Category Archives: Tech

Corsair Customer Service – there are good people in the world

I had a Corsair 1GB Flash Voyager USB drive, and had been using it for a few months. It has a keyring loop, so thats exactly what i used it for – putting it on the end of my keys. Anyway, after a month the cap got loose and i kept losing it (but luckily finding it again). This was annoying, but not the end of the world as the thing still worked. However, after having the keys hanging off it a few times, the usb connection started to get loose. Then eventually it snapped off…

Obviously this was a bit annoying, however you can pick up USB keys dirt cheap these days, so I wasnt too worried! But i thought i’d try and RMA it anyway. So i got an RMA number and sent it back by the cheapest post to the USA (which was about £1.20). A couple of weeks later I get a brand new sealed one back, delivered by UPS!

I’d half expected them to turn around and say it was physical damage, therefore my problem. So I just wanted to say thanks to Corsair – there still are some companies with good customer service in the world (yes, you should take note Bulldog!).

I did a stupid thing…

Today, i got a new hard disk. It didnt work, so i ran a diagnostic tool for Western Digital drives. It came out ok, but I decided to write 0’s to the drive at the start and end to clear it, just in case. Who knows why. It shouldnt have been a problem. But it was. I had the wrong drive selected. Instead of running the test and the clear on my new disk, it was running on my old hard disk, the one I boot from. This is a Western Digital drive too. Crap.
Now I have no windows boot partition.
Im an idiot 🙁

LocateTV – a revolution in Online TV Searching?

Through a random series of events unfolding (thanks John), and a few e-mails being sent, I last night attended the launch of the pivate beta of a new website – LocateTV.

In their own words: “The idea behind LocateTV is simple – to let you find TV shows available where you live in the world, be they on broadcast TV, online or on recorded media (DVD, HD-DVD etc).”

The project is still in the beta stages – and rightly so – there are still a large number of bugs, but the basic concept is definately an interesting one, and one that I personally feel has a lot of potential. With the release of the BBC iPlayer (for better or worse), 4onDemand and various other online TV watching choices, it is soon going to be common place for people to go online to watch their favorite (or not so favorite) TV shows. With so many services all pumping this stuff onto the net, how are you going to know where to look for it? Maybe it isnt on the net yet, but is going to be on Freeview in 2 days time? The idea behind LocateTV is to group all of this together in one easy to search location. And for the most part, it works. In addition, if the show you are looking for is not on TV any time soon, it’ll allow you to price check the best DVD prices.

It’s not exhaustive at the moment (I couldnt find The Tomorrow People on there) – but it’s not finished. In addition, the search needs a bit of work – searching for Angel gives me a lot of people named Angelica, but not the TV series I want, and sometimes you will get two versions of the same site – but these are all kinks that will be ironed out over time, and hopefully in time for the launch.

There is also an option to embed all this information on your own blog/forum/site using a standardised dynamic graphic, that will update to track your favorite show, actor or whatever. At the moment, this is a large clunky graphic, but I was told last night that there will be multiple options made available!

In my mind, once the kinks get ironed out, this will be an excellent resource that I will use almost daily (especially if the add RSS feeds, which are sadly lacking at the moment… nudge nudge…). At the moment, to get close to all the information that they are supplying I have to flick between a number of sites – TV.com, IMDB, Radio Times, and FindDVD, where as this will give me all this information (albeit to a lesser level of depth) under one roof.

In summary, I think it is a great idea, and once the kinks are straightened out, it will definately be a resource worth using. I’ll be using it over the coming months, and will post about any major developments that I feel are worth mentioning!

So, in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled, watch the blog, sign-up for the e-mail updates, and wait patiently – it should be worth it 🙂

2007: The Years Best (and worst) TV rundown

So another year comes to an end, another one begins, and we start the whole routine of the previous year all over again. It’s not pretty, but every year brings us plenty of TV to watch, music to listen to and Films to see. With the writers’ strike going on, who can say if next year is going to be the same, but this year was certainly entertaining.

