Saturday, May 19, 2007


I went to Lords today to watch the third day of England vs. West Indies at the first test of the series. It was a pretty bland day of cricket which wasn't what I was expecting. With the day starting with England 553-5 declared, and Cook, Collingwood, Bell & Prior all scoring centuries, I was expecting some fireworks with either the West Indies coming out to bat with intent or England attacking in the field.

Well England did come out with a very attacking field but Hoggard was soon off the field with an injury which left the England bowling attack rather toothless. The only real treat came from Monty Panesar taking wickets throughout the day. A West Indian team from a decade ago would have jumped all over England, but the team today didn't real get into any form of rhythm and while the score slowly climbed and they avoided the follow on, there were not any virtuoso displays of batting.

All in all a very slow day of less than inspiring cricket.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Spider Man 3

I was a bit wary or this movie before I even got to the cinema. I'd seen the reviews and knew that it wasn't going to be a classic, but having seen the previous two installments I couldn't really not go and see this, final installment.

The credits at the beginning were pretty rubbish, and this worried me for the first few minutes of the movie, my previously comfortable seat all of a sudden felt a little less so. Without giving to much away, the movie begins with Peter pretty much on top of the world, everyone loves Spider Man and he's basking in the reflected glory, and being generally rather soporific.
Spider Man 3
Plot: 12/20
Acting: 17/20
Production: 16/20
Entertainment: 20/40
Total: 65/100

Rather predictably things rapidly begin to deteriorate and old and new 'bad guys' start to appear with the inevitable consequences following. A twist or two here might have helped to keep my interest at this point but Sam & Ivan Raimi's screenplay was a shining beacon of straightness that should stand as an example to apriring builders and road engineers everywhere.

Any guesses as to how the story ends? If you were to say Spider man defeats his enemies and gets the girl, you wouldn't be far off and that's the problem, the entire movie is entirely predictable.

I'd like to say that the acting and special effects detract from the deficiencies of the plot, but they don't. The performances by the actors is commendable and I'm sure that they followed the direction of Sam Raimi precisely, but the unfortunate consequence of this is that they just emphasise the poor quality of the plot.

There were times when the performances and plot worked together to bring smiles, laughs and general hilarity to the entire audience at the cinema but there were not enough of these moments to offset the bland bits in between.

Save your money! The inevitable marketing push means that someone will give you or someone you know, a copy of the DVD this Christmas, and you might as well watch it then and use the money to go and see something better in the cinema.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Britannia

The UK is 300 today! Lucky it has survived this long really as these pesky Scots want to break it up.

The Quest for a Cheap, Compact, Silent Network File Server for Home - Revisited

I've been considering the need for a small cheap easily concealed silent home network file and print server and have finally made a decision. I've revised my requirements and thrown out the need for it to act as a mail server as this just added too much complexity to the project, and have ordered a second hand Compaq Evo D510 USDT from a seller on eBay.

Why did I opt for a 5 year old PC from a company that doesn't exist anymore? Well there are a number of reasons. Primary reasons are that it is cheap at under £70.00 (excluding memory & HDD, but I've got some memory and a HDD from other machines that I'll use), small enough to be easily concealed, thereby making it reasonably secure and more importantly tidy, and it has a max power draw of 50W (which I'll be considerably under once its up and running).

Secondary reasons are that by using an old PC I'm effectively keeping it from being added to landfill which combined with the low power consumption means that its pretty 'green' and there is a lot of documentation out there for the hardware if I should run into any problems. Also I did bid on a number of Linksys NSLU2s but they kept going for between £40.00 and £50.00 which considering their limitations and power requirements seemed much too close to the £70.00 for the Evo D510 for it to be a sensible purchase.

Hopefully it will arrive in a few days and I can get it all set up for the weekend, when I'm hoping that I'll be able to move it and a few other unsightly bits and bobs (modem, router, etc) into a small gap between my desk and the wall where they won't be unsightly. I'll also hopefully be able to resurrect my printer which hasn't been used for over a year. However I'm not holding out much hope that it will work as it is an Epson and they are notorious for the heads fatally clogging after protracted periods of inactivity (which in Epson time is anything longer than a few days).

So the quest is over, now I can begin to build a home network which is something I've been meaning to do for some time now.