Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Say it quietly....

But my 3 dongle is working like a dream..... bandwidth is up and connections are lasting for up to 6 hours of hassle free gaming and chat...... even skype video occasionally.

Could be in prep for the new 'net speed rules' (

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

iPhones - complaint upheld

Recent adds here have been pulled for being untruthful about iPhone performance - one would therefore expect all Ads to be pulled leaving one free to put the kettle on and get a snack during the break in a TV programme without fear of missing the latest amazing gadget from KTel….. Or indeed to run a 30 minute or 1 hour programme through without a break….. But since episodes are generally 45 mins or 20 mins that would leave the schedule slightly light.

As usual the vitriol expressed by commentators is out of all proportion - what is it about commentators that they have to have a side rather than just express their view - I am a Mac addict/I hate Steve Jobs.

I have an ipod (quite an old one now) and use iTunes for simplicities sake - no major complaints; but I am aware that moving to a Mac pc would necessitate all sorts of conversion problems and is therefore unfeasible. Therefore the Mac vs PC wars will continue.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Byzantium Exhibition - RA

well apart from the difference between object 'dart and artifact.... which made putting the exhibition in a historical perspective difficult (the timeline could have been more expressive - like comparing Kings or political groupings in Europe! Liutprand, Bishop of Cremona visited the Byzantium court - but why, who sent him!) the wide range of paintings, mosaic (none of the mosaics from Constantinople/Byzantium/Haga Sofia were represented in any way - all were looted pieces from non-Turkish museums) were excellent.

But still the presentation needed to be better arranged - labels on items should have been high on the display case so people at the back of the crowd could see it. And it is a busy exhibition, lots of people hanging around.

Which brings me to two other points: annoying people who go 'because they should' not because they want to - do they understand what they are seeing (and sometimes I wonder if the curators understand what they are showing) and what young children get from such exhibitions.

And finally another gripe - if you pay £8 or £12 for a ticket - would it be too much to include the audio tour in the cost (I have moaned about this before) because that may contain all the information I am seeking about historical perspective, development of artistic style etc.

Friday, 21 November 2008


Though I would post a few thoughts. Firstly the graphics seem richer, trees are more treelike, the leaves and bark better represented. The fire animation (look out for forests on fire) has improved too. All those little vignettes are there - the endless viking invasion.... lava flows and geysers.

Whilst the new continent is overly full at the moment (feels like a golf course, everyone at the first 3 tees!) and sometimes the respawn rates are lethal - it should settle down....

Dalaran is lovely - light and bright; the shops are a delight; the sewers fun....

Got the flightpaths mapped for Northend - tried out the new pets - worm, rhino etc. Overall I like it, Love the Walrus people (check out their fishing buff - get the elixir, change to Walrus and fish!) already had murloc costume, orc costume quests... and btw for a pet baby murloc i would sell my granny - anyone in the market for a dead granny??

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

This explains me!

So I realised that waiting for a grown-up meant two treats….. hence the diet I need now. But now I am the grown-up so I get the instant gratification QED!!

PS latest brainscan a sucess - half my brain is fine and half occluded! well not half - maybe 15%! I highly recommend James May's 20th Century for a quick slot on MRI's - he missed out the details about early Kraftwerk soundtrack but the rest is quite correct.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Exactly what is says on the box.....

unless they are fibbing under the trades descriptions act, then men; no matter how they may look like a fixer-upper, are just that.

There are no expansion packs, no peripherals to add on (i could discuss this but anyway peripherals are not 'plug and play' with men) no options to upgrade later. Well you can trade-in but that means getting used to new operating systems and probably a different keyboard.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Birth of an avatar

So like a real birth Hypatia Voom came into existence before the sentience that she now is met her. Does that make sense? the child existed but in a womb... developed by someone else. I was given the avatar by a friend, names and dressed. Oh I developed her look, changed her style. But the personality the name suggests was not my idea - I have sort of grown into it.

