Posts Tagged ‘Computer’

PlayStation 3

October 9th, 2009 No comments

I decided to treat myself last weekend and splashed out on my first new games console since I left school in 2003. It took a lot of research and delberation, but I eventually went for the 120Gb PlayStation 3 slimline model.


The sales adviser at Game spent about ten minutes trying to sell me various packages, insurance deals and add-ons. This is usually a good sign as it means they are short on their sales quota for the day and tend to be open to some negotiation. The PS3 retails at around £250, with games and accessories ranging from around £25 – £75.

I walked out the shop ten fruitful minutes later with the PS3, Fifa 10, Little Big Planet, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Guitar Hero: World Tour (with a guitar) for a snip under £330, and they threw in a 2 year extended warranty.


2008: A Year in Review

January 4th, 2009 No comments

There is a saying that goes “another day, another dollar” and it seems only fitting that I begin my review of 2008 with a quote regarding time and money. 2008 has been a mixed bag of a year, like most years it cam with its ups and downs. The news stories of the year reflect this, with Team GB performing heroics in Beijing and then the economic issues of the last quarter. I hope the rest of this post reflects this theme.

Exams were the order of the day at the opening of 2008. never a good start. Although this particular bunch of exams went pretty well and helped set up a relatively successful second semester on my new course. A-Soc kicked off its second full year with its first event of 2008, the low turnout not indicating the successes to follow. January aslo saw Chris finally lose his virginity at Wendy House.

Darwin Day 2008 was supposed to be the highlight of February, but it got somewhat overshadowed by Sarann’s secret affair! The planning of Rationalist Week seems to get earlier and earlier and we officially kicked off the organisation of A-Soc’s flagship event on the 13th February. Somehow, I also managed to fit in a well deserved few days away with Liz in the lake District – you cannot beat walking, relaxing and real ale by the fire to wash away exam and coursework stress! The Union’s political machinations also culminated with me being dubbed “Norman the No! Man” due to my inability to sit back and watch debates go undebated, regardless of my actual view points.

One of the coups of 2008 came when Si finally succumbed to peer pressure and started blogging! In another blow for democracy, my decision to stand for Faith and Culture rep for the Union was rebuked as I was effectively blocked from standing (or voting). My main memory of March, however, was the setting up of Secular Portal, which would ultimately turn into my current project, the AHS.

Rationalist Week 2008. Need I say much more about how awesome April was? Except for everything that went wrong it was a great success! The icing on the cake was being elected president of A-Soc at the AGM. We managed to recruit a decent sized committee and really was the icing on the cake as far as the success of A-Soc in the first half of 2008.

it seems I didn’t blog about very much in May. Probably down to the exams etc that I was taking, along with recovering from April!

I started work with O2 at the beginning of June and spent most of the month training for my new role. I did manage to squeeze in a few social activities too, brewing my own ale for the SoC graduation reception was a particular highlight. I also went to see Avril Lavigne perform in Manchester, which was also pretty awesome. I also moved out of the house I had lived in for three of my four years at university.

Work and parties seemed to be the order of the day this month in 2008.

I’m going to stop splitting up the months for the second half of 2008 as I didn’t actually spend much time bloggine. Really, I worked near enough all summer – managing a day off for V Festival – either at O2 or putting together Intro Week for A-Soc.

Part of me thinks I should write here what happened in the couple of months I wasn’t blogging, but I feel that it wouldn’t do it justice. It wasn’t until December that I began blogging again, inspired by the relaunch of the site and our end of year festivities.

Hopefully, I will continue this new found blogging activity into 2009.

My marks out of ten for 2008 as a year, a good 7.

Blogging on the go

December 30th, 2008 2 comments

This is my first blog from my new netbook whilst sat in the pub! I could definitely get used to this!

I will post a full review of the machine after I have used it for a little while, although first impressions are pretty good. The keyboard is going to take some getting used to though, as it is only about 70% of a normal laptop keyboard, but generally it is an awesome piece of kit. Just need to get myself down to Starbucks now to sit in the window with my tall skinny latte and pretend to write my novel.

I wish I could claim to have come to the pub just to write this post, but it is actually A-Soc’s second social of the Winter break and is once again pretty well attended – as of this post there are seven of us! The hardcore few!

Western Digital MyBook World Edition

May 17th, 2008 No comments

Having picked up an absolute bargain version of the latest offering from Western Digital’s MyBook range, the MyBook World Edition – a network attached storage version of the ever popular MyBook external hard disc drives, I thought I would offer up a quick review.

It is an excellent piece of kit, I have the 1TB version (2x 500GB drives) in white. It took less than two minutes to set up once I had thrown the MioNet software out the window and just plugged it directly into my switch on the house network. It is a tidy bit of kit, all the wires tuck away nicely and it comes with all the cables you would need – a power cable, a 1m Cat.5e cable and a USB connector to connect further external units to this one. My Windows network picked it up straight away and my linux machine recognises it (as you would expect).

