So I moved to London. Here's my view this morning:
I found a studio in central London where I'll be staying for a while. The studio is fairly big, for my standards, but then I lived in Japan so I had no standards. In any case, the place is big enough to take a long time to warm up once the heating is turned on.
The plane ride from Holland to London was amazing this time. Due to the bad weather Gatwick airport was closed! Fortunately I flew into London city, a very tiny airport. My plane was a very tiny plane. It was more like a bus with wings, really. Acceleration at liftoff was incredible, the braking during landing not so much because the aircraft had a much lower stall speed than the big ones. Still, considering that at the end of the runway there's water, it's good to stop in time. I was then surprised once more by the airplane turning on the runway to go back to the terminal. There are no taxiways, that's how small this airport is.
On the plane ride I remembered when I first went to Japan, just over 5 years ago now. How something completely unknown was waiting for me there, and, in contrast, how something completely known is waiting for me here this time. I remember how messed up my arrival was, which I recalled here on my old blog. I think I've changed a lot in 5 years.
On a tech note, I messed up rather well. I did for once remember to bring enough converter plugs so I can use my Dutch and Japanese hardware in the UK. What I did not do was check that my 2 terabyte harddisk works under Windows XP. I formatted it under Windows 7, which automatically gave it a GUID partition table, and that's not supported by WinXP. Bummer! Now I have to risk installing Windows 7 on this laptop, which has a fair chance of sucking for lack of drivers. Maybe I'll try that over the weekend.
My second tech fail was a bit of optimism on my side. I have a raid-1 external case that houses all my important data, like programming projects and photos. I bought the case in Japan, and never checked if the power supply can handle 220 volts. The sticker on the power supply says it can't and I haven't been brave enough to try plugging it in yet. I had a 220v-110v inverter back in Holland, which is bulky and heavy and I didn't want to bring it to London. I was hoping to be able to buy one at the airport in London, but London City airport is essentially an empty warehouse, so no go. Right now I'm thinking of just plugging it in, because I've never heard of a modern power supply that can't handle both 110v and 220v.
Although I'm a huge proponent of openness and everything that Wikileaks does, ironically I've decided to stop writing about some things here on this blog. I do really want to keep blogging, but I want to avoid mentioning names of people and companies. I feel like a hypocrite for doing that because I always used to keep my private life in the open (as you can read on my old blog), but I see no better solution right now. Other than quitting my blog entirely, and I don't want to do that. Writing blogposts is therapeutic, you know.