Scribbler's Laid A Big Juicy Log

Curing insomnia since November 2000
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This blog has been following the ups and downs of my life since November 4th 2000. Amazingly, it's still going.


Gnashing of teeth and a whiff of spam in the air.

Grrrrr.

If you have received any emails from webmaster@mercuryvapour.co.uk, delete it. Don’t open it. Don’t even look at the screen. Turn away in horror at the thought of clicking such a vile…. oh, I can’t be bothered with all of that, as I’m a bit pissed off at the moment.

The above mailbox was used to send out a boatload of spam emails at approximately 11AM this morning. 510 to be exact. I have a feeling it would have been a lot more, but my hosts stop sending them at 500. I originally though that when they set it up, it was a shit idea. What if I wanted to send 511 emails in a day? But then I realised, I don’t and never will, and it’s entirely a good thing that they’ve inserted that limit.

Now, I’ve had 200 of the emails bounced back as undeliverable, and no doubt I’ll get a few more trickling through as the night wears on. It’s not used my address book or anything like that, so anybody reading this SHOULD be Ok, but if not, again, delete any email sent today from that email address.

I’ve raised the issue in the last few minutes with my host, so hopefully I can get to the bottom of it.

Normal silence will be resumed shortly.

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People of ZX Spectrum land!

I’ve been going through some old tapes, and found the following (rather knackered) recording. I have no recollection which game it’s from, but if you do, I’d appreciate it if you let me know!

[UPDATE 10/2/2014]
Poot, 28 comments and 160+ downloads of the file and still no further forward! I’ll keep searching. Thanks all for the help so far though!

My first few days with the QPAD MK-80

… and this, I promise, will be my last post on the matter. It’s been several days since I brought home my latest toy, the afore-mentioned mechanical keyboard, and I have to say I’m really liking it. It’s supposed to be a gaming keyboard, but that’s not really the reason I bought it. I just wanted something that actually felt decent when I typed.

Admittedly, this isn’t the first mechanical keyboard I’ve used or owned. Back in the late 90s, I was given an old PC that came with some bits and bobs, including possiblt the oldest keyboard known to man. I swear, I was expecting bits of typewriter to be stuck to it. It was so old, that the F keys were down the left hand side of the keyboard. It was so old that I can’t find a picture of it. Photography probably wasn’t invented back thenIt was also switch controlled, but unfortunately, some of the keys were knackered. It was OK to type on, but a few of the keys were unresponsive, and I eventually gave up on it. It kept me in supplies of small springs for ages. Years after, I was still standing on them with bare feet. Nasty.

Anyway, I digress, and I go back to my review. I’ve settled on typing with it really rather quickly. For those of you who couldn’t be bothered or have “forgotten” to watch the video, it’s got Cherry MX Blue switches. There are many different type of switches out there, but you’ll need to find these out for yourself. I doubt I’ll have the money to invest in other keyboards in the coming years, so unless some kind companies want to send me “samples” of their keyboards, then this’ll be the only review you’ll be getting!

So, functionality. Well, it’s not exactly feature rich as far as some gaming keyboards go. Pass-through connectors for 2xUSB, audio and microphone jack. The USB ports are handy, I can never have enough of those near the front of my PC, so two more is an added bonus. The pass-through connectors… meh, I can live without those for now. My PC case has mic / headphone jacks on the front, so I don’t really need those at the moment. I’ll probably end up getting a new computer in a couple of months, so maybe there’ll be a use for them then. Seeing as this is a gaming keyboard, however, there are absolutely no other gaming features. The blue LEDs, however, have four levels of brightness. When I first discovered the LEDs were blue, I was just that little tad disappointed. Some of you may remember that my streetlighting interest came about partly because I could see a blue halo around mercury streetlights. About 25 years later, I actually worked out that was because my eyes actually saw blue light as slightly out of focus. Thankfully, the light levels range from just comfortable, so it looks like the writing on the keycaps is blue, to an intense sheen of blueness, that wouldn’t be out of place on a hospital toilet ceiling to stop the smack rats going in and shooting up.

The blue LEDs are also included in the design of the status lights. Ironically, this is a gaming keyboard, and if you switch them all on, they look like the highest score I’ve made, in pretty much every game I own…

BLue LEDs on my keyboard

BLue LEDs on my keyboard

… and also the mount of actual readers who have managed to sift through this pile of absolute blithering crap. Ahem.

Actual feel of the keyboard is really nice. I’ve been asked if it’s improved my typing. Probably, but then I’ll get to the FAQs in a sec. The feel is that rubberised plastic, on the outer of the board, and on the wrist rest (which yes, I did manage to get fixed to the keyboard!) Best way to describe it is like those sightly up-market “Smooth grip” Bic biros. Although it doesn’t feel too bad, there’s a disadvantage, and that’s every bit of grease on your fingers shows up like some kind of shiny skidmark, and every bit of dead skin that you shed goes into the grooves, meaning that’s only been here for 3 days and it already looks rather unpleasant.

It's a mucky keyboard!

It’s a mucky keyboard!

