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    Monday, December 22, 2008

    Happy Christmas...

    Hello Everyone, I hope you're all enjoying the build up to Christmas!

    So, Apple finally replaced my iPod Touch. After 4 replacements, i finally have one without dead pixels all over the screen. Also following my letter of complaint, i received a phone call from Apple today, apologizing for the situation, and as a gesture of goodwill offered me a free screen protector and iPod Dock! Just goes to show that sometimes a little complaining works!

    Well i've been home just over a week now, and seen loads of people. I'm really enjoying being at home but still need to catch up on some sleep. Not long till skiing now, the snow's still looking really good. I'm just hoping for some nice sunny weather the week we're out there.

    I really need to get on with some university work, but i fear that it's all going to happen in the last week as usual! I will take some revision on holiday with me though! But now, it's time for christmas, family and friends, and rubbish movies on the TV. My next post probably won't be until after skiing, so i'll be sure to take some good shots of Emma and I skiing!

    But for now, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

    Sam

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    A few months later...

    Well I suppose i should start by saying that I'm at home, and everything is great here! 

    Now... I have had the Macbook Pro for a few months now and there are a couple of things I feel that I should say. Firstly, this is the single best computer i have ever owned. The hardware is fantastic, the software seamlessly communicates with the hardware and just works! All of this in a beautiful case, with a beautiful screen! 

    I know, "you sound like an apple fanboy" at least one of my readers is shouting. And yes, I admit that I have made some claims in the past about Apple that I now officially take back. However, it has not always been plain sailing...

    Firstly, there are still significant problems with Digidesign sound cards. These are needed to run Pro Tools (A program which my uni course requires), the problem is that they do not interface with Leopards core audio drivers at-all well, leading to kernel panics (BSOD Equivalent).

    Secondly, I always have this strange feeling in the back of my mind, that i have joined the mind numbingly irritating group of mac users that, when confronted with a group of PC users having troubles with windows, finds it necessary to say "ahhhhh, now if you had a mac..." This is not something I wish to be a part of, so if any of you hear me say it, let me know!

    Anyway, I'm going to end this post before i start babbling on about anything and everything.

    Sam

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Last Day Of Term...

    Wow, i did it! This is officially my last day in Bournemouth for about 4 weeks. I really have had a great time,  i've met some fantastic people and learnt lots of stuff at University. The course is great, not at all how i expected it to be but great nonetheless. As to other people, well I'm sure we won't have as many people on our course after christmas. 

    People just don't seem to turn up for lectures, i don't understand it! We've all paid £3000 in tuition fee's alone for this year, not including rent and other living costs. Why pay all that and not turn up? Beats me...

    Anyway, I'm on my way home today. Can't wait to see everyone from home again, much pubbage shall be had, especially after A level certificate presentation on wednesday! Other things I'm looking forward to include being fed and looked after again!! Skiing, obviously, is just around the corner and I'm looking forward to that. All in all, i should have a good break. I've still got assignments to do, but my business assignment / pitch went well so i don't have to worry about that. I'll let you all know how i got on when i get my results.

    Right, off home now. So my next post will be from Billingshurst!!

    Sam

    Monday, December 08, 2008

    Music Blog...

    Hey Everyone,

    As you may know, i am combining my Blog with my website. I have decided that to do this effectively, i should create a kind of 'sub-blog' for all my music and media creations. You can now find this in the 'Sub blog' section to the right of this page. 

    The Music blog will be uploaded with content as soon as i get around to it, I get back from uni in 4 days, so i'll have access to all my old stuff and time to upload hopefully!

    Cheers
    Sam

    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    Update on Uni Life...


    I love this photo, it was taken when Emma came down to Bournemouth for a weekend two weeks ago. We really had a fantastic time, walking around the park and having fish and chips down on the beach! (Yes, it really was quite cold). I'm going up to Winchester this weekend for the Christmas Ball with Emma, and i'm really looking forward to it!

