The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008
|The JESC2008 logo
Switch on, tune in...
The politics of Eurovision have caught up with the Junior contest. "The West" is now bravely represented by Belgium and The Netherlands. Where is Spain? Where is Portugal? Where is Sweden? Where is Norway? How come Ireland isn't involved?
Actually, I can offer an answer to two of these - Portugal pulled out, probably fed up on the eastern European bias; and Sweden pulled out because of other broadcast commitments. Apparently Azerbaijan was interested, but withdrew feeling that their entry might tarnish their good showings in recent Eurovision contests, or as quoted on Wiki "not to harm image created by successful performances in previous two Eurovision events"... their words, the rest of us will recall screaming angels, fake blood, and dry ice. If anything, I think every child in Azerbaijan who has an ounce of talent ought to feel thoroughly insulted that their country felt they'd lose before they started. So not what it is supposed to be about.
The flipside of all of this is that swathes of ESC fans in the West may not have seen the contest. I know of one person who would have liked to watch on-line, but his ISP's mostly-unspecified FUP (that's "Fair Use Policy") would be in affect during broadcast hours. Was it on the SkyDigital platform? Of course not, it's been years since the UK participated. Was it on the original Astra's at 19.2°E? Of course not, France and Germany both are not participants, so no point showing it.
I eventually, and thanks to Ewen for digging up the scheduling info, turned to ρικ1, or "RIK(Sat)" for those who don't know the Greek alphabet. It's a Cypriot broadcaster, and it's a competition coming from Lemesos (I think that's the place we call Limassol?) in Cyprus, therefore... probably the best channel to pick!
As my shift patterns were a 5am start at work on Saturday (busy time of year, the run up to Christmas), I decided to move my satellite dish on the Friday evening. This is because the broadcaster was using the Hotbird satellites at 13°E. I don't watch Hotbird, half of it is Italian and the other half is random eastern European channels and/or pseudo-porn featuring lots of arabic women, the only thing that I'd be interested in is NRJ12 (which is odd remaining on Hotbird when the associated channels NRJ Hits and NRJ Paris are on original-Astra!). This is where I discovered a quirk in my satellite receiver. You can add satellites and you can add channels, but you don't seem to be able to add a channel to a new satellite? I ran a brief channel scan on the Sky birds, then added a definition for RAI Uno as I figured it'd be a good signal. Then I tuned in using a PMR radios and the receiver's signal beeper. It was surprisingly easy.
As you could imagine, the song contest turned up a lot on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Behind the scenes reports for the news (the contest was lead item on the news prior to the contest, a 12 minute article!) and it even turned up in a children's TV programme (above); and it was reassuringly pleasant to see that children's presenters appear to be the same hyperactive nutters the world over!
Kalosperas! (at least, that's what it sounds like they say as a greeting!)
Starting with the EBU logo and the familiar theme, we begin the 2008 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The provider this year is the Cypriot channel RIK Sat. This channel used a fairly low bitrate, so please accept my apologies for any blockies in the pictures; in addition because of my work schedule I have not had time to crop the pictures. What you see is exactly what my computer recorded. It is 352×288 because my machine isn't powerful enough to do full-frame recordings...
This year, the review was roughed out 'live', and written properly after the contest. No pictures were taken, can't record and take pictures, so all of the images you see have been hoiked out of the video recording using the brilliant VirtualDub (which I am also using to convert the large MPEG1 down to a nicer XviD...).
The opening sequence is a girl with a good voice saying "na-na-na" a lot to an inflatable ball, plus a boy with strings attached. The tune they are "na"ing to is irritating me as I know it, but cannot name it!
A dissolve to a prerecorded kids-dancing-around-the-country montage, then we are back to see the boy splashing around in a 'water feature', and many more children putting on a dance to a very rhythm-led piece of music.
Intro done, the hosts rose up from below the stage, welcomed us, then welcomed the various performers. The children were carrying suns on a stick with their flag in the middle of the sun. Part of the "Fun in the sun" slogan that is associated with this year's JESC.
