Sunday Jan 07, 2007

DAB radio. Is it crap?

All weekend there has been no DAB radio reception in the house. It could be that my DAB radio is bust but we also have no UHF TV signal either and if I let the radio scan I do find some very strange stations with exceptionally poor signal strength. Yet nothing on the transmitter web site which was last updated on Friday (Last Updated 16:41 05/01/07) which was when things were working here. While writing this all has now returned so I now know it was not the multiple bits of equipment in the house I suspect the transmitter.

Being a geek I should love Digital Radio and conceptually I do. However where I live the signal is so bad it is just able to do voice radio but music is horrible where as FM is fine. It is not even as if I live in the sticks. I wonder if the government and the Radio authorities really live in the same country when they suggest that DAB can really compete with FM radio at this point. I can't see a DAB radio ever working in a car or more importantly on a bike. In the house my laptop and wifi gets better “radio” than DAB.


Thursday Jan 04, 2007

Super hero

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

Tuesday Jan 02, 2007

What is Art?

Today we dragged the kids to Tate Modern to see the installation by Carsten Höller to ask the question “what is Art”. O.k. Really we just went to slide down the slides which were great,. Listening to people going down the slides was interesting as the sounds “vibrate” as you descended them. A great day out, still not sure what art is though.


Sunday Dec 03, 2006

Intelligent Design humour

It is easy to poke fun at the nonsense of “Intelligent Design” and the Now Show (01/12/2006) (around 16:30 into the program if you don't want to listen to the whole thing) do it brilliantly, should be online for 7 days


Friday Nov 24, 2006

RSS feeds come of age

When the Tesco web site has an RSS feed you know RSS has come of age.


Saturday Nov 18, 2006

Book review: The God Delusion

The fact that it is just a week since I got a copy of “The God Delusion” and am now writing about completing it speaks volumes for the book. It is a fascinating, thought provoking book, that does not appear to pull any punches and is written with passion that comes through the text. For the record I've never read any book like it before.

The books defence of Darwin in arguing against Creationism and for Evolution the passion jumps from the pages along with the representation of the facts and arguments from both sides.

The fact that I am still uneasy about writing about it shows what a good job has been done in stifling any criticism of religious belief which is one of the points of the book, it's just easier to ignore religion or pretend you believe than say you don't. However it is when Dawkins moves onto the dangers of religion that the book becomes most interesting or concerning.

I would recommend the book to anyone.


Sunday Nov 12, 2006

I may have to get a new blog

I've been waiting for Geoff's review of "The God Delusion" but on Saturday I went into Walton to see the new shppoing centre which contains a new book shop. Being a sucker for a book shop I went in with my daughters who managed to blag me for five books while I left with "The God Delusion".

Oddly the very fact that I don't feel easy commenting on a book on my blog, while it is hosted by my employer because the book is about religion is covered in the first chapter, while not actually singling out blogging.

I'll read it, so far I'm struggling to put it down, and may either decide I can post a review here or more likely will desert for a location not directly connected with Sun. I'm not entirely sure why though. Possibly cowidice.


Monday Nov 06, 2006

What goes up must come down..

Whenever I see people firing guns into the air, either in the movies or on the news I wonder how often people are hit by the bullets as they return to the ground.

The same is true for firework rockets.

Last night I saw for myself. A "small" firework rocket stick and the remains of the cardboard tube fell to earth, via the head of one of the people watching the display. The result was a very large bruise and a very shaken person. If it had hit them in the eye it could have been a lot worse.

I may have found a time when wearing a cycle helmet would be good thing.


Thursday Oct 19, 2006

Being a geek has it's price...

and tonights was the inability to just let the announcement of the opensolaris source is available via mecurial.

I tried. I failed. I had to kick off a pull of the source, currently winging it's way to my server at home.


Friday Oct 06, 2006

Nokia Chargers

The most unexpected thing I learned in San Francisco this past week?

Not all Nokia phone chargers are 110V-240V. I picked one up as I left the house last week and never even thought to check since all the chargers I have ever used have just worked with the toy electricity they have in the US. This time when my phone was down to 1 bar I plugged it in and it said "Not Charging" or some such message. Studying the back of the charger it was 220V-240V only. I suspect one of the chargers that came with one of my daughter's phones (and no Dave I have not forgotten your comment).

