Monday, April 30, 2007

That P990i camera...

White flower closeup
Originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.
Blimey, it's not bad - I remember the first digital camera I got (a 1.3MP Kodak) and I guess it was about time I got something with better res... this P990i camera is actually making me think I'll get a bigger memory card for it and use it on holiday (etc) - the quality of the shots isn't bad at all. The autofocus works rather well...


Sunday, April 29, 2007


Nah, we didn't drink so much we all forgot about the gig. We left that to the audience... I had a couple of pints of water (rock and/or roll yeah) and jumped about a lot in front of the stack (ah blissful bi-amped sound! So much headroom! Woohoo!) and sang until I got hoarse. Actually, I did all the above things until the power went out on stage and couldn't be persuaded to come back on!

Apologies to all of you who had a great time in the 2.75 sets we managed to play that night ;) on the plus side we did literally only have a couple more songs to play. It was going so well as well! You were all dancing like nutters, having a great time... then the lights dimmed a bit and it all went quiet!

All I can say is we had a chat while we were trying to get it all working again, and the band in O'Neills the night before had the same problem... the sparky got called out but said there wasn't anything wrong, and charged 150 quid for the callout! Talk about a rip off...

Anyway, a big shout to everybody who came along on friday night, total stars.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's all good news...

Cool, lots of stuff happening... I redid the Janeiro myspace profile over on, I've saved the old one so we can rotate them about a bit. Janeiro have got what might become a residency at S-Bar in Battersea in ol' london town, which is cool, some london exposure and maybe some original material and who knows?

I've got employers lined up at different stages of giving me a new day job, and I'm pleased to say I'm hopefully not going to get hit by the time out I took in Soldeu. BTW, on the whole job hunting thing, I've only got one great tip, which is for gods' sake don't lie on your CV. Apart from the unprofessional creases (sorry) it will always get noticed. I remember at PMCDE a guy came for interview and he'd quoted some stuff he said he'd tested and worked on, but within 2 questions from the (knowledgeable) interviewer it was obvious he didn't know about the stuff he said he did.

Why do that to yourself? Over-reaching is one thing, but setting yourself up for stressful interviews where you have to try to fake knowledge of something? Don't bother - be totally honest.

That's probably dead easy for me to say, I've got 7 years behind me with a lot of different stuff that I've done at Panasonic so I can probably say I've touched on most stuff, and some of it I've done in a lot of depth.

But don't lie, please don't lie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Holy cow, Speak and Spell!!!

We had one of these when we were kids... sweet emulator!

Amplifiers... a new search begins. Why?????

Well, I've finally got to the stage where I need to unpack and organise the studio. This means I have to think once again about how to keep the stack available to take to gigs, and looking at the stairs in the new place the 32+ kilo cabinets are starting to look a little excessive.

It's a 900 watt Warwick monster and I love it to bits but it's just too big... it only just fits into the Xantia! So it's time to consider some other options I reckon.

I saw some Gallien Krueger stuff out in Andorra which looked the part. Classic for them, it was small, portable, and had a massive power rating. Sweet. :)

I'll keep looking...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Getting stuff off camcorder...

It's not as hard as I thought, actually... the software that came with the Sony is a bit basic, but it does work. The avi files it captures are mental huge though, I'm using Nero Recode to bring them down to post to Myspace.

Now I can get into video editing (after I get another huge hard drive to fiddle with, mind)!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Looks like my interview technique isn't too bad.

woohoo! Got a call this morning from the agent fella, these tetra radio guys are apparently pleased with our meeting yesterday. 6 month contract with a good chance of a permanent position afterwards, so it's nice to have got things off the ground.

The actual job doesn't sound too bad (i didn't know the details before I went!) some testing to do in implementing a new feature.

And now, for a change, I can make a choice rather than being pushed into accepting the first position that comes along. That's liberating, you have no idea! Big thanks to Nic once again for supporting me like a trooper. Bless!

Cheers punters!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Summer? Maybe...

Blimey, I come back and the sun comes out... what a weekend! This is the only time of year I really have a lager or two, otherwise it's time for wine :)

But seriously, this is a very nice change. To think 4 weeks ago I was snowboarding where I lived!

A big shout to all the new friends at - thanks for the love people :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Carpe Diem!

Now don't get into a hissy fit because I used some latin. It was in a Robin Williams movie anyway...

I was just thinking that a lot of the things that happened to me recently were pretty cool, especially when things were up to the wall, like moving house and needing to do it very quickly (like before going out Soldeu) - I was just looking out of the window at Bass Towers here and thinking how lucky I was, and then I suddenly realised the really obvious cliche. It sounds like one of those simplistic American Disney Cartoons about "How Capitalism Is Great"...

If you grab hold of a task and wring its' neck to do it right, good things happen more often than not.