Compare this with Ahelmil - my WoW tooon - I picked her look and her name, her career and her race. Oh I can change all that in Second Life as I cannot in World of Warcraft.... but. Well perhaps both avatars personalities are expressed by what they say rather than looks. Odd to compare the two of them; one ultimately changeable , the other quite static. Perhaps its more a case of Ahelmil is my child - I created her and taught her (and remain the keyboard goddess that plays her) but her look is developed by the game. Hypatia was born; and then my personality and style developed her. Which is most me?

Perhaps I invite comments. Nah lets keep this between you and me!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Level 70 (just in time for goalpost moving)

And the big news is I got to level 70 in World of Warcraft yesterday about 11.59pm. Got my flying mount! and I went into Scarlet Monastery with the Guild and two bits of epic gear from the Horseless Headman (Sorry Headless Horseman) - including his sword and a flying broomstick.

I think I will love flying - now to complete all the quests that require flight!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Medical Tech

A fun day at the hospital - bloodtest, MRI and full range of optical tests. Amazing how its a mix of high and low tech. MRI machine is like the warp engine in Star Trek..... and sounds like a short album from Kraftwerk. Lots of rhythmic banging and clicks going on around your little tin coffin. Tests for my eyes are both Windows controlled (how frightening is that) and high tech; or a nurse with a funny plastic spyglass......

And then - Gods help me - WoW patch of 1.something GB..... surely they know that my 3G usb modem cannot deal with GB of downloads - I get enough lag and latency just playing (specially from home vs a nice comfy Starbucks somewhere).

And then updating Twitter - well I might get it working and i might start posting again - blimey 500 days or more since I set up that account!!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Less Tech (Unless you are interested in Walls)

So I have been visiting the British Museum to attend a series of lectures around the Hadrian exhibition. And last week I actually got to the exhibition itself. Well as with all things you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Well first of all tickets are £12 - that's a bit steep for a few statues and some bits and bobs from the BM's basement (roman house keys and pots etc). The Diorama of Hadrian's extensive villa was great and could have been better utilised. Reliance on sources such as Cassio Dio and the Historia Augustus continuance is a little slanted (as all roman history is!) and reading inscriptions and translations of medieval copies of Cassio and the Res.

Worse the audio tour was an extra £3.50 (why could they not include it in the cost of the ticket) and was really quite awful. No additional information - actually often just reading the 'interpretive display boards. A necessity because most people crowded round the display cases trying to get their monies worth. Sorry BM - not your best effort!

Friday, 26 September 2008

General Stuff

Lots of things going on it the world - Chrome and iTunes updates, Wrath of the Lynch King for WoW is in Beta and Mr BRK (that man is God) is doing an excellent podcast on the changes we will see (note to self - put BRK blog in list opposite also Steve Gibson). Chrome is definitely a Beta let loose on the world too soon - and I think it will suffer for that. I like Google's tools, I am hoping to one day have an Android phone (GAB to review that sentence for sense!). But they still need to be careful - its the techies that will push web-based apps with the plebs; screw us over and we will pull faces when asked our opinion of Chrome!

iTunes 'Genius' (modest Mr Jobs does it again) hmmm well certainly seems to create some random play lists for you - annoyingly suggests loads of tracks you are missing from iTunes store. Well its throwing up some oldies from my back catalogue - and some rubbish I can delete forever!

And i would like to say a big TY to Skype

Friday, 5 September 2008

The Dongle - for now

Well after a few teething problems - including realising that my home is in a mobile black spot; or rather that one end of it is and best place to log-on from is by the french windows - I am resigned to the Dongle. It seems perfectly reasonable for playing World of Warcraft and the log issues I occasionaly get convince me that 4-6 hours on-line is enough. It works pretty well for VOIP and mostly OK for video calls. Podcasts can be slow but happen. So now I am fully mobile - or I would be if I had any battery life at all in my laptop - I will always need a power outlet. Grrrrrr - and in the UK solar is not viable!!!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Three mobile Dongle saga pt3

Time to pay the bill - well 3 have billed me for the undelivered and unused net ordered dongle for 2 months (a suitable call was placed to their 'help' line) and I am about to pay for the !5gb deal one I bought in a Three shop. well I managed to use 7GB in the month so I must have got reasonable download speeds - its been fine for email, podcasts and grabbing Youtube videos; its just been the games and VOIP that need a constant exchange of info that have let it down.

