Sunday, 29 April 2007

Today's hard-fought works 'veterans' footy game got a bit out of hand near the end. Saxon Taverners didn't give up for one second, despite being 3-1 down at half time.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

First game of the new cricket season today saw my work team play away at Drayton Parslow. I was a bit distracted by all the bird activity going on behind me: goldfinches, chaffinches, robins and starlings all taking food to nearby nests - see my photos on Flickr.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Note to the producers of Panorama: keep the flaming camera still.
"Switch on for Square Mile wi-fi
The City of London has fired up its first mesh wi-fi network, promising net access from just about anywhere in the Square Mile. The area in London is not just Europe's leading financial centre - it is said to be the continent's most advanced wireless network too.

There are 127 nodes on lamp posts giving access to 350,000 people. The City of London Corporation believes it will be invaluable to traders, bankers and brokers who want access to their data when they are on the move - or out at lunch.

Just how long will it be before we read a story about £millions being stolen by someone hacking into this new network? I can't really think any anywhere more stupid to put a wireless network.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Switch on for Square Mile wi-fi

Saturday, 21 April 2007

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | BA cuts Branson from Bond movie

"BA cuts Branson from Bond movie
British Airways has removed a shot of Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson from the in-flight version of the James Bond movie Casino Royale. Sir Richard was seen briefly in the original film, passing through an airport security scanner, but can only be seen from behind in the new edit.

That's pretty pathetic really, isn't it? Or is it just a fluke?

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | BA cuts Branson from Bond movie

Friday, 20 April 2007

BBC NEWS | Technology | Users force Dell to resurrect XP

"Users force Dell to resurrect XP
Responding to customer demand Dell has restarted selling new PCs with Windows XP installed on them. The decision reverses a policy begun in January that meant Windows Vista was the only operating system available on almost all new home machines. The change came after Dell's feedback site was swamped with calls for the return of the venerable software.

I can understand Dell's agreement to switch back to XP. From the person experience of the few people I know who have been daft enough to try Vista, it can be a complete disaster!

BBC NEWS | Technology | Users force Dell to resurrect XP

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Once again last night I encountered a recurring problem with one of my Windows XP machines whereby any Explorer or File Save dialog box (especially at the 'My Computer' level) took ages to display (minutes). As prevously, this was being caused by the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) service, which I think basically handles attached cameras, card readers, scanners, etc., the sort of job you had to use TWAIN drivers for in the past. I think there is a basic incompatability between it and HP printer drivers, and every so often a software update (eg: the Nokia suit I use to back up my mobile phone) turns the service back on again. Stopping and disabling the WIA service fixed the problem.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Sand pitSpent three hours today in a sand pit. Our department is once again collaborating with Earth Sciences on a geology field trip and this time, instead of the wilds of Scotland, the venue is a local sand quarry that's within walking distance of my home.

Friday, 13 April 2007

GPS capture setupFinally got my department to buy me a decent camera. The one I had to use before, a venerable Kodak DC265, saw 7 years of active service and will now be retired. Its replacement is a Canon EOS 400D digital SLR. I opted for the EFS 17-85mm IS zoom and a 430EX flashgun to go with it (since I take a lot of photos of our visitors). I have worked out a way to attach one of our little Garmin geko 301 GPS recording devices, using a Hama straight flash bracket, so images can be geotagged.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Whilst playing around with my geotagged images imported via the new 2.0 release of Downloader Pro, I have found that Flickr is ignoring the latitude and longitude data that has been added to the EXIF in my images. A search of the forum reveals a hidden setting whereby existing EXIF location data can be preserved and used by Flickr.

One issue to note with DLPro 2 is that unless you enable the option "Also write legacy IPTC IIM data to downloaded images" in its preferences, you won't see any data in either BreezeBrowser or Photoshop versions prior to CS.

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Garmin geko 301
Was chuffed to find that the new version of Chris Breeze's Downloader Pro software (which I use all the time for transferring images from Compact Flash card to computer) can now geotag images, using GPX data files downloaded from a GPS receiver (like the Garmin geko 301), as it imports the images. Well worth the £13.50 upgrade cost. Sadly my new desktop machine doesn't have a serial port and for some strange reason, Garmin don't do a USB cable for the 301.

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Monday, 9 April 2007

A superb game today at Sixfields as Northampton Town beat Scunthorpe United 2-1 in injury time to put an end the Iron's 20-game unbeaten run. It must surely rate as one of the best Cobbers' games this season.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

20inch iMac
My new 20" iMac is chugging along OK these days. Certainly starts up and gets to a useable state a lot faster than my Windows XP machine. Biggest gripe though is that the sound out/headphone socket, from which I run a set of Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers, keeps cutting out. I've tried different cables, but it definately looks like a problem with the iMac itself.

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Tuesday, 3 April 2007

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Serenity named top sci-fi movie

"Serenity named top sci-fi movie
Space thriller Serenity has beaten Star Wars to the title of best sci-fi movie in an SFX magazine poll of 3,000 fans. The futuristic release from 2005 was based on the short-lived TV series Firefly. Both were the work of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon. Star Wars - which Whedon has conceded had 'an enormous influence' on Serenity - came second in the survey.

Well, that's a surprise - unless the Browncoats found a way to cheat. Perhaps Badger had something to do with it...

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Serenity named top sci-fi movie