Had a spare few moments so thought I would blog a little with a few random thoughts….

First I need to pimp the StereoGrafiti PodShow, this is a local Manchester podcast by a guy who I worked with a few years back, Andy Goddard. It’s just a local show featuring the best of the local music scene, I have listened to a few shows already and am very impressed with the quality of the music. One of my new years resolutions is to try and get to a few gig’s, its quality stuff!

This year I decided to see what all the hype was about and try and do my roasties in goose fat! All I can say is believe the hype! They were IMHO the best roasties I have ever tasted! Soft and fluffy inside and lovely and crunchy on the outside with a nice flavor.

I also need to moan a little, over the holidays I am moving my CD collection to a digital format, ready for dumping to my new iPod. So I have been using Grip to get the music off the CD and onto the Hard Disk. So you put a CD in, Grip detects the CD, does a CDDB lookup to determine the CD, then you just need to press the button and it rip’s the stuff from the CD into your desired audio format.

What I need to moan about is the (lack of) quality of the data in the CDDB databases. For example I am currently ripping 100% Pure Groove 2, a double CD of 80’s Soul music. The 1st CD in CDDB tells me the disk title is 100 percent pure grove yet the 2nd CD in CDDB tells me the disk title is 100% Pure Grove (Cd 2). See the differences? One uses a % while the other uses the word percent, one has indicates it’s the 2nd CD of a collection the other doesn’t tell you anything. This sort of thing is typical, you can have double CD collections with different generes and years for each CD, you get single CD’s with spelling and gramatical mistakes. I know CDDB is a voluntary effort, but come on have some pride in your data people!

I am not sure what could be done to fix this apart from maybe trawling the database manually and checking for errors. I am doing my bit by resubmitting the cleaned up data. But that sort of thing annoy’s me, there is no excuse for bad data!

On a positive note, over the holidays my wife has had to do a little work for her company. So I have set her up on the LTSP Thin Client upstairs, and VPN’ed into her office. All she needs is access to E-Mail and to edit a few Office Documents, so naturally I have set her up with Evolution and Openoffice.org. She is working on an Excel spreadsheet and needed to print it out and she has just commented to me that ‘my system’ prints it better than her’s at work. What she means is that printing this Excel spreadsheet from Excelon her computer at work prints a certain range out very small and unreadable, yet printing that same Excel spreadsheet on Openoffice.org formats the print correctly in a legible size!

Openoffice.org prints Excel spreadsheets better than Excel! Score another point for Open Source!