BR-monster Thoughts and musings of a computer literate beer drinker…


Is it a little horse or is it a pony?

So the International Astronomical Union have decided that PLUTO is no longer a planet and EARTH is now the 3rd of 8 planets instead of 9, perhaps they should also look at MERCURY:

  • pluto has an atmosphere, mercury does not
  • pluto has a moon, mercury does not
  • is mercury a low orbit asteroid?

I have always thought:

  • a satellite is a celestial body orbiting a star or planet
  • a star radiates energy by burning its own mass
  • a planet is held together in an overall round shape by its own gravitational field (may be solid or not - otherwise we lose the gas giants)
  • a moon is satellite to a planet
  • a planet is satellite to a star
  • an asteroid is satellite to a star and consists of rock or metal
  • a comet is satellite to a star and is a frozen mass emitting a 'tail' of material away from the star

Astrologers describe a planet as 'a moving space object', thats pretty much everything then...

Children can figure it out Try it yourself, ask them to draw:

  • a star - pointed object (radiating light or gas)
  • a planet - round object (symetrical gravitational field)
  • an asteriod - odd shaped lump, most likely triangular (inert & lifeless)
  • a comet - as asteriod but with a tail

How come they can manage it and we can't?

For those that don't already know, radiating out from our star (the sun) we have:

  • 1 Mercury
  • 2 Venus
  • 3 Earth
  • 4 Mars
  • (asteriod belt)
  • 5 Jupiter
  • 6 Saturn
  • 7 Uranus
  • 8 Neptune
  • (Kuiper belt - containing icy masses & Pluto)

At one time Vesta, Ceres, Juno & Pallas were considered planets, but were demoted to asteriods when their orbit and size was determined

Filed under: General News 2 Comments

Software Updates…

While I was away (two and a half weeks):

  • XP had 9 critical updates
  • OsX had 1 recommended update
  • Media Center, which was recording 2 programmes in serial mode, failed to update its guide after 2 episodes (probably because of 1 of the 9 critical updates) so I had to wait for 1 of the many repeats to pick up the series after I returned and sorted it out (by clicking DOWNLOAD GUIDE NOW)...

Moral = Don't think that media center is in any way a subsitute for a 'proper' recorder. My trusty old Panasonic HS2 worked perfectly and recorded everything I asked it to!

Filed under: Rant, Technical No Comments


Annual vacation over, just got back from Santorini (Thera). What a wonderful place - if you haven't been, why not?

It is now my favourite of the Greek islands - tiny in size but massive in appeal!

The weather is brilliant (hot & sunny) from May - October and there is a small international aiport (ex airforce base). The bus service is excellent, cheap and runs regularly for most of the day (8am - 4am). There are many bars and tavernas and everyone should be able to find something they like...

For those that want to keep in touch with football - most of the bars have SKY SPORTS and other channels such as ALPHA or SUPERSPORTS, meaning you can see just about any game played...
Our accommodation was clean, regularly serviced and included free air conditioning. Swimming pools are spotlessly clean. The locals are friendly.

The only discernable downsides are:

  • The annoying holidaymakers on scooters and quad bikes
  • bog roll still has to go in the bin not the bog
  • beaches are grit, not sand

I will post a separate article when I have time, but for now you can view the gallery here, I haven't tarted the pics in any what you see is what was taken - including the problems I was having with the flash unit...

Filed under: General News 2 Comments