Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Argyle Til I Die

A new Plymouth Argyle football forum I've found. It has a section for people living abroad too here.

I just hope they can scrabble out of the doldrums soon ...

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


Google Chrome : Issues ... fixed?

Well, it's been possible to fix the below issues to some extent; from Dashboard>Settings>>> opt for new editor.

This works to some extent in that it is possible to attach a URL to the image, but it throws up alignment issues with the graphic. So for the moment I'm sticking to FireFox and the old BlogSpot editor to compile these articles.

The music streaming issue has been more successful, by adding the italicised script into the embedded routine:

<embed autostart="false" loop="false" src="http://www.URL.com/.../BlogTune.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" height="16" width="220"></embed>

Google Chrome : Issues?

Recently I've started using Google Chrome as my browser. Generally I find it very good, but I have found a few issues with it.

The most general problem is that, occasionally, pages will not load and the screen stays blank with no reported error. Even a reload doesn't fix this.

However, I am finding a more specific problem using this blogspot editor with Chrome; it doesn't seem possible to compile a graphic link like the Chrome image to the left, instead just substituting the graphic url for the page url.

So, I've reverted to FireFox when compiling the blog.

I can't find any reference to this anywhere ...

Chrome/Blogspot editor throws up this code:

<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_nK-wrCuacfU/SzIEbVvBtkI/AAAAAAAAE48/nOXiZSq4doM/s1600-h/chrome.png"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 150px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_nK-wrCuacfU/SzIEbVvBtkI/AAAAAAAAE48/nOXiZSq4doM/s400/chrome.png" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5418398169417496130" /></a>

Firefox/Blogspot editor:

<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://www.google.com/chrome"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 150px; height: 150px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_nK-wrCuacfU/SzIDWzWlGZI/AAAAAAAAE40/ov-onUiLMy0/s400/chrome.png" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5418396991957047698" border="0" /></a>

And I've just noticed another issue; FireFox obeys the autostart="false" command on the music streamer at the top rh of this page ... Chrome just starts regardless ...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Retro Vintage Blog

Just found this blog ... reminds me of my Connoisseur turntable and Audio-Technica arm ...


PS: can't seem to link graphic to web address, so try this: http://itishifi.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Found; a home for my hifi

So far so good. I'll go through the components individually a bit later on.


It's distinctly British looking; small stand-mounted speakers - Quad 11L2s - and components tuned to the European ear, although manufactured by Marantz.

Most stuff has been brought in from the UK, suitcase by suitcase and powered through a 110v>220v converter.

The turntable, a Pro-Ject Classic Cherry, has had a new 110v/60Hz motor fitted by me. It awaits an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge and accurate alignment and adjustments.

I'm also playing with a powered sub-woofer - hidden behind the tables, but this is from a home cinema system and is not very musical. I'd like to try again with a kit I built in the UK which gave seamless results.

If you look carefully, you can also see a Cambridge DacMagic with a USB cable stretching out to my laptop ... This is giving very interesting and encouraging results ... hifi from a computer. More soon ...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Okay ... so I didn't try that hard ...

... but I am back ...


Big developments on the computer/digital interface front and my hifi has found a home.

More soon ...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Poor neglected PhonoStage

Hmmm ... six months without a post. I really should try harder.

However, I have started posting more regularly on my cycling blog; velostage.blogspot.com

Not much development with the hifi situation either, although I probably have enough stuff collected for a bijou cd/lp/digital playback setup.

Maybe I should start about getting it all together.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Daylight Saving Time

So, we've sprung forward and we're in summer time.

It means that for a couple of weeks the time difference between EST and GMT is just four hours rather than the usual five and sunset will now be around 7.00EST this evening ... a bit longer and I'll be able to cycle to and from work.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Indianapolis, IN

Here I am, currently in rather grey, but unseasonably mild Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

I flew in yesterday, into Indy's very new and rather nice airport. Nice, that is, in the way any airport could actually be nice ...

I am here for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. I'll be running the show's web presence. You can visit the show's website here, or the daily blog here.

Indianapolis calls itself the Crossroads of America. It may be, but when I initially considered taking the green option and getting a train here it turned out to be rather difficult. Oh well ...

Downtown is marked for me by its fairly original vernacular buildings and shops, rather than its late 19thC/early 20thC institutional buildings and modern corporate architecture.

More later ...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Today, I am, again, mostly listening to ...

I still think internet radio is the best thing since, oh, I dunno, sliced bread, colour tellie, synthetic inserts for cycle shorts ...

Anyway, here are one or two of my favourite internet radio stations:

All of these stations, plus about 14,000 more, are available through your computer or internet radio device. Then there are other radio facilities such as play it again and podcasts. I manage my podcasts using Nimiq. More of that another day ...

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Van Dike, Exmouth Road, Devonport

It's funny how things suddenly come to mind. There I was just trolling the depths of the interweb when I came across this word; quintessence.

Quintessence: the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies; the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form ...

But to me that will never be quintessence. For me Quintessence will always be a bunch of London based Aussies who took on Indian names and kaftans and played a curious blend of Indian classical music and prog rock. Actually, they were rather good, as I recall.

Quintessence were one of the first groups I saw at Plymouth's legendary Van Dike Club in the late '60s. And I do mean legendary ... if not in a literal way ...

The Van Dike was run by the musically based Van Dike family from the old Exmouth Road Chuch Hall in Devonport, originally a separate town from Plymouth.

