Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Car Sold!!!

After my car died, I was advsed to try to sell it through Autotrader. I hadn't thought anyone would be interested in a car without an engine, but I can honestly say that of all the cars I ever sold, I have had the most interest in this one. Over 10 calls on Thursday, about 6 on Friday, none Sat/Sun (Christmas/Boxing Day) and a few more Monday.

A man came from Newry to pick it up today, and thats it gone ;)

Friday, December 17, 2004

New Car

I had a friend go out and buy me a car. Its a Rover 45, and I'm not really sure about it. But anyhow its cheap, and according to the specs, pretty fast.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Notting Hill (1999)

I was surprised by Notting Hill. I've seen this before, and remember it in the same category as 4 weddings... but it's really not there. There are several side splitting scenes, not to mention the SWMBO factor too.

"The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when the most famous star in the world walks in his shop and buys a book"

S.W.A.T. (2003)

S.W.A.T. (2003) a film about the Special Weapons and Tactics team in LA (everything exciting seems to be happening in LA)

An interesting watch, a few punches to pull, worth a watch, but really just a standard action film, with a better than average story.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Pianist (2002)

I've just finished watching The Pianist (2002). Its about a Polish Jewish musician who struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Very graphic in its portrayal of the German treatment of the Jews in the war. Not a brilliant film, a few extra points because it is true, but I would recommend a watch, just to see how good we've got it!

It makes me appreciate my freedom.

Car is dead :(

Coming home today I pulled out to overtake, and bang, I had to pull in again.

Upon inspection the bottom pulley which drives all the belts (inc timing) had come off - not good!

The AA towed me home, and it looks like I'm going to need a new car :(

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Showcenter AC3 Downmix

Definitely the best £3.49 I ever spent :)

Downmix to sterio from AC3 means I can play a couple of DVD Rips I got from a friend, great!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Using Neuston software on Showcenter

From http://www.geocities.com/dasbacgl/: "

Using the Neuston Software with Pinnacle ShowCenter

Until version 1.82, the Neuston application was a worthy alternative to Pinnacle's ShowCenter application. Unfortunately, after 1.82, Neuston began including hardware checks in their application to make sure the Neuston application could not be used with hardware other than Neuston's.

Fortunately, the check is easy to bypass. I have only verified this fix on the Neuston Media Center version 2.5 for Windows. But this fix should work on Neuston Media Center 2.5 for any OS.

1. First, download the latest version of the Neuston Media Center, available here:
Windows version: http://www.neuston.com/en/mc500download_win.asp

2. Install the Neuston Media Center, and restart your computer.

3. After the restart, stop the Neuston Media Center (if it's running), and open the directory where the NMC is installed. Located in the 'Program Files/Neuston Media Centre' directory on Windows.

4. From the installation directory, open the 'webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF/' directory.

5. Edit the web.xml file and remove the following lines (near the top of the file, the value of XXX is not important, just look for the fwname text)


6. Save the changes and start the Neuston Media Center. You should now be able to connect to the Neuston Media Center software from your Pinnacle ShowCenter hardware.

Happy Surfing!!


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

My next Freeview Set Top Box.....

Found this thread on the forums entitled Freeview Set Top Box - No red dot ever. Interested? - TiVo Community Forum which lists a couple of good set top boxes

"Also, the SetPal-based STBs (Labgear DTT-100, Daewoo-DS608P, Triax DVB2000T) have a very strong tuner, so are useful in weak/marginal signal areas where other STBs give picture break-up."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

BIOS bug killed

I have sorted the power on "Fan Failure - press F1 to continue..." problem. A bit of a sledgehammer solution, not a *nice* solution.

I had a look in dells forums for information on the GX110, and came up with this post which gives a workaround for the BIOS warning problem.

It seems that the third wire just gives feedback about the state of the fan where 12v = fan turning, and 0v = fan stopped. The solution is just to connect the 12v red cable directly to the pin where the which cable was.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

New Kitchen PC arrives

The PIII 733 I ordered from eBay arrived today, and I got it up and running tonight. It is a lot faster than its predecessor, the K6-2 machine, although it is a lot noisier.