And therefore, before further ado, I am going to present you with my picks from last year!

Best Show: Doctor Who

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This was a tough one, but for me, Doctor Who had it’s best season yet this year. David Tennant just is the Doctor, and Martha Jones was the most interesting companion we’ve had to date. Some great episodes, some great guest appearances (Jon Simm anyone?!) and altogether very deserving of this year’s Best Show.

Runners Up: Battlestar Galactica (consistently excellent), Entourage (still one of the funniest dramas on TV), Psych (one that seems to miss many people’s radars, but is still an amazing comedy that deserves a mention), The Tudors (taking over from where Rome left off, an amazing show in a similar style that is definitely on a par with its spiritual predecessor), Who Wants to be a Millionaire (after x number of series, this is still the best quiz show on tv) – ok, the last one’s a joke…

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Best Newcomer: Californication

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Runners Up: Dirty Sexy Money (like The OC, but better, and for adults), Journeyman (but has hit an untimely end), Moonlight (some really bad acting combined with some really good acting, but for some reason this keeps me coming back week after week)

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Best Comedy: Saxondale

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Possibly the hardest category for me to judge, as I’ve been watching some past comedy this year too that can’t win it for this year – Arrested Development and Jeeves and Wooster to name two. I was never a fan of Alan Partridge, but Saxondale is just right on the button. Brilliant show.

Runners Up: Entourage (comedy or drama?! Who knows, who cares), Flight of the Conchords (musical genius), The IT Crowd (geeky, but brilliant – perfect)

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Best Short Series: Oliver Twist 2007

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A new category this year as there were two series that I really wanted to mention but didn’t fit in anywhere else. Oliver Twist was an adaptation that I was totally going to miss – we’ve all seen the story a million times, who needs another. But the BBC nailed it with this one – the kids were brilliant, and as always Timothy Spall was amazing as Fagin. Definitely one for the DVD boxsets collection.

Runner Up: Secret Diary of a Call Girl (never been a huge Billie Piper fan, but she was superb in this – hugely entertaining, porn for the masses!)

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Best Factual: Human Weapon
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It’s interesting, it’s factual, and it has martial arts – what more can you want. The history of all the modern martial arts, and them put to the test by two American Mixed Martial Artists. You learn the culture, you learn the techniques. Great factual TV.

Runners Up: Mythbusters (as usual, though it seems they’re clutching at straws a bit now), Jonathan Ross’s Japanorama (it’s entertaining and interesting – that’s what you want!), Top Gear (not sure this really fits in this category, but still excellent viewing!), QI (Stephen Fry is simply brilliant)

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Most Improved: Robin Hood

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I know, I know, what am I thinking?! For those that bothered to stick with this show, it was worthwhile. It doesn’t fit into the other categories since it still isn’t that good. But it is entertaining, and brainless. If you want some Saturday night swashbuckling Robin Hood style, and if you turn off your reality filter, Robin Hood does stand up on its own, and it’s enjoyable. And the second season was much better than the first…

Runners Up: Lost (I still thought that this season was the best so far. I wish they’d hurry up and end it still, but it did grip me far more than the last season).

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Get your act together: Heroes

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This category is for those shows that really were good but need to buck their ideas up. Heroes was still great, but lacked the magic that the first season had. They have apparently realised this and will be sorting it out, so here are my fingers crossed for the New Year…

Runners Up: Spooks (most people seemed to love this season. I didn’t. Go back to the old formula – it worked), Stargate Atlantis (I still tune in, but it isn’t a patch on SG1. Please get it right)

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And finally…

Most Disappointing: Bionic Woman
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I thought this had a lot of promise. I was wrong. Simply awful TV. Switch Off.

Runners Up: Dexter (still an amazing show, but after one of the best first seasons I’ve ever seen, how could season two really live up to my hype), Bones (still dragging out the love interest. Still love the show, but sort it out!)

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