Rummage through this blog

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Review: The A.I. Gene

The A.I. Gene The A.I. Gene by Vaughn Heppner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A worthy continuation from where book 1 left off, I think the Solar League activities feel heavily of subplot and what they do feels rushed so the outcome always feels like a foregone conclusion.

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Review: A.I. Destroyer

A.I. Destroyer A.I. Destroyer by Vaughn Heppner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A well thought out concept for a new type of threat to mankind, I found the story difficult to get into to start with but later did want to keep reading.

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Monday, 23 October 2017

Friday, 20 October 2017

Wivelsfield Fireworks

Wivelsfield Big Bang Fireworks display.

First attempt at a long video, the camera does struggle with auto-focus (no idea how to turn off on video, clearly necessary) and the volume but better than nothing :
Wivelsfield Big Bang 2017

Monday, 16 October 2017

Review: Arkana

Arkana Arkana by James David Victor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So the scene is set, characters almost fully formed and it's all over. 4 books which between them make what would normally be a thin novel, should never have been delivered as separate books.

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Review: Star Chaser

Star Chaser Star Chaser by James David Victor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Really? This was a bit thin on the ground plot and event wise even for a chapter, the characters and writing aren't engaging enough.

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Review: Daikon

Daikon Daikon by James David Victor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed another chapter, unfortunately with 2 books to go it looks like this makes about half a book in total.

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Review: Zenith

Zenith Zenith by James David Victor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyable space marine romp my only problem is that shortly before the characters begin to grow on you the book ends so is much more a chapter than a book.

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Review: Zenith

Zenith Zenith by James David Victor
My rating: 0 of 5 stars



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Today is the day

Today is the day that negative-barometer.info dies, two sites & two charges just doesn't make sense when I so infrequently create any internet utterings.

Posts have been migrated here and the site dropped.

Review: Z 2136

Z 2136 Z 2136 by Sean Platt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the series and it's good to reach an ending.

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Review: Z 2135

Z 2135 Z 2135 by Sean Platt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable read.

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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Alamy test load

Here are the pictures I test loaded to Alamy, there appears to be a several hour delay before pictures appear for sale on their site, inspite of the dashboard saying they are for sale.


View from Copacabana beach
Fairground ride @ Wivelsfield Green Village Day, Red Car
Fairground ride @ Wivelsfield Green Village Day, Prancing horse

 The Alamy "My Alamy Homepage" link for your own website also only generates a page that is a search box but has a web link to all of your pictures, a bit clunky but turns out to be easy enough to improve upon,  I don't image many people want a link that just goes to a search box.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Alamy

Today I have successfully submitted my first three photos to Alamy.com, it took a second attempt because my first try was rejected with a notice that my camera was of insufficient quality.

To be fair while I liked the picture that caused the rejection I did realise after that it was taken with my Oneplus 3T phone and whilst that takes much better pictures than previous phones (my Samsung S3 mini took photos difficult to differentiate between a car and a house at more than 10 paces) it is still a phone on a camera and they simply don't have a sensor of sufficient size to make the grad.

 The next step was keyword in / adding tags,  which appears to be a test of numbers and without putting silly tags in I have resigned myself to "poor discoverability" but there are only so many things I can say about a picture of a wave.

If I could say a lot more then taking photos would be the wrong business to be in. I will add more as time goes on but in the meantime enjoy the starter set :
  Stock photography by Chris Page at Alamy

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Review: Eight Minutes

Eight Minutes Eight Minutes by Lori Reisenbichler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It isn't a bad book, it is well written but too long for the premise and it is probably that which makes it predictable.

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Review: Devil's Guard Blood Snow

Devil's Guard Blood  Snow Devil's Guard Blood Snow by Eric Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's entertaining, not the greatest war story ever but certainly readable and worth continuing. No zombies.

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Review: Die Another Day

Die Another Day Die Another Day by Baileigh Higgins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book, the story has gotten stronger, disappointing to get to the end and the next book isn't ready yet... Due about now.

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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Review: Iron Wind

Iron Wind Iron Wind by Anthony J. Melchiorri
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable near zombie stories - new twist, books are as close to books as I have seen for a while - natural split and sensible size, not 1 book per chapter. Enjoyed and got to the end and the story actually stops at a natural place and does not need another book which is a good ploint of closure. Well done.

Not a zombie in sight but decent baddies.

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Review: Deadrise

Deadrise Deadrise by Anthony J. Melchiorri
My rating: 0 of 5 stars



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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

Wivelsfield Village Day 2017

Rain stopped play about half way through the day but some pictures from the time I was there https://www.flickr.com/photos/57646862@N06/sets/72157683378923162/with/35996635201/

Review: Mercenary Courage

Mercenary Courage Mercenary Courage by Ruby Lionsdrake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Still an enjoyable series.

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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Review: Mandrake Company

Mandrake Company Mandrake Company by Ruby Lionsdrake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this, I did note that each book was a love story in a Sci-fi setting but the book came as a Sci-fi book and was enjoyable.

