It's only a guess but I assume Australian TV has just aired Michel Cockerell's excellent series on the House of Commons. Early Sunday, my web statistics went crazy with hits from the southern hemisphere. For two solid hours, I had hits from people searching for... Well, if you've read this blog long enough, then you'll know what they were searching for.
This whole 'Kate Emms' thing is beginning to intrigue me to the point of it becoming a distraction. I watched the Cockerell series twice and I didn't immediately hit the internet to research the name 'Kate Emms'. Yet that's precisely what hundreds (if not thousands) of people regularly do whenever that second (I believe) episode of the series is aired.They say hat certain people have 'star quality', that hard to define quality which can neither be taught not bought. If that's true, then it seems sensible to reason that there must be people out there who have star quality and just don't realise it. I'm beginning to think that Kate Emms might be one such person. If this blog can get thousands of hits from 'fans' of Kate Emms when all she's done is briefly appear on TV buying chocolate bars from her co-workers, then imagine what would happen if she launched a proper career in light entertainment. Perhaps with a song and dance act. Think Madonna with a Parliamentary/Chocolate slant.
I don't know. Thinking on my feet here. I see a name in lights. A spotlight picking out a figure. It's a large cardboard cut out of John Bercow, with oversized novelty head which wobbles from side to side. The music starts and the figure does a soft shoe shuffle before somebody carries the head one way, the arms and legs another, and then the body splits in half revealing the star of the show dressed as Black Rod and doing a two minute tap dance.
There has to be money in this. Perhaps this calls for a letter to Sir Cameron Mackintosh...
The problem with technology is that it ages so damn quickly. At the moment I'm struggling with aging computer hardware and my limitations seem to grow by the day. I know now that there will come the day when I'll simply have nothing left on which to blog and The Spine will go dark. Already this year, I've lost a laptop which I can't afford to replace. My remaining PC is a six core beast but beginning to struggle with some of the tasks I ask it to perform. It's also hardly portable and getting on in the years. My Samsung Note is good for drawing but severely limited when it comes to painting with colour. It's also useless when it comes to writing or blogging. I wrote yesterday's blog post on it and it was a very long struggle. It's the reason why I'd probably never again buy a Samsung tablet.
There are certain things you realise about companies once you join their user groups. With Dell, it was their complete lack of responsibility. My laptop was always overheating because of a design flaw. They failed to issue a recall and I was stuck with it and it died a few weeks ago with barely enough hours on its clock to justify the initial outlay. Plus they had incorporated technology into their power supplies so you always had to use an 'official' power supply, which I always think is a bit of a shoddy trick. I won't buy Dell again. It's a shame but the thinking of some corporate types goes beyond logic when they choose some short term gain over the loyalty of very long time Dell owner. It's the same thinking, I suppose, which made them move the Dell technical support to India. It says something about any company when they choose to save money instead of providing proper support to their user base.
The thing you realise being a Samsung user is that the company seems to have the attention span of a gnat. The Samsung Note 2014 Edition is a truly great tablet but, once the product was out the door, Samsung moved on to something new. Firmware updates have been sporadic and they have completely ignored the plethora of people complaining about the Bluetooth issues that affect the tablet. Simply: it's impossible to get the 2014 Note 10.1 inch table to work with a Bluetooth keyboard. There are hundreds of pages on the web detailing the problem. Connecting to the keyboard is simple. In my case, I'm using an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, which is one of the better keyboards out there. I can type on it and the tablet captures my input. But after ten seconds, it drops the connection and I have to wait another ten seconds before it connects again. I then have about ten seconds of typing before it disconnects again... Ad nauseam.. After nearly two years, there are still no fixes.
Since my main activity is writing, the Note has been a huge disappointment. I can't type using the screen. My fingers are simply too big and I want to type quicker than the touch screen allows. It's not enough to turn me off Samsung products entirely but I'd be cautious about buying another.
Friends I know swear by Apple and though I've always scoffed a little, I can see why their loyalty lasts. I've never had such luck finding a company to whom I've been entirely loyal. Apple were about the best but I could never live with their restrictions. I wanted access to SD cards and operating systems. I want control over the devices I own and I don't want to pay the earth for beautiful hardware that's locked to me. I don't know where I'll turn next or even when I'll have a chance to move on to new hardware. Perhaps I'll go back to paper and ink and I'll grow a beard in the style of Henry David Thoreau, retire from the electronic world to live in a cabin. Sometimes it feels like it would make a lot more sense, instead of wasting my days making podcasts that only three people listen to and writing words largely ignored by the multitude only passing through in order to read the last news about Kate Emms.