video is best enjoyed on the TV

We recently acquired an Asus O!Play HDP-R1. This is a small box which connects to the TV and the home network so it can play video shared over the network. Since our main source of entertainment is downloaded video, we’d been looking out for something like this for a while, and this one had the […]


A while back, I put our old computer elizabeth on a shelf in the basement. Frustratingly, it was fairly close to our cable modem, which is connected to the home network, but there is only a single cable run up to the router which is on the first (ground) floor, and which is where it […]

Comcast are scum

The ‘Digital Television Switchover’ took place here a couple of weeks ago. Not long after, we received this letter from Comcast[PDF 900kB]. While I suspect it doesn’t say anything that is actively illegal, I do think it could be highly misleading and is taking advantage of less well informed people1. Q: How do I get […]

fantasy video player box

(I say ‘fantasy’ because we’ve had thoughts about this for a year or more, but we have more important things to spend our money on). We don’t watch much normal TV. Cable doesn’t seem worth it. However we use a certain site to get bittorrent downloads of British shows we like. This currently means we […]

home server upgrades

At home we have a D-Link DNS-323 and I think it is great. We originally fitted it with a pair of 500GB drives, but a while back I commented that once 1TB drives were available for below $100 I would upgrade. With the pre-Christmas sales that time came… To perform the upgrade, first I moved […]

thoughts on choosing computers

Since family and friends know I am a ‘computer guy’ I am sometimes asked for advice on choosing computers to buy. The trouble with this is that my own computer needs and use is pretty far removed from the ‘normal’ computer user. Actually I have to imagine how a ‘normal’ computer user works based on […]

Good timing

Sunday morning – bought the extra downpipe bend I needed to set up our rain barrel, then set it up. Sunday afternoon – a couple of storms dropped enough rain to fill the barrel. (Not sure if I’m going to be able to grill today’s dinner though). And for my other Sunday project, I converted […]

These crazy Americans and their crazy electrical standards

Or that’s what I thought when I first moved here. In Britain there is only one common type of electrical plug/socket which is used for everything. It is an earthed, polarised connector which provides single-phase 240V AC at a max 13A. Plugs have a fuse in for protection, and sockets usually have a switch to […]

new power supply

Hooray, my replacement power supply came today, and I have my computer back up and running. In fact the replacement is a bit better than the original, since it is one of the new “80 Plus” certified range and is rated a bit higher. It seems to have fixed the problem with sound too.

hardware saga

Antec have shipped me a replacement power supply, hooray! Unfortunately it’s coming by ground from California so it will be another week before I get my computer working.