rashbre central: August 2021

Tuesday 31 August 2021

Zero Insertion Force

I can remember when laptop computers had clip on batteries that were easy to exchange. Then the fashion slipped towards thinner types where the battery gets spread around the innards of the machine. Apple is a case in point with their MacBooks, which contain six slimmed down batteries linked together.

Cue the Right to Repair initiative in Europe, which affects white goods costing, say, £400 but doesn't extend to computers costing, say, £1000 plus.

Then think of the parts in a computer requring renewal. 

The most obvious is the battery, which will become less effective after about 200 duty cycles of charge. It wouldn't be too difficult to have a plug in battery connector so that even a fiddly 6 part battery could be changed, but that would be too obvious. 

Instead the machine has a threaded battery woven into the motherboard, and it sends data to the computer's motherboard along a 6 line cable with is about as thick as a magnetic recording tape (ie thinner than paper). It plugs into a Zero Insertion Force socket on the mother board.

It is not designed to be end-user serviceable, instead requiring a costly visit to the main store to get the battery swapped over. 

Note the S-shaped thin tape which is part of the battery replacement process. 

Right to repair? I don't think so. 

Thursday 26 August 2021

Angel - a

I'm still working out the main elements of The Watcher about a being watching earth's timeline. Then I stumbled across this little movie. 

It could be 'la fille sur la pont', in disguise, or even a heavily stripped back version of the story in The Fifth Element. Cute Girl meets Messy Boy. 

They both have secrets which gradually reveal. It's a light, fun watch, with unreliable narration from the first frame. Then it becomes the story of how a small-time Moroccan in Paris befriends a hot blonde woman with a world-beating attitude. 

 And a Monochrome Paris is rich with poise and just the right kind of danger.

Friday 6 August 2021


I decided to take a break from writing novels after Jump. My Ed Adams amazon page is now embarrassingly comprehensive. I'd somehow got into the groove and managed to write a selection of stories and then I used Jump to link them all together. 

It is still possible to start anywhere in my collection of novels, which I didn't write in the correct sequence in any case. 

I think in a couple I had to go back and add a sentence by way of a link to a later plot-line. 

But now I'm restless and that Bruce Holwerda picture from the front of a notepad has started the next novel bubbling in my brain.

Thursday 5 August 2021

a ton of topsoil doesn't go so far

The garden adaptations are making an interesting project. We've stripped away the original grass to the extent that it reminded me of that bit in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
In fairness, we only laid the original turf as a temporary measure, but that was three years ago. Previously, when we'd left the area as 'mud' it soon turned to swampland with extensive weeds. You can just make out some of the ex farm land attempting to grow whatever was on the field before we landed.
But now the time has come. We need to go all angular and designer colours. It is remarkable what a simple splash of Dusky Gem and some railway sleepers can do.  

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Fargo Series 4 - It's a little more complicated

I've been box-setting “Fargo” recently, admittedly some time after it was released to the world on Channel 4.

Now we are in 1950, in gangsterland Kansas City, where one stream of gangsters takes over from another on an almost continuous conveyor-belt of violence. 

It is a gangster saga, with some earlier incarnations of people who show up in other Fargo Series. I liked the touch of it being out of sequence, so you have to join the dots in both directions.


Everyone wants to be an American, but the mixture of Jewish, Irish, Black and Italian mobsters illustrate that the American Dream had to be hard won. There's scenes of extreme prejudice and Kansas – a city – still manages to look somehow small time.

But its organised crime which is being manipulated darkly from Sardinia and New York. A Mafia and a Black syndicate head toward out-and-out warfare, despite the opposing bosses sitting together in one another's offices or on park benches trying to cut deals.


However, it is a complex weave, with threads snaking out of an episode and then reappearing much later. One for the note-takers in places.


The casting is excellent, with plenty of stock characters propelling the story along. There's several set pieces which are redolent of other Coen Brothers movies and the monochrome episode features a dog, a twister tornado and a pair of boots sticking out from what could be under a building. I don't think we were in Kansas anymore for this segment, although most of the forward propulsion of the narrative stopped to allow this episode to be dropped into the sequence.


It can all be interpreted as allegorical, although there's some concentration needed to find some of the points. 


I couldn't decide, by the end, if the right people had their comeuppance and I was rooting for one person to make a surprise return. Alas no, though. Although the one who did return managed to finalise something in the way of a Coen movie.

Tuesday 3 August 2021


I watched the movie Nobody, which stars Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) as an action hero, in the style of, say, Bruce Willis in Die Hard.

He plays an accountant at an engineering firm whose house gets invaded by robbers with guns. As a setup it is pretty well done and sharply edited.  Odenkirk also feels the various knocks and bashes he gets and spends a fair amount of time on the ground.

It reminded me of simpler times, when a movie was a movie, rather than a franchise. And it ran for the B-length of 90 minutes, so I guess it was impressive to get everything squeezed into the snappy run-time. 

And let's face it, it's an unrepentant action-movie, more of a black comedy than, say, a revenge thriller.  

This was a long way from the Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad, and I guess Odenkirk deserves kudos for taking on action movies at this stage in his career. 

The lengthy US 2:59 trailer is a bit of a spoiler as well...