Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cheap flight search websites

This is a good Guardian article on cheap flight search sites. I have found Momondo to be very good.

The complete list:


I should also include this for good measure.

China Mieville's Top 10 weird fiction

This looks like a really interesting list of scifi/fantasy etc. books from China Miéville. I particular like his definition of weird fiction to cover science fiction, fantasy and the like. He has also states that Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is "the greatest work of horror ever", which seems an interesting perspective.

I haven't read any of his books yet but I have got "Iron Council" on the book pile courtesy of Alice the charity shop expert.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The generosity of google payments

This is a really great deal from google payments at the moment that aims to get you to sign up to their "paypal" like service. What you get is £10 off when you spend £30 or more (excluding p&p) from a range of merchants. The best thing about this is that it is for every transaction that you make! Only google could afford to five you 33% off, that is for sure.

I have been tempted into buying a harddrive and webcam already!

Check out these links:
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=4917713
http://www.ebuyer.com/googlecheckout

Not sure when this offer ends, so get it while its hot.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Faulty harddrive and dry ice

Earlier this week, my office mate was unfortunate enough to have his laptop break down. He had backed up most of his important data on it but tragically his wife had all her work on it with no backups. To try and keep the family home in one piece, my boss and I have been trying to rescue the data from it.

Neither windows nor linux could pick it up, but it was intermittently found by the bios. So we had a go with spinrite and left it on overnight. It had some success, in that it could detect the partitions but it seemed to get stuck at 20%. Unfortunately, after we jumped that section it finished, but still could not be detected by anything. The question is why doesn't spinrite allow you to copy the information to another drive.

Anyway, I had read somewhere that leaving a faulty harddrive overnight in a freezer helps it to be used for a few hours, enough to get the data off. Don't ask me why, but there seems to be a body of evidence for this practice and apparently professional data recovery services use it. As I work for a scientific institution, they have a lot of dry ice around and so we thought we would try that. So I was left in the uncomprimising position of having a computer on my left with wires dangling across my legs into a harddrive poisition in a polysteronine box filled with dry ice. A chilling experience, which one does not expect when one goes into work.

Unfotunately even though there were signs of improvements (a nasty metal crunching sound to a humming cycle) it didn't work. The only choice now is a professional data recovery firm. One quote obtained was £450-900 depending on how much trouble it was to get the data!! And that was with 25% off because we work for a company ... what a ripper. The thing is that they basically have you by balls if you want to see your data ever again.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Glastonbury here we come

So after a adrenalin pumping morning and a long wait, we have now got a reference number for tickets to Glastonbury ... whoop whoop! Tickets went on sale at 9am and from that moment our own control centre went into action. That is Alice, Adam and me sitting in our study with various computers and phones trying to get through Glastonbury ticket shops defenses. After a nervy and quite frankly boring hour and a half Alice got through on the internet and got them. Only 15 mins late all the tickets were gone.

The drama didn't end there though. There was the long wait for the confirmation email. There was no guarantee of tickets until we got it and there was no sign of it all day. Thankfully I woke up this morning to the news that it had arrived. The only worry now is whether we put in the right bank card details. Apparently though, even if these are wrong you get a chance to correct them.

I have never been to Glastonbury before and I must say I am really looking forward to the it. Not just for the music but the whole atmosphere.

Bring it on.

EMI have gone DRM free

I have just heard that EMI are going to sell all their music DRM free at higher quality. This will start off at iTunes and move onto other providers later on. The albums will also be priced at the same price as previously which is also good news. The only price rise will be in singles which will go up from £0.79 to £0.99.

Not bad. I might even buy some music from iTunes now rather than ripping.