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The random ramblings of a Star Trek-obsessed schools ICT Systems Manager who likes a good moan.
This is a place where I can whinge about life, and express my love of my family, 80's music, retro computer gaming (especially on my Commodore 64),
 oh and Star Trek. I'm very open with my opinions and I like a good moan. If you don't like what I say, then you might want to consider not reading this blog.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Retro-spec

My retro gaming sessions usually consisted of me running an assortment of emulators on my PC, and playing them on my television via a very long S-Video cable from my graphics card to the TV.... From one side of the living room to the other... Not ideal, especially when you have a young child rampaging through the living room..... TRIP!!

Readers of my blog will know that I recently purchased one of those Linux based GP2x portable game/entertauinment consoles, and one of the many good things about it is that it has a TV-out port for hooking up to an ordinary television (something you can't do with PSP's and Nintendo DS's!!). Anyway, I purchased a TV-Out cable for my GP2x yesterday from www.gbax.com and amazingly it arrived this morning in the post - I would highly recommened this company if you wish you purchase any GP2x related products.

Anyway, as you can see from the pictures I can now play all of my favourite retro games via my GP2x on the television as if it were a normal games console or old computer. The top picture shows me playing one of my favourite games of all time - Flashback (using the excellent DrMD Sega Megadrive emulator) , and the picture below is of course the startup screen on a Commodore 64 (using the VICE emulator).

Now, I've got emulators ranging from the Philips G7000, Atari ST, Atari 800XL, Commodore Amiga, Plus 4 & C64, Acorn Electron, Archimedes, Sega Megadrive, Spectrum and many many more - all stored on a 2Gb SD card on my very portable GP2x. Imagine having all those machines, and the thousands of games available on them on the go... in just one small machine!!!!

Oh.... I've also been playing Day of the Tentacle and the first two Monkey Island games on it as well using the Scumm interpretor. Happy days are here again!!

If like me you like retro gaming..... GET ONE!!!!

No talking, and no mobile phones...

I was asked to go and setup the sound system in the large Sports Hall at work yesterday for the mock exams, and as I walked in, this is the view that I had...

What is the point of this post? Well, it just made me think back to when I did my exams - 13 years ago! It certainly doesn't feel that long ago since I was sitting my very last exam (a CDT exam on Friday 25th June 1993)

How things have changed since then...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another driving post!

Yet another Driving Lesson post.

Todays lesson consisted of roundabouts, three-point turns, and generally going back on everything which I have been practicing to do over the past 4 weeks. All in all, it went pretty well, although I am still having trouble with controlling the clutch.

OFSTED was a success at the school last week, and the atmosphere at work has been much more relaxed.

Oh, and as all of you know, Christmas is fast approaching and we have still not yet gone out to buy Kieran any presents. I hate Christmas shopping... Come to think of it, I hate Christmas.... Its great for kids, but as an adult, I just hate this whole time of year. It's depressing and its hard to appear happy just for the sake of Kieran. Call me a miserable old git, but I am a non-religious person who never gets into the Christmas spirit. If Michelle or Kieran want something, I usually get it them, regardless of whether its Christmas or not. And if I want something, I normally can't wait for Christmas and just go out and buy it for myself.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm obligated to go out, and buy smellies, socks and other silly gifts for people and if I don't, or if I accidently forget someone, then I become really bad person.

Bah Humbug!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cruisin' Evesham

Today's driving lesson consisted of me tackling roundabouts, and doing three-point turns. Although I was able to do them (eventually), I was less than sucessful, with me stalling the car for the very first time (on a roundabout of all places). I keep asking myself if I'm ever going to get this driving mastered. Still, I have only had four lessons. I guess its something you either pick up easily or don't.

OFSTED have been and gone at the school, and from what I have heard, things have been satisfactory. We won't find out until Monday what the final outcome is, but in regards to ICT (infrastructure-wise), everything went smoothly with only two data projectors packing up. Not bad for a school with over 500 computers and a lot of fiddling and tampering kids.

The school is closed today so I've got a nice day at home relaxing. My parents are coming to visit for the weekend and Kieran is really looking forward to seeing them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Driven round the bend!

Another day, another driving lesson. This time I stayed in Evesham, and was shown how to turn into a road, and how to handle bends. My major problem is that I just can't get to grips with lifting the clutch without lifting the accelerator. I have never been any good at multitasking and whatever one foot does, the other does exactly the same. Clutch control is something else I get into trouble with when I am at a junction waiting to turn.
Work has been hectic these past few days at the school due to the fact that we have a big Ofsted inspection which begins tomorrow. Its been rush, rush, rush, rush, rush, with me running around and making sure all the IT in the school is running without any problems.
Roll on Friday as the school is closed for a day which means I can relax and have a nice day off!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

License to thrill or bore?

I'm not much of a film critic, but after just sitting through over two hours of the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale, I just wanted to say here how disappointed I was with the whole movie.

Don't get me wrong, I love the James Bond movies (I have them all on DVD), and I think Daniel Craig suits the role of 007 perfectly (not since Sean Connery has a actor been best suited for the role), but where was the action? What about the gadgets?

