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If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...

At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:

More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Tuesday September 27 2005 at 18:44 GMT [via mobile]

My entry for the 2006 London Marathon is now in the mail. It happens just two days before I turn 30, so fingers crossed my entry makes it through the ballot and I\'ve got a few days in London. Training has resumed apace, and the cross-country season begins a week on Sunday. Muddy fun ahead!

My entry for the 2006 London Marathon is now in the mail. It happens just two days before I turn 30, so fingers crossed my entry makes it through the ballot and I've got a few days in London. Training has resumed apace, and the cross-country season begins a week on Sunday. Muddy fun ahead!

Monday September 26 2005 at 23:21 GMT

Over the years I've been asked many, many times how to set up ADSL (and cable broadband) connections. These days wireless is normally thrown in there for good measure. Whilst it's kept me in beer and toys over the years, I reckon if I whack something on here, a bunch of people will benefit and those who'd like me to set them up will still be happy to pay me.

My preference has always been ADSL because, historically, cable didn't offer a fixed IP address (required for tech fun). If you go cable, remember you don't need to get an ADSL modem as part of your hardware; you just need a wireless router.

So, here's what to do:

  1. first, you need to check you can get ADSL. Check here by sticking you postcode in. If you're in luck, move on. If not, check out how close you are.
  2. next, you need an ISP. This does not need to be BT! My preference is Zen. They're not the cheapest, but they are excellent. I've been with them for almost four years, and I am picky. There's no need to just take my word for it though: do your own comparison here. If Zen's pricing is a little rich for your tastes, have a look at Metronet, who provide a pay-as-you-go service, starting from GBP 11.75/month. In an eat your own dogfood styleee, my parents are on Metronet. You think I want calls from them demanding to know why their connection is down at 3am whilst they're listening to the latest Archers episode? Exactly,which is why I can recommend Metronet too. If you're offered the choice when ordering, all you need is a single IP address. Don't worry about the other options.
  3. once your ADSL is ordered, you'll need some hardware (I never buy any hardware from the ISP). My proven path has been to see what Netgear are offering, then purchase from Insight. My preference right now is for the DG834G with some WG511 cards. Why Netgear? Their stuff simply works, plus it looks good. Why Insight? Their prices are decent, they have stock and they deliver the next day. Plenty of other places sell the stuff (check Froogle), just don't come crying to me when the kit you're dying to receive is 'still in warehouse'. On a side note, if you're tempted to skip the wireless part, hold your horses. True, the price difference is about twenty quid, but at some point (soon) you're going to need wireless. Really. I've seen it happen, multiple times. Just buy it now. Stopping messing around, you can easily turn it off until you need it.
  4. once you get your shiny box, apply the microfilters and plug the box in. Yes, even before the line is officially ready. BT are fans of saying it will take 7 business days, then turning everything on the next weekend. DO make sure you change the admin password on your shiny box and also the SSID (your wireless network name), and don't make the two the same!
  5. pop the wireless cards into your PCs (after turning the firewall ON) and you should be good to go.

Simple, eh. If you live in Edinburgh and need help, let me know and we can discuss rates. All I do is what it says above. Hey, I just saved you loads of hassle. Amn't I nice. :-D

Friday September 23 2005 at 14:26 GMT [via mobile]

As Rich said, Burts Crisps tell you who made them, as well as which field the potatoes came from.

As Rich said, Burts Crisps tell you who made them, as well as which field the potatoes came from.

Tuesday September 20 2005 at 18:51 GMT

It's been a while since I properly blogged. Work is busy...

Monday September 19 2005 at 17:20 GMT [via mobile]

For Christmas, Hazel gave me a present to go driving at Knockhill, the only racing circuit in Scotland. Naturally, I couldn\'t go alone, so we both went at the weekend. It was excellent fun, just not long enough. Each driver was assessed, and a prize given for the best driver. No prizes for guessing who took the trophy (and it wasn\'t me)...

