For some time I have been looking to buy myself a decent microphone, it was a mix up between buying a mixer + microphone setup (costly) or just splash out on a USB Microphone (easier and cheaper). I originally was going to buy some time ago the Blue Snowball Ice which goes for £50 and was un-sure if I really need a microphone at all given I could use my Logitech headset for skype and such. On a random trip to my local Maplin store, they had various items they were trying to get rid of, one of each and for a lower price than normal. I mistook the offer of a Blue Snowball in Matt Black for £50 (previously £70) as the Ice and walked away. It was not until later on I realised that in fact microphone on offer was in fact the higher spec Blue Snowball and while I could easy have found it close to the price asked online, it was still at full price at most places, most been PC World at £90.
If like me, you are a fan of a vast array of ever changing wallpapers on your desktop, I thought I would share the solution I use to automate grabbing wallpapers from interfacelift and sharing across many machines. To be clear InterfaceLift do offer a bulk downloading service which costs money, so look at this if the following looks too complicated for your needs.
As expected the Raspberry Pi I Ordered from CPC arrived at about 3pm and I was surprised how light the box was that it came in but then again there is not much inside the box given the size and weight of the Pi plus case. The case was pre-made box and the bottom snapped off to allow fitting of the Raspberry Pi. It was obvious from the shape of the connectors how the Pi fitted in and a simple snap of the top part and we had a complete Raspberry Pi much like the picture above. The task now was to get it connected up and running with XBMC as was the plan.
I worked out my media needs for watching movies and such was met the best by XBMC. Running a desktop computer was both loud and took up a lot of room. Due to short supply (in the past) and hearing it was not powerful enough – I held off buying such a beast. I spotted in Maplin a complete kit which was £79.99 and now down to £59.99 but if you take a look at what it includes, you start to question the price, let me explain.
Small Set-Top Boxes that promise to provide all your media experience are scattered on the shelfs in most big stores and sometimes its hard to know which one to buy. While most can play, in some format or another media files you own, how they get this media and which formats they play is varied to say the least. I wanted to take a look at only a handful of devices to show you that not everything is created equal and might point you in the right direction of your needs.
I have been with Virgin media for some years now, back when it was NTL in fact and I remember been on the middle tier and the dreaded throttling came into effect. back then once you hit the limits, you could write the next 5 hours and be unable to properly use normal websites. They had no throttling on the top tier and even though I never needed it, I upgraded so I could use the the net how I wanted. They upgraded everybody to 30/60/120 and upgraded the upload speeds to 3 and 12 for the top tiers. I was actually unaware they introduced throttling to all packages now and did not noticed if I did get throttled. They say that things change and this was true of me, I was not happy to be paying £68 a month for a Phone line I never used and broadband I did not really need the top tier for – it was time to change my package and see what deal i could get.