45 posts • joined Thursday 16th July 2009 09:21 GMT
Teesside Poly pimped the QL
In 1985 every student on the HND Information Systems at Teesside Poly were loaned a QL and matching 14" crt monitor for the two year course. I still have the welts on my hands from carrying them the to the train station.
Assignments were to be brought in on the damn microdrive tapes. If I'd have been a bit more savvy I would have realised that I didn't have to do the assignments, just blame the tapes. I ended up doing the assignments and invariably losing them.
Our machine code lecturer was a big cheese in the 68008 world, he worked part time for Motorola (more likely a research contract). Seems odd to have someone genuinely good at such a 'ahem' 2nd tier 'university'. Maybe he was a degenerate.
Back to the Future
I managed to pick one up for £195 in the Comet firesale. Really nice performer, HD and SD picture quality is excellent in my opinion. The unit itself is pretty light and plasticy, and a fingerprint/dust magnet, a real disappointment to be honest.
A few niggles, though I might be misremembering as I've loaned it to my dad to give him a taste of the future. When you Search it only displays things in the future from the seven day EPG, it would be nice if it searched the available On Demand content from the past too. (Does it even search through your own recordings?
The other big one is the remote, common with other Humax boxes it doesn't support HDMI-CEC so you can't control the volume of your TV, switch sources etc. In other Humax boxes they've made the remotes universal, and can programme in your TVs codes for power and volume etc. Not this one :( though an old Foxsat HDR remote is a good alternative.
Re: Red Button
It really is cack isn't it? Often on even my brand spanking new Panasonic telly the red button takes a while to appear, and sometimes doesn't appear at all (BBC HD)
My dad and my in-laws were big consumers of Teletext as they have no interest at waiting for a pc to boot and pay poundzz for the internets. They are constantly frustrated by the red button services, half of the pages are missing for a start. The only benefit is they kept the page numbers.
It spells disappointment for anyone hoping for a reasonably priced iPad Mini
Having the entry level set so high now, it makes the iPad Mini a shoo in for £299 or £349, nestling between the iPad and the Touch (rename it iPad Nano?). Shame, the Touch was as they say in the Hudsucker Proxy "You know, for kids."
Re: Buddy, can you spare me a price point?
An iPhone and an iPad are two different beasts. One's a phone for starters :)
A 4" iPod Touch is exactly the same as a 7" iPad Mini but with a different sized screen. Having them at the same price point confuses punters.
Buddy, can you spare me a price point?
The problem Apple have is that the 4" iPod Touch starts at £249 too, so the brand new Touch needs to go down to £199 - rename it to the iPad Nano? That would make room for the iPad Mini to be at £249. Or, since it's a <cough> premium brand, £299.
The source from the force
It's got even more funnees, bottles of water and bottles of coke, to go with the spuds. The truly gullible could get a full meal going on.
All the talk of bank accounts not giving out much at ATMs are forgetting that the there is a vast underclass that deal solely with cash because they don't trust banks (wise) or the banks won't touch them. Hence the popularity of the payday loans and real loan sharks.
When I pop into Argos in my northern seaside town (that they forgot to bomb), I'm usally the only one using the yellow card pay kiosks, everyone else queues with their bundles of cash.
Re: TV USB powah
I think it's adequate. I was running almost all 1080p videos I had. It did choke and stutter (unwatchably) on a 12Gb DTS audio, 1080p video with a 20Mb/s bitrate. So if I had more powah it would work better? Woop!
TV USB powah
Oh... I better stop doing that then. Thanks for the heads up.
I have it powered happily with my Panasonic TVs usb port.
I am using the Open Elec XBMC build headless with the android XBMC, streaming my content from my NAS and I was really blown away by it. Surprisingly responsive and usable. I'm not sure I'd let any other member of the family to use it but if I'm steering I'd be happy to use it.
As for a tool to learn programming, I've never understood the use. Join www.codeacademy.com and learn via a browser. There is no reason to buy a Pi for it.
Orange San Francisco
I've steered clear of CyanogenMod, too much volitilty and dozens of different but similar roms. I've standardised all my SFs on Swedish Snow RL7. Very stable with lots of nice cyanogen features built in.
Also install Ad Free from the Marketplace (Play) and you won't see any of the adverts this app purports to have saving you a fiver.
Re: Oh come on!
You should read some of the tabloid press now and again then. Any time they want to try and rubbish a scientific news item they use the word "boffin" in the context of a bumbling oaf who produces crackpot theories.
El Reg is allowed to use it because we know they are using it properly.
"Can you easily add a Spotify subscription..[snip]? Can you get it bundled with your ISP account and set it up in 30 seconds?"
