Category: Geekarama

Oct 11 2017

Not Yet Dead

Looking at the sad lack of posts on this here site, one could be forgiven for thinking that I have shuffled off this mortal coil. But that’s not the case. Things have been happening, I’ve just not bothered mentioning them here. So what have I been up to? Well, my garage had an attempted break-in …

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Oct 03 2017

I’ve moved

Following my last hosting provider putting their prices up nearly threefold, this site now comes to you courtesy of a different hard drive in a different data centre. I still have some tweaking to do – some of the links got broke in the transfer – but overall, I’m pleased with it. If you can’t …

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Feb 28 2017

Smug

Now, I don’t want to say I told you so… … but I did. Twice.

Feb 22 2017

From father to son

Today, I have taught Harry how to solder. They are studying electronics at school and each pupil has been given a small circuit board and some components to solder on to it. Unfortunately though, they have a limited number of soldering irons and by the time Harry’s turn came round, they had run out of …

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Feb 02 2017

Sorry, I have a code

Harry came home from school last week and told me how he had been playing with the BBC micro:bit. Those of you of a certain age and – it has to be said – of the male persuasion, will possibly remember that back in the eighties, the Beeb introduced the BBC Micro computer to schools. …

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Jan 17 2017

“It’s dead, Jim”

Well, it was. For a few weeks now, my PC has been randomly locking up, with just a blank screen showing. It wouldn’t even switch off and the only way to get it to do so, was to get on my hands and knees and crawl under the desk and feel around the back for …

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Oct 17 2016

It’s been so long…

… since I wrote here last, that I actually struggled to remember my log in password!   So, what has been happening? Not much really, hence the dearth of posts. I’ve been to a couple of family functions in ye olde Ruislip: a funeral and a 50th wedding anniversary (I was a page boy at …

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Jul 16 2016

Fishing for info

  This piece of phishing spam managed to sneak past my filters today. So well written is it, that it very nearly fooled me. Purporting to come from Amazon, it was after my bank details. Obligingly, I clicked on the link (removed here for your safety :)) and populated all the fields with false information, …

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Jul 01 2016

Those that can’t…

Today is my wedding anniversary. By curious, lucky coincidence, it is also that of the current Mrs Masher. As such, we would normally celebrate it jointly, such as we did last year. But tonight, I’m home alone, whilst the kids are at Scouts and Mrs M is out, knocking back lattes with her bestie. Last …

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Jun 26 2016

26. A Song I Would Give To My Offspring

I got nuffin for this one. Of course, our kids will possibly never hear songs in true Hi-Fi. Yes, LP records are starting to make a comeback, but I daresay they will only appeal to the cognoscenti; the afficionados; the audiophiles.  With all the speed and convenience that downloading an MP3 offers, I can’t see …

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May 23 2016

Nerdfest

Yesterday, I went to the annual Dunstable Downs Radio Club bootsale. As I do every year. Whilst there, I was pleased to meet up with Dave, a ham friend of old, who is just too damn clever for his own good. I find Dave’s enthusiasm for radio and electronics so inspiring and I always enjoy …

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May 07 2016

Mad as a tree

For several weeks now, I’ve been keen to get my Open Sesame geocache back out there. But things have conspired against me – the inclement weather being just one of those things. Due to the nature of the cache, the opening mechanism doesn’t work too well in the cold weather and so I tend to …

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Mar 25 2016

They must think my penis is big enough now

Taking the regular stroll through my spam folder – just to check that nothing has slipped through the filters that shouldn’t have – I noticed that my received spam has taken a different direction of late. “Put a smile on her face all night long”; “The secret to long lasting erections”; “Half price meds for …

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Feb 27 2016

Enslaved

Following on from yesterday’s little moan about mobile phones, I thought I’d mention another thing about them that annoys me. I was on a course a couple of weeks back… just for a day. An introduction to project management, if you must know. Now, in the old days, when we used to go on courses, when …