But, I got the screwdriver and snips out, and removed the fans from the PSU and the CPU, and replaced them with a couple of old fans, an old PSU fan for the CPU, and an old 486 fan for the PSU. I then wired these two fans in series, which slows them down considerably, and makes them an aweful lot quieter.

The heatsink on the PSU is a lot hotter now, but it has been running for some time, and it seems fine. By fine I mean no fire.

The only problem which remains is a BIOS warning. When I disconnected the origonal CPU fan it had 3 pins, black, red and white, but my new fan only has 2, black and red. The white is obviously some kind of monitor to allow the motherboard to panic if the fan stops. So now on startup it tells me there is a fan failure, and press F1 to continue. There is nowhere in the stone age BIOS to configure this alarm, so we may have to live with it.... bit annoying, no remote reboots.....

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bluetooth working

After fighting with my old bluetooth dongle for a whole night I bought a new one. It arrived today, and I got it all setup and working with my palm tonight.

Windows XP make it pretty simple to set up networking across a bluetooth serial link, just add a bluetooth com port, and set up an incoming connection from that com port.

I was hoping that it may work in the living room, which is adjacent to the kitchen, but it seems that it is the Palm that is the problem, not the dongle.

Well, at least I can read the tech news at brekkie time without having to synch my palm:)

New PC for kitchen ordered

The PC in the kitchen is a bigger hit than I could have hoped for, always on because of the low power consumption, online banking and weather just one click away, its a CD player and internet radio / mp3 player etc etc...

Anyhow, it is clear that it just isn't powerful enough, so I've ordered a PIII 733 to replace it. Hopefully it will be almost as quiet, but much more powerful - we'll wait and see....

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Kitchen PC

I had intended to install a small PC in the kitchen as soon as my ADSL was installed. So I ordered a 12" TFT screen second hand from eBay, as soon as my ADSL was working [12-Sep]

I am using an old PC for proof of concept in this case, a AMD K6-2-500 CPU, etc, etc, and it is a big hit with SWMBO!!!

So much of a hit in fact that she considered authorising a £200 spend on an ITX based computer. Wow. But I didn't do it, I think I will try to stick with the machine I have, its a bit slow, but seems to be working well at the minute

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

ADSL Faceplate installed

My ADSL Faceplate arrived today, and I just finished getting it installed. Now ADSL and all extensions are working 100% :)

The router reports an impressive Signal to noise ratio of 8.5, and a Loop Attenuation of 69.5dB

But at least it works :)

I got the router re-routed into the attic, and made my old 10Mbit hub redundant, so now we have a proper network in the house

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

ADSL Router working

Well, that was more tricky than I had hoped...

I spent a long time working with different versions of firmware for the router, it wouldn't pick up the ADSL signal at all without *all* the phones unplugged. It came with version 2.5.3UK which didn't pick up the ADSL at all.

I had to fight for some time with the firmware upgrade process, before I eventually admitted defeat and read the manual.

I installed version 2.5.2 which came on the CD with an auto-installer, and this picked up the signal.

I noticed in the manual that it stated that you should plug the ADSL router directly into the main socket, without using the filter. So I filtered the phone, and plugged the router directly, and it all worked!

Just need to get the extensions working now.... the saga continues.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Router Ordered

So now that the ADSL is working its time to buy a router. After the usual in-depth research I managed to find out that the Draytek Vigor 2600Plus is the one most people seem to recommend for poor quality lines.

It has some firmware updates for people with poor quality lines.

Friday, September 17, 2004

YAPC::Europe - Day 3

The final day - and just when I was beginning to get used to it :(

Oh well - another day of good talks, and meeting interesting people. I had lunch with the two guys who headed up the development for The Register - that was interesting.

