Friday 27 April 2007

Birmingham to Dundee flights!

Well, I guess if they're not going to fly from Kidlington Airport, this is the next best thing.

A Polish airline, White Eagle Aviation, will be operating a service from Birmingham to Dundee, booking through the website (not yet operational). If the prices are reasonable, this will be great! I will save so much time on my journeys home that it would be worth paying much more extra. I could even ride my bike to Birmingham Airport and leave it there.

Maybe I'll see if I can get myself on the maiden voyage and get a frequent flyer card!

Maybe because I blogged nicely about them to give the publicity they can give me some free flights and I will mention them again and again every time I use them? Maybe I will email them to offer them this great opportunity.

I'll have to plant a few trees to off-set the carbon emissions.

Sunday 22 April 2007

Ocean & Collins

I often end up comparing my home town, Dundee, to where I currently live, Oxford. They're both about the same size and have two universities, but that's about where the similarities end.

I love living in Oxford, but I've decided it totally sucks for one particular thing - clubbing!

Luckily I'm not a huge clubber, or I would probably hate living in Oxford. Last night, I made my long overdue first visit to Ocean & Collins. The people I know that have been either loved it (Miguel) or hated it (pretty much everyone else I know who has ever dared set foot in the place).

I can now declare that I fall into the latter category.

It's basically a big room, with no atmosphere.

Some clubs have smoke machines on the dancefloor, or sometimes have bubble machines. Ocean & Collins don't go for any of that boring rubbish - they have a layer of broken glass to dance on! Brilliant - add the element of danger to your dancing - fall and you will lacerate yourself! I was probably about 2cm taller when on the dance floor with the amount of glass embedded in my shoes. At one point a guy came onto the dance floor, kind of pushed me out the way, then started sweeping up some glass. Quite futile. I held up my foot so he could scrape some of the glass of me too.

Maybe it would be an idea to ban bottles from the dancefloor?

Dundee is no clubbing Mecca, but, expanded commercial sell-out that it might be, Fat Sams is a decent "large" club and London is also quite good (I'm really talking about them as venues - I'll make no comment on clientèle and music).

...and I still remember the good ol' days in the Mardis Gras... not forgetting the Student Union where I spent most of my student days. It's been completely refurbished since I was there and is quite a modern club venue now. I reckon it's probably lost of of it's "student" charm. The shape of the old Liar Bar, whilst completely impractical, was great for me and Kev to go on "tours".

Ahhh those nostalgic student days...

Saturday 21 April 2007

Pirates on the Cherwell!

Pirates on the Cherwell!
Originally uploaded by major_grooves.
It wasn't even International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Oxford City Council Pretend Recycling

What is the point of trying to recycle in Oxford? The council don't care. What they have cleverly done is set-up a "pretend" recycling scheme, whereby they hand out recycling boxes and leaflets and then never, ever bother come to collect the recycling. Genius!

Our recycling hasn't been collected since way back in January. When I complained at first I was told it was because there was a new recycling scheme and I needed a blue box. Well why not tell me that instead of just leaving the recycling you dumbasses?

So I get a blue box and put all the tin cans into. Ooh - now we can even recycle plastic stuff (PET1 and PET2). We got our blue box around the 26th of January - and it has not been collected since. The green box with glass and paper still gets collected.

I've made three phone calls to Oxford Council about it. Each time they tell me they will look into it as a priority and get back to me. LIARS! They've never got back to me and my recycling box is still full.

I'm perfectly prepared to accept that I could have done something wrong. Perhaps I've committed some heinous recycling crime, like left a label on a tin can or something. It's a new system - if people do things wrong they need to be told. Not just ignored.

Well, I can only presume that this is all part of Oxford "bloody useless" Council's clever pretend recycling scheme.

We'll stop trying to recycle now. We'll just chuck everything in the main bin. Serves us right for bothering to try.

Thursday 19 April 2007

Upload and Download speeds

I'm going to have to ask Curtis what this means...

I don't think it's very good - and it's smuch lower than the last time I tried it.

Test your internet connection speed using the tool linked from the image.

Last time I did it I got a download speed of 395Kb!

I just repeated it - download is the same - upload is huge!

What gives?

Monday 16 April 2007

Fake HT820

Yup, as suspected, my Motorola HT820 is totally fake. :(

Sunday 15 April 2007

Ebay fingers burnt

I think I might have had my fingers burnt on Ebay.

I bought a Motorola HT820 bluetooth headset from a seller in Hong Kong, intending to use them with my Nokia N95 for wireless music listening. Unfortunately there is so much sound pausing that they are nearly unusable.

There is a good guide to getting over this problem here, but reading it does also lead me to think that my headset is either a fake, or a refurbishment. There are traces of glue at the connection to the earpieces, there is no designation/serial number on them, and I can't get it to enter flash mode so that I can even try the above linked fix.

So although I got them cheap - I don't think I've got the real deal. I've emailed the guy to tell him I think they are fake/refurbs, and I have asked for my money back. I suspect he will ignore me and I will have to escalate this with Ebay.

Family visit etc

Mum, Dad and Andrew came down to visit over the Easter weekend. Highlights included one of the best meals I have ever had at Brasserie Blanc in Jericho and a trip to Pendon Museum. See the photos from the weekend (Wendy was with us but she's shy so I have to remove any pics with her in).

Also this week I took a quick trip to Budapest, Hungary, for work, but I didn't take any photos and I was there for less than 24h so there's not much to report.

Saturday 14 April 2007

seeds, peers and leeches

Oops, sorry for not posting for a while! me bad!

I've been trying out using BitTorrent to download some TV programmes. To be honest I don't really know anything about downloading files, so I think I am doing it like a complete n00b. I'm using µTorrent and so far I've had to change my connection so that port handling is done manually. Nope, I don't really know what that means either, but I found some instructions for how to do it online and I can now download some files fairly quickly.

I don't actually advocate just downloading movies and TV programmes for free. These programmes cost money and someone has to pay for them. I still think that if we want to see quality movies or TV programmes get made, then we have to accept that we have to watch adverts, or pay to go to the cinema.

So I'm a hypocrite? All I want to download is TV programmes that I've missed on regular TV. I've missed the last two episodes of Prison Break and the last episode of Life on Mars. I can't find anywhere to legally download them so I turned to the BitTorent.

Unfortunately as I mentioned I am a bit of a n00b at this, so, so far, I have managed to download one episode of Prison Break... in Spanish and an episode of Life on Mars where the sounds isn't synched with the video. Bah! I did manage to download another episode of Prison Breaks which seems fine but it is the second one!

I do have a DVD of Borat to watch tonight... but the freakin' TV died this morning!

I suppose I can be grateful the toilet isn't blocked too...

edit/ I downloaded DivX player and now Life on Mars plays fine!

Monday 2 April 2007

miguel 1 - steve 0

miguel 1 - steve 0
Originally uploaded by major_grooves.
Another Scottish loss against the Dutch. This time the stakes were much higher than some poxy game of football or cricket. Steve orders new phone in advance and arranges transfer to new network. Steve still has on new phone. Miguel walks into O2 and gets an upgrade for the price of a McChicken sandwich. Bah! Even more worrying is that i now blog about myself in the third party. Pic is of shrunken head in Pitt Rivers museum oxford.