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Everything posted by Gyn_Paul

  1. I have a Sky plus box (and subscription to) which is currently giving up the ghost, which is a begger as it's got 98% of a hard disk of stuff I want to keep and/or view. However I also have an HD box. With the plus subscription card, one can view stuff, but not record anything but the free-to-air programmes.   Does anyone know if it's possible to upgrade the card to HD over the internet? (I have a satellite internet feed so have a UK ip address) I'm missing The Newsroom series 3 at the moment which is VERY annoying!
  2. Right. I'll keep an eye on the PSU, it may well be the culprit.  In fact, I now have so many items in my studio/office/computer room which need a 12v supply (and the transformer plugs of which are too bulky to sit side-by-side in multi pattress), that I'm thinking of building a 12v bus of about 30A to feed them all from! paul
  3. My 2nd generation vanilla Freebox has worked fine for 18 months, but now it's gone flaky. Seemingly every morning I look at it, I find the dreaded snake is, erm - well - snaking around the little display. re-booting it gives it the will to progress to 'PPP', or sometimes PPP+snaking, but often it takes 20 minutes or so to restore the time display and therefore the connection. Anyone else having trouble with this?  The Freebox phone goes off, of course, but the FT phone signal remains unaffected. paul
  4. Last year I looked at my embryonic gooseberry bushes and they were in fine fettle. Then I wandered down the same bit of the garden about 4 days later and there was hardly a leaf left on any of the six of them. What is devouring the leaves? What do I zap it with? When do I apply it? Then perhaps this year we'll manage to get at least one gooseberry crumble out of eight plants (bought another two!). p
  5. 1/ - Galaxy smartphone on the front seat with Tunein app set to BBC-R4....  2/ - 'Free' account with unlimited download,... 3/ - mini jack cable to car radio's 'aux' input... sorted ! p
  6. Yeeeeesss (as Paxo would say).  I thought as I posted the original, that I should have been a bit more specific: The internet and the phone are BOTH bog-standard France Telecom connections, arriving at the house down a single, elderly copper pair. The ISP is Free, so - technically - I do have a 2nd line out of their ADSL box, but the reality is that we are so far from the nearest node (getting on for 5km) that the free box introduces such hideous delay and/or echo as to render it practically unusable. p
  7. How is it possible for the internet to work but not the phone? The 'net works fine, but no d/t on the phone. I seem to remember that even without a filter it's possible to get a dial tone by 'dabbing' a phone across the incoming pair, but nothing. 54v right enough but nothing to dial with. The other confusing point is that these 'dead' phones will ring, even displaying the incoming caller's id, but once you answer it there's nothing but a periodic buzzing, which (I assume ) is the ac ring volts. Odd n'est pas? Anyone else had this problem? (I've done the usual business of disconnecting everything back to the incoming pair so I'm pretty sure the problem isn't internal). p
  8. [quote user="marmite"]Gyn_paul Agree with you about the audio problems, just tonight I was looking forward to a new BBC  drama "By Any Means" managed to watch about 20 mins of it before giving up. The constant drumming beat and bass background music! in the end I just gave up. [/quote] I fear it's an insoluable problem: the Sound Supervisor dubbing the finished programme is typically 35 - 45, perhaps 50 at a push, he's listening on studio-quality speakers (with sometimes a tiny, tinny, speaker in mono which he can switch to, to simulate a TV speaker), in a sound-proof room. He's looking at the levels on the PPM (stereo sound level meter), probably with a bit of compression and perhaps a bit of limiter switched in. He will have mixed the tracks to the best of his ability, and in his dubbing theatre (to his ears) the dialogue won't be drowned out by the background music (?) and - frankly - he will be unable to see (or more precisely hear) what the problem is. As far as he's concerned - in that time-honored phrase, it will be 'all right leaving him'.       I know. I've been that person. Now if we were to be able to bring back a few 65 - 75 year-old Dubbing Mixers, then it would be a different story (then it would be the boy-wonder producers and directors complaining about the mix!). p
  9. [quote user="Department71"][quote user="Quillan"]Another update. Firstly I just have a Sky box and no HD TV at present so I can't look at anything technical other than what is on that box unfortunately. [/quote] I have a 37" Plasma Panasonic that can handle HD signals, I also have a Humax freesat HD box and quite frankly I can't see much difference between normal terrestial pictures via the aerial and the Humax throwing out a HD signal via satellite on say BBC channels. So Q I don't think you are missing much.  Maybe if my eyes were perfect my views might be different, but as they are getting older I'm happy with the terrestrial picture. Now don't get me on about the audio on programs.   [/quote] I am firmly of the belief that it's not just the frequency response of ones ears which declines over the decades, but also the ability to process the audio signal. When you're young you can concentrate on one particular sound amongst many (a voice at a party, or an instrument in an orchestration) and bin the extraneous noises (clattering of dishes, people talking in the row behind). This is - classically - what you can't do when you are reduced to wearing hearing aids. But I believe our native ability to process audio in this way declines with age too - regardless of any actual hearing loss. This is why so many old(er) people and so few young(er) people complain about things like the level of background music on dramas, and being overwhelmed by highly-compressed ads and programme trails. I also believe our brain's bus speed declines with age too, so the sample-rate for memory has a longer interval hence time apparently passes quicker than when we were younger, but that's a discussion for another time and place! p
