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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Terry Wogan

I keep postponing this but I really wanted to write about how I would makemy version of that Sony TV PC, but instead I will have to write about Sir Terry Wogan instead who's sadly passed away from cancer.

Unlike David Bowie, who never influenced me in the slightest,  I listened to a lot of radio growing up as well as TV.  His chat show always seemed to be on at 7pm growing up there's a clip on line where David Icke fresh from Ski Sunday declared himself the son of god, and Blankety Blank where he was the excellent stand in for Les Dawson.  I'll miss him taking the absolute living piss out of Eurovision even though I can't stand it, and I'll miss him on Points of View (the BBC's complaints department show) where he was the voice of authority.

Really though its Radio Two I seem to remember him most.  He had a show on Sunday's after Steve Wright's Love Songs but before Inane Paige and her interminable show tune atrocity exhibition.  I can remember it come Children in Need they would have an auction and people would be spend thousands on ersatz junk just for charity sparking the old adage for fools and money.  As you can tell I absolutely hate Children In Need so it came as much hilarity that the subtitles on Sky News hung in a most unfortunate spot, apparently Terry Wogan spent his time doing Children In before belatedly resuming with the word need.  Really droll, and I'm sure he would have approved.

He also did the morning breakfast slot which was highly regarded but to be honest I  never listened to that much, as I was normally at work when it was on and we normally listen to something else.

His Janet and John stories were the best from that and if you like your innuendo you'll know how far he could push it and that.  Farewell old guy we'll miss you.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Nightmare scheduling.

It looks like Channel 5 are going to host the new reboot of The X Files sometime in early February.  Given their penchant for showing utter shit (Celebrity Big Brother) I fully expect this to be shunted off in the graveyard slot, or, at least like 10pm which they've done for Gotham also a Fox product.  To be honest who cares about reality TV now its all bollocks, just manufactured arguments dissent and shouting.  Mind you its not just Channel 5 that are up to scheduling shenanigans, to watch the new series of Agents of Shield that's 9pm on E4 (and yes it used to be on a mainstream channel, Channel 4 are too busy rerunning Come Dine With Me for the nth time) and Endeavour the excellent Inspector Morse prequel you'll need to either take advantage of their plus 1 channel or watch the rerun on Channel 4 the Sunday after. 

I know there are several catch up services available such as Demand 5, 4OD, ITV's wretched ITV Player (just like regular ITV but with no downloads) and the mighty iPlayer from the BBC.  I think Sky do one but as I haven't watched Sky One since last year I don't care. 

A good documentary on BBC4 (Richard "Trilobite" Fortey's Natures Wonderland Islands Of Evolution) on Monday clashes with the reboot of Bones and there are probably more examples of this.  I'm guessing that is why Sky Plus services exist. 

I've wrecked a few of these boxes in my time, they generally have a decent sized hard drive in them and with the right tools and such you can extract all free to air stuff to your hard disk for viewing.  If you have anything from film channels or any non free to air I'm guessing you are screwed, I've never heard of Sky's Encryption being hacked, so anything like that won't show up.  If you have an external bay you can then format the drive and use it for storage which is nice.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Here am I shitting in a tin can

David Bowie's Dead. One of rocks greatest and all that, a real end of an era.  I've never cared about the Thin White Duke's music when he was alive, and owned bugger all that I have liked (I have Cat People on vinyl, which he did for the film with Giorgio Moroder and I don't rate it much).  Don't get me wrong I did admire the guy but just not for his music, mostly his reinvention and ability to shape shift persona throughout the years more than the rock and roll.

There is another milestone here too, I have written enough entries that you can, if you must, read one a day for the entire year or wait till next Sunday and have one for each leap year, my guess is begin with my  Freecorder diss and work your way down from there, come next January you'll be wading through old Junk Tour entries.  Anyway back to Ziggy Stardust.

All the stuff I've heard I've never really rated, Under Pressure with Queen, I've always thought of that as more of Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.  Heroes reminds me of Aphex Twin and Phillip Glass version rather than Bowie himself.  Neukoln which is the first track I thought of as he died just makes me think of Miss Kittins Tribute Neukolln 2.

Even Starman and Major Tom Farting in a most peculiar way I know from Cassetteboy chopping it up for Parker Tapes.  The more I listen the more I find I prefer Bowie without Bowie, like those Garfield strips where they edit out Garfield and just have Jon talk to himself.

Ashes to Ashes, means to me an old cop show with Keeley Hawes same with Life on Mars but with Phillip Glenister instead. I'm sure if I didn't grow up listening to techno but Lets Dance instead I'd love all this but I find I can't get worked up. Omikron The Nomad Soul is probably the best thing he did along with maybe the Bowie drum n Bass tracks which used the same guy (thanks Discogs). Sound and Vision is something with 808 State or more likely their take on it kinda like their version of One In Ten from UB40. Yeah I only found out about this now scouring Discogs again.

