dear internet, i love you, warm regards- brendan

Lock-in amplifier. Stanford Research Systems S...Image via Wikipedia

I have a record collection and a love of playing records. However my technical knowledge is extremely limited in getting to grips with how to get the most of out of my system. I needed to get a new amplifier the other day and wanted something cost effective, but powerful.

The old school experience would be to ask a knowledgeable friend, read some magazines for reviews, or go into a shop and hope you don’t get hoodwinked into buying something you didn’t need that was too costly.

My experience went something like this;
1) Post a question on the whathifi forums
2) Crossreference their recommendations through other boards and sites
3) Compare prices using a comparison pricing engine
4) Buy from the cheapest
5) Track the package till it made it to my house

From Friday night’s first search to Tuesday’s delivery, I couldn’t be happier with the process.

I love you most of all internet

TV on the computer

For the last three or four years we have had no TV.
By that I mean that we have had a TV, but we haven’t had any signal coming in to it, choosing only to watch series and DVD’s. This saves you from wallowing in crap teevee and just flicking through channels. However since having a baby, my brain requires switching off completely, and I’ve been wanting to increase my TV consumption.

We have a Mac Mini attached to our TV, so we can use the net, but the options aren’t great. We have used surfthechannel quite a bit, but you tend to get very grainy copies, buffering issues and Chinese subtitles (so all-in-all not a great experience).

Unfortunately being out of the US or UK there is no access to hulu or the iPlayer, which both have a wealth of good content in good quality (and no ads with the BBC).I saw a documentary that I wanted to watch on Rough Trade Records, so I thought I should try get access to BBC iPlayer. I’m not advocating piracy, however in the interests of investigation I thought I would give it a try.

Its pretty straightforward, install FoxyProxy as a Firefox addon (apparently FireFox is the best browser for this), follow the instructions and you’re up and running. You will need to refresh your proxy each time you watch (I believe), but there is a constantly updated list here. You need to add a UK proxy in one of the steps in the process (that’s well described in the how to on FoxyProxy). A quick tip for the technically inhibited (like me), the port is the numbers on the far right hand side after the last dot.

The next step to TV Valhalla is apparently boxee, a friend is using it and apparently its lifechanging. When we progress I’ll keep you updated.

Happy watching. Related articles by Zemanta


Excellent video of Steve Ballmer explaining how acquiring Yahoo! would fit well into their strategy

What I just did there is part of an online phenomena called “rickrolling”;
You claim to have some very interesting piece of content and then you link it to Rick Astley’s classic 80’s hit; “never gonna give you up”. Although it would seem to be a mundane kinda lame joke, its been spreading like wildfire; Youtube linked their homepage videos to it on April Fools Day, an American football team had a user vote for their new theme tune and got rolled.

Quirky, but great

stanton t90

in the last year or so i’ve got into buying vinyl records. i won’t go into that here, i’ll save that for a longer post (and an extra couple of glasses of wine before so i can wax lyrical). anyway, i ordered a new turntable, a stanton t90. the reason i got it was that it has a usb cable. i don’t need 2 “decks” as i’m more into the music than the art of mixing, but maybe i want to have some music on my computer trhat i only own on vinyl. anyway, it was plug and play, it looks great and sounds infinitely better than my previous turntable (granted there is 20 years and 20x difference in price tag between them).