Kobo Mini

In January, I found myself with an unexpectedly healthy post-xmas bank balance, so treated myself to yet another new gadget - an ereader.  I chose a Kobo Mini, in white.

Three months later I've read 33 books in about 135 hours.  It's great!  e-ink is very natural to read from, and the reader itself is small and hand sized.  Definitely better for taking on holiday than a stack of paperbacks.

Why Kobo?  Or more to the point, why not a Kindle?  I only need three letters to answer that: DRM.  Amazon can shove their proprietry locked in files and 'whispernet' up their... continue reading »

how to waste entire evenings

I bought another computer.  An Asus TF300T - android tablet with keyboard dock.  I've got the white one, which was a 'web exclusive' from Comet.. bought 2 weeks before they went down the pan.  phew!

There's no way I could justify spending money on a tablet, but the added keyboard fixed that - it has a full size USB slot, and an SD card reader.  Incredibly useful for transferring photos off my cameras, viewing on a bigger screen, and copying to an external hard drive - something I do fairly often on paddling trips away.

So it had a week in Scotland... continue reading »

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi.  a small cheap computer - very exciting, all over the news, massive waiting lists, etc etc.

And I've finally got my hands on one.  Ok, so it actually arrived several weeks ago, but I've only just found enough spare time to do anything with it. 

I don't need another 'plain' linux machine, and haven't yet had any genius ideas for other cool projects, so it's currently sat next to my tv/stereo, running raspbmc and acting as a media centre.

This has led to more spending and general preparation - as well as the pi, cables, SD card, power supply etc,... continue reading »

hardware replacements

That lovely new computer I bought a year ago...? Its hard drive died a slow and painful death after just 11 months (grrr) :(  Errors apparently undetectable by Dell diagnostic software that might have got it changed for free under warranty...

First signs of impending badness: odd segfaults, mostly with apt.  Then my filesystem started randomly going read only, with system logs showing a lot of I/O errors and problems with the journalling.  hmm.  To start with, nothing a reboot and quick forced fsck wouldn't fix.

But then it obviously got worse, and any 'repairs' lasted all of 2 minutes before yet... continue reading »


So, my lovely gadget phone is about 18 months old now.  For the last month, the market's been oddly broken on it - refusing to work with my google account (I'm 'difficult' and use my domain account, rather than a 'normal' gmail one).  I don't know why it suddenly stopped.. it always used to work, albeit without the ability to purchase apps.  I could cope with that.

Anyway, that was annoying me, as it meant no installing/updating/removing of anything.  Apparently there's some sort of migration going on of domain gmail accounts, so last week I thought I'd force that through and... continue reading »

new computer

I have a new computer!  A replacement for my laptop, which has been doing odd overheaty things and making bad noises for the last month or so.  Poor thing.  Still, not bad for being 3 years old and heavily (ab)used on a daily basis.

The new box is a desktop - a little teeny quiet one.  It's a Dell Inspiron Zino HD. In purple.  And even though obviously I know what spec it is, I can't be arsed to list it because I'm not a hardware geek, hah.

It came with Windows 7.  After two days, all I can really say about... continue reading »

HTC Magic: not an alarm clock

I've had my gadget phone for over six months now.  The novelty value of millions of pointless applications has worn off, meaning I'm down to a sensible number of actually quite useful ones.

Unfortunately, the alarm clock is not really one of them :|

I'm not a morning person, so I tend to have several alarms going off at different times, so I can ignore or snooze them for a while whilst I gradually wake up.
Every day my 'normal' clock alarm goes off at half 7 - then switches itself off after 30 seconds :) And it's fairly quiet, so easily... continue reading »

Tis the Season

...and all that.

I've finished work for the year :)  Apparently since the end of June I've managed to take just one single day of holiday, so I'm probably due a break!

Presents are all bought and wrapped up, I've made (and scoffed) a lot of mince pies, and currently cooling in my kitchen is a mincemeat and marzipan tealoaf.  yum yum.

Christmas shopping has been a bit of a dangerous one this year. As well as sucessfully buying all required presents, I seem to have treated myself to quite a few bits and bobs.  A book, some poi, and today I mostly-accidentally... continue reading »

new phone!

I have a new phone :) It's a lovely shiny android (linux!!) powered HTC Magic.  Very nice :)

Far too much hassle actually getting my hands on one though... For starters, it's only available on Vodafone.  Which might have been ok if they hadn't decided that I failed their credit check (for reasons unknown - my credit rating is absolutely fine!).  Then I figured it was a bit of a lucky escape anyway as they're bastards about transferring phone numbers to them...

So, now I have an unlocked magic, courtesy of eBay, and a sim only O2 contract.  Which I think should... continue reading »

spending lots

March can easily be summed up in one word: expensive.

As if buying a kayak wasn't bad enough, I've also been spending not insignficant amounts on things like deposits for holidays (French Alps in June, woo!), a shorty cag, car MOT, etc etc.

And when I popped into Halfords to get a bulb for the car, I managed to come out with a bike.  Oops.

The bike does not have a name, and is a greeny colour, which this photo does not show very well.

Fitting it in my car was a right pain in the arse - first off, 'quick release' wheels is... continue reading »

can't stop the music

Bah, look what happened to my mp3 player:

Actually I'm not 100% sure what did happen to it... it was certainly squashed against the tarmac of my parents drive by something, either a foot or a tyre.  I reckon car, because if you trod on it I think you'd slip.  Also I found it underneath where a car had been.

But it still works absolutely fine, yay :)  Which meant my drive to Shropshire yesterday was accompanied by much loud music.  Really cheesy music.  I've acquired a whole load of crap 80s pop (as an example of just how bad, this includes... continue reading »


I have a new toy.  It's one of these, and it's rather cool.  Been eyeing up some of the more 'basic' (also cheaper) models for a while now, because it's a nice geeky gadget (woo, gyroscopes!), but this one is extra cool because it lights up and has a counter.

Didn't take me very long to get the hang of it, and over the last week I've managed to improve my highest score from about 7000rpm to 10,000 and figure out how to get it started without having to faff around with a bit of string.  I thought there'd be... continue reading »