January 27, 2005

Calling fans of Hybrid (Wider Angle, Morning Sci–Fi, etc)

Firstly, if there are any of you out there, PLEASE comment! Considering the comparative size of these guys as dance artists, no one I meet ever seems to have heard of them.

But for those that are a fan of these guys (and likes both their released music and their remixes / live sets) then I have the site for you.

Visit this link – for a small subscription fee you can download over 100 of their live mixes – and i'm glad to say its all kosher and done with the blessing of the Hybrid boys. There are also various other DJ sets on there by people like Way Out West so most definately worth a look. Some truely superb sets!

Did anyone see them live @ Warwick Uni SU a year or so ago – don't remeber the exact date! :(

January 24, 2005

Hewlett Packard 4550..

Ok.. i'd just like to state in writing that I consider the HP 4550 printer to be my sort of electronic nemesis.

Not only does it have a spectacular thirst for consumables (toner, drums, developers, transfer kits, and all kinds of other wonderful expensive things), it manages to have a hissy fit every time I perform the replacement of parts that it demands so frequently.

The toner kits need to be loaded into a kind of compartment at the top of the printer, and the printer will work out what toner needs replacing and make sure that toner is rotated to be at the top.. but a little force is required when inserting the toner and its not entirely impossible to make the mechanism jump a few teeth and make the half inserted toner sink partly into the printer. Of course it doesn't like being rotated backwards once you are at this stage so by then its a case of tie off, shirt sleeves rolled up, and politely force the loading mech back around despite noises indicating its not all that happy with the arrangement ;)

And then today.. the transfer kit. The actual kit consists of new air filters, a new rubber roller of some sort, and a huge great plastic box which appears to aid with paper pick up and then be the kind of inbetween part for putting the toner on the paper. Only the air filters were easy to swap, with the rest being a total fiddle. The printer would then continually inform me that I had not shut the front panel correctly – and on the occasions that it did accept I had closed it properly, it would begin to process a print job only to stop half way through and eat the paper.

The outcome is much reseating of parts and cleaning of dusty areas seems to have silenced it for now.. so until we meet again (probably in a few days time) I can rest easy.

For the record I dont have this trouble with other printers.. just the HP4550.


January 12, 2005

Mac Mini!

Wow – so the rumors were true. £339 will buy you one of the stunning Mac Mini's. Apple are going to sell so many of these things.

I'm DEFINATELY going to buy one! :)

They also introduced the iPod shuffle which also comes in at a pretty reasonable price – think £69 will get you the entry level 512MB one. No screen from what I understand, and the playlist will be randomly generated each time to press play – interesting concept but I think i'm relieved that they included track skip forward / back buttons!

This will be a good year for Apple I think.

January 06, 2005


Oh my god!! How difficult is it being back at work. I think the fact that I haven't taken a proper 2 (ish) week holiday in well over a year, so to spend 11 days getting out of bed when I felt like it and sitting around the house just slobbing was a strange experience. Trying to get up for the past few mornings has been a revelatory experience I can tell you..

In fact on Wednesday it took my sister knocking on my bedroom door at 8am (work starts at 8:30am and drive to work takes anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes) asking if I was actually going to work today. It was kinda like a scene from Back to the Future where Doc sits bolt upright with a confused look on his face and says "Great Scot!!".

Badminton was good last night but now all the students are back it looks as though its going to be a challenge to book courts before they all go.. apparently you need to phone the sports hall at 7:15am to get a court for the following week! Now that i've got the hang of Badminton, I need to move into trying out Squash.. I got a squash AND badminton racket for christmas so need to both of them to good use :)

Anywho.. at least the weekend is quickly approaching. Looks like i'm gonna have a bit to do though – I have the potential of being hung over on Saturday, but need to try and get out early for a haircut, fetch a part for the car from a scrappies and help a mate with his uncles computer. Hopefully i'll get a lie in on Sunday!!


January 04, 2005

The sub–$500 Mac?

Well it looks as though Apple have answered my prayers. I've been a fan of theirs for some time and have owned an iPod for what must be over a year now.. i've actually wanted a Mac since, well, forever but i'm just too familiar with a PC and I don't think I could sacrifice my PC for the sake of a Mac.

And simply put I just don't have the cash to splash out £1000+ on a good Mac.

But it seems my problems are over. Apple are apparently set to drop a bit of a bomb at the Macworld Expo (which starts next week) to announce a mega cheap monitor-less iMac aimed at Windows users who want to experience Mac ownership without having to spend mega bucks buying the kit! How thoughtful!

The full blurb on this is here: link

November 26, 2004

Half Life 2

Oh, and as I mentioned it so much in my previous entries..

Half Life 2 is spectacular. Like one of the best First Person shooters ever.. the sound is amazing, the graphics & physics are just jaw dropping – this game has set the benchmark for a long time to come.

I finished it on Sunday and took a bunch of screenshots on the way through the game. You can see those here:


No plot spoilers or anything in there I don't think so don't worry if you are just about to start playing it and don't want anything to be given away.

tap tap – is this thing on?

Wow – over a month since my last entry. I've been steadily reading blogs over the past month or so but not actually contributing so I suppose a quiet Friday morning where the majority of staff in NAGTY at working from home is as good a time as any.


