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BB Cat is no more

Those of you who knew her will be aware that she was an old cat, probably at least 18 which is very old in cat terms. We adopted her as an adult cat, so do not know her exact age. She had a cancerous growth under her jaw, which had been growing for some weeks.

Today her behaviour was sufficiently different from normal that we decided to take her to the vet. Cats usually don't make it clear when they are in pain, but this suggested that she probably was. The vet concluded that she was almost certainly suffering serious pain, so we asked for her to have the lethal injection forthwith. She had not got very long in any case, and with no hope of recovery, there wasn't any sense in keeping her alive to be miserable and suffer.

People have to endure that, but cats don't.

She was a good cat, and I think she had a happy life with us. She started out rather jumpy and nervous (and covered in fleas), and gradually relaxed and became calmer. After a while she became confident enough in her position in the household to start trying to boss us around.

She was our fourth cat, and I imagine that after a while we shall again look for a cat who needs a good home.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
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Meta software advice?

I have been using KiCad for electronics designs for a while now, partly becasue it is free open source software and I can install it on as many computers as I wish, and partly because it is developed for Linux as well as for windows.

Every now and again I experimentally try to use Linux rather than Windows for a while, to do my day's work. This is now more of an issue because the thought of having to use Windows 8 for the sort of work that windows 7 is good for on a desktop computer fills me with fear and loathing. Win 8 might be good for a tablet, but I am not going to be able to design complex electronic equipment efficiently on a tablet. OK, the tablet with CAD might still save time compared with pencil and paper, and manually taping a PCB design using a lightbox and layers of drafting film, but still...

So, I opened my latest project in KiCad on Ubuntu 13.04, and found that the version of KiCad in the repository here was not the latest, and won't open the files. (Yes, I had installed the most recent stable release on Windows 7, and it was easy! It has extra functions that are very useful.)

There is an explanation of how to install the latest version on the website hosting KiCad, using, of course, command lines with long strings that it is easy to mistype. I did very carefully type in the correct version (trying to follow the directions in, and ran into error messages that don't make sense without a good understanding of the OS. Realistically, I don't have time to learn the OS very deeply, because keeping up to date with the areas of electronics that are my core skills must take priority.

So, what is the best way forwards? Possibilities include waiting to see if future developments of windows do not render it almost useless to me, installing a different version of Linux that may allow me to install up to date versions more easily, finding out what was wrong either with the instructions or the way in which I implemented them, and learn how to deal with this problem for now and for the future.

There are still other programs I need to use that are only available for Windows, but if Windows becomes less useful for people doing technical work, not solely using wordprocessing and spreadsheets, then maybe some of the software will be ported to Linux. Not so sure about Atmel Studio, which is central to a lot of my work now, because it seems to have been built on tools from Visual Studio. [sigh] So, in order to write software for embedded processors with down to 1k of program memory (but I have used ones with a massive 16k!), in a reasonably efficient editing and debugging environment, it is necessary to use parts of Visual Studio which is designed to produce software for systems in which 1k of memory is too small to take account of.

In the short term the probably only correct response is to keep using the programs I work with on the copy of Windows 7 which I have. As and when I need to buy a new computer, there may be a choice of paying to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7, or if that is not available, then Linux of some sort, or a version of windows that is designed to be increasingly difficult to use for programs that don't sit behind Win8s brightly coloured icons (and which you have to pay Microsoft for).

Any bright ideas, anyone?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth This entry was originally posted at Please comment here, or there using OpenID, as you prefer.
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