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XBOX 360 in Disgrace

Posted by Chalky on Nov 29, 2008 in Bad Luck, Technology

Well, it was inevitable really wasn’t it. I should have known from the first crash that with my Bad Luck it was a sign that my XBOX 360 was slowly crawling onto it’s deathbed! Pretty annoying really when I’ve just bought 2 games for it and I’m getting Guitar Hero World Tour for my Birthday from Jill.

I was a bit worried at first because my XBOX 360 is coming up to its 2nd Birthday which would mean that the Console is out of warranty. Seeing as my XBOX was fine before the installation of NXE I thought I’d give them a ring to see what’s what. I endured the torture that is Max. Max is the name of the XBOX Support Line Automated Voice Activated System. Unfortunately he is seemingly deaf and has been programmed to respond to an American persons voice, meaning that he has completely incapable of understanding what I was saying. However, I eventually managed to get to talk to a real person, for future reference, the trick is to keep saying AGENT and he’ll eventually dial out to the Call Centre. 

Luckily (I know, it surprised me too), the 3 Red Lights of Death/Doom/Unhappiness is covered by an extended warranty of 3 years which means that my XBOX 360 will be repaired for free. So really, it was quite lucky that it happened now and not a year down the line! I’ve just got to try and get the game out of the XBOX and remove the Hard Drive before I package it up and send it on it’s merry way. They said it’ll be returned 2-3 weeks after it has been picked up. I’m hoping it’s the former because otherwise I won’t have it for my Birthday!

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How Not To Save Energy with Windows Server 2008

Posted by Chalky on Nov 26, 2008 in Computer, Technology, Work

Having read Microsoft’s documentation on how Energy Efficient Windows Server 2008 is compared to Windows Server 2003, I thought I’d show my findings with some Real World Testing. In the documentation found here (yes, you can only read it if you have Microsoft Office 2007), the graph below is presented:

The following footnote is also included:

Power comparison of server unit only. Does not include external drive arrays. 

This immediately made me realise that the results of the graph would be inaccurate as this means that they will have not installed the Operating System onto the local hardware but a SAN-type array. Meaning that the power usage for the discs would not be included. Anyone who has used Windows Server 2008 or indeed Windows Vista will know that there is excessive disk usage even when the computer is seemingly idle.

Read more…

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Microsoft XBOX NXE

Posted by Chalky on Nov 23, 2008 in Bad Luck, Technology

Well, after having my XBOX sat in a corner unplugged and unloved for such a long time, I thought I’d better wipe of the dust and give it a whirl. What sparked me to do this was a discussion at work about the New XBOX Experience which, for those who don’t know is the latest (and biggest) overhaul since the XBOX’s release. 

It’s not been a particularly easy journey getting it to work on my XBOX. When I plugged it in I immediately got a message telling me an update was available which lead me to think that the process would be completely plainless. WRONG! As usual, the Chalky Bad Luck kicked in and my XBOX crashed quite a few times during the installation.

Anyway, I got it working in the end and I have to say I’m quite impressed. Where it is clear in many places that they have “borrowed” a few ideas from the Wii. However, in a complete opposite to the normal Microsoft way of doing things, they have managed to make an improvement on the idea.

I haven’t explored all of the new features yet, but I have made my Avatar:

I found that there was 100′s of different ways to change the Avatar’s face but they’d skimped a bit on the clothing department. The Shirt I chose wasn’t ideal but it was the only one I found that I fancied. I was also a bit disappointed that there wasn’t any trainers either. I’m sure that this is something that Microsoft will keep adding to!

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The Real Cost of Going to University

Posted by Chalky on Nov 21, 2008 in Life Stuff

They don’t go on about this at the AimHigher crap at College/Sixth Form, do they!

I worked out that at my current rate of pay, come April, I’ll be paying my loan back at a rate of 45p per month! Jim reckons it’ll take me 7,500 years to pay it off. Great isn’t it!

You’re a bit screwed if you are self employed because if you want Revenue and Customs to calculate your repayments you have to return a Self Assessment Tax Return by 30th September 2007. Lets hope that you did a BSc in Time Machine Making for that one!

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Not So Premier Hand Car Wash

Posted by Chalky on Nov 6, 2008 in Bad Luck, Driving, Rants

If, like me, you’re too lazy to wash your car properly yourself you’ll probably take your car to your local car wash. I’ve always been told not to use a mechanical car wash that uses brushes and I’ve heard a tale or two about the consequences. Now I have my own story!

For the past year I’ve been using the Premier Hand Car Wash on Queens Road next to Halfords. I’ve taken all 3 of my cars (Pipsqueak the Seicento, Percy the Punto and now Clarence the C3) as well as my friend’s Daihatsu Terios and not really had any problems… until now (and they certainly made up for it)!

I took my car in this afternoon because it was well overdue for a wash, I think I must have left it a couple of months and with the recent bad weather it was looking a right state. So I popped down to Queens Road and got my car washed. Everything appeared to be OK, but I noticed they seemed to be taking an extraordinarily long time to clean my car and kept blasting it with the pressure washer. I just assumed this was because my car was extremely dirty. 

However, once I got home and got out of the car, I realised the real reasoning for the extra time spent:

 

Front-Right Door

Front-Right Door

 

Rear-Right Door

Rear-Right Door

 

Between Right Doors

Between Right Doors

 

Aerial

Aerial

It’s pretty much the same on the other side too. Suffice to say, I wasn’t best pleased so I went straight back down to Queens Road. To be fair, they were very apologetic and did take full responsibility, but that doesn’t stop my car looking a complete wreck.

It turns out that they’d managed to spray the Acid that they use on wheels (to loosen dirt) all over my car and that they had realised which was why they kept spraying my car… Nice of them to tell me first time round! They’ve arrange for their bodyshop man to come and sort my car out next week. I’m a bit miffed that I’m going to have to drive the car for nearly a week in the state that it is in but I suppose there’s nothing I can really do. I certainly won’t be settling for anything less than the handles looking in perfect condition as they were pre-washing. If not, they’re going to have to pay for them to be replaced.

Whilst they’ve assured my that this won’t damage the paint work on my car, I’m not really convinced so I’m going to get my Uncle Nigel to check the whole car over. He’s hoping it will be OK but he says I’ll find out by Sunday if it’s not going to be (by the very fact that the paint will start to come off)!

So, the moral of the story is don’t be lazy and wash your car yourself! But, if you are still far to lazy to wash it yourself, you might want to think more carefully about where you take it!

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