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Happy New Year!

Posted by | Posted in Festivities, Monday Mornings | Posted on 05-01-2009

OK, so I’m a bit late. Five days, in fact, but still – happy new year to you all.

I would have posted more regularly over Christmas, especially seeing as I was working every day bar the bank holidays, but I’ve had rather a lot on at the moment. After a stonking 3-day(!) hangover from New Year’s Eve, I’ve spent most of the weekend oop norf visiting some mates. All in all this Christmas and New Year has been quite good. A lot better than recent ones, I have to say. Not that the last couple of years have been bad, of course, but this festive period just seems to have been more action-packed, so to speak. Now begins the arduous task of taking down the Christmas tree…

I seem to have had a fair few downloads of my Christmas UKTA Radio set, which is a good thing. I’ve also had a bit of feedback from some DJ Forums about it, and it seemed to be fairly well received over there.

Now that it’s 2009 (already!) it’s time to start the new year’s resolutions. I guess you could say I’ve already started mine – I’ve been going to the gym regularly for a few weeks now. I have to say that the Christmas period has put me off my stride a bit, but that’s to be expected really. Time to get back on the workout wagon and start the routine again. Hopefully we don’t have too much more Christmas food knocking about to lead me astray again.

Other resolutions include learning to drive. It’s not been a major bother really, so that’s why I haven’t learnt to drive for 25 years. But I’m getting to that stage where there are certain things that I think I really ought to have done by now, and learning to drive is one of them. 2009 is going to be the “sort it out year” for me, and first on the agenda is driving. That’s not to say I could actually afford to run a car once I’ve passed my test, though. Even though petrol and diesel prices are below £1 per litre again, the cost of running a car in general is an expense that I just can’t justify at the moment. But it’d be nice to know I could drive a car if ever I needed to.

While up in North Kilt Town this weekend I took a look at a new house that a friend and his missus recently bought, and I realised just how much of a con (and a dump) my home town is. In fairness, I’ve known this for some time, but compared to some of the places I’ve seen my home town isn’t all that bad. It’s one of those places that tries to make itself seem better than it is by overpricing everything, despite the fact that most facilities etc in the area are really quite poor. Things are getting better for the town, it has to be said, but at the moment people just don’t have the money to do anything. So as much as the place might improve, if things are still too expensive, then nobody will benefit. Perhaps it’s time to relocate…

It’s Monday morning again. With the festivities being all but over, things are back to normal, which means the place will be hectic again. I don’t actually mind working over Christmas and New Year, as things are quite quiet and you can just generally get on with things. Still, Monday mornings don’t get any better. All the travelling that I went through over the weekend has basically meant that I haven’t had any time off (or so it feels like). It’s great to get out and about, but I do like my time off every now and then. It must be the old-age kicking in. It also means I haven’t had time to practice mixing for a while – and I’m starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms.

I seem to be going through a gaming phase again. I bought Far Cry 2 for a relative, although decided during the run up to Christmas that it probably wasn’t all that suitable for them as a Christmas present, and kept the game for myself (as you do). I’ve also decided (for reasons I’ve yet to work out) that I wanted to give the latest Tomb Raider a go. I haven’t played Tomb Raider since the original came out in 1996 I believe, and so after 12 years I thought the game might have improved somewhat. As it transpires, the story of the latest game is a continuation of the previous title, and so I decided to buy that first. I’ve even started to play it too, and although it’s quite good, I haven’t played it for a few days.

Instead, Red Alert 3, a Christmas prezzie I wanted, has been on the top of my list. Having got in at about 8pm yesterday, I didn’t have a lot of time to play it, but from what I can see it’s a vast improvement over the beta that I played a few months ago. And I figured out that you need to purchase upgrades from your construction yard if you want to build any fancy tanks – something I wasn’t told while being obliterated byplaying  some random guy online with the beta version…

All of this gaming talk leads me nicely onto the topic of computers. Computer hardware has always been one of those things that “comes with job”. Well, the job of Web Developer and occasional amateur gamer, that is. I’m not really into the whole hardware thing, but I’ve found that I need to know/learn a fair amount about it anyway if my PC is to be able to do the things I want it to.

Knowing about your hardware used to be all about saving yourself money when buying a new computer. PCs used to be majorly expensive (and still are if they’re good ones) and so it was always worth learning how to build one yourself because it was a lot cheaper. But as the price of PCs come down, it’s no cheaper to build your own than it is to buy one. However, if you’re the sort of person who knows exactly what they want, you’re unlikely to find a PC that meets your exact requirements when shopping for one, so you might have to alter it anyway.

My advice on the subject would be to buy a base unit (basic PC with some parts missing) and simply add in the bits that you want. That way, you get the value for money of buying a new PC ready-built (well, almost) but there are still components that need to be added, allowing you to pick and choose the exact parts you want. It works out about as cheap as it can do, for the PC that you get. Buying a fully-built PC means you can find a good deal, but won’t quite get the specs you’re after. On the other hand, building from scratch (or buying your exact specs from someone like Alienware) means you’ll get exactly what you want, but you’ll end up spending more money than you have to. But a trade-off between a ready-built, and a custom-made, PC is the best bet, both in terms of value and the end specs of the PC.

So there you have it – today’s post. I hope everyone’s new year has got off to a cracking start!

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