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Archive for July, 2009

Windows 7 – first impression

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Geekstuff

I noticed my laptop, my cheap but value for money Toshiba Satellite has for the last few days has been running like a dog, even after just a few weeks of a complete fresh install of Vista Business – I’m using it a lot now for various design projects so this morning, it occurred to me I have Windows 7 lying around which I still haven’t properly tested, so I went ahead and installed it for shits and giggles, but this isn’t no laughing matter – what we have (so far anyway) is a vast improvement on Vista – first impresssions are really quite positive.

Aesthetically, it’s not that much different – there are a few pretty graphical tweaks (the regional changing wallpaper dependant on your location is quite trick), and apart from the start up and some graphical improvements to Icons, it is not that much different. I am running the ultimate version, and there doesn’t seem to be that much packaged in it – maybe its part of Microsofts legal wranglings with the EU that what you are getting is in fact a bareback OS without too many gizmos (although IE8 is in the pre-release)

What is impressive is how bloody fast it is – reboot times, and especially internet access is lightning quick. Compatibility wise, so far, again no problems. Several adobe products, Avast antivirus, MS Office and Visio have all installed without any issue – the only snag so far, is that MS SQL (which I need for MS Visual Express) needs a fix, and post the software installs I now have a whopping 476 meg of updates to install, but if its all for compatibility and continues this so far enjoyable ride with the OS, I’ll not be miffed.

I am sure there are those out there who will spit and curse for the use of Microsoft products when perfectly good alternatives can be had for nothing – I’ve used them (I continue to at work for some applications) but I genuinely like the feel of this, and having been a slave to their products for years proffesionally, it’s what you are used to, and this is like getting a pair of new slippers – more or less the same as your old ones, certainly as comfortable, but with those improvements that make you not miss your old favourites after a short while.

Incidentally, due to a long running issue with multiple video cards we have dropped XP at work on one of our production systems to be replaced by Vista – it’s funny what a difference it makes there too.

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Top 100 cover versions

by on Jul.18, 2009, under Music

Whilst sitting here tonight watching TV I saw a bit of Gary Moore playing “Shapes of Things” and it got me thinking about my favourite covers done by the bands I love, and in some respects, the honour paid by other bands to their influences, and it got me thinking – the top 100 covers ever – that’s a hell of a list, but there really are some magical versions of peoples songs out there that really I hope justify and in some cases, blow the original out of the water.

So I got thinking, what would make the list – I made this first draft of 25 from memory, although I know I must have missed a few and hope to start something serious about defining *the* list of covers. Here’s my initial entry but I would welcome input to define a true 100 :

1. Shapes of Things – Gary Moore (The yardbirds)
2. Safety Dance – The Donnas (Men without hats)
3. Isolation – Therapy? (Joy Division)
4. Women In Uniform – Iron Maiden (The Skyhooks)
5. Got the time – Anthrax (Joe Jackson)
6. Blitzkrieg Bop – Rob Zombie (The Ramones)
7. Metallica – So What? (Anti-knowhere league)
8. Just Like Paradise – A (Van Halen)
9. I don’t know what to do with myself – The White Stripes (Burt Bacharach)
10. How soon is now? – Snake River Conspiracy (The Smiths)
11. Orgasmatron – Sepultura (Motorhead)
12. Comfortably Numb – Kittie (pink Floyd)
13. Police and Thieves – The Clash (Junior Murvin)
14. All along the watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan)
15. Kentucky Woman – Deep Purple (Neil Diamond)
16. Louie Louie – Motorhead (Richard Berry and the Pharoahs)
17. Thin Lizzy – Rosalie (Bob Seger)
18. Surfin Bird – The Ramones (The Trashmen)
19. Street Fighting Man – Rage against the machine (The Rolling Stones)
20. Up the junction – Lawnmower Deth (Squeeze)
21. Heroin – The Wildhearts (Dogs D’amour)
22. Word Up – Gun (Cameo)
23. Terrorvision – Land Down Under (Men at work)
24. Knights in white satin – The Dickies (The Moody Blues)
25. Lovin you – Electric Eel Shock (Mini Ripperton)

So any thoughts? What have I missed?

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