Monthly Archives: September 2006

Xbox 360 HD DVD addon for £130

Cheaper than I expected, and it includes a remote and a copy of King Kong. I had no plans to buy an HD DVD player, but this is pretty tempting. Pity there’s no HDMI connection though.

Microsoft aren’t pulling any punches with Sony, who really better their act together. So many Xbox 360 games are turning out to really rather good. For example: Test Drive Unlimited is pretty much my favourite racing game since the original PS1 Gran Turismo and the original Need for Speed.

Compare this to Sony’s recent announcement of Gran Turismo HD, where Sony seem to want to charge hundreds of pounds if you want all the cars and tracks. If they go that route, I’ll stick with the Test Drive, Project Gotham, and Forza series on the Xbox 360 thank you very much.

Nokia N95

I’m serious impressed with the new Nokia N95 that’s going to be announced later today.

It’s a little on the wide side for me (53mm), but I love almost everything else about it:

  • Series 60 smartphone
  • HSPDA 3.5G for high speed data and Wifi
  • Integrated GPS
  • 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and “near DVD quality” video
  • A slider with a d-pad instead of a tiny joystick (thank you Nokia)
  • 3.5 mm audio jack

I want this phone very badly indeed, but unfortunately I’m going to have to wait until Q1 2007 when it will be released.

Fifth Gear

Watched the first episode of the new series of Fifth Gear last night.

What a load of rubbish…

No Jason Plato (Jason and Tom Ford were the only decent reviewers), new incredibly annoying presenter Tim Lovejoy, rubbish banter from the presenters, and lots of sub-Top Gear stunts – Wreck my ride, racing a plane and a radio control car.

Tom Ford’s review of the Ferrari 599 at the end of the last series was great. More of that please, and less of the nonsense we had last night. I’m a total petrolhead, yet I fast forwarded through about half of last night’s programme… 🙁

Spotted a BMW 335d this morning

Did a bit of a double take this morning when I spotted a parked grey BMW 335d Coupe on my way to the post box. They’re not available yet as far as I’m aware, so I’m assuming this must have been a BMW demonstration or press car.

Rather impressed with new 3 Series Coupe in the flesh. It’s much better looking than the 3 Series Saloon.

I’m hanging onto my Golf GTI for at least another two years or so, but a 12 month old fully loaded BMW 335d is my most likely next car in 2-3 years time (I occasionally dream about buying a black BMW M6, but a 335d is far easier to afford and justify in the real world). Not sure if I’d go for the Coupe, or whether my practical side would push me towards a Touring 3 Series instead…

Page Titles and Meta Tags

This won’t be of much interest to most people, but I’ve released some new code that should improve the page titles and meta tags on the Car, Motorcycle and Mobile Phone sites.

For example, pages such as the search results and deletion requests pages are now marked as NOINDEX, so they shouldn’t pointlessly clutter up the search results of external search engines.

I’m also providing more relevant information in the meta description tags where appropriate.

Hopefully these improvements will result in more accurate external search results, and ultimately more visitors to my sites.

Coolwater Blackberry Boost

Just enjoying a bottle of this rather nice beverage.

It’s a still mineral water that tastes vaguely of blackberries (a much underrated fruit in my opinion). So far so good, but it’s also very low in calories, and is fortified with caffeine to help with those long coding sessions.

Purchased at my local ASDA, so I assume it’s available in ASDA branches across the UK.

Benchmarks for Intel’s new four core processor

Tom’s Hardware have benchmarks for Kentsfield, Intel’s new four core processor due later this year. Most applications don’t seem to be able to properly use four cores, but heavy multitasking and media encoding seem to really benefit. At the same time as Intel release Kentsfield, they’re also going to release Clovertown, a multiprocessor version for servers. Fingers crossed that these are available at a reasonable price by next Spring, and that Apple choose to offer them in the next update to the Mac Pro.

Coming back down to Earth for a moment, while I really like the idea of an 8 core Mac Pro, I do struggle to think of how I’d fully use 8 cores on a regular basis, and the chip does seem to be on the hot side. Just as important to me as power is having a quiet system, and two 100W+ processors are going to take a lot of cooling…

24 inch iMac

I’ve just read details of the new iMac updates

I’m pretty impressed with the new 24 inch model. If I didn’t have my heart set on a 2nd generation Mac Pro running Leopard with virtualised Windows Vista and Ubuntu installs, on a 30 inch monitor, I’d be placing my order right now. Depending on the state of my finances next year, a speed bumped 24 inch iMac running Leopard would be a nice upgrade if I can’t justify or afford my dream Mac Pro set up.