A Year Without Spending – Day 54 – Still not bought anything

As anyone who follows the blog will have realised, I haven’t been posting much on the blog. This isnt because I have forgotten about it, its just that when you spend every day not spending money, you do very little that’s worth discussing in a public forum. Sure we go on a daily walk in the countryside, and we keep the business ticking over, but now I’ve made all the cutbacks in spending I can, and tend not to buy anything, even food most of the time, there is very little to talk about. I’m glad I’m still carrying out the experiemnt, but with the exception of the odd free daytrip I’ve been like a hermit, working alot from home and saving money to pay off my numerous student debts. Read More....

A Year Without Spending – Day 25-27 – Free Activities to keep me occupied

Hall Street Depot - Transport Museum
Hall Street Depot - Transport Museum

Well I’m as good as a month into the project and it’s already getting a little tough. I need new socks badly, which I should have bought before starting the project. I’ve read most of the books I had backlogged so it’s a library job for them. We are also getting a little bored not spending money. Vicki by default isn’t spending, probably in sympathy, but as a result we have become like hermits, only leaving the house to go for a walk or to grab groceries. There is our daily journey to the post office to post out orders from Koolbadges but apart from that we do nothing. We where going to start going swimming as we live oposite a huge park with a leisure centre in the middle, however they have a problem with the filters int he pool and refuse to fix it so that is out of the question. Read More....

iBook 1.33Ghz G4 – Better than a Netbook

iBook G4 - Still a damn nice machine!
iBook G4 – Still a damn nice machine!

Well I managed to source an iBook 1.33Ghz 12″ for the grand total of £0.00. Our friend Emma had been having trouble with the iBook rebooting and freezing, and the guys in the so called “Genius Bar” had suggested that the Logic Board was faulty and it would be a better idea to upgrade to a new Macbook. So she offered the faulty iBook to me to break up for parts.

I received the iBook and after looking at the thing (it’s pristine, a great size and too good to break up) I decided to have a go at fixing the thing. Out came the screwdrivers and tweezers and apart came the laptop. After a few hours and a few attempts to diagnose the logic board (checking for loose connections and corrosion) I decided to take a look at the RAM. I know I should have really checked this first, but I kind thought the Geniuses at the Genius Bar would have done that in the first place. Read More....

Casio CMD-40 infrared tv watch

Casio CMD-40 remote Control Watch
Casio CMD-40 remote Control Watch

I received the Casio CMD-40 watch for Christmas this year and the mischeif value is amazing! A quick cycle through the various manufacturer remote codes whilst at the pub or in the city allows me to wreak havoc with employees by systematically turning off every TV in the room. Also of great interest is the Learning mode on the watch which allows you to manually program buttons based on any infra-red signal. You click the button that is to be programmed and point the remote of the device which is being learned and press the appropriate key to transfer the infra-red code. This system allows me to control our Cable TV, my XBMC, and any other device I want to control, all from my wrist. Read More....

Vista Vs OSX vs Ubuntu

I’m having a personal struggle with operating systems at the moment. I’m looking for a rock solid OS which offers the ease of use expected by my grandmother, but that isn’t dumbed down so much that I can’t do some real computing with it. Since the new PC build I have been using Vista, and whilst the introduction of DX10 and the improved update system is a welcome surprise on the windows front, I feel that that the OS is just to bulky, bloated and slow. The same machine (core 2 duo E6600 OC to 3.4ghz, 2GB ram, 500GB sata2 drive and 8800GTS) feels super fast and responsive under xp, but very sluggish under Vista. Simple things annoy me, the length of time it takes to delete a file, the length of time to display the file structure on my ipod (I carry alot of files too and from work on the Ipod), and similar annoyances. Read More....

New PC Build Complete – Core 2 Duo e6600 with serious overclock

Well the new PC build is finally complete, and what can I say, I’m very happy with the outcome. My old Athlon XP based machine was getting slightly haggard so I decided to go all out and build the ultimate machine. The specs breifly are as follows

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4ghz OC to 3.2Ghz Stable
  • 2gb Dual Channel DDR 800 with Copper heatsinks
  • 500gb Sata2 HDD
  • Gigabyte 965p-s3 Motherboard
  • Evga Nvidia 8800 GTX Directx 10 card
  • Zalman CNPS9700 Heatsink
  • Aria Darkstar case

What can I say about that spec. I just had to overclock the processor and I have great stability at 3.2ghz with very cool core temps. I managed to hit 3.5ghz but I need a stable machine for work so scaled it back. The build all went well, aside from the PSU which was a cheap and nasty OEM 600 watt job. Surprisingly had no sata power cables so I had to go with adapters. No big deal until I change it. Also the 8800 needed 4 molex just to power it. Also bought a couple of 80mm fans just to keep the airflow nice and flowy 😛 Read More....

Xbox Hacking – Xbox Crystal & Xbox Media Centre XBMC

Latest Picture of my Xbox setup.

And a Macro of the xbox & Chip controller.

I started Xbox hacking back in October 2004. I bought a Crystal Xbox for £100. I wanted to get an older model due to the more complex chipping procedure of the 1.6 motherboards in new machines but after aloof thought I decided to go with the new crystal machine. I then purchased a Xecuter 2.6 Mod chip from Kaneaction who offered a great service. The mod chip fitting itself was a nightmare. Took me almost 4 hours to make all the solder points and rebuild the LPC . Also, I lost one of the copper tracks (the heat from the soldering iron destroyed the track) so I had to rebuild the track using wire. After the chip was installed i ripped out the original 8GB Western Digital HD and fitted a 250gb Samsung drive . I then booted the Xbox from Slayers Evox Boot disk and installed Evox, avalaunch & XBMC. Read More....