Category Archives: Waffling

Enumerating the Doctors

Since the recent goings on with which Doctor is which, and all the complications, I’ve put together a table to try to explain it. It might be wrong, but it is more for me than for anyone else.

And I think, as I’ve stumbled through this, I’ve finally got a handle on The Valeyard (more later).

 

tr>

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
1 n/a willhart 1 The First Doctor William Hartnell
also Richard Hurndall and later David Bradley
n/a n/a cushing n/a Doctor Who Peter Cushing A human who created a time travel device called TARDIS. Non-canon, so I don’t even know why he’s listed here.
2 1 pattrou 2 The Second Doctor Patrick Troughton
3 2 jonpert 3 The Third Doctor Jon Pertwee
4 3 tombak 4 The Fourth Doctor Tom Baker
(A wax dummy)
5 4 petdav 5 The Fifth Doctor Peter Davison
6 5 colbak 6 The Sixth Doctor Colin Baker,Sylvester McCoy
7 6 sylmc 7 The Seventh Doctor Sylveter McCoy
8 7 paulmc 8 The Eighth Doctor Paul McGann
Now it goes a bit runny
Firstly we have the “Shalka” timeline…
9 8 shalka 9 (alt) “The Shalka Doctor” Richard E. Grant (Animated version)
Then the “Final Death” timeline
9 8 rowan 9 (alt) “The Nineth Doctor” Rowan Atkinson
10 9 withnail 10 (alt) “The Tenth Doctor” Richard E. Grant “The Conceited Doctor”
11 10 broadbent 11 (alt) “The Eleventh Doctor” Jim Broadbent “The Shy Doctor”
12 11 hgrant 12 (alt) “The Twelfth Doctor” Hugh Grant “The Quite Handsome Doctor”
13 12 lumley 13 (alt) “The Thirteenth Doctor” Joanna Lumley “The Female Doctor”
Meanwhile, back on the “real” timeline…
Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
9 8 johnhurt n/a The War Doctor John Hurt (Not actually The Doctor)
10 9 chrisecc 9 The Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston
11 10 davten 10 The Tenth Doctor David Tennant
11 11 davten 10 The Tenth Doctor David Tennant Vanity Regeneration
n/a n/a davten2 n/a Handy/John Smith David Tennant Human Meta-Crisis Doctor
12 12 matsmi 11 The Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith
Start of a new Regeneration cycle
13 13 petcap 12 The Twelveth Doctor Peter Capaldi
14 14 jodwhi 13 The Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker
Unknown “Doctors”
n/a n/a watcher n/a The Watcher Adrian Gibbs
n/a n/a curator n/a The Curator Tom Baker
n/a n/a micjay n/a The Valeyard Michael Jaystone an amalgamation of the Doctor’s darker sides from between his twelfth and final incarnations

Now, after all that number counting and trying to work out which numbers apply to which Doctors, if you go by my reckoning then the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) was still only the 12th incarnation, even though he was also the 12 regeneration. To quote The Master from “The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe“:

“There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age.”

As the “final incarnation” is far off in The Doctor’s personal timeline, the Valeyard problem has been untangled for now, but could surface in the future as a plot point.

 

 

 

Salami Shrinkage?

I bought a Peperami this morning. I shouldn’t really, as the high salt and fat content will make me die. They are smaller now!

12439161_10153958669685992_9094982020698472626_n

Or so it seems…

Quoth feedback@peperami.com:

Hi Tony,

The weight of Peperamis haven’t changed for years. Indeed we are making them shorter and wider, because we are producing another brand (which is shorter and wider, but also 25g) as well and we would like to simplify our production process, but we definitely keep the usual 25 g net weight.
All the best,
Your Peperami Team
So now you know.

Managed Motorways

shoulder2

The problem with this 4 lane running smart motorway guff is that its fine until someone breaks down.

Normally with 3 lanes and a hard shoulder this isn’t too much of a hassle, but with 4 lanes it means that you suddenly lose a 1/4 of the capacity for a short distance causing an instant bottleneck. Sounds brilliant so far. An utter blinder of a plan.

Now imagine this scenario: Poor little old Mrs Thingy in her aged Micra breaks down and gets as far left as she can. The fat controller in the watch-box is busy scratching his knackers and doesn’t spot this hazard immediately. An over-hours HGV driver, distracted by an overdose of Redbull and barnyard pornography also fails to spot the hapless lady in time. Thus her small car is briefly turned into a a metal and flesh death-ball, punted down the carriageway at speeds it has previously never reached. Itchy balls + Redbull + beastiality = dead pensioner.

Can’t possibly happen, right?

Not seen the video of the truck belting down the motorway with a Clio stuck to its front bumper?


Could you stock a pub using only Rock drinks?

