It’s a week since I tested positive for Covid which means it’s been a week when not much has happened other than a large amount of lying in bed and feeling sorry for myself. Having done exactly that on Monday, I tried doing some work on Tuesday, only to collapse back into bed in the afternoon. Friday was the first day where I could actually get through an entire day without feeling so drained that I had to retire and I still feel ill. Bearing in mind that I am vaccinated, boostered and have had it before I dread to think what I would have been like without the essential jabs. And let no one tell you it’s “just like a cold now”, because it isn’t. It’s like the worst flu you’ve had, but lasting longer and being far more infectious.
All of which means I’m in isolation, possibly until Wednesday. Legally of course I could just completely ignore the fact I’m infectious and wander around maskless giving every vulnerable person I meet a disease, but I have more morals than the government so I’m not going to do that.
Annoyingly the enforced isolation comes at precisely the moment I was feeling like emerging from the wintering I’ve been going through – getting the bike out, travelling more (we are supposed to be down in Brighton next week, but with Kim also now isolating there’s no guarantee we can). The past few weeks I have finally started to feel like life is getting moving again, and enjoying it.
Being sick, and so being unable to do the amount of energy-sapping meetings (virtual) as normal also meant I had time to do more writing, and it’s underlined for me how much I miss it. It’s really only in the past five years that my work has moved from writing words to doing spreadsheets/presentations/management and having some space and time to write made a huge difference to how I feel. All of which means I need to carve out time (and protect it) for writing.
Some of that writing – shock, horror – was actually fiction, which is an area that I don’t normally delve into at all. It started with a simple writing prompt and ended up as a solid couple of thousand words in a couple of hours. I’m not saying they are good words, but they’re words.
Astounding Days by Arthur C Clarke. This is Clarke’s “science fictional autobiography”, packed full of anecdote about the mid-century science fictional London and his own work. I’ve been listening to a lot of Clarke short stories lately, as I have all five volumes of them via Audible, and they’re great to fall asleep to. I have heard the first half of “The Sentinel” many times: its end, less so.
Picard: it’s getting good.
Meanwhile, on the Internet…
Terry Pratchett pockets a palmtop PC: A short video clip of Terry being interviewed about libraries caught my eye and thanks to some super-sleuthing from Rob Manuel and Jay Grooby I was able to identify the device that he was using to write – an Olivetti Quaderno from 1992. This was a pretty unique mini-laptop which had no pointing device at all, and a really weird placement for the numeric keypad. It also has one of the most weird promo videos of technology history, which is an hour long. The first minute is entirely composed of a women’s gym class and the camera’s focus is mostly the instructors breasts. If any Italian speakers can tell me why, I’d love to know.
Neil Cybart wrote about how Apple is now in a league of its own, and looking at tech at the moment it’s hard to disagree. A great example of this is Universal Control which is an absolute game-changer, and something that only Apple can do thanks to the degree of work they put into underlying technologies and integration.
Jason Snell reviewed the Apple Studio Display and like everyone else loved the display while hating the webcam. Apple really messed up with the software for this.