  10. I know this idea is actually a non-starter: - people with a far higher iq than mine would have done it already - but can somebody explain (without a page of math formulae preferably) exactly why you can't parallel the output of two or three fixed dishes (say 3 x 80 cm) rather than try to align one massive one please? p
  11. I have a 9.5 x 4.25 above-ground pool which came supplied with a sand filter not unlike the one detailed below (illustration nicked from an earlier posting by Théière - thanks). It came supplied with flexi hoses. I have encountered the multi-port valves before but always in bigger installations, where valve was separate from the actual sand filter, and with fixed 50mm plumbing and the waste outlet some distance away from the valve. It came with no instructions but went together with a degree of common sense (although it's a bit of a bugger setting the pipe in the sand at the right height to ensure it goes in the base of the valve properly once all those lateral pipes are screwed in!), All connected up and leaks stopped with a combinations on PTFE tape and brute force, it works properly in filter mode. However, in backwash mode (and indeed any time the lever is depressed) it pours water and sand out of the waste/drain pipe. This doesn't seem right to me, anyone any ideas?   Also unlike 5/ on the diag below, mine came with nothing to go on top of the sand. Should it have? The valve was pre-assembled.   p Link HERE for more information and diagram
  12. [quote user="Quillan"]Change of subject a little. Is there such a thing as a dish size calculator?[/quote] I calculate that if I can't receive all the channels, I need a bigger dish! p
  13. [quote user="Martin963"]Wish I did.   Astra SES is one of the most idiotically paranoid and secretive organisation I've ever known. But watching other discussions it does seem that the signal is going up and down for no apparent reason once one gets away from the target area. Of course,   anything transmitted in DVB-S2 is more prone to atmospheric attenuation in poor weather than its DVB-S counterpart.   Can't remember which of the new 2Fs are using S2,  but certainly one of them is..... [/quote] DVB-S2 ???   Is that just a posh way of categorizing the upper frequencies?  I was probably looking out the window at the Evesham countryside and dreaming of a pint in the BBC club at that vital moment.... ! p
  14. One of the (many) things to be applauded about the French health system, is the fact that you can have a PSA test done when you present with no symptoms. Given that our 'natural' hormone levels all fall within an extremely wide band of what is defined as 'normal' it is very useful to have a few year's antibody figures to express what is normal for you. Damned hard to achieve that in the UK, I found. p.
  15. [quote user="Sprogster"]I am down on the Med in south east France and have lost Channel 4HD with my 1 metre dish, so does not bode well for the other channels when they switch.[/quote] La Creuse/limousin/more-or-less-in-the-centre Yes, last night my Panasonic TV (built in freesat) asked to download new channels, and I watched as it ambled up the frequencies and noticed how the top bunch  - which includes Ch4HD - which previously had a signal strength of '5 or 6' now show a rather sad '4'. I wonder if SES have been trimming F's footprint? - bet Martin knows! p.
  16. [quote user="Théière"]An easy question to answer [:)] thin above ground liners will be even more susceptible to over heating 28+ C so will loose the plasticiser quicker and become brittle sooner.  Higher temperatures also speed up chlorine reactions and cause greater evaporation, so a bit more of everything. As you have specific needs you could if budget allows consider a different above ground pool that can take hotter water, easily up to another 20 deg C (50 deg C in total) [/quote] Yes, if I were starting from ground zero I probably would go for a different pool (or at least investigate one with a thicker liner) but the kit is sitting in the barn - and has been now for some 4 years, during which time this back problem has sort of crept up on her - so we're stuck with it! This brittleness and loss of flexibility: are we talking a couple of years? Or a couple of months?    In other words would we be likely to get a couple of seasons out of it while I research something more suitable? A hot tub isn't a good alternative, as you can't really exercise in something that shallow: far more conducive to just sitting and wallowing ! p
  17. Does anyone know if it is possible to buy online a UK - to UK rail ticket with a (French) Senior+ discount? I did try to add St P. to Bedford & ret. to my La Souterraine - Londres ticket but - quite frankly - I lost the will to live somewhere around the middle of the second hour of battling with the lamentable SNCF site. I know I'm hardly the first to discover that it is quite possible to book tickets on french trains using the DB or Belgian rail sites which -according to the SNCF site - don't exist. There is a Direct TGV service which runs from Limoges to Lille which I needed to use to get to Belgium, but the SNCF site insisted it didn't exist and I could only get to Lille via Paris. Useless piece of cyber-junk! It seems the most efficient way of planning a journey is to research it using foreign sites, then troll to the station, queue, queue a bit more, then debate your needs and findings with a booking clerk. France in the 21st century ! What rail sites do the rest of you use? p
  18. I'm finally getting round to installing our oval above-ground pool. I say 'above ground' but in fact it will be completely surrounded by decking, practically to the height of the coping rail. My wife has a chronic spinal condition which responds to gentle exercise in warm water, and - while I'll never be able to afford a proper hydrotherapy pool - I'm sure she's likely to use this one more frequently - and benefit from it - if the water is warm (say 33C?). Heating it per se is not an issue with a bloody great wood boiler the other side of the barn wall, and since it's a new installation, I can site it on and clad it with high density insulation panels to keep the losses down, and obviously, the better the cover the less heat/evaporation losses. My questions concern the effect of a higher temp on the life of the liner, and does it use up the chlorine faster at a higher temperature, or is it simply the UV ? There's probably some other insurmountable opportunity I'm missing....
