Category Archives: Personal


I’ve just finished building a media centre PC. I’ve wanted to be able to do timeshifting and simultaneous recording of TV for a while and the added benefit of using a Vista box to do this is that I can play all my music and HD content too.

A quick overview of the components I used:

Zalman HD160+ HTPC Case
Zalman ZM600 600W PSU
Zalman CNPS9500 CPU cooler
Samsung Writemaster DVD
Gigabyte Radeon HD4550 graphics
Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU
Samsung 1TB Spinpoint
Hauppuage Nova-T 500 PCI dual tuner
Acoustipack soundproofing material

It’s not quite the ultra silent PC I was after, but it’s not too bad. The only noise is a small bit of CPU fan noise. At the moment it doesn’t fit into my AV cabinet under the TV (the case is pretty big.) but if I get another one in the future then that should really help cut down on the audible noise. in Perl

Using the fabulous Want to use your own Custom URL? Want to use Perl? Use this!

The attached script takes only status updates from and writes it out to a file. In my case, this file is then "included" by apache dynamically on the front page of my site.

Bit rough and ready, but hey, it only took 60 seconds :)

   1: #!/usr/bin/perl
   3: use strict;
   4: use warnings;
   6: use CGI qw/:standard/;
   7: use CGI::Carp 'fatalsToBrowser';
   9: my $file = '/path/to/my/file.include';
  11: open my $FH, '>', $file or die "Unable to open $file\n";
  13: if ( param() ) {
  15:        print header;
  16:        my $method = param('method');
  17:        my $title = param('title');
  18:        my $message = param('message');
  20:        print $FH "$message";
  22: }
  24: else {
  26:     print header;
  27:     #Do nothing
  29: }
  31: close $FH;

Nike+ Sportband Problems

It’ll teach me to be an early adopter but I’ve had nothing but troubles with my Nike+ Sportband since I bought one a few months back.

My first one suffered a "bleeding" crystal display:


I sent this back to Sweatshop and they sent me a new one. A week ago, lo and behold, the bleeding display was back. I dropped them a quick mail and they replied saying that there was a known issue with the very first batch of devices and would I like another one or my money back.

So, I’ve gone for third time lucky! I can’t say enough how good Sweatshop have been in sorting all this out.

The Nike+ utility also seemed to have difficulty in realising that not everyone used Pacific Time on their computers, which meant the time on the device was always -8 hours out. v1.1 seems to have fixed this though.

I’ve heard some other complaints about the calibration not working, but I’ve not had much trouble with that.

Anyway, I shall hold onto my wallet next time :)