I think my blog vacation is coming to an end. It was a nice break, but it is time to plough back into being a productive writer. Of course, being that I am ending my vacation on a Friday (and the fact that weekends are inevitably light traffic days for blogs), it will still likely be light posting for the next two days before we properly get back into the swing of things around here.
One exciting recent development is that I bought some new toys today. The first is a 1 TB external harddrive. While an entire terabyte of space seems excessive, the price difference between 1 TB and 320 GB was surprisingly small, so I figured I might as well get the terabyte and back up both my desktop and my laptop. The acquisition of an external harddrive in order to save off the data from my laptop was necessitated by my desire to switch the computer over to a Linux machine... I am so thoroughly unimpressed with Windows Vista that enough is enough and I'm switching to Linux.
The second toy I got is a new digital camera. My old camera is from my first year of university (back in the days of being an engineering student), so it is getting on six years old now. Over the course of its life it has started to develop some annoying quirks (you have to tilt the coverslide just right to make it turn on or off) as well as the fact that it lacked some functionality that I always wished it had (namely, the ability to take videos that are longer than 12 seconds and have sound - I specifically asked the salesman if it took videos with sound, and he said yes. It turns out he lied), so I think it was time for a replacement. The new camera is technically my birthday present from my parents*, and I have to say that I am rather pleased. It is a Canon PowerShot SX200, and packs a surprising amount of functionality into its relatively small frame. While not as tiny as many of the cameras available these days, it makes a happy medium between functionality (it has 12x optical zoom, for example), portability, and ease of use. To test it out, I took a couple of quick shots of the CN Tower from my apartment balcony (one without zoom and the second on maximum zoom). I was rather impressed.
*For the record, my birthday is actually in the spring. Also, I believe this is the first year in the last two or three that I have actually gotten a birthday present (not to fault my parents - every year they ask what I want for my birthday as it approaches, I shrug and say I will get back to them, and then forget all about it. When I do actually get a present, though, it tends to be something rather nice (like a digital camera), so I think it balances out in the end). I think the reason birthdays are like this with my family (gift giving is fairly sporadic) is because of how spread out we are. With my parents on the other side of the country (and Canada is a big country to be on the other side of) and both my sisters living in South America, it gets rather hard to do gifts. Excitingly, though, my whole family is going to be together in a couple weeks when I go back to BC.