For Christmas, Hazel gave me a present to go driving at Knockhill, the only racing circuit in Scotland. Naturally, I couldn't go alone, so we both went at the weekend. It was excellent fun, just not long enough. Each driver was assessed, and a prize given for the best driver. No prizes for guessing who took the trophy (and it wasn't me)...

Wednesday September 14 2005 at 09:19 GMT

Too many friends

It's finally happened -- I've got 300 people in my Yahoo! Messenger friends list ... and can't add any more. Russ, please help.

Tuesday September 13 2005 at 01:16 GMT [via mobile]

My most wonderful girlfriend bought me Scrubs series 1 on DVD for my birthday. My addiction was mildly lessening after days of compulsive viewing, and then series 2 came out ... and the same day that same lovely girlfriend bought it for me. That ROCKS!

My most wonderful girlfriend bought me Scrubs series 1 on DVD for my birthday. My addiction was mildly lessening after days of compulsive viewing, and then series 2 came out ... and the same day that same lovely girlfriend bought it for me. That ROCKS!

Tuesday September 13 2005 at 00:51 GMT [via mobile]

In general I do my best to minimise the amount of cash I spend in supermarkets, preferring smaller, local shops, but tonight Viv & I took a trip to the 24hour Tesco. Microwave meals are long gone, it seems, with meal solutions taking their place.

In general I do my best to minimise the amount of cash I spend in supermarkets, preferring smaller, local shops, but tonight Viv & I took a trip to the 24hour Tesco. Microwave meals are long gone, it seems, with meal solutions taking their place.

Monday September 5 2005 at 23:58 GMT [via mobile]

After the crisps & ginger beer, something healthier. My dentist advised me to go electric in the toothbrushing department. This bad boy, the Philips Sonicare Elite 7800 Professional, not only does normal electric toothbrush things, it also does some sonic-style cleaning to keep my teeth healthy. Word!

After the crisps & ginger beer, something healthier. My dentist advised me to go electric in the toothbrushing department. This bad boy, the Philips Sonicare Elite 7800 Professional, not only does normal electric toothbrush things, it also does some sonic-style cleaning to keep my teeth healthy. Word!

Monday September 5 2005 at 23:38 GMT

The last few things I saw at the festival this year were:

  • Jump, where comedy meets martial arts which was pretty good. As a side note, it was in the same hall that I graduated in
  • The Pixies at Meadowbank Stadium, which was OK, although I felt they missed a lot of their great hits. Many people disagreed with me.
  • the end of Festival fireworks, which Hazel and I watched in Inverleith Park. Nice touch: some of the Farmers Market people were there selling burgers. Poor show: I had now money due to requiring a taxi to the event, so couldn't get a burger. Redeeming event: Hazel had made me some food, and also had chilli cheese in the fridge, although I think the cat was eating it this time. ;-)
So, that's it all over for another year. Town is definitely quieter this week, as expected. I really enjoyed August this year!

Sunday September 4 2005 at 19:09 GMT

On Friday, Hazel and I went to the Dominion Cinema, just up the road from my flat, got ourserlves some beers, a big sofa and watched Crash.

The film is absolutely incredible, and is highly recommended (on the Hazel-o-meter, it gets a 'stayed awake for the entire film', which is 6 out of 5 stars in anyone else's book ;-). It's all about racial tensions in LA which may not float your boat normally, but seriously go and see it. You will not be disappointed.

Friday September 2 2005 at 17:02 GMT [via mobile]

Better known for rum, this bottle caught my eye at lunchtime.

Better known for rum, this bottle caught my eye at lunchtime.

Friday September 2 2005 at 16:23 GMT [via mobile]

That\'s probably a good name for a band -- something electronic. They were interesting crisps. The UK seems to have a proliferation of crazy flavours and crisp makers. Is it the same elsewhere?

That's probably a good name for a band -- something electronic. They were interesting crisps. The UK seems to have a proliferation of crazy flavours and crisp makers. Is it the same elsewhere?

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