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!

[UPDATE 19/11/2014]
Added this to the Spectrum 4 Ever Facebook group, on the off-chance someone knows what it is. To answer questions, yes, the tape is knackered. It would have been a recording taken directly from my Speccy+’s Ear socket, into a cheap “slimline” tape recorder. Probably running of batteries, I can’t remember.

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.

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.

White rabbit, white rabbit, and indeed, white rabbit

I’m sure I’ve started a blog post off with the same title before, but hey, I’m sure you can forgive me, seeing as I’m currently working through 2014 at what is currently a post a month. I’ve been busy, you see. Adding things to the site, updating things behind the scenes and….well, not much I can really type about really. In time-honoured tradition, however, I have been collecting shite record again, and I began to type a blog regarding this, and a recent acquisition, however, I never finished it… seeing as I’m all resourceful and all that, here’s what I wrote…

I’m starting the blog with the title of the last album I bought Because I can, and because I’m ashamed of myself, and need to get this out onto the internet in order to share my pain.

I say this as if buying crap music is a bad thing. To me it’s not, as every record like this I own has some type of deeper hidden meaning, going back to memories of my childhood, and this was no exception.

Let’s go back. Waaay back. Late 80s. I was never allowed to have a big music collection, nor have anything to play it on. the small amount of pocket money that I received, eventually ended up going on computer games or the latest copy of Your Sinclair. therefore, all of the tapes I got tended to be hand-me-downs, from friends ond family. One of my main sources of music was long time troll, prolific negative commentor and dweller of the east, Chad Phillips. Normally the tapes were copies, and not of particular good quality either. Still, to an untrained 8-year-old ear, this wasn’t a problem. they were likely going to be played through a slimline tape recorder, with a speaker so tinny, dogs three estates away would be pricking up their ears.

One of these tapes was a battered looking Philips C-30, exactly like this one…

I don’t have the exact tape to hand unfortunately, so that’s one from the bowels of Google Image Search. I’m sure I’ll update the post if and when the actual tape turns up. Yes, I’m that sad.

And, on this tape was, as you can hopefully have worked out by now, was “Party Party” by Black Lace. It wasn’t exactly a good copy, and part of it was missing, especially the first track on side 2, “Knock three Times”, apparently a remake of the Tony Orlando / Dawn song, or whoever sang it originally. Now, to this day I have still never heard it in its entireity, because the reason why it was missing is that Chad had taped over this particular track with a puppet show. No, really. An audio puppet show. Chad has always been a few years older than me (though by some of this comments on here, you wouldn’t think it), but even I, at the time, thought it was a bit odd.

Oops, turns out I wrote about pretty much the same thing in 2006… here’s what I wrote back then…

Other yearnings towards the business side of things also came in the form of another audio tape, which sadly no longer exists. During his school days, he’d made some paper mache puppets, and Barry, David and Chad held a puppet show in Barry’s back kitchen. I wasn’t present at the time, and considering they were doing a puppet show and recording it on AUDIO tape, most of it was indecipherable bollocks. Except for the end. Chad came on and said the following, despite being interrupted by David…

“If you think(ALRIGHT!)… If you think this puppet show was any good, then…. please give us summing.”

No, he wasn’t requesting mathematical puzzles. “Please give us summing” is best Hartlepool twang for “Please can we have something for our efforts?” The tape then cuts to the last few seconds of Black Lace, performing “Knock Three Times” from their “Party Party” album. It was a beige C-30 tape, manufactured by Philips, ironically enough.

Darnit, I hate repeating myself. I never repeat myself. repeating myself is something that I will never do, such as repeating myself. As for the tape not existing, I’m sure it does. Dunno where though.

You can see the details on the record in all its glory here And that’s that. I never finished the post, as the whole reason why I wrote it, was that it was taking my mind off a doctors appointment. God, I still hate that fucking place.

I digress. As you can probably tell, that’s another part of the site I’ve resurrected – the music collection. Yes, once again, you can have a static HTML view of my ever increasing record collection. I’m sure you can’t hold the excitement down. I’m also planning to do something I’ve been planning to do for ages, but haven’t managed to do it, and that’s to help possible fellow music collectors out, and do a review / directory of the charity shops in this fair town, along with how they fare when it comes to music collecting… what the size of their stock is, price, condition, that type of thing. I’m totally aware that it’s an incredibly niche subject, but it’ll give me something to do. Watch this space.