Thursday, August 31, 2006

One step too far?

Personally I think this is taking things too far!


This one is for Gareth!

I am sure he knows why!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Frazzled Working Mum: All singing, all dancing!!

Frazzled Working Mum: All singing, all dancing!!

Check out the new appearance of the family website. Not bad for someone who knows no programming stuff at all; hope you like the changes!

Let me know what you think!

Early Adopter

Hmmm, for the first time I find myself with a technological dilemma!

Blu-ray or HD-DVD?

OK, neither technology is really up and running yet here in the UK, but then again I am not ready to buy.

Come next spring I will be ready to buy and both formats should be up and shouting.

I don't remember the Betamax v VHS war as my parent's aren't early adopters where technology is concerned (they only just got a PC - one of our hand me downs), and the DVDR format war never really surfaced as dual-format players / recorders came out within months.

We bought an HD-TV back in February, as we needed a new telly, so future proofing seemed sensible. Having sold our Hi-Fi / Surround Sound system (too bulky), we are back to watching DVDs via a Scart lead with dodgy stereo sound. I reckon that the reduced quality and a lack of contiguous time (Lauren) has killed our passion for watching films.

My spring purchases were going to be along the following lines...

  • HD Disk player.
  • HDMI Switching Amp + 5.1 / 7.1 Speaker setup.
  • SFF PC (to act as Media Centre).

Early reports on the Warner Bros HD releases (WB is the only studio atm who is releasing on both formats) is clearly pointing to HD-DVD being the better format.

I am not convinced that HD-DVD will win in the long run though. I think Sony will steal the market with the PS3 / Blu-ray combo.
PS3 will be the must have Christmas present this year, and I can see parents justifying the spend as the console will also act as a HD compatible film player.

Obviously Dual-format players will emerge eventually, but can I wait?

Actually do I care? Now that I have typed most of this article I am starting to think again.
Getting the Amp and the Media Centre PC is a sound investment. It will be cheaper to upgrade the PC with an HD player and I can by-pass the need for HDMI switching in the Amp, as I can hook the PC up via DVI and Optical (which is good enough for HD). That will leave the HDMI on the TV free for the Sky+ HD box (when they drop in price).

Serena and I also talked about adding a Wireless Network File server (which we can hide in a cupboard). It can be ugly and hidden and we can stick big Raid HDDs in it to free up space on the Media Centre / Laptops. Streaming of Video over a 54g Wireless LAN works perfectly well (I have proven that already between my desktop and laptop PCs). I reckon that building the file server will be a piece of piss, as all I need to do it recycle our current desktop machine "as is", but stick bigger hard disks in it. Once the system is built I can use windows networking tools to remotely administer it from a laptop, so we can get away without it needing a keyboard / mouse / monitor most of the time.

Anyway, I seem to be rambling again! But then this is my blog!

NB I don't see us buying a PS3 (before someone suggests it).

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hoff-ally sorry!

I completely forgot to thank Gareth for sending me Junk Mail. Scan of post card attached!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What's the point?

Work sporadically update the firwall ruleset to block a few more "unsuitable" web sites.

Today's update blocked all BBC News pages apart from the front page! However, BBC News is split into three versions... UK Edition, International Edition and Low Graphics Edition.

They blocked the first one and not the others. Why? Internation Edition is still high graphics and is hardly ever different from the UK version.

Oh yeah... they also neglected to block the Sports section (but that could be deliberate!).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

An Important Distinction

Its a very fine line and I try desperately not to step over it....

Monday, August 21, 2006

When I can!

I am back playing Oblivion and X3 as a change... I got a bit WoW'd out. I find that since I broke my addiction to MMORPGs, I get tired of playing them after a couple of months and need to take a break.

Anyway I decided to restart X3 and Oblivion now that I had done a clean install on the new XP build. I have been enjoying both a lot more than I did last time. No fear on WoW though, I'll be back.

X3 and Oblivion are also much more "Lauren friendly", as they have Pause buttons! I have also cracked Lock-picking in Oblivion. I can take a Master lock with my pitiful 5 skill points!

I also reinstalled Half-Life 2, and don't seem to have backed up my Game Saves... So I am back in City 17 shooting zombies. At least I get to do the cool dune buggy level again!

Friday, August 18, 2006

On Standby

Jase is not blogging as much at the present time (see this related post) but do not fear, he will be back.