    University in general has been great this term. I have made loads of friends, both on my course and through my halls of residence. The work started off pretty easy, but has gotten quite serious in the last few weeks. I've just about finished off my Business assignment, in which we have to create a business concept and present the idea, both in writing and via a presentation (I'm doing mine next wednesday).

    I have also got a part time job, working in the student call center for the Annual Fund. It's not the most exciting job in the world, but it's only until christmas, and it's provided an enjoyable stream of income this term! (Although I'm still due my tax rebate!)

    So, how would i say i am coping with living... Well, I'm evidently still here so i must be doing something right! My cooking skills have improved vastly since coming to Uni, i have progressed from frozen pizzas to lasagna and have learned the ways of pasta! (A students best friend). Washing... Well my clothes have certainly been abused since i got here. Numerous food stains have occurred, and to be honest, the washing machines here are useless! Clothes are all looking forward to a proper 'Mum' wash when i get home.

    Home, only a week and a bit away now! I'm looking forward to getting home, seeing everyone again. The traditional trip to the bells after school concerts has been missed! I also have my A-level certificate presentation on the 17th, so much pubbage will be had after that! Of course, then christmas is almost upon us, and that means only one thing... Skiing! I'm really excited this year about taking Emma and introducing her the wonders of the slopes!

    But for now, i am going to raid the cupboards for some sort of food before getting on with some more work!

    Blog & Website Merger...

    Hey All,

    I have decided to try and merge my blog and my website into one. This means a few changes may be occurring over the next few days. You can all ready see the list of webcams in the French area of Les Portes du Soleil. This is where i go skiing every year, and i like to keep up to date with the snow conditions (Look to be a very good season this year).

    You will also start to see me posting about my various music creations. I'm currently progressing well on my Music and Audio Technology degree course here at Bournemouth Uni, so expect to see some awesome stuff up here soon. 

    Anyway, That's all for now!
    Sam

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Update...

    Well, i'll start by saying that it's 6:45 in the morning, and I have no idea why I am awake. I went to bed like normal, but failed to sleep. So here I am, updating everyone on my Uni life so far...

    Having moved flats, i am now living with my friends and having a great time. My course is great, except for the business elements (not sure how thats relevant really). I've been really busy since i got here, making friends and socializing in the usual ways. Some say I don't go out enough, and i am known as a hermit, but this is a reputation I am quite happy with! 

    I am currently working on 3 assignments, two of which are doing my head in! Software programming in C++ essentially involves keeping a log book of all my Lab sessions at uni, easy enough but time consuming. My business assignment involves creating a business plan for a 'media-related' business. In writing this blog entry a sudden realization has dawned upon me, I have not once spelt business without the spellchecker correcting me! This does not bode well for my assignment!

    The third assignment is a little more fun, create 3 minutes worth of audio that tells a story. This involves, samples, MIDI, foley effects, and spot recordings. Unfortunately this comes with a 1500 word write up, but hey!

    Anyway, i should be getting an iPod touch soon, so expect more updates in the future as i jump on the WiFi at uni!

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Moving to University

    Well, for those of you who don't know. I'll be moving down to bournemouth on Sunday the 21st September. I'm moving into halls of residence, purbeck house. Its a 2 yr old building, with en-suite rooms, and 5 people to a flat. We share a kitchen/Living room and a hallway i guess. Anyway, the plan is to arrive at 11. Then i'll be given a fire saftey talk, some keys, and help moving all my stuff in. I'm looking foward to the uni life, but i'm going to miss some people from home! Still, i suppose i have to go and learn about things.

    The next post will probably be from my halls, providing i've managed to get connected to the internet!

    Sam

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    It's the little things...

    That apple does, that piss me off!

    [Rant]

    e.g. i was talking to apple support online about a fault with my keyboard, when the fault suddenly occurred. (My keyboard would randomly type everything backwards! i'm not kidding, the cursor would jump straight back to the beginning of the text box after ever letter, so everything would corrupt and either look backwards or completely jumbled), when this happened, the apple employee obviously thought i was mucking about, and ended the session! That really really pissed me off!

