Month: April 2012

April 29, 2012
A couple of years back, I treated myself to a pocket video camera – a Kodak Zi8. I had big plans to do various things with it – including some music videos and perhaps some cooking demos on YouTube.

My first outing was to the Gadget show, where I filmed as much as the SD card would take; subsequently I filmed some other local events, just to get a feel for it.

But I was greatly disappointed, as almost everything I filmed had audio sync problems. I spent a long time online, and discovered this was not an isolated problem. The Zi8 saves to a MOV file, and uses a fairly obscure codec, little used by anyone else. As a result, films worked with the Kodak software, but loading it anywhere else (or exporting it), I found I had syncronisation problems.

I should have really returned it for a refund, but I was hoping to find a solution. In the end, the camera got put away, and my dreams of video editing were forgotten.

Then the other day, I saw that Amazon had the Bloggie 3D camera reduced to 89 quid. Last time I looked at this, it was over 200 pounds. So even though I have bought too many toys lately, I decided I had to have one.

April 24, 2012
Played an interesting game last night – Risk Legacy. It is a version of Risk, but one where the board, factions and rules change from game to game, based on what happened in previous games. I haven’t come across anything like it before – a game that requires you to apply stickers to the board, write on it, and even tear components up!

On the first play, the game is fairly vanilla, but almost immediately, you start making your version of the game unique. Players are given a “Starting Power” card with two stickers, each sticker with an power for their faction. They are instructed to stick one of their choice onto their faction card, and then tear up the “Starting Power” card, complete with the other sticker, removing it from the game forever. So people playing this game in future will be using the powers chosen by the first players.

April 18, 2012
News about my new Kamado ceramic grill.

Had friends round for boardgaming on Saturday, so enlisted some help on lifting the heavy main unit onto the wheeled stand. Completed the rest of the assembly last night, and poured in some charcoal to give it a first burn – not cooking anything, as the purpose of this is to burn off any nasties from the manufacturing process and season it.

April 13, 2012
April 13, 2012
I am expecting delivery of my new GPS today, with a large (5″) touch screen.

Was upstairs when the doorbell rang. Excited (I can be like a kid with my toys!), I ran downstairs and opened the door. I signed for ParcelForce, and was given a huge parcel.

April 12, 2012
When I bought my new Berlingo, I must admit I was puzzled that they were selling a car – at a very good discount – that had only been registered in November as a demonstrator, and had only done 600 miles. I know there are sometimes reasons for registering cars as demos, in order to fudge sales figures, but it did make me wonder.

I think I understand now. The Berlingo Multispace has received a facelift for 2012, and new models coming onto the forecourts from April will have a changed appearance. Hence their (ex-)demo car was no longer completely representative of what they are selling.

April 11, 2012
April 6, 2012
I was somewhat uplifted to hear that Mad Men was not doing very well on Sky Atlantic – viewing figures are down to 47,000, from 255,000 when it was shown on BBC4. According to some sources, this means the show is costing Sky £5 per viewer.

I enjoyed the first four series of Mad Men on the BBC, and was annoyed when I heard Sky had poached it, just as they did with Lost (from Channel 4) and numerous other programmes. I guess they think that by outbidding an open broadcast channel for an established show, they will attract the fan base and get new subscribers. I’m pleased to observe that it doesn’t seem to have worked. Like me, I am sure many folk will simply wait for it to come out as a boxed set, and watch it at their leisure, knowing the cost of the series will probably be less than one month’s subscription to Sky. And that isn’t even considering a possible eBay resale after you’ve watched it!