Now, bad luck does occur, but I'll tell you right now that I can remember more good things happening to me when I grabbed hold of something I had to do and applied all of my resources to it than when I really didn't want to do something because it seemed like too much hassle, etc. Not just the extra effort: like something fell into place and the Gods themselved smiled down on the enterprise and decided that, well, yes, since I had put that extra effort in they'd lend a hand etc.

That's how it feels: like when I really tried and it worked out, that the hand of fate had almost helped out! You have to be careful with those rose-tinted specs: they can skew your perception. The truth is that you do, to a certain extent, make your own luck. Armed with that knowledge, and without any of that excremental american self-improvement garbage, go out there and really engage with what you're trying to do. Don't do the 21st century "oh, it's too hard" thing, really go for it. Properly.

You might be surprised how much you believe in fate afterwards :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

P990i problems... yes, I do have some

Ah, the thrills of a handset-still-in-development. It's been months since I had that... but this is mine, and it's a sonyericsson, not a pre-production Panasonic!

Basically, on the latest P990i software version, the phone app gets confused if you've got contacts which are in both the SIM and the handset phonebooks, and as a result personalised ringtones, number to name lookup etc don't work.

Simple solution - delete all the contacts on your SIM. It's not as if the phone uses them anyway...

I only stuck that on here so Google'd index it and some other poor sap will be able to find this solution pronto. Only one problem though... how do you access your SIM phonebook on the P990i...? I used an old Panasonic GD96!


Friday, April 06, 2007

A little geeking can go a long way, musically speaking...

OK, Myspace is a cool way to get people into your stuff. The band are a covers outfit, but we do give one hell of a show, so while I'm looking for another job to occupy my waking hours behind a desk (poo) I decided to try making something using AutoIT v3 - an automatic Myspace Friend Adder!

There are plenty of things on the market which do the job, but you can pay upwards of $15 for them, so I thought "I wonder if AutoIT could control a web page?" - little did I know that the latest version has a whole user library pre-written to do just that.

I now have an app (windows only now) which can auto-request friends! There's a limit of 50 adds a day (which I'm working on, there are a couple of known workarounds which seem to work a bit) but for nowt and only about 5 hours of dev and test it works pretty well.

If you want to try it out for yourself (free at the moment, maybe a small paypal donation of £2.50 to drop me an email at the same address...

Cheers m'deers


P.S. Still playing a lot of fretless 5 string Warwick. I've started recording some stuff too, in the "let's see where this leads" style, rather than coming up with something concrete like a melody and moving from there.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Forgot to add... more geeking - P990i!

Well, after a lot of research (and some anecdotal negativity on the forums which I had to dispel) I finally got a P990i. It's vodafone "branded", so I thought I'd have to go through the usual stuff to get it de-vodafoned but to my surprise the firmware out of the box (R7c ish) was good looking, and felt pretty stable: 2G/3G network selection (sticking to 2G thank you very much, better battery life), RSS feeds enabled, and no vodafone crappy icons. Excellent! Then I read about R9 software, put the update service on the laptop and fired it up: 30 mins later I've got a happy up-to-date P990i which seems to be plenty stable.

Overall I'm impressed - the flip is more solid, the QWERTY keyboard is fine, and the WiFi is blisteringly quick. Now all I have to find is SKYPE and a blogger app for it! :)


Myspace Friend Adders.... useful musically?

Wow. I have to tell you, I've been geeking out for the last couple of days: I wrote my own Friend Adder for Myspace. It's still in the early stages, but it's got a windows front end, you give it a list of friend IDs to scrape for IDs to invite, and once it hits the 50-a-day limit it saves its position and tells you to restart tomorrow. So far it's made the 50 invites each day for the last 3 days!

Coming soon... scheduling and synchronisation with the Myspace server and I'll leave it running on the Server upstairs, permanently adding more friends to the JaneiroBreeze profile! Mwahahah!

Seriously though, I want everybody in Oxford to know about the band. Nobody could not want to see us in full flight, it's an experience :)

Cheerio chums!


P.S. the adder is available on request, and for a small shareware donation to my paypal account at

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Holy cow my wife wants a games console.

Well, this is a turn up for the books and no mistake. I've fallen off the games console treadmill (you know, new hardware every 2 bloody years, plus buy another controller, oh and there's the 4-way multi tap for parties that you never use, oh and the games are now 50 quid each and....) but kept an eye on happenings, at least partly because I've always wondered about working in the industry (hell, if the teenagers can get together the cash I for one would like to join in fleecing the little square eyed ecstacy freaks).

But now Nic has tried a Wii (no smart jokes now punsters) at a show and likes it, specifically the bowling game. I guess it would be pretty cool with the projector and that funky controller, we can stand either side of the projector beam and swing to our hearts content...

But, I mean to say... I've been out-geeked.