The Anonymous Widower

BP And Microsoft Form Strategic Partnership To Drive Digital Energy Innovation And Advance Net Zero Goals

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Authority.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The companies intend to work together to develop new technology innovations and digital solutions to help meet their sustainability aims, including reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

I find this an interesting and possibly very important partnership.

It is an article that is well worth a read.

Conclusion

Strategic partnerships like this might be one of the moves, that will improve the world.

 

 

September 17, 2020 Posted by | Business, Computing, World | , , | Leave a comment

Google Going “Carbon Free” By 2030

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Houston Chronicle.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Tech giant Google is committing to using no form of energy that emits carbon dioxide by the end of this decade, ramping up its commitment to fighting climate change.

This looks like a good thing to me, as all those servers use a lot of electricity.

There have also been similar pledges from Microsoft and Apple.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

ARM: Can ‘Crown Jewel’ Of UK Technology Be Protected?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the introductory paragraphs.

The UK government is “looking at options” to protect and ensure future investment in Cambridge-based ARM Holdings, which is being bought by US tech giant Nvidia from Japan’s Softbank.

This is a much more relaxed attitude than the government took when Softbank bought the world-leading chip designer in July 2016. At that time, Softbank announced it had agreed to legally binding commitments to increase investment, headcount and preserve its headquarters in the UK.

It is not too late for the government to impose conditions, but conversations on whether to impose them or what they might be have not even started.

Some of the original founders of ARM Holdings, would appear to be not very happy.

I have followed the company for a number of years, as I was in the same class at Liverpool University with Robin Saxby, who was ARM’s first CEO.

At great surprise to myself, I made a nice sum of money by investing in the shares at the right time.

I am less unhappy, as I think two opposite outcomes would be good for the UK.

  • It all goes pear-shaped and large numbers of talented engineers in Cambridge create several children of ARM.
  • Nvidia decides that the ARM model and location is better and moves the headquarters of the group to the UK. Trump and his policies could make this likely, by picking fights with countries where Nvidia and ARM have large markets.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

 

September 14, 2020 Posted by | Business, Computing, Finance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bucks Council Supports New Internet Lines

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Mix96.

Buckinghamshire County Council are proposing to use the construction of the new East West Railway, as a route for extra Internet connectivity.

How sensible!

Are East West Railway and Buckinghamshire County Council talking to Hive Composites, about their next generation composite poles for a 5G-enabled railway, that won funding in the latest round of first-of-a-kind funding from Innovate UK?

Will other councils and companies be using other rail construction to advantage?

June 28, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

How To Get Rid Of The “Microsoft Account Problem” Notification

I get the occasional one of these notifications on my new Windows 10 computer. I just ignore them, like I do all notifications, as this is a load of rubbish, that I didn’t have to put up with on my previous Windows 7 computer, that is sadly on its last legs.

I searched the internet and found this good explanation of what to do with them. If you want the one-word answer it’s Ignore!!!

June 28, 2020 Posted by | Computing | , | Comments Off on How To Get Rid Of The “Microsoft Account Problem” Notification

Thoughts On The COVID-19 Testing

I must first congratulate all those involved in organising and carrying-out the tests.

As someone, who has analysed many large databases for patterns of perhaps marketing information, product recalls or criminal activity, 100,000 tests per day or million in ten days, is a very large amount of hopefully reliable data, that I believe can be used to answer a lot of relevant questions about the progress of this pandemic and our very boring (For me, at least!) lockdown.

I hope, that the tests collect all the right data to go along with the physical data.

But I suspect that some important scientifically-correct questions won’t be asked. For instance.

  • What is your place of birth?
  • What is your BMI?
  • How much exercise do you do every day?
  • What is your religion?
  • How often do you attend a religious service?
  • How many in your household?
  • How many generations in your household?
  • Do you have a pet that needs exercise?
  • Do you have any drug habits?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you smoke?
  • How much alcohol do you drink?
  • Are you vegetarian?

Only by collecting a full database alongside the testing process, will we get maximum value out of the testing.

May 2, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

The Death Of My Son George

In some ways our youngest son; George, was more my baby, than my wife’s!

