Archive for November, 2006

Blog reactions

Keen eyes will have noticed the recent appearence on this site of little blog reaction links with the technorati logo on them appearing below all my blog postings. Thes provide an indicator of how many blogs have linked to each blog posting I have written. This might be useful to you if you want to read what others have written on the same subject as I have. Simply click the link and you will be taken to technorati where you can see a list of what sites have linked to my posting and peruse them at your leisure.

As a quick guide if the link is grey there are no links from other blogs to that posting. If its green then others have written about my post and you will see a listing when you click it. Enjoy!

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Freezing hard drive

Recently I was sent an interesting link about recovering data from a seemingly broken hard drive by putting it in the freezer for 24 hours and then having a small window afterwards in which amazingly the drive works as normal – long enough in most cases to take a full drive image. You can read this article and the responses here.

What amazed me the most about this article is the number of people who have tried it and found it to be successful. Normally some crack-pot writes something like this and people try it to find it to have little or no success. While this is one of the craziest solutions to recovering data I’ve heard to date, the success rate is impressive. It’s also reported to be used by a fair number of recovery companies, so seemingly it might be worth trying this technique before giving up and shelling out hundreds to a company to recover your precious bytes.

Of course nothing should be a substitute for regular backups but accidents can and do happen with spinning discs and its nice to know that for once there may be a way to fight back against the data munching broken drives of doom.

It was good to see that the humour wasn’t deadened by the success of the technique though as indicated by one comment recieved to the article

When I have that problem, I always take my computer and drive to the North Pole. It works real well, though one time an Eskimo named Nanook shot my computer with a harpoon

Nice one :)

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Indian night

On Friday night I went to an Indian night at Norm’s house. The general theme was a load of Indian food cooked by Norm and then drinks and conversation afterwards. It’s been a little while since the whole group has got together in one persons house and it was nice to chat to everyone in the one place.

After an hour or two we were running a little dry on alcohol and such so we took a trip to a local off-license and got a fair quantity of really cheap cider. To say it was rocket propellant would be an understatment but it certainly further lightened the mood once we started to drink it.

Interesting episodes of the evening included a towel snapping match between Chris and Norm with some interventions from the sidelines, B’s usual antics, and placing Sarann in a wooden cupboard above the stairs – photos available on request! All in all it was a great night, big thanks to Norm for organising it :)

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Heather’s day out in York

Heather's day out in York

A day out in York for the final part of Heather’s birthday celebrations. Thanks to all who have contributed photos for this gallery!

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Mr Scruff

Last night I went with Matt and Kat to see Mr Scruff at Stylus in Leeds union. It was an amazing night of loud funky beats and much dancing. Its a long time since the bassline has actually physically moved me across the dance floor but it certainly did so at Mr Scruff.

The venue was completely packed; Mr Scruff seems to have a cult following these days it must be said. Its not just the funky music on the decks but also the style associated with Mr Scruff – the drawings and projection screens with a unique type of artwork. After all, what other event would have big slogans like “Hold onto your trousers” before some heavy bass was on the way being projected next to the stage, not to mention big signs coming up saying “Drink tea!” and instructions on how to make the perfect cup.

The music isn’t for everyone it must be said and although there are certainly jazz influences in it all, most jazz folk wouldn’t enjoy it. Thats not to say its not worth going along, and if you want to get funky and dance the night away then it’s certainly for you. Top marks for Mr Scruff, I’ll certainly be going again!

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Ice Skating

On Wednesday Chris, Claire and myself took a day trip to Bradford to make use of the ice rink they have there. It was surprisingly good fun. I hadn’t been ice skating for years, about 4 or 5 if I remember rightly and I was pleasantly surprised that the time spent off the ice didn’t cause any falling over this time around.

I did a fair number of laps and got some (what was for me) good speed up. Chris attempted to teach me to skate backwards but this resulted in me starting off and my feet getting ever wider apart with no way to bring them back together. It was fun though, and for only £3 for up to 4 hours skating it was good value. As usual with my trips out I got a few photos but most came out blurred as I had to turn the flash off to compensate for the glare of the ice. You can see them in the gallery here.

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Ice Skating in Bradford

Ice Skating in Bradford

A trip to the ice skating rink in Bradford for a few hours on the ice. Apologies for the picture quality, the light wasn’t good at the rink

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Heather’s 21st

The outing to Ha Ha bar for Heather’s 21st went well and was great fun. It was really good to chat to some of Heathers friends I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting and indeed talk more at length with those I had. I’ve collected photos together of the evening to share with you all. You can view them in the gallery

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Happy birthday Heather!

A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes out to Heather who is 21 today. Please join me in wishing her many happy returns by posting a comment :)

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Haggis Horns at Hi-Fi

Haggis Horns at Hi-FiLast night I had my first ever trip to the Hi-Fi club in Leeds to see the Haggis Horns play live. I went with Heather and a number of her friends from Dentistry for her 21st Birthday celebration. I managed to meet up with Sheena there as well which was good as we hadn’t spoken in quite a while! The band already had a good reputation from an appearance of theirs I had seen at the Wardrobe, but it was great to see them in a new venue.

Hi-Fi is a superb club. It starts off fairly empty and then fills up before the band comes on stage. The setting is just how a jazz club should be; the focus being on the stage and dancefloor with seating and a bar round the edge. Despite how full the club ended up being service at the bar was exemplary and there was always to odd stool to flop onto when you were tired of dancing. I can’t really believe that I hadn’t been to this great club before really – its was well worth checking it out. I won’t go as far as to say its better than the Wardrobe, but the two clubs are certianly on a par and I’ll be sure to frequent the Hi-Fi as often as I go to the Wardrobe. Like the wardrobe membership is also available at the Hi-Fi, I certainly think I’ll be applying.

Onto the gig then. The music took a little longer to start than was publicised with the band not getting on stage until just gone midnight, but it was well worth the wait as the sound was vibrant and funky and the crowd were very fired up. It wasn’t long before we were all on the dance floor. The style of the Haggis Horns is not really unique, its heard in quite a few jazz clubs around the country in various forms, but certainly makes for a good night of wholesome jazz entertainment. The clear influences from traditional big band jazz make the experience a memorable one, and the way in which every musician is seemingly given a chance to do their own thing (most notable being the bongo and drum solos) is very refreshing.

I’d definitely reconmmend trying to catch the Haggis Horns live if you fancy a vibrant jazz night out. They play a number of good venues in Leeds so its not usually hard to track them down.

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