Monthly Archives: June 2012

My thoughts on Smart and 3D TVs

The two hottest things at the moment are ‘Smart TV’ and ‘3D TV’; of course nothing is really compatible and honestly you’d be better buying a tablet like an iPad and hooking it up to your TV than relying on a Smart TV. Updates from what I’ve seen are pretty scarce if you stray away from the major manufacturers (such Samsung, LG, or Sony) and even then the range of applications seems amazingly limited. Everything you can do on a Smart TV I bet you could do with a tablet or even a cheap netbook with a wireless mouse. Probably better too. Smart TVs need to arrive at a common standard, Google TV anyone? I think Lenovo recently released Android based TVs in China. They sound pretty cool.

Smart TVs

As for 3D TV it is pretty awesome, but it isn’t for everybody. Seriously, don’t go around telling everyone how crappy it is if you personally don’t like it. Lots of other people love it. Active 3D gives a much better quality picture in 3D mode but is prone to flickering in some light conditions and the glasses range from £15 a pair (Samsung) to something like like £80 a pair for various other makes. That turns people off them, and this is where Samsung has recently gotten it completely right with their move to make the glasses cheap.

Passive 3D is alright. I can’t get over the lines in the picture (inherent in how the technology works) and the viewing angle limitations annoy me. The glasses are really cheap, and I completely understand why someone with a large family or lots of children would opt for passive. It makes more sense. I personally would buy an active set if I was in the market, however.

It’s probably very true to point out that after a while you won’t even notice the differences as long as you’re watching a film that you get sucked in to. I can still watch films that are crap in quality as long as the film itself is good, and this very much applies to TV technology too.

We need a free to air 3D channel on Freeview or Freesat before I think it’ll really take off, but that isn’t going to happen until more people buy the sets… where did we see this before? Oh that’s right… HD adoption. The problem this time is a lot of people are happy with their current sets and can’t see much of a point upgrading to a TV that gives a pretty similar quality to the one they currently own for the majority of content that they watch, with the questionable additional benefit of 3D that really needs Sky, or a 3D Bluray player to get the most out of it. (Or a PS3, I guess!)

I’m still not sure if 3D is here to stay in the long term, but it is definitely interesting watching the market unfold. More content will be the winner.

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This is a test post…

from the WordPress iPad app. Neat. This bluetooth keyboard is really cool too. Now I can post wherever I am (such as the garden…)

I am off to Wales tomorrow and I’m working today so no more bike rides till Sunday evening or Monday morning. Probably for the best as the seat hurts.

In other news, I am researching full steam ahead for my RasPi project; I think exim might do what I am after as an email forwarder but maybe there is something more suited. Mencoder or ffmpeg is looking good for the time lapse side of things too, just want to find a secure way of transfering photos from the network cam to a USB stick mounted on the Pi. FTP is probably going to be the only way.

Wish me luck!

Week One of my plan

Didn’t end up getting a gym membership, bought a bike instead! Seems like a better investment, because a bike will last longer than six weeks! Went out last night with +Laurence Andrews for a ride, ending up going just under 8 miles (with probably 2/3 of a mile walking up damn hills…)

My new bike

I certainly enjoyed the ride, and seeing all the details on Runkeeper is quite motivational too! I’ve set a goal to ride 50 miles before the 31st of July which I think should be achievable.

In other news, I’ve lost some weight! I haven’t really been trying recently (as I mentioned previously I was still at uni and stressed etc etc) but I have cut out a fair load of crap from my diet (energy drinks, most snacks) and I’m down to 101kg (from 105kg in April!).

I’m going to continue this trend of less snacking (baked walkers crisps are pretty good, tbh!) and with the added addition of a bike I can’t wait to see how I do over the next few weeks.

My Raspberry Pi

I recently received my Raspberry Pi a few weeks back, and have been wondering what I should do with it! Today, I worked it out…. It’s primary use is going to be forwarding emails from my Scan-to-email printer onto Gmail (since it doesn’t support SSL, therefore doesn’t play nicely with Gmail) and the secondary use it going to be for making time lapse videos of my mum’s seedlings. We already have the network camera set up, but no-one bothers to look at it because the interface is terrible.

