February 2005 Archives

Still Pissed With Mavis

After inspecting the support FAQs for Mavis v16, it seems probable that they had run into the network drive issue, since one of the faqs covered issues revealing that the location for the system.msy file had been moved into the "Documents and Settings" folder. Pity they never patched version 12.

I downloaded version 16 from a paid website - and received version 15 - unfortunately the site was in the US, so I guess trades description doesn't apply, but "Software Direct" are now on my shit-list. It also took 5 attempts to download - with Software Direct selling "download assurance" I had to jump through extra hoops to get my download.

Version 16 runs OK - but after all this I am kicking myself -- why didn't I search Open Source first ? I would have found "Tux Typing".

And Broderbund are on their last warning - this is the second time they sold me crap. The first was their genealogy package, proudly trumpeting all the data disks they bundled, but not revealing they are all US data. Not much use if you are researching UK ancestry and purchased the package in the UK.

Crappy Programming in Mavis Beacon

What with all these blog entries I'm hammering out, I thought it would be a good idea to abandon hunt and peck and try touch typing. A quick visit to PC World and I have the famous Mavis in my hand.

As soon as I ran it I kind of expected trouble as it went into full screen mode, changed the resolution and started to rearrange my dual display setup. But, no, that seemed to be OK. The reason it doesn't work is because some stupid programmer didn't consider that "My Documents" might be on a network drive. What a surprise, Mavis can't create:

J:\\Gemini\David\My Documents\\system.msy
^^^^^^^^^ Doh !

Remapping My Documents to a local drive works, but I don't want to do that every time I decide to practice typing for 15 minutes. It doesn't work through a mapped drive letter, either.

So that's £20 down, do I chance $19.99 on a download of Mavis 16 ?

Why is this blog called ...

I have to be honest, I stole it from a radio program I happened to catch part way through on the way to work. I have no idea what it was called, but a screenwriter is protesting at having to re-edit a screenplay in Hollywood. His agent finally persuades him and he returns to the task with these words. It struck a chord on many levels and so I have borrowed. it. I like the ironic feel it has when applied to my home automation stuff.

Another PID'd Silvia

Just completed the PID modification to my brother's Silvia as a birthday present. I am quite pleased with the results, I think it is reasonably aesthetically pleasing without requiring extensive stainless steelworking.

Front View

Side View

The PID is a 1/32DIN standard version from TC Direct. The thermocouple was sourced from Rapid Electronics (since they have a glass fibre sleeved version). PTFE cable sleeving and the SSR were purchased from RS Components and the case is available from Maplin.

Cables are routed out of the Silvia and straight into the PID box through matching holes. Neat and tidy !

PID'd Silvia (UK)

The Rancilio Silvia has attracted a loyal following amongst self-proclaimed coffee geeks, it is about the cheapest espresso machine available that is still capable of making a half decent espresso. So good is the base machine, that a relatively simple modification can improve it's consistency and seriously challenge significiantly more expensive machines.

1837online vs FamilyRelatives.org

I have been using 1837online to search the BMD indexes for ancestors. However, there are some aspects of the service that are irritating, so I recently tried the new FamilyRelatives service. How do they compare ?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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