I spent the early part of the morning getting the journal up to date and organising the photo files. I now have enough material that could not be replaced that I am getting nervous about the risk of losing or accidentally deleting files, especially when the children are playing with the laptop. I also wanted to see if I could find the best way of copying photofiles on to CD so that the Village can see them on their own computer. The problem is that if I copy straight from iPhoto then they will not open on the PC, and if I copy them as jpeg files from the finder the Office still can’t open them because they do not the appropriate software. The office machines are running Windows 95 and don’t have Photoshop or equivalent software but Shobha says they can get it. The other problem I discovered is that if I copy on to CD from an iPhoto album for my own files then once I have ejected the CD I cannot reload it and copy additional files, even if it is only a quarter full, because it reads the file as already recorded. This is something I will have to investigate further. So far the help file in iPhoto has allowed me to find out how to do most things but I have yet to check this one.
I went down the the office which was quiet today as Saumeya is on holiday and only Mrs Kaur was there. She connected me to the internet so I could read my mail. The network seemed much more stable today though I still get some mail bounced and I am having trouble reading attachments as they take too long to download but I think now that the mail problem is probably at the university, not here. The university has been having serious problems since a series of virus attacks more than a month ago. These seem to have affected the system in ways no-one can work out. In one department they found one day that the machines with alternate IP numbers would connect and the others wouldn’t, so strange drop outs are probably to be expected. Most annoying is that many of my messages home to Lynne are not getting through so I am glad now that I made a call from the hotel in Mumbai when I first arrived.
It is still a little strange sitting so far away and being able to participate in normal work. Maureen wrote to me to say that she had renewed a library book I had not been able to renew on the network (it was grey, not red she told me which makes we wonder about the state of my memory). There are comings and goings around the normal stuff of academic meetings, meetings to discuss a new policy on supervising research students, a program for a one day scenario planning exercise I will be doing when I return, two seminars I shall miss and one I wont, some correspondence about a conference we are planning next July, a note to say that did I know that England beat Australia in the RU World Cup (so that I was on both winning and losing sides), some project budget documents, a note about presentations by people being considered for two new positions, a note that someone has a new grant, a visiting professor asking me if we could set a date to examine a PhD thesis, a student writing about his thesis draft (which I have been reading while I am here) and inviting Lynne and I to dinner next week.
In between I sent two or three messages to Lynne, some long and some short, in the hope that at least one would get through. Then all the messages from outside, a colleague proposing a book on new research methods (I suggested we write about this project), a professor from the US asking me to check an entry she had written for an encyclopedia, an anxious administrator from an NGO asking for news of two modules I am writing for a distance course in research methods and which are overdue, an administrator from another NGO acknowledging a decision about completing an evaluation project. I am amazed how time passes while I am doing these things (as it does for several hours on most days) and at the same time I realise just how many things you can do in a short space of time compared to the days when everything had to be done by letters or telephone calls, which to me seems like yesterday even though it is ten or fifteen years ago. What has changed in this time is that now everyone is accessible in this space, where previously it was a small number of colleagues in universities.