    [/Rant]

    Saturday, August 30, 2008

    Having heard Steve Jobs ranting and raving about how easy Mac's are to use, and watching the obnoxious Mac guy on the apple adverts going on about how easy it was to make a home movie, or play with music and photos, i initially thought well i'd get a mac but only for serious work. 

    I've had the mac a day, and have already made a home movie, with a soundtrack made in garage band. This from someone who has no interest in making home videos.

    The Mac is stunning, the user interface is so natural. I kid you not, after a day of using this, going back to my windows PC feels wrong, the start menu feels bulky and unneccecary.

    As for Multitouch gestures, why has it taken this long to implement this kind of stuff. Scrolling with two fingers is so easy, when confronted with my mums old windows laptop, i immediatly tried to scroll with two fingers. It's unbelievable.

    More on the mac later, once i have finished discovering new and exciting things!

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    First real post from Mac

    Well, i am posting this from the dashboard of my new Mac, initial impressions are fantastic. The screen is fantastic, i went for a matte screen, rather than a glossy on for various reasons. Mainly the reflections on glossy screens drive me mad!

    I have just calibrated the screen with a gretamacbeth calibrating device, the colours are spot on. No dead pixels either. Other things i like at the moment...

    The backlit keyboard, the slot loadng superdrive, the huge touchpad, multitouch controls, dashboard, the dock, Spaces, and spotlight!

    More thoughts soon!
    Sam

    Laptop has arrived!

    Yes indeed, my brand new laptop arrived in a lovely TNT van this morning at 9:45, infact i am writing this post from the laptop.

    Okay so who guessed what i brought?

    Well maybe this picture might give you a clue!



    Yes, i brought a mac! check back here in the next few days or so for my thoughts and experiences with the mac!

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Fujifilm Finepix J10 Review

    I brought this camera as a replacement for a Samsung S1065, which immediately froze multiple times whenever i tried to use it, plus the batteries ran out in 1/2 hour usage.

    Anyway, The Fujifilm Finepix J10 is a very aesthetically pleasing camera with a brushed aluminium front (black or silver) and aluminium back. This camera certainly feels as if it can withstand some serious knocks. The form factor for this camera is certainly compact; this is enabled by the use of a Li-Ion rechargeable battery, rather than your standard AA Alkaline batteries. This charges fully in just over 1.4 hours and provides very reasonable battery life.


    The features on this camera are simple and necessary; there is no facial recognition or 9 point automatic focus. But what it does do, it does fantastically well. I have a Canon EOS10D Digital SLR camera for professional work, brought this fuji for the odd point and shoot session. The built in scenes work incredibly well, and do exactly what they are supposed to. The 8 MegaPixel Sensor inside this camera produces large photos that will easily print out up to A4 photographs and the single point Auto focus is very good at making your subject nice and sharp.

    Fujifilm are renowned for producing cameras that capture vivid colours and the J10 is no exception, the colours are vivid and stand out (whilst not being overpowering). The flash copes well in both day and night situations.

    The menu system for this camera, some say, is too simple and not intuitive. I disagree with this view; I find the minimalistic menu and navigation buttons easy to use, and a refreshing change from a complex DSLR camera. The J10 is an awesome camera for any beginner, or (like me) someone who wants a good quality point and shoot camera for the odd days out.


    Connectivity to XP and Vista was simple, no drivers, no software, just plug in the provided USB cable and access the camera as an external disk.

    The only negative point about this camera is the animation it shows when deleting images; it deletes the image in blocks, each block revealing a blue background. So the deleted image seems to break up and fade away. There is no option to stop this animation, possibly room for improvement in a future firmware upgrade. However this single negative point can easily be overcome, by purchasing a larger memory card and not deleting photos until you get home and load them onto your computer.


    All in all, the Finepix J10 by Fujifilm is a highly recommended camera with no unnecessary bells and whistles but the ability to produce a fantastically sharp, and vivid photo with ease, in a true point and shoot style.

