Sunday, January 27, 2008

Router Problems

It's been a fraught weekend. I always leave my accounts to the last minute and Saturday was spent mostly catching up on the last 3 months so I could file and pay my latest VAT return. For me this is a big improvement - I normally procrastinate and leave it to the last possible moment on the Sunday, which means it hangs over me all weekend. Not this time and I was feeling quite virtuous when the whole lot was done by 8pm last night.

By way of reward I watched the new HD-DVD release of David Finch's Zodiac which, in the director's cut presented here, clocks in at a mammoth 2 hours 40 minutes - but a thoroughly gripping and engrossing 2 hours 40 minutes it turned out to be. The film had more of a final resolution than I'd expected fromt the reviews that appeared around the time of the theatrical release, and a truly 'reference quality' picture (as one would expect given that the film was made using mostly high definition cameras). HD-DVD may be officially dead, but until Blu-Ray has the rights to films like this from Paramount and Universal the battle can't be considered entirely over.

Alas, plans to do some work/catch up on studying fell apart on Sunday when intermittent problems with my network router locking up every half hour, and then needing a 15 minute cool-off period each time, got to the point where I couldn't put off installing a new one any longer. What a nightmare! What with wired connections, wireless security, and far too many devices to be connected (laptops, MediaServer, XBox, Blu-Ray player, HD-DVD player) and the way British Telecom insists on configurations that are not "standard out the box" it's taken most of today, and a long phone call to BT, just to get the internet connectivity I've had in the past.

However, everything's up and running now, and the MediaServer automated backups that have been failing overnight on every single PC because of the router lockups are now zipping through like greased lightening.

Even better, Reiner the Nabaztag is now up and running. On the old router he just wouldn't play, but now I guess you could say he's a 'happy bunny', and sits twirling his ears, flashing his lights, and reading me the latest weather, newsflashes and text messages in very silly voices with even sillier music every 20 minutes. Cute for now, but I suspect by the end of the week I'll be sick of some of the more gimmicky alerts and turning them off!

It's not hard to see why Nabaztag has turned into a popular toy amongst the geeks, and at work they're seriously talking about using one to monitor the status of our builds - apparently there's a "Cruise Control" application that lights the rabbit's front up with green, yellow or red depending on the latest status of the build. Must have a look at the API some time to see what else he can be programmed to do.

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