Thursday, 23 June 2011

Widebeam Dreaming

Someone mentioned recently they would like to do a European river cruise on a hotel boat. A romantic trip for sure.

I'd love to do it. But this is the boat I'd ideally do it on.

Built for the UK market in Gdansk, Poland as Metrofloat comes two widebeams, the Richmond and the Henley. With size and a high standard of fit out for liveaboard, they  are known as apartment boats, which is a shame if all they ever do is sit tied to a wharf. It's a kind of style I consider worthy of getting about in.

With a widebeam, you are somewhat restricted within UK waterways.

Not so in Europe. I would gladly cover Holland, Poland, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxemburg, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Sweden, Russia to name a few. There are enough connected waterways to more than cover the time I could make available.

The Henley ... stepping in from the seating area in the bow, you step down into the bedroom, which even has a nice slide out draw for my CPAP.

You follow through to a well appointed bathroom.

This leads on into the galley which conceals a fridge, a freezer, a dishwasher, a clothes washer, cooktop and oven, microwave, plenty of benches and cupboards and a bar and stools for dining.

The salon is spacious, housing a large screen tv and media centre in the stairs leading in from the back deck. The office area resides beside this and some simple elegant furniture also transforms into additional bedding should one wish to share this comfy little nest.

The back deck is very suited to many hours of comfortable cruising and taking in the scenic wonders of europe's river valleys.

This is what these boats are built to do ... though I doubt many will.

Broken Windows Pain

I have always found the performance and standard of the pre-installed Windows 7 and other softwares and utilities on my Compaq laptop to be annoying, ineffective and very buggy.

So much so, the laptop has never been enjoyable or fast to use. It seems it's primary function is maintenance and security updates. Anything I want to do is secondary and I must wait for my laptop to finish its business first.

And the constant flicker from the video driver has never seemed to be updated. Good thing I am not epileptic.

Well ... I solved all my laptop's woes in 30 minutes. What did i do ?

I installed UBUNTU

I repartitioned the whole drive for Linux ... did a standard install ... and ...

all of a sudden my laptop has become a dream to use ... everything works ... the flicker has gone ... nothing wants me to subscribe to anything or register anything.

It now feels like my computer and not something I borrowed from American corporations, primarily for marketing research and statistic accumulation.

I can't run Pokerstars in Ubuntu ... but a program in Ubuntu called WinE is a Windows Emulator, so I downloaded Pokerstars and ran it in WinE ... and it installed easily and runs great.

And what does Ubuntu with a full suite of applications cost ???

In the words of Wendy James ... I don't want your money honey, I want your lurrrrrv !