  19. [quote user="Pommier"]I have to own up that when I was working and the password had to change every month (and not to the previous month's password) mine was the first three letters of the month, followed by the year. I don't think it was just me either![/quote] That sound horribly like the BBC. I could never get my head round why the system was entirely safe on day 27, but so insecure as to need everybody to change their password on day 28. I discovered that  - although there was a minimum number of characters - there appeared to be no maximum number, so I just added words. So what started as 'summertime' ended up as 'summertimeandthelivingiseasyfisharejumpingandthecottonishigh' And we all recognize the workings of 'the law of unintended consequences', whereby after about month 5 no sane human can remember the damned thing so you write it on a post-it and stick it to the side of the monitor. Sorted ! Frequent changes make a system less secure, not more. p
  20. Thanks.  After hours of downloading and pressing DVDs of varioua drivers onto the reluctant beast (in much the manner of trying to get a toddler to eat vegetables) I've finally got the on-board sound to work (thank you Realtek!) but the network driver still remain a foreign land. I'm awaiting a delivery of a new wireless card which will, at least, come with its own drivers cd, so I might eventually manage to actually drag the damned thing into the 21st century! We'll see.
  21. I've acquired a bare-bones pc with a Foxconn N15235 motherboard which needs drivers and - predictably - the Foxconn website doesn't list that model any longer for support. Is it possible to discover the chipset details/version from the software anywhere when running XP (or some ext programme) or is it only possible by examination of the motherboard itself? (Don't you just love the word 'acquired' ? Always seems to carry faint overtones of something vaguely underhand !) p
  22. [quote user="NormanH"]I can't help on the laptop, but what I don't understand is that the Freebox V5 and V6 have two boxes which communicate using a plc via the mains, so you should be able to get through your wall problem with that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebox [/quote] Freebox V4c   1 x  ADSL in, 1 x Ethernet RJ45 out, 1 x USB out, 1 slot for a PCMCIA wireless card. Oh, and I borrowed a friend's pair of ethernet plugs and the signal - even on a single phase system - won't get through to a socket on a different tableau (something to do with the ECLBs, possibly ??), and since I have 3 of them in this house , that's pretty much a no-no. p
  23. [quote user="NormanH"]I can't help on the laptop, but what I don't understand is that the Freebox V5 and V6 have two boxes which communicate using a plc via the mains, so you should be able to get through your wall problem with that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebox [/quote] Freebox V4c   1 x  ADSL in, 1 x Ethernet RJ45 out, 1 x USB out, 1 slot for a PCMCIA wireless card. Oh, and I borrowed a friend's pair of ethernet plugs and the signal - even on a single phase system - won't get through to a socket on a different tableau (something to do with the ECLBs, possibly ??), and since I have 3 of them in this house , that's pretty much a no-no. p
  24. [quote user="AnOther"]There is a free temperature monitor here: http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp DON'T use Core Temp 10. RC3, it installs all sorts of crapware, click on More Downloads then choose the Standalone version. Re the router yes, no reason why not. that side of it doesn't care whether it is connected to the outside world or not. If you want your machines to talk to each other you'll have to set up sharing, it doesn't just happen by magic ! How you do that depends to some extent on what version or versions of Windows you are using. [/quote] I have a collection of stuff - mostly Netgear - and a wired network all over the house. It starts in the loft with a Free ADSL box feeding a NetgearWGR614v6  4-port router off which comes a PC running XP, and another running Win7, and a NSA. Then there's a Netgear Prosafe 5-port which feeds the cables to the rest of the house.  One goes to the kitchen to another Wireless router (feeding a useless Roberts internet radio and the aforementioned hot laptop running Vista). The spare switcher I was enquiring about is for the living room which has a Panasonic TV, Blu-ray player and an Onyka A/V receiver, all of which have wired or wireless net capabilities. None of which works properly. The Onkya, for example, is happy to go on line and update it's software, and will sometimes find the NSA or the DNLA library on the Win7 machine, but won't make its own NET connection to internet radio (for example). It just reports 'server busy'. All of the above boxes (except the Prosafe) have  wireless capability, but none of them manages to get beyond the confines of their individual rooms through the 50cm stone walls (100cms in some cases) Hence the need for yet ANOTHER box. In a perfect world I'd have one wireless router up in the loft, with a ERP slightly lower than Droitwich but I've yet to read a review of any model which says "fantastic wireless performance: the signal blasts thru 4 foot of concrete with no worries", which is basically what I'm looking for !  p
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