looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

NZ Trip: Day in Wellington, Night on Waterfront

I'm in a strange place in Wellington. It's part of the Library at the Civic Center, I think. It's a combined Cafe/Bank/NZ souvineer/internet cafe. It's pretty cool. I'm using an eMac because it's the only type of computers they have here.

I had an initial problem because HotMail.com kept coming up in Japanese characters. It turned out that the previous user was still logged in to Passport.net - I could browse their InBox and everything (it was full of garbage, nothing interesting). Now, at least, I'm back in regular roman text.

It is great to be wandering around Wellington, poking my nose into shops and wishing Lisa was with me to share it.

Wellington is now proliferated with a new Bagel/Cafe called "Wholly Bagels" with a little red imp as their logo. I've bought a dozen. I'm going to have dinner with Uncle Howard & Aunt Fran at their new place on the waterfront, so I'll bring them some. The rest can go into Mum's freezer...

It turns out that Mum's NEC laptop doesn't come with Windows .CAB files on a CD. However it does have a special floppy disk that you boot from, that unlocks a secret 2GB hidden partition that wipes the disk and reinstalls Windows XP from scratch - along with all the OEM utilities. There's supposed to be a way to convert this hidden partition into a "master restore" CD - but the utilities mentioned in the manual do not appear to be available from the Windows Start menu. It requires the presence of a CD-RW drive, naturally. Also, the manual is not up-to-date for Windows XP, it keeps talking about WinME etc.

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I had a good talk with Howard and Fran.  They've sold their big old house up on the hill, and now have an inner-city apartment on the waterfront (street view not harbour view) and a regular sized house up in Waikanae in which they intend to spend the weekends but I understand they have not yet finished painting, or finished moving into.

Fran cooked pesto pasta. Pasta! How excellent.

Fran was interested in the "laptop for mum" project because they currently have their office set up in the apartment's "master bedroom" space and they need a second computer for Fran. So she grilled me about Quay Computers and what decisions we made in choosing the perfect laptop for mum. I told them they probably didn't want this model but should either look at the Shuttle + flatscreen option for portability, or stick with a more cabable laptop. I also talked about networking, Pentium-Ms etc. I'm sure I sounded like a salesman!

Actually I think I talked way too much the entire evening, only slowing down when cousins Rob and Ben turned up later on. It was great to see all of them.

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