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Archive for January, 2010

Building a GP7A-HD Media Centre – Hardware Assembly Jan 26

Well the processor arrived from Amazon for my new Aopen GP7A-HD Nettop, so time to put it all together. A quick summary of the parts:

Aopen GP7A-HD

Part Supplier Cost
Aopen GP7A-HD BIC Camera 40000yen
Weston Digital WD5000BEVT 500gb Sata 5400rmp T-Zone DIY 7800yen
2 x Century PC3-8500/FDDR3-1066 SO-DIMM 2GB (7800 each) T-Zone DIY 15600 yen
イ ンテル Boxed Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 2.53GHz BX80576T9400 Amazon Japan 35000 yen

As you may have noticed some of this was not cheap.  I could have shaved some money off the processor, but it was quite a big improvement for the extra $50 dollars.  (100 yen is approx 1usd).

The assembly was actually a total breeze todo.  the instructions in the box are all in english.  Which strikes me as really odd given that this product was a Japan release only to start with.  Still I’m not complaining and the instructions had lost of good quality photos and clear steps to pull the unit apart and install your goodies.

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My first GP7A-HD Jan 25

I’ve been looking at getting a small PC to run the new big TV and basically take care of the media stuff.  The big system does a very good job of driving the TV, but me being me another PC would be better.

I looked at a few options and landed upon the AOpen products, and then found the new GP7A-HD which is currently only available in Japan, and maybe a few other counries now.

There is a very new product and not alot of info is available about it so I thought I would share my experience so far.

The flashy promostuff can be found here on the global AOpen site.

And the different model specs are here:

Finding the actual parts in Tokyo proved to be alot more complex that I expected.  Even Akihabara failed me here!  The ever increasing ordering online is slowly killing off Akihabara.

I printed out the shopping list of parts (from the AOpen site) which proved to a be damn good idea.  The japanese site gave a list of shops that stocked the unit.  One was Bic Camera in Ginza which is just up the train line from me so confidence was high.

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America – Go – Well whatever you want now Jan 21

Just seen today that MASS has voted in a republican senator, and that spells doom for whatever Obama was trying to do. For some odd reason democrats in the US have no backbone to standup to the republicans.

Part of me thinks, you know what let the republicans back in power. They should be able to finish the job of of making a class country in just one term. What used to drive me crazy is that the die hard republican base are the same people who will suffer under a republican government. They won’t care about those with less than them as they are too worried about how less they have.

Let me put this into another prospective. George Bush passed the bill that reduced the extremely rich taxation. Umm who exactly did that help, oh those who already had loads of money and just didn’t want to pay tax. I guess it might have helped the economy as they could afford to give bigger tips to the taxi driver. Where the fuck does give the rich a lessor tax break help the economy. I’m lost on that.

Obama has not been much better either. The stimulus appears to have gone on all sort of non substantial things. Where is the money to build bridges, trains, ports or anything that counts as infrastructure. Sure some may takes year be realised, but why are we not hearing about that.

Alas it seems my dad was right. The democratic (losely used here) wnat to do this and that to help people and not put the money into things that matter, that would be building infrastructure etc. I consider myself if you want to classify it a liberal, or probably a swing vote. Give me a good conservative argument, not pushed by lack of facts politicebs and hey I’m listening. But I’m also not that happy with just throwing money at no apparent cause.

But back to my american colleagues. you now have have the bed you made and can now sleep in. You are already owned by china so wake up and smell the yum char.

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A new look for the site. Jan 18

I was fooling around with wordpress the other day and came across the template that is now used for this site and it suited exactly what i wanted. I had been looking at using wordpress for my blog system for awhile and almost converted a few month back but Serendipity came out with a new version so I upgraded. And really there is nothing wrong with Serendipty and I loved using it, but I finally went with wordpress as it has a huge number of options.

I’ll evolve the site more now that I’ve finally switched and see where it goes. So whats up in Tokyo, well its gotten cold, but my new apartment is south facing and stays nice and warm almost all the time from the sun. I hope it won’t be horrendus in the summer! The sun will be alot higher in the sky so maybe it will balance itself out with the balcony and double glazing.

I’ve become a complete fan of double glazing. In my old place with just a single pane of glass you could stand by the window and fell the cold coming off it. Here you can’g feel a thing. After the sun goes down you can still feel the heat coming off it. Last weekend I was near the window and put my foot on the metal surround and was shocked how cold it was! Tonto and I are living in a very comfortable bubble here!

Oh, if your wondering he is curled up in a little ball in his bed. The food has kicked in so its time for a sleep. Although it will be walk time soon and I’m sure he will be ready for that.

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Where is the Aid Jan 15

Well apparently half of what you donate to the red cross is going somewhere completely else.  I went to contribute to the aid in Haiti via the red cross and got this on the web site.

Your contribution will be attributed to all our activities in Haiti, approximately half of the budget for which will be dedicated to the victims of the earthquake.

what the frack is that about?  I’m off to find another place to give my money to.  all they have to do is contribute 51 percent of my money to help and they will be far better than the red cross.

Does the word shame mean anything?

The Tyranny of Freedom Jan 07

Over the last year I’ve been hearing alot about Tyranny and Freedom, often mixed into the same sentence.  I’ve heard similar topics going home.  They all seem to condense down to that key issue:

If you don’t agree with everything I believe and want then you must be a

(a terrorist, liberal, conservative, progressive, homosexual, straight, immigrant, Arab, Asian, western, environmentalist, (put here anyone you disagree with), Christen, Islamic, Jewish, just keep putting more, cos I’m our out, or rather can’t be bothered listing more, there is so many that people want to object to.(oh, we could start on color as well, but my point is now made).

What happened to just being different from someone else, because if you really think about it we are all uniquely different from each other.  Nearly all of us have different DNA.

I think in a way the modern media is responsible. I won’t use the word blame as the new world of instant communications and access to world events is just a natural evolution of where we are as a species.  We now have near instant access to all the information we could possible want to feed our fears, and unfortunately there is no shortage of people or information that is quite happy to feed this.

In my early life time there was limited communication and you really had to go out of your way to find information that may feed your specific paranoia.  now its just search and click. 

What i think is a little sad is that its just so readily available now.  Want to hate your neighbour for mowing his lawn in a diagonal well fine the site and there it is a how community for you.

more after the fold

In Memory of Steve Wyatt Jan 04

Well 2009 is over and all I can say glad its gone.  It was overall not a very good year, and just before it ended there was one last low punch.

I got back from a wonderful Christmas with my family in NZ to the news that a very good friend of mine was in hospital in a serious condition.  24hours later the next call was that he had passed away.

Steve was one of those very rare friends that you acquire if you are lucky. I first met him when he interviewed me for a job at my current company.  We become friends shortly after, and then very good friends after that.

While I left the UK I never stopped talking to him and we became even better friends over the distance.  He became unwell while I was still in the UK and went on medical leave.  What he had eventually took his life, but he fought all the way.

I hope in the next few days to be able to return to the UK to say goodbye properly to a very dear friend.

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