Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Moon hoax

It shouldn't really need such effort, and certainly doesn't deserve further attention - beyond a scorn for its absurdity, but conspiracy-theory nutters' ridiculous claims that the Moon landings were faked gets a debunking episode on the Discovery Channel's TV show MythBusters, as reported here. The very idea is farcical. How can any thinking, or vaguely science-literate person give the 'Moon hoax' credence? Does even a casual TV viewer seriously believe that all those Apollo missions were faked? Are the lunar-buggy chase sequence in James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever, and the cover-up plot of Capricorn One, mostly to blame for popularising the joke? The whole 'hoax' thing is simply an insult to basic human intelligence, but some people will believe anything, no matter how stupid it clearly is.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


There seemed to be a lot of criticism aimed at M$ Vista o/s, with techie users saying they preferred XP (if they had to use Windoze!), but I have not found any problems with the system. From activation of pre-installed version on my laptop, it's been easy to make adjustment from XP, and the interface appears to work somewhat better than XP, certainly with its start-up cycle. Downloading service pack 1 - for my Vista laptop, was less troublesome and worrying than adding service pack 3 to my XP desktop.

Bells and whistles stuff that's new for Vista, include significant practical things like ReadyBoost, which uses plug-in flash drive (up to 4 GB) as extra memory for RAM or disk cache, and hard drive defrag that runs in the background when computer is idle. There's also fun items like a free chess program (yes, I beat the machine at its lowest setting!) in the games section.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

New blood spec

My Blood Spectrum column in Black Static #6 (T3A Press) starts with an interview with Spanish film-makers Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, co-directors of siege horror [REC]. This issue's DVD reviews include: Exte, Sick House, Diary Of The Dead, Frontiers, Ghost Game, Hell's Ground, The Orphanage, Bloodbath At The House Of Death, Eden Log, Unearthed, and Awake.

Monday, 4 August 2008


Latest item for current gadget-buying spree is an Acer Aspire 5920G (my first laptop) with: Intel T7300 dual core Centrino processor, 250 GB hard disk, 15.4-inch WXGA wide-screen, dedicated Nvidia graphics card, two GB memory, web-cam, built-in HD-DVD drive, and Vista home premium edition. It's last year's model (latest version has blu-ray drive, of course), but was praised by several computer magazines, when first reviewed by techie critics.

Bought a Logitech trackball mouse to overcome anticipated problems with the fiddly touch-pad, a four GB flash drive to transfer data from my laptop until home network is set-up, and then I installed some favourite stuff - like Firefox 3 browser, AVG free anti-virus, and decided to use Open Office for documents, and Thunderbird 2 for email (if only to avoid relying too much on various M$ programs). Managed to get online at my brother's place and I was pleased how easily wireless connections work, to quickly download Windows patches, and update AVG software, etc. Got linked up via HDMI cable to my Sony Bravia hi-def TV set, and happy with extending monitor view onto a 40-inch screen.

Having difficulty with email, as Thunderbird seems incompatible with Vista, although Windows mail (apparently a replacement for Outlook Express..?), works okay for POP3 downloads, if not sending of 'test' messages. Meanwhile, I upgraded my ISP account, switching package from a broadband 'plan' to a wireless 'bundle' (evening & weekend phone calls included so I get more for same monthly fee), but still waiting for delivery of a router kit ordered from Virgin media site.