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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Saturday December 13 2003

Updated sites

I notice that both Hotmail and Friends Reunited have overhauled sites. In both cases there are marked improvements to usability and functionality. Who says nothing gets any better? Well, I do I suppose.

Posted at 6:14 pm by Jim Woods

Friday December 12 2003


of maritime discovery and archaeology will be pleased to note that the NUMA site has been overhauled and updated.

Posted at 12:01 pm by Jim Woods

Slot fever

Well, I've given a bit more thought to the "upgrading the PC on the cheap" thing. I have Duron 850 processor. Can I stick Athlon "f*ck off quick and fifty quid" straight into the board I have? Only time and crowbar will tell.

And who will pay for this? I have been doing some lateral thinking...

Posted at 11:55 am by Jim Woods

Wednesday December 10 2003


Is a senescent sod. I have two fast 40 gig hard drives and a couple of burners hooked up to it, all of which handles vast amounts of audio of all kinds for me. I invested in adequate, though obsolete, RAM and a reasonable cheap GeForce 2 video card. There an SB Live, another 20 quidder, which allows a certain amount of gaming. But the main board is a five year old Jetway (right hand man of the dark one) and the processor a rather miserable Duron 850.

I don't believe in expensive hardware; it's tomorrow's cheap hardware, and I'm a very infrequent upgrader. Since, however, my various drives are newish - and will continue to be so as more and more demands on space mean bigger and bigger drives - I reckon that a new board, processor and memory will give me a system with fine 21st century wallop.

It'll have to be done on the cheap though, as what little money I have after necessities (which I'm forced to admit include rather a lot of drinking and eating - hey, it's hereditary) tends to go on audio gear and musical instruments. Well, music's interesting and spiritually positive and PCs aren't, after all. In the interests of audio mastering and a few other things I need more grunt. So it's upgrade time. I've fought it for years, but now it is upon me.

Watch here for details of how I beef up my computing powere while remaining a ranting inebriate and coping with Christmas. It'll be a salutary lesson to all like-minded individuals, I can promise you that.

Posted at 7:45 pm by Jim Woods

His Dark Materials

By which I am not referring to anything you'd find a suit made from, but to Philip Pullman's trilogy of novels. Two things are good about the trilogy (well, three if you count them being rather fine): firstly there is considerable mention of Oxford, which as all residents know is the centre of universes both known and unknown, and secondly they are largely if not entirely free of bollocks of the kind that often infests such work.

And I've found a very comprehensive website concerning the trilogy, which we can all while away the cold winter evenings prodding about in.

Apparently there was a Radio 4 dramatization at the beginning of the year, which I contrived to know nothing about. I remember being spellbound by the Harry Potter dramatization on said Radio 4 when it was broadcast a few years back. I heard an hour and a half of it in the car as my ex-wife and I travelled down to my in-laws; if I'd had the sense I was born with I'd have stayed in the car and listened to the rest of it, rather than sitting about with the the ex and her parents wondering to myself how some people can have an entire family of unengaging and non-contributive spanners and largely fail to notice. But that's history now. I can't claim that I missed the Dark Materials broadcasts for any other reason than failing to know about it; if I had, I certainly would not have married an unsuitable bride shortly beforehand. Indeed, if I marry again I'll have a bloody good look through the schedules first - or marry a woman who shares my tastes.

Off to get the schedules, I think.

Posted at 7:30 pm by Jim Woods

The house

I found this amazing hippie's lair. Despite my lack of affinity for hobbity bollocks, I do have an eye for a finely turned gaff. And I really like this one. It's the dog's space hoppers, the screaming pendulous tits and the slanty bridge pickup all rolled into one. Imagine this place with a vast pile of audio gear and a hefty bale of Afghan agriculture. Fine.

Speaking of audio gear, if like me you have your PC hooked up to some fairly maternal-relative-impregnating sound equipment the Flash version of the site loads up with a bowel-loosening blast of "music". You've been warned.

Posted at 12:27 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday December 9 2003

There is much offline stuff I must do

So here is a brief hit-and-run posting with a link to a long list of expatriate blogs. People from one country living in another and blogging it offer an interesting perspective.


Posted at 3:35 pm by Jim Woods

Monday December 8 2003

Nothing like a damn good dribble, is there?

With which in mind, you may well want to take a look at Pro Audio Review.com. Many, many toys. They even have guitar reviews.

On a slightly related theme, while researching pro MiniDisc portables (that'll be a grand, thanks, and no drinking it first) I found some tasty field recordings here. The kit used really seems to have paid off for this guy.

And as I'm busy mastering some digital music recordings to CD via my PC at the moment, and the principal interface is my trusty 20 quid SB Live, I also found some rather good stuff on upgrading and tweaking said sound card here and here. Oh look - it's a piece of home cinema kit in disguise. Make that 4,579 bits of home cinema kit I own then. Or at least that's what it feels like. I have discovered that home cinema amps make great digital patch bays though - the Yamaha whatever-it-is-that's-400-quid-at-the-moment that I use as a donkey by my computer has enough optical ins and outs to connect all sorts of things together which would otherwise prove uncommunicative. Three cheers.

Posted at 5:49 pm by Jim Woods


MP3TAG is rather a good free universal tag editor I've found on my perambulations and have begun to use for my audio organization needs. Although its operation is not entirely as intuitive as I'd like, it does make up for this by being able to quickly edit tag data on any number of music files of pretty much any format.

Posted at 1:55 am by Jim Woods


What a neat site - the Weather Underground. More forecasts, data and general weather-related stuff than you could imagine, never mind wave anything as mundane as a stick at. I love weather forecasts and climatic data in general, because an Englishman I love to whine; the weather is a prime source of whinge-fodder, and is as such to be applauded.

Posted at 1:28 am by Jim Woods

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