Wednesday, 30 December 2015

New but annoying

My old faithful Samsung 40inc beastie which has served me well since I  arrived in NL has been troubled of late with a nasty splodge in the middle of the screen, which apparently cannot be fixed, don't know exactly what the cause is, but it gives actors a slight ruddy complexion or maybe a breard, depending on the lighting.

It seemed to be worse after my return from the UK, so I decided I better get a new set which the Xmas bonus had not yet been spend on a new Gibson or Fender

A bit of a shop around and I ordered a Phillips PFK557509 a massive beast of a telly 55 or your actual inches in diameter.

It arrived very swiftly and on time with amazing real time on line tracking, and I swiftly unpacked it from its ginormous box, which at first had me worried they'd delivered an 80" one.

A bit of reshuffling of TV boxes later and purchase of a slightly longer than 8" satellite cable, since it has a satellite decoder in it too.
And I sat down to watch, and listen to something quite wonderful

It's big, I think I mentioned before, its full HD also high frequency, compared to my older set which was no HighFreq...

The higher frame rate makes movies seem incredibly realistic, lighting and shade don't seem to work as well as the traditional blurry 24fps you see in the cinema, a bit like when I watched The Hobbit in Hi Freq.

it takes a bit of getting used to but the size and quality of the image is amazing.

The Sound too is awesome but odd, with a wireless subwoofer now sitting under my seat as well, I get something quite amazing in terms of rumble

It has inbuilt wifi so easy to hook up to my network, which  in turn means Netflix is available and no more need for my Chromecast device, though I will probably keep it installed

Installing satellite is really slow and I need to try to work out how to keep them in a nice order, I'm not abandoning my Humax freesat box but this gives me another tuner to work with..and the picture is amazing :D

But I get my freesat channels and probably loads that's cool.

Ambilight is an odd idea, LED's at the back of the set change colour and project to the wall at the back of the set, but somehow it works really might annoy me later but for now, I am loving it,.

Annoying comes from the fact that the menus and set ups are painfully bad, once set up its ok but wow...someone needs to get a course or 2 in GUI design.

anyway, will now continue with my setting up. I can also include my Ziggo cable and if I plug in a USB drive I can also save and record programs...quite amzing. TV tech really has come on a lot in the last few years.


Saturday, 26 December 2015

Me time, can be expensive

Lucky there is Primark to keep the cost down.

I've bought my new winter wardrobe, couple of jackets and jeans, lots of shirts a few jumpers and the new Mission Impossible vid, and didn't break 200quid...amazing :D

Ermm I also managed to take a trip to Ramsbottom to meet Pat at Mad Dog Guitars, what a lovely chap, he's got his own range of really nice guitars, low prices and a wee bit hit and miss on quality from the makers, the good ones are amazing, but there's a few less good ones, but still super value,  but he's doing a fine job setting them up to be a good solid buy. I couldn't resist buying one of his absurdly cheap Jumbo's, it was just so nice to play. Even though for me the strings were a bit light. I think this may be the actual one I bought here..

I need to add a pickup to it at some point though but I think this will be brilliant for my new ToneWoodAmp fx unit when it gets here..hoping it will be there soon after I get back.

MadDogGuitars Jumbo acoustic.
A little vid of the Jumbo filmed last week with Roger Crombie in the MadDogGuitars shop in Ramsbottom. Guitar is solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, Rosewood fingerboard, bone nut and saddle. £179 inc free postage. Cheers Pat 07715572304
Posted by Maddog Guitars on Monday, 12 October 2015

One odd thing though I've really buggered my shoulder and today my neck, I think it sfrom changing gear with  my left hand again...can't think of anything else.
Really is absurdly painful and can't raise my left arm above shoulder height...hope to fuck it settles down soon, Nicked some of mums Co-codomal to keep it under control...might need to go see the sadist Chinese masseuse when I get home...must be bad to even consider that!


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Baby puke and sleeping

Harvey 2 is, so cute, got to feed him last night, and even though  I burped him, he promptly threw up all over my trousers and into my big glass of orange juice.

So..damn cute!!

:D :D :D :D


Friday, 18 December 2015

Wonderful week

Well that was a pretty wonderful week. Starting with wonderful baby news, hearing my daughters voice on the phone gushing about the new baby and telling me all about her uncomfortable women's medical problems...she's not shy..booby feeding is now my new favourite medical term.

Then back at home, fantastic rehearsal and even more amazing gig at the NHTV Christmas party, where pretty much everyone was up on the floor, we got so much good feedback, even for the Christmas songs we really hate.....but they went down ok.

New singer Maria has really settled in now and the combinations of the full set of 3 female vocals in harmony is fucking stunning, real hair on end stuff that had me and the other bandmates beaming with came through on the night for sure.. What a band, we really go from strength to strength.

The book is actually starting to take shape, 10,000 words, 4 chapters in I read it back to myself the other night and its bloody good stuff, still need another 30 or so chapters but I think it might be a good working resource when its done.

Lovely quiet birthday with lots of good wishes and even an on time Birthday card from mum...I was invited out by everyone but chose to have a nice quiet and relaxing evening in, just one glass of wine. Bliss.

And now..its Christmas, work is done,  time to have a well earned rest, go see Danni and spend a bit of time in the UK catching up with family and friends.

I have wi-fi in the B&B so will update if there's anything worth posting..for now, time to go make some crappy music videos and pack a bag.

Merry Chrimbo


Thursday, 17 December 2015

so many nice people

One thing I try very hard to maintain is keeping my facebook open only to people I actually know.
There's one or 2 hobby followers, a few mad guitar players but 98% of the people on there are people I actually know, work with, socialise with or have worked with or socialised with.. I don't do the collect a friend, first to 1000 gets to win at Yahtzee (South Park mum, you won't have seen it)

So its especially nice to see over 100 birthday wishes from people I know

I was hoping that there was a 1-1000 chance that someone in particular would try to connect with me today, but the hint wasn't taken....maybe next year.