So, thats the burning question. Can you fully stock a pub using only drinks officially associated with rock bands? Well, let us have a look.

For your regular beers, you can have Iron Maiden Trooper Beer, Status Quo Piledriver, AC/DC Australian Hardrock Lager, Motorhead Bastards Lager, and Elbow Charge. And pretty soon Thunder will be releasing Thunderbrew. So something for everyone there. Except Cider drinkers.

Moving on to spirits, there is a choice of Killer Queen Vodka and Motorhead Vodka.

If its time for wine, then try Motorhead Shiraz, Eddie’s Evil Brew Merlot, Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon and Slayer Reign in Blood Cabernet Sauvignon.

That seems to be a fairly good stock list, and if there is a niche unfulfilled I’m sure Kiss have brought something out to fill it.

I am planning one hell of a party, by the way!

 

Christmas Number Ones

Since I was born, back in 1971, there have been 42 Christmas Number Once Singles. Most have been crap.

Looking the list of Wikipedia,  we can see some interesting trends.

Throughout the 1970s, odd numbered years gave us good songs:

  • 1971 – Benny Hill – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)
  • 1973 – Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody
  • 1975 – Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
  • 1977 – Wings – Mull of Kintyre
  • 1979 – Pink Floyd – Another Brck in the Wall (Part 2)

Whereas the even numbered years gave us unlistenable dross:

  • 1972 – Jimmy Osmond – Long Haired Lover From Liverpool
  • 1974 – Mud – Lonely This Christmas
  • 1976 – Johnny Mathis – When A Child Is Born (Soleado)
  • 1978 –  Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord

Moving on to the 1980s, only one diamond shines out from the turd bucket of music. The 1981 classic “Don’t You Want Me Baby” by The Human League, which, lest ye forget,  had a video featuring a Preston registered Rover SD1 (which allegedly once belonged to my sister’s neighbour).

The 1990s fare little better, with only the re-release of “Bohemian Rhapsody” (double A-sided with the excellent “These Are They Days Of Our Lives”) soaring high above a sea of arse-gravy. Interestingly (or maybe not), this was the last single I ever bought on vinyl.

Which brings us sadly on to the 21st Century, which has just produced shitbomb after shitbomb after shitbomb.

Every Mobile Phone I’ve Ever Owned

Here is a list of every mobile phone I’ve had since that that horrible day that I walked into Tern Hill Cellular Sales with too much money. Sometimes I’ve got the order wrong, because I’ve had a drink since then.

Motorola Personal Phone

motorola-personal-phone

Yes it really was called that. It was on Cellnet on the old ETACS analogue system. I actually had two of them, as the first had to be replaced withing a week after it started emitting smoke. The number was hard coded into the phone, which meant that a new phone had a new number.

It had no screen, so I had a list of who’s numbers were stored in the memory written on a disk label stuck on the back. There was no key lock, and calls cost 30p/50p per minute, so pocket dialling was an expensive mistake to make.

Motorola MR-1

motorola-mr1

This time on Orange. A bit of an improvement, having a screen and actually using a SIM card. I probably had about four of these, as I kept mine for a long time and bought others from friends as they upgraded – just so I had spare batteries.

Motorola c520

motorola-c520

Again on Orange, I got this one as part of a free upgrade. Finally something that could handle text messages. Not a bad phone for it’s time. I think I probably had for about a year.

Nokia 3110

Nokia-3310The phone that EVERYONE had, and I had about 6 over the years. All of them were on BT Cellnet. Somewhere I’ve still got a box of spare clip-on cases, some flashing LED keypads and the special Nokia Toolkit for repairing the on the rare occasion that they broke. Why six of them?  People would throw them away, and I’d harvest them for the batteries.

An interesting side note on this phone is that with the right cable and a bit of software you could send text messages with bogus numbers.

Apparently terrorists used them as bomb-triggers too (not mine!), and The Sun considered a 3310 the most dangerous phone ever made. Not all of them, just one particular phone which seemed to show up in every mobile based story (probably because their picture editor was a dickhead).

Mitsubishi Trium

mitsubishi-trium

The first phone I had that handled WAP. As I got it while I was ignoring computers, this phone was my only access to t’internet for ages. I seem to remember that it got broken falling out of the car charger, when the charging socket fell out.

Nokia 5110

nokia5110

I’m not even sure why I had one of these, considering that I still had some working 3310s left. Or why I had one with a clip-on Stoke City case.

Motorola v600

motorola-v600

Finally a camera phone! I won this one from some rubbish lads mag for suggesting that all the Big Brother contestants should be messily culled. I stopped using it for calls after the microphone broke, but with the correct set of cables, I used this phone to connect to t’internet with my new laptop. It was all downhill from there…

Sagem myG-5

Sagem-MY-G5 Another one that I’ve no idea why I bought. Maybe it just looked shiny.