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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Review: Screaming Eagles

Screaming Eagles Screaming Eagles by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I guess this an early book from the author that or there really was no one willing to proof read it. To be fair the odd error isn't uncommon in todays' books particularly in the world of Kindle Unlimited but in this instance the number of errors was distracting. Added to which the theme has been a bit well used.

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Sunday, 2 July 2017

Review: Barriers

Barriers Barriers by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyed again, looking forward to the next one but annoying paying for what is little more than an extended chapter.

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Friday, 30 June 2017

Review: Reavers

Reavers Reavers by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Initially I was very disappointed in that around the first third of the book is just recounting what had already occurred in the previous books. Not sure how many people manage to leap into a series like this so seems like filler. I'm still somewhat disappointed at not a huge amount of content for the ticket price but after the half way mark the story hots up and leaves things in a good place that I did feel the need to purchase book 5.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Review: Outbreak

Outbreak Outbreak by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable post zombie apocalypse romp. Follows the standard model but feels fresh

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: Scouts Out: Books One and Two

Scouts Out: Books One and Two Scouts Out: Books One and Two by Danny Loomis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable special forces romp in space as us humans fight each other in a slightly different setting to normal. Scope is left to continue on subsequent books without it being a drag to keep reading but there isn't a book 3 yet as far as I can see.

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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Review: Alamein: The Turning Point of World War Two

Alamein: The Turning Point of World War Two Alamein: The Turning Point of World War Two by Iain Gale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An enjoyable read with a good use of fiction to demonstrate factual events avoiding the trap of dry recounting of facts like a tick list and the book is a sensible length. Definitely worth the read.

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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Stratford-Upon_Avon Butterfly Farm

Pictures from Stratford-Upon-Avon's butterfly farm, well worth a visit :

Butterflys

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Adobe Lightrom 6

Once again I would like to beg Olympus to update their Olympus Viewer software so that it is usable because Lightroom is driving me nuts again.

So I have been having a problem that appears to be getting worse where as an editing session extends in time the performance of Lightroom diminishes.

Of late I have been keyword photos, approx 700 in a catalogue of 3000, well within the alleged capabilities of the product. After a few minutes responsiveness notably drops eg clicking to select an image starts to take a few seconds to respond. This continues until Lightroom becomes unresponsive. Other programs remain entirely unaffected and processor / memory / disk appear to be responding normally but Lightroom has lost itself. Unfortunately, if I leave it too late to restart Lightroom it is impossible to kill and my PC becomes unresponsive.

I have of course updated to the latest version 6.10.1 but that has made no difference at all.

There are multiple posts online with performance problems but there is a more fundamental issue and that is the "too_many_redirects" issue preventing login to Adobe forums.

I have no tried on Windows 10 Chrome, Edge and IE and all have the same problem. I have tried changing my profile name (why would that make any difference I ask!) and that does not work. I have tried on Android and that doesn't work.

Adobe seems to have a notably interest in charging significant sums of money for professional software and then appear to be unable to back that up with professional product or support.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Conservatives

Wow, they are all at it.

I would like to do a post on the lib dems (who?) but I suspect keeping their political ambition to about half the voting populace knowing the name of their leader (Farren perhaps? ) is sufficient for this time around.

Or perhaps talk about labour (who?), to be fair that is easier as their policies except under New Labour (aka conservative) have been the same for my whole life, overspend, break the economy, perpetuate old methods of working. They do add the new dimension of just what level of destruction to themselves they can cause by the old labour world clashing with the modern and a leader who is yet to show, we'll anything positive.

But no, stick with the conservatives who are proposing, for this 5 minutes anyway, that no one will have to sell their homes for care and we will be able to not spend it all. Not sure how that will get administered and not drained away by councils. The practical note here is that this seems disingenuous to me. At present one does  it have to sell ones home to cover care costs, they can be recouped from sale on death. What the Tories have not mentioned though is that any interest rate other than below inflation is compound and hence will escalate and given the current rate is massively over inflation it is clearly designed to take all remaining wealth at a punitive rate. Good luck not paying out that last 100k.

The Greens

Today on Radio 2 I heard that the Green party has a 4 day working week in their general election manifesto.

I am interested as to how this would work and be financed. I am contracted for a 5 day week, does that mean I would be stuck with that? Would I automatically change to a 4 day week? Would I automatically lose 20% of my salary or would I be paid overtime for day 5. Is there more chance I would get acknowledgement for all the extra hours I have to do anyway?  Other full timers will be on 5.5 or 6 day contracts.

It sounds like a policy that hasn't been thought out, sounds like a vote winner to me too.

To ask practical questions though, what is the benefit for employers? Sounds like more legislation, more staff and lots of transition to me. What is the benefit to the country? We have unemployment but do we have enough unemployed with sufficient skills in the correct locations to fill the 20 to 33% additional roles, a bit of fag paper maths suggests we have nowhere near enough unemployed regardless of skill and location.

