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Author MarcusRowland


Recent entries from Meme-Free Zone - the blog of MarcusRowland

NOTE: This blog has been rated FR15 by the author. Blog content is not moderated by TtH

The calculator I'm selling has 14 watchers but only one bid, so it's still on 99p. I suspect that the last few minutes on Sunday evening will be interesting...

Midnight update - calculator up to £20 with just under 20 hours to go. Nikon body still has no bids at 99p. How are the mighty fallen...
Posted: 19 Sep 14 11:33 • Comments
I re-listed the Nikon body with the word "Lomography" in the heading - since last night it already has more hits than it got in the past week, and one person watching it. Be interesting to see how it ends up.

I can't see any reason why someone wanting to do lomography shouldn't want a decent camera body, they can still fit it with a crappy lens and use it manually for that full lomographic experience. Or am I being a bit cynical?
Posted: 15 Sep 14 11:22 • Comments
With the Holga camera currently on £10 with an hour to go I've put a couple more items on eBay; you can see everything here.

Amazingly there are few hits and no bids on the Nikon body with only two days to go - I guess 35mm really is dead. Or maybe I should relist it with "lomography" in the item name...

Later - I've relisted it as "Nikon F60D 35mm SLR Film Camera Body Only - useful body for lomography etc!" I wonder if the lomography fans will be interested, or think I'm taking the piss...
Posted: 14 Sep 14 16:26 • Comments
...were a copy of the Wicker Man double DVD for £1.99, and a Texas Instruments TI-89 calculator for £3.99

I only bought the calculator because I noticed it has a USB port, and thought it must be a good one - I had a vague memory of seeing calculators with USB ports around £12. But it looks like that must be another calculator, because the Titanium seems to sell on eBay for £60 (with one day to go) in auction, and £110 and up in Buy it Now. This one probably won't raise that much because it's second hand and I don't have the cables, manual, etc., but hopefully it will sell for enough to cover some of the cost of the stereo camera I'm thinking of buying. We shall see, anyway, I'll probably list it tomorrow.
Posted: 13 Sep 14 13:26 • Comments
Anyone know anything about these? A bit low resolution, but it looks to be a better 3D camera than the horrible Praktica I tried a while ago. Very tempted to get one and give it a try.
Posted: 12 Sep 14 17:43 • Comments
The cheapo plastic 120 Holga Lomography camera I'm selling has been bid up from 99p to £5.50 with 45 page hits and 5 watchers.

The 35mm Nikon F60D SLR body, also starting at 99p, has four hits (at least one of them me) and no bids.
Posted: 11 Sep 14 18:48 • Comments
There's going to be a new series of The Clangers!

Promising lots of (whistled) swearing. Hopefully some decent stories too!
Posted: 9 Sep 14 02:52 • Comments
It looks like Jack the Ripper has been identified by DNA evidence. And it's probably someone you've never heard of, unless you're a hard-core Ripper expert!

Not entirely happy with the train of evidence here, but it's more convincing than any other "proof" I've seen.
Posted: 7 Sep 14 18:54 • Comments
Nikon F60 body, starting at £0.99 plus P&P
Re-listed for various reasons, so finishing later than the other camera.

Holga 120CFN, starting at £0.99 plus P&P

Camera case, starting at £0.99 plus P&P

Heavy duty wire shelf - £9.99 ONO
Posted: 7 Sep 14 18:25 • Comments
I just bought an old 35mm Nikon F60, mainly to get its lens for my D70. The body seems to be working well, but I'm not going to run a film through to check.

I'm probably going to list the body on eBay over the weekend, with a buy it now price of say £9.99 plus postage - before I do that, is anyone here interested?