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    New Camera Returned, Replaced

    I took the new camera back, Never buy a samsung camera. My experiences were not good...

    So, i put the batteries (provided) in the camera, put my modest 512MB SD card in the camera, turned it on, and all was fine. Took a few photos, the camera froze, stuck on the preview of the image i had just taken. It would not turn off, or retract the lense, i had to take the batteries out and re-insert them, then the camera would reset. This happened 3 times in 1/2 an hour, by which time the batteries were showing that they had run out! I had enough, today i took it back to argos and replaced it with the slightly more expensive Fujifilm Finepix J10.

    Initial impressions are good, with a very nice case design, black brushed aluminium. It feels very solid to hold, and the buttons feel very nice (unlike the rather cheap buttons of the samsung). I am just charging the Li-Ion battery (Much better than the AA Alkaline batteries the samsung used), and will give a more in depth review after a few weeks usage. See below for a picture of the new camera.


    Oh, and the laptop should be here this week!

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    A New Camera

    Something interesting to blog about...

    Today, i brought a camera. No, i did not buy the latest Digital SLR for multiple thousands of pounds (mainly because i don't have that amount of money). What i did buy is a little Samsung S1065 point and shoot camera. 10 Megapixels and 5x Optical zoom. The reason for this is because i wanted a small camera to take to uni with me, and out on trips, so i can take photos without all the faffing about of setting correct F-stop and Iso levels (all very fun, i know, when you've got the time). Right now i'm more concerned about taking the pictures, and putting them online for everyone to see. I will do a review of the camera in a few weeks when i've had time to explore more of its features.

    Oh and Laptop still hasn't come!!!!!

    Saturday, August 23, 2008

    Flickr Account

    Laptop has still not arrived. Getting rather impatient now.

    Other news, i have setup a flickr page. For those of you who don't know flickr is a website which allows you to upload photos and create online albums, so that you can share them with other people. I will be using this site to host my images, some of which you will be able to see directly from this blog. To see all my photos follow the link in the section to the right of this post.

    Next update will be when i have anything important to blog about!

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Dead Mouse

    Not Happy

    About a year ago, i decided that the most important part of any computer was the input device, after all what point is there in having a powerful computer if you can't do anything on it. Anyway i went ahead and brought a £25 Razer Diamondback 3G Mouse. Initial impressions were great, good for gaming, and really smooth for casual use...

    Less than a year down the line, the scroll wheel has developed an insane squeaking noise. So much so that it's unbearable to use. Common Razer, a £2.50 mouse from amazon managed to last longer than this before breaking. I have contacted both Razer and the people i brought it from, and am waiting for a response.

    Also, my laptop still isn't here!

    Sam

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Uni Accommodation

    Awsome, just had my accomodation for bournemouth university confirmed, I'm in purbeck house, a halls of residence that was built about 2 years ago, all rooms are en-suite. I'm on the first floor so that means i can have my window open, which is cool. I'd post some pictures, but i think they restrict the pictures you're allowed to put on the internet, so i'd better not get in trouble before i even get there!

    I've been talking to a few people on facebook who are doing my course, everyone seems cool and really up for the course. Just can't wait to get the ball rolling now. My new laptop should arrive sometime this week (I shall reveal what i brought when it arrives), then it's just a case of loading some software onto it, and then i'm ready to go.

    Check back later in the week for more updates!

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    A New Blog!

    So, a brand new blog. Designed to cover my time at Uni so anyone can see what i'm up to at any given point in time. I have also decided to move into the modern age, with a new laptop, and a twitter account http://twitter.com/sammio2. Follow that for any instant updates, more important things will be posted on here. Like these A level Grades...

    Music Tech - Distinction (A)
    ICT - BB
    English Language - B

    ...which enabled me to get into university. For those who don't know i'm going to be studying Music and Audio Technology at Bournemouth University. It should be a good four years, not sure yet if i'm going to stay on to do a masters, we'll see later on in the course.