Still, a 4 day week sounds good from where I sit.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Photography lessons learned

Between us we took something approaching 2,000 photos in our 2.5 weeks sojourn in Brazil. While taking photographs is "cheap" today there certainly is a case for taking the right photo at the time to reduce post processing time.

But there are probably two other lessons.


  1. If taking photos for panoramas I need a system to clarify where a set of shots start and end to reduce trial and error.
  2. More importantly, at the start of each trip make sure all of our devices have their time synchronised just like in all the best war movies before an attack - finding photos almost randomly spread and manually trying to get them into the correct sequence is a pain.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Microsoft Windows "Creator" Update

This last week has presented me with a challenge, you see Windows 10 now automatically downloads updates. I don't think this is a bad thing but if only Microsoft could get it's act together and deliver fully tested, safe software with a real purpose, instead I was presented with a "do you want to install me now, later or shall I pester the living daylights out of you until you lose the will to live and accept" dialog box for win 10 Creator's update.

This was actually interesting because for some reason Edge had opened, I wouldn't normally go anywhere near Microsoft Edge (aka Internet Explorer untested vNext, refer to previous comments about untested product) so I must have been desperate. I still have the default home page and it had several articles saying "Microsoft don't want you to install Creator's update".

Typical, as with previous updates, Microsoft have delivered a product that can cause reboot to fail.

So days later having rebooted and shutdown successfully, navigating the nag options on the shutdown panel and repeatedly dodging the "you haven't install me yet" notifications I accidentally pressed "Update and Reboot" instead of Shutdown. See what they did there, just like in some other Microsoft products the "do something really dangerous" option is placed right next to the do nothing option.

Well, to say that install took a while would be an understatement but it finally installed and rebooted successfully.

What do I get for the trouble? Oh Paint 3D! So let's see when I first got Windows (it seems that way, it isn't though because the first few versions of Windows didn't function, bring back GEM) I loaded up Paint, discovered it was a bare bones product aimed at 3 year olds and proceeded to ignore it except for those times I needed to modify a screenshot (until Snipping Tool, Microsoft you did good there, why is it so well hidden?).

So Paint 3D, well it's like Paint (is that now "Paint Old School", "Paint 2D" or just "Paint forget I happened"?) but with some 3d shapes. It feels tantalisingly close to a product with a purpose but it isn't

Anything else worth the hours of updates on the Creator's edition? No, nothing that I have found or I have seen suggested online.

What is worse is that it seems the update is trying to shutout low powered machines which must mean making Home Theatre PCs and those cheap Windows tablets redundant - suggests Microsoft is trying to reduce its market share (or has a new operating system it hopes people will buy not having been discouraged by the last abortive attempt).


Come on Microsoft show us a reason to keep loving Windows.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Spain? April 18th 2017

Madrid, rolling hills and mild clear weather. Unfortunately  we are stuck in the terminal for 5 hours, no, the plane arrived ahead of schedule, 05:45 in the terminal.

Euro exchange rate is bad and Burger King is hideously expensive. Still no McDonald's and having not left the airport I guess we never actually reached Spain.
Madrid Airport
Flight back to Heathrow and drive back home, via, finally, McDonald's, uneventfulbut curiously for the green & pleasant land a lot less green than where we were yesterday.

Home at last.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Brazil, day 18, the final day, 17th April

Last day so down to Copacabana Beach to body surf in the waves.
Copacabana Beach
Beach is surprisingly busy
Copacabana Beach
but still we get whistled at a couple of times by the life guards, it seems that anything neck high is considered risky but then when most the the populace cannot swim no surprise.
I knew I forgot something
Final drinks back at the paderia before check out and more final drinks around the pool at the top of the hotel.

To our surprise the shuttle was on time and the journey back to the airport, passing fabulous views across to Sugarloaf and our last view of the Frigate birds soaring overhead, trouble free.

Overnight flight to Madrid, plane more spacious than the last but wish i had taken a jumper.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Brazil, day 17, Rio, 16th April

Fabulous sunny start to the day starting with a short walk along the cooling,  tree lined avenue to Urca
Avenue to Urca
where we picked up the cable car to head up to Sugarloaf Mountain
View up Urca
with its great views across the city of Rio de Janeiro
View from Urca
and across to Niteroi and surrounding cities.

Very hot on the journey down and a madcap bus ride, 581, to Corcovado, I think on one corner we were only on three wheels,  for the funicular train up to Christ the Redeemer. Just our luck he was shrouded in clouds which meant more people at the top hoping to catch a fleeting glimpse of the views.
Christ the Redeemer
Returning on another exceptional bus ride, this one with a grumpy driver and apparently zero rear suspension, smashing through every pothole raising cheers from those on board.

Time for a splash in the rough waves before dinner and clag at a local paderia with time on our return for Alex to test out the gym in the hotel.