Archive for April, 2007

After last years garden disaster (we had a hosepipe ban for most of the year) we invested in 2 waterbutts, but they turned out to be way to small to make much of a difference, so we ordered a larger one that arrived today :

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This one should hopefully be enough to run the irrigation systems (and yes we bought a pump as well) for a longer period of time, so hopefully we should have a much more enjoyable garden this summer.

And if we need to we can link a couple of these together….

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Excellent – a online grocery store for Norwegians living outside of Norway, where they can get all the strange foodstuffs they never thought they’d miss :

norskmat.com:

norskmat.com is a grocery store on internet.

We have customers from Norway that live abroad and other friends of Norway.

We offer high quality products in many categories such as typical Norwegian food, gifts and souveniers.

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The BT engineer has been here to check the phone lines (I decided to report what was originally a ADSL problem as a audio line quality problem with the phones – much easier than reporting a ADSL problem), he found a problem down the road, replaced their main connection box into the house, and left.

The line stats are now back to “normal”

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Excellent – good service form BT.

I reported this problem electronically on Sunday, and they kept me updated by SMS.

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Spotted on eBay – under performance tuning for Range Rovers for less than 5 pounds :

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what are these guys on !?

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My mother still live in Trondheim (Norway) – and this morning they had snow :

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Aprilsnøen stoppet bilistene :

Aprilsnøen stoppet bilistene

Flere billister i Trondheim og omegn fikk i dag problemer på den meget

glatte aprilsnøen.

Latebilsjåfør Arild Reinåsdal gir sitt klare råd til sjåfører som har lagt

om til sommerdekk: – Hold dere hjemme i dag!

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But difficult to get access during the trials :

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You can find the BT speedtest at this at this link :

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We have been having problems with our Internet link, and a noisy phone line for a little bit of time.

Fortunately we use a ADSL router – which gives us s lot of diagnostic information, and sure enough it was not good :

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(Click for larger)

The key is the S/N ratio – and the linespeed.

ADSL is a adaptive protocol, and the speed will vary according to how good your link is, and ours was quite bad.

The first key was to go around the house and disconnect phones, and the S/N ratio went up to 6. The I found the main telephone box

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and connected a phone to the test socket. It was clear – and not noisy. So I started cleaning contacts around the house, and the S/N ratio is no in excess of 10, which is enough to reduce the number of errors on the line, and increase the speed to it’s maximum, which is 8,192 Mbit/s (download speed). So now all is well.

The other tool I found – which is excellent when used with one of the more popular ADSL router is DMT, and it does a really thorough job of displaying the internal data from the router :

(NB! the link I’ve given for DMT is not for the original site – as this seems to be down a lot, but for a alternative site that also hosts a Linux version of the tool)

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(Click for larger)

This screenshot is after I managed to reduce the noise on the line.

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Our son has had a account with Halifax since we moved to the UK 10 years ago – i.e. from the age 0f 7. We save up all 50 pence coins we get, and when the glass jar we use gets full, we take the coins into the building society to put into his account.

This has been a good way (for him) to get money from his parents.

But the Halifax does not make it easy.

First of all you have to bag all the coins in special plastic bags they supply, generally in increments of 10 punds. (As a side remark all banks in Norway do this for you using their fancy coin-counting machines, where all you do is pour the money in.

But the final straw came on Saturday when we took all the bagged 50p’s into the Godalming branch of the Halifax, and were told: “We can only accept 5 bags per working day”. We were at this stage the only customers there – with 2 staff behind the counter!!

What a perfect way to show kids that the Halifax really appreciates their custom!!

We asked the girl behind the counter if she wanted us to close the account now – or……

She relented and took the money.

How do banks get away with such behaviour!

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My original reason (to myself) for not wanting a AppleTV was that it could not play any of the Xvid and DivX movies I have accumulated over the years.

Well – I now apparently need for find a new reason to not buy it :

How-To: play DivX and Xvid on your Apple TV – Engadget:

The two biggest Apple TV limitations are the lack of codec support (like XviD, DivX, etc.) and not even having the ability to do basic surround sound like Dolby Digital 5.1. These issues were resolved almost immediately after the Apple TV was released, although the hacks were somewhat less than practical. Something as simple as getting your Apple TV to, say, sync and recognize your XviD movies as playable was no simple feat. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, and we want to show you how to get the most out of your Apple TV. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?

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