Day two

After a late start (needed after being awoken at 2am by my Mum cooking eggs and bacon for her ficticiuos friends) we popped out to Tescos in Helston to get lunch things for the rest of the bank holiday weekend.

After lunch my Dad discussed with me what his options would be to replace the HiFi we bought in 1990 as both the tape drives have died and the radio no-longer holds its stations if it’s turned off. Basically, the old Sony is on its last legs. Anyway, I thought I might cost up a separates system for him so did some Googling. I could put together a reasonable system, including turntable, for about £620. That’s quite a bit more than even the most expensive non-separates system and the separate units wouldn’t have half the specification.

I then did a little more Googling. The DVD derivative of my Technics HiFi I have at home is still on sale and at less than £500. Now, with a separate turntable with inbuilt pre-amp this would save about £100 and would be a *FAR* higher specification.

My Dad decided there and then that that would be the way to go. It would amongst other things simplify the wiring in the living room as there’d be no need for the separate DVD. So we went off to Camborne and bought one.

Now, concidering that my HiFi is 8 years old it’s surprising that a direct decendant product would be on the market, let alone it looking almost identical. This is even more surprising in the fast moving, fashionable world of HiFis. Other than a few tweaks to accomodate the 5 disc DVD player, some advances in the sound processor and a change in the colour of some of the speaker decorations it looks the same as my unit. Maybe Technics have found a good design and are loathed to change it. It certainly works well and more importantly sounds good.

Anyway, after dinner we put it together, set the clock, preset the radio and watched a DVD (which was surprisingly good quality display seeing as were merely using composite video as we don’t have an S-Video cable). As with my unit, there’s no need for a separate sub-woofer as the speakers have one.. and they shook the room at the part of Spiderman 2 where the mini Sun Doctor Octopus is ignited.

Anyway, it’s now time for bed. Night all.

Good Friday

Well, it’s the first day back down in Cornwall for the usual Easter holiday. However, this time it’s rather shorter as I’m having to save my holiday days up for the trip to Norway in September.

The trip down wasn’t exactly the best. It took exactly 7 hours in total, with a half hour stop at Taunton Dean. The highlights of this particular journey were:

(1) The rain… I’m sure the Rain God was travelling down with me and I’m sure that we went through quite a few of his classification types. The Sun did come out eventually at Truro and beyond that point it was clear blue skies.

(2) The traffic jams… Let’s see.. 1 hour at the M4 Bath/Stroud junction caused by the recovery of a continental coach which had somehow gone beyond the hard shoulder and onto the grass verge. Then there was the half hour or so caused by the Clifton Down roadworks on the M5 and finally about another half hour on the Bodmin by-pass where they’re working on the extension to Indian Queens (though it did give me some time to enjoy the huge carpet of primroses which had burst into life where the trees had been cut down).

After all that I’m feeling rather shattered. I’ll probably have an early night tonight after unpacking and making the bed. I could try to find the energy to go for a walk with my camera before the Sun goes down, but I’m not sure about that.

Another case of Science Fiction becoming science fact?

If any of you have seen the film “The Fifth Element” will remember how the whole of Li-loo is reconstructed from one cell and is effectively printed back into existance. (OK, “The Fifth Element” isn’t really hard SciFi, more a comedy with a SciFi-like setting. But it’s still enjoyable.)

Now, it seems, the technology to do at least some of this is coming true as can be seen in this New Scientist news article.

April already

Where has the year gone? Oh well.

Atleast at work most of the stupidity about spending the HEFCE-3 funds has gone away, there’s just the small matter of helping Vogon International recover the 3TB of data which got lost when two twin RAID arrays went belly up at the same time.

Vogon’s supposed to be one of the global leaders in data recovery but the simple task of getting data that they’ve recovered off their disks and onto a set of Solaris SPARC UFS partitions has defeated them so they’re putting the data onto tape and lending us a tape drive. It seems that they can only cope properly with Windows. :-/

More work for me.

As for other life things, well, I’ve been playing with my new camera a bit, though not as much as I’d like due to weather and stuff. I’ve been going to a pub quiz on Thursday nights. Not a lot else, really.

I’m looking forward to Easter. I’m having a one week break during which I hope I’ll be able to recharge my batteries enough to cope with the coming summer term. I’m definitely feeling run down at the moment and seem to have little energy.

The Sky at Night

This evening I’ve been playing with my Nikon D200, Sigma 28-300mm F3.5-6.3D Macro lens and manfrotto tripod and in tribute to Patrick Moore, here’s a picture of the Moon (sharpened to get every last detail out and cropped), a subject dear to his heart.

The Moon

Well, it arrived.

My new Nikon D200 camera finally arrived on Thursday afternoon, but not without more “fun” with couriers.

Dixons finally shipped the camera Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning, when I checked the DHL tracking site, it had already reached Oxford. At 9:30am it was out for delivery.. So I was on tenter hooks all day looking out for the DHL delivery person until 3:30pm when the tracking web site suddenly said that the parcel was back “In Transit.”

Thursday morning, seeing that the package was still “In Transit” and not “Out for Delivery” I phoned up DHL, got the local DHL office phone number and phoned them up. It turned out that the driver had fallen ill and had returned with the parcel to the depot. However, because the driver was still off ill they didn’t know if they’d get the parcel delivered until he got back to work. So, the parcel was really and truely in the driver’s Transit! Anyway, the woman on the phone said that she’d see what she could do.

Anyway, the good news is that it finally turned up at 3pm and I got to play with it a little before I had to go home.