jetpack technology

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I've been wondering what to do with my broken monitor

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Apparently Universal are planning to make mp3s of their artists free, though according to the talking head I saw on the news, they won't be downloadable - only playable on a webpage festooned with adverts, an important difference which that article neglects to mention (unless I missed it). It should be pretty easy to download them though. We already have, then there'll be I expect

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here's what I ordered

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

well I just dragged my very heavy and faulty monitor up a flight of steps and across a busy road to the repair shop, only to find that they don't fix monitors, only TVs. I should have checked first. There's a shop that sells reconditioned monitors for £30 on the other side of town but that would require getting a taxi there and back, though would still be at least £100 cheaper than ordering a new TFT monitor. I'm too knackered now to do anything about it... thank goodness for my ancient tiny ATM screen in the meantime

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Monday, August 28, 2006

who remembers the "cold fusion" excitement that happened a few years ago and never came to anything? Well now there's a new hyped form of limitless energy which has yet to be debunked. I wonder what will happen.... Some are saying it's all a publicity stunt for Xbox or Lost (oh dear).

here's the official site of the company making the claims - and another which watches the latest developments with a critical eye

I remember when I was doing biology at school and we were doing experiments to demonstrate photosynthesis. We had a small piece of pondweed in a beaker of water and a lamp shining on it and we were counting the tiny bubbles of oxygen produced. It was slow, only about 4 or 5 per minute from what I remember. But... I remember some people in the same class had their tiny bit of weed producing a bubble almost every second. Even the teacher said it was impossible and disregarded their results but I saw it with my own eyes! I'm not sure what that proves, but it makes me slightly gullible less cynical about these things...

Unrelated, but everything seems to be going wrong these days at jetpack towers. Today my monitor started flashing a very blurred image and making horrible cracking noises, so I had to quickly turn it off before it burst into flames (or so I imagined). Thankfully I have a spare monitor. It's very old, dim and has an amazing resolution of 800x600 pixels - which is very odd to use, it being 2006 and used to something with a higher resolution. Saves space on the desk though and the place feels much less cluttered. I'll go to the repair shop across the road tomorrow and see if they have any reconditioned CRT monitors. If not I'm temped to get a new TFT and put it on the credit card (eek!)

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have you seen all those adverts for Weetabix, desperately trying to make them look sexy and interesting. Apparently you can put fruit on them, and it helps achieve your optimum five portions a day - which is great. The whole idea is laughable though; as if you have to buy weetabix in order to eat fruit. Heaven forbid you eat some fruit without first balancing it on a dry biscuit of wheatflakes. In one ad which features students, there's a girl pouring what she describes as chocolate milk over her weetabix. First of all the idea is disgusting, especially when you notice that said milk is coming out in lumps - ugh! Let's face it weetabix are never going to be interesting, they could make a far funnier ad out of that.

This lot seem to agree

Maybe one day I'll try weetabix cake

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Yes that is one of the pitfalls of blogging, using it solely as a soapbox to put the world to rights and generally moan about stuff - therapeutic though it is, it's not always that interesting or entertaining (though I know a few blogs that make it their raison d'etre). I know I do it sometimes, but I try to lighten the mood with something frivolous too...

just a random thought

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Friday, August 25, 2006

I have a soldering iron and time on my hands. Maybe I'll furnish my bedsit with one of these. Be sure to check out the video demo (though the DivX clip seems to be missing)

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This is funny. BBC news 24 gets someone into the studio called Guy Kewney to interview him live about music downloads or something, but inadvertently puts the guy's taxi driver in the hot seat. Here's the clip and here's an account of the incident by the guy who was meant to be interviewed. Oopsie!

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

fun with treadmills

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Paul Daniels (magician and millionaire husband of Debbie McGee) must know by now that there's a blog documenting his every transaction on ebay....

completely unrelated, I notice the Transporter is on the telly tonight. I hired that when it came out and it's okay as a bit of no-brain entertainment. I also hired Transporter 2 which was quite disappointing, mostly because Jason Statham only took his shirt off for a few brief seconds in the whole film and I was sure there'd be a whole scene of gratuitous flesh to behold. Now I see he has a new film out called Crank, which looks good but I need to know the flesh quotient before considering paying to see it....

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It's been a while but I made a new track. They never turn out quite the way I hoped - invariably too cheesy and proggy and not nearly high-brow enough but never mind eh, I think it works... If you want you can download it here. It was mixed on headphones and desktop speakers so the eq might be a bit off. I need to connect my hi-fi speakers to check that but I think it's probably okay for a demo. Let me know if you like it! (musos amongst you might be interested to note it's in 6/4 time - which is a pain in the arse when all your drumloops were programmed in 4/4)

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Finally I think I've found the perfect MP3 player!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

you can buy some weird things on ebay

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oops I did it again. In my compulsive search for the perfect MP3 player I bought another one on ebay from a guy in the US. The price was good even after the extra high postage cost. Today I had to cycle to the sorting office to get the package and pay an extra £8 in import tax - it's not far but I knackered myself out and will probably take a few days to recover. I wouldn't mind about that if the player wasn't faulty. Just like the last one I bought, it couldn't play most of the files I put on it and when I reconnected it to the computer most of the data was corrupt and couldn't be deleted or formatted. What a bugger. I have one which is almost identical but smaller capacity and works just great, if only I had one with more capacity. This is the third one I've bought that's gone wrong within days - to be honest I half expected. Perhaps I should give it up. It might save me some money...