Here are the hosts; and as long winded as it might seem, maybe their caption would have read better as "Hosts of Junior Eurovision"? ☺
Following UNICEF messages from David Beckham, Shakira, Robbie Williams, and a personal greeting from Whoopi Goldberg, we are reminded how to vote, told the lines are open, and finally (after about ten minutes) it's on to the first song...
As is usual, the children are all aged between sort-of ten and fifteen, and have written their own lyrics and music. As was the case last year, the phone vote lines will open at the start of the contest, and you can vote up to twenty times from the same phone number (yikes!). The profits of the televoting will be donated to UNICEF to help children in need across the world.
Also, as is usual, the songs are to be be performed in the language of the country participating. It seems that the duration of the song has been extended. I clocked a couple and they seemed to aim for 2m45s; only 15s shy of an adult Eurovision song.
The countries taking part this year are:
Romania, Armenia, Belarus, Russia, Greece, Georgia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Malta, Netherlands, Ukraine, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Cyprus.
The same as last year, only missing out Portugal and Sweden.
Because of the neighbour-voting concerns, the votes assigned by each country will be 50% jury vote and 50% derived from televote.
#1 Romania "Salvaţi Planeta" Mǎdǎlina & Andrada (Save the planet)
Starting off nicely, then a rather unnecessary upping of the tempo halfway through, this was not a bad way to begin proceedings. A lot of thought had gone into the dance routine and the visual aspect. The girl-in-white had a smiley face on her dress which was quite cute. Something of a get-up-and-dance sort of song.
#2 Armenia "Im Ergi Hnchyune" Monica (Melody of my song)
This performance is less energetic, but again a lot of thought has gone into the visuals. The girls are wearing long dresses with flappy-bits attached to their wrists. Hard to explain in words, look at the pictures. This provided a number of butterfly actions, and the obligatory one-standing-behind-the-other with arm waving.
A good effort, but will it be memorable?
BTW, the girl's name is, correctly, Monika Manucharova. The Monica-with-a-C was from the on-screen caption.
#3 Belarus "Serdtse Belarusi" Dasha Nadina, Alina Molash, Karyna Zhukovich (Heart of Belarus)
[Wiki says "Sertse Belarusi", which is correct?]
Now the damage to the Armenian song is right here, what bad luck to have some sort of draw for the running order of the songs, only to end up with two that have a similar backing-dancer activity back-to-back.
As for sounds, the first few seconds remind me of the start of Ghost In The Shell crossed with Adiemus, and then we're into a thumping rock number that sounds like it's a propaganda advert for how nice a place Belarus is, all enthusiastically performed by wannabe cheerleaders. The song doesn't seem difficult, in fact it could even be described as 'catchy'. Nah-na, na-na-na-nah-na, la-tie-ya-Belarus...
Sung in Russian, with the beginning in Belarussian.
Talking of enthusiastic, we have this woman who was very enthusiastically waving her flag, only to suddenly realised she'd waved so hard the flag had long since fallen off!
We detour for last year's Dutch presenter, Sipke Jan Bousema, to explain why helping UNICEF is important. His explanation is somewhat marred by the fact that it looks rather wet around! Water might be fun to play in, but if people are dying through lack of clean water, can they really afford to chuck it around?
In a first, we have a compilation CD from this year's JESC!
#4 Russia "Spit Angel" Mikhail Puntov (Angel is Sleeping)
A boy in white, ballerinas, giant silver balls possibly borrowed from this year's Belarussian ESC entry; it's all very Russian - you almost expect Dima Bilan to turn up from inside a piano... and don't laugh, he's supposed to be making an appearance later on.
The problem? The boy's (in)ability to hit the right notes. Nice dance, shame about the vocals.
