A One billion pixel image

A billion pixel image (scaled considerably, obviously)

Following on from yesterday’s post about how silly the number 1,000,000,000 is I had a play in Photoshop. A few minutes of thinking and a reply on my Livejournal mirror of this blog made me decide that an image containing a billion pixels might be something semi interesting to create. Could Photoshop handle it, or would my PC crash, and just how large is the resulting image?
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A winnar is me!

What? Only 14 and a half billion other people have seen this first?! Look at that! I’m a winner! it says so! There’s only been fourteen and a half billion other winners before me, that’s how special I am.

A billion is a big number, you can’t comprehend its size. There are 61 million people in the UK, and you probably know about ten of them properly, and there is an estimated six billion people in the world. A billion is not just “a thousand million” because that’s like saying infinity is just a really big number. Here’s a graph to prove it…

Friends Reunited…

They’re getting a bit desperate I think, what with Facebook being slightly more popular

Your profile has been viewed 13 times since you last visited, make sure your profile’s up-to-date so your friends and family know what you’re up to.

Thirteen times! Thirteen whole times… since err sometime in 2003 when I first joined then thought “this is crap” and never logged in since. I have no idea what my password or login details are and don’t really care. I once got an email asking if they’d guessed my primary school correctly with every primary school in my local area listed. Not much of a guess, more a dumb search algorithm. Supposedly I also have messages from friends which I find dubious since all my friends are on other social networks.

I think their main failing was trying to charge money for people using their site. Sometimes being first isn’t always the best idea.

COD 17 : Trench Warfare, WW2 Edition

This could be you...

Last night I succumbed and installed Steam on my PC, and after upgrading my graphics card drivers, rebooting a few times and waiting all night for the Orange Box to download I have some fun things to play. The same fun things I bought for my XBox 360, but since that went a bit red-ringy the other week I don’t think I’ll be buying more 360 games any time soon.

After playing Portal for a bit and marvelling at the tearing that happens I fired up Team Fortress 2 for a bit of a go. I’ve never played it before, but it’s good fun with a nice cartoon look to it. And that got me thinking about FPS shooters…
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GPO 746 Rotary Dial Phone – Remember these?

UK GPO 746 Rotary Dial Telephone

When I was small I have memories of my grandma and my parents owning one of these phones, not that they had much choice of course since it wasn’t until the early 80s that other companies were allowed to make phones in the UK; before that it was the good old GPO’s job to rent one out to you. I took mine to bits to fix the dial, it kept sticking, and while taking it apart I took some photos which are attached to links throughout this post. Read on, this is more than a bunch of photos…
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Inspection

Just had my house inspected by the estate agency who are renting it out to me. I pointed out the damp bits and the way the TV aerial is hanging off the chimney stack. Previously they told me I’d have to pay to get that fixed, but the person who came to look said it’d be the landlord’s job to repair it.

Not that I miss having telly, mind. It’s been six months since I last watched a real TV programme. I wouldn’t even have bothered to point it out, but I did pay £200 on a freeview box and now feel somewhat obliged to get my money’s worth out of it.

Sky TV?


Sky TV?

Originally uploaded by piku org uk

Just had my house inspected by the estate agency who are renting it out to me. I pointed out the damp bits and the way the TV aerial is hanging off the chimney stack. Previously they told me I’d have to pay to get that fixed, but the person who came to look said it’d be the landlord’s job to repair it.

Not that I miss having telly, mind. It’s been six months since I last watched a real TV programme. I wouldn’t even have bothered to point it out, but I did pay £200 on a freeview box and now feel somewhat obliged to get my money’s worth out of it.

Various Updates

My car is repaired and now has the holy MOT certificate. It also cost me £500ish and ten minutes more poking with a welding torch; the new exhaust was banging against something under the car. I took it for a trip up the motorway to see if anything was improved. It’s quite nice driving a car that doesn’t vibrate, have a wobbly seat or generally feel like it’s going to fall apart at any moment. The new brakes seem to work better, although they make odd clunking noises which is probably the pads wearing in.

The Apple wireless keyboard I won on eBay arrived today, the eager ParcelFarce man half way to his van before I could open my door. It works perfectly with my N800 and it’s really funny seeing a fullsize keyboard controlling a handheld device.

Oh, the KVM switch I ordered off eBay arrived too. No more scrabbling around behind my servers to control them.

And tomorrow my new HDD should arrive and I can begin the joy of reinstalling Windows, Visual Studio, MS SQL and the whole of Ubuntu. I discovered that trying to load Visual Studio projects off a mapped network drive makes things break, and you need fiddle with things to allow features like registry access. Also I found that in MS SQL there’s a setting that needs modifying if you want to use SQL Server Authentication rather than Windows ones.

Since my chilli plants have produced an abundance of bright red chillies, I decided to do something with them. The result, after stinking out my entire house with vinegar fumes, is some pickled chillies. I will use them for something later. Hopefully the plants will continue to produce a few more peppers, even if they have stopped flowering.

Car service

Gah. My car’s in the garage having just failed its MOT, which comes as no surprise to me. It does do more miles now than it used to, and I have noticed some odd rattles and clunking noises.

The little MOT man says:

  1. The passenger side wing mirror cannot be ductaped on
  2. The disks and pads need replacing
  3. New brake fluid
  4. Number plate bulb out
  5. New Cambelt, fanbelt and retension
  6. New front tyre
  7. My driver’s seat is loose
  8. Front exhaust has hole
  9. Wheel alignment wrong

So yeah… bye bye £400ish 🙁

Time for a new car I think, but I can’t afford it so need to keep patching this one up.

At least they haven’t complained about the scuffed windscreen or said it needs an oil change and new oil filter. Or helpfully replaced my radiator water and washer water. I like it how garages charge you a fiver to drain and replace water.

I kind of expected 2, 8, 9 and 6. I was gently gassing myself to death when sat at lights. One night I clobbered a large rock that’d fallen off a drystone wall. It was just lying there in the road and I had a choice between hitting it or hitting the oncoming cars.

Sodding numberplate bulbs do my nut. I check every other bulb quite regularly but always forget that one. I even have a spare set of bulbs in my car. The wing mirror is of some debate, it having been taped on for its past two MOTs, I’ve learned to ignore it and just look out the side windows instead.

My seat’s been wobbly for ages. It’s good garages don’t check irritating things like leaky sunroofs, smeary window wipers, funny smells or “sometimes it doesn’t go into reverse” since I’d be screwed!

It’ll be nice to have a working passenger wing mirror too.

I’m glad I get paid on Friday!