Throughout the conference I met lots of interesting people, guys from France, USA, Switzerland, England, and many others. I have to say that the people were overall friendly, although not one of the Belfast crowd spoke to me voulentarily :(

ADSL Working!!!

Unbelievably I came home this evening, and found that the ADSL LED was on constantly!!!

The service is working - web pages at a sensible speed. However, there is still a bit of a problem - I've had to disconnect all my extensions, or the ADSL doesnt work.

But at least that part time ADSL!!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

YAPC::Europe - Day 2

Back for another days learning, some good talks today. I love the lightening talks - 10 5 minute talks in a row, some excellent information shared.

Lunch today was in Robinsons, and with noe American and a guy from Switzerland.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Well it was the first day of YAPC::Europe today, and that was quite an experience .

I was supposed to go with a couple of others from work, but other commitments meant that they had to stay at work. There were a wide and diverse array of people there, all shapes and sizes :)

The day started a little slowly for my liking, but when we got into the talks I knew that my time would be well spent.

Today I had lunch with two Americans which was very interesting, one of the worked for a medical insurance company, and he explained the way the medical system works over there, and that amazed me.... $1000 for a trip to casualty

ADSL latest....

Called support today on my mobile on the way into work, but they aid they needed to run a "line check" and I would need to be at my computer for the test.

I called back when I got home, and told them the update - all hardware working on one line, and all hardware giving the same result on my line :(

The guy on the tech support said he couldnt esculate an error 619 to BT, but I wasnt going to let this guy off the phone without some progress. They suggested that I talk to Microsoft support about what the problem was with my PC(s)

I evenually mentioned that I had noticed the bytes tx counting up, and bytes rx remaining at zero, also loss of signal, loss of frame, and errored seconds on my line. The errored seconds seemed to illuminate something in his mind, and he spoke to a supervisor, and got it esculated to BT. We'll wait and see....

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

ADSL Today?

So its nice to get notification that your ADSL will work by 6:30, but the question is - will it?

The answer : NO. Hardly a surprise (although it would have been nice)

So on the phone to pipex support - half an hour waiting, talked to some guy who told me error 619 was a bit weird, but said it looked like my modem was broken. He suggested trying it at a friends house. So I did, and it worked, and so I called them back.

This time they told me it must be my computer. (what, both of them?) So, off to friends house, and borrowed his laptop. Surprise, surprise all the hardware works at his house, and produces the 619 error at my house. By this time it was too late to call the helpdesk, so I had to wait.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Mournes walking in the rain....

Well we went for another mountain walk today. A bad turnout, just the three of us. We went up the pot as usual, and followed the smugglers path, finishing with a nice walk through Tullymore Forest

It rained heavily almost the entire time we were up there. It was 11.9 miles, and I tell you, I was sore when I got home.

See some pics here

Monday, September 06, 2004

BT Gives us a chance!

From today BT will be accepting applications for ADSL from anyone in the UK, regardless of their line length. So at7.4 km I've waited for this day...pipex, here I come!!!

[more information]

Monday, August 30, 2004

Geovision card

Collected my Geovision CCTV card today, and got it installed in my PC - its a very impressive piece of software

Now all I need is a separate server to run it in, off to ebay....

Monday, August 09, 2004

Pulp Fiction - What?

Saturday night must have been the best TV night in years, The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction both on at the same time!!! So we watched The Shawshank Redemption, and TiVo'd Pulp Fiction. These must be two of my favorite films of all time.

Pulp Fiction also contains one of the funniest lines of all time, although there are many comedy moments, such as the Marvin "Woah, man, I shot marvin in the face," the best for me is the "'What' ain't no country I ever heard of,they speak English in 'What'?" [listen]

I fall off my seat laughing each time I hear this....excellent. Another contender for finest film moment is this section from Dogma, but that's another story :)

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Caravan's Gone...

After almost 2 years, the caravan has gone. Some nice folks from Mosside came to see it about 2 months ago, and agreed to buy, but said it would be some time before they needed it.