Bond movies are famous for the action, stunts, and women. This film seemed to have very little (ok, it did have Eva Green). The best part of the movie is the last 15 minutes or so when the action takes place in a collapsing building which sinks in Vienna. The rest consists of a lot of talking with the odd punch here and there, and not much else.

As with all Bond movies, the credits at the end of the movie leave us with the message "James Bond will return"..... I hope Daniel Craig does another one, but I also hope they return to the action and stuff which I come to expect from 007.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Night Rider.....


I'm still alive, and I didn't even crash into a lamp-post, or run over any poor pedestrians!

I had another driving lesson this evening (fortunately my instructor had someone cancel the night before so I was able to get in a lesson this week). The map above shows the route I drove this time - a fair bit more than last week!! Starting from home, I drove along Evesham Road until we reached Offenham, along Boat Lane, and down Station Road, through Badsey and down Badsey Road back into Evesham. Then, after driving down Port Street, I then turned onto Waterside, along the river Avon, up Cheltenham road, turning of into Fairfield Road, along Four Pools Road (where Evesham High, the school I work at is located), down Coopers Lane, back along Waterside, up Port Street and back into Coronation Street!!!!..... (phew)

What did I learn today? How to turn at junctions.

I also was required to go into work tonight to video record the school production. This year, the production is 'Fame', and as well as having recording duties, I was also technical backup for the sound system.....

..... What would they do without me?

By the way, feel free to watch the production on the EHS website - Thursday night and Friday night between 7.o0pm and 10.00pm. However, the audio module for our network webcam is faulty, so you will only get video..... no sound I'm afraid.
http://www.eveshamhigh.worcs.sch.uk/new_site/camera1.html

So, I have hardly seen Michelle and Kieran today - except for the 10 minutes or so when I got home from work before having to rush out for my driving lesson.

I'm knackered, tired and I'm off to bed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"we're on a road to nowhere....."

I've had my provisional driving licence now for over 2 months, but last night, at 5.00pm I had my very first driving lesson!! Yep, it was the very first time in my life that I have sat in the drivers seat of a car, and although I was nervous as hell, my instructor eased my nerves and the whole hour went smoothly.... I didn't even stall the engine!!!

Basically I was just taught the basic understandings of how a car works. Once I got to grips with the clutch and gear changing, to my surprise I was asked to drive down a couple of roads near to where I live (see map below for route). I was asked to do the route twice.


Can't wait for my next lesson in two weeks time (couldnt get one for next week unfortunatly)

Remember :----

* Start ignition
* Check gear is in neutral
* Press down on clutch all the way
* Place car in 1st gear.
* Check mirrors, and all blindspots
* Press down gently on the accelerator then bring the clutch up until you reach the biting point
* Remove handbrake

And away we go.........

Check back again soon for another exciting episode of 'Learning to drive (and trying not to crash into anything or anyone) with Stuart Wilson!!'

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Remember, remember the 4th (!!!!) of November

We had Michelle's Dad pop round last night with a load of fireworks for Kieran. We wasn't sure what Kieran would think of them as this would have been his first firework display.....

He loved it!!!

Infact, the whole evening went really well, (besides one firework chasing us round the garden). I like fireworks, but I always get nervous around them, which is probably why I will always take Kieran to a proper display rather than go out and buy my own - they are just too unpredictable.

Anyway, I hope you like the picture of Kieran which I've posted here, all dressed up and ready to go out on a cold November night.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Celebrity Look-alikes


I've seen so many kids try it at school, so I figured I'd give it a go..... If you visit www.myheritage.com, you can try out a cool little web-based program which attempts to match a photo which you send of yourself with famous people. The image above is a result.... Spookingly, it says I resemble "The Shat"!!! How about that! Is it a coincidence that I just so happen to love Star Trek?

I probably look like that picture of Theo van Gogh when I've had a few too many (if you know what I mean). It also says that I resemble super-model Valeria Mazza!!! Hmmmmmmm. So thats what I'd look like with long blonde hair, and makeup

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Bloody stupid thing - Its crap!

Actually, it may be me getting old and stupid, but besides William Shatner, I haven't the foggiest idea who the others are! I mean, I had to google Valeria just to find out she's a model!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Christmas has come early! (Part 2)

I'm well chuffed. My Stargate SG1 cast photo arrived today, personally signed by Christopher Judge (Teal'c), Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter), Micheal Shanks (Daniel Jackson), and Richard Dean Anderson (Jack O'Neill). Thats another one to add to my collection of signed autographs...

Also, I had a good day at work today.... We were all told to go home by 10.00am due to the school not having any water! Apparently a water main had been burst down the road. Worked out good as the day has been gorgeous, and with Michelle not working during the day, we went into town, spent some money and took Kieran to the park to play.

Halloween went without any problems yesterday. If you know me, then you know that I hate the whole halloween thing. We had one bunch of trick or treaters knock (we didn't answer the door) and they left without throwing any eggs of flour.