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Feb 26 2016

Text mad

What is it with texting? Why don’t people actually want to talk anymore? It used to be that texting was a cheap way of conversing with people whilst not using up your valuable talk minutes. But most people nowadays have a million minutes on their package, for every different network, and so chatting shouldn’t be …

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Feb 25 2016

We’re watching you

Like most large companies nowadays, the water board (where I work) has a big IT department. And like most – I should say all – IT departments, they are rightfully very cautious about stuff that goes in and out of their systems. As such, I have fallen foul of their Big Brother firewall on several …

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Feb 16 2016

So much easier in the old days

As I mentioned earlier, I’m toying with the idea of getting a new camera. And of course, when it comes to buying a new toy, the internets is a boon for doing some research on it. Or is it? In the old days – before the internets – if I wanted to buy something, I …

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Feb 09 2016

Strewth

I haven’t built any electronic projects for a while and my soldering hand was starting to get itchy, so I thought I’d have a go at building an antenna analyser as I’ve wanted one for quite a while now.. There is a well-known kit sold by an Australian ham radio club. Looking on their website …

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Feb 06 2016

Bacon Sandwich

The NYT reported this week that TwitFace has worked out that the six-degrees of separation theory no longer applies. According to them, we are all now only 3 or 4 degrees apart. This, of course, is a load of old tosh. For those that don’t know, the six-degrees theory states that everyone on the planet …

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Feb 04 2016

You can lead a horse to water, but…

Science and technology are my thang. I have been interested in both ever since I was a kid. And so, with my own two kids, I’m keen that they both be interested too. Over the years I have often talked to them of scientific breakthroughs and events. I’ve set up small experiments with oil and …

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Jun 28 2015

Deep Thought 7

OK, it may not be able to provide the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, but it’s a hell of a lot faster than Deep Thought 6: my old pooter. 6 was getting slow. No, actually, 6 WAS slow. Frustratingly slow. There were times when it seemed to just grind to a halt. I …

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Mar 14 2015

Not very PC

“I’m thinking of doing a rebuild on the PC”, I said to Mrs M earlier today, “it’s slowed right down. It’s about due for an upgrade anyway”. “Oh, OK”, she said. And then, out of nowhere, she asked “What motherboard are you going to get, then?”. I was taken aback slightly as, not only has she …

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Feb 24 2015

One man’s junk…

A short while back, I was chatting with my neighbour whilst he was having a sort out in his garage; slinging unwanted items into the back of his van to take to the tip. He picked up an electronic keyboard that was propped up against the side wall and went to throw it in the van. …

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Feb 23 2015

Get Smart pt 2

OK, I mentioned a couple of posts back that I have one of them there smartphones and that I love it. I never mentioned why I love it. It’s simple. One word: The Apps. OK, that’s two words. I have plenty of apps on my phone (no games, they don’t interest me) that help me through …

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Feb 21 2015

Get Smart

I have one of them there flashy smartphones. And I love it. Not that I am one of those people who cannot live without it, because I’m sure I could… if I had to. But, there are plenty of people – not just youngsters – for whom their smartphone isn’t a luxury item, but a …

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Feb 17 2015

“… and we’ll teach our kids science, not poems and rubbish…”

So said the delusional soldier (David Essex) in Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds, as he sought to find a way to overcome the alien invaders. Since I was a kid, science and technology have always been my ‘thing’. But, in the Masher household, I appear to be a lone fan of the genre. Sitting …

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Feb 07 2015

Ring ring, ring ring…

Bren’s post, yesterday, got me thinking about mobile phone ringtones. Everyone customises the ringtone when they get a new phone. Don’t they? And I daresay – or at least, some trick cyclists would say – the chosen ringtone probably says something about the phone’s owner. It’s rare nowadays to hear the – very recognisable – tune …

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Jan 24 2015

Like a phoenix…

… from the ashes. A while ago (7 years and 9 months to be precise), I posted here about my old MSF Clock project that I’d built back in the eighties.  It had stopped working when the MSF radio signal moved from Rugby up to Cumbria, but with a little bit of tweaking, I managed …

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