Thursday, 18th February, 2021

[Day 339]

As I reported last night, I was very pleased to get my computer system up and running again and all seemed to be well. I did, though, wondered whether or not I could use a client other than FileZilla which is a very reliable FTP program. I did have an app installed called Forklift which had good reviews when I installed it and automatically remembered your login credentials when in use. However, I updated my FTP password because the new operating system indicated to me that my previous one had been found in a data breach and so there was a theoretical possibility that my security could be breached. So I updated the password and used it once or twice but then my problems started (possibly my new password conflicted with a legacy password on the FTP server) Anyway, I got myself locked out of my own system and couldn’t access any of my website (or this WordPress installation) whatsoever. In desperation, I wrote to my extremely friendly Canadian web host provider – we have known each for at least 15 years and she often gets me out of scrapes. It transpired that I had made several unsuccessful log-in attempts after which the server automatically logged me out – and hence the system was completely inaccessible. I was in quite a deep cloud all day worrying about all of this but eventually Karina came to me rescue, unlocked my account and here we are. I think as a lesson learnt, I am going to uninstall the slightly dodgy software that got me into this mess in the first place.

Meg and I were a little late going for our walk this morning. In the first place Meg had a scheduled webinar that went on for an hour. I was unpacking the Waitrose shopping when it arrived and set to in my major task for the day. I am ashamed to say that after about fourteen years in this house, my principal computer desk had acquired all kinds of clutter so I took the ‘bold’ decision to clear absolutely everything off the desk and put everything on the study floor in a collection of plastic bowls which I keep in the garage for clearing up jobs of this type. Generally one bowl was filled with pens and stationary and the other with masses of bits of paper e.g. letter headings from when people had written to me in the past. So I did a massive, massive clearing out job which involved a ruthless weeding out of anything that was not strictly useful. I did make a little bundle though of ‘business card’ sized cards (colleagues, useful contacts, restaurants) and then another mini file, inside a notelet card of those letters and addresses that I particularly did not want to throw away. And so I now completed my comprehensive reordering so I now have besides the Apple Mac a scanner (behind the monitor) my two pocket drives for operating the backup systems, a plastic envelope complete with old pen drives, my correspondence cards and stationary now neatly filed, Tippex, staplers, sellotape dispenser and finally some desk tidies populated with important bits of paper to be actioned in a day or do. So as you can see, not much there then! At least I have some clear work space on which I can write and perform my other ‘office like duties’ I know this is a long way from a clear, empty ‘hot desk’ solution that many prefer but at least it looks very neat and tidy and I intend top keep it that way. This tidying up job took all of the afternoon by he way and I only finished it at 6.30 in the evening.

Three important bits of news are merging this evening. The first is that the new infection rate seems to be falling rapidly and this has to be good news, unless we all lose our heads and end our lockdown far too soon. Another piece of breaking news is the results of an investigation that reveals that those who die of COVID-10 lose on average 16 years of their lives, which seems dramatic considering that most of the deaths occur in the elderly anyway. But the third breaking bit of news is that the Australian government is trying to extract more money from FaceTime for its news content. FaceTime has responded by ‘unfriending’ practically the whole of Australia locking almost the entire population out of their FaceTime accounts. This conflict between media giant and democratically elected government had to come at some point of time, I surmise, and how this plays out with have implications for the rest of us. Needless to say, most of Australia is incandescent with indignation and although Google has backed down in a similar situation, FaceTime has not so we will have to see who blinks first in the situation.