Thursday, 20th August, 2020

[Day 157]

This morning was a beautiful fine morning with a blue sky and a few fluffy white clouds – it made walking an absolute pleasure compared with yesterday which was so rain-sodden. We realised that we needed to buy a few toiletries so we made one of the very rare trips onto the High Street to access one of the cut-price toiletries shops of which there are several. Whilst we were at it, I popped into Poundland in order to buy a supply of cleaning wipes and sprays so that when we go on our little few days break in Chester next week, we can have a supply of cleaning agents to hand to make our immediate environs in the hotel as safe as we can be (without getting excessively neurotic about it all) By the time we had our elevenses, we suddenly realised that we were actually running it a bit short of time as our hairdresser was due to arrive at 1 pm. So we had to walk home at a fairly brisk pace but still made it with about three minutes to spare. We both have our hair cut by our visiting hairdresser who has been coming to us for years so we decided (as we did yesterday, with our chiropodist) to set up an online payment system so that we are not constantly scrabbling around for money when she comes but we can make the payment online (which, of course, is more and more common these days).

Last night, after I had finished blogging and playing about with my webspace files, I wondered what the available free FTP clients were like for the MAC these days. I downloaded CyberDuck which seems both a have a good reputation but it integrates into the Mac operating system. It was easy to install and I was delighted to find that it had recognised that I also have Filezilla (very popular FTP client installed) so it had incorporated all of the various web-site credentials (usernames, passwords etc.) so there was no setting up to be done. I used a free and incredibly popular FTP client for years called WS-FTP for decades and knew it like the back of my hand but they have never developed a version for the Mac and showed no inclination to either. WS-FTP was first written decades ago and set the standard for how these FTP programs work as you have a split screen with all of your local folders and files on the left hand side and all of your remote folders/files on the right hand side. So it was a bit disconcerting to see that CyberDuck only displays the remote window for you and assumes that on a MAC you are going to use ‘Finder’ to display your own local folders. However, I have now worked out how you get the exact configuration of folder you need on the remote side which you save into a ‘Bookmark’ (slightly confusing as all browsers have their own ‘Bookmarks’ as well) and I have also worked out how to quickly bookmark and display the local folders from which you intend to upload. From then on, it is just a case of selecting your file(s) and pressing ‘Upload’ although you can drag directly from the local to the remote sides of the screen. A rather nice feature of CyberDuck is the ability to edit small changes to files on the remote side using either the built-in editor or with your own choice of editor. This is incredibly useful as all website designers will know as you can make small changes and/or correct errors ‘on the fly’ as they say. All part of the learning curve but it got quickly sorted out and is now ready for my next serious file transfers.

Meanwhile, in the ‘A’-levels debacle, the latest obfuscation I heard on the radio this morning came from Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister. His words of wisdom were ‘Well, the model was fine but it was just the way it was applied that was wrong‘ What kind of nonsense is that? (‘There is nothing wrong with the car but we have just driven it over the cliff‘) According to inside sources, Nick Gibb has known about the problem for weeks but refused to countenance any changes – the phrase often used was that he had a ‘tin ear’ and was absolutely desperate, at almost any cost so it transpires, not to allow any grade inflation into the system.