At least I won't be alone at Christmas, I get to go see Danni and her new addition.. Time to spend that Xmas bonus on someone other than me.


Saturday, 12 December 2015

I'm a grandad, even if I am far too young and cute

Well that was a nail biting 24 hours. After the message that baby Harvey was on the way, I had to endure radio silence for 24 hours. I barely slept hoping to get a phone call, and was on tenter hooks all day at work, but nothing.

Finally after my mum also started to get a bit stressed out with the lack of info from anyone, I called the hospital who eventually put me through to the labour ward.

Who then said they could not tell me anything about what had happened, but that she was no longer in the labour ward.

WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!! do you mean "what happened"....."what happened???" I was very stressed, even though of course in the interests of confidentiality they were 100% right to tell me that they could not say anything, but "what happened" is a foreboding term...

Sensing my extreme discomfort at that expression, the person on the line, tried to reassure me that its ok, she's fine...phew...and the baby.... Sorry I can't say anything about that...ok ok ok..slightly less stressed but clearly not the answer I wanted as I held back tears.

Can you get a message to her to call her father, so I can let the other family members know they are all ok.

Of course, I'll get a message to them...phew..

And so began the longest 10 mins of my life as I waited to hear...checking on Danni's whatsapp to make sure that her phone was on again, and suddenly there was a read confirmation of my last 3, please contact me messages.

I tried calling but no joy....
Told mum on messenger that I 'd tried calling
tried whatsapping a hello, no response

Then finally a call, from Kieran, Dannis' fella....Sorry the signal in the hospital is crap, Danni asked to pop outside and let me know that she's ok.
Through a broken connection the words, difficult labour, a breech birth, delivered by forceps...(wow that's unusual), but the key words finally came.

"Both are fine and now resting."

Cue floods of tears..and virtual hugs for all 3 of them.
"Will send pic soon"

The feelings of joy at that moment cannot be captured in words..

I don't have all the usual details, like length, weight, time, those will come, "Both are fine and now resting", was all I wanted to hear.

Happy glorious wonderful words....

I got the picture a few hours later, I was sat in a pub quiz I'd been roped into with my friend Richard from The Gadgeteers and burst into tears....followed by lots of back slapping
She made me promise not to post pics online, so I can't show it here...but trust me, he's beautiful

have to go..need to buy more tissues.


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Baby on way

Danni's in Labour....oh this is exciting, and scary...I'm bursting with pride...can't wait to hear that my little Grandson and my lovely Daughter and her shitting bricks fella are all one big happy family

watch this space...


Still no writing a book

She's still not popped, and she's getting very fed of up me asking if she I'll back off for a bit.

In other news, I've started to document my learning process on the Raspberry Pi, which I am learning to use so that I can give some talks on at uni. quite a few of them want to do assembly coding and cross platform remote development. So the Pi was chosen to make that possible...and your's truly has been the one working it all out.

Since this was my 1st experience with the Pi as an actual target device for programming, it struck me it was a good idea to try to share that experience with others who may be starting out on the machine
After collating a few of my notes I realised I had the basics of a tutorial I've always want to do.

Combining my 1st year starting programming courses with later more advanced, working on consoles.

The Pi isn't a console of course but the process with you work with it using a remote dev machine and VisualGBD to allow you to use Visual Studio, is basically the same so it could be a good introduction to the methods of working I usually use when doing PS4 work without actually having access to a PS4 which of course is the situation for most home coders. A cheap pretend console might be a good way to provide some tips to new coders so that when they come across real consoles the methods are not totally alien to them, even if the software and SDK's are.

Depending on where you look the machine appears to be more powerful than a Nintendo GameCube and on par with a PS2 or original Xbox. There were some amazing games on those machines, so if I can get a working framework together built on OpenGL ES2.0 I'll be a very happy man.

Anyway, no idea if it will end up as anything worth reading, but I have been partially inspired by one of my students who gifted and signed for me a copy of his 2nd edition of a book on Mine craft modding.

If I document my whole journey, from the frustration of getting it working to having that 1st OpenGL ES triangle displayed, to creating a framework to make a few of my 1st year games. It should pad out to a few hundred pages of semi interesting stuff.

I'll have to also break out the dormant 3D skills to write a framework that can cope with models and scenes, but that might be a 2nd book.

Having a book published also takes off a bit of academic pressure I get from time to time over not having a masters degree. so another good reason. Money isn't one of the other reasons, apparently tech books don't really make much cash, or hot the top of the best seller list often, but if I can get it out, I think it will be nice to say I'm an author...even if the plot is a bit dull and the butler probably does it at the end.

Anyway, time to ask if she's popped yet?


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Stll no baby

that is all


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Not looking forward to it...

Yup December is here again...the inexorable countdown to Christmas.....I hate it, especially on my own...but it simply holds no real joy for me...


That by the time it comes I should be a granddad to a lovely little bouncing boy....he's due any day now, and I'm going to spend Xmas over in the UK with my new babba and his mum and dad.

So any day now....I have the most wonderful photo of Danni, ready to pop, but she does not want me posting it on line, which is fine, I've shown it to almost every one I know  and will print it out and frame it, along with the soon to come 1st photo of her and Harvey...yup,,,same name as my dog...not going to let that confuse me...I might end up throwing tennis balls for a 2 week old....

She's also asked me not to post pics of Harvey....and I will honor her request until she says otherwise....wont' stop me taking 100's of them though :D

exciting Christmas....who'd have thunk!!