Archive for February, 2011

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-27

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-20

Sunday, February 20th, 2011
  • Got Ubuntu running on the Joggler from a stick, with wireless keyb & mouse, last night. Maybe it could do a MythTV-like front-end as well? #
  • Toying with the idea of setting up a MythTV system to replace the TiVo. Hoping that the WAF is as good as it was with the TiVo. #
  • Eeek: Lots of red on our system monitor screens. #
  • I'm VERY unhappy that @TiVo and @virginmedia are screwing TiVo Series 1 UK Lifetime users by withdrawing EPG in June. @TiVoTips :Don't Buy. #

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TiVo = Boat Anchor

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Very sad and frustrating news today that the UK Series 1 TiVO users are to lose their program guide service later this year. For those of us that shelled out nearly four hundred quid for the box and another £200 for a lifetime subscription it really does feel like we’ve been shafted somewhat. I know a service can’t go on for ever, but I thought a lifetime might be more than nine years.

Although we’re being offered a replacement via Virginmedia, it’s not only wildly expensive, but you have to be in a VM Cable area. Where I am, in a prosperous town in the South East of the UK even that’s not possible to take advantage of (even if it had been financially attractive, which it isn’t).

I’m certainly not the only one who’s feeling aggrieved. Here’s hoping a roll-you-own service can be rigged up by the community – something that was always frowned on in the UK (understandably and rather gentlemanly not wanting to poach TiVo’s revenue stream) but has been seen in other territories. Time to get tougher, I guess.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-13

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-06

Sunday, February 6th, 2011
  • Fluff, the bluetit back is in the box ths evening. Jane was right, he must have been out clubbing! See him here: #
  • The blue tit isn't in the nest box this evening. First time he's stayed out all winter. Hope he's OK. #
  • About one third of the way through my Driver Improvement course. Practical session this afternoon. #

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Completed Driver Improvement

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

I’ve completed a Driver Improvement course today (which was mandated because of a prang last year). I was part of a group of about a dozen other trainees, undertaking the course at the behest of the Surrey Police – the option being possible prosecution for careless driving. On balance it was, I thought, worth the cost involved and the time out to see what it would entail – and how much I had forgotton, perhaps, the the thirty one years since I passed my driving test.

On balance it was actually rather informative – and the day of practical driving with an advanced instructor highlighted a few areas which need further work. The classroom session was a bit dreary – but there was a nice bunch of people to work through the exercises analysing situations and there were a few short but informative video snippets. I’m not convinced about the way the issues of speeding are presented – I think it’s just the wild over simplification and mixing up the physics of speed that annoy me. Have no doubt – the film of a car trying to stop in front of a dummy at various speeds was salutory nevertheless.

I enjoyed the practical sessions in the car – although trying to think what you did wrong yourself was pretty difficult – but the lack of attention to the speedo and occasional lapses of mirror work were pretty obvious. I really liked trying to do the commentary of what was going on ahead of you – although remembering the correct words to describe some of the signs (even though I knew what they meant) was jolly hard work. That’s something I can practice more in the future. The key is really to look even further ahead than you might ever do otherwise.

Overall I think the idea of “Training, not punishment” is pretty sound. Everyone of us came away feeling that they’d learnt something, and we all came away with more to aim for in the future to be a better driver.

Oh yes – Six Pounds for a pathetic ham sandwich was appalling. Zero marks to DeVere for that rip-off. White sliced bread (not that day’s delivery, I’m sure), pre-packed thin sliced ham, a bit of chutney and a pile of dorritos was not worth it.