January 2nd, 2007

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2007 to anyone reading.

Had a hectic few days but, arguably, they wouldn't have been quite so hectic if I hadn't spent quite so much time vegging out on the PC and Xbox 360 (chief offenders: Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, Gears of War and SWAT 4, along with some replaying of Doom 3 and Quake 4 to revel in the X-Fi's 7.1 EAX sound effects)!

Friday and Saturday - popped down, along with PC, to Horsham for a few days to see Sally, David and Karen. Relaxed few days vegging out. Was particularly impressed by David's new Wii. Only played with the bowling and golf games on Wii Sports but loved how natural playing those felt by swinging the control wand appropriately. You just know Lucasarts *must* be working on a lightsabre game. Strikes me as crying out for a decent fencing/sword fighting game too. Might have to get one at that point, not that I have much choice right now, given the supply situation.

Headed back up to London Saturday evening for a small dinner party at Liz's but, on discovering that one of the people present had studied 17th century English history, she of course brought up the ECW re-enactment :-)

Sunday: headed down to Taunton with Kate for a small Norfolkes New Year gathering. Utterly grim drive down though - extremely heavy rain and spray, visibility minimal. Still, no incidents, bar passing a burning motorbike on the opposite side of the M4. Occured to me it was first New Year's Eve without the family and thus wasn't entirely sure what to expect - even had lyrics for AUld Lang Syne loaded up on the PDA, just in case ;-) I also almost forgot to pop the champagne in time... Fortunately, I was reminded just in time. Now thinking I need another overseas project to replenish champagne stocks...

Sad geeky thing: starting to wonder just how much SMS traffic spikes by on Christmas and New Year's Eves and how it compares in the UK with other countries...

Another sad geeky thing: I appeared to be one of only two people not actively playing Oblivion. Might have to invest in a copy. That many Norfolkes can't be wrong, can they? ;-)

A sure sign the year has whizzed by: as we were dispersing, the subject of meeting again at the NTB banquet came up. My first reaction was "What, *another* one?" but it was pointed out that it was merely an *annual* affair. Wow. Another eye-opener: hearing the talk about the Restoration society - those who'd been re-enacting so long that, if they'd started in 1642 when the war started, they'd have still been in service at the Restoration. Impressive enough except it seems a few present could also claim to have fought in the Bishops' Wars!

I think I may need to vary my order from the local Chinese takeaway. Popped there on returning home on Monday evening, gave my order and the girl behind the counter immediately hit return on the PC keyboard and told me the amount... Also noticed that the traffic light at the Northeastern corner of the high street and Fortis Green road is now set right by the corner building, not by the kerb as it used to be. Guess it's been knocked over too many times by mad drivers...

Now trying to plan out a weekend trip back out West. Seeing the Tank and Fleet Air Arm museums are long unfulfilled ambitions of mine but they always seemed too far out but on noting they're quite close to each other, a weekend trip to do them both looks pretty appealing right now.

Also looks like Hitachi are satisfied with my reassurances that I will not be using their kit for weapons of mass destruction. They've sent me a RMA label for the dead hard disk. In Excel format, oddly enough.
Spectrum

Well, that was unexpected...

Tried rebuilding the XP 3000 into the Phong II case. Seemed to boot up OK, only, shortly after I rebooted to sort out the SATA/RAID settings, there was a loud bang and that very distinctive blown capacitor smell coming from the PSU (the 430W Antec unit that originally came with main PC case, now replaced with 600W in last upgrade). Sure enough, it's not powering up any more. Guess I need to pop out and get a new PSU and hope that's the only thing that's blown...

Not a good day for PC hardware. Three times today, work laptop hard disk has made strange clicking/seeking noises followed by Blue Screen of Death. Fortunately, data is all backed up over network onto main PC but this does not sound good.

Only potential bright spot hardware-wise is that one of the duff HGST 250GB SATA-II drives is off for replacement.

And just to round off the less than stellar day, Carol Decker was voted straight off Just The Two Of Us.
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