When you have three children under three, you have to devise a system so they can all be fed, watered and managed.

In the early 1970s, I was working at home, writing software for the likes of companies like Lloyds Bank, Plessey, Ferranti and others, usually by means of a dial-up line to a company called Time Sharing Ltd. in Great Portland Street.

  • So most days George sat on my desk in a plastic baby chair, as I worked.
  • C would look after the two elder children, generally taking them to the park or friends.
  • George was still in nappies, real not disposable. We did use a nappy service!
  • I sometimes wonder, if I can still install a proper nappy on a baby!
  • I would feed him as I worked.
  • George also used to come with me to visit clients, I had to meet at Great Portland Street. Usually, the secretaries would steal him away.

It was a system, that worked well for all of us.

Of our three children, George was the only one, that C thought could be coeliac, as I am. Mothers know their families! We once tried to test him with a self-test kit from the Internet. but the results were inconclusive.

I now believe he was coeliac for one genetic reason. His daughter was born with a severe congenital hernia of the diaphragm and research shows this can be linked to a coeliac father.

At least I was lucky with my three boys in this respect, but it points to George being coeliac.

George worked in the music business and was the sound engineer on some of the work of Diane Charlemagne. I met Diane once, when I stood on The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, which I wrote about in Fun and Games at the Fourth Plinth.

  • Diane was working as the security guard and it was an amazing coincidence, that we realised our connection through George.
  • She spoke highly of his work.

Sadly Diane died of kidney cancer in 2015.

George didn’t drink, but he smoked heavily and not just tobacco. He also lived on a very gluten-rich diet of Subways and the like.

I suspect that his immune system was as good as much protection as a chocolate colander in a tsunami!

I have discussed this with doctors, who specialise in cancer and they feel that it could have contributed to his death from pancreatic cancer.

  • George died at home.
  • He was not in much pain due to the morphine he was controlling through a pump and the cannabis he was smoking.
  • One day, he was in bed and talking to my then aristocratic girlfriend and myself, when he just expired.
  • There was no drama and he just went to sleep.

A few minutes later, my girlfriend and the housekeeper, laid out the body for the undertaker.

I had been at George’s quiet death, just like I had been at the birth of all three sons.

Looking Back

George died ten years ago and his death has left some marks on my mind.

  • Because of our early relationship, some of my grief for George was more like that of a mother.
  • George died a peaceful death, which with modern medicine should be almost a right for many!
  • His death has driven me to fund and take part in medical research, especially for pancreatic cancer.
  • I also feel strongly, we should steer clear of cannabis, eat sensibly and check as many as possible for coeliac disease.

But now above all, I have no fear of Covid-19 or death.

 

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My First Real Telephone Consultation With A GP

Last Monday, I had my three-monthly B12 injection, as I have since I was diagnosed as a coeliac around twenty years ago.

I said that I needed to see my GP, or at least talk to him, as it was time for my Warfarin review, where we check my dose and order more tablets, as appropriate.

The receptionist said, she’ll get him to give me a call and professionally checked that they had my correct telephone number.

I’d been home about thirty minutes, when the GP phoned and we review the Warfarin and he said, he’d sent a prescription to Boots. I also told him, that my hand would need a proper examination after we’d got rid of the menace of COVID-19.

The call took about five minutes and I suspect that we’d both rate the outcome with at least four stars.

I find it strange, that in my seventy-two years, I’ve never before had a telephone consultation with a GP.

Even, when my wife and son, were dying of cancer, I never spoke to my GP at the time by phone. I did occasionally send messages by FAX to the surgery, as that was the only way to leave a message, as e-mail and text wasn’t an option.

Surely, though simple systems could be developed, so that everybody can have a telephone or video consultation with their GP, if the patient has the technical knowledge.

With my Warfarin review, I might send a message, by phone, e-mail or text, saying I need the review.

  • The GP’s system might then text me to say, my phone appointment was at 14:00 on the 17th, in much the way it does now!
  • I would be able to use a simple reply system to say that was OK or not!
  • The doctor would hopefully be able to phone at the appropriate time.