I used to go frequently with mates from work or Martin, the only other Trot in the village, and thinking back, not only was the roster of emergent groups remarkable, so was the price of entry; three and fourpence to see Mott the Hoople, Deep Purple, Medicine Head (?) ... and six and eightpence to see a posh gig at the Guildhall ... Yes!, The Nice, Jethro Tull ... unbelievable.

And then Martin and I used to walk home from Devonport to Plymstock ... 6-7miles @ 2.00 in the morning ... those were the days ...

Amazingly, I found this repository of old Van Dike programmes here. It's a bit of a trip ... down Memory Lane nowadays, of course ...

Sadly, I had heard that Greg Van Dike had passed away a year or so ago, although I understand he was still involved in music to the end. His children seem to have picked up the banner - in a Lily Allen sort of way ... maybe.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Liquid Lounge

Welcome to Liquid Lounge ... my own music collection.

You can listen directly to a random selection of music streamed directly from my music server.


You will need a music player which can interpret .pls files. WinAmp, MediaMonkey, Real or iTunes should do it if your player doesn't work. You will end up on my ShoutCast server page and have to click PLAY - I think. It's along the top row of options.

Those of you listening, and I know some listen for hours, please feel free to comment.

Thank You For Contacting Me

Thanks for contacting me. I'll get back to you soon ...

Click here to get back to Phonostage.


Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Snow

This winter has seen considerably more snow here than last year.

There have been several falls, about 75-100mm, and more nasty, freezing rain.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures to show how pretty it is.

Monday, 2 February 2009

facebook : today I am mostly social networking ...

Okay ... I admit it ... I have a facebook page.

To tell the truth, it's better that you're here than there.

And it's amazing to find out who your friends are ... well, in facebook anyway.

But feel free to take a look ... here.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

News Aggregators

Spending too much time perusing your favourite blogs, news websites, boards and whatever else floats yer boat? Then try a news aggregator.

I use Google Reader, but there are other equally good, if not better ones like BlogLines and even msOutLook.

Most blogs, news and boards will have a RSS feed marked by an icon similar to this:
non-working
Click it and your chosen aggregator will do the rest and you will find all your news and stuff in the same place all organised for you ... You can even subscribe to this blog - just scroll to the bottom of the page ...

... Enjoy.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

VeloStage

Don't forget to visit my VeloStage blog here ...

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Today, I am mostly listening to ...

Sonic Universe on SomaFM.

Try it ... You'll like it ...

Monday, 19 January 2009

Internet Radio : update

Internet radio, for me, has turned out to be one of the most useful developments on the interweb, along with stuff like Skype and ... put your favourite web application here.

I have two internet radios; a Noxon iRadio and a Sangean WFR-20. The radios work independently of a computer, basically looking like a sometimes rather bulky transistor radio or table radio.

The Noxon iRadio was one of the first wifi internet radios available in the UK. I bought it about three years ago. There was nothing remotely like it available in the US for another couple of years at least. Stuff like satellite radio stifled demand here, although the US market is now discovering the benefits of internet radio - 15,000 stations freely available on your dial.

Hmmm ... freely available; more about that later ...

However, at the moment, the latest firmware is getting rather long in the tooth, although there is a beta-version available, but I can't get it to upload into the Noxon. One of the advantages of the Noxon is that it's a nPnP device and it can have some of its features controled via its own internal web interface. It uses the vTuner portal for access. vTuner is a pretty basic service with no user forum or similar available. It is also not able to access stations broadcasting in WMA, a problem if you like nice quality on the BBC. On the other hand vTuner has been pretty reliable.

One of the first wifi internet radios available in the USA was the Sangean WFR-20. This is a much more substantial radio than the Noxon and has a pretty good tone too.

Unfortunately the Sangean does not use nPnP, although the latest beta-firmware is working in that direction.

The Sangean uses reciva.com as a portal. Stuff like favourites, streams and podcasts are controlled via the portal. Reciva also has the benefit of a lively support forum, although the forum software is pretty clunky and slow. Beta-firmware is available via the forums.

I also started iRadioForum.net for general internet radio chat and support. It's a bit slow taking off ... but who knows?

Internet radio does face some challenges though, in particular, geo-blocking and station flash-players.

Geo-blocking is internet radio broadcasters' response to rather dated copyright laws, sometimes just irritating - ie: BBC Radio 5 Live Premier football match commentaries blocked - but largely just plain restricting. Another problem is that radio stations will only play via a specially developed flash player application and stream, thus unavailable to internet radio devices and frequently associated with geo-blocking too. In other words, radio stations, and particularly US stations are determined to chain us to our computers.

Hopefully there will be a way around this.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Positively F-frigid

The last few days have been very cold indeed. A couple of snow showers of an inch or two, but but very, very cold. Early morning temperatures have read down to -14C from the car on the school run, exceptional, even for here. In addition, snow either falls and partially melts or freezing rain covers everything in an often thick layer of ice, so-called ice storms.

Since US electrical utilities still use wires stretched between wooden poles to go the final few miles to most consumers it means that either trees loaded with ice crash onto the cables, or the weight of ice on the wires themselves brings them down so power is a frequent victim.

I think many visitors to the US are surprised at the state of its infrastructure; massive cables strung alongside urban roads, potholes, post-industrial wastelands, rusty bridges, run-down railways, and even cell-phones seem stuck in the 80s. I think we'll be hearing a lot about this from the new US President. At least, America should hope so ...

Back on the Blog ... Again ...

Yes ... It's been a while ... I really must do better. It's not like nothing ever happens.

Of course, there's a ton of stuff going on; job, music, hifi, internet radio, cycling - not, Court & Social, etc ...

So make it my New Year's Resolution ... I will maintain my blogs.

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