Sunday, 29 May 2011

Portable recording in stereo ?

I've got this other blog, where I wibble on about musical stuff, and after watching Dr Who the other night, I ended up with a nice enough bit of noise that some people might call it 'music'.

"Excellent!!" I thought.. "I shall share this with the entire world!!!"

Of course, that means somehow getting the noise from the piano, into the intertubes. I'm smart enough to know that my piano is a) digital, and b) has line out jacks. And I know I have a big pile of cables, some of which may even be adequate to use with said jacks.. I've also got a netbook thing, which has some sort of audio built in.

How hard can it be? about an hours worth harder than it should have been! There may have been simpler ways to do this.. but here's the tale of how I ended up sorting it out...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

If Microsoft made cars, you'd need to reboot them..

Except in this case, it would appear that the 'Microsoft' might be 'Mercedes'. Discovered that the car didn't want to talk to me this morning, it decided I, the key-holder, was a non-entity. No amount of button pressing would awaken the car from its nightly slumber, and the second key fared no better.

Odd, unlikely both keys would go flat, especially since the nice people at the Merc service desk take such pride in ensuring they swap out those CR2032s for us on a regular basis ;-) Tried the key for the other car, 'Chrirrup!' .. Ok, it's not radio interference..

Somewhere around here I guess I should have stopped thinking like I was debugging code, but as we'll see, that wouldn't have been such a bad idea ...

Saturday, 21 May 2011

T-Balancer BigNG .. return of the dusty controller.

No, this isn't a post about Thomas the Tank Engine.. this is a post about a USB programmable 4 channel Fan Controller, I know, I know.. but don't worry, Thomas is safe & having a rest.

This is a tale instead of what happens when you go hunting through a cupboard, and discover a bit of tech you had laying around, and think 'hey, I could probably use that to power the fans in the storage server', it probably happens to you every day... No? Well, you've missed out on all the fun then of discovering how to hook up drivers to your aging widget of choice, for your not so aging operating system..

Here's my tale of random pluggery =)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Drive Failures Anonymous

"Hi.. my names Samsung, and I'm a drive failure.."
"Hi.. my names Western Digital and I'm a drive failure..."

"Welcome guys, why don't you tell us a bit about yourselves, if you feel like sharing.. everyone here has been through what you have, haven't we people?"

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Network Server has a bad Night.

Ever had one of those days where things seemed like they were just sailing along.. your mental todo list full with little things like 'fix why the media pc is confused over which channels are high def', and 'think about adding more storage to the home server' .. and then you wake up to discover a little red house in your systray ?

If you know what I'm talking about, you'll have an inkling of where this is going. If you're wondering what a little red house is doing in my systray, then we should probably start there...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Shiny unexpectedness!

Ok, I probably should read the manuals from time to time.. but it's just so much more fun not to ;-) After all is a device really all that usable if you have to keep referring to a virtual bit of paper helpfully shipped on a cdrom along with the lump of electronics & plastic that arrived here on a boat from china?

But I digress.. today I got round to picking up a mini-hdmi to hdmi adapter to enable me to connect the Panasonic Lumix TZ10 to a tv via HDMI rather than composite video. At least then I wont feel like Im staring at 40 inches of smeary blurryness when I'm viewing them via family tv's etc.

Plugged it all together, and up came a nice 1080i user interface, did the normal 'sit far too close to the large screen due to being tethered to it by the video cable so you can use the camera controls to move to the next picture' when I noticed 2 extra controls listed at the bottom of the UI. 'Red' & 'Green'. Odd, the only red button on the camera is the record button, and there's nothing green on it at all.

Slowly it dawned on me that there were Red and Green buttons on the TV remote.. surely this camera wasnt thinking.. it was.. omg.. I mean I know HDMI can carry control as well as A/V, and about HDMI-CEC etc, I just didnt expect to see it, in a camera.

So now I can sit on the sofa like a normal couch potato & control the slideshow from there with the TV remote.. Nice.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Media PC - Past.

Part One.. where I discuss the insanity of trying to use your pc to record stuff ;-)

Started looking at this media pc thing quite a long while back, way back in the days of  133mhz Pentium CPU's, when PCI/ISA was the most common motherboard. Back then, I wondered how much space it would take if I recorded an episode of Star Trek Next Generation, using a WinTV PCI. Given that thing did basically no compression, the answer was "lots", and "lots" in a time when hard disks were only just pushing past the 1gb capacity.

I can haz tech bl0g.

This is my little blog.. where I'll attempt to talk through some of the tech projects I've got carried away with, past & future.

Lego Mindstorms
HTPC/Home Networking
Here's where I'll talk about HTPCs, Home data storage, Lego Mindstorms, Home networking, PC Hardware, coding, and General Geekery.

For this first post, I'll hover around a little & wibble about the latest addition to the media pc.