Monthly Archive for April, 2008

When garden lighting goes wrong…

Gerrof my godamn lawn!

Recently I installed some custom night lights our back garden. You know the passive infrared type that detects body heat movement and switches on a lamp for a few minutes blinding you as you walk past some random house on a street. Well not being a DIY person, despite the fact that I am an engineer I went a bit overboard and bought the brightest, most powerful light one could have purchased. Not the cleverest of moves as I soon found out.

Of course now the entire neighbourhood hates us because our garden looks like an aircraft runway at night thanks to bloody cats who love running around triggering the lighting. If it’s not cats then its frogs, and if its not frogs then its a flamin hedgehog who seems to have cloaking technology because I’m buggered if I can find him after I run out into the garden searching for the wee beast that triggered the lights. Well I think it’s a hedgehog anyway.

April Snow Showers

Now here is something that was rather unexpected on a Sunday morning, an April morning of all things. I woke up at 8am to find my room brighter than normal. Upon looking through my window, the houses and everything were all fluffly white with snow! Tons of the stuff! Snowball fights ahoy as my mother, father and girlfriend got pelted with the stuff!

Creative Vs Daniel_K

Silence from Creative after customer revolt

Picture the following scenario. Imagine if you had gone out and purchased a Creative Labs Soundblaster of some kind, there’s loads of them around but the most popular ones would be their Audigy and XFI series cards. Now imagine smiling when you saw that ‘Vista Compatible’ logo on the box, meaning that the card would work on Microsoft Vista. So you purchase it, take it home and install it into your PC. You would then either:

  • Install the drivers from the included CD
  • OR simply get and install the latest drivers from the Creative website

You would now have a fully working card right? You should be able to use all its capabilities given that it is ‘Vista Compatible’. What would you do if you found out that it wasn’t really ‘Vista Compatible’ ? This is what thousands of creative soundcard owners have been asking themselves for years now. Creative’s soundcard drivers have always been laughably poor, even back when I used them on my Audigy 2 in Windows XP, but it turns out that their new XFI drivers are just as bad. There are no decent working drivers in Vista at present I am led to believe. Because the Creative ‘Soundblaster’ moniker is such a powerful one – your average joe public just assumes that the product adds high quality sound to your PC, and will then go out and purchase one without knowing all this.