Friday, May 29, 2009


I received in the post today confirmation of my membership of the Association for Project Managers. The APM is the UK equivalent to the PMI in America. I've become eligible for this membership due to my Masters degree.

Merc Service

After 7 months the Merc is due its 15k service. Only niggles so far are a couple of quiet rattles and a rubbish rear wiper. Best part of the service is it gets returned cleaned! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm working in Aberdeen again. This time it is a through-the-night server change. Got up at 04:30 on Tue to catch my flight up, worked until 15:00 before heading to the hotel for some sleep. Then back in at 01:30 until midday. It's nearly 05:00 at the moment and the two websites:
are now back up and running so we're nearly done. Tired :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Samsung LED UE40B7020WW

K and I picked up our new LED TV this morning from RicherSounds - the guys gave us a great deal with a 5 year warranty. As you'd expect it's got all the current tech and being LED has massive contrast and uses less energy (link in title). We're testing it with IGOR in HD tonight on the AppleTV :)

UPDATE: ATV HD was brilliant! Sky HD might be needed!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Virgin Media - thanks!

Just had a call from Virgin Media. Special offer to long term customers. Upgrade from 10MB to 20MB broadband, add-on free calls evening and weekends to any UK land line and all free as long as I sign up for another 12 months. Was not going to change anyway - so thanks!

I now have 20MB down and 750K up :)

UPDATE: another £5/month gets you unlimited online storage, so I'm going to quit my S3 account and will use this instead (nearly half price for me and I get to backup everything - not just my 50GB of photos).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Roomba Arrives

Here's some footage of its first run - it didn't get stuck once, which surprised me, espeically with the chair legs - and made it back to its dock once done!


Today I downloaded Twikini (link in title) for my HTC Windows Mobile Diamond2. Simple to install and easy to set up. After signing in it displayed my timeline and images very quickly. The controls are intuitive and easy to navigate with your thumb. The only problem at the moment is that it will not find my GPS in order to post with coordinates - something I hope (as their FAQ states) future updates will address.

Replay Jeans MV 950A - cut hand on sharp rivets

K bought me a very nice (and expensive) pair of Replay jeans a while back. I've noticed that small metal shards unwind themselves from the rivits near the pockets and you can catch your hand on them. Last night I sliced the ball of one of my fingers open on such a shard. Anyone else got a pair of these and had similar problems??? I no longer have the receipt from the store but wonder if Replay themselves will exchange them? I've written to them via their website - will see if I get any reply.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

iRobot - Roomba 560

Finally - I get to command my own robotic minions... well, one of them at least. Tomorrow I expect delivery of a robot vacuum cleaner - the Roomba from iRobot (link in title). This little feller should skirt around the house whilst we are away and keep it nice and clean for us. It can be scheduled up to once per day at set times, finds its way back to its base station when it needs a charge and avoids stairs, walls and furniture. OK OK - it *is* a bit weighted on the novelty side and less on the functional side but I just could not resist.

Have to think of a name for it now... suggestions?

Wonder how the cats will like it...?

Update: It arrived - photos!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Photomatix - HRD


I bought a copy of Photomatix recently - been wanting it for ages but just figured they do a massive 60% student discount!!!

The software allows me to render tone mapped HDR images straight from Lightroom - awesome!

An HDR is a combination of several images, over and under exposed in order to get more levels of detail in the shot. Here's a sample of the effect (slightly exaggerated here) - a view from my home office window.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Trees - topped!

Network Rail turned up today to top our trees for us - very nice of them. Took the guys about 3 hours and the difference is amazing. So much more light into the garden. Neighbours will be happy too. Rasmus was not happy though with these strangers stealing his trees - he sulked inside until they left.

Stage 3 of 3 boot loop - Vista Business x86

After 2 days of getting my machine just the way I wanted it I was quite happy with a nice new and fast OS again. This morning I booted up and noticed some windows updates. I duly applied them and restarted. On start up I got the familiar 'stage 3 of 3' update notice. However, instead of booting it appeared to enter a boot loop :( Safe mode also affected. In the end I had to run recovery from the original Vista install disk and restore to a previous image. Not happy...

Fix: uninstall all .net components. Run an MS cleanup util and then re-install .net in order. Took forever!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WHS now has 2TB

I took delivery of a 4th HDD for my Windows Home Server this morning - bringing the total capacity to 2TB and finally lighting all the blue strips :) It has proven invaluable for restoring machines, backing up and recovering files and I wouldn't be without it now. In fact there's talk of a new software release offering native JungleDisk (currently I use an add in) and TimeMachine support. Can't wait...

Monday, May 11, 2009


I noticed the other day that my laptop was running very low on disk space. I did a search of the file system (Vista x64 on a 30GB partition) and found that around 20GB of it was being filled by one folder - C:\windows\winsxs. This folder is a cache of resource files and their versions used by applications for stability reasons. However, there is no safe way to remove any of these files and reduce the size of the partition. So, no choice but to reinstall the OS - I'll give it 40GB this time :(


It is very windy today. We have two roses climbing up the walls at the front of the house and they both broke loose. I managed to tie them back up with some wire - but not sure how long they'll last. Might attack then with tag-ties if they come lose again.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Stolen Wing Mirror

Came down to the car this morning to head off for work and noticed that the passenger side wing mirror glass was missing. Not broken off, but carefully removed. I then noticed another 4 or 5 cars on the same side of the road with the same thing. I presume some drunk kids thought it was a good idea :(

So, reported it to the Police and popped down to Merc where they promptly fitted a new one.

Not a great way to start the weekend...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Dad Flew in to Visit

Forgot to mention that Dad flew in to visit earlier in the week. He has just completed his IMC checks and was nearby so stopped in for lunch. There is a little airfiled just to the east of Bennington that he used - only an 8 min drive from here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Broken Sat-Nav

Over the last few weeks my TomTom 730T has been less and less liking its RDS-TMC receiver. In fact, recently there is almost nothing I can do to get it to work. A quick call to TomTom and they sent a special delivery pouch to send it off for repair. My guess is that there are some broken solder joints by the connector. Hope to have it back soon!

UPDATE: huff - it's not until after they've received it they tell you the repair will take 20 days!

UPDATE2: Apparently it was shipped back to me this morning (Friday) - NICE!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


K and I went to A's sister's wedding last weekend in Southampton. I was the official wedding photographer :) Had a great time - the evening reception was on a boat! I tool 1163 photos and kept 1025 of them in the end - hope they like them!