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Archive September 2007
Saturday 29 September 2007
Amusing seen things.

A very large TJ HUGHES neon sign, at night, partially defunct so that the only lit part is a gigantic "HUG".

A removal-graffitied sign on a restaurant window, "20%  STUDENT  DISCOUNT  -  APPL ES  WEEKDAYS  ONLY".

A subversive license-plate, if only we were in China; "MAO4GNU". [04:31] [2 comments]

Monday 24 September 2007
Another of those late-night phone-dating ads that is presumably unintentionally offensive:
"Text WORD to NUMBER. It's probably the best party invitation you'll ever get."
Brilliant. [19:42] [0 comments]

Saturday 22 September 2007
An ad that just amused me with a doubletake.
Did you know that more and more people are chatting and dating using their mobile phones? And now you can too - it's that easy. Text bla to a number.
It took me a moment to realise what this had just said. I think they probably really intended those last two clauses to be in the other order. And yes, there really was the emphasis on 'that' which makes it funny. [02:52] [0 comments]

Wednesday 19 September 2007
Asda, targetting their customer-base (at least in these parts), have their own variant of Love Hearts, featuring, instead of the usual sappy or occasionally nonsensical slogans, such gems as "whatever", "respect", "bothered", "minging" and "mint". The tragedy is, they have named these "Whatevers" rather than the much more apt and catchy "Chav Hearts".

In a largely unrelated vein, does anyone know of a cheapish digital camera which has a built-in USB-charged battery that manages to last a few months if the camera is off, and ideally manages to still function at all after a few months, unlike the one I have? I want a small camera that can stay in my pocket, for taking quick snapshots of amusing or aesthetic things I see. Both times I have tried to acquire such a device, when it comes to actually taking a picture the battery is dead. (One of them wasn't even USB-charged, it would just slowly drain any battery left in it even when switched off.) Anyone? [16:56] [10 comments]

Thursday 13 September 2007
I got a new laptop. It is from Rock Direct rather than one of the big name-brands. I believe it is, at heart, a Sager based system. I had heard good things about these, and early experience bears it out. The screen is lovely, the machine runs quiet and cool. Even after playing Bioshock on it for hours it barely breaks into bothering to turn the fan onto high - unlike the previous high-end (of four years ago) Dell, which ran at 60-70°C when idle, and would swiftly go to 82°C in gaming conditions (at which point it would slow the chips down to prevent melting - not the preferred way to deal with heat, really).

The 8700M graphics chip unfortunately is showing signs of doing the same thing the 4200Go did - not using NVidia's integrated drivers, and not getting driver updates. A third-party hacked driver was required for Bioshock, but hopefully that will be reasonably good for anything in the near future.

For specophiles, it is 2GHz dual-core Intel, 2GB, 100GB 7200rpm, 8700M w/512MB, 1920x1200 17". And Vista.

On the subject of Vista, what's up with this in the license agreement?
You may allow up to 5 other devices to access the software installed on the licensed device to use File Services, Print Services, Internet Information Services and Internet Connection Sharing and Telephony Services.
(or for Vista Premium or Vista Ultimate, replace 5 with 10)
What's up with limiting network access to print services? Why would you do that?
Also, is "you may allow up to" accepted weird binding legalese for "you may not allow more than", or is the license agreement actually failing to restrict you at all, as its wording taken literally fails? There is no corresponding paragraph denying you the option to allow more than 5, there is only this paragraph explicitly allowing you up to 5.

This post brought to you by boring nerdiness, and by the fact that if you give a crap about Bioshock you've already read at least five reviews, and probably even if you don't give a crap. [23:29] [5 comments]

Tuesday 11 September 2007
I got some LED lightbulbs the other day. They are a one-watt lightbulb. I'd rather have had three-watt, but those ones only exist in spotlight shape and a silly fitting, it seems. Anyway, the brilliant thing about the one-watt lightbulb is that when it's lighting my bedroom, and the TV is on, the lightbulb doesn't seem to have any effect on the amount of light in the room, it still looks pretty dark. The difference is, with the light on I can read, and without I can't. There is just something strange about LED light, that makes its illumination still appear dark. I think it might be that the colour of the light resembles the sort of light used in film to indicate that we are watching things in darkness.

Anyway, I recommend them for any other Morlocks who get a headache after being in a lit room for any length of time. Especially Morlocks who would like to use energy-saving lightbulbs for the few times they want light, but have discovered that "energy-saving" is actually earthspeak for "light-sabre shoved in your eyesocket". In terms of causing pain, LED bulbs are to normal bulbs as normal bulbs are to energy-saving bulbs (at equivalent brightness).

Oh, also a very strange thing - after an LED bulb is turned off, it continues to glow slightly for at least an hour. Not enough to illuminate anything else, just enough to make it clearly visible in the dark. I don't know whether this is a facet of the bulbs, or if it's to do with the wiring of my house leaking a small amount of current when switches are 'off'. I suppose this could be tested with a standing lamp and the mighty power of unplugging. [15:35] [4 comments]