Friday made for a perfectly ordinary sort of day at the office, with the boss not coming in at all, so I don't actually have much to report from there. Afterwards I went off to the Freehold Raceway Mall, which has really declined since it hasn't got a bookstore at all anymore, and not even a DVD store. If it weren't for the Apple Store and stepping into the Radio Shack for a light dusting of sadness there wouldn't be much reason to go there at all, apart from the puppies and kittens at the Humane Society rescue shelter front, where the pet shop used to be.
One thing the mall has got is a Microsoft Store, which looks like Microsoft went and tried to make an Apple Store. I poked in to play with some of the tablet computers and was confronted by a sales clerk who was very, very into explaining everything that was awesome about Windows 8. Extremely so. All I wanted to do was play with the tablet a little, but each time I went and pressed a button to open something up he'd do the finger-swipe to shut it down and get back to what he wanted to show, and I sidled just a little bit father back.
If I understand his spiel properly the great advantage of Windows 8 is that you can open things, and then put them off to the side while you do other stuff, and then come back to the thing you were looking at before. Also you can arrange the tab buttons on the front to match what you want to do, which does not include just playing around with the silly thing when the sales clerk is in the midst of a presentation, blast it. The clerk kept asking questions about what I did and what I wanted to do and when I admitted I was a programmer he insisted that I surely knew more about computers than he did but he just wanted to show me one thing more. Eventually I pretended to just notice the time and apologize that I had to go meet my wife (I do spend most of the time away from her feeling that I need to meet her, so it was only a lie by the normal definition of ``lie''), and fled.
At the Apple Store, by the way, nobody made me stop playing with the iPad minis to get a presentation on how I could slide things around on the iPad mini.
Trivia: The February 1969 baseline design for the Project Viking Orbiter projected it as having a 21.8 kilogram visual imaging system and a 13.6 kg infrared thermal mapper. By October 1971 these had changed to a 42.05 kg imaging system and a 7.48 kg thermal mapper. As launched the imaging system was 40.05 kg and the thermal mapper 9.30 kg. Source: On Mars: Exploration Of The Red Planet 1958 - 1978, Edward Clinton Ezell, Linda Neuman Ezell.
Currently Reading: The Wildings of Westron, David J Lake.