Shopping 2

Jun. 20th, 2017 09:33 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
Annoyingly, my Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip mp3 player is dying. I see I got it in 2013, when JA broke the clip that attaches them to your clothing on the Clip+ that she took to Switzerland. Getting the newer model meant getting a proper colour screen rather than the multi-monochrome one on the Clip+, but it still ran Rockbox, the very impressive third party firmware that lets you do all sorts of nice things. Including, if you're silly enough, play Doom on it.

More annoyingly, it's out of production and the successors to the Clip Zip, the Clip Jam and Clip Sport do not run Rockbox. If Sandisk had any sense, they'd have it as the official firmware, but no...

Even more annoyingly, the price for second-hand Clip Zips reflects the fact that they're the last ones that run Rockbox. It's silly money time. Even Clip+'s are over-priced for the hardware compared with the price of a new Jam or Sport: the Rockbox effect again.


At least my ten year old Sandisk e280 still works and it does.

More thoughts

Jun. 15th, 2017 12:19 pm
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[personal profile] lovingboth
One of the reasons why I suspect that the recent Grenfell Tower disaster was down to the refurbishment was my late father.

He was a fireman through the 60s, 70s and a big chunk of the 80s. He stayed at the sub-officer level because, unlike the officers, they went out on the shouts. So he'd been to a lot of incidents before health problems meant he shifted to fire safety.

One memory from my childhood is going to the AmDram theatre my mother had been part of when she was younger. We were in the balcony and he was VERY uncomfortable, to the point that we left at the interval.

The place burnt down a few years later. Fortunately no-one was in it, because anyone in the balcony would have been in trouble: the pre-war small theatre had a narrow wooden staircase up to it. It got rebuilt with a wider concrete one. He'd go back then.

For some years, he was at a station responsible for a stretch of the M1. There were types of car he wouldn't go in. (If he could have afforded one, he'd have had a Saab.)

There was one shop in the town centre he wouldn't go in.

Once during a fire alarm, my sister's teacher kept them back until they'd been given their homework. Let's just say they never did that again.

When I lived on the third floor of a house, he checked that there was a ladder escape.

But he never had a problem with going into a tower block. He'd been to fires in them, but he trusted the designs would contain any incident not involving a gas explosion until people could be rescued.

And that's what didn't happen this week.


Jun. 15th, 2017 12:11 pm
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[personal profile] lovingboth
This PC hasn't locked up in a while, except that it did a couple of days ago and lost a big post here.* This is what I can remember...

Charity shop finds - a few years ago, my (now late and now) step-mother was looking for presents for some of her grandchildren, and decided that some good binoculars would last and be used. I got tasked with doing the research and, for the price, found some Pentax 10x50s. I liked them so much, I later got a pair myself.

They are certainly bright (the 50mm size of the lenses means lots of light gets in) and effective (the 10x magnification) but using [personal profile] purplerabbits's very nice pair (8x42 Eschenbach?) showed me that they are not great. Unlike her pair, there's noticeable colour fringing when there's significant contrast in what you're looking at.

I also usually only barely glance at ones in charity shops. They tend to be rubbish for a start. So it was a very nice surprise to see an 8x42 pair recently that wasn't. They're cold war (or not long after) Russian, built like a tank, and a quick look through them suggested that they were good. A look online showed that some other people thought so too... how much? A tenner? (Less than a poor pair with a brand name they had heard of.) Sold.

* I was using Drivel** to write it, and that doesn't autosave.

** Speaking of Drivel, does anyone know why the number of clients is so low in number and quality? Is it just that LJ and its codebase using sites are no longer where all the hip people like, erm, me and you hang out? I had to get Drivel from an old repository, because even Debian dropped it ages ago.
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy
According to The World at One the delay in the Queen Speech is largely to do with "goat skin parchment paper" (which is not necessarily made of goat skin) and how long it takes to do calligraphy on it...

Even Martha Karney got the giggles when this was explained to her. And is now asking other commentators "Do you believe this vellum business?"

Are we in a parallel universe now?

£5 for $1, sort of

Jun. 12th, 2017 08:33 am
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
If you're tired of eating free chocolate for the Google Play offer, for the next week, one of the current Humble Bundle deals includes 500 'Amazon coins' in its $1 tier.

If you've not come across these before, they can be used to pay for stuff in the Amazon appstore - a rival to Google's Play for Android devices. The selection is nowhere near as large, and you need to enable third party sources in their settings and install Amazon's own app on your device...

.. but there is some good stuff there, some of it free where it costs on Google (Patchwork is one example), and I find the app very useful for comparison shopping / looking up reviews anyway.

Each coin is worth 1p (in the UK, it's 1c in the US and 1 (different) c in Germany - outside those versions of the Amazon website, this is worthless) but you can't mix and match your payment: if you don't have enough coins in your account, you don't spend them all and pay the rest in real money, it's all real money. I think they have a fairly limited life too.

(Oh, when you redeem the code to get these on Amazon, you're taken to a page that looks like you're about to pay £4.90 for them. Somewhat stupidly, the 100% discount is applied after you've pressed the 'pay' button and not before. It took me about three 'I'm not paying for these!' goes before I discovered this...)

But it's meant I've now got the conversion of Camel Up, normally £3.71 on Google Play (and AppBrain tells me it's never been on sale there) for 369 'coins' that cost me less than a quid.

Other interesting board game ones include the conversions of Glass Road (77), Avignon: A Clash of Popes (80), Ingenious (129), Pickomino (129), Take It Easy (129), 6 takes! / 6 Nimmt! (149), Ligretto (159), Small World 2 (160), Hey, That's My Fish (162), Ghost Blitz (175), Ubongo (199), Abalone (199), Unreal Estate (232), Ticket to Ride (233), Splendor (233), Pandemic (233), Suburbia (238), Kingdom Builder (249), Alhambra (259), Castles of Mad King Ludwig (311), Cafe International (349*), Steam - Rails to Riches (376), Scotland Yard (399*), Carcassonne (399*), Labyrinth (399*), Galaxy Trucker (422), and Brass (499), plus the very good chess engines ChessGenius (300) and Shredder (499).

* = been on sale on Google / elsewhere for considerably less.
lovingboth: ([default])
[personal profile] lovingboth
Amongst the losers last night, Lord Ashcroft must wonder why he's spent so much of his money on polling to get it so wrong: "Estimated Conservative majority rises in final Ashcroft Model update" - the lowest majority he was expecting was 52.

He thinks this is down to the number of votes cast...

Meanwhile, gosh, it looks like it was 2010 it was most like, May is toast, and Corbyn toasted.

Annoyingly, there's zero chance of electoral reform with the result, but at least David Davis was talking in the middle of the night that May's UKIP-style hard Brexit might not be such a good idea after all.


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