The first objective seems to require something like Postfix or Sendmail, but I am trying to find something a bit more lightweight. It literally just needs to connect to gmail and forward the emails on. Seems pretty simple, hopefully it will be!

Part 2 seems alright too. I’ll get a reasonably large USB memory stick sorted so that images coming into the Pi (probably via FTP) don’t fill the SD and then use some shell scripting and this method to automatically convert each days of images into video files which can be plonked straight onto dropbox and then uploaded to Youtube

As for a case, I just bought one of eBay for around £18… It’s arrived now I’m retyping this up, so here is a handy picture. As you can see, it doesn’t cover the sides but I think it gives adequate protection for the Pi. This also means that heat dissipation shouldn’t be an issue! Putting it together was pretty nifty, too.

My new bike

Now that I’ve finished uni I’m definitely going to dive head first into making my Pi a useful bit of kit. Expect some updates over the coming weeks!

Told you I was making an effort… :)

Went out for another ride with Laurence; just under ten miles this time! Honestly, I did have to walk up quite a few of the hills and along the overgrown footpath. My legs just aren’t ready yet… in a few weeks it will all be different!
Went a different direction completely to last time, and encountered an unmanned level crossing, a camouflaged caravan in a field (down what we thought was the footpath we wanted but wasn’t) and a locked level crossing.

The wind was pretty much against us the entire way back, but we made it eventually and then got home in time to watch the football (which I wasn’t really interested in) and firework displays on YouTube. Because I am just that awesome. I’ll keep posting an entry like this after each outing, and every fortnight or so I will update with figures and measurements etc (If only for my benefit really)

Today’s photo if of a tree stump sign and the level crossing that we passed through. Don’t worry too much, there wasn’t a train nearby.

My new bike

My new bike

My new bike

Also a handy website if Runkeeper decides to die half way through and you end up with two activities within your account… Export both tracks as GPX from the website, upload them to this site, and add a manual entry with the new merged GPX file. Amazing.

European QR Codes for Mario Tennis Open

Go to the file selection screen in game, and press Up+Start. The QR code scanner will open; then just scan any of the following! These should work for the UK, Europe and Australia. As more QR codes are released, I will post them here so be sure to check soon at some point. If you don’t already own Mario Tennis Open why not buy a copy today? Additionally, why not pre-order Mario Golf: World Tour, released 2nd May 2014?

Black

mt-black

Blue

mt-blue

Light Blue

mt-lightblue

Metal

mt-metal

Pink

mt-pink

Red

mt-red

White

mt-white

Yoshi

mt-yoshi

Summer 2012

I want to outline my goals for Summer this year so that unlike last year it doesn’t just drift passed without me achieving much! I want to keep the goals pretty varied, and I’ll post updates as time passes to keep my motivated!

To start with, I am going to get a six week gym membership as soon as I finish uni in the next few weeks. I want to go at least three times a week, in addition to walking/jogging/clutching my chest thinking I’m going to die three or four times a week after work. I want to start geocaching again too, something I haven’t done for several years.
All this exercising is going to be logged by RunKeeper, and I’m going to set some reasonable goals on there for distance etc. Overall, I want to lose about 14kg before September. I eat pretty healthily when I’m at home; I just fall down epically whenever I’m out. I need to start buying healthier food and not buying lunch at work at £5 a pop. That shit is expensive.

I want to cut out most if not all sugary drinks/energy drinks (Which I shouldn’t need over Summer? I’ll see…) and drink less coffee… Hmmm…. I doubt it will happen… He says sat drinking the equivalent of two cups of coffee….

Moving on from health goals, I want to watch a good majority of the Lost boxset I bought months ago and never around to watching it. I also want to complete a few of my outstanding DS games like Chrono Trigger, Ocarina of Time, and Super Mario 3D Land that I haven’t got around to completing. No doubt I’ll get distracted by something new though… I always do… (Just going to casually ignore the spreadsheet I made this time last year!)

To sum up… lose around 14-15kg, get healthy, watch Lost, play games, go geocaching! Sounds like a good summer to me!