06 December 2012


The BT Engineer arrived to connect me up to Fiber Optics. It was quick and painless, and my black EE router now has a white BT modem next to it feeding it stuff. I went for a 40Mbps connection (could get more) and that's what testing says I'm getting.

Of course what I get back is unlikely to be that good!

25 November 2012

Trikassi in winter

Chateau Trikassi, winter 2012, photo by Wildstar Beaumont. Serra Anansi, Seneshelf of Winterfell, brings snow overnight to her land of dreams.

23 November 2012

Do not Press this Button

It was the 'Sleep' button on my keyboard, and it was accidental honest... anyway the system glitched and refused to wake up so I had to reboot. The BIOS decided it was Level 1 Diagnostic time and reset to its defaults.
Fine, except - noisy fans! I had to venture into the BIOS to switch variable speed back on. I hate doing this, even though BIOSes have help screens these days they are in, well this being ASUS it's Chinese English.
So far so good, I tweaked the chassis fan speed down one step from 'whine' to 'hum'. ASUS have a free program called PC Probe that displays this kind of stuff and can set off alarms if things go wrong. Next I'll try going down to Super Quiet Mode!

12 November 2012

Is this Fibre at last?

Orange (or EE as they now are) ninja updated my router software with - goodness - a switch to fibre button. Could this be... I looked on the website. Yes, there were the pricing options, a speed estimate (72Mbps) and a number to phone.
And they hadn't told me. Nor have BT, though I'm on their register list to be informed. Grr.
I signed up anyway, and now await a BT engineer to update my connection. In three weeks? Sigh...

05 July 2012

BT fail. Again.

Yes, it was time last week for BT to contact me and say superfast fiber optics were ready as they had promised three months ago. And yes, the promised date has been advanced another three months.

11 May 2012

Fun with Hi-fi

After twenty years, it was time to update my hifi system. It was sitting on one side of the living room unused with the PC and TV on the other.
I settled on a Sony STR-DH820 A/V as the hub, which though defined as 'entry level' sounds fine to me. It has more sockets in the back than Neo and is awesomely black.

Glitch #1 I managed to press the wrong buttons and disabled the remote control. A Google forum search found the remedy - press a previously untouched button unintuitively labelled 'AMP'. Yes it was in the manual but in the wrong place.

The PC, TV and satellite box connect to the A/V via HDMI cables, and the A/V turned out to have better video output: Channel 4 HD had been choppy but is fine now.

Glitch #2 was (ha!) Windows. Switching from the PC speakers to HDMI output, the only option was Stereo. Where's my surround sound? Back to Google, which suggested some complicated and suspiciously old remedies. So... update driver? Yes, there was a recent update but that made no apparent difference.
Eventually the solution hit me last night: Windows was being clever and looking to see where the sound was going. To a TV with just two speakers? OK, just stereo then. In the A/V settings I needed to disable 'Pass Through'. Now Windows could only see the A/V and up came the speaker options I wanted.

17 April 2012

Fiber optics - BT fail

British Telecom installed fiber optics at my local exchange 18 months ago. Since then, every three months they have been promising to actually extend it to my road. A couple of days before the deadline, they push the date forward another three months.

So I've given up and signed a new internet/phone/mobile deal with Orange. 3Mb speed is fine for me, I can wait for long downloads.

13 February 2012

Router change

My Orange Livebox has been suspect for a while, losing connection every couple of hours, so I replaced it with their new dedicated router, Bright Box.
Bright it is not - it's black! Also smaller, paperback sized. It connected up automatically once given my password and hasn't had a dropout yet.