October 29th, 2013

marcus 2013

Ikea annoyance

As part of sorting my books I want to deal with the clutter in my bedroom, by putting in some better shelving. The problem is that the room is up a very narrow staircase with a U turn and low ceiling, and the wall I want to put it against is only 150cm high (the roof slopes in above that. This means that flatpack furniture is pretty much the only option, and to get as many shelves as I want I'll probably need to buy something taller and cut it down to fit.

The Ikea GORM range looks good for this, but there's a problem - my transportation options are somewhat limited - public transport or motorbike. And since the ones I want come in a 174cm package the bike is pretty much ruled out.

I used to be able to cadge rides off my brother-in-law for this sort of thing, but they've got a Porsche now and it won't fit. And Ikea want to charge nearly as much for delivery as the shelves cost.

So - later on today I may be trying to transport about 25kg of shelving by train and tube... wish me luck!

later Got to Ikea, tried lifting it, the combination of weight and awkward meansd there's no way can I manage two at once, or the unit plus extra shelves. So the game-plan now is to go back much earlier tomorrow and get another, then go back for extra shelves and a couple of other things I want.
marcus 2013

Legalised piracy from Antigua

Because the USA won't pay money it owes the Antiguan government, they've just been granted the right to sell up to $21 million dollars worth of US copyright material a year, e.g. music, DVDs, etc.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/avast-me-hearties-antigua-legally-pirate-us-copyrighted-works?mm_ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2Fl.php%3Fu%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.networkworld.com%252Fcommunity%252Fblog%252Favast-me-hearties-antigua-legally-pirate-us-copyrighted-works%26h%3DkAQF0vc1E%26s%3D1

Exactly how this will work isn't clear, but may be interesting - it wouldn't surprise me if e.g. Sony bought the rights to do this so that they can sell works without having to pay royalties to the artists.

The amount per year isn't actually that big by the standards of companies like Sony, and it might be how they'd handle the problems caused by e.g. "orphaned" movies that nobody has clear rights to - at the moment there are legal snarls that stop releases of a lot of older works.

I'd be very surprised though if it led to wholesale production of really cheap copyright-busting stuff, because that's something big media would have to fight, and they have the money to suppress it one way or another.
marcus 2013

My lord , I have a cunning plan...

...To cut tomorrow's two journeys to Ikea down to one.

The big problem with the flatpack shelving is length plus weight plus awkwardness, but weight on its own isn't horribly bad, about 11kg (25lb); if I can make it easier to carry, I can carry something else.

Step forward the oldest portable computer case I own. I use the term "portable computer" rather than laptop, since it is in fact IBM's blue rugged canvas(?) bag for the original IBM portable PC, which weighed about 30lb and was basically the original IBM AT with a slightly smaller keyboard and a built-in 6" (I think) mono CRT monitor. This case is STRONG - and so, luckily, is its shoulder strap. I just tried clipping it on to the strapping around the flatpack, and it's even balanced fairly well - I should have no trouble carrying that and say four extra shelves, some more feet for the units, and a couple of other small items.

VERY relieved - it's not a difficult journey, but it takes say an hour each way, didn't much fancy doing it twice more.

Then Thursday I will hopefully be able to get the old shelving cleared, move it out of the way (fortunately they're folding bookcases and easy to reduce in size), assemble the new stuff, and get the books back. Wish me luck!

And I would have got away with it if it hadn't been for those meddling... well, actually, entirely my own fault. I got off the bus on one side of the road and crossed over to Ikea; when I left I got on the same number bus going the other way, as I did yesterday, expecting to go back to the nearest station for the train back to central London.

What I hadn't realised was that the road was a spur off the main route - buses going in both directions come in on the other side of the road, stop outside a big Tesco there, then go down the road, turn around at a roundabout, and come back on the Ikea side and stop again. So the bus I got on turned out to be heading in the wrong direction, and I didn't know the area well enough to realise at first. By the time I'd sorted this out, got off, got on another bus, driven back past Ikea and on in the direction I wanted, I'd wasted at least 45 minutes, which meant I went home in heavy rush-hour commuting time and had to stand all the way on both trains. Not pleased, and the only person I can blame for it is me!