Saturday, July 28, 2007

Zuccerho Ayo Paleo

Unluckily canton Vaud like England is also having a share of the inclement weather. Besides disrupting our exercise schedules rain tends to have an adverse effect on pop concerts.

And so as we drove down the motorway on Monday night we felt very sorry for the fans attending the washout conditions at Paleo 2007 So wet that on Tuesday the grass car parks had to be closed due to waterlogging no doubt further adding to the chaos.

This evening entertainment was to be courtesy of the Italian rock singer Zucchero. Personally I had wanted to go to Thursdays performance of Pink but I was outvoted by the girls who voted for Mr Sugar.

But first we were treated to an eternally smiling Ayo who wowed us with a selection on soulful numbers. It was a nice touch that at the end of the concert she left by actually walking thru the crowd.

Mr Zucchero is obviously a night bird as he did not come on until midnight, well 23.50 infact.

It being so late those clever Paleo organisers have arranged a series of ingenious fire devices so we snuggled up to one of these for the first hour to keep warm, then for the second hour we made it down to the field by the main stage itself.

Another great time, thanks Paleo 2007 for a great night

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mr Tom and Jeanette Livings

I am delighted to announce that we were proud attendees to the wedding of the (former) Jeanette Murphy and Tom Livings.

We arrived a day early to a watery and flooded England but we were so excited to be in London we did not care so much.

After an intensive mornings shopping we were happy to find our super reliable London car Harry ready for his long journey up to Dudley. Long was indeed the case since the 150 miles took almost 5 hours. We were very lucky though as the section of the M5 that we visited still worked.

Given the weather we had very good luck as the wedding proceeded. Rain was suspended for the wedding and for the subseuquent reception as Wroxhall Abbey. Here is the photo gallery with pictures of friends we have not seen for some time!

In good company with Kang

He knows all the best tunes

Tom and Jeanette walking down the isle

Agata meets Francesca

Vicar in training

In the getaway car

Marcus and Rahat

The smiling couple

Lovely Jeanette

First Dance

Mrs Murphy senior

Waiting for a plane

Thanks for inviting Tom and Jeanette and we know that you are going to have a fantastic life together.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

All that Jazz

Well it is that time again the Montreux Jazz Festival

Living close by there is really no excuse not to go. Unless of course you don't like food. For you see the Jazz festival is mostly about the food, a little bit about the Rock or Dance music and trailing a long way behind at the rear Jazz music.

This is a very fine thing to me since Jazz music is at the end of my musical preferences list.

This year like every year tens or perhaps even upto 100 food and product stalls populate the side of the Lake Leman by Stravinsky Hall and at these stalls you can buy various types of clothing, nic-nacs and most importantly food. This year the Jazz token fiasco has been abandoned.

For the last 2 years it was necessary to exchange your cash into non refundable Jazz tokens which could be used at any of the food stalls. You never quite knew how many to buy, and the long queues at the exchange booths meant you'd over buy and then have to spend all the remaining tokens on something inappropriate before festival end. This year we are back to cash. Good move.

In order to see the big acts it is wise to book early so we booked Chemical Brothers months ago. We had a fantastic time at their set. This despite the obligatory large rhonocerous shaped man in front of me who did his best to obscure the entire stage for the whole concert. Even better he decided that energetically dancing would be a really great idea, meaning I had to continuosly dodge large amounts of fast moving blubber followed my perspiration. Then just behind me a woman with long blonde hair was moving around so violently she was constantly flicking me. I was amusing for the first minute, about an hour later not so amusing.

Despite these 2 distractions we had a fantastic time and I suppose buying the Chemical Brothers album We are the Night should be the next step.

Aside from that on other days we also took part in the wet, Loud but ultimtely entertaining Montreux Blues Boat and hung around the Parc Vernex stage for some time.

Thanks for a great time Montreux, I'm so glad it does not have to be about the Jazz.

Vista Activation Woes

flame on:
Despite cat calls and jibes from friends, my master Home server has remained on a Windows platform for some years now. It has made the transition from XP to XP64 to Windows Server 2003 , to 2003 R2 and now to Vista Ultimate 64.

Tonight however I am almost at the end of my patience. Perhaps my scoffing IT friends are right. Just as I upgraded one of the servers backup disks from 500GB to 750GB up popped a dialog insisting that I changed my Vista Hardware configuration.

Since the backup slot of my server contains one of 7 different backup disks on a regular basis, this was a bit of a shock. It tomorrow I put one of the other 6 backup disks into the backup slot, will I have to re-activate?

And so the painful phone activation progress began one more time. I was used to the Phone activation process, because as a Microsoft Action Pack member the 10 copies of XP that we receive are often installed and reinstalled for testing purposes. When an individual license gets re-installed and activated more than 3 times (I think) it insists from that time on that you telephone activate it. (That is to say Internet Activation will not work thereafter)

But Vista Ultimate 64 Bit edition was never included in the Action pack (I got Vista Business 64 bit version by Action pack post on 13th July 2007) so I had to go an buy a few copies.

So, back to the plot. For some un-reasonable reason I have to re-validate.

First since I live in Switzerland dialing the CH number on the screen was going to lead to misery since they would be speaking French or German and I might miss something.

Eventually I found the UK toll free number .. +44 800 018 8354

To remind you all of the process: first you have to type in 8 blocks of 6 numbers shown on the popup via your phone keypad.

This is going to fail because (you always) first try via the Internet and the Activation server complains that they key has already been used. Therefore the phone system also complains.

So eventually you get redirected to an offshore helper. I spoke to Mr Vipin, an offshored Gentleman who became selectively deaf in subsequent parts of our conversation. I had to repeat my 48 digits to him and then he told me the response number to type into the Vista Dialog boxes which worked.

I then asked him about the fact that my Vista Business Action pack DVD arrived from Microsoft without a license key. At this point he became totally deaf and said he could not hear me. He advised me to ring back, at which point of course I would not get connected to him but somebody else.

I tried this using 2 chargable Uk and US numbers he gave. I dialled international rates to the UK and USA but of course the automated system does not allow you to speak to anybody unless you first enter the 48 digit code, which I cant by definition have. So I am expensively screwed.

From this you learn I am totally not a happy bunny. All my Microsoft Software is legitimate. It costs me personally hundreds to thousands of pounds per year.

When I do have a problem I get patchy and in this case incorrect support. It really makes me hard for me to recommend Microsoft to my non IT friends. I can imagine if they ever get a license problem I am going to be the first one they call!
Flame off.