There's also a reasonably nice leatherette case that ought to hold most SLRs with moderately long lenses, which I'll probably be listing at £4.99 plus postage, and a Holga camera (120 film for Lomography etc., plastic and pretty basic) which I'll probably mark at £9.99. Again, is anyone interested before I list them?
Posted: 6 Sep 14 09:04 • Comments
Forgot to say that I've finally put the iMac G4 up in my bedroom - Decided to bite the bullet and run a network cable upstairs, since vendors of Wifi bridges were VERY cagy about them working in client mode on an iMac this old. A bit of a PITA, but I suppose I may want to stream video up there or something in the future, the cable would be useful for that even if I never really use the iMac.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier has come out on DVD / Blu-Ray in the UK, I think a few days ahead of schedule. Does anyone know how the extras compare?
Posted: 4 Sep 14 21:35 • Comments
Someone on Freecycle is giving away an HP Designjet A1 printer. Probably already gone, but you never know:
Posted: 1 Sep 14 19:22 • Comments
OK, once I got the correct version (which is a bug fix for problems caused by anti-virus programs) I've managed to set up a virtual XP machine with the software I want to use and a printer driver, and got it activated. Can't actually find the files I've previously created with this program, which is a bit annoying, but I really only need to re-create one, everything else will be new.

Question - while I'm not planning to use this for internet access, I may end up needing to do so. Does it have any anti-virus protection from the software that's already installed under Windows 7, or do I need to add something?

While I could RTFM, it's 300+ pages and I'm hoping someone may already know!

later - asked several places, apparently there is a small chance of a virus infecting the virtual machine, but very little of it infecting anything else before it gets taken out by my anti-virus software. Since this will probably only be used for a few hours a year, and I don't really plan on using the browser at all, I think it's an acceptable risk.

later still - on reflection I've installed Avast in the virtual PC - no reason not to, and I might as well have the extra protection.
Posted: 26 Aug 14 14:56 • Comments
I want to run some software that REALLY doesn't like running on my Windows 7 PC, and I really don't want to upgrade to Professional just so I can run one program under XP. But I think I have an old XP install CD somewhere, and Virtualbox looks like it'll let me run XP under Windows 7 (or possibly on my Linux box) - does anyone have any experience of it, and know if there's any down-side to it?
Posted: 25 Aug 14 15:39 • Comments
I was looking for 3D converters for SLRs on eBay (and decided they're way too expensive, but that's irrelevant) and came across this. It appears to be a 35mm f11-f22 manual perspective control lens suitable for Nikon etc. SLRs, there's aperture control but I think fixed focus. It isn't something I'd want to use myself, but if anyone reading this is interested in architectural photography it may be interesting - probably not wonderful, given plastic lens elements, but cheap enough it might be worth getting just to play with perspective techniques.
Posted: 23 Aug 14 19:41 • Comments
...was pretty good, although most of the plot elements were recycled from previous new Who stories. The new dynamic between the Doctor and Clara looks interesting, and although the story was mostly set up to introduce the new Doctor's personality etc., it worked reasonably well, and brought back everyone's favourite Victorians. At the end we have a "new" character whom I suspect may be someone we've seen before - The Master in her first female regeneration. The looniness, glee etc. seemed right for the character, and it's the ship the fans have wanted for a LONG time. I suspect it will not end well...

And next week there are Daleks!
Posted: 23 Aug 14 16:25 • Comments
My friend Roger WINOLJ has a son who has just done technical work on a student film that may be of interest - H.P. Lovecraft's From Beyond. It's quite well done, about the only criticism I have is that the narrator is very obviously British, where it's clear that the story was written with an American narrator, and pronounces Tillinghast differently at different points in the story. VERY creepy anyway, and I thoroughly recommend it.

For some reason embedding is disabled, but it works best at high resolution anyway.
Posted: 21 Aug 14 15:26 • Comments
Now I really wish I'd decided to go to Shamrokon - I've just realised that it's the Notting Hill Carnival this weekend, noise levels will go through the roof! For some reason I thought it was the end of next week. I hope that everyone who does go will have a good time anyway.
Posted: 21 Aug 14 10:03 • Comments
Haven't posted from the Worldcon because I've been busy and things have been going well, all my panels were fun and I'll be running a game tomorrow. There's no juicy gossip or scandal I'm aware of. Just sitting in the auditorium waiting for the Hugo Award ceremony to start; if I can I'll post the results as comments as they are announced, but if they ask people to hold off until the ceremony ends I will.

