Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles from August 2015

  1. A knitting update

    Mailing things overseas can be frustrating. Once you package everything up and send it away … you wait. And wait. And wait. And hope that your decision to go cheaper rather than faster doesn’t mean your package is now bobbing around the Atlantic Ocean, or stranded on a shipping pallet in Heathrow airport, soon to be rerouted to New Delhi instead of Norfolk. That’s how I felt when I sent two packages a month apart, and the second one arrived within a few weeks, while the first took months. But at least it was safe!

    In both cases I was dispatching some knitting gifts to friends and former colleagues back in England. I haven’t blogged about my knitting for a bit, so rather than just spam some photos on Twitter, I thought I would share them and talk about them here.

    I knit two scarves for Lesley, who was my department head and therefore had to put up with me quite a bit. The first is more properly a shawl. I love that it’s from a set of patterns called a Trilogy of Four—all the patterns are named after things from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This pattern…

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  2. My weekend failing to upgrade to Windows 10

    Initially I wasn’t going to bother upgrading to Windows 10. I currently dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu and use the latter almost exclusively. Mostly I use Windows 7 for SMART Notebook, and to play the occasional Steam game that will run on my 8-year-old laptop. Of course, I use Windows nearly every day on other computers. I’ve noticed that I feel somewhat uncomfortable on Windows 8 computers—the interface changed enough from Windows 7 that I don’t know all the idioms, and I haven’t spent enough time using Windows 8 to learn them. It almost feels like trying to use a Mac!

    With a long weekend upon us, I decided I might as well try to upgrade. I would get to learn Windows 10, and I wanted in on some of the purported performance boosts it could give to older systems—Windows 7, despite having few enough programs installed and running, was agonizing at times. So I blithely backed up my data, burned a Trusty Tahr Live CD (to restore GRUB after the upgrade overwrote the MBR), and booted Windows.

    Incompatible, inshamatible!

    First I had to invoke several Old Ones and make numerous arcane sacrifices to even get the Get…

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