So they came back today to get it. The caravan mover people came about 8am, and were away before 10. Susan and the kids were sad to see it go, I was glad to see the back of it!!!

See the pics at : http://www.ccso.co.uk/gallery/CaravanMove

New Car

We picked up Susan's new car today. Well, when I say new, its new to us. Its a 2000 VW Passat TDi, just the 90bhp model, but its surprisingly nice to drive.

Its only the 'S' model, but it has a lot of the 'SE' stuff, like climate control, and full electric pack. Hoprfully it will do us well, for a long time

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Hole(2001) [SPOILERS]

[SPOILERS] Last night I watched The Hole (2001) for the first time, and I really enjoyed it. I was captivated from start to finish, although about half way through I was a little concerned it was going to end up in some bizarre dream, or something else which I wouldn't understand. However, it didn't!

It started by portraying the lead character as an innocent victim, and set out a base storyline and background of how things should have been. Thora Birch plays Elizabeth Dunn, a seemingly innocent schoolgirl, caught in a trap by her long time friend As the film progresses we learn more of her true character as evil and manipulative.

It's usually nice to see the bad guy get away with it, but I didn't feel the usual sense of satisfaction with this film. Still well worth a watch!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

24 - Season Three

Over the past few weeks I've been following 24's third season with interest, and I have to say that the action in the last few episodes has been great! I've watched up to episode 20, so only 4 more to go, and from what I've read it isn't going to be a disappointment! 24 delivers again!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Outbreak (1995)

Outbreak (1995) - another fine film, I'm quite sure it's factual basis around bio-chemistry is flawed, but nevertheless, a fine film. Good story, gripping and interesting to the end, the charactors are well developed, and it's interesting to see Morgan Freeman acting the bad guy.

Raises some interesting questions, for example, how would any country / government handle a virus outbreak of this severity (or even less serious)?

Good film, well worth a watch, as long as you can put your science head behind the sofa....

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Dead Poets Society (1989) - another TV rerun to take over my evenings viewing.

A strong film, about an influential English teacher, who encourages students to think and learn for themselves, rather than just fall into the mould society porovides for us.

Robin Williams is the teacher, Carpe Diem ("seize the day") a central part of the film, a fine storyline, as the charactors discover more depth to their lives.

Another interesting and thought provoking film.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Simon's Gallery :: Mussenden Walk

I've had the camera for about a week, and I'm still snapping everything I can see - Simon's Gallery :: Mussenden Walk

Great fun, just wish I was better at taking photos. :)

Monday, June 28, 2004

New Camera! DiMAGE G400

My new camera arrived on Saturday it's a Konica Minolta DiMAGE G400 which had been strongly recommended to me. I'm very pleased with it, it seems easy to use, and produces good clear, crisp images. I ended up paying 175 quid for it, I had to pay extra for next day delivery from amazon, as the first place I ordered from came back to me and informed me they had no stock.

So keep an eye, I've yet to create anything worthy of publishing, buy my gallery will soon have some new pics.....

Friday, June 25, 2004

Christian history

The book : "The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?" has been a great help to me in my search for the origin and reliability of the book we call "The Bible".

A few extracts:

"The Christian gospel is not primarily a code of ethics, or a metaphysical system; it is first and foremost good news"

"The New Testament was substantially complete about AD100, the majority of the writings being in existence 20-40 years before this" [p12]

"If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt"

"It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than many theologians. Historians like WM Ramsay, Ed Meyer, and AT Olmstead have protested vigorously at the excessive scepticism of the theologians in dealing with the historical writings of the New Testament" [p15]

"There is much more evidence for the New Testament than other ancient writings of comparable date" [p15]

"There is in existence about 5000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament in whole or in part"

From an interesting article from google groups [well worth a read] I found a lot of interesting information.

The following is a list of non-biblical sources:
Cornelius Tacitus
Lucian of Samosata
Flavius Josephus [another]
Plinus Secundus, Pliny the Younger
Phlegon, A first century historian
Letter of Mara Bar-Serapion
Justin Martyr
Jewish Talmuds

Lots more information is available at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/


Monday, June 21, 2004

New Camera?

