Saturday, 3 May 2008


Just recovered from an Outlook 2000 inbox meltdown...

Although I managed to fix problems (got speedy and helpful advice from Mark Voss...) with that email program, I lost all messages from last month, and the folder-sorting rules turned up DOA (and will need writing again).

It could have been much worse if I had needed to un/ re-install Outlook from scratch! Who'd have thought M$ would stick a 2GB size limit (after which it simply corrupts!) on Outlook's PST file? Looks like I will have to get back into the auto-archiving habit, to prevent a repeat of this Outlook failure.

So... 10,000+ messages (many with xMB attachments). Where else to store them?
I just knew someone would suggest Gmail (and they did).

Thursday, 1 May 2008


Since my old Hitachi TV set had recently developed quite annoying faults, I decided it was overdue for a 21st century replacement. After failing to get a Toshiba special offer (which sold out, very quickly!), I eventually chose a Sony D3500 series 40-inch digital LCD panel (model # KDL40). Product reviews had nothing but praise for the Sony TV range's 'Bravia' engine, and its screen contrast ratio 16000:1 was greater than specs of several other brands and models I considered. Sony also offered more connections, including two HDMI sockets, two SCART, one for a PC, various amps, and other components.

This new high-definition widescreen television certainly looks impressive, as a piece of consumer tech (taking up much less space than old bulky CRT), and for watching movies on. Adding to my existing kit of Sanyo multi-region DVD player, Orion DVD recorder, and trusty old Hitachi VHS machine, I also bought a Samsung BDP1400 blu-ray player, which does a fantastic job of automatically upscaling standard DVDs (region 2 or region-free discs, only!), but really comes into its own when outputting the content of blu-ray discs (region B only) at full HD 1080p to Sony's TV.

Picture and sound quality is astounding, which takes some getting used to (having so many tiny details now clearly visible on a big-screen TV can be distracting). As others who've converted to blu-ray and HD TV have said, there's simply no going back to cathode-ray viewing after experiencing hi-def digital at home, and the differences in viewing quality are particularly notable when looking at the playback of old video for comparison. Even a first-generation VHS copy looks quite fuzzy.