Category Archives: A window on My World

Use your loaf

When I buy my Kingsmill sliced from my local supermarket (£1) I wouldn’t trust it if there was no wrapper even if the shop was pristine. So why is it that on Borough High Street with its constant traffic jams of vehicles churning out diesel fumes while waiting to cross London Bridge one maker or should that be creator, of ‘artisan’ bread, displays his wares on a bench in the street?

London in Quotations: Stephen Fry

The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American.

Stephen Fry (b.1957), The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

Courtesy isn’t dead

I was outside the Howard Hotel, before being demolished in anticipation of the unlamented Garden Bridge. A guy with lots of heavy photographic equipment wanted to be taken just quarter of a mile up the Victoria Embankment to a ship. I help him carry said equipment on board and he tells me a previous cabbie, a woman at that when asked to do the job told him to f**k off. It was good to see courtesy is still alive in our trade.

Bang went my back-up

The notice said: Recovery:

Your PC/Device needs to be repaired. Error code: 0xc0000605

I had only turned off the laptop and started it in anticipation to load a pending Windows 10 update when the notice informed me of a serious problem with my machine or just a peripheral, but no amount of switching and unplugging worked.

It was not the first time that CabbieBlog was unable to upload a post, for no sooner had this site got going, on 31 July 2009 your humble scribe was nobbled. Thieves had stolen 300 yards of pristine BT telephone cable between the exchange and my laptop causing a crisis with no internet for five days. With no Wikipedia to plagiarise, sorry research, I was forced to write using, heaven help us in this day and age, a pencil and notepad.

Telephone cables are often stolen for the copper within them. At Oregon Caves National Monument, America thieves hacked up and hauled away three miles of telephone and Internet cable along a twisting mountain road leading to the remote location, apparently to sell on the thriving scrap market for copper at a value of $3.2 million.

Then, three years ago my laptop, after becoming intermittently slow, was upgraded with a solid-state drive. Now I was looking at this blue screen with its ominous notice, so clearly it was time to call Roger my go-to computer expert.

It appeared that one of my pesky peripherals had blown the nearly-new drive, taking its contents with it. No problem, BT Cloud had been mirroring my every keyboard stroke – or so I thought.

Twenty-four hours later, and £120 lighter, after Roger had installed a new drive, I fired up and downloaded said BT backup. But the data was only half complete, much was missing.

The previous year, in an economy drive, I had switched from costly Dropbox to the free BT solution, and clearly, I had set it up incorrectly. In my defence, BT does have a rather confusing and convoluted way of doing things.

Being a belt and braces kind of geek I had also used the sublime Bvckup2 app to make multiple copies and write them onto a number of storage devices, and not to let down readers of CabbieBlog, after the early incident with the copper cable, I now use WordPress’s scheduler to upload and delay posts; in fact, dear reader there are, as I write 694 posts awaiting for your delectation.

So what can you take from this painful, and costly, incident? Firstly: laptops will at some stage die, usually at the most inconvenient moment. Secondly: don’t trust just one method to back-up your work, becoming complacent and assuming that it is always working in the background is a recipe for disaster. Thirdly: you might adequately understand Windows 10, but one day you’re going to have to rely on a guy with a screwdriver, find one you can trust, just in case; and Fourthly, don’t let down your readers.