Grated Cheese

Sometimes its Brie, sometimes its Kraft, either way its still cheese.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Blogging from Flock

So here we are using yet another web browser, Flock which is trying to offer all the standard needs of the average web user.

It is based on the open source Mozilla code base so it feels very similar to Firefox yet has some interesting features. It Including blogging facilities (as demonstrated by this post) photo uploading (thanks to Flickr) and map searching (from Yahoo but only covers the US)

Flock has been around for a while but I avoided it before because its was in early development stages. It still is in developer preview and is at version 0.5 but its pretty good and possibly will become my browser of choice over firefox when it hits v 1.0 and in public release.

I don't recommend you ditch your current browser for this (unless you are silly enough to still be a regular IE user) but do keep an eye open for it as I can see this becoming big

Dave out for now

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Friday, February 24, 2006

What? you read comics? online?

Yeah, so I read comics online and I think they are great. (well some of them)
For example check out Questionable Content Its updated every day Monday to Friday and is probably my favorite out of all the ones I have found so far.
obviously I would recommend you read from the start of the archives (Note: if you look at comic #1 you will see that Jephs art has improved a lot since then) but if you don't want to do that (though you should to really understand the significance of todays comic) start about here (its about eight comics ago)

Well, go get addicted
oh and let me know of any good sites

Out for now

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Time Wasting

I can't believe that I got up today and Cycled though snow to get to my 9am lecture!

There was so many wrong, incorrect or "well duh!" statements with my lecture today that I thought you might like to hear some of them. (and it feels good to rant about it)

The Microsoft Media Player (he meant Windows Media Player comes installed with every copy of Windows XP (he meant if you don't live in Europe... Breaking news in 2001 to 2005 from the EU) and is currently at version 9.5 (he meant 10 but he was only half a version out...) plays most media with the right codecs installed but currently cannot play DVDs (unless you have the right codecs installed)
"DVD-ROM, an alternative to the CD-ROM with greater storage capacity than a CD-ROM" Well done, you have correctly informed a class of 3rd year science and technology degree students about the existence of DVDs.
"The V stands for Versatile, which is useful because it is versatile."
Apparently some DVD burners are starting to have the ability to burn dual-layer discs, but not many. (He meant here that it was becoming a standard feature when I bought my laptop 14 months ago and that you would be doing will to find a DVD burner that couldn't do it in the shops today)
Apparently in 4 years everyone will be using BlueRay or HD-DVD technology and will have thrown away all their CDs and DVDs. Apparently. (I acknowledge that I, Dave, could be wrong about this point, but really?)
USB! (now he started to get interesting)
"The first version of USB had a very low data rate and was hopelessly ineffective - design cock-up" But it was still better than parallel and serial for the majority of users, and has been improved by USB 2.
In my notes here I have three lovely photos of some USB connectors, just in case I had never seen one before.
A useful bit of information, that one day you might need to know is that on the USB connector pin 1 is the power line, 2 and 3 are "signal" and 4 is ground.
"There are occasions when it's necessary to increase the number of physical USB connectors on a PC- use a hub"
"Modern PCs only have up to 2 USB connectors so if you add a 4 port hub you increase the number of ports by 3."
You'd think that he would end his torture here but no, he plowed right on into "Memory Cards"
Which to summarize his 3 sides of A4 lecture notes,
Memory cards come in 5 types,
  • xD - used by Fuji and the max size is " 128Mbyte" (he means 1Gb)
  • Memory Stick - made by Sony, available in 128Mb and 256Mb sizes (he means up to 4Gb)
  • Multi Media Card - available in 128, 256 and 512Mb sizes (or 2Gb)
  • Smart Media Memory - He actually gets it correct here, I can't find anything bigger than a 128Mb card for sale.
  • sD Card - Stands for Secure Digital and has a little write-protect switch, and available in up to 1Gb in size (or 4Gb)
(A quick thank you here to Flash Memory Store for providing me with latest card sizes)

All of the above specify many thousands of insertion cycles and can be used in digital cameras, digital camcorders, handheld PCs, digital audio players, smart phones, electronic toys, PDAs, pagers and sD even can be used in Rolands KN7000 keyboard.

This all took an hour to get through. And at the end he announced that this was just a brief introduction to memory cards, I would hate to see him go on at length about it.

Grrrrr. I think I might not be getting up on Thursday mornings any more.

On a slightly more humorous note, at the bottom of both sides of one of the biggest hills (read bridges) there is an advertisement for electric bicycles. Clever strategic adverting.
Lunch time

See ya

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


"Procrastination is the deferment or putting-off of an action or task, usually by focusing on some other distraction (compare temporisation). It is Latin for "foremorrowing," or making some such of tomorrow. "
Link into the wikipedia is todays related link, its very tempting to add at the bottom of the wiki page "I was procrastinating as I wrote this..."

So, things I HAVE achieved today, registered a domain name (all the suitable Heath and Dave ones were already taken grrrr) Downloaded Ubuntu a linux distribution (and installed it on my spare machine) nipped over to Maplins to buy a 20 pin to 24 pin power adapter to fix my main machine, done some "house keeping" of all my files on my PC - specifically rounding up all my uni work from the last 2 and 1/2 years and removing old out of date copies, had bacon sandwiches for lunch and soup for tea/dinner/evening grub whatever you want to call it and have managed to avoid all work that might actually be called university work.

I had set a goal this week to complete one piece of coursework and do a good section on another, however I am currently not even close to that. Might pull a late one tonight, I don't need to be awake for my 9am lecture, its all about "Multimedia Platforms" (pages 5 to 10 of the sermon notes Module Guide) covering Windows Media Player, M-PEG2, DVDs and USB. Oo I am so looking forward to it.

Well on that note, I think I shall go and try to start on some work

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


So I have been feeling a bit uninspired lately to put anything on here. It has probably meant that everyone has given up hope that I would ever put any news on here at all.
Truth of the matter is that I don't have a lot of news to tell. I gained a nephew, Joel, at the very end of Jan (but that isn't really my news, its my brothers. See for pictures)
I have got a nice big pile of projects to be getting on with. Essays on the FX in Adobe Audition, a guide on setting up a home web server, a flash presentation, an essay on NINJAM and its development and finally getting back to the related link at the top an essay on is a social music network (we getting a lot of social networks online...) Basically you install a plugin for your music player of choice (iTunes for me then) and get playing music. The plug-in lets a database know what music you are listening to and then based on what other users listen to recommends songs, albums and artists to you.
Its full of interesting stats and facts, showing graphs and charts of all users, groups of people or individual users. Hence the link above which will show you the last 10 songs I played, my current most played artists and most played songs.

The data here is currently a bit wonky as since getting the plug in I haven't listened to all my music and I have been listening to the new Dramagods album, Love. Nuno Bettencourt fan or Population 1 fan (though possibly the same thing) you will like Dramagods. Its a Japan-Only release which is annoying but you can get it imported via Ebay (HMV possibly could get it for you if you really wanted)
alternatively check out for 2 of their music videos.

Well I was planning on getting up at 10 today and now that its 10:30 I probably should.

As a closing note, if there is anything people would actually like to read about on here, please let me know. I am always looking for inspiration.

Dave out