Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

Paranoia and technology (not particularly related in this instance)

I had a rather disturbing outbreak of paranoia on Sunday in Borders, and decided against buying a copy of 2600 (amongst other things) with my debit card. Hmm, I thought, buying 2600 from an American store with a debit card. So I paid cash, briefly thinking that the note came directly from an ATM and that I should have used a note I had been given in change.

Obviously writing about this in LiveJournal will only hasten the arrival of the thought police.

I also made the mistake of buying a 3rd DAB radio in the fond hope of being able to use it in the car.

The theory was that a 160 pound radio might work in the car, and be cheaper than the cheapest DAB car radio which is still at least 300 pounds. I am now essentially convinced that DAB is fundamentally flawed, the radio works in a few places in the house. Not surprisingly, given that it uses the old 405 line VHF TV band, or parts thereof not flogged off by the government, the positioning behaviour is much more like a TV than an FM radio, i.e., in our house at least, it is very picky about where it is placed.

This is the 3rd radio so I don't think this can really be written off as a flaw in the radios.

People tend to complain about the low bitrate and the corresponding high level of compression, but I suspect they are using static tunrers, otherwise there would be more complaining about the lack of robustness in the signals.

As far as the drive to work and back went, it is a complete dead loss. The signal often disappears, and if it disappears enough, or for too long, I'm not sure which, it loses the multiplex completely and resets to the first station on the multiplex in some sense, in the case of the BBC one it is Radio 1 which is not what I want to listen to. You then have to press a button 7 times to get back to 6 Music, which is not really ideal when one is driving.

The choices with what to do with it would seem to be keep it as an extra radio for use in rooms other than where the other 2 are put, and without using the computer that the Wavefinder needs (and slows down quite a lot) in the living room, or give it away as a present or sell it on eBay. Apathy will probably ensure that the first of these choices will happen.

We have also decided to get Rupert-O-Vision, paying 120 pounds for the option where we get a dish and box without subscribing to any channels. There is a fairly decent set of free channels, some of which require a free card that you can phone up and ask for. We will then get rid of the increasingly channel challenged NTL analogue cable TV.

Of course, you have to let the Rupeobox phone up the mother-ship, but I cannot get too bothered about this.

This means I won't be able to use the DVB-T card I bought for my PC, but I think a decent roof aerial and the installation thereof would probably cost about the same, and give us less channels.

Oh what an exciting life we lead.

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