iPod Photo

ipod_photoNew iPod Photo announced. 40 & 60Gb versions and for not too shabby a price. Looks good and would be a definite buy if I didn’t have an iPod already. Main issue for me is that Apple’s support of existing users is pretty shabby. I love my iPod but some fairly basic updates wouldn’t have gone amiss – heck – I can’t even play back tracks without any gaps between them. These kind of features should be in as a basic minimum. Good to see battery life quoted at 15 hours though. Don’t know if I would get much mileage out of viewing photo’s on the screen…a more practical screen will probably be found in the next version due in March. I would however love to see the album art while my mp3’s are playing. Very cool. Still…won’t be upgrading. Also odd to see the new U2 special edition iPod more prominent on the Apple website over the new iPod Photo.

Finally, iTunes 4.7 is now available. Probably with updates for new iPods only….hey-ho.


John Peel

peelShocked and saddened at the news that John Peel passed away on holiday yesterday. I’ve never been an avid fan that listened to all his shows but the ones that I did catch, mostly while revising during the Uni years, were great. He always struck me as a man with integrity and a real passion for his job. He will be missed.


Quiet PC

zalmanAfter a bit of thought I’ve finally decided to get the old pc up and running as a server. The first task was to make it quieter. The fans on it were quite loud….cue visit to Quiet PC. I’d always liked the look of the Zalman Flower so I gave into temptation and made the purchase. At the same time I was convinced that the power supply also was a bit too loud so I picked up a quiet one of those too.

Delivery for once really was next day so ii got round to installing them both today. The verdict – the flower cooler is definitely quiet and keeps the cpu (it is an ageing 1GHz Athlon) cool. It’s heavy though and is only suitable for certain motherboards and chips. The power supply was disappointing . At first it seemed very quiet but listening from a different angle you could hear a very deep hum. Tried the old power supply and it was quieter. Some you win, some you lose. So I’ll be returning the power supply back to Quiet PC – hopefully their returns policy is as good as the rest of their store had been up to now.

Once I get windows on it I hope to run it as a server with the main pc and xbox using it as a media storage device. It will also have a webserver which I can access from anywhere (work firewall permitting :-() and ultimately I may host this website from it. That’s a long way off though.


Google Desktop

Beta now launched and can be downloaded from the Google Desktop site. First impressions are good. Quick to index my files using less system resources than Windows in-built indexing and search results are fast. Also searches Outlook . Option to integrate with Google web searches which is nice. Finally its as quick to find my files as it is to find others peoples files on the web.

*Update* Couple of alternatives for searching. One is Filehand which also searches mp3’s and pdf’s and the other is Copernic Desktop Search. Both are standalone search engines – I’ll give them a whirl over the weekend.

Autumn Clearing

With Autumn now officially here and a break in the wet weather we’ve been having it was time for the final grass cut of the year. This then turned into a garden clearance (never did I thought so many plants would last for such a small time). Cue 10 bags filled and a trip to the dump. To round it off, a trip to Dobbies to restock the barren wasteland that was the garden. One point…since when did garden centres clear out half there shop to stock MASSIVE amounts of crimbo decorations. Blimey. I guess it is only 10 weeks on Saturday till Christmas.

The second clearout was the pc. Only 3 months old and running out of room (it only has 160Gb)? A swift clearout later and I’d freed 60Gb. Shocking the amount of guff you accumulate with broadband. Having the 1 Meg connection doesn’t help. Time to get the old pc set-up as a server and put all the movies and music on it instead.

Pro-Evo on the Xbox

More pro-evo news. I’ve got a ‘beta’ Pro-Evo for the Xbox and its mostly all good news. Graphically its good with all glitches and slowdown that was evident on the ps2 now removed. However on ‘Wide’ mode the graphics don’t look as sharp as the ps2 although when watching replays or a closer in view the graphics are sharper. The grass texture also looks more grainy. All the same options that are in the ps2 version are in the Xbox version with the addition of online support although it would look like this is 1 vs 1 only. The major dissapointment is with the controller. The ps2 has four shoulder buttons where as the Xbox pad has two and they are full size triggers at that. The only option has been to put L2 & R2 on the white and black buttons. Nooooooooo. I use R2 all the time and it is impossible to play (ok – not impossible but damned uncomfortable) with the Xbox pad. Also the longer throw of the trigger didn’t suit the game. A solution had to be found. Cue visit to Lik-Sang.

I ordered a convertor called the Dreambox. This allows you to use the PS2 pad on the Xbox and also plug in a headset so you can still talk online. Tested it tonight and it works a dream – just had to swap L1/L2 with R1/R2 to get the controls exactly the same as Pro Evo on the PS2. Also had to buy a cable extender as the Xbox is a fair distance from where I sit. Just need to wait till mid November now for the game to come out. Oh…and resist buying Fifa tomorrow.


Its Scotland vs Norway on Saturday and I really am confused as to the result I want. 40% of me wants to see Scotland do well. The other 60% wants them to get cuffed and hopefully move a step closer to getting rid of Berti Vogts. His comments this week on how this game is not win or bust (a draw will do) were disappointing and made only to try and protect his job. His press conference at the start of the week when announcing the team was also very unprofessional and it’s now time for the Scotland manager to move on. I don’t believe a new manager would make a dramatic difference but do believe a Scottish manager would install more passion and pride in the players.