All sorts of systems would be possible. I’m sure Zoom has something suitable.

If COVID-19 means that GP capacity is increased because of the need to social distance, so be it!

There is also the benefit, that on a wet and windy day, walking to the GP, might not be what I want to do.

April 27, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , | 1 Comment

Coronavirus: New York Couples Can Now Tie The Knot Over Zoom

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an order allowing online marriages, as many weddings are cancelled under lockdown restrictions.

It sounds like a sensible idea to me.

When I first heard this story, I wondered if Zoom will be allowed for Quickie divorces?

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | 2 Comments

Surviving Lockdown

People ask if I am surviving lockdown.

I am lucky in several ways.

Housing

I live in a spacious house, which is comfortable.

Although, it does have problems.

  • It was built by a Turkish Jerrybuilder, who bought fixtures and fittings at the cheapest price possible.
  • It gets too hot.
  • The plumbing is suspect.
  • The air-conditioner is broken and the service company, have had my money to fix it, but won’t come.
  • The smoke detector above my bed is just hanging there, as I wrote in A Design Crime – The Average Smoke Detector

Hopefully, when we beat COVID-19, I’ll be able to move.

Finances

My investments give me enough to live comfortably. If you call, living in two rooms, never talking face-to-face with anybody living comfortably.

Exercise

I am still fit and can exercise as much as I need and is recommended.

I have a workout that I do twice a day, which includes movements like press-ups, stretches and single-leg stands.

I can do two dozen press-ups straight off or walk three miles, if I need to.

Health

My health is good, despite being a coeliac and suffering a serious stroke ten years ago.

  • I test my own INR.
  • I seem to have survived my fall of a month ago.
  • I only go to the surgery for B12 injections, drug reviews and the odd problem.

Other than that I just suffer from the problems of a healthy man of 72, like arthritis and hay fever.

I do have a strange skin, that leaks a lot of water and doesn’t bleed, when I have an injection or a doctor or nurse takes blood. I never have a plaster after either procedure.

Food

I am a reasonable and very practical cook, or so my son and various friends tell me. These are some meals, I’ve been cooking under lockdown.

Sardines And Baked Eggs

Pasta With Yogurt Sauce For One

Goat’s Cheese, Strawberry And Basil Salad

Cod And Tomato With Basil

Lemon And Spinach Cod Gratin

Smoked Haddock And Curried Rice

I shall add more here.

I won’t starve!

Shopping

A Marks and Spencer food store is fifteen minutes walk away, so I can get all the food I need.

I also got plenty of Adnams 0.5% alcohol Ghost Ship beers direct from the brewers delivered last week.

Their beers have been a lifeline, as they are gluten-free, thirst-quenching and don’t get me drunk. Even in quantity!

I also have safe delivery without any contact, as the couriers just ring my bell, we chat through the window about three metres away and they leave the goods on the step.

I didn’t think about lockdown, when I bought this house, but it is ideal for safe COVID-19-free deliveries.

Lockdown Practice

There can’t be many people, now going through the COVID-19 lockdown, wo have locked themselves away so many times in their life as I have.

  • At the age of about six, I spent three months or more, in isolation because I caught scarlet fever.
  • For the summer before A-Levels, my parents went to their house in Felixstowe. For part of the time, I locked myself in my bedroom and read up on my A level Physics.
  • A couple of times at ICI, I self-isolated with a computer to get important jobs done. How many have used an IBM-360 as a PC?
  • I self-isolated to write Speed, my first piece of independent software.
  • Pert7 and other software for Time Sharing Ltd was written overnight sitting in the window of their offices on Great Portland Street.
  • Artemis was written in an attic in Suffolk, with no-one else around for most of the time.
  • The special PC version of Artemis, that was a combined project management, database and spreadsheet program, was also written under lockdown.
  • After Celia died, I wrote Travels With My Celia(c) under lockdown. You can download the pdf file here.

Lockdown has almost been a way of life for me.

But on past form, I certainly have the mental strength to get through lockdown unscathed.

Conclusion

There must be a lot of others in much worse situations than myself.

 

April 18, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Food, Health, World | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments