Monday Jan 10, 2005

I am not amused

I did my tax return on Sunday, and after several hours of working through paperwork, I found that I owe the tax man over GBP1000 :(

Now, I knew that I owed some, but it appears as though Sun haven't been taking quite enough tax off me every month, and as a consequence I now have this significant amount to pay up. Ho hummm.......

4500 Calories

According to my trusty Polar HRM I burnt off over 4500 calories in 6 days of training last week. At roughly 3700 calories per lb, I should have lost around 1.2lb. Nope! Same weight at the end of the week as at the start (not that I need to lose any weight anyway as I'm about the same weight I was 15 years ago, but carrying a lot more muscle than I did then).

I think the HRM may be a little over-optimistic when calculating calories used. However, I do also know that when exercising 5+ days a week, I do tend to eat more, so maybe it is just me.

I ended the week with a 10+ mile easy run yesterday over a slight variation of my usual course which takes me into Sheffield City Centre and back out again the hard way (2+ miles up-hill). The emphasis was on distance not pace, and I was rather pleased to find that I had plenty left in my legs for the up-hill route out of town. In fact, I was tempted to carry on running at the end, I felt so good. This is a good sign.

Total mileage for the week, including the speed work on the treadmill on Friday was just over 31. That's a record for me. I'd like to keep it between 25 and 30 if I can, but a lot depends on the demands of work and the vagaries of the winter weather.

One success and one failure

In order to give me more room to mess about with home videos, I ordered a second HDD for our family PC. It already has a 36GB WD Raptor SATA drive, which is very fast and makes a great system disk.

With capacity, not speed being the essence for the second disk, I ordered a 120GB Seagate ST312087AS SATA drive. In an earlier blog, I referred to thid drive as 160GB. Despite the order clearly stating that it was 120GB, I had convinced myself otherwise. I really must concentrate more when messing on the Internet!! :) 120Gb will be fine anyway, for now, as I only have just over 1hr of digital video to edit (that's around 12GB!!!!!).

So, onto the success.... The HDD and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) cable I ordered arrived Friday, so Saturday I set about getting the HDD installed. I have to say it was a breeze to fit - the motherboard came with the appropriate ATX to SATA power cable converter and two SATA data cables. It was a tiny bit fiddly getting the SATA data cable connected to the motherboard socket, but it was done in a couple of minutes of grunting and squeezing of fingers into little gaps. After rebooting the machine the BIOS picked up the new disk immediately and I downloaded a utility from Seagate and had the disk partitioned (well, one partition) in less than 10 minutes. Great!!

And to the failure... Having successfully got the disk set up, I started Pinnacle Studio, hooked up my DV camera via the new FireWire cable and prepared to start downloading all of the lovely home video. No joy! Pinnacle reports that it can't find a camera attached to the IEEE1394 connection. I played with this for ages, alternately fiddling with the camera, reseating the FireWire cable and rebooting the PC. All to no avail. The BIOS reports it as being active and Windows XP says the hardware is working correctly, but the camera is just not recognised.

Noting that there are two IEEE 1394 sockets on card, I wondered if I had a faulty port, so I opened up the PC and swapped over the internal connectors on the motherboard. Still no joy :(

Next I thought I'd give the iPOD a try, as it has FireWire and it would give me an indication of whether the camera/new cable was faulty or the controller itself. Using the iPOD's supplied FireWire cable, I hooked it up, started iTunes and waited. Nothing! No amount of fiddling would get iTunes to spot the iPOD attached via FireWire. I gave up.

I returned to the problem late Sunday, did some research - searching the support websites for Apple, Asus, Microsoft and Sony, but none had anything matching the problem I was seeing. No missing drivers or anything. So now I'm stuck! I'm very disappointed that I just couldn't get it working and what's worse, couldn't find any diagnostic tools to help me debug the problem. I might have to order a PCI IEEE1394 card, even though one of the criteria for buying that specific ASUS motherboard was because it had FireWire on-board. Ho humm. At least I have plenty of disk space now anyway :)

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