Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

And I would hack 500 times…

ZoneAlarm just hit the 500 alert mark. Mind you, I have been constantly connected to the internet for 2 days and 7 hours now. Ah… the wonders of broadband.
My friend Rik, who co-runs The Official Sash! Site sent me the single for Le Soleil Noir by Encore (which arrived today), which is a Sash! side-project. Although I had all of the songs on MP3, it was nice to have the CD, and besides, the MP3s weren’t very good quality, so I’ve spent this afternoon re-ripping them – the 7″ version in Lame MP3 at 160Kbps, and the Original 12″ and Tandu & McLoud remix in VBR Ogg Vorbis, again at 160Kbps, though it has a quality level equivalent to 224Kbps or higher in MP3 terms. The downside is it takes years to encode compared to Lame, which itself isn’t the fastest of the MP3 encoders (though it gets faster all the time).
Today I went to Sheffield with my parents, namely to visit to Millennium Galleries, home to a great exhibition about the Sheffield steel industry, but also to do a bit of shopping. Lunch was had at a restaurant in the Ask chain – I chose the Pasta Carbonara but I have to say I was spoilt for choice – I love Italian food and this place certainly did it justice. The train home was 30 minutes late, but what do you expect from Virgin Trains? Actually, it wasn’t their fault – the line had been flooded near Birmingham, so all trains were being diverted, hence the delay.
I’m really beginning to like StatBar. I downloaded it ages ago, after it got featured in Lockergnome, but never got around the using it. But it’s great – it tells you your computer’s uptime, RAM usage, CPU usage and which of the key locks are enabled, and what OS you are using, just in case you happened to forget 🙂 It is a stand-alone bar, but you can make it auto-hide, and it comes with a selection of colour schemes to match in with Windows XP.

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