A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Roll on

Ah, you cannot beat a spring ride on the old mountain bike.

You'd never believe this was London would you?

Friday, February 16, 2007

iTunes hell!

So, I upgraded to iTunes 7 the other week. It looks fantastic with the options for artwork flicking and the like (like your flicking through a set of CD's in a shop). However, I have a problem with it. It runs like an absolute pig. I've never seen an app that is as CPU hungry as this. It's an audio player first and foremost, and it doesn't do that! If I do ANYTHING else on the PC while playing music in iTunes, if I surf a web site, flick a window open, anything, the audio stutters.

It's the most frustrating thing. A quick scoot through some forums and it seems people running much higher end kit than me have the same problem. Apple, I love your stuff, but please, please fix it!!!!

Going to spend the weekend trying to go back to version 6 of iTunes. One thing I have learnt - if you get one of the new iPods they will ONLY run in version 7 of iTunes. I'm glad I have the option.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


So people are complaining about Russell Brands jokes from the Brits. Having read what he said (and watched part of it) I got the impression it was a tad self indulgent on his part but the Brits got a presenter with the wit who can pull of such an event. However, I've seen and heard worse on TV every day, but I think partly it was that it was him and partly a Wednesday night ITV audience who are complaining. It's like Top Gear - I'll bet people watched it so they could complain. Read his article in the Guardian on a Saturday in the sports section - it's brilliantly written.

Personally, the constant dulling of sound to cover "bad language" was so annoying, I nearly turned off. It was 10pm, after the watershed - why dull it? If that's what you are going to do, I'd rather you ran a 15 minute delay on transmission so you don't ruin my enjoyment of it. Every time Liam got near a microphone it was dulled - he would provide more comedy than most of the so called pop stars there are now.


The onboard soundcard in my PC had been causing me grief when importing CD's to iTunes (jumping) so new soundcard was ordered and fitted (see related"user error" post a few days ago). Alongside that, a new set of speakers were ordered from Mr Amazon to support the new card and make it sound the way it should. The end result can be summed up in three words - "Feel the bass!!!!" The speakers are on 1/4 volume, the subwoofer is set to 1/6th and the sound is already immense. Very impressed.

Downside - Amazon had used home delivery network to deliver the speakers. They had delivered them outside the house in the porch as no-one was in. And that is where they sat for two days...Amazed they were still there.

Other news - living in SW London is worrying. All these kids getting shot - the latest is an area close to here. The move out cannot come soon enough. That, combined with the traffic has nailed it for me. I am fed up being cut up by muppets who cannot drive in London, or those who think they have a right to go. 3 sets of lights I hit tonight went amber just after I had crossed the line. Every time, at the very least one car behind me came through behind me on red. Why? What are the 2 minutes going to give you? You'll only be in traffic round the corner anyway.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Dinner last night consisted of the usual Tuesday night curry club in Worcester. At 8.95 for an all you can eat buffet, it's brilliant. Temptation needs to be tempered though as I'm on a bit of a health kick (this goes back a while and was not hugely sucessful last time - see my entry from August ;-)) so it's out with bhajis and samosas, and in with tandoori chicken, no breads, plain rice and salad.

At the end of the day, we still have a laugh as a group (7 of us last night) and the food is good so it's still enjoyable. Will see what tonight brings!

As an aside, I've just worked out that I'll have worked on this particular project for 15 months next week. That works out about 20000 motorway miles, and about 60 curries ;-)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Driving onward

Spent a lot of time in the car the last few of days, both mine and a borrowed Seat Leon 2.0 turbo FR. Today, a trip to Guildford and onto Worcester was nearly uneventful apart from a near miss with a transit van. He'd obviously been fiddling with something as he was going stright across toward the central reservation as he entered a bend. Little bit of panic steering, with everyone around him hitting the brakes, saw the incident avoided.

The Seat was a cracking car, brilliant engine (the power!!!) and seats. Downside is the dash, which was uninspriring. Good toys (USB connection for your MP3 player for example), but the dash would annoy me too much. It doesn't backlight any of the heating or stereo controls in daylight, which made reading them very tricky. I'd be forever driving with sidelights on, which would just annoy me too much.

Ah well, just have to keep saving for that BMW 335i coupe (in my dreams!)

Monday, February 12, 2007


So Gordon Brown thinks England should try to host the World Cup in 2018. Of course he does. If the majority of the country think he supports the English cause, the Scotsman might just win the election. Expect to see him in various other headline catching quotes for the next few months as the spin begins to work overtime.

I read an article about him recently where Piers Morgan said - you are a very different public face than the one I know who is very funny and sociable. Now, bearing in mind politics is all about personality these days, (sad but true) keeping it hidden may not have been his greatest ploy.

Windows Media!!!

Stupidly, I agreed to upgrade from Windows Media Player 10 to 11. The install package is quite large, but what harm (I thought). Now, I don't use Media Player a lot, the odd video maybe, as all my music is in iTunes. However I tried it yesterday to get a message about needing to log on as Admin to finish the install - I am the admin!

So, 20 minutes later, I find a forum in the middle of nowhere on the internet telling me to delete a reg key and the install will work. Slightly dubious, but the key seemed a sensible place and I tried it - sure enough it went in straight away!

Why do Microsoft release code with this stuff in there? It served no purpose other than to go wrong, and it's why they get a bad reputation.

(the key, in case you need it, HKLM, Software, Microsoft, Media Player, InstallResult)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

So David Cameron liked a smoke before he became a politician. So what? Radio news seem fixated on the fact that he like regae music at the time. Must be a link there somewhere...

Seriously though, he was a kid. Drop it.

Last night had a cracking night out celebrating a friend birthday in Putney. Dinner in Isola Del Sole was great, they had a great table that seated 4 on each side. Very sociable way to eat! Then off to dance the night away at which point I realised that I was too old to be doing that :-)