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The story continues...

With just days to go until the end of my holiday, I have spent a week poking around the Internet. Sure, the attraction is starting to wear off, so I am no longer passing half a day absent-mindedly staring at gibberish on YouTube. Maybe I'll get around to doing something useful soon?

In the meantime...

  • My PVR. Finally tracked down the manufacturer! I contacted the company and a person said an engineer would get in touch. Still waiting, so...?
    Here is a direct link to the product information: Accessories.html
  • Skype. Hooked up, plugged in, off I went! Chatted to Mick twice for hours. In both cases the video quality was pretty appalling, however having the video certainly adds a certain something. Mick can watch the sun set behind me as I sit outside. If we are talking about something that is hard to explain, just hold it up to the camera. It's pretty nifty.
    The first time the audio quality good, the second time a lot less so, but the server was probably quite busy. Perhaps a little annoying, but it's free - don't knock it. It is also dead easy to set up and get online.

  • Instant email. How useful to be able to fire up Thunderbird, pick up my messages, and write replies on the spot! No more of this weeks-of-waiting nonsense.
  • Website management. Maybe now I can look to a little bit of PHP integration? How about a "comment on" at the bottom of this b.log entry? All are ideas I am looking into.
  • My recommendation for a lovely song - Megumi no Ame (on YouTube). It looks like this video was removed. Here is another, slightly lower quality: Megumi no Ame (on YouTube) (see comment at bottom of page)
  • All those stupid questions can now be answered. Things like: in that annoying song from a decade ago, was she really singing my nonsense is purified?
    Well, no. I looked up the lyrics. Mind and senses purified. Bah.
    Listen to it (YouTube), maybe you'll prefer my misheard version? ☺
  • Use eBay? Use PayPal? You might find an interesting read. Whether these are a minority of cases, or even made up, I cannot say. But it is worth noticing that a PayPal account is an account with PayPal and as such it does not appear to fall into the legal jurisdiction of existing banking law. It probably won't make much difference either way if you plan to keep a few dozen euros in an account for buying stuff, but you might think twice before depositing a grand...
  • What I find incredible is that there does not seem to be a broadcast packet when the phone is ringing. It seems that to get CallerID on the computer screen I need to hook a modem to the phone line, then run a serial lead to the computer. That destroys the idea of WiFi portability, not to mention being useless as Azumi as there's no serial port.
    Since the Livebox knows what is connected, it would make sense to send it a broadcast packet containing the CallerID. A dozen lines of VisualBasic would be all that is required to sit waiting and pop up a message when this packet is received. A hundred lines of VB and we can have a database lookup. Anyway, with all this tech, it seems to me to be an odd omission.
  • If you are of a nerdy persuasion, you'll enjoy (you'll need Java)
  • I have lost connectivity. Late Saturday night the bitrate slowed down, then dropped out completely. There was no adverse weather. I like to think that it is all the local pig farmers looking for porn on a weekend night - pictures of naked pigs... ☺
    At other times I have had hiccups in the connectivity. Sometimes it slows down to around 0.5 or 0.6mbit; but on the whole it does indeed run at a megabit. Moreso than that, when it is working flat out, the data rate can go up to 1.2mbit, perhaps to cover the overhead of TCP/IP packet headers...
  • Put it like this... I was able... not all the time, but fairly often, to get a live streaming video running at 756kbit/sec from To put it into context, not only did the picture look better than many of the British satellite music broadcasts, it was in fact coming through at a higher bitrate than I use for video archiving!
    There is a myriad of channels available - some professional and some a guy playing his DVD collection by the looks of things. That's not to mention the myriad of on-line streaming radio stations, such as:
    • Kawaïi-Radio (listen)
      Japanese and animé - my favourite; with a detailed playlist and the ability to request songs.
    • Sky FM / The 80s (listen)
      Unlike Fearne Cotton who was a baby in the 80s, I was actually there. I remember this stuff on the radio, on TOTP, on The Chart Show every Saturday on ITV... Plenty of nostalgia here.

  • Or you can look for music videos in all sorts of genres. Back to YouTube... I asked mom to name a song. She came up with "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane. Perhaps the earliest use of chromakeying for video effects?
    I remembered a song from a film called GenoCyber. It's called "Fairy Dreaming" and ten seconds on YouTube will find it. I am not including a direct link as it is extremely gory, makes the opening sequence of Elfen Lied seem tame.
    A beautiful song - Megumi no Ame.
    (refer to the comment at the bottom of this page)

  • I am on MySpace, sort of. I have not assigned myself a proper URL yet. Don't bother searching, you probably won't find me for all the other Rick Murrays in the world. Though I am pleased to say my first non-automatic "friend" is Evanescence! ☺
    If you want a look, go to
  • I had a brief foray into Second Life, as Rick Nova-something-or-other (an auto-generated surname). It might be nice with 18mbit zapped directly into the machine, but at 1mbit it just seemed horribly slow. I'll go back, look around, but I'm not certain it's exactly useful for anything?
My three week holiday has gone by in a flash. I did get some other stuff done, mind you - some repointing on the east wall. But, ho hum, Monday back to work. On the other hand I start in the afternoon, so it isn't going to be a horrible 5am shock. I have some time to ease myself out of going to bed far too late...


