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



Well, its over a year since I finally made the move to flat panel TV and I'll never go back.

I love my Panasonic, even though I didn't expect Plasma to fit the bill - I was fully convinced that LCD would be better (better life, more features, runs cooler...) but when I compared them in the shop the Panasonic picture was miles better (deeper blacks, better contrast...) and here we are one year on - no screen burn (despite the best efforts of Sky to annoy with all their screen corner iconography) and a perfect monitor for Windoze MC (yes, its still hanging on - but I expect to 'bin it' soon...)


Vista – PITA

My ex boss got a new PC and wanted me to configure it for him - my first experience of Vista - to be fair to Micro$oft marketing I did go 'WOW!' but it wasn't what they expected it was 'WOW - this is far worse than I thought it would be'.

I really thought the Micro$oft were beginning to catch up to OsX by adding some of the features that us Tiger users have had for years, but no - its all rubbish (smoke & mirrors, so they say). The improved security appears to be extra popups that basically advise not to use something that Micro$oft haven't sold you (passing the buck, that is called) - main user still runs at administrator level so it is still easy for 'invaders' to get into the OS.

Completely disappointed and now totally convinced the OsX is the future!

Vista - Pain In The Arse


Canon MP600R

After my 'difficulties' with HP printing I asked around and settled on buying a Canon printer (never had one before, but my recent experiences of Epson & HP eliminated them)

I got an MP600R - with built in wireless connection - it is everything I normally avoid, an AIO (All in one), printer & scanner

Since I got it it has performed flawlessly - it is quiet, prints excellently, scans accurately and I can use it anywhere in wireless range of my router

Well recommended! (Thanks Paul, you were right about Canon printers)



I have used a HP C80 printer at home for a while and it has been a real pain

It goes through ink in no time, it gets regular paper jams, its noisy - I wish I never bought it, so I binned it

The missus bought me a HP7760, I thought 'on no, this will be as bad'... it performed Ok at first, its photo printing was excellent, but after a few months it started with the paper jams and unpredictable ink levels...

In a nutshell - don't buy one HP make crap printers!


Imac G4

My main home computer (for general use). It might be the old dome shape but I love it, it must be the most retro 'modern' device ever! It is also entirely functional, the screen is a joy and is easily positioned in just the right place, the keyboard and mouse are what you expect from Apple (just the right feel)

It might be a bit weak on power with its 1Ghz G4 processor, but you don't notice, its at least equal to my 2Ghz (or greater) PCs for performance

These things are now dirt cheap on Ebay and I recommend them to everyone


Xserve Dual G5

At my previous employer I had the good fortune to install and maintain a G4 Xserve - it was a joy and it looked great (unusual for servers)

I missed it so much I acquired a more powerful version for my 'at home' server - I couldn't resist a dual 2Ghz G5 with 3x80Gb disks in a mirror and spare combination

I use it as a testbed server and file store (yes, in addition to the 2TB array), it is absolutely lightning fast (running OsX 10.3.9 Panther server)

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Microsoft Curry Favour

Micro$oft vesta (sic, sounding like a rubbish 70s curry) has been released, what - its vista? the 1st security update will follow after an hour or so...

Looks like its finally gained some OSX features - too little too late for me - I ditch MS for Leopard when its released...


BT Business Hub

Following our office move we had to abandon cable internet and switch to ADSL (no cable in our new location)

I got the 8Mb BT ADSL option which comes with a business hub, this has a built in ADSL modem, 4 port 10/100 switch, wireless access point and firewall

I was VERY simple to install - plug it in, give it some basic settings and off it went

Its not as configurable as my Draytek at home, but it makes up for it in ease of use. BT should be commended for making this so easy to use. It is a good option for any technophobes or users that lack configuration confidence.

It seems to have a recommended limit of 10 concurrent users, so we will outgro it in no time, but it is a perfectly adequate solution at the moment


USB turntable

USB turntable + Imac = hifi

Finally got rid of my trusty old hifi (a Mitsubishi), no need for it now (never thought I'd say that...) - I can play all my new stuff AND my vinyl via the computer!

All my CDs have been ripped and are stored on a 2TB NAS array which sits behind the TV.

I can access them wirelessly from anywhere within reach of the house

The USB turntable was the final piece - it allows me to play my old vinyl (or easily rip it, so it was goodbye hifi!

It also allows me to connect my old cassette (anyone remember them) player if I fancy listening to them...


M60 review

M60 review (in preparation for disposal in favour of mac book pro upon leopard reease).

For the last 18 months I have been using a Dell Precision M60 for both work and personal stuff (my main computer) and it has been excellent.

It replaced my old Dell Latitude C640 and was a bit of pain at first because it needed D peripherals instead of all the C peripherals that I used with my C640 and C600 prior to that...

Its Centrino 2Ghz processor is acceptable (but only seems to be as fast as my old P4 2.2Ghz, when it should be quicker), the wireless is OK (only 2 bars connectivity when others are getting 4 - but it works), the video card is excellent - plenty fast and easily capable of the 1920x1200 res that I prefer for both viewing and editing stuff I'm working on - it also does a goods jobe dual heading (extended desktop) with my old Dell Ultrasharp monitor.

Its getting on a bit now, but it only has to last until OsX 105 Leopard is out - I'll then get a MacBook Pro and wave goodbye to Windoze forever...