It is a brilliant piece of kit and I would recommend it to anyone that wants any extra network storage!

Coursework be damned!

January 9th, 2008 2 comments

On several occasions today I have been very close to picking up my linux machine and throwing it out the window, quite literally!

I have been trying to install and run MySQL and Apache so I can put together my CR11 database coursework. MySQL was no real effort, just sudo apt-get it and wa-hey away you go – pretty self explanatory and a rather robust piece of software, not that I am overly qualified to make that sort of statement, lol.

Apache on the other hand has really done my nut in. Firstly, it took all day to install and run properly after hours of fiddling with apr’s. Secondly, I don’t seem to be able to link Apache with the files I am using to write the program, either tells me I don’t have permission or that it can’t find the files! Any help on this apsect much appreciated. At the moment I am tempted to give up and head into DEC-10 to do my coursework, but after shelling out on a machine that’s supposed to do it at home I don’t really want to take that step.

2007: A Year in Review

January 7th, 2008 1 comment

The Christmas festivities are over, the New Year hangovers have subsided and 2008 is nearly a week old. This seems like the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 2007 and the people, events and ideas that made it.

Christmas and New Year are always a time for reflection and nostalgia and this year was no different. My family was all together for the first time in a while, including some of the new additions. I had an enjoyable time with several highlights – firstly, I caught up with some old friends and relived some of those moments from my youth that I miss. I also had a good time Christmas Day as I actually felt part of the family for the first time in many years. The end of December was also a good time for me, I spent it with Liz and her family and really felt accepted.

Anyway, back to my review of the year.

January was an interesting month, fisrt it saw the blossoming of a new friendship, one that would lead to something quite special – although i didn’t know that at the time of course. This month saw the final plans for the new academic year’s housing plans and all the arguments that surrounded that decision. This is probably the time that I cemented my friendship with a number of people whom I now consider my closest allies.

January’s exam period was hard for me, not just for the obvious reasons, but because it saw the dawning in my mind that I had lost my passion in Materials Engineering, that the course was no longer the inspiration I required. I began to toy with the idea of leaving university, or at least changing course.

I don’t remember much of February apart from starting at McDonald’s and buying a new car. I also went to Langdale in the Lake District with my mum.

March was an interesting month, I saw Barenaked Ladies in concert in Leeds which was amazing, visited Sarann in the Lakes and most importantly I started this blog.

Now here is the definition of a rollercoaster ride. I reached some of the lowest points of my life but also touched some of the highest highs. I ran Rationalist Week, spent a week in a self-destructive spiral of drinking, partying and depression, I met a girl and fell in love.

May was a busy month. Liz and my relationship went from strength to strength, went to see Soweto Kinch and The Who live in concert and Blackpool won in the League One play-offs and got themselves promoted to the Championship.

Festivals were the order of the day/month for June. I went to Sunrise and Farmyard Party to work in a chip van with Sarann. I had a great time but it meant not seeing Liz for a lot of the month – the first real test for our relationship. I think we ended up stronger than ever! Chris ended up in hospital with a serious bout of appendicitis and I spent a lot of time helping Matt sort out his car.

July was quite boring compared to the surrounding months.I went to Workhouse in Wales, had minor computing issues and moved in with my new housemates – Sarann, Michelle, B and Chris.

Always a quiet month, with uni still a month away and the excitement of breaking up long since faded away. I spent most of the month taking stock and seeing what was what in my life. I did go to Solfest, however, which was definitely a personal highlight of the year!

I made only seven blog posts in September, which gives a good indication of how little I did. I did start a new course at university though and turned twenty-three – which also explains the lack of blogging! The combination of Fresher’s week and birthday celebrations will do that to a man.

A difficult month for me. A lot of things happened in my private life that left me somewhat adrift. I did get a new computer though, which is always nice!

November saw things pick up a bit with the A-Soc London trip, Atheist Week and the discovery of the Lancashire Hotpots! London was worth all the effort that I put into it, it turned out better than anyone had predicted and nothing really bad happened. Liz and I went from strength to strength and I even managed to find time to do some uni work!

A month of WoW and family. Not a lot to report on really, except what is already included at the top of this post. It was a good festive period all in all. I think it set me up for 2008 quite nicely.

Another day, another problem.

November 7th, 2007 No comments

Last night my hard drive failed. The second hard drive in six months to roll over. Well technically this is the same drive that rolled over last time, so really I should have expected it. The first time round the Windows installation was affected by a damagaed disk surface – or so I thought, but after a re-install and a few weeks of messing about I managed to recover the disk. This time it is a total failure, so a new hard drive is currently winging its way from Ebuyer (many thanks to my sponsor, Liz :) ).

