Garmin nüvi 360T: Further thoughts

Filed under: Lotus — iain @ 12:07:06

It’s been over a month since I posted my first impressions of the nüvi 360T. Although I haven’t used it an awful lot in that time I have had a chance to get more familiar with it and I have done one "proper" journey: from Cambridge to Blackburn and back.




Filed under: Restaurants — iain @ 21:46:46

After yesterday’s trip to Al Casbah I had another opportunity to sample a restaurant that I’d wanted to visit for some time.

Strada opened a few months back with a decent amount of publicity. Our house in Beche Court got a flyer through the front door offering free wine to celebrate the opening. I didn’t go but the advertisement did its job; I kept the restaurant in mind whenever I was in town and feeling peckish.

Unfortunately I never actually managed to get a table. One time I went with some friends and it was clearly fully booked. Another time it looked fairly quiet but the staff declared that it was in fact booked up.

Last month at a meal given in honour of a CSR staff member who was moving on, a colleague continually sang the praises of Strada, saying how much better the dishes were than those at the restaurant where we were eating, and waxed so appreciative that other members of our party asked if she was a shareholder or had some other vested interest in directing people to Trinity Street.

When I announced that my parents were visiting and that I had booked a table at Strada, she reeled off a list of recommendations and promised that we would love it.

We did.

The starters were delicious. The mains were delicious. The pizza we shared was delicious. A proper freshly made thin crust pizza; exquisite. The desserts were delicious. The service was courteous and efficient.

Twice in one week I had built up my expectations for a good meal and twice in a week I had not been disappointed. It’s like being back in Hong Kong.


Al Casbah

Filed under: Restaurants — iain @ 21:11:33

Every time I passed Al Casbah on Mill Road, which was especially often when I was commuting to Maidenhead, I looked inside and asked myself why I hadn’t been in there yet. Always full to bursting, and issuing mouth-watering flavours from the grill at the front of the restaurant on which pitta bread and snacks are prepared in front of diners, the place had an appeal strong enough to overshadow the fact that it is – and there’s no getting away from this – an Algerian restaurant called Al Casbah.

If I can eat at a Lebanese place called Beirut and an Indian called The Curry House then surely Al Casbah has to be worth a look.

Rebecca and I arrived to find the place jam packed as usual. Indeed it looked as though we might not be able to get a table. Luckily for us the staff were able to manœuvre some chairs around and cram us in. Finally I would eat at what I was soon to learn is the most dangerous restaurant in Cambridge.

Yes you read that correctly. Dangerous. As our waiter laid the table he dropped a knife which bounced right on the edge of the table and flew towards me at a fair pace. I tried to catch it but wasn’t quick enough. I succeeded only in parrying the blade in the direction of the diners to our right, giving the poor lady at the head of the table quite a fright, though thankfully not causing any actual damage. Later in the evening the gentleman opposite her had a narrow escape as the head waiter spilled a bowl of soup … almost over his trousers.

I leaned over and declared that I couldn’t be held responsible for that incident – a reference to the earlier lighthearted suggestion that the flying knife act was of my instigation – and all concerned laughed heartily. It’s the kind of place where you can relax and have fun, thanks to the laid back atmosphere created by the staff.

None of which counts for much if the food on offer isn’t up to scratch. I am happy to report that it was. Every dish from the fresh bread through the starters and main course was freshly and expertly prepared. The meal had been just as good as I’d expected it to be.


Opening a bank account

Filed under: Rebecca in the UK — iain @ 22:36:28


Rebecca will want to find a job, even a temp position, rather than sit around at home watching TV while I’m at work. But she won’t be able to be paid without a bank account.




Filed under: Geekiness — iain @ 19:35:56

If it’s good enough for Matthias it’s good enough for me. I’ve implemented greylisting on my mail server using the funkalicious qmail-spp framework.

Initial results are surprisingly good. At the time of my last query against the database, 95% of messages greylisted over the previous 500 minutes (the lifetime of database records) were not retried. And that means they were probably spam messages that were blocked.

Mac OS ex battery

Filed under: Geekiness — iain @ 19:29:45

The battery in my MacBook Pro gave up the ghost.

It had been behaving strangely for a few weeks, for example making ridiculous claims such as there was an hour’s worth of charge remaining after the laptop had been on AC power all day. The machine had even plain switched itself off a few times while on battery power. I put this down to the battery needing calibration and resolved to recalibrate it At Some Point.

Then on Saturday I put the Mac down on my desk and found that something didn’t sit quite right. Desks are usually flat. The underside of laptops are usually flat. It stands to reason, therefore, that a laptop placed on a desk should not wobble. Mine did.

Turning the machine upside down revealed the problem: the battery had become so hot it had physically deformed and is now, suffice to say, quite useless.

Of course the machine would be exactly a month out of warranty. I’ve ordered a new battery from eBay rather than spend the £99 Apple want to buy direct from them but it still comes in at an eye-watering £68 with P+P.

I really need someone to catburgle his way into my flat and steal, destroy or otherwise mess up my MacBook Pro so I can get a new one on my insurance. Having the only original Core Duo amongst my Mac-owning friends is somewhat depressing. The downside of early adoption.


A tiring Saturday

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 22:04:29

The sun hasn’t visited in quite a while. I refer not to the daily newspaper, which visits its subscribers every day, but the glowing ball of fire in the sky which Cambridge residents may recall seeing in March and April. It hasn’t been much in evidence over the last month or so but clear skies on Friday hinted at a fine weekend in prospect.

This is just as well, since I had to get up at 0600 for a train to London and not having to wear a jacket or cart an umbrella around are not inconsiderable advantages when operating in such inhospitable timezones.


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