 NEC e313

nec-313

It was a monstrous phone. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. I was like carrying a TV remote about. Still, the camera was ok and it did mobile internet and stuff. I still used the V600 for internet on my laptop.

Motorola A920

motorola-a920

Another massive phone. This one used the same connectors as the V600, meaning that I could use the same phone for everything.

Unknown WinCE Clamshell Phone

I have no idea what it was, apart from rubbish. It was locked to O2, but had real problems with data transfer. And ActiveSync wouldn’t work.

Sony Ericsson K750i

sony-k750i

Bought this one off a mate, and instantly realised why he was selling it. The camera lens was badly damaged and it had a habit of rebooting every hour or so. I took great pleasure in smashing it to bits.

 

Some Samsung Flip Thing

samsung_sgh-x460

I’m not sure what it was, but it looked like the one in the picture, didn’t do anything apart from calls, and only got used for work (until the SIM card got cancelled by Virgin for no reason). 

Amoi WP-S1 Skypephone

skype3phone

I’ve already waffled about it here, so I’ll not repeat myself. It still works and is currently acting as my alarm clock.

Sony Ericsson Walkphone W595

sony-w595

Not really a bad phone. I never used the music player on it though. I expired in a freak roller coaster accident in Blackpool (ok, it fell out of my pocket on the Mad Mouse).

Apple iPhone 3GS

iphone3gs

A steaming pile of horse-shit that shut itself down after a month, and shortly after that decided to leak acid all over my desk.

Samsung GT-E120

2012-11-18-21.05.36

A temporary phone bought while the iPhone problem was being fixed (by eventually chucking the worthless piece of donkey-vomit in the bin). I waffled about it here.

Samsung Galaxy Europa

samsung-europa

As described here. It is the phone I’m still using after two years, despite its many many flaws.

 

Currently I’ve got the Amoy Noodle Skypephone and the Samsung Europa. The girlfriend has the E1200 because she doesn’t like complicated phones, and its a happy sounding little thing just like her. I, by contrast, am a bloated waste of space (see Samsung Europa).

Most of the other phones survived in a box until I moved house earlier in the year. I threw them all away as the combined scrap value was less that a fiver. Don’t believe those adverts on the telly asking for your old phones.

I’m looking a getting a new phone very soon, and already have a plan for the Europa. Strangely it doen’t involve a very large hammer.

(Most of the pics on this page aren’t mine. And I’m too lazy to credit the sites they come from.)

 

Why I’m starting to hate technology again

Back in 2001 I’d just about had enough of computers, the internet, clever phones, the whole ruddy mess of it all. I dropped off the ‘net and let all my domains expire. For nearly five years I used a Nokia 3310 and a battered old 286 laptop that could just about run F29 Retaliator and emulate an Amstrad CPC to run The Bard’s Tale and Gryzor.

I only came back because a friend had a Dell Latitude X-300 for sale for £100, and I figured that would be cheaper than buying a DVD player and a telly. Yes, I was also without a TV. Hey, I read a lot of books and own a radio.

Then I won a phone that could be used as a modem (Motorola V600), and it all started going downhill again.

Now, once again, it is getting to the point that I am starting to hate the whole thing again. I have my reasons, and here they are. In no particular order.

Smartphones

Oh, where to start. I’m not going to target any specific maker or platform, as I’m saving that for later, but the whole smartphone concept annoys the hell out of me.

I’ve had a few smartphones, and I broke them. I didn’t particularly miss them afterwards. Really, I consider them little more than toys.

People tell me the amazing things they can do with such devices, and it bores me. I care not about photo editing on a screen less than the size of my palm, or any of the things that you think are earth-shattering.

Ok, so I have in the past installed loads of apps (and I really hate that term) which were cool looking for about 10 minutes. Then I deleted them.

I must admit to owning a not-so-smartphone. I use it for these things only: Making and receiving calls (which it isn’t really that good at), as an alarm clock, keeping track of doctors appointments using Google Calendar and pissing about with Facebook. And I hate myself for the last one.

Fondleslabs

Apple, Samsung, HTC, HP,  it doesn’t matter who made it, but I guarantee that you will be annoying with it.

As an ex-programmer and sometime systems admin, I can’t really think of anything less useful than a computer without a keyboard. Even as a gamer I find the whole concept without merit.

It seems to me, based on people that I know who own such things, that all they are used for is web browsing and running the same cutesy cool apps (spit!) as on their smartphones, but on a bigger screen.

