Thursday, September 28, 2006

Face Recognition!

Following Andrea's post I figured I'd try the facial recognition demon on You upload a picture and it finds similar looking Celebrities using facial recognition.

I tried it four times with four different pictures and I got four completely different lists of celebrities. Not a single name in common. The list below is the funniest, though to be fair it is the worst of the four pictures (the only one I used sunglasses). I got completely inconsistent responses in general, with a strong dependancy on the shape of my glasses, hair style, and I think my cloths (as in the case below). My various celebrity look-a-likes include:

    Bellie Jean King (!!!)
    Linus Thorvalds (yay!)
    Steven Segal (huh?)
    Thom Yorke (doh!)
    Andie McDowal (er...)
    Shophia Copola (???)
    Patrick Stump (who's he?)

I must be a man of many faces...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's alive!

Like some kind of vehicular zombie the car is back from the dead.

I have a golden rule, never write a vendor/service/company a blank check. (Ironic as I'm quite often the vendor myself...) So I told them not to do anything until they gave me a price.

They ignored me and went ahead anyway. Annoying!

Anyway, Should get it back tomorrow. It is still not the car I want, which would have working locks, windows, and fan, and it is still probably not worth the investment to turn it into the car I want but it is undoubtedly less hassle this way.

But the car's days are numbered. The tax runs out in Feb and the MOT/NCT in April. Maybe having been brought to the very gate of the knackers yard it'll be scared into behaving for another while. It is a very handy thing to have and I'm very greateful for it, to be honest. Now having had a car for a while I can't live without one.

The Car is Dead

I'm in an office near Heathrow waiting to meet a customer. I haven't been a good blogger lately, so I thought I'd tell the latest news while I wait.

The car, acquired in January for the bargain price of nothing at all, has probably reached the end of the road. On Saturday night (of all times) on Georges St (of all places) the clutch went. I had to get it towed. I have yet to hear the bad news, but an independant price put replacing the clutch on a Critroen ZX '95 Diesel 1.9L at about €550 plus VAT. Which including the other work needed (locks and windows and electrics), is more than the car is worth. (If you feel differently, let me know!) So now I'm looking at towing, scrapping and buying something else.

Such is life! I don't know too much about cars so I'm open to ideas, anyone?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Palm T/X

My new Palm T/X arrived a couple of weeks ago (yeah, old news...). I think this is the third or fourth Palm I've owned! I got this one from PDA King on eBay (or rather Andrea ordered it, she knows more about eBay than I do). They are based in the USA, I think, very fast and friendly service. It arrived within two weeks. The best thing of all, is that it only cost me only €212 compared to the €€350 all the stores in Dublin were asking (Dixons, PC-World, I shopped around quite a lot).

( One thing I'd advise anyone ordering on eBay is to look carefully at the references, there seem to be sellers with a fake 100% rating, they have 10 or 20 perfect references from buyers who have no references themselves. They create the fake buyers, complete fake transactions and then give themselves 100% positive ratings. So make sure you check not only the references, but also the next level, the references the referrers themselves get. As I said, I leave that to Andrea. She has a knack for that stuff, and for some reason she can smell a shill from a mile away, but that is another story... Anyway, PDA King is very good, I can testify to that! )

The new palm has all the features I need:
  Contacts, Calendar, Memos, ToDo list
  A good MP3 player and a standard headphone jack
  WiFi/WLAN (802.11b) for Internet
  Bluetooth for phone + laptop connectivity
  SD card slot for photos, MS Office files, MP3s, etc.
  Email and web browser
  MS Office document viewing and editing
  All my other Palm apps, including games
...and my favorite application at the moment Mobipocket Reader.

I'm really getting into eBooks, I'll blog all about it soon.

I should point out, this new Palm isn't a phone or a camera. The "convergence" technology I want (all of the above in one small unit) is still some way away. I got myself a small and simple Samsung for reconneting to O2. Much better than the XDA Exec, I tried Windows Mobile for a while but have to go back to Palm. The XDA was too big, too slow (even with a much more powerful processor), and the battery didn't last long enough. I get about four hours on the T/X, even more if the screen is off, such as when I'm just listening to music.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Another New Laptop

I have another new laptop, thanks to my new employers. Actually I've had it for a couple of weeks now, just not blogging much lately, and getting a new machine isn't as much fun as it once was (as I have noted before). The last one I got off SITA in August 2004 was a HP which I gave back when I left.

The new one is a Dell, Intel 2GHz dual-core CPU, 2GB Ram, 14" 1440 x 900 screen, 80GB SATA HD, integrated Ethernet, Model, 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth, Sony DVD +- RW, blah blah blah.

In simple terms... it is about twice the power of the one I had in most ways and it is considerably lighter, so much better for my back!

More details and full spec [here].

One slightly annoying feature is the lack of an SD card reader, but a little USB device fixes that. Instead of SD it has a smart card reader which I'll never use! As regards configuration, it isn't as stable as I'd like, the Bluetooth crashes when I try to send files and there is way too much junk running on startup, but fixing it up is something to do in my spare time.

I've been on two short trips already, London and Frankfurt, and it has served very well!