I've noticed that after playing WoW a fair bit, he's now back playing Oblivion and X3 again in his spare time. This is not a great deal of time as presently we are both very busy at work and I am getting ever closer to my exam (so to aid studying Jase is on baby sitting duties at home).

Sorry for the disruption to normal services but all will be better after November is out of the way.

Oh, and I've decided to blog in a different colour to avoid confusion!

Do they think I am stupid?

Over the last few days our doorbell has been ringing randomly. I never caught any kids doing it, so I reckoned that someone else had a wireless bell like ours which was interfering and changed the transmission channel.

I am working from home today.
The doorbell goes.
As I am expecting to the postman I head straight to the door and just see a folded umbrella disappearing round the corner into my neighbour's front door... the kids are using it to press my bell and retreat quickly.
So I move to the sofa and peer out the side window straight at their door.
A couple of minutes later they decide the coast it clear and repeat the trick... I bang on the window and they look very sheepish before disappearing.

Clearly my neighbour's kids (or rather the youngest son and his friends) are stupid, but what punishment do I bestow? I don't want to start a feud, but I don't want them doing it again and disturbing Lauren.

Mainly for Balint

A long, long time ago, when we couldn't afford to go out on a Friday night, we used to have film nights, where Serena would cook and Balint and I would take turns providing films or wine.

Balint introduced me to two French films: Les Visiteurs (great comedy just ignore the Hollywood remake) and La Fille de d'Artagnan (young Sophie Marceau).

I have remained a fan of the French swashbuckling movie and enjoyed Le Pacte des Loups when it hit the cinema in Australia (despite it getting a very poor edit to R2 DVD).

I recently came across another film of the genre that I really enjoyed and thought I would post it here for those of you who may be interested.

It is called Le Bossu and features a very average plot and pretty nifty swordplay.

Now all we need is a remake of Scaramouche and we are complete!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Battlestar Galactica Season 3

After two seasons of rapidly increasing popularity it looks like the US networks have thrown a big budget at BSG and are seeking awards!
A special "Story Thus Far" film is being made as a prequal to Season 3 and it is going to be made freely available on the web.
They are also making this season in HD.... hmmm that upgrade is looking tempting!
Not long to wait now though!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy Birthday your Majesty!

No not Madonna! Its Lauren's 1st Birthday today!

Lauren shares her birthday with a much higher class of celebrity than I do! She gets Madonna, Ulrika Jonsson and Shimon Peres. I get Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lee Harvey Oswald and Martina Navratilova!

Looking at others...

Serena gets Teddy Sheringham, Dermott Reeve and Linford Christie!
James gets Romeo Beckham, Melissa George and Barry Gibb! (And a suprising number of Porn Stars!)
Gareth gets Ice Cube, Courteney Cox and Noddy Holder. (Plus the star of Britney Speared!)

Monday, August 14, 2006


A while back I posted on a TV forum (I even forget which one) to see if anyone could refresh my memory and name a random program I remembered from my youth.

No one could from my weak description (which turned out to be pretty accurate).

Anyway, I was reading today about a weird programme called She-Wolf in London (don't ask...) and someone linked a site called RareTV that sells rip-off videos of TV shows that networks can't be bothered to repeat or release on DVD.

Thinking back to my failure I decided to trawl the alphabetical listing of shows released in the 1980's and finally found my missing show... Otherworld.

Now the big question is does anyone else remember it?

My memories are really spurious! I remember really enjoying it and being annoyed that I had to watch it on Tyne Tees TV as Yorkshire TV didn't show it. We had lowsy TTTV reception in York. Reading some of the forum posts about Otherworld really triggered off some memories!

What other blasts from the past are lurking out there???

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Absolutely nothing to say!

Well I haven't blogged on my own ramblings for a week now. Beyond doing the family thing and working I haven't done or come across anything worth blogging!

Someone give me a new movie theme and I'll maybe get inspired!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

I see that George Lucas must be running short of cash again!
We have a new set of the original three Star Wars movies coming out on DVD.
Double disk sets with the remastered special edition on Disk 1 and the grainy "Stereo" 1970s version on Disk 2!
Does he think we are complete mugs?
Let me know if they are any good Gareth! ;P

PS Here is a new "Demotivator" just for Jules.