Finally there's Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence the film where he played a p.o.w captain, he isn't in it but the song is cool.  Its done by Ryuichi Sakamoto from Y.M.O instead, who also starred in the film which says a whole lot.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Piracy and lies.

There's an excellent article up on El reg about Bird Sister a Chinese crypto forum admin and her woes with the people reversing the Just Cause 3 installer and how in a few years if it continues that there will be no pirated games. 

As far as a lost sales go, I'm mixed about piracy for one thing they can hurt sales of smaller games and can make or break companies.  On the other hand all I use my PC for is Emulation, surfing the net and making stuff.  Emulation means I don't need to own games that cost a fortune to own on niche systems, weren't released in my language or simply never came out.  It also relies on pirates releasing cracks and reversing copy protection to make it work and that as well as all those dumping carts and discs instead of the hoarders and the ignorant.  Its not just the impoverished or  those from emerging markets that like piracy. 

I forsee an inverse version of the early years of cinema and TV where the tapes were scrubbed and gotten rid of to make way for new era.  Except its modern games that are at risk instead of all the old roms and such. 

If what they say does come to pass I'd love to see what excuses companies come up with why their major triple A title isn't selling as well as it should. Blame the resale market or anything that their games are over priced or simply not good enough.

I did do a brief moan on how piracy might save the PS Vita but apart from a few bits involving the email or Sony Development via Yifan Lu there hasn't been much, let alone stuff about dumping carts or ISO's.

As a final note I finally found Disgaea Afternoon of Darkness in the wild and snapped it up, its not bad but could do with a bigger font, oh and is overshadowed by its sequel on PSP as well.  I did the only thing I could, dumped it and ripped it to ISO to slap on my memory card.

Sunday, 3 January 2016


Or to give it its proper name the Sony Vaio TV-PC VGC-V617V a hefty mix of the two, looking like a flat screen TV on steroids complete with a monster base panel.  For the curious there are full specs here at CNET,  its also bundled with a GeForce FX Go 5700 Graphics Card From Nvidia and some Sony SoundMax Integrated Digital Audio as their bundled onboard soundcard.

If you are wondering why I'm making a mention of this now, it was thrown out at work and decided to haul this home as a good replacement of a similarly spec XP machine that drove my scanner and printer. The downsides in this are a few actually, the wireless keyboard and mouse that it came with was absent, but it worked wonderfully with a USB keyboard and mouse also scavenged.  The main draw back is the screen which has some weird graphical corruption due to a hardware fault, its not entirely a deal breaker as its not going to be used everyday, but I don't think its going to be a cheap fix if I do decide to get it looked at. Also its a bastard to get into more later.

For reasons that are entirely my own I decided to put linux on to it to see if Mint would run and the results are universally awful.  We burned a live CD of Mint XFCE as well as Linux Lite and the horrible Damn Small Linux and had the same awful experience with all of them.

Mint took about 40 minutes to initialize from a live CD (Petra) to full on screen corruption and its older incarnation Olivia failed to initalise.  Linux live did the same but giving us a pointer to play with and bugger all else, while DSL just hung at the intro screen.

I haven't tried lube buntu as yet, as I hate the Ubuntu interface but safe to say I don't think it'll work, so its not worth torrenting an iso of this.

I did allude to difficulties getting into the actual back of this as opposed to my old PC that went out of its way to provide ease of opening (and we added Mint without any problems). A picture paints a thousand words as they say.
Hard drive is of course located in the base.
You can see at the top there is a hard drive crammed into the base panel with a few bits and pieces at the back.  The only way in is to remove the base panel and then a small cover.  There is no real way to pull this off without full on demolition and the screws they had covering in this were horrible  and had to be replaced with some old screws from an old hard drive bay.  Its a reasonable 200GB model in there just with no way of getting it out without some violence.

RAM plate cover.
I never did get the back plate off of this to see inside.  Apart from the cover up there and the main cover which needed to be slid up and yanked to reveal a button to come away, undoing all the screws on this had no effect.  It had 512 meg of DDR ram in this and that is about it.  I added my usual care package of malware removers and spec programs  to look over what was on there but apart from some drivers and a clip or two of lesbian porn there was nothing of note.  All the software noted in the top most link was absent apart from MS Office 2003 Student Edition, and that didn't count as I found a boxed copy a few weeks back. 

As I said its a telly as well but with analogue cut off now and the screen as it is I won't be testing this out as it has ports for audio out and a proper aerial port.