Of course, shedding skin is a human way of life, and I’d much prefer it if I’d shed moob fat, but due to the matt black nature of the keyboard, and the fact it has a little groove running around the edge of it, I wouldn’t be too surprised if, in a couple of months time, that little groove will look like a re-enactment of the Battle of The Somme, but with extra blood, sweat, shit piss and Iron Brew… OK, I jest, but that brings me to another possible downside, there are no drain holes!. I’ve always got a glass of “water” next to me when I’m at my computer, and many times there’s been a bit of a close shave, or there’s been actual spillage. The last few cheap keyboard I’ve had, have had drain holes in the bottom, should the worst happen, but this doesn’t appear to have theme. Maybe it’s because of the hundred or so switches, LEDs and other tomfoolery crammed inside here, but I have a feeling it’ll be only one small mistake with a beverage and Pratfall Percy sat here, and it’ll all be over. Quite literally. Of course, now that I actually don’t drink as much, there’s much less chance of that happening.

Right, sod it, I’m nearly up to 1000 words. I’ve been asked two questions about the keyboard. It’s nearly 1 in the morning, and I’ve got to be up for work. So, I promise, I’ll break my promise and conclude tmorrow, or whenever I can be bothered. Bet you can’t bloody wait.

So, my new keyboard unboxing video

If you follow me on Facebook (if not, why not?), you’ll probably notice that I’ve made an unboxing video of my latest toy, the keyboard I mentioned last night.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve put something on youtube, I couldn’t resist.

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Some of the recent search results…

questionsAh, it seems like decades since I last did one of those, and that’s probably because it is. Seeing as I have a reason to type (new, shiny keyboard and all that), I thought I’d go through some of these and give a 2014 answer. That is, where possible. Some will be included just because they amused me so much. I’ve fallen out of favour with search engines, thanks to how often I don’t update this site, and probably the lack of subject matter in general. Yet still, the stats generator’s knocked out some classics recently…

“match of the day” cricket cowbell

Nope, Match Of The Day doesn’t feature either a cowbell in its theme tune, and certainly not cricket, for that matter. I assume you’re looking for the theme for BBCs cricket during the 80s. That will be a little number called “Soul Limbo” by Booker T and The MGs. On “The Great Sporting Experience”, see below. You’re welcome.

[EDIT]: It seems that the most commercially available version of the theme tune, by the Mike Vickers Orchestra does indeed feature a cowbell, at 18 seconds in. I doubt that’s what the searcher meant though.

how many chupa chubs lolliesa would be the height of the Eiffel tower

An interesting question, however, the searcher negated to mention whether he/she is including the lolly stick in this equation. This will make a great difference to the result. To answer this equation, I am assuming that the searcher is assuming the stick is included. After all, it is an integral part of a Chupa Chup. With no stick, it is simply a large boiled sweet. Now, it is many years since I last consumed the afore-mentioned confectionery product, so my memory is hazy. I would, say, that including wrapper and stick, that your average Chupa Chup is 4 inches in size. And, see ing that, from the base, to the tip of the antennae, the tower is 1063ft, I can calculate that it will take 3,189 chupa chups. Do they still do the cola ones? they were awesome. Anyway, you’re welcome.

headline acts from tfm live november 2012

Me, in a mankini, fellating a hot dog hastily strapped to the underside of a female goat. Seriously, it’s probably more entertaining than who was actually playing. I seem to remember being there, and not paying attention to the music. Joe McElderry? Kathy Burke? Lauren Harries? Oh, I don’t know. You’re welcome.

lacie network space 2 flashing red blue (and variations thereof)

I never found a working solution to this. Take the drive out of the enclosure, and dispose of the enclosure. You’ll never need it again. Connect the drive to someone who has a Linux box, and retrieve the data to another hard drive, and try to erase the fact you bought such a disgusting product from your mind. You now have a spare 2Tb hard drive. You’re welcome.

what comic did chipper from the chipper club come from

Dammit. I started this blog entry as a joke, and now there’s one entry I genuinely want to research. As far as I know, Chipper has always been part of his own comic, and never part of another. I may be wrong by this. Maybe the searcher was originally thinking of “Whizzer and Chips”? Dunno. I just know that Chipper has been going for much longer than I’ve been alive. Friends of my dad still reminisce about being in The Chipper Club. Therefore, sorry, no answer. You’re welcome.

Where can i buy cranes by the doug wood group

It’s on here as that’s where I bought my copy back in 2006. Want it on vinyl? Have fun hunting down a copy of this. You’re welcome.

richard kell radio twitter

Yeah, what happened to Richard Kell? Used to do the talk show on TFM after Tom Davies got a better job. Waaaaaaay back in the 90s, I used to speak to him off-air a little. He tried to help me track down “Angel” by The Quest Project after it disappeared off the release schedules. I’ve blogged about that before. I liked Richard, aka “Dick The Fish Killer”, “Biggus Dickus”, and however many more nicknames he had in his time at TFM. Last I heard, he went to a radio station in Darlington. That was about 15 years ago. So, er, to answer your question… maybe he’s on twitter? If so, how did you end up here? Google must have been having an off day. You’re welcome.

Right, I’m bored now. I like this keyboard.

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