After the battries ran out on my suitcase-cam on our Mournes walk I decided to think about another camera. Recommendations seem to be in the shape of Minolta Dimage G400 Digital Camera

Looks like it's available quite cheaply too (thats good for me) Pricerunner tells me it starts from about £158, which is more than I hoped to spend, but if it would be a great camera it may be worth it.

I like the idea of a compact camera, carry everywhere, and snap away at my convenience. Lets get that gallery filled up!

Friday, June 18, 2004

Simon's Gallery :: Mournes Walk

Yesterday Mel, Andy Sean and I took to the Mournes for a hill walk. It was my first time up there, the other three had gone together once before, what a great day out!

We did a walk called the Donard Loop, which is more of a walk than a climb, about 8 miles in total. The weather was mostly very good, and the scenery was beautiful. We set out at about 9:15am and finished shortly after 3pm, with numerous stops in between!

We stopped at a scenic old quarry for lunch, but the most notable stop was at the river on the way down, where we all enjoyed a refreshing paddle in the slow pools, and dipping our feet into the fast flowing waterfalls.

See some more pics in my gallery at: Simon's Gallery :: Mournes Walk

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

2 hard days work

Been in to at least 6:30 for the last 2 days, hopefully get away more quickly tonight. All this work isn't good for me.

Been on calls with US and Canada, slooooowwwww desktop sharing, installing applications. The sales guy was 1 hour late, and then didn't have the software with him. We had to download it, which took 2 hours.

That was the first day. The second day they said we needed to do it all again, with SSL. We still have no idea what we are doing. Today we had a VP meeting, at least that was simple :)

Monday, June 07, 2004

Computer Based central heating control

Computer Based Projects just may be what I'm looking for. I want to put a temperature sensor in each room, possibly automatic valves on each radiator [they seem to be available] and use a tiny Linux based PC as my central heating controller.

ADS DVD Xpress

Having toiled with my Pinnacle PCTV card for many hours, it is now on its way back to SVP for a refund.

The ADS DVD Xpress arrived on Friday, and I got it up and running, recording my VHS to my PC fairly quickly. I had to buy a SCART to video/stereo lead, as all the ones I had were not wired properly.

Anyhow, it seems to work nicely, I still have to test it out with a good quality video and full MPEG2 9Mb/s recording, but it's looking good so far

DVD Xpress


Saturday, June 05, 2004

Phone Booth

yet another waste of time film, it has some interesting ideas, and its nice to see someone actually own up to how bad they have been. This reminds me of teachers who told you annoying things which you didn't like doing were "charactor building". Well Colin Farrell vertainly had his charactor built!

Interesting concept, but not really a good film - at least it was short!!

[Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland (DVD - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment - August 11, 2003)]

Friday, June 04, 2004

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Network MP3 Players

Model MP101
  • possible network connection issues

  • Onkyo NetTune NC-500

    PCTV Stereo - the return

    I have just received an RMA to return my PCTV Stereo for a refund - I was not impressed with it at all. If you turned the resolution up at all it lost audio/video sync. I saw that this was a common problem among users, and tried all the suggested things, defrag, different PCI, etc, but I couldnt get it to work properly (14 hours trying is a valient attempt I think)

    I have worked with it for about 14 hours, changing PCI slots, defragging hard disks etc, implementing all the changes suggested at the pinnacle support forums http://webboard.pinnaclesys.com/read_forums.asp?WebboardID=1&SectionID=80&lng=1

    I also read on the forums about many people having the same audio/video sync problems I had. My machine is well within the minimum spec, in fact it looks a lot like their recommended spec,

    Sanitary ware...

    So we ordered all our sanitary ware from Bradleys in Limavady around the start of April, and it was ready to be delivered, but we delayed delivery until Tuesday 20th April. The two cisterns for the ensuites were incorrect, the bath was not the one we ordered, and the taps in one ensuite were also wrong.