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Monday, August 14, 2006

it's civilisation meltdown here at jetpack towers. Not only has my VCR packed up but now I have no TV reception either. I think the signal booster in the roof must have packed up or gone off which does happen occasionally and which is something I dread. It's very difficult to get the landlord to deal with such things and being stuck at home every day I neeeeed the TV to keep me company. I don't mind what's on as long as there are some talking heads to chat to me and not something I recorded earlier. It's silly really, but without TV it's absolutely horrible at home all the time. Plus of course I don't want to miss what happens on that reality show with all those housemates in that house - not that it's especially exciting at the moment. I just hopehopehope that I can get the lazy folks that maintain this dump to get the reception working again tomorrow. In the meantime I'm watching ITVplay streaming on the net. It's live from "Love Island" which is good actually - in a totally trashy way of course. I was disappointed they didn't have the live streaming on ITV this year. If I knew it was on the net I would have tuned in sooner. Ho hum, keeps me company in the wee small hours anyway even if it is that Sophie woman talking about herself all the time. I don't mind as long as Calum Best puts in an appearance from time to time.... Oh dear I sound so sad.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

oops I just got my first warning from Tiscali broadband about their fair usage policy. They ask you not to spend all the peak hours downloading large files because it impacts on the service they can offer to other users - which is fair enough. I'll have to be more careful. I spent all yesterday evening downloading 4 series of MTV's Newlyweds which was probably the last straw (don't laugh). If you don't heed their warnings you get to share bandwidth with all the other outlawed policy abusers and I want to avoid that if possible - but at least they don't just disconnect you...

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

ooh look, a (very healthy) torrent of 100 top hits from every year in the 80s - loads of nostalgia potential to be had. I managed to get a bunch of tracks I heard on and desperately wanted for my collection without having to pay through the nose for a scratched vinyl record on ebay. My current faves are "Oh Sheila" by Ready for the World and "Who's Johnny" by El Debarge - don't laugh!

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Monday, August 07, 2006

    "Theta DNA healing can be described as the practical application of applied quantum physics.

    Though luckily it is a technique that does not require an understanding of theory or scientific disciplines but is learnt through practice. Knowing how it works is not as important as doing it. Rather than using the rational, intellectual level of consciousness, it requires the development of flexibility and extension of consciousness.

    Theta DNA healing teaches a system that can be easily applied when practiced. Going beyond time and space, reaching the Source, the place of limitless possibilities, witnessing and co-creating reality, being the observer.
    What a truly miraculous system of healing and transformation Theta DNA is."
What would you do if your long-time friend excitedly told you that he was paying £75 for a session over the phone of this pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo bollocks for an anxiety condition? I was honest enough to tell him I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole but he's one of those people that likes all that fantastic stuff... but then I'm a Christian so can't really criticise (though unlike those fly-by-night money-spinning new age therapies, there's a complex ideology to Christianity which has been studied and discussed by scholars for thousands of years - which I think is an important distinction to make. And you're not expected to pay for Divine healing!)

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

well I don't have much to tell you except that I'm catsitting for my mum and dad this week, but I feel I need to post something in order to improve the atmosphere after my tirade about a certain popstar. You'll probably have realised I'm prone to these opinionated rants sometimes - but hey what are blogs for?!

I found a great blog (albeit in spanish) with loads of downloads of techno sets and DJ mixes. It's probably not that interesting to the casual music fan, and I'm not that obsessive about the more monotonous stuff but I do need a constant supply of changing auditory wallpaper and this is perfect for that.

Speaking of spanish, if you're teaching yourself a language you could do a lot worse than go to It's like a free online dictionary with exercises and drills to learn vocabulary and verb conjugations. There's even a section where you can browse foreign websites and it automatically gives you the translation of a word just by mousing over it - it's great. I've been getting back into my learning french lately, mostly thanks to the nice weather and needing something to read while sitting in the park.

Thirdly, if you're like me and fascinated by colourful easy-to-play and somewhat childish games like bust-a-move, then you must try Frozen Bubble. It's a free open source project which appears to be totally finished. Of course it's intended for Linux etc and they ask people not to use it on Windows (er, why? what if you're not a geek?) but there is a perfect windows port here - yay! I believe it has 100 levels or more but I ran out of stamina after 22 or so... There's another good freebie called Pharaoh's bubbles in which you have to beat the computer, so any bubbles he pops get added to your screen and vice versa, so you have to be quick!

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