On The Mend

Gaming PC repairs have begun. I’ve repaired its radiator with waterproof plastic glue & PTFE tape, & it is now on a 24 hour leak test. If it passes that I’ll buy a cheap replacement motherboard.
I hope that apeases all of the Battlefield 2 gamers that keep badgering me.

Headcrabs For Sale! Come And Get Your Headcrabs!

Hl2 Headcrab Pic02
Valve are selling plush headcrabs in the run up to the release of Half-Life 2 Episode 1. An unbelievably excellent idea. I’ll be needing a plush crowbar to go with that.
Preloading of the new Half-Life 2 episode begins via Steam this month, with activation on June 1st. Damn – I really am going to have to repair my gaming PC. First step, superglue. Second step, find out how many components got fried and how expensive this is going to be.
Get all your Half-Life 2 Episode 1 news here.

No XBox360 for me

Some of the reasons why I won’t be buying the XBox 360:
Microsoft really seem to have missed the point AGAIN. Lots of people may sway towards the 360 as a living room multimedia hub, but not if it is noisy, not if it doesn’t interact with existing kit, and not if you can’t do basic internetty things with it.
The reason I’m looking at this is because I’ve been playing with Media Player 10 for the last couple of days on my home theatre PC. I normally use iTunes to rip and tag my music, but it doesn’t put album art into the folder for XP to see, so my music and video organising software Meedio shows ugly folder icons instead of pretty album art. Media Player will solve this, but I have to right-click each album and ask it nicely. If I leave Media Player running it leaks memory and freezes. Nice. I regularly forget how much hard work Microsoft software can be. I’ll give up with that and download a nice simple piece of third-party freeware to do the job instead, no doubt written by a very competent 13 year old.


It seems to be the time of year for the publishers Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins to send out new versions of their textbooks to us lecturers. For those of you interested, Moore’s Essential Clinical Anatomy is now on edition 3, Langman’s Medical Embryology is on edition 10 (some nice additions in there), and there’s a new Snell anatomy text (I think): Clinical Anatomy by Systems. My shelves are beginning to bow under the strain of so many books. I’m also reviewing some new genetics and child health texts, which makes a pleasant change from my usual reading of the last couple of years.

Sea Fog

2006-04-25-Sea Fog
Cycling home tonight a sea fog had rolled in, blanketing Mumbles (on the right). The sky dropped to the sea, and the horizon came close to the beach. It almost made marking exam papers for 5 hours worthwhile. Almost.
The really cool thing is that this panoramic image was made entirely within my mobile phone. Funky software, although it could have fixed the exposure for the 3 images to help the blend.

Drowning in paper

I’m in the midst of marking and second marking a pile of 2000 word essays, and am about to receive 2 sets of 70-odd exam papers to mark from 2 exams this week, of which each paper deserves the same attention as all the others. Mondays, eh? Far too much coffee will be drank in the couple of weeks.

17″ MacBook Pro

Apple have released a huger 17″ version of their new top-end notebook for sale:
MacBook Pro
Looks nice, but it’s too big for me. I’m waiting for the 12″ that’ll fit into my bike bag easily, weigh less than a kilo and have a terabyte hard disk. OK, that last bit’s rather unlikely for a while…