Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Google's, sorry Google Earth is here!

Posted by Chris @ 6:12 PM

Yes Google have released their latest bit of techno wizardry on the masses, Google Earth. Its basically the earth from space that has a funky UI to it so you can fly around and zoom in and stuff. Its all very good, and I encourage you all to try it out. There are issues, like the caching of images seems a bit lame, and as usual the world according to Google is the US, Canada and some popular parts of the UK. But despite that its still cool, because they can add images to this, and its free!

What are you waiting for, go!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I survived!

Posted by Chris @ 3:09 PM

Well, its Sunday afternoon and I'm blogging, which means only one thing. I survived my Stag Do! (That said I'm hungover.)

We had a great time. The karting was excellent, the track was pretty cool with its electronic timing and everything, and for £40 a head we got a warm up, 3 heats of 8 laps each, and 1 final of 15 laps. Loads of karting for the price I reckon!

After the karting we headed into town for the meal - that was nice too, although I wish now I'd gone for a pasta dish rather than a pizza dish, but there will be other times to try that out. On leaving the restaurant we were told by the waitress / manager that we were the most well behaved stag party they've had. I wasn't sure whether to take that as a compliment or a not!!

We then headed into Sheffield for a few drinks, and then the law of the Stag dictates I can say no more! Suffice to say I had 4 too many shooters and other drinks, and got a few comments about my outfit (thanks to Anthony for that!)

Friday, June 24, 2005

My stag do

Posted by Chris @ 8:23 PM

Well it has crept up on me, but tomorrow is my stag do! I'm expecting to be fully humiliated by my "friends and family", but I'm sure I'll survive (well, we'll find out Sunday evening if I blog or not eh!)

For the stag do festivities I've planned for 14 of us to go karting at Parkwood Karting in Sheffield, and then come the evening we're having a meal at Mama's and Leonies before hitting the town, where control reluctantly passes to Anthony, my best man. Hmm.

Anyway, wish me look in my goodbye wave to the single life and here's hoping I'll make it out the other side in one piece.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How foolish of me

Posted by Chris @ 9:05 PM

As you may recall I was a little disappointed to discover I had received a faulty DVD of GTA San Andreas. Alas I feel I may have been a little foolish. No, I'm wrong, more a damn right idiot, a moron, a stupid stupid person.

As you'll recall I said that I tried the disc in 3 DVD drives in 2 different PCs. Lets now decompose this phrase into the facts.

I own a PC and Dawn owns a PC. In my PC there is an LG DVD drive which doesn't work, and a CD-rewriter drive, which is not a DVD drive. Dawn's PC has 1 CD drive. Without going into too much detail I think its safe to see what happened here.

I was a moron and assumed all of the above mentioned drives were DVD drives and that all 3 worked. I then returned the DVD thinking it was faulty and it probably worked fine. I've thus delayed my playing of GTA SA by a week for no reason at all. Argh! All I need have done, which I have now, is buy a new DVD drive to replace the dodgy LG one. Damn it.

Oh well, it is installed and working fine now so the saga has ended!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Big Aunt is dead

Posted by Chris @ 8:34 PM

I'm afraid I have sad news. Big Aunt is no more. The spineless idiots have all died, and not dug a single millimeter into the gel.

How rubbish is that. After all the hype, all the stress of getting the webcam setup, catching the useless ants and putting them in Big Aunt, they did nothing except walk around and die.

Obviously ants round our way aren't very good at digging. Next year, for Big Aunt 2, I'll buy the proper digging ants, and get a better webcam! So whilst this year has been somewhat of a failure, next year can't be any worse!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

XMLTV

Posted by Chris @ 9:11 PM

I've not blogged recently, and since my last post has festered at the top for far too long, this post is to stop the rot. Plus it is also genuinely interesting!

Whilst building my latest .net page, the News & Weather thing, I had wanted to include tv listings for the current evening, from 19:00 until 23:30 or so. This would mean whilst on the PC I could easily see at a glance, for the channels I care about, if anything interesting was on / coming up. Only I could not for the life of me, at that time, find any kind of XML data for tv listings. RT don't offer any kind of service like that.

However I've now found out about XMLTV, an xml schema for storing television listings. And to top that this very handy site has xml files for all major tv channels. Yeah! So now all I need to do is get writing some more funky XSL, add it into the News & Weather page and jobs a good one!

Watch this space.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It is just not fair!

Posted by Chris @ 8:28 PM

GTA San Andreas dropped through the post box today, and like an excited kid I opened it and put it in my PC. And that's where it all went wrong. All three DVD drives in 2 PCs I have in the house refuse to recognise there is a disk in the drive. Argh!!