#5 Greece "Kapia Nichta" Niki Giannoutsou (A night)
She has a distinctive and powerful voice, if a little on the shouty side. And it's quite a well coordinated dance put in by the three girls dressed in a sort of grunge-meets-Fame outfit. My only big concern is that she was mouthing a lot more than she was actually singing. Was she miming really badly?
Whatever was on now was obliterated by advertising...
I take it this is this year's trophy? Remember, I am watching this with a bloke giving a running translation into Greek. RIKSat provided two audio tracks so I tried the other one lamely hoping for a commentary-free... but no. Some language I don't recognise. Thinking about it, it may have been Turkish because, well, it is Cyprus.
#6 Georgia "Bzzz" Bzikebi
Well, no ESC would be complete without the crazy entry. Left to right: sweet bee, geek bee, and hard rock bee; yup, three kids who sort-of sing (and sort of scat) buzzing bzzzzz noises.
Okay, that was novel. Neeext!
#7 Belgium "Shut Up" Oliver
Think of a younger Josh Grobin singing in Dutch. Nice song, nice performance of it, and some silver dancers to add to things. Oh, and dry ice. The whole package, I hope this does well, but it might be slightly let down by being called "Shut up", you can't pass it off as a nice happy song. In fact, we can probably guess roughly what it's about.
Sung in Dutch.
#8 Bulgaria "Krastyana Krasteva" Edna Mechta (One Dream)
Now I remember what happened the last time I insulted a Bulgarian entry, so I am going to be very tactful. The song sucked, was sung badly (no, wait, that's probably some "traditional style"), and the girl's outfits can only be described as PVC fettish meets Elton John. Oh, and yes, that was me being tactful... did these kids do this to win a bet? Or perhaps because they lost a bet?
#9 Serbia "Uvek kad u nebo pogledam" Maja Mazić (When I Look To The Sky)
A nice song, a nice performance albeit with a slightly wobbly voice, nice dance routine. An all-round pleasing entry. I think, with a bit of vocal coaching, we'll be seeing more from Maja in the future.
#10 Malta "Junior Swing" Daniel Testa
Swing, as in the old black-and-white gangster-era era. It's not a style of music you hear much nowadays, and it has been revived for us by the Maltese entry. Reasonable singing, and even a black and white bit towards the end; however the accolades here must surely go to the unnamed girl who danced her heart out for their performance.
#11 Netherlands "1 Dag" Marissa (One Day)
Oh look, she's wearing boots. Something of a Dutch cliché, no? It's an okay song (could have done without some of that wailing in the middle), but the problem is I didn't really remember it into the following advert break, and that's a real problem when you as a performer know that the viewer is going to be assaulted with 15 different songs in a very short length of time and asked to pick a winner. Again, this is no dopey 'talent' show format where somebody is voted off each week. The entire performance will be done and dusted in around two hours. All songs, a recap, a votes unveiling, and a winner.
What songs do I remember? I'm a numerically-dyslexic leftie so I remember the visual stuff more than the song - but if I had to give a song right now, it would be "na-na-na nah-na...", yup, the Belarussian one. Not the best; I think performance-wise piano-boy and Serbia are the better performers so far, but Belarus had loads of energy and was memorable. Now, what entry did we last see? I forget...
We had a break for sales blabla...
#12 Ukraine "Matrosy" Victoria Petryk (Sailors)
Precotious brat in a sailor-dress (am I the only person who finds it strange that the uniforms that sailors used to wear back in the late 19th century are now worn by (usually young) girls?!? is there a message here?) and all manner of acrobatics and hijinks going on behind. She looks almost-cute in that almost-school-uniform, but don't be fooled, this is a Ruslana in the making; the over-excited shouty singing style ought to tell you that. If nothing else, loads of points for enthusiasm, so long as we all agree to ignore the 30 seconds of pseudo-rap in the middle!
#13 Lithuania "Laiminga Diena" Eglė Jergaitytė (Happy Day)
A thin girl in an outfit that could be a bizarre take on a school uniform (another of those odd coincidences?) shouts an unbeat song that could be a theme for a kids programme. Think of a laid-back modern Sesame Street number, you'll get the idea.
