August 12th, 2010


Android and Exchange

Thanks, everyone, for your immensely helpful comments on my previous post. It is clear to me from the discussion that there are only two serious reservations about Android, and since I do not intend to increase my current number of sexual partners, only one of those two really matters: its ability to talk to my employers' Microsoft Exchange server. I need it to synchronise accurately not only emails but also calendar, contacts and notes. Does anyone have any further experience of doing this?

(Suggestions to the effect that I stop using Microsoft Exchange may risk getting you de-friended and banned. If I had a choice about it I wouldn't be asking the question in this way.)

August Books 8) Sinai Tapestry, by Edward Whittemore

I have no idea why I put this on my Bookmooch list - possibly as a mistake for Janet Soskice's Sisters of Sinai - but it arrived last week. It's a rather pale reflection of Illuminatus! and Midnight's Children, set in and around the Holy Land (the original, not the district in South Belfast) in the early 20th century. Extra coloration of various characters' background is brought in from Cambridge University, Albania and Ireland, none of it very convincing in detail (bad luck I suppose that I know all three of those locations reasonably well). The main strand of a confused plot concerns an ancient Biblical manuscript which supposedly disproves everything in both Old and New Testaments. (*rolls eyes*) The writing is not as funny as the author obviously thinks it is. It filled out the spaces for me while travelling and that is the best I can say for it.

August Books 9) Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, by David Day

I picked this up pretty cheap in Chapters a couple of years ago, and I'm glad I didn't pay too much for it. As an encyclopedia of Middle-Earth it doesn't hold a candle to Foster's Complete Guide; odd things like mis-spellings of "Rivendell" on the second page, of Éothéod in the title of the relevant entry, etc; separate entries (just to pick the first of very many such examples that caught my eye) in the geographical section for Amon Amarth, Mount Doom and Orodruin despite them all being the same mountain (and not explaining what languages the first and third names are in); and absolutely no cross-referencing at all.

But the point probably isn't the text but the art, scenes and places and people from Middle-Earth (not from other works) as imagined by nineteen different illustrators, all of them excellent; I hope it isn't invidious to name Rachel Chilton as particularly grabbing my attention with her Window of the Sunset (Henneth Annûn), Zirak-Zigil and Dead Men on Dunharrow because I liked pretty much all the rest. So if I look at it as an inexpensive book of very good Tolkien illustrations, rather than a cheap and bitty encyclopedia, I actually rather like it.