There is an influx of new staff over at NAGTY just lately – our reserve stock of laptops has drained and I have been forced to order some more. One thing myself and Matt decided to do was volunteer our 'as new' Tecra M2's in favour of a proper PC. Simply put i'm not out on the road, but I could do with more horse power – laptops are seriously lacking when it comes to running multiple applications (sometimes have a whole host of stuff on the go) and they started to get to be a bit frustrating. So I handed back my M2 and am now typing this on a shiny new RM Innovater complete with 3.2GHz P4, 1GB DDR RAM, 2×80GB SATA drives, DVD-RW, etc etc – and still only came in at half the price of a complete laptop setup! What can I say.. I want to save NAGTY money :)


Weekend looks fairly action packed – Saturday morning I need to drive up to Ikea on the M6. Not to buy furniture I must add, but to collect a nice 'as new condition' parcel shelf from a fellow Corrado owner, to replace my nasty old tired sagging and butchered one (thanks to a pair of weighty 6×9 speakers). Then I need to get home and give the car a thorough wash and polish as my car will hopefully be on the Corrado Forum stand at the Utterly VeeDubberly VW show on Sunday (where do they come up with these names!).

Problem is Saturday night, an old work collegue is having a house party in an attempt to clear out his vast drinks cabinet so I think we'll be trying all kinds of cocktails – but I need to be up and meeting fellow show goers the following morning at 7:15AM.. on a Sunday! I'm kinda torn as the VW show will be good.. but an excuse for a good drink is too good to pass up. I'll have to just see how it goes.


October 20, 2004

Apple temptation…

Writing about web page http://www.apple.com/uk/ibook/

Apple have chopped the price of their entry level iBook to a mere 750. That falls once more to 704 if you happen to have some involvement with an educational establishment. And it now includes WiFi as standard..

I've been trying to resist putting myself in debt to buy one of these for a while but the urge to get one is overwhelming. It'd be nice to 'exchange' my works Toshiba Tecra M2 for one, but I can't imagine my manager would be too hot on that considering we are a 'Windows only' shop over at NAGTY.

Ho hum..

Video Gaming Banter & The Only problem with Warwick Blogs…

…. (depending on how you like your blogs) is that now that the thing is in full swing now that all the students are back, people are probably less likely to just stumble on your blog.

I found that when I signed up (about 3 weeks before start of term) I had regular comments and feedbacks in my blog – start of term has seen the comments and feedbacks dry up.

Maybe its just that my Blog has become ("become?!") boring, but hey, its not like I am trying to sell it or make it out to be something its not – hence the title of The blog about nothing. That title is of course shamelessly based on the premise of Seinfeld which was sold as The comedy about nothing :)

The release date for PSTwo draws near, and i'm pretty confident I will be heading up to Gamestation at lunch time on Monday the 1st November to buy myself one. Still really only gunning for one because of Gran Turismo 4 which should be out in time for christmas, but there are other worthwhile titles lurking on the horizon including Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

The release date for Half Life 2 has now been announced – November 16th or 17th I think. Thanks to legal wranglings, us good little HL2 fans who dutifully forked out the full retail price for an electronic copy of the game over Valve's content delivery system Steam will no longer be getting the game any earlier than the people who buy it in the shops thanks to Vivendi being a bunch of asshats.. but still, I guess I should be able to play HL2 at something like 1 second past midnight on the day of release?

Counterstike source has been very good in the mean time.. in fact I was kinda blown away by it this weekend as I experimented with the physics engine on a groovy demo map loaded with piles of barrels and bridges that broken when blocks were dropped on them etc. You can actually alter such things as the 'push' force on all physics items, alter the gravity, alter the time/speed at which physics events occur.. you can end up with real Matrix like or zero gravity scenario's, and for nerds like myself its really good fun. They need to make a Matrix game based on the Source engine I think!

Anyway.. ciao for now.

October 15, 2004

Work & some video gaming banter..

Well seeing as I haven't posted for roughly a month, I thought it was about time to blow the dust from the Blog and make another entry.

In the wonderful world of work, the consultant we have had over from India for the past month or so (Avinash) has just departed for home after coding up the first phase of our AMIS system for us. He seemed like a nice guy and we took him out bowling on Wednesday night – I think he had a good time! He even left behind some cool little ornaments from Bombay – mine is now precariously balanced on top of my TFT :)

Outside of work, most of my time has been occupied by the recently released Counterstike: Source. For those that don't know (or have being living in an 'gaming news proof' shelter for the past few months) Half Life 2 is due for release in the coming months, and last Thursday VaLVE (the creators of Half Life) released pre-order pricing packages for Half Life 2. The bonus of this was that they simutaneously released as part of the package Counterstrike: Source which is basically the classic online shooter ported over to the new graphics engine for Half Life 2, Source! So you get all kinds of wonderful physics effects and nice graphics effects.

I think its fair to say I am getting reasonably hooked on the game.. I haven't even touched Desert Combat since I started playing it so that has to be a sign :)

Out of the end of the month is the new slimmer, more attractive version of the Playstation2, the PSTwo (see what they did there?) – it will be the same price as the original (99) and is considerably smaller than its older brother. I'm thinking nows the time to invest in one. Christmas is getting close, and with that should be the release of Gran Tursimo 4.. I think its fair to say that its one title I have been waiting for since Gran Turismo 3 came out ;)

Anyway – as the saying goes, thank crunchy its Friday. Going to hit the Oktoberfest at the City Arms tonight for a few hours and then spend the rest of the weekend playing Counterstrike at a mates house, eating junk, and generally geeking out :)

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