Talking of bizarre, this is the closest I've seen to Robin Sena hair on a real live person!
Looking at them, I can't help thinking that this is the school chess club cutting loose. ☺
#14 FYR Macedonia "Prati Mi SMS" Bobi Andonov (Send Me An SMS)
A modern dance number (when I say "dance", think Ibiza, not Strictly Ballroom!) with another surprisingly well assembled routine all accompany a boy wearing a hoodie (aaaargh, a hoodie!) who is pleading to be sent a text message.
Some trouble on the high notes, but altogether a worthy entry, though this has never really been a style of music that appeals to me, the closest I get is probably that one with a name like "Say You Dare" (?) by Fragma, circa 2001ish?
#15 Cyprus "Yioupi Yia" Elena Mannouri & Charis Savva
Wiki's JESC article translates this as "Whoopee! Yia!", which is odd as yia isn't even a word. I think a better translation might be Yippee-yay!?
With a big ugly stage prop and shiny dresses, all like something inspired from a Barbie set, the host country is trying to win the contest by virtue of being the final country to perform!
As for the song, it's a very upbeat number that suffers from being too noisy; too much going on in the music, it is... how can I explain this? Some songs have a lot going on but are 'clean', off the top of my head I would offer as an example "Lucky Man" by The Verve, or perhaps "Angels" (Robbie Williams). The assorted instruments come together for a pleasing result. Here? I can't say it was uncoordinated because that isn't the problem. It just sounded... messy.
As the songs are played again for the benefit of those with short memories, and a 15 minute countdown on-screen, I shall assign my points as follows (Eurovision style):
I guess I should be ashamed of myself placing Belarus first, but sorry - it is memorable! The hardest call is that I really wanted a "joint tenth" place, as the only songs I had trouble with were the Georgian bees (they'll either flunk or do quite well, I'm not sure) and <tact>the Bulgarian entry</tact>...
I will await somebody explaining to me in patronising terms how I missed the subtleties of that awful song and how the Elton John outfits had a very specific purpose and how as a stupid head-up-my-ass Westerner (whose home country no longer participates) I very obviously know nothing whatsoever about traditional music from other countries and how I probably think "traditional" means Rod Stewart. There you go, I'll save you the trouble of emailing me if that's about what you would have said. And, while I may end up more informed, that wouldn't change the fact that it was still a bad entry. Oh wait, I'm supposed to be tactful here... tant pis, hein?
The first song was a woman with a name like Ivridiki (?) and the kids from the opening act performing a dance (as in Ibiza, again) to a rather repetitive song that was hammering home the "fun in the sun" theme of this year's contest.
So much fun in the sun, some of the dancing girls stepped down into the water feature.
Now there's yet another recap for people with really short memories; and it was interesting that they appeared to play slightly different clips than in the previous recap. A nice touch, that.
And now the moment arrived. Dima Bilan, and hasn't the fame just totally gone to his ego?!?
We must give him credit, however, for staying with the contest and even making an appearance on the junior version. The cynical could say he wants all the exposure he can get, however I reckon there are some (mentioning no names) who were on the contest once, who now pretend like they've never heard of it.
After Dima helps count down to zero, we have more advertising. It looks like, as they cut back early, there was an article with the kids performing at some sort of private 'do'? How shameful that the broadcaster of the host country couldn't suspend advertising for two hours.
More interval act
Next, all of the kids who can sing in English get together to perform a specially written song to support the UNICEF cause.
I don't know who that young girl (left picture above) is, but she's good (even if she is miming? can't see a mic...?). Perhaps she ought to represent Cyprus?
The song itself was very UNICEF-oriented, with heavy-handed lyrics like "when there's no, no, no... clean drinking water for all... clean drinking water for all... clean drinking water for a-a-all.
While I appreciate the want to involve the purpose of the charity, they might do better with a more general purpose song that could be sold (download sale?), profits to UNICEF sort of thing.
