Tuesday 23 March 2010

My Brain

I was listening to Are We Alone podcast this morning on the way to work (on an old iriver instead of my HTC Touch HD - but that's another story) and it was all about how your memory works. One thing I always think about and complain to others about is what I perceive to be the state of my memory.

I really think I have problems remembering things. I think I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts (science, linux, etc), reading literature/blogs and watching documentaries and I am quite annoyed at the fact that I seem to really struggle to retain all the interesting facts that I am reading/listening/watching. I could read a book on something, thoroughly enjoy it, then forget most of it. The subject could come up in conversation and I always feel that I should be able to speak up because I have read about it, but I usually quite blank!

Its really beginning to bother me as I imagine how much I would know if I remembered more that I took in, as I do feel like I make an effort to keep myself reasonably well read. Its worse when I hear someone talking about something that I know I have learnt about, and they are saying it wrong, but I am not able to recall the facts to put them right.

One of the interesting things in the podcast was that 2 main things are detrimental to whether you remember something or not: 1) Interruption and 2) Concentration (I actually can't remember from this morning if that's the right word, but it fits for what I remember I was going to write about).

Interruption is obvious and an external factor, but concentration is really interesting. I realised when I heard this that that is exactly what happens to me. I find myself all the time when reading or listening to someone, realising that my mind has actually wandered onto something else and I have to kinda snap myself out of it.

I actually did this whilst listening to the podcast as I was thinking about the above paragraph, so missed the next few minutes of the podcast! And then when I realised that's what I had done, I started thinking about that too missing even further minutes! Its ridiculous.

I don't think I have problems, I just think I want to be able to have a better memory, as I do have interests in many things and my mind is always going at a hundred miles an hour on different topics.

So I guess if I really do think it is a problem I will have to find ways to train my memory... can only be a good thing...right?

Monday 8 March 2010

Samsung N130

Recently got a new netbook in the form of a Samsung N130 to replace my Advent, which met its demise at the hands of my 20 month old. It was replaced on household insurance fortunately and its spec seems basically the same. I think they're all much of a muchness really. Seems like a nice netbook for my basic purposes.

Firstly booted it up into XP to ensure it worked. Was a bit put off by the Samsunng recovery facility, which has a partition of its own plus it also wanted to split the XP partition further into a C: and D: and run a backup. Took ages before I could get to actually use it. The XP install is about 6GB! So didn't look around that much.

So I quickly set to installing Ubuntu9.10 on it from a live USB stick, setting up a dual boot. I kept XP seeing as it was already paid for and has its occasional use, but I am very tempted to wipe out everything, including all the restore nonsense and just have 100% Ubuntu. But I know I would probably regret it. It would be nice to be able to clean it up to just a Windows partition and an Ubuntu partition, but I don't know how to get rid of all the Samsung stuff. Suggestions welcome!

So as usual, Ubuntu installed, booted and worked wonderfully and quickly. So, so pain free and simple compared even just to the XP initial setup, let alone a fresh XP install. My only hold up was wireless, as often encountered. But a quick bit googling quickly found a solution here. Sorted, all working! Updated and installed a few essentials to get started.

On a side note, was a bit pissed off with the insurance company. Made it clear from the beginning that I wanted the old one back if possible. The screen was smashed but I thought I could use it as a little server. They told me no problem on multiple occasions I could get it back.

So I sent it off to be innspected, very time consuming process, as one glance would show how beyond repair it was and got a call back to offer the Samsung. Agreed on the Samsung and asked for the old one to be sent back. 'That'll cost you £100 please'


Apparently they failed to mentioned that as soon as I sent it off it became their property and I had the right to buy it back! Maybe this how all insurance companies work, I don't know, it was my first encounter. So I ended up just paying £15 for the HDD! Gits!