Month: February 2005

Sky+

So the nice lady at Sky informed that they were currently working on a software upgrade but alas she couldn’t give me a timescale for when it would be released. It’s currently being tested.

Ohh I’m sorry, how rude of me, let me recap a previous post to aid your clarification.

[RECAP] Sky+ screwed up some recordings. I was most annoyed. [/RECAP]

Anyway, caught a repeat of 24 tonight – I KNEW she was a bad egg, and what’s with this Paul guy, a red herring perhaps? Methinks so – and Huff is repeated tomorrow night. I had to turn to the internet for Desperate Housewives, but thankfully the joy that is TV Torrents has offered up the BitTorrent goodies. Azureus will be working hard tonight.

Luckily I didn’t have much on the box, only the aforementioned Nói Albinói, so after copying that to DVD I didn’t mind reformatting the entire system and starting from scratch. Until this software update arrives I’ll be very careful to check the recordings.

Right, off to Scottish Blogs I go to announce a new feature. Busy busy busy.

Percentages

I think I’ve done this before, will try and dig out the previous results.

I Am 45% Left Brained, 55% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you’re left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you’re right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Via Chasing Daisy

Predicted

My predictions first, correct answers in bold:

  • Best Film – Million Dollar Baby; Winner – Million Dollar Baby
  • Best Director – Martin Scorcese; Winner – Clint Eastwood
  • Best Actor – Jamie Foxx; Winner – Jamie Foxx
  • Best Actress – Hilary Swank; Winner – Hilary Swank
  • Best Supporting Actor – Morgan Freeman; Winner – Morgan Freeman
  • Best Supporting Actress – Cate Blanchett; Winner – Cate Blanchett
  • Best Cinematography – The Aviator; Winner – The Aviator

6 out of 7 ain’t bad! See the full list of winners.

Also glad to hear that Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind won Best Original Screenplay, it was one of my favourite movies of last year.
More Oscar info from the BBC.

P.S. I’ve discovered another one of those ‘typing things’, you know, words that you always type incorrectly depending on the order you are typing them in the latest being “Million Dollary Baby”. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it.

P.P.S. No spotted the obvious mistake the. It’s Jamie Foxx, not Ray Foxx as I had previously. I must stop posting before I’ve had my morning coffee. I knew my Mum would spot it though…

End of line

Having checked it turns out my Sky+ box is the Amstrad model. This is a bad thing.

Tonight it was set to record 24 and Huff (at the same time) and the repeat of Desperate Housewives as the previous recording was coming up as FAILED.

I decided to start watching 24 about twenty minutes after it started so I could whizz through the adverts (is it just me or was it sooo much better when it was advert free on BBC2, the constant breaks seem to lose the pace, don’t know how the Americans can stand it, but then I guess they are used to it). Sky+ wouldn’t let me start watching 24 and given the previous problems I thought I’d leave it until later and decided to read another chapter of my current book instead – Snow Falling on Cedars (which is a very descriptive book, very VERY… it’s perfect for falling asleep with).

When later rolled around I went to the Sky+ Planner to be told that 24 had CLASHED, despite the box not prompting me at any time and it being tuned to Sky One (which was where 24 was being broadcast), the repeat of Desperate Housewives had FAILED as had Huff. I can catch a repeat of 24 but not of Desperate Housewives, nor Huff (which isn’t repeated at all).

Thankfully it did manage to record Nói Albinói on Friday night, so I’ll make sure I copy that off the infernal machine before it gets changed. Someone at Sky customer services is NOT going to have a good morning.

And they wonder why we download so much TV these days.

Dahlings

So Chelsea have won their first trophy. I have to admit to taking a shine to their manager, he may be arrogant but there always seems to be a wee twinkle in his eye. If nothing else he’s a tad more exciting than Arsene Wenger. The king of ranting will always be Sir Alex though, who can forget his rant just after his Aberdeen side had WON the Scottish Cup when he said he was disgusted at the way his team had played. Barking, obviously.

Enough of football. Let’s talk about the rugby. Scotland scraped a win against Italy, Wales destroyed France in a fantastic second half and I didn’t see Ireland beating England.

Indulge me for a minute will you – “Ireland beating England”. Ohh that feels good.

Anyhoo, more awards tonight and, as is tradition, my wife will be watching the Oscar ceremony. If Jamie Foxx and Hilary Swank don’t win the best actor and actress awards, respectively, then something is seriously wrong. As for the other awards, I’d have to say Million Dollar Baby should sneak Best Picture, but Martin Scorcese should nip the Best Director award from Clint Eastwood. Cate Blanchett MUST win for her turn as Katherine Hepburn but I’m not sure about Best Supporting Actor. I’d like to see Morgan Freeman get it as I he is very rarely bad in any movie I’ve seen him in but having not seen Closer I can’t comment on the Clive Owens performance.

I’d also expect the Cinematography award to go to The Aviator – if you’ve seen it you probably noticed how the film slowly developed more and more vivid colour matching the progression of the film industry at that time. It was quite subtle but very effective – bit like the muted tones of Saving Private Ryan, or the green tones used in The Matrix trilogy.