Your comments:

Please note that while I check this page every so often, I am not able to control what users write; therefore I disclaim all liability for unpleasant and/or infringing and/or defamatory material. Undesired content will be removed as soon as it is noticed. By leaving a comment, you agree not to post material that is illegal or in bad taste, and you should be aware that the time and your IP address are both recorded, should it be necessary to find out who you are. Oh, and don't bother trying to inline HTML. I'm not that stupid! ☺ ADDING COMMENTS DOES NOT WORK IF READING TRANSLATED VERSIONS.
You can now follow comment additions with the comment RSS feed. This is distinct from the b.log RSS feed, so you can subscribe to one or both as you wish.

Ewen, 16th August 2009, 10:25
Hi Rick. First Comment! BTW your MySpace page looks nice! :-)
Mick, 16th August 2009, 14:39
Like this comment thingy. Too many times I wanted to shout back. Regarding Defacebook, I think I'll start my own. Does "FaceAche" have a certain ring to it? Glad you're enjoying t'internet.
Rick, 17th August 2009, 23:39
Mick - it is MySpace (go see it), not FaceBook. Same sort of idea, except I think "FaceBook" is a bit of a silly name!
Mick, 26th August 2009, 11:00
I used to have a my space account for some reason. I never used it being the anti social git I am. Is that the one where you get the automatic friend? I may have said this before, but the only temptation to join would be to reject any friend requests :-) One problem with this comment set up is unless you re-visit the same b.log, you don't know if anyone has commented your comment. It's a shame you can get an e-mail saying there has been a reply as some forums do. You now nick our e-mail addresses after all.
Mick, 26th August 2009, 11:03
Meant to say I'm no good at remembering dates which is why I'd forget to look at and further comments.
Rick Murray, 29th August 2009, 16:51
I find being emailed every time somebody adds a comment after my comment is annoying, as RARELY does the comment added refer to my comment, and so many times people say the same stuff over and over.
You give your email address primarily as a quick'n'dirty way of checking you are genuine. Like with the validation code, the aim is to reduce both spamming and people writing unpleasant things anonymously - both of which I would consider "pollution".

On the topic of MySpace, I am getting friend requests from some really weird places. People looking for a boyfriend, and music groups wanting I presume to amass a lot of "friends". I got requested by SCUM OF THE EARTH which apparently is or has the old Rob Zombie guitarist? I dunno, not my thing. I bet they did a blanket search for "zombie" and spammed this to every match. I flagged that as spam, but for the others I have ignored them.
To be honest, I am not that bothered - I have two requests from unknown French acts, which I may check out. One a possible, one I don't think so. It could be an interesting way to discover new performers before they go all commercial and get corrupted? Whatever, I will have to look for MySpace's settings to tell them to stop emailing me. I've got my own MySpace mail, kindly don't fill up my Yahoo one with notifications!

Mick, 30th August 2009, 00:25
1. I must look up "Scum of the Earth" 2. Regarding getting e-mails, I suppose I have agree. Or do I? 3. Oh myspace does friends does is it. REJECT THEM ALLLL! 4. I like the b.log and this comment thing. I can't ever remember what entry I read last though. How can this be sorted? Please don't say brain transplant. 5. How about you e-mail us that subscribe when you have added a new b.log entry? A direct link?? You can have a mailing list at ah-es-for-free-too if you want? 6. Hi Ewen :-)
Mick, 30th August 2009, 00:42
Re Scum of the Earth. I like this one. Sounds a little Killing Joke ish. Listened to 2 others and it don't do it 4 me! On the other hand, if the Anti-nowhere league want to be your friend say yes
Rick, 8th November 2009, 15:55
Sadly it looks as though Alan's label actively pursues copyright infringment on YouTube, so the link for "Megumi no ame" (the second one I've added) is no longer valid.
While I understand their wish to do this, it is a shame for she's a good performer that's virtually unknown in the west, and it is purely thanks to YouTube that I know of her - and yes, if the price was acceptable, I'd buy her album... but where from?

Here is a link that works, today at least...

Rick, 17th January 2010, 16:44
The link to the PVR product information is no longer valid. The correct link is:

Additionally, a rep talks (sort of!) about the device at a tech show - you can watch it on YouTube:

BTW, Unisen never got back in touch. It's a shame when a company makes something, pretty much stops supporting it, then doesn't seem interested in others supporting the device. It's like the hardware equivalent to vapourware?
This is, sadly, even further hampered by the problem of the TMS320DM320 "not existing". Google it, you'll find a few references to it in things, and lots of people asking for datasheets. No doubt Texas will be looking for NDAs and sales of expensive developer kits (no price, but I've yet to see a big company offering a 'budget'/free kit for bedroom-developers, those I've seen have been horrifyingly expensive... perhaps not to a company with a vision of half a million units on the first run, but for people like me...?). For a device six years old, this doesn't help us make our units better. But, on the other hand, when has the tech industry cared much about "then". It's all wrapped up in the now. To them, we should probably chuck out TMS320DM320 PVRs in the recycling point and buy something new. <sigh>

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