IPods, Netgear (Boooo) and calendar progress. / by Neil Alexander

Well I've finally gone and taken the plunge and joined the masses. I purchased an 80Gb fifth gen IPod video from HMV yesterday. I wanted some way of being able to carry all the podcasts that I subscribe to arround with me, some are just plain audio (Martin Bailey Photography is my fave), but others like the PhotoShop User TV and Photo Walkthrough are video podcasts and my W300i just wasn't up to the task. It took too long to load music onto, the memory card is too small, and I can't get videos on there. When I'm shooting street and urban landscapes, I like to listen to music - it stops people from pestering you, and it also adds to the mood (when you've got the right tunes on obviously - previously on the W300, I had DJ Yoda's cut and paste 80's edition on repeat for about 3 weeks!). So I decided to bite the bullet and see what all this hulabaloo is about. Well stone me, I love it. Standard headphones are a bit rubbish (kept failing out of my ears), so got some Sennheiser wrap around things instead. The interface and the general ease of use are second to none. Loading it up with tunes was a breeze too. The only problem I had was with drive letters. ITunes kept coming up with an error about the IPod being in "Recovery Mode", but this was solved with a butchers at Apple Support. The most time consuming aspect of the whole process is deciding what out of the 200Gbs I have in ITunes to copy over. I am fairly confident that this little gadget is unlikely to be far from my side from now on!

Sticking with the technology for the mo, I have a Netgear SC101 network backup device that I rather stupidly purchased without researching properly some time ago. This is an ok device when it works, but when it goes wrong it is nothing short of a nightmare. Netgear support is pretty woeful too. I use this device in conjunction with Dantz Retrospect backup software to replicate stuff from my office and the wife's office into a cupboard in the spare room at home. Anyway last week the device just disappeared off the network, so after brief investigation it turned out that the power supply had failed. This replaced, and everything rebooted in the correct order (It doesn't work unless you switch everything off, power up SC101, then power up router and only then can you begin to power other devices on the network back up again!!) However to my dismay one of the drives had disappeared from my backup machine - this is where Netgear's proprietory software makes me want to scream. After endless registry editing, uninstalling and reinstalling the damn application, eventually I got the blinkin' thing to work again, but it has taken me over a week to get backup routines re-established again. Word to the wise: If you're thinking about getting a cheap network storage device - DON'T! Spend some money and get something like a Maxtor or a Buffalo Linkstation. Don't whatever you do, part with your hard earned cash and get a Netgear SC101. Really I am serious, because when it goes wrong chances are you'll end up hurling it out the window!

To the calendar.... Well I've finally finished the post processing of the backlog of images I'd shot, and narrowed them down to about 70 odd. I really need 100, but 50 will get me started. So the 70 or so that are potentials have gone to Boots for 24 hour printing at 9" x 6" so I can get a clearer idea of how they look and perform any further touch ups that may be required. I know Boots are unlikely to produce great results, but they're cheap, very close to the office and they do use Fuji paper so they wont be all that bad. Also started work on the accompanying website which will consist of a Lightroom gallery metatagged like a fury and some brief introductory text. Aim to have all live by the end of the month as am off to the Lakes early next month and plan on making as many photographs there as time and family allow! Watch this space......