A faulty DVD is all I needed! So now I have to send it back recorded delivery to play.com and get a replacement and wait probably another week now when I could buy it in a shop tomorrow.

How annoying.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Yeah, come on, number 1 on search.msn.com!

Posted by Chris @ 1:21 PM

That's right, read it and weep, when searching for Chris Riley on search.msn.com my site is now number 1!! It was number 3 for a while but now I've made it to the top!

I'd like to say a big thank you to all those out there who have linked back to me, you're great!

Time to focus on yahoo now - as for Google quite frankly I don't care, if they can't index my site properly, why should I bother!

Monday, June 06, 2005

PhotoBox and GTA San Andreas

Posted by Chris @ 8:44 PM

Firstly I've ordered another picture to become an A2 poster from PhotoBox after Tony pointed out that they currently have a promotion on until 15th June to get prints up to A2 poster size for just £5.99. Bargain! Simply get to PhotoBox and read their June newsletter.

Secondly I've preordered GTA San Andreas for the PC from Play.com. I can't wait to get hold of it and start playing - I liked GTA3, loved GTA Vice City and am sure I will love this even more. I've been keeping up on prereleasee news with this excellent GTASanAndreas.net site. If you don't know what I'm talking about get up to speed quick and get a copy ordered, you won't regret it!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Another new feature in .net!

Posted by Chris @ 8:31 PM

I've written another aspx page, this time making use of my ever increasing knowledge of XSL to transform XML rss feeds from a few sites into a meaning page on my site. The new page is accessible through the nav under News & weather.

I can't be bothered to write about how it all works just now as I've just put it live and would like to go drink beer. However until I do write a little bit about how it works, you can look at the source code here, here, here and here! (As usual ignore what comes up in the browser and click view source.)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Mean Girls

Posted by Chris @ 9:31 PM

Dawn bought me Mean Girls today as a little present whilst shopping in Meadowhall. We've just watched it and what a great film! I wanted to watch this film based on both Chris and Christian's comments about this film, and despite never having seen the film Heathers they refer too (having just found it on imdb.com I realise why, I was too young when it came out which makes both Chris and Christian old gits), I agree with the rest of their comments.

In summary this film is great, has a couple of nice twists and is really funny, and like, totally not the teen movie of the century, like duh!

Our back garden

Posted by Chris @ 3:25 PM

For those that don't know I try and keep our bit of decking outside looking nice with a few plants. And seeing as I haven't really shown you how its doing for a while here is a picture!

On the left are tubs containing Mint, Rosemary and some plant, in the middle are sweet peas, and on the right my tomatoes, and a couple of lettuces (thanks Dad for those). Enjoy and I hope this inspires green fingers in some of you!

Our Garden

Big Aunt is offline

Posted by Chris @ 3:18 PM

Ants are rubbish, they haven't dug a single millimetre of tunnel in one week. So whilst not turning my back on the project, I have turned off the webcam, and instead will post photo updates every few days.

For one thing not having a light and computer on 24/7 should save a bit of electricity! For another taking pictures with my digital camera rather than the webcam should give you a better insight into what's going on (if anything!)

Furthermore the number of photos that look exactly the same in the galley is ridiculous!

However that said until Tony asks for his webcam back I'll might try and find some other use for it!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Time flies - official!

Posted by Chris @ 8:24 PM

So today has been surprising for a couple of reasons.

  1. I realised that today I have been in my current job for 2 years, already! Can't believe it!
  2. On getting home I find the home insurance renewal documents which means only one thing, we've been in our house for nearly a year now!! Doesn't seem like two minutes we were moving in.

Where does all the time go?

(All you Einstein and Steven Hawking fans comment now!)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Backstage at Big Aunt

Posted by Chris @ 8:25 PM

So how does Big Aunt stay online all the time. Well this picture is a big clue - via a webcam, light and broadband connection! As you can see the setup is pretty basic but seems to work!

As for software I'm using FWink to upload a webcam picture every 20 minutes, and I've written my own little archive script (click view source) to save webcam pitcures every 15 minutes, which runs in a browser window on the same PC serving up the webcam. That's about it!

Backstage at Big Aunt

Big Aunt in high res!

Posted by Chris @ 8:20 PM

For all those people bitchin' about the quality of the webcam , here is a shot of the Antquarium with my proper digital camera. Enjoy!

As yet no more deaths, and no more progress in the tunnels. Boring.

Big Aunt