Great size and features
I've got something similar from Dell (Dell Inspiron M101Z) last year but with a stinky AMD Neo cpu but it has two things over a bog standard netbook - usable screen resolution and HDMI out for hooking up to a TV (on the road) or a monitor (working from home).
Remember Intel forbid Atom-based N-series machines to have anything better than 1024x600 and must not have hdmi port. It's these sort of arbitrary restrictions make me happy to support losers like AMD.
Mama's got Squeezebox
With Slim Devices (let's not say the L. word) I think the defunct Boom (love mine) and the Radio http://www.amazon.co.uk/Logitech-Squeezebox-Radio-Internet-streaming/dp/B002N2YZYU represent much better value for money, without any propriety nonsense - you get wireless out of the box no £40 addon.
Also, the latest versions of SqueezeNetwork server software allows you to split the stereo in a similar way as the Sonos, so it's cheaper to have have two SB Radios to act as a stereo pair and still have £60 left for pies and chips.
He hasn't got a Sega Pico, interesting as it was the first Sega 'thing' to have an official Nintendo title. It was a gutted Mega Drive and the carts were like books you changed games by turning the cardboard pages. I bought it 2nd hand for my neices years ago.
I'm going to contact my neices to see if they've looked after it... and get it off them sharpish!
It's all about the google
If my dear wife is anything to go by, she's never typed a URL in her life. She goes to google and types the name of the company she's looking for and blindly accepts the first result.
Hope for ex-gamer dads like me
It's designed to only support the one good controller (supplied) and supports up to 4 wiimotes (either original or the wiimote+ ones, and wii-fit boards).
Added into that backwards compatibility with Wii disks then it's got to be attractive upgrade for the households (like mine) that have invested in a fair bit of Wii kit already and would like to have some more traditional gaming in addition to waggling.
Orrr use the proper one
Orange seem to have a mania for taking free apps, oranging them up and then charging for them. The Orange maps seems no different/better than Google Maps except they want to charge you a fiver a month and it only works over 3G.
The app this is aping/ripping off is the Labs Google Gestures.
And vice versa
I have iPlayer built into my Panasonic tv via Freesat and the internet and sometimes I have to knock up the Virgin Media box to find missing things. On the other hand the IP iPlayer has things available quicker than the VM box, usually within minutes of broadcast, whereas VM take a few hours to convert it.
Which part of £200 is budget again?
It's more than double the price of the Orange San Francisco you favourably reviewed previously, with the same processor but a smaller and lower resolution screen. I accept it will feel a more solid phone with probably a better camera but the sample shots don't inspire me much.
Intel killed the netbook star
The reason for the lack of differentiation between netbooks is the stupid restrictions Intel, and to a lesser extent MS, enforces.
If it's an N-series Atom you are restricted to 1024x600 resolution, 10" screens and no HDMI output. If you use a Z-series Atom you aren't restricted. It's not a technology shortfall, it's Intel protecting it's laptop interests.
The MS angle is the stoopid Windows 7 Basic restriction even though many people have been running Premium and Professional without problems or degradation of experience.
My Panasonic telly supports USB record.. it's completely useless of course, you have to have the TV switched on for a start and you have to leave it on the channel you want it to record, timed or live. So, it's got to play to either an empty room or you've got to watch it recording. It would be useful for pausing live TV though.
The reason the reviewer couldn't transfer it to a PC was nothing to do with Linux filesystems, it was because the Sharp has encrypted the volume so it can only be replayed on that telly, even another Sharp LC-32LE210E wouldn't play it. Same goes for the Panasonic I own.
Are you going to San Francisco?
Orange's San Francisco, aka ZTE Blade, is the budget Android du jour.
Unlike this HTC, it's got a proper screen resolution (480x800) and a nice AMOLED screen with the magic PenTile Matrix tech found in the Nexus.
Oh and it's £99 plus £10 top up. Lots of discounts available, quidco, topcashback, NUS, local government, teachers, NHS, police etc.
I believe they are available in Orange stores already.. but that counts me out, I can't face walking into one of those places. According to the Orange newsroom article they will also be available online this week. I think they throw the poor sods in the shops a bone and give them a couple of days exclusivity.
Hope it appears online, I want some quidco love.
I've got a Barclay card with this new fangled NFC feature... but what happens when I have a wallet full and you plonk your wallet on the pad (like you see people doing in Hong Kong with their Squid-based Oyster-type card). Does every card compete to pay, and you have no idea which one has won? Or, do they all pay for you leaving you paying several times for your copy of Razzle and the Daily Mail?