Oh, and this:

I was round at a friend’s house to sort out a problem with his printer. It actually turned out that the ink cartridge was duff, but thats not the issue. All the time I was there, he was staring at his iGalaxyPad thing as if his eyeballs would explode if they strayed from it.

I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was watching TV.

I then asked him why he was watching TV on a small screen whilst sitting less than 10 feet from a 50 inch HD Plasma TV.

His reply was, “why watch it on that when I can watch it on this?”

I rest my case.

The Cutting Edge

I worked in IT for a fair few years. I’ve suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous upgades. I’ve learned that as sure as eggs is eggs and all odd numbered Star Trek films are shit, upgrading to a new version of any Operating System when it is released is a stupid idea.

It took Windows XP until SP2 to be worthwhile, and gods help anyone who suffered though last year’s iOS update. I think quite a lot of people were close to entering the local equivalent of Arkham Asylum over that episode.

Who fell for Vista? Ok, Windows 7 was slighty better, but I bet the same people fell for Windows 8 and are now falling for 8.1

Ubuntu LTS 12.04 worked fine when it came out, but that was 18 months ago and it still gets weekly updates.

As for smartphone operating systems. Well, I’m bitter on this. My crappy Europa worked fine until I upgraded the OS. Then the microphone stopped working except when on speaker mode. So I reset the phone back to the factory settings. And now it tries to upgrade everytime I switch it on.

Anyway, I kind of lost the point a bit. Nothing works first time.

Fanboys

Time was, when I was a kid, you were a fan of a sports team or Preston North End. In Australia you could be a fan of Holden or Ford cars (this is one of the reason why I love Aussies). But never, ever, would you become obsessive and evangelical about the manufacturer of some bit of electric tat.

Nobody actually gave a shit if their VCR was made by Bush or Phillips. The closest we ever got was the Betamax/VHS format debate (we didn’t have format wars in the 80s, the internet invented those).

Nowadays, of course, anyone who buys the latest piece of consumer trash immediately becomes an obnoxious advocate for whatever badge they’ve just adopted.

Be it phones, laptops, whatever. Some bugger will no doubt want to tell you why his (and it is always his) latest money-sink is better that everyone elses’.

(The day after I started writing this, I witnessed two friends having a heated argument about the merits of the iPhone and the Nokia Lumina. Neither owner had the latest version. And both, sadly, were on the high side of their 50th birthday)

All-In-1 PCs

If you haven’t cottoned on to this shit-fad yet, an “All-In-1” Pc is a slender laptop that you can detach the keyboard from to make it a Fondleslab. I can’t think of a worse idea, unless Aardman Animation suddenly decide that Wallace and Grommitt will somehow work without the dog.

The sort of people who buy skinny laptops are insufferable enough without giving them the ability to shed the entire point of buying a a laptop in the first place.

The term “All-In-1” PC is a misnomer. It isn’t a Desktop, and even if you put it on your desktop you’re going to have serious problems when you want to upgrade bits of it. Which you will before the year is out.

I remember a time when we had the term “Multi-Media PC”, which purportedly refered to an its ability to play music and video.  Some less than scrupulous sales droids (Dixons – AKA Currys/PC World these days) used the term to refer to PCs that had both 3 1/2″ and 5 1/4″ disk drives. Technically true, but still misleading. Par for the course for that company though.

Bellends On The Train

See all of the above.

 

Asking ASK.COM

My recent email to ASK.COM about the utter shittery that is their toolbar:

Hello,

I’d like to report a problem with the Ask.com toolbar installation that seems to seems to be suggested by about 3/4 of the software I download.

There seems to be an issue where if you decline to install the toolbar, the software goes ahead and installs unwanted files anyway.

Specifically, the files tbnofier.exe and apnmcp.exe get installed even if the installation is cancelled. I have verified this of a number of clean WinXP installations.

Anyway, I look forward to your reply. Enjoy your day.

Tony Blews

I was quite surprised that I recieved a reply within the space of a couple of hours…

Someone called Eric from ask.com had this to say:

Our distribution partners (namely, the 75% of free programs you’re intending to install) get to make business decisions regarding how best to bundle our products alongside theirs. Recently, the installation flow was changed so that when the toolbar offer screen is reached, the only way to not install the toolbar is to click “cancel” rather than “next;” after clicking “cancel,” the partner software flow would continue on. But because you have just gone through two or three screens where “next” was the right answer, suddenly clicking “cancel” is not exactly intuitive. We get that, and we’re working on remedying that with the partners who currently use that installation flow. We don’t like it, either.

And so I replied:

Eric, thanks for the reply.

It does seem a bit wrong that “No” seems to mean “Oh, go on then”.

I’m sure that defence won’t stand up in court. And Eric replied:

Agreed. I can legitimately defend a lot of things, but this is totally indefensible.

So there you have it.