    After being told that the correct cisterns were coming tomorrow for about a week, and finally we were told they would be in 10-11am on Thursday 29th April, which was still inconvenient as I had to hold the plumber off until this time.

    We called over that morning, shortly after 11, and were told that they wouldn't be there until late afternoon. I asked where they were coming from, and as it was about an hours drive I said I would collect them myself. This seemed to trigger some sort of response, and I ended up on the phone to the delivery man, directing him to my house, and he actually turned up about two hours after that!!

    Since then we have fought Bradleys for four antique pine cistern levers and for 5 weeks we have been told they would arrive tomorrow, or the next day, or the order has been delayed, or some other very poor excuse.

    We ended up going over to get a refund, I just don't believe that they were ever ordered, and I wonder if I hadn't threatened to get the cisterns myself would they still not be here either???

    This level of service is absolutely unacceptable, I can't imagine treating anyone this way, especially not a customer who has just paid £3000.

    Saturday, May 29, 2004

    Friday, May 28, 2004

    Pinnacle PCTV

    I got my PCTV stereo card (pinnacle) yesterday, and spent all night last night trying to get it to capture from my VCR. When I turn the bitrate up at all the audio and video loose sync.

    I have a couple of things to try :
    1 - Direct to divx format - now supported in the latest SW
    2 - use endItAll2 to stop all processes on my machine
    3 - I have downloaded various DVR software to try
    4 - I'm going to give it a try under linux
    5 - Use tmpgenc to shift audio track

    Thursday, May 13, 2004

    X10 Software - Homeseer vs autom8it vs ???

    Searching for X10 solution, started with ActiveHome software, read on and found Autom8It / homeseer, no idea which is better, they both seem to do the same thing, and they both cost around 100 quid

    Homeseer supplier

    Wednesday, May 12, 2004

    Selfbuild Diary - see it all

    www.ccso.co.uk is the location of my Selfbuild Diary where you can follow all the goings on in my house build. Enjoy!

    Monday, March 15, 2004

    Tivo Modes

    UK Mode 0
    This page explains how to configure your UK TiVo to make Mode 0 recordings. The TiVoCommunity thread is here.

    The various modes are:
    Mode Resolution Used by TiVo Modes
    1 352 x 576 Basic and Medium
    2 480 x 576 High
    4 544 x 576 Best
    0 720 x 576 (not used)

    True Romance

    One of my fav films, Tarantino wins again. The best thing about it is that girls think they are going to enjoy it, "ahh that sounds nice, why can't we watch more films like that?" ok then.....

    Monday, March 08, 2004

    Status Anxiety

    From the description of this book
    "The urge to be somewhere else is one of the abiding traits of human nature"

    I found it as a link from the site about status anxiety http://www.alaindebotton.com/status.htm, which was made into a 2 hour documentery shown on channel 4 on Sat night

    The Game


    Quite an intriguing film as I watched, I started off half asleep, and became rigidly awake by the end. How disappointing. I can't even entertain the idea that such a "practical joke" is even viable in movie-land.

    Its about a rich businessman who enters into a "game," offered as a birthday present by his brother. His life is immediately disrupted, the TV starts talking to him, he is locked into the back of a taxi, floating to the bottom of a harbour.... etc, etc

    At the end in a double barreled twist he finds out it is a practical joke, and simultaneously believes he has just killed his brother, staggers over to the edge of the building, and jumps. Suicide. We are to believe that this "joke" led him to a mental place where he commits suicide. But he doesn't, he lands on an inflated tent, on a spot marked with an 'X', with all his friends/relatives around saying "surprise" and "happy birthday". I would still have killed them. In fact I think I may have serially murdered them over the next few months/years. It is unbelieveable (even in movie world) for him to get up and go, ah, good one, you really had me there...

    An intriguing film, but turned out to be a show worthy of the bin.