Of course as is usual I’ve not even had the opportunity to see some of the nominated movies in the cinema yet so it’s always a bit odd to try and make these kind of predicitions. Of course we shouldn’t forget the fact that this is all one big love-in for the Hollywood set – I wonder if Imelda Staunton will enjoy it?

Comic Aid

Was that Lee Evans sketch the funniest thing you’ve seen for ages?

Tears of laughter, streaming down my face.

Insight

Not as hungover as I thought I might be although the Tokyo Long Island Iced Tea has certainly left a slight ‘fuzziness’ – can’t find a recipe for it, but from memory, it’s a Toyko Tea, minus the Midori, and topped up with Coke a la the Long Island Ice Tea. It was more drinkable than it sounds. Promise.

It was also my first visit to the Liquid Lounge in Glasgow. If you want a decent bar, with some very very funky music (old skool James Brown, Sly Stone and so on) then check it out. £1.80 for a Guinness isn’t too shoddy, even if it there was something decidely not quite right with it. I had to have four or five to check but still couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Highlight of the evening was on the walk to the train station. Passing one of Glasgow’s many dark alleys it was fairly obvious that one of the ‘ladies of the night’ was ‘entertaining’ a ‘client’ (shagging a punter) as said client’s screams of ectasy were reverberating off the buildings and echoing out into the street.

So, in typical Glasgow style, someone gave him some encouragement: “Gon yerself big man!!”.

~

Today is website day. For once it’s nothing to do with this site, but I’ll be doing a little maintenance over at Scottish Blogs and pulling together another mockup for a site design that, hopefully, will be used by a site you all know and love. No names yet, I want to build some excitement first.

Musical accompaniment is being provided by (in random track mode): Lemon Jelly, The Futureheads, Bloc Party, and Kasabian.

Edging

Slowly getting around to fixing some minor things here.

The search is now a bit better (still can’t get it to return a different number of posts than are currently set to display on the main page – frankly this is ridiculuous but the forum, Wiki and Google are still failing me on this), and I’ve finally updated the Site Archives to, hopefully, be a bit more user friendly.

I’m still working my way through ALL posts without titles as it’s screwing up the archives a little (it’s a whole permalink naming mess to be honest), and I’m also categorising as I go. A slow process but one area the new version of WordPress has definitely improved. Now, when you select a month to edit, it will remember and return you to the same set of posts – in 1.2 when editing an old post it always returned you to the most recent.

Anyway, this is all probably boring as hell to everyone except me. If I DO find a way to get the search to return full results and if I get the blogroll to display who has updated, I’ll post something here.

~

Sky+ has a bug. The failed recordings bug seems to be quite common place and hit me hard the other night. I was recording Desperate Housewives, and was going to start watching it before it had finished (so as to skip through the adverts). However Sky+ wouldn’t start playing the recording, something I’ve not had a problem with, so I left it to record the episode. Later that night the entire box had frozen up. Wouldn’t respond from the remote or the fascia, so I powered the box down. Next morning I powered up and it seemed to be working fine.

When I got home last night I decided to watch the episode and was greeted with several FAILED messages next to previously recorded programmes and films. Rather than pay premium rate I head to the the forums and discovered that this was a common issue and was occasionally fixable by re-building the Sky+ planner. I tried that, didn’t work. It looks like I’m faced with re-formatting the entire thing, losing all the recordings I had. I’ll be phoning Sky Customer Services over the weekend and see what they have to say for themselves. Not happy!

~

This evening I will be partaking of some alcoholic refreshments. I’ve not been out to the pub for ages and I’m beginning to look forward to it. I just hope I can stay awake, as I spent yet another night watching the clock click past 2 a.m.

Still, I can have a lie in on Saturday as we don’t have much planned. I do have some web design stuff to do for someone, more on that tomorrow, and a few bits and bobs of general maintenance over at Scottish Blogs.

Simplicity achieved?

The rise and rise of products like Apple’s iPod and applications like Firefox and Flickr have gotten me thinking. What do those products have in common?

Simplicity. They aren’t bogged down with hundreds of options and all provide a basic service that people want and provide it well. Flickr is possibly an exception as once you start digging it can be very powerful and complex, but if you just want to upload some snaps and share them with friends it is simple.

So, is the popularity of these products down to their simplicity? Are we all just sick of bloated software that takes minutes to start up, and has hundreds of features we never use? Are we sick of the latest gadget that now has “67 brand new features” that just make accessing the basic functions twice as hard?

Read More

PICS Label

Prompted by Joshuaink.

This site now has a PICS label. PICS “was originally designed to help parents and teachers control what children access on the Internet, but it also facilitates other uses for labels, including code signing and privacy.”

I don’t swear much on this site, but it’s nice to be nice and all that. If you want to do the same you can use the ICRA Label Generator and the ICRA Label tester.

Ohh and I’m not pointing any fingers, at anyone I think should do this. Honest.