Well I am tecknically on holiday, but it is good to be able to do a bit of work as well, especially with Susan. I am starting to get the hang of TextMate for editing, and with the Subversion bundle I can work on a local checkout. I am also logged on to my machine at work via SSH, running screen so that I can access lots of servers at once. I could run that here of course but I am just showing off, plus it does not require updating lots of firewalls with my new IP here.

I found a good tip for iTunes, I have the impossibly superior iAudio 7 music player, which does not sync with iTunes (despite starting with ‘i’), but it would be nice to play tracks from it through the Mac. There is a preference setting in iTunes under ‘Advanced’ called ‘Copy Files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library’. If you turn it off, you can drag folders into the iTunes window and it does not actually copy the music files into the library, it just stores their location. (If you just want to do this as a one-off, Option-dragging the files has the same effect.) I use this to play my main music collecktion at home off a network hard drive.

Similarly, I can drag the music folder from the iAudio into iTunes and it will happily play the tracks over USB instead of trying to copy everything onto my hard drive. It is a bit confusing though when you are moving around and attaching to different drives, networks and players, and the songs still show up in your library (if you try and play them, iTunes says they are not available). So you can create different iTunes libraries eg one for your music player, one for local files, one for a remote disk, ekcetera. Just hold down Option when starting iTunes and it gives you the choice of creating a new library or selecting an existing one. Nifty!

I also bought a nice little laptop travel kit, it has various goodies in it eg a retractable LAN/phone cable, retractable USB cable, USB mini adapter, a tiny 4-port USB hub, and a darling little USB optical mouse with a scroll wheel! All at a price to fit your pocket, in a zip-up pouch with lots of places to put your own bonus gadgets in! It is like Verbatim invented a special nerd accessory kit just for me!

As much fun as I am having though I should turn the computer off and do something else, I have not even read any of the books I brought with me! Last time I read the whole of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, with hardly a pause except to get more wine and crisps. On the other hand I did not have Susan then.

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