The song ended, the male host said "maybe..." and we cut to adverts:
Okay, I'll admit, it is kinda fun watching adverts in Greek when you have to guess what it's all about when the language is nothing I recognise; but it does rather make you appreciate the advert-free BBC all the more, and - I might point out - the German broadcasters ARD1 and NDR who put on the (proper) contest semi and final without interruptions.
Yet more interval act
Wasting time, for the votes have been cast. They now have to be collated, checked, fed into Mr. Stockselius' head, then checked again.
So now it is time for the greatest thing to come out of Russia since the Tatu pair. Yup, of course I'm talking about Irina Slutskaya... no, no I'm not ☺... I'm talking about Dima!
We are treated to a medley of Number One Fan (or something like that) followed by Believe; all pleasingly over-acted.
We then see a few snippets of a film that was made following last year's JESC and gives an idea of the preparations involved in the contest - the female host said (quote) "That film is going to be shown all over Europe on cinemas and on TV" (unquote). I have a suspicion she might mean all over eastern Europe? I'd be pleased if the BBC was to show it, but I'd also be somewhat surprised.
If anybody knows where/how I can get ahold of a copy of this, please let me know.
[Wikipedia reports that a release in planned in the UK, but provides no further details, anybody?]
Finally, Mr. Svante Stockselius, which can only mean the votes are all in and it is time to find out who's going home happy.
As is usual, to avoid and risk of upsetting children with a nul pwah, everybody gets an automatic 12 points. I suspect that's more to placate the adults than the children...
First up with a vote was Romania. Is that a boy or a girl? Their 12 went to Ukraine.
An Armenian girl next, giving their 12 to the Georgian bees.
The Belarussian girl gives us a weather forecast (very cold and snowing in Minsk), and their 12 goes to Russia.
Russia, meanwhile, offers 12 to Georgia, taking the bees neck and neck with the sailors at 50 points apiece.
Greece will give 12 to Cyprus. Woah, gee, how did I guess that? Don't let it pass unnoticed that the Georgian song got 10 from Greece. I have something of a feeling that this might be the dark horse of this contest.
We next went to Georgia who was there, but we couldn't hear anything, so moving swiftly on...
It's Belgium, who aren't doing as well in the points as the song deserved, but then again they awarded their 12 to Georgia so...?
A pretty Bulgarian girl and I think we can possibly guess who got the 12. Incidentally, Bulgaria and Greece are the only countries not to have received any points yet.
Serbia causes a hiccup in the trend by offering 12 to Lithuania. Top songs at about halfway through are Georgia (bees) with 94, followed by Ukraine (sailors) with 77, then FYR Macedonia (send me an SMS) with 61.
A break for more advertising. This one was quite amusing:
Malta, 12, Georgia? Oh! No! They gave 8. They liked Lithuania better (10) and Ukraine better yet; but it hasn't made much impact on the placings. Lithuania is now third, one point over FYR Macedonia (who are tied with Belarus), Georgia is way off into triple digits. Greece and Bulgaria still have diggly-squat.
A strange introduction by the pretty Dutch girl, who said "Hello Lemesos, I'm Marissa", which was then followed by an awkward silence before the female host give the small-vote-rundown. The Dutch helped push Georgia further into the lead.
Wow! What an outfit! A Bowie fan, by any chance? I don't know about life on Mars, but there'll be lots of life in Georgia at this rate. By the way, Ukraine is the host of the JESC 2009; and because of a national holiday they were not showing the contest live but were deferring it to the following day, so I wonder how the votes were attributed?
The Lithuanian girl gave yet another 12 to those bees. How many top points is that now? I've lost count.
FYR-Macedonia-of-the-long-name, standing, waiting, apparently unaware she was live across Europe. I bet she's really glad she wasn't picking her nose or pulling faces! (actually, she looks like she's taking this way too seriously) So, moving swiftly on...
