An aside

The meaning of my communication is the response I get.
[An NLP presupposition – original source unknown]

Window shopping with plague rats

On a restless Saturday afternoon, unable to settle on a place to walk to I decided to do my 10,000 steps inside IKEA, Tempe.

My logic was that I’d use the occasion to stare at objects and people, in that order, while getting a walk but not getting cold. Warm enough day, but that wind…

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Beyond identity politics

Anis Shivani writing on Identity Politics in Salon

I somehow skipped the emergence of identity politics and have only begun to understand it retrospectively after the recent USA election. It drove me to walk away from Facebook as I was frequently told how I should support Hilary Clinton and any other position was misogynistic: but as the writer says this ignored her neo-liberal history which I found more offensive. (In between me screaming “I’m not a fucking American!”). I think the writer is right. Identity politics is a losing strategy. Our Labor party has struggled by being seen as no different to the neo-liberal LNP. Our Greens have been drowning in identity politics. I think this is why I have felt so disenfranchised.

The Train to Blackheath

Continuing my travails in public here is my account of another sortie on Sydney public transport.

Having cause to visit Blackheath in the upper Blue Mountains on the occasion of Henry’s 6th birthday I decided to once more attempt the journey by train.

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Dell XPS 13″

I have long been concerned that my desktop computer often remains powered on while I am away for long periods and have been seeking a solution that will take me into this new phase in my life called retirement.

My old machine was reaching the end of its capacity and took a frustratingly long time to start – hence my leaving it running to avoid the slow morning startup.  Also, now that I am not working fulltime it seemed  strange to have a whole desk dedicated to the computer. If I am to downsize my life and simplify, as I intend to do, then a more elegant and energy efficient solution was needed.

I used a power meter to measure the energy consumption of the old machine and its monitor and peripherals and it could frequently exceed 120W/hour. Even at rest it was consuming as much as an 80W lightbulb and I frequently ran it all day and night. That works out at between AUD250 to AUD350 per year.

After much research, and those who know me will know I rarely do anything without first researching, I settled on a DELL XPS 13″ machine and luckily the exact configuration came out the week after I had made my decision.  I usually try and buy the best machine I can afford with the highest configuration that is around the hig-end of the sweet spot. In this case it was a 16GB memory, 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD). It is also a 2 in 1 machine which folds into tent mode and, if required, a tablet. The screen is beautiful.

Having now configured it and migrated all my data across (after some brutal culling and archiving to my mirror drive) I must admit to being very happy with it.

It will set you back around AUD2800 but I am hoping it will last a good while and ably assist my move to minimalism.  And the best part is the power – I now only use 32W while charging and as soon as it is full it falls back to a trickle feed of around 6W. Best of all, when you unplug the USB-C power cable the transformer stops drawing power even if it remains plugged into the socket. This should help pay for the device over several years in power alone let alone the benefits a portable device brings.

First laptop I have ever been happy to own.