So the next test will be a new game - Guildwars here I come!

BTW - I am now using Bloggers spellchecker!


Well the end of another week at work - time for a little R&R so its a mega session of World of Warcraft Saturday - with breaks for food and shoe shopping. Then Sunday a walk round Holland Park and Fredrick Leighton's house. That's a fairly mixed bag of activities (along with that dreaded task - housework). I always think if I can do boring stuff at the weekend by Sunday night I can look back and think I have had my full 48 hours off.... but then there is nothing to talk about Monday morning. Whereas if I have a full and exciting weekend (yes I can bore for my country on WoW!) it actually seems to have rushed by. So there must be a scientific explanation for this - perhaps to do with the speed of light, sound and black holes. Or its just our human perception of time. Anyway the point is I have a planned and busy weekend (and I have to fit in my SO too ;-)) and I am really looking forward to it!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Fashion in first and second lives

You know I often wondered about the benefits of spending Lindens on clothes in SL - a physical pound here and there. But its starting to show through in my first (or if you prefer 'real') life.

I Found myself looking at the shoes in Marks and Spencers, in Primark etc and asking where are the 'funky' shoes - the fushia and green ones I can get in SL. The ones I suddenly feel brave enough to wear. I know I now have more dresses in my wardrobe than ever before. That I swing out when I walk down the street in a smart outfit.. that the fitted skirt I bought makes me feel feminine and businesslike at the same time.

So here's a shout for SL - it really can improve your first life/real world attitude and confidence. I may still need Trinny, Suzanna and Gok for a few ideas - but I can see if I like em in my SL before I rush out and spend 'real' cash amounts on them.

And a note to shops everywhere - fashion is all well and good - but a nice pile of staple heels and skirt shapes is soooo much better!

Monday, 21 July 2008

HFC Touch

Hear my exasperated sighing - with a month to go on the warranty the case has cracked a bit (yes I have dropped it but not that badly) and the general level of connection is dropping. By this I mean that following a call, a text or internet connection the software seems to go into meltdown and only by soft re-setting the thing - possibly upto several times will it return to function.

As my only phone contact this is increasingly annoying. Since it went bandy in march its had a new motherboard; and oddly was downgraded to 5.2 mobile windows. Yes it definitely had MW6 when I got it, I remember boasting about this to a freind! So back it goes and in its place I shall be trying a Treo 680! Want to hear about that? Watch this space.

Three (part 3)

Well I am two weeks into living with my Three Mobile broadband dongle. And all I get at my home location are dial up speeds - or less. This means that Skype and GTalk are intermittantly interupted - and that includes stopping altogether. Playing World of Warcraft occasionally leaves me with up to 6 seconds of lag (and that is the difference between life or death for not just me but the toons I might heal!) So my view is when it works it works fine; I will never get the bandwidth to use 15GB a month, as I have yet to pay a bill, its free usage BUT when I am out and about, especially in the City vs just being in Inner London I get better connection. Its a long way from perfect but it will do for now!

Bluetooth tracking devices (sic)

I cam across this article in the Guardian on-line version.
And noted the software is available in SL - can you track an avatar by bluetooth???? I am impressed - does that put the Big Pond sim in Australia, Dresden Art Galery in Germany and Knightsbridge in London - cos Hypatia must have clocked up a few million miles - and can I have those airmiles for Hypatia's avatar (the Keyboard Godess) who would like to go to Melbourne!

On a more serious note and having listened to Steve Gibson on Security Now (A TwIT podcast - have they thought about renaming that acronym) the tracking of not just your person but your internet behaviours, personal location and the views you express (Hey! I blog, therefore I am fair game) are very much up for grabs by the sneakyist technologist. Be very aware Big Brother is not just watching, but listening and reading - though what he may deduce from all this information is..... I imagine steam will come out his ears and his head blow off actually.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Mobile Broadband

Well I am about to test out the Three offering - as i move into new accomodation without a landline connection. So having researched, and since I have a Three contract phone and get my 7gb half price at £12.50 a month..... here I go. Watch this space for more info but in the meantime...... click here for more information from the Guardian blog pages.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

MyGadget - HTC Touch

I have to say I love my HTC Touch - a truely mini-pc, I run MS OneNote that Sync's with my main PC. Not only dealing with e-mail, texts and web browsing but also spreadsheets (handy for Archery scoring) and on the fly budgets and word documents. It's also my ebook reader and music player with a 6gb micro SSD disk in it. And it makes phonecalls as well!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

SOAPBOX - On Asperational lifestyles

Soapboxes will be an occasional series of rants!