It's the host country. Isn't this girl one of the 2006 performers? It's the hair that gives it away! The surprise with the points is they only gave 7 to Greece (and the only points Greece has received so far). I'm sure you can guess who got the 12...
The excitable Georgian girl is back, barely audible but at least we can hear something. They can't give themselves a 12, as if they need it, so they instead award 12 to Ukraine.
And now back to FYR-Mac with the only three points Bulgaria will receive - saving it from total nothingness, and for those of you who thought that it'd be the last 12 of the night to Georgia? You're wrong! Serbia got it.
The top five placings are:
Georgia 154 (142)
Ukraine 135 (123)
Lithuania 103 ( 91)
Malta 100 ( 88)
FYR Mac 93 ( 81)
The last five placings are:
Belgium 45 ( 33)
Netherlands 27 ( 15)
Serbia 25 ( 13)
Greece 19 ( 7)
Bulgaria 15 ( 3)
Remember, everybody started with an automatic 12. The number in brackets is what they would have scored starting from zero. Sadly a second year of a less-than-impressive showing from Greece.
While the bees are freaking out...
...the previous winner comes on with the trophy...
Helping a bee fly:
The first two on the stage:
Of course there's a recap...
...during which everybody else turns up...
...with lots of hugging...
Then, as the credits roll, we have a reprise of the UNICEF song. Oooh, there's Svante's Little Helper, the "EBU Project Coordinator". Mmm, maybe Svante is her helper!?!
That said, there's only one thing left:
Thoughts and commentary
This is an important Eurovision competition result for a number of reasons:
The rules of the contest itself has tightened up - it used to be that children aged eight to fifteen (on the date of the contest) could enter, since 2007 this has been restricted to a ten to fifteen age range. I wonder if this would have disqualified Malin Reitan (Norway 2005)? Indeed, the Sisters
Tolmachevy look pretty young as well!
- Georgia's score is one of the highest in the Junior contest, and
is the same as the Sisters Tolmachevy (Russia)
(the highest overall score was 171 for Spain's "Antes Muerta Que Sencilla" which
translates as "Better Dead Than Normal"; I'm sorry I missed that, but ITV wasn't FTA in
those days... you know, those halcyon days when the UK used to participate... ☺)
- Georgia received the maximum 12 points from eight of the fifteen
countries: Armenia, Belgium,
Russia, and Ukraine.
- The trend of last-entry-wins has been broken!
- Georgia's win is the first in any Eurovision contest
ever to win when performed in a non-language.
- And poor Bulgaria, the second lowest score in the junior contest.
(the worst result to date is a tie between Greece
2007 and FYR Macedonia 2006, both with a mere 14
points; which is '2' after correction)
In addition, the music used to have to be written by the children, now adults can assist. I'm not sure this is quite in the spirit of the contest, having too much adult assistance. The on-stage count has been reduced from eight to six, in line with the adult contest. And, most importantly, a jury will decide 50% of the vote and the traditional televote will decide the other 50%. I'm not sure this has made an awful lot of difference. I'll need to see if there is any 'leak' of the televote-only result to know if the jury made much difference.
This ought to sound as a wake-up call to countries like Azerbaijan, for the winning entry was - let's face it - three kids making bee noises. Total nonsense. And it won. This is what I mean about too many adults not understanding a child's world.
This is the third year of disappointing results for the Greek entries - Then Pirazi in 2006 (35), Kapou Bertheftika in 2007 (14, remember the wedding dresses?), and this year's Kapia Nichta (19).
I can't say I'm the slightest bit surprised by the Bulgarian result. What is a surprise is the Serbian song only receiving 37 points, and that's including a 12 from their neighbour FYR Macedonia! Likewise the Belgian song deserved higher.
As for the high scorers, I'm not particularly surprised by Ukraine's result, but I am a bit baffled by the chess club. And the boy wanting an SMS scoring more than the heart of Belarus? Is this for real? I guess a certain amount of disbelief is required at Eurovision vote time; though Serbia and Belgium aside, nothing was particularly shocking. I did say way back that the Georgian bees could go either way and flunk or do pretty well. They won, which can fall into anybody's definition of "pretty well".