    Saturday, February 28, 2004

    CVS from the states

    Badly set up, incorrect authorisation information, and a slow connection. It just cant get worse. I cant get ADSL, so this is as fast as it will ever be.

    oh for a 2meg pipe

    Monday, February 09, 2004

    some code, just so I dont have to write it again, again

    foreach (@ARGV)
    #P15='154 230'
    #P25='256 384 '
    #P50='512 768'
    print "resize image $_ \n";
    ##get info
    my $info= `../bin/imgcon -info $_`;
    #Image Size: 1536 x 1024 x 1
    my ($width, $height)=$info=~ /Image Size: (\d+) x (\d+) / ;
    print "$width, $height\n";
    my $new_width=sprintf("%.0f", $percentage/100 * $width);
    my $new_height=sprintf("%.0f", $percentage/100 * $height);
    print "$new_width, $new_height\n";
    print `../bin/imgcon -scale $new_width $new_height $_`;


    Friday, January 09, 2004

    Wavelinker bluetooth dongle

    The manager software that comes with this dongle is aweful [XTNDConnect], so I did a search and came up with this

    The hardware is eaactly the same as the Belkin F8T001 USB dongle.

    On the belkin.com site. Go to drivers , bluetooth and select F8T001 drivers

    Tuesday, January 06, 2004

    Watch what you say....

    Interesting articles http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html and follow links from it (from slashdot..)


    "If you could travel back in a time machine, one thing would be true no matter where you went: you'd have to watch what you said."

    "Argue with idiots, and you become an idiot."

    "A lot of the questions people get hot about are actually quite complicated. There is no prize for getting the answer quickly."

    Paul Graham

    Follow-up article on slashdot:

    I don't know what this counts as, but here's my shot, it's something I've been considering for a while.

    Nothing we do actually matters. At firs this may not sound shocking, especially to those of you who are, like me, unreligious. Think about it though - I could destroy the planet, erase every life here and every achievement that humanity has ever made, yet it would not cause anything that mattered to happen. Maybe other planets would be affected, maybe the solar system would fall apart, so, who cares? I may get many replies saying 'All life matters' or 'It matters if the solar system is destroyed' but I challenge any of you to back that up factually.


    You are too simple to understand your place in the bigger picture

    On children and swearing

    Terrorism is less of a threat than bad drivers [RayBender]

    Monday, January 05, 2004

    Personal Media Centre Wishlist

    Wouldn't it be nice to have on appliance? Just the one. No more TiVo / video / DVD player cluttered below the tv, just one slim silent case. There are a few projects out there that do this, for example

    I have a few more requirements for them, lets just integrate everything while we are at it. Why not.

    Physical Architecture

    • Backend server(s) -capture TV and
    • Small STB to replace all existing units (video/DVD/TiVo)

      • One per TV


    • TV

      • TiVo like
      • Program guide with
      • Video editing (crop/join)
      • Storage folders
      • Users
      • Multi channel (add on tuners)

    • Video

      • DVD Rip
      • Duke box functionality
      • Automatic film information
      • Camcorder integration

    • Music

      • Fully configurable mp3 (etc) server
      • Use as aux in to Hi-fi with TV off

    • Web

      • Context sensitive google searches

        • Music/film advertisement??

      • General browsing capability

        • Banking etc..

    • Email

      • Email / news reader
      • Mail Notification overlay

        • Rule based

    • Phone

      • Caller ID overlay

    • Images

      • jpg photo server
      • Digital camera integration

    • games

      • ???

    • Security

      • Integrated home security
      • Alarm status / visualization
      • Event history
      • Security camera view

        • Overlay on doorbell press?

    • General

      • Automatic rip - mp3/divx etc

        • just pop the cd/dvd into the drive, and it will appear
          in the menu

    Out of Sight

    Cool film, doesn't stand watching loads of times though - the best death in a film, bar none - the fat guy trips on the stairs - excellent.

    Back to work tomorrow, wonder what the new year has in store? .....

    [1998 George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez ]