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Tuesday 5th July 2022
 08:00 BST
  Yesterday's weather wasn't really summer-like, but it wasn't a bad day. With afternoon temperature of 22° C, or possibly a bit higher, and periodic sunny spells, it was pleasant enough.
                              start and finish - grey in the middle
  Like the last few days, today has started with blue skies and nice sunshine. It will start to cloud over at 10am, and the middle of the day will be cloudy, but probably bright-ish. Sunny spells may resume from 7pm. It is not expected to be very warm. The latest revision shows 21° C for one hour at 4pm, but generally the afternoon will be 20° C. There is a 10%, or unlikely chance of rain this afternoon. Tomorrow may feature less sunshine, but the temperature could reach 25° C.

   I was careful to stress that there was only about a 50% chance that I would get out yesterday. What I wanted to do was to going and visit a few more extremes of rail journeys done for free using my Freedom Pass. To do that I had to feel confident that I would be comfortable for the whole time I was out. I thought that might be possible. After a day or two of mild (and incomplete) constipation I was going freely yesterday morning.

  I made two large deposits in the toilet early in the morning, and then many more very small ones. I had planned to get the 12:05 train from Catford station for my journey of exploration, but 20 minutes before I was due to walk to the station I had to visit the toilet again. It was a very small amount, and I thought it just had to be the last. I was 2 steps from the front door when I had to let out a very smelly fart. I turned around and gave up on going out.

  I guess it is Sod's Law that that fart was the very last emission of the day, and if I had gritted my teeth, and still gone out I would have been fine. I was then left with the question of what to do for the rest of the day. The first thing I did, even though it was slightly early, was to have some lunch. I had the rest of the slab of smoked bacon that was left from my dinner the previous night. I also had a couple of little pots of couscous and tabooli. I worried that maybe that was a bit too much, but it would turn out that it wasn't.

  What I ended up doing for the rest of the afternoon, and also quite late into the evening, was based on a random thought... The PC I am currently using was a cheap "refurbished" office machine. It used a third generation Intel i5 chipset. It was a big improvement on the PC I was using before, but it has a problem in that the interconnects between the CPU and the peripherals are under provided, and things can get slow when moving a lot of data around. That PC cost £118 (if I recall correctly).

  I became aware of the problem and had another look on Amazon. One of their third party suppliers had the next model up, using the fourth generation chipset, and I think I paid £149 for one of them. Some research suggested that the 4th generation was a big improvement of the 3rd generation. That PC has been sitting downstairs gathering dust, but sooner or later I want to use it. I also want it to be dual boot with the option for a small Windows installation, and a big installation of Linux. The latter will be used for almost everything, and the other for occasional things.

  Up until now the last Windows operating system I have used was Windows XP. I think of it as being the best version of Windows, but it is very old now. I happen to have an installation DVD for Windows 7. I did use Windows 7 at work, and so I am partly familiar with it still. That doesn't mean I actually like it, but I can use it, and with familiarity it is not so bad. What I decided to do was to do a trial installation in a virtual machine on my current PC.

  Everything takes a long time with Windows, and installing a version that has just gone out of support make it even a longer process. I think it went out of support in January this year, and at that point Microsoft removed all old support as well as not providing any new support. I thought that was despicable. I eventually managed to find a copy of Service Pack 1, but getting it from another place always makes me worry if it has been tampered with (i.e. riddled with viruses).

  It didn't take that long before I had the base installation done. The next thing was to check that all the stuff I would likely install on it worked OK. I installed quite a lot, and it all worked perfectly, although one program, a program that seeks for IP CCTV cameras on the local network needed administrator rights to work. Then I came to Libre Office. I wanted that for compatibility, although I also hope to install Office 2003 - the last version of Microsoft Office that doesn't need online activation. Libre Office demanded that Service Pack 1 needed to be installed.

  It was time to try my dodgy download. Initially it didn't work. It kept getting stuck at about the half way point, or at least it seemed to be getting stuck. A bit of research suggested another update had to be done before installing Service Pack 1. Fortunately it was also an update for Windows server 2008, and that is still supported. I downloaded it from Microsoft, and installed it. So far, so good. Now when I tried to install service pack 1 it failed saying not enough disk space.

  I had taken the suggested size of a hard disk from the virtual PC program, and it was too small after I had installed so much on my virtual PC. There was no obvious way of specifying a bigger virtual hard drive - actually just a file on my PC's hard drive. A fair bit of research revealed that there was a command line option to increase the size of the hard disk, and it was easy to do. The catch was that it didn't increase the size of the working partition.

  The next step was to start the virtual PC, but get it to boot from a CD with the free, and open source, Gparted on it. This lovely piece of software allows you to do all sorts of useful things to hard disk, and with it running virtually, in a virtual PC, it could see the virtual hard disk. I could then expand the Windows partition to fill the available space. Describing like this makes it seem a very quick process, but getting from that "not enough disk space" message to a fully functional larger virtual hard disk, too a good few hours !

  Once again I tried to install service pack 1, and once again it seemed to get stuck at about half way. It was nearly 9pm at this point, and I got bored, and wanted to go to bed. I hit the (virtual) shut down button, and it seemed like it was shutting down. It went through the usual couple of screen, but then stopped with message telling me not to switch off because "Windows was working". At that point I decided I would just leave it doing what ever it was doing, and would check on it in the morning.

  I read for a while, and then turned out the light at about 11am. I hadn't taken any pain killers, and I was not feeling comfortable for a variety of reasons. The worst thing was my chest/ribs/scar tissue. I was back in the state where it would ache if I tried to lay on my right side for more than a minute or two. The problem was that the temperature in my bedroom was low enough that it would have been more comfortable to slightly cover myself with the duvet, and for reasons that I can't seem to think of, it was easier to do this while laying on my right side !

  I eventually had some really rough sleep. I woke up at around 2am, and it took a good half hour or more to get back to sleep. After waking later in the night I must have been feeling so tired that getting back to sleep became easier, but as the night wore on I was starting to feel more and more uncomfortable. Just writing about the lack of good sleep is making me feel really tired !

  I got up at about 6.30am, and I did not feel good. I feel better now, but maybe not as good as desired. However, against that negativity there was some good news. I thought I may have eaten a bit more than was good for me yesterday, but this morning my blood glucose was down to a very good 7.2mmol/l. That was a very pleasant surprise. I also found that my virtual Windows 7 PC seemed to have successfully installed service pack 1, and had finally shut down.

  I couldn't resist starting it up to check that it said it had installed, and then to install Libre Office. That seemed to install OK, but it crashed on the first attempt, and then crashed again as it tried to load my rather large train catalogue spreadsheet. I will see if it is happier with an earlier version of Libre Office sometime, but not today because I had another extremely pleasant surprise this morning. I received a text message from Angela asking if I would like to meet at lunchtime today because she is not available tomorrow. I gleefully said yes !
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