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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Saturday, 24 February 2007

overambitous? A spectrum of delights..

Much of the non-work part of this week has been spent in the studio - unfortunately, I've not really been as productive as I'd like (why is it that the music in my head vanishes when sat in front of a keyboard?) I should be a little more proactive - perhaps a little more uninhibited, too - and take the opportunity to hum, 'la' or mumble into my iRiver when the muse strikes! I'm working on a few projects at the moment.. there's a song I've been working on for a little while (the melody, chords and words are there but I think I've bitten off a little more than I can chew with the arrangement; I don't really write many slower tempo songs, and I want it to be a powerful rock track).. then, of course, there's the long-neglected podcast... I'm also involved in the Audio & Music Festival's radio station, which - although it'll be fun - I have a rather ambitious feature I'd like to produce. Not to mention the jingles.. and another one-off project that's in the pipeline...

With all these interesting and creative things to do, I find myself wondering why I find myself pootling with things that aren't really important.. take, for example the TV tuner card that was surplus to requirements during a computer upgrade. I've been looking into using VLC's excellent streaming abilities to broadcast TV onto the computers around the house.. I finally got it working (using Christopher's PC, since it's next to the telly cabinet, and the video out of the VCR) just before the children went to bed...typical!

With the proceeds of a recent eBay sale (did I mention that I'm intending to leave it a long time before I do that again?) I have finally succumbed to the lure of a memory upgrade for the Mac Mini. 512MB was never going to be enough to support two simultaneous sessions, especially with all the other bits and bobs running in the background. I've also bought a larger hard disk to use as external, network-based storage. Getting it formatted (which I need to do, since it's an external drive, and OS X can't do it over USB) has been something of a challenge, though, since the Macs to which I have easy access at work are too old to support hard drives of greater than 128GB (d'oh!)

Whch reminds me.. I must create an inventory of all the Mac software that I have installed and cherish (not least because I'll have to install them all again if anything dreadful happens!)

Wow.. tedious blog entry, this, isn't it? Unfortunately, I'm going through rather a geeky stage in my life at the moment - it's really great to be keeping up-to-date with all the latest technology, but it's a kind-of 'stay at home' hobby, I suppose...

I think this might, in no small part, be due to the fact that a major part of my job at the moment is customer liaison - either answering the phones (just what one might imagine a supervisor's role is!) or sorting out the pickles the department seems to find themselves in more and more often these days. Consequently, when I'm away from work, I've not really got the energy for interaction with anyone except for family and close friends... sad, isn't it!

Speaking of work - and the last bit of housekeeping before the links, honest! - I 'd like to bring this to your attention. The Government are currently planning a bit of a reshuffle of the radio frequency spectrum allocations - the list of who gets to use what frequencies. One of the ideas is to capitalise on some potentially lucrative frequency ranges, one of which is currently used for radio microphones. This could result in the use of standard, previously licence-free microphones being illegal.. you'd be surprised how many places this could affect (from churches to West End Theatres).

Hot on the heels of the rather popular Road Charging petition, someone has created one for this particular issue, and I'd really appreciate it if - after careful consideration - you and anyone you know who might be interested would sign it.

It's here: petitions.pm.gov.uk/PMSEspectrum

Eenough of this doom - time for some cheery and odd links!

Links of the day:

  • invisiblerecordarchive.blogspot.com : You can never have too many collections of strange music. No, honestly!
  • luton.gumtree.com : I was having a look at some old blog entries and linked to a 'new' venture by - this is the result.. disappointing, isn't it!
  • www.le.ac.uk/cc/dsss/docs/print-driver.shtml#lan : since more and more PCs are being built without parallel ports (and floppy drives!) getting your old printer to work with it will need extra bits to be bought to make it work. If you've got a router with a mult-port hub, you can pick up a second-hand HP JetDirect print server for less than a tenner on eBay.. it's really easy to set up on XP, and this is how... It's what I've done with Beth's parents' printer (when I have time to install it!)
  • Posted by james at February 24, 2007 10:06 PM

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