Saturday, June 29, 2013

An extended weekend: a pleasant surprise, a requiem for Thursdays and some 'Geek Talk'. Seriously!

As I write this on a quiet Saturday morning, I want to share with you all this bit of news: in keeping with the pressures of a global economy that works in full swing on Thursdays (at least), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia finally made the move to shift its weekend from Thursday + Friday to Friday + Saturday. This is the transition weekend, and we got three days off from the OPD grind! Thus, this post is a requiem for Thursdays, which will no longer be part of the Saudi weekend, and welcome to Saturdays, when we can, with the rest of the world, relax in our homes - as I am doing right now, and watch weekend specials on the television channels - which I plan to do today, or simply sleep it off till the next morning - which, of course, I will do as the evening shadows lengthen.

Yesterday, I busied myself with preparing a Powerpoint presentation on Neonatal examination, something that I wish to lecture the residents and nurses in the hospital on. The problem was that Office 2007 (which I have installed through a local computer dealer) stores the presentation as a .pptx, a format that Office 2010 (of which a trial version only is installed on my new laptop) does not recognise. Thus, after opening, creating and storing the presentation, when I tried to re-open it, I got the message: "This app can't run on your PC. Contact the application provider for details and help".

Ha ha. So, I sat to think: when I go to Office 2007 and open the presentation, it opens nicely, thank you. But when I try to open the presentation from its icon directly, the default app that runs is Powerpoint 2010, and it does not open the presentation because it does not recognise the .pptx format. I then decided to make a copy of the presentation and stored it in a non-Windows drive. Then, I right-clicked on the file and selected "Rename" from the context menu. Now, I have configured my files to always show the extensions, so the name of the extension is also visible. I then simply removed the "x" at the end of the extension "pptx" and saved the file. A dialogue box opened warning me that if I changed the file extension, the file might become unusable. However, I felt bewitched right then, and lo! The icon of the file changed to show that it was now a PPT file, and when I clicked on it, it opened correctly with Powerpoint 2010! That's a tweak readers might like to remember when they find themselves in a similar spot.

Just so you know that I remember we are on the life in Saudi Arabia blog and not a tech savvy write-up, let me return to my humdrum life back here. A three-day on-call holiday can be a killer, make no bones about this. Two of those three days have already passed, but the third day, a Saturday, no less, is upon me, and I am hoping it turns out to be an eventful one ... but not very taxing on the professional front. Yesterday evening, I walked in the garden - after a long time - and did only 2.5 km before feeling tired. Even so, it is a start, and I hope to keep up the habit.

I have a window of opportunity to sit for the final part of the MRCPCH examinations this November in Jeddah ... guys, what do you think? Should I sit or appear next year? 

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

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