You also don't need to run the server software (either internally or on your local network), you can connect it straight up to http://www.mysqueezebox.com and stream radio and any music stored in a cloud locker like mp3tunes.com. Previous recent devices seemed to force you that route and only mentioning the server stuff as an aside.
An O2 Joggler running Squeezeslave gives you a similar control interface for buttons though.
Data Highway Robbery
I can understand these roaming charges when they don't have a network prescence but Vodafone are in:
Czech republic, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom.
It really is criminal. It was well covered that this is how they'd 'monetize' themselves after getting the call and sms charge hammer from the EU, but so soon, it's barefaced.
Terrible user experience
I got a BluRay player with my new tv, I'm glad I didn't pay for it. It takes about 5 times longer to load a DVD than my 10 year old Pioneer does, it's even worse with BD discs. They've got as many unskipable adverts, warnings and disclaimers that have put me off buying DVDs but they all happen in treacle-time.
Luckily, the BDs I did buy came with the same movie on DVD (good work Disney - never though I'd say that), so I ripped the main movie with Handbrake and play them back on my Western Digital Live and Xtreamer boxes.
2Gb Compact Flash
Isn't the supplied card a bit of an insult? You can pick up a Pro grade 64Gb CF card for less than £500, if you are paying £10k I'm sure they could find a bit of wiggle room to include something decent?
Adverts only on Freeview
So, one advantage of Freesat is you don't get the dirty great adverts in the EPG that you do get with Freeview.
Oh.. and another, the G20 now supports BBC iPlayer via Freesat - tried it last night to watch last week's Doctor Who in the Higher Quality setting and it pretty darned good.
DVI - why?
I don't think you'll find many televisions with DVI. Monitors.. yes, but not tellies.
You can get DVI-HDMI cables from anywhere these days, even Asda, believe it or not. You'll have to supply the audio some other way though.. see why DVI isn't a go-er on a telly :)
Take an acid tab and relax
Firefox isn't 'far ahead of anyone else in terms of web standards', in fact it doesn't pass the Acid3 tests. Try this one in Firefox
and again in Chrome, and Chrome passes with flying colours. For added fun try it in IE8 for a lorra laffs.
I'm not saying Chrome's ability to pass tests means anything, but then I never said it was far ahead of anyone else.
Back to the old school
I've got an original Dell Mini 10 and because it had the MID Atom chipset, a Z-prefix one, it doesn't have a lot of the annoying restrictions of the N-prefix chipsets the 10v and this new 10 have.
For instance, it's got a HDMI port not VGA, and popping it into a monitor or telly(!) it breaks from it's shackles and you get a nice 1650x1050 desktop. The other benefit of the HDMI is that it makes it a nice multimedia machine, and although the Z530 chipset comes with the much maligned GMA 500 IGP, with the new drivers it's capable of playing back 1080p HD video happily and silently.
The other restriction it gets round is the 1024x600 native screen resolution, the Z-prefix ones have the option of 1024x768 which makes it a much nicer thing to have.
What about the Trampoline invasion?
From almost any google map spy pic of any suburban estate every second garden has a trampoline of doom, ensuring the A&E figures are kept healthy with the constant stream of maimings.
Huzzah for the trampoline I say!
More Chumby love
I love the Chumby and having Sony licence the OS I hope will secure it's future.
I wish I could find out what the screen resolution is on this thing, the Sony PR site says nothing other than it's got a 7 inch screen.
To me, if the price is right then it could be viewed a family friendly photoframe with knobs on. I'd have one like a shot.
Wot no Synology?
I'm astonished that no Synology NAS made the grade, they have a compelling range of NASs to suit every pocket and their interface is what QNAP spends all it's time catching up with. The range of applications out of the box are top drawer (apart from rtorrent which is a bit stinky but you can replace it with transmission via the same package manager as the QNAP) . Also they are all DLNA and UPNP-AV media servers for all your consoles, media clients and compooters.
Bad day at the office?
The reviewer seems to have ignored the huge body of evidence out there that netbooks run Windows 7 Home Premium/Ultimate/Professional very well indeed. I can't vouch for Home Basic but can they have botched it so badly? I run Win 7 Ultimate on a 2Gb Dell Mini 9 and Win 7 Professional on a 1Gb Dell Mini 10 and am very pleased with them.
Extensions and adblock+
Extensions are present and correct in the dev builds of Chromium, I don't know whether they have made this new v3.0
Adblock+ is one of them. I was wavering with my use of Chrome but with Privoxy I get most of my ad blocking accomplished and it works on all browsers without anything to 'addon'.
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