Unfortunately, the hard drive that failed was my windows install drive and I don’t want to install windows on my second hard drive. So until the new disk arrives I am stuck using my linux box for everything. Now I like linux – it is easy to use and definitely the most intuitive system I have come across (I use Ubuntu 7.04 (for desktop) at the moment) but it does have several drawbacks. First the chess game AI is far too difficult. I am a good chess player and struggle to beat the computer on Easy and Medium. The other fault is its incompatibility with modern games. It is a bind to install them and then it’s a lottery as to whether they will even run. This wouldn’t normally be a problem for me as I tend to only use my linux machine for programming and other work related things. However, in the current situation it is annoying – especially as our internet keeps going down!

Anyway, my new disk should be here today so hopefully I will be back up and running by tonight.

New Set Up for A New Start

October 16th, 2007 No comments

Well, again – apologies for the length of time between posts. I really have no excuse this time apart from laziness and the fact I have had about a million things on my mind recently.

I wish I could write about whats been going on in my world on here, but I feel that the details and in fact the vaguaries of it all are not suitable for public dissemination as yet. As soon as I think the world at large has the need to know, I will share everything.

A few things I can update on are CompSoc, A-Soc, my new tech set up (work in progress) and a few bits of gossip and general gubbins.

Firstly, CompSoc – well things have been relatively quiet recently as we have been focussing on the administrative side of things. Something we found necessary following our President’s (Sam Oakley) house getting broken into and all their laptops getting stolen, including all the data on our members. Note for future reference: do not store all your important data on one system, always have a copy or back up on a different system. We are starting to fill up the calendar with events now (if you are really interested then check out the events listings on the web page). I am glad I got involved in CompSoc, the committee are a joy to work with in the main and I really enjoy the technical side of things too.

A-Soc is not going amazingly well – if you read Chris Worfolk’s blog posts here and here then you get an idea on what’s the matter. Our London trip is going to plan at the moment – really got things sorted now, everything is booked and all we need now is to fill up the last few places and we are set. If any of you readers are interested in coming then it is £55 for members and £65 for non-members (membership fee is a fiver so do the math…) and that gets you transport and accommodation inclusive of breakfasts. Visit our web site for more information and to sign up.

I have just bought an old School of Computing PC and am preparing to set it up as a linux machine to run alongside my windows machine. I managed to get hold of it really cheaply and it came with monitor (17inch flat screen) and peripherals. I am currently using the monitor as part of a dual monitor system – see pics, along with my new Logitech G11 Keyboard. I am hoping to supplement this set up with a KVM switch so I can use monitor, keyboard and mouse with both boxes and also a new mouse.

New Set-Up 2

New Set-Up

Liz and I are going really strong too, in fact I think our relationship is starting to mature into soemthign really special. We have had our ups and downs – especially over the last fortnight or so – but we have emerged stronger and better prepared for a future than we were! All in all, I think we are destined for something special here – watch this space!

New computer conundrums

August 29th, 2007 1 comment

Basically, I am running out of HDD space on my current computer. Now I have two options as far as I can see, I can just upgrade the HDDs in my current machine – currently a 160GB and a 300GB (both SATA 2) – to something larger, ideally 500GB +, or I can price up a new machine that will essentially be a file server, but not anything dedicated – ie I want it to have a number of large hard drives, but still be usable for applications etc.

Looking on ebuyer and a few other sites it is going to cost me about £400 to get a new computer, at least I think I will as I have never built a system from scratch before so I am not 100% sure what I need. The problem with just upgrading my current HDDs is the fact that both my current disks are full and I have no further slots to fill up. This leaves the problem of transferring data from one HDD to another and having to do OS reinstalls etc.

If anyone has any bright ideas on the matter let me know.


July 23rd, 2007 2 comments

It is so good to live with people again!

It has been a while since I have enjoyed being at home, in fact I probably have not felt entirely comfortable anywhere since I was about fifteen. I went through a tough few years during my late teens and early twenties, never really finding anywhere to fit in. I had some issues at home with my family during the later stages of school and into sixth form – nothing they had done mind, just my own personal issues that I projected onto those around me. I then moved over to Leeds and lived in university accommodation for a year. I met some good people that year, people that I considered myself friends with….until I moved into a shared house with them. I had a really torrid two years living with my girls. It’s not that we didn’t get on, it’s the fact that they formed a clique that I just wasn’t part of and we started to grow apart. Within six months of moving in i felt incredibly isolated and practically lived in my bedroom. It was not a good time.

This has all changed. Since my new housemates moved in I have realised that it is possible to actually enjoy being at home. Sarann and I have developed a beautiful new friendship, not surprising seeing as we have been living and working together for the past five weeks. We just seem to click, although subject to a few blowouts, and I feel that we now truly are good friends. I have developed a new found respect for Si too. I used to think he was a nice chap, quiet etc but have since discovered that he is actually a really interesting guy with a lot in common with me. He is also far too good at computer games!!

I think this year is going to be really good fun. I have friends I get on with and I have housemates that make being at home a better offer than going out!!