Array of radiotelescopes in front of a mountain

Family matters

A lack of updates because of a lack of time. We've had my Mum and sis down from from Queensland occupying much of our time. We shipped sis off to Amsterdam last weekend to be with her boyfriend so things quietened down a bit. It's her first trip overseas and if things work out she should be there a year.

We are off ourselves to Malaysia and Thailand shortly. Also purchased tickets to Europe later in the year at the recent Flight Centre travel expo. Trying to fit in our travel before life changes, if it ever does. As usual, see travel.allrong.net for the travel blog.

I'm typing this on Mum's new Acer laptop, an Aspire 5315. I bought a bottom of the line model for her as she only wants to check her emails and copy photos from her digital camera. With a Celeron 530 1.37 GHz and 512MB of RAM even Vista Basic runs like a slug. Now I understand why so many people loathe this operating system. My Sharp PC-CV50F Muramasa is about half the recommended specs for XP but it runs like a dream in comparison.

I want to purchase an Asus EeePC for her, but she only has dialup internet access and the Eee has no modem. USB modems are seemingly quite expensive and she hasn't the knowledge to setup new hardware. I'll just have to ask her to get more RAM for this one.

Setting up a new Windows PC from scratch is always a pain in the neck. Google Pack makes it a bit easier by providing a range of useful software through a single installer. I prefer AVG to Google's Symantic Virus scan tool and would rather use OpenOffice than StarOffice but it's still easier than downloading each item from separate websites. I've switched software like Firefox and Picasa to be the defaults away from Vista's own offerings. At least I can more easily support them seeing as I don't own a Vista PC.

Hope the nearly incessant rain stops for long enough this weekend to allow me to the mow the lawn and hang out the washing. At least we'll have water when we return from holidays.