of my name. It took ever such a long time for her to be convinced that I was called Dominic because my Ma had high-church leanings rather than because I was a Tim. Things like that seemed to make a difference in Birkenhead in the 90s... If that's the case and I have some measure of genetic Catholicism then I've lost out on the redeeming bit. All I want is a little absolution.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

17:00hrs Tuesday

In work at 6:00hrs, as is my want anyway, but really couldn't leave until after 4. It's a Tuesday see. Pie might have come after school with it being a Tuesday... he more often than not hadn't over the last few months, but he might've.