All now posted!
Posted: 17 Aug 14 14:44 • Comments
The Master is a better employer than the British government.

Compare how both get Torchwood out of the way when they might otherwise ask awkward questions:

The Master - sends them to the Himalayas on a wild goose chase.
HM Govt. - blows up their HQ and sends assassins after them.

Of course nobody's perfect, and the Master does occasionally terminate employees who have outlived their usefulness or get on his nerves - e.g. Chan-To, though in that case it wasn't actually The Master who originally hired her, but his predecessor Yana.

Any thoughts?
Posted: 7 Aug 14 09:19 • Comments
The iMac's lower 512mb arrived today and works perfectly, so I now have a 1gb 700mhz gem of 2003-ish computer design. Not sure where it's going to end up - probably my bedroom if I can summon up the energy to run the network cable, but probably not until after the Worldcon. Since I have guests on Saturday and need to clear up its immediate destination is a corner of my sitting room behind one of the armchairs.

By sheer chance the steam engine fuel also arrived today and I gave that a trial run. Works, but I think next time will have to be outdoors, the smell of the fuel burning is a little overpowering.

Next thing to do tonight - clean out the snake tank. Ah, the joys of pet ownership...
Posted: 5 Aug 14 15:44 • Comments
Someone local offered a 32" LCD TV on freecycle this afternoon. So I asked for it, thinking I had the usual snowball's chance in hell... and ended up collecting it this evening. Just set it up with an old freeview box in my bedroom, it's working pretty well. It's an oldish model but the specification is reasonable for its day. I think it's this one, but it might be an earlier one from the same manufacturer so I can't guarantee the specification is right.

1366 X 768 Resolution, Brightness 500 Cd/m², Contrast Ratio 600:1 - so not incredibly bright and the contrast is a bit wishy-washy, but it's certainly good enough for occasional use in my bedroom.

VERY pleased!
Posted: 3 Aug 14 16:02 • Comments
The bird feeder outside my kitchen window is currently getting a lot of attention from blue tits - seem to be several smallish ones, I'm wondering if they hatched earlier this year though it seems a bit too early for them to be flying. Most of them have got the idea of sticking their beaks into the holes to pull out seeds, but there is at least one that's persistently trying to peck its way through the clear plastic. Not sure if that makes him an idiot or unusually intelligent, able to recognize food even when he can't smell or taste it.
Posted: 1 Aug 14 07:54 • Comments
Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't great art, but it was a lot of fun, from the alien abduction of Peter Quill (then aged eight-ish) moments after his mother's death, a fast forward 28 years, then through some fun crime stuff to the moment when Quill and his associates become the titular Guardians and save the galaxy from a stolen McGuffin, one of the Infinity Gems, which is wanted by Thanos, a rather nasty Kree called Ronan, and lots of others.

It isn't without flaws, largely the result of its comic-book origins and decision to give it a 12A rating - most notably, we never really see the results of the frequent use of weapons and general violence; at one point the walking talking(?) tree Groot is nice to a child, later in the film we know logically that the child has to be dead, but we aren't shown it, or much else to point out that people are dying here, and in large numbers, at least in part because of the hero's actions.

Despite this weakness I enjoyed the film; the plot makes about as much sense as most comics, e.g. more than the average Star Trek / Star Wars movie, the sets and special effects are gorgeous and definitely inspired by the comics, and the characterization is pretty good, with running gag about the various aliens not understanding Earth metaphors ("But who put sticks up their asses? It sounds very cruel?"), Rocket Racoon's addiction to seriously overpowered weapons, and so forth. Incidentally, I discovered that I was scarily on the money with my characterisation of a Rocket-like Meerkat in a Star Wars game over the weekend; about the only difference was that Rocket never actually stepped out of a lift to assist two Jedi, leaving a pile of dead guards behind him, and said "Say hello to their leetle friend!" so I think I came out ahead on points. But Rocket has much bigger guns.

There are two short scenes in the end credits, neither very important; one shows Drax the Destroyer relaxing by sharpening his knives after th...
Posted: 31 Jul 14 11:44 • More • Comments