Best vocals overall
The unnamed interval act girl:
It's a tie between Malta and Ukraine:
Most peculiar outfit
Need I say?
Most overused visual effect
Most aplomb by a performer
Alina (the dark haired Belarussian) put her all into their performance:
Most likely to be misunderstood
The Greek song:
The performance with best longevity
In a change to previous years, I have a Creative Zen, so not only do I have my preferred performances as audio, but I have video versions too.
Given the ability to watch as and when I please, and as often as I please, after about a month I can say that the most pleasing performance overall is the Serbian song with the long title. And, looking at it, I feel that the performance is made by the backing dancers who put on a lovely performance around the song. Don't have a clue what the words mean (can anybody help here?); however the whole song is quite pleasing and has a nice feel to it...
Many thanks to Ewen Cathcart for not only telling me when the contest was on, but also where I would be able to receive it. It's really quite shameful that Australia plans to broadcast the programme, yet it could not find a home on British or German TV, not even pushed into one of the plethora of minority digital TV channels. Apparently the Welsh broadcaster S4C was interested in participating, but decided not to (and are unlikely to do so in the near future); likewise there was interest from Scotland, perhaps representing itself, but again that did not come to anything - budgets are always a problem and after the Ross/Brand incident things are more restricted in BBC-land...
The contest was recorded live from RIKSat (via a Silvercrest SL65 (ALi version) digital satellite receiver, £3 Lidl 0.6dB LNB!) into a generic 450MHz MSI PentiumIII machine running XP in 128Mb; a míromedia PCI capture card from the early '90s and Pinnacle PCTV vision driver/software (as the original was Win95-era!).
Frame grabs and XviD conversion performed using VirtualDub 1.5.3 (older, but cleaner interface). Actual XviD conversion performed on a generic MSI AMD motherboard (1GHz, XP, 1Gb), control via TightVNC and 100mbit intranet. Image conversion to JPEG with PhotoImpact 5, an oldie-but-goodie.
HTML written by hand with Metapad, a Notepad-lookalike with lots of useful features and none of those stupid quirks. HTML markup checked with Firefox 3.0.3 and MSIE 6.0.2900.2180.
Powered by EDF and loads of Tetley and Maltesers...
Oh, and the picture on the left was taken using a Nokia 6230i phone! The film Cloverfield was on loan from the library, and was watched the following day. Whoo-eee, quite a ride!
Time to turn my dish back to 28.2°E for English stuff, as I'd like to watch a film with Julie Delpy... okay, my turn to rephrase - there's a film starring Julie Delpy that I would like to watch... but to be honest I'd probably prefer the other interpretation. ☺
I can offer you a piece of advice: I decided, as the film was on Zone Horror, which is not a strong signal, to home in on that. Mistake! Fifteen minutes of hunting the sky in the rain looking for a 'beeeep!' and zilch. Not a hiccup. So I went in, picked BBC One South (a strong signal) and homed in one it in less than a minute. Using the beep, I made a note of the leftmost and rightmost good positions, then the top and bottom good positions, then placed the dish in the center. And all is okay, even Zone Horror, so I got to watch my film. And having woken at 3am, worked 5am-2pm, watched TV from 4pm to 3am, then written some of these notes until 6am, it's been 27 hours on the go and I must admit I'm more than a little bit tired. Bye!
If you have any Eurovision-related material,
please scan it (~300dpi max) and send it to me,
along with a translation if not in English.
Well, that's it. See y'all next year!
Originally written 2008/11/22-2008/11/23.
Converted to HTML 2008/11/23-2008/11/28.
Copyright © 2008 Rick Murray
Images copyright © 2008 EBU-UER
Recorded from a sort-of 14:9 aspect broadcast by RIKSat