Sunday, 14 August 2011

USB Hubs ... That change colour ?

So, you want a USB Hub to help out with those extra devices that need plugging in. Like a Digital Camera or a USB Memory Stick, but you never get around to buying one or you just make do with unplugging and plugging devices.

Well, my advice to you is to get one, it saves the hassle of running out of USB Ports. Most USB Hubs require the usage of one existing Port on you PC or Mac, but this is compensated by four or more on the Hub itself. If you are going to use just Digital Cameras, Printers and USB Memory Sticks that's fine. However, if you are using USB Disk Drives, I would recommend buying a powered USB Hub and a well known brand, like Belkin. I did buy a lesser known brand sometime ago and it suddenly stopped working. Also, USB Disk Drives that need to use two USB Ports do use, ironically, a little bit more power. So, a standard USB Hub probably won't be up to the job. I usually use a USB Port from the rear of my PC, leaving the front two Ports at the front space for USB Memory Sticks or for powering an external USB Disk Drive. While I leave you with these thoughts, check out the USB Hub video below :


I was bought this USB Hub for my Secret Santa present in December 2010, little did I know that it changed colour. So it was a pleasant surprise when it did.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Introduction and Feed the World !

Introduction ::
We all love a bit of retro, even if it is a little or a lot for some. So I'll be dedicated this Blog to Computers, Gadgets and anything modern that feels the need to be mentioned about. Whether it be a humble Mario Kart Radio Controlled Car or a bizarre USB Hub that changes colour.

Feed the World ::
In the 1980's we had crazy fashions, wild hair styles and great music, well, I think so anyway and - " Band Aid ". Yep !  With the help of it's main project leader, Bob Geldof. He got everyones mind into getting together and raising money to " Feed the World ", which of course was aimed at helping out the starving in Africa and rightly so. Many artists gathered at a studio and recorded the hit record " Do They Know It's Christmas ? ", it's haunting melody struck a chord in many hearts, but the most memorable line is by Bono from US - " Tonight thank god it's them, instead of you ! ". The original 1984 hit was set in stone. But on later versions of the song, the message was there, even if the power behind the original wasn't. 

Most Christmas compilations have the original, but very few have the Band Aid II version from 1989 :

Band II Single on Compact Disc ( front )

Band II Single on Compact Disc ( back )

There were was another version from 2004, but the less we speak of that the better. Again, not for the message, but for the mix of it. You simply can't compare it to the original and to be honest, it still stands the test of time. For more information : [ ]

Whilst all of the music industry was getting things sorted out with raising money, Computer Software Houses were doing the same. The compilation of Games was called - " Softaid " with the following contributors :

A 'n' F, Activision, Beyond, Bug-Byte, The Edge, Elite, Fantasy, Interceptor, Melbourne House, Ocean, Psion, Quicksilva, Realtime, Taskset, Thor, Virgin and U.S Gold. Other offers of support were :

Artic, Llamasoft, Micromega, PSS, Softek and Software Projects.

The above compilation is from the Commodore 64, which contained the following Games :

Side 1

Gumshoe ( A 'n' F ), Beam Rider ( Activision ), Star Trader ( Bugbyte ), Gyropod ( Taskset ) and China Miner ( Interceptor ).

Side 2

Kokotoni Wilf ( Elite ), Gilligans Gold ( Ocean ), Fred ( Quicksilva ), Falcon Patrol ( Virgin ) and Flak ( U.S. Gold )

The only slight downside to the compilation, is the fact the Counter Settings for each Game on the Inlay, are way out ! For example, Gumshoe on Side 1 starts at 049 ! Um ! I don't think so ! Try 083 and you'll find your Game will load more correctly. Okay ! Once you've heard - " Do They Know It's Christmas ? " more than once, you just want to fast forward or rewind and play ! Perhaps one reason why the Counter Settings are out so much, could be Tape Duplication Machine may have been speed set differently, thus for that reason or perhaps they were on an 1980's high and picked a number out of the air ?

All in all, it's not a bad compilation and I believe the ZX Spectrum version was equally as impressive. So here's to the next charity compilation ...