In SL and MMRORPG - they are fine - cos at the end of the day you are (hopefully) only spending pennies - or less than 50 quid a month. But in RL or FL(first life) as some now choose to call it - ditch your credit cards! Labels are nothing if you look like Edwina from Ab Fab in it!

So what do I mean by an aspirational lifestyle - its all the right hair, the right tie and the right address! And that seems true for social websites too. SO its safe to play with a huge house, stable of horses, flashy cars and extreme sports - perhaps that’s why gaming is so popular - we all get to be James Bond or Lara Croft. But at the end of the day remember reality - or at least the you who works and socialises is not your avatar; be it elf or neko, marine or just SL fashion model; Game responsibly folks.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Browser Wars - fastest typist wins!

Have you noticed how we don't surf (dynamic and virile terminology) the web so much now, we browse. All very feminine and makes me think of shopping!!! Which is probably what most of us do - unless its 'Browser Wars' a game I play with my b/f when we try to trump each other with Wiki or news evidence proving or popping things we read in blogs etc.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Some interesting free software....

Jing - The concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere.

The project will eventually turn into something else. Tell us what you think so we can figure out what that is.

Interclue- Rest your mouse on the icon, and up pops an enhanced summary of the linked page.

GIMP GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

Lazarus Ever had one of those “oh $*#@” moments when you've finally finished filling out a long form, and hit submit only to see an error message? And when you hit the back button, the form was blank... If so, you know you need Lazarus. And if not, you have a chance to install Lazarus before disaster strikes!

A week (well 3 days) at work

Well after tackling my first work for erm.... 3 months or so..... I am exhausted. And I realise how futile some jobs are. Since I work as a Personal Assistant - and that covers a whole range of stuff from buying lunch to dealing with insurance claims, kid's gifts and vacation booking ( yes I have booked my bosses holiday hotel and flights before). Well maybe its my age or just getting back into the stride of things, but God its boring, but at least busy. And it reminds me of how little some people use or understand technology. (more on this to follow).

Friday, 30 May 2008

It's all in the walk!

Well as usual I did it arse over tip, talking about clothes, when first you might want to get your movement and skin right. Both subjects will 'define' your avatars personality as much as their clothes..... bad girl, gangsta, or heroic ninja - the way you move is key.

AO stands for Animation overide, and your little cartoon Avatar is very versatile in this, adding to or replacing the Linden basic movements. Want to jump like the girl in the Matrix? Fly like Superman? or walk like Jessica Alba? Then either altering or replacing your AO is the way to go.

Again there are free animations and with a bit of help (again look at TUi and NCI) you can build your own but there are some high quality animations out there for those with the lindens!

If nothing else go and get a feel for some of them at the posing stands at the following shops:

: Good entry level AO's and cheap clothing

Pixel Spa: complete AV's with hair, AO and clothes in a range of nationalities and races

SE Emotions: more upmarket AO's catering for models, but nice animations

Vista AO's:
Good AO's at entry level

Cost varies - as much as your need to customise yourself - if you are looking for modelling poses try SE. But with a little effort you can achieve the same results for free.

Youtube has some useful tips on life in SL.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Female Fashion in SL

Well after your initial few weeks in SL and collecing Freebies, try out oX DOS HUD 0.850 for finding prize chairs.... justget the HUD from the dispenser there. Its time to branch out to better than 'what you can make yourself' fashion. (And I highly recommend the classes at TUi and NCI in Avartar makeovers) - so get along to....



UK Couture

sf Designs



And for acessories
Shiny Things - Shoes and Jewellry

Gurl 6Hair, and other stuff

Take plenty of lindens and enjoy.... most of these places have free gifts or clearance items.


Coming next AO's and Skins!