A.J. Walker


The Black Screen of Partial Death

My MacBook Pro—a 13" 2020 M1—passed away a couple of weeks ago. That’s not to say it has completely passed away as a computer, but as a laptop it has. I noticed as I walked past the spare room where the laptop was that the screen was flickering away with all too dodgy lines and blocks of mess. Before too long with some movement of the laptop the screen was suffering from the all too common symptom: The Black Screen of Death. After too many attempts of ‘Zapping the PRAM’ and all the other associated potential treatments of the Black Screen (i.e in case it was a software issue) it became apparent that the issue was a hardware one. Looking at the .net it is really crazy—and wrong—that this is not an uncommon problem and the issue should have been addressed by design over previous iterations of the MacBook.

Anyway the computer itself is still working when plugged into an external display so I guess I may have simply lost a laptop but been left with a desktop. Glad I bought the external screen a while back or else I would not have even known the computer was still working. To replace the screen on the laptop as far as I can see is around 360 quid—and that would still have the same physical issue as the original one so could fail just as easily over the next year or two anyway. I’m not spending that kind of money with that fear—or likelihood—waiting in the wings.

As far as I can see the issue is a hardware issue purely affecting the screen and there is no reason to deal with it; if I’m happy to use it purely as a desktop. Hope I’ve surmised the correctly. At the end of the day, when I’m out and about, I tend to use an iPad with a portable keyboard rather than take the laptop out anyway. And I use Dropbox to sync with my computer when I’m back home, so I guess I can continue doing that and just use the Pro in my spare room/office if I need to print stuff out and get stuff up on the website etc. I dare say I could print from the iPad if I set that up correctly too, but I wouldn’t be able to update the website (and use various other Apps that only work on the MacBook).

I’m leaving the laptop in clamshell form so I don’t have to face the miserable screen at all, but from time to time I will have to open it up—if I need to use the camera for iMovie and YouTube etc or maybe to use the thumbprint ID. I think I can use the iPad as a second screen if it comes to it, but in the main I guess it’ll just be used in a straightforward desktop configuration.

In short, I am gutted about the Black Screen of Death and my love of Apple leaves me thoroughly disappointed with them (in them knowing about the problem but doing FA about sorting it), but at least it is only a Partial Death and not a Death Death.

You'll Never Walk Alone

A Fond but Sad Farewell Amongst the Social Media Mire

Jürgen Klopp’s era as Liverpool manager is shortly to come to an end—and what a fabulous ride it has been. It’s a wonderful club and we’ve had some long periods of winning lots and even in the worst of times we’ve still somehow continued to sprinkle in the odd trophy or two. We’ve had some really cracking players and brilliant managers—but of course we’ve had some bang average ones too. This current crop is a million miles away from those poorer times. Klopp brought a breath of fresh air to Merseyside when he arrived in October 2015 to replace Brendan Rogers. Fans from around the country (or indeed the city) were jealous of that the club managed to pull an absolute legend out of the hat. It has been a beautiful love fest between the club, manager, and the fans from day one. Winning the European Cup again was boss but of course finally winning the league again was the ultimate highlight—just a real shame it was during Covid time and not enjoyed by the fans in stadiums. Let’s hope it’s not a long a wait for the next one.

We’ve had a great season really and whilst it is gutting to not get another league or trophy to add to the League Cup it has far surpassed what could have been expected at the start of the season, after last season’s disastrous campaign. The way an entirely new midfield was put together this season, when it’s usually a question of tweaking with the odd new player or two, and then the injuries to central team players too meaning some youngsters had some relatively long term spells in the side—well it’s been brilliant to see. Most fans would have taken any cup and a Champion’s League place before the the season kicked off. But of course as every sports fan knows: it’s the hope that kills ya. And god damn it, they gave us hope until the last month of the season.

For much of the season the online keyboard warriors and self appointed experts in football finishing and winning titles have been nothing less than embarrassing, frustrating and—far too often—just vile. Be it about players from other clubs, or are own—or indeed Klopp himself. It has been beyond disappointing to see. Unfollowing, Muting and Blocking apparent fans of your own club is a ridiculous fact of life right now. The demise of Twitter has been accelerating, and whilst we can’t blame Musk for some of the dickheads on the platform the Social Media platform has become a toxic environment, which I find depressing after the better early years of Twitter. Now when you visit the place it feels like you’ve got a bus to the wrong end of town, and indeed in the wrong town too.

The clue is in the name, people: Supporter. You support the team, the club, the players. Through thick and thin. You’ll enjoy the ups that more if you’ve had a few lows. That’s not to say you can’t have opinions on players, far from it, but there’s no excuse for posting negative, derogatory, or vile comments on player’s Social Media feeds. What the fuck is that supposed to do? Grow up—and preferably find another club whilst you’re at it.

I for one will look back on the Klopp years, and his players, with a great fondness. The teams he has built, the relationships with his players—and the fans—has been superb to observe. There have been so many good moments, weeks, months and football campaigns. Klopp himself has been a wonderful import to the league and our club and he’s been something else to behold: he’s Liverpool through and through. A modern day Shankly for those of us—a bit—too young to remember. And I love him for that and all he has brought to our club. Thank you, Jürgen.
You’ll Never Walk Alone.


Not Quite. Yet

Was good to play Open Mic at the Dispensary on Tuesday night. Think it was just my third time this year at Dave’s weekly OM. Really need to do it more often as it’s always a fun evening and good to meet the other guys and gals—as well as the regulars in the pub.

I ended up with a list of seven or eight songs that I’d pick from for the evening. Most of the usual suspects. There was no PA or speakers this week so it was singing without a mic—very Belvedere, but the Dizzy is a bigger space. The pub wasn’t too busy though so the sound of chit-chat wasn’t as loud as it can be there when a few bigger groups come in. Only issue was a bloke shouting down a phone in front of Dave whilst he was playing. All very Dom Joly.

There were just five of us playing this week and I ended up playing four songs: Sweet Carolina (Ryan Adams), Down By the Water (Decemberists), Heart Breaks Like the Dawn (Chuck Prophet), and Shed a Tear (for the Lonesome) (Green on Red). Was originally going to give Carolina a rest but with the lack of a mic I thought I better sing a song I know very well first just to get my voice out there and going for the rest of them.

Anyways I still need to update my song list and play some other ones at least from time to time. And of course I need to get a song or two of my own sorted too. Watch this space—but then again don’t get too excited yet. Still got to identify which songs to go for. A task for the month ahead.