Goodbye to 2011

Another year passes. New Years Eve 2011 is a bright sunny, if slightly chill day. I watched Norwich City grab a draw with a last gasp equalizer. We are now preparing for a party tonight; our neighbours coming round for drinks from 9pm to see in 2012.

Published in: on 31 December, 2011 at 14:16  Leave a Comment  

Same Day Delivery

On Christmas Day I ordered two cables from Amazon, as they were needed to complete the wiring of my TV system and the previously mentioned amplifier. They were ordered on Amazon Prime that promises free two day delivery; an excellent service. Christmas Day was Sunday, so the following day was a holiday. This meant that the first day on which my order would be processed was Tuesday, so the two day delivery would arrive on Thursday. I was content with this promise.
On Tuesday there was a box on the porch. The items had arrived on the day that Amazon were supposed to start the shipping process. I was very impressed with the fastest two-day delivery I have ever experienced.

Published in: on 30 December, 2011 at 15:11  Leave a Comment  

Too Popular for Christmas

Let me start this post by stating that I am fan of Logitech products. I am entering this text from the excellent Logitech G15 keyboard and the PC mouse is a recently acquired G500. A few years back I received a Logitech Harmony 670 remote. This device allowed me to use a single remote to control my TV, DVR, DVD, and Blu-ray player – turning the devices on and off and setting the correct TV input with a single selection. This replaced four remote controls. I have since added a Roku box to the setup and that too was added with minimal effort to the Harmony.

I would recommend Logitech Harmony devices for any one who has more than one remote; with just one caveat. Do not get one as a Christmas gift.

Today, my Christmas present included a speaker system for my TV – too boost the sound quality of the set which does not match the quality and impact of the 65” display. Adding this to my TV and assorted devices required me to reprogram my Harmony. The PC software connects at each step to the web, as it needs to have details of an  ever-growing list of devices and keeps your configuration on the web. This works well, unless there is a sudden spike in the number of people using the site. Today, the configuration software kept timing out and took minutes going from screen to screen. The obvious reason is that were a lot of people setting up new devices which they had received for Christmas.

It was no big deal for me, as I can use the supplied remote until usage returns to normal. However, if you had a brand new toy, I can imagine it would be very frustrating to find it useless as you battled the software. It is sad that many people may have had a bad first impression of a product and company.

Published in: on 25 December, 2011 at 15:08  Leave a Comment  

Save Bucks

I wrote an entry a few months ago about how my coffee order had become a very exact set specification. Yesterday, I learnt that I should change that order. I asked for my grande triple shot dry Cappuccino and the barista suggested that I order a triple shot espresso macchiato instead. The drink is the same, three shots of dark coffee topped with just a little foam. The difference is that costs a dollar less. I have ordered my last Cappuccino from Starbucks.

Published in: on 18 December, 2011 at 11:16  Leave a Comment  

Who was Lost Now is Found

It was over forty years ago that I saw my first episode of Doctor Who. The show was already in its eighth season by that point. I feel in love with show and have retained a geek interest ever since. For those who are not geeks, a geek interest can look a little (or maybe a lot) like obsession. The several hundred Doctor Who books and DVD are not evidence of anything as intense as an obsession – honest.

For many years, before the advent of home video tapes and countless TV channels, each Doctor Who story would be shown once. I you missed it, it was gone. Each year the BBC would repeat one story from the previous season and on a very few occasions they repeated older stories. Thus, the seven years of the show before I started watching was something about which I could only read.

In the seventies, the BBC started making space in their library by destroying tapes of old black and white shows; the pre 1970 Doctor Who included. These acts of cultural vandalism were not conducted in any logical fashion, so no thought was given to preserving examples of the show right across the first six seasons. Much of the first season, second and sixth season survived, with the other three almost empty of complete examples.

Once the BBC recognized that with the advent of home video and satellite channels there was commercial value in the shows they had so wantonly destroyed, they actively searched for tapes. Over the years thirty nine episodes came to light, including in 1991 a complete story; Tomb of the Cybermen.



Then just a few days ago it was announced that two more missing episodes have been found. One from the first Doctor story, Galaxy Four; a story from which all episodes had been lost. The other episode is from The Underwater Menace, so the BBC now has two of the four parts of this story.

There are still 106 episodes missing, but each chance to see old Who for the first time brings a smile to my totally not obsessed face.

Clip from Underwater Menace
Published in: on 15 December, 2011 at 5:41  Leave a Comment