So the moral is to check the voltage range of the charger. I wonder if they do the same in the US with cheap phones and chargers. It would be much more exciting to plug a 110V charger in over here.


Friday Sep 29, 2006

Looking forward to looking back.

I'm off to the Customer Engineering Conference tomorrow which means a day on a Plane which is never something I look forward to but after that I'm hopeful that there will be some interesting meetings and presentations.

However my mother has managed to get me looking forward to getting back and I have not even left. Her Father was a keen photographer and home movie maker. He made numerous home movies spending hours cutting them and putting titles on them all very professional from a time when home video did not exist and even home movies were a rarity. I remember as a child the excitement of seeing them; mostly as he would play them backwards when rewinding them which we thought was hilarious.

Today my mother rang to tell me that she had received the DVD onto which my sister had arranged for all of the films to be written to. The earlier films won't have been played for many many years as the film is so rare so we did not want to touch them for fear of damaging them.

7 hours of film which I am told even includes bits of the Tour of Italy from sometime in the early 1950s and even bits of film from my mother's childhood which was before the Second World War.

I can't wait to see the glimpse into the past.


Thursday Sep 28, 2006

I'm an Xpert (sic)

BigAdmin are running an Ask the Xpert(sic) session on ZFS and that Xpert is me.

Very un-British to claim to be an Xpert but someone had to do it. Sorry about the photo, taken with a self timer and never really got it right.


Saturday Sep 16, 2006

Good bye talker, jabber and thank you

This week my part of the business actually made concrete progress to simplified our business.

For a few years, like over 10, we have been using instant messaging to communicate between all the teams. We have a Jabber network, a home grown chat system called Talker plus IRC and more recently IT provided an instance of the Sun Instant messaging server for all of Sun.

Last Monday we began to move over to the IT service with the jabber network being decommissioned this Monday and the Talker rooms next Monday. No more will it be like having four phone systems none of which would really talk to the other. It is true that the SunIM service and the jabber service could have been federated but that would not have given use the ease of use and ease of finding contacts we needed to support our customers.

I would however like to thank all those who implemented and have been looking after those networks, mostly in their “spare” time. Talker and jabber were invaluable.

So Peter and Paul my thanks to you and everyone who helped you out.


Sunday Aug 13, 2006

Language settings on phone

Note to self. The short cut to set the language on a nokia 6310 back to English is:

Menu: 4412

The alternative is to not let your brother get hold of your phone.


Thursday Aug 03, 2006

Today I am reading

Satanic Verses.

The book has sat in the house for ages after my partner bought it for a book club but it was rejected after the first chapter. I picked it up and was told that: "I'll eat my hat if you finish that.". To my great surprise I am getting to enjoy it and not just due to the prospect of a good hat eating session next week. My daughters will be making a special hat to be eaten.

I have no doubt it would never have entered the house if it were not for the infamy.


Tuesday Jul 18, 2006

Too many geeks.

You know there are too many geeks in the house when you and your partner both get emailed about a site like this one: and rather then just doing the quiz and forgetting about it or ignoring it you both independently work out the answer. It's not that it was hard but just that neither of us could just walk away from it.



Sunday Jun 18, 2006

Camp Dads

Just returned from the fifth annual Camp Dads weekend. 13 dads, 28 children camping in the New Forest. With perfect weather there seemed little point in changing a winning formula from last year. So Saturday was on the beach and Sunday by the river with the Curry on Saturday night delivered to the campsite.

This years joke was:

Why do sea gulls fly over the sea?

Because if the flew over the Bay they would be Bagels.

Again you had to be there.

All the children returned safely and thankfully no sunburn.


Monday May 29, 2006

Drought UK style

As the drought orders take force this is the view from my front door:


Saturday May 27, 2006

Apple finally coughed up

Apple finally repaid the money they had incorrectly charged and provided a small item as compensation so I'm happy again. All companies cock up occasionally but you can tell much by the way they deal with those mistakes.

Would I buy Apple products again? Sure.


Saturday Apr 29, 2006

Still Chasing my refund from Apple

After the earlier cock up by Apple I rang them and they assured me that I would be refunded. Alas not. So I ring again and am told I have to ring during office hours and no they can't ring me.

I will be asking for interest on the money.



This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to


« August 2016