Monday, 2 June 2008

Geek Chic has Moved!

Go to my new blog to read my new posts on:
and 24 hours on TV!

Friday, 25 April 2008

LJ Rich Blog at Wordpress

Come and see me at where my blog is now being published.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Flash Mob at Liverpool St London (UK)

So this weekend, apart from spending time in front of my new toy (see previous post and youtube clip) , I attended my first ever flash mob on Friday. I had the presence of mind to take the camcorder with me - I've just finished editing together the footage of this crazy event that actually made the news!

I was there with MissGeeky (who played Tosh in the Sweded Torchwood S2:13 Episode), whatleydude, and various others - after the event, we all went off to the Pitcher and Piano for the celebration of a job well done.

Have a look at the footage, embedded here

(RSS readers/can't see the Vid? Click here)

Bar staff kindly placed Rick's Finest on the jukebox - not sure they realised what was going on, and certainly when 30-40 of us sang along (some with lyric sheets) it did look mighty strange. City workers and pub regulars looked on with a mixture of bemusement and intoxication, which made the encore thoroughly worthwhile, especially when people started to join in.
... as for Flash Mobbing? I might have to add that to the ever-increasing list of things I'm getting addicted to.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

From Jack To Mac: A song is born

Having just emerged from my self-imposed cocoon of composition, it's now time to confess yet another addiction I have appeared to pick up in the world of technology. I've just submitted my first ever youtube clip - I've been on before, but never uploaded myself (that sounds so Matrix...)

So here it is, the youtube clip: installation, composition and production from the point of arrival at my doorstep. The chaps at Absolute Music were as good as their word, and happily the Mac Pro arrived with Logic 8 Studio fully installed, and the sound card already configured. Some might wonder where the challenge was, and I say it's enough to know how to do it, and much more satisfying to just get down and write -what a pleasure that was!

(Rss Viewers/Can't see the Vid? please click here for the link)
I made this by taking photos at every stage of installation, from opening the boxes yesterday right up to the upload a few hours ago - one of the most revealing pics is the look on my face just before I open up twitter on the browser to blog the instant happiness I felt at that point - you can see the complete contentment I'm feeling at having a system I've pretty much dreamt about for many moons. I only slept 4 hours last night, dreaming of Mac.
My last system, although state-of-the-art in 2002, was just not fast enough - the tech got in the way of composition, and the computer couldn't keep up with the kind of processing power demanded of it. It's so wonderful to be able to play with this every day - after some difficult times in the last few years, I can't begin to describe how it feels to realize such a dream that felt so far away for so long.
Or, as I put it [much more concisely] on twitter, "Woohoo!"

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Oooooh! Mac Pro in Transit!!

"Pimp My Mac" update:
I just found out how heavy the system I've ordered is...

Mac Pro : 30kg
Mac Screen: 25kg
Fireface 800 Soundcard: 3kg
...this thing weighs more than I do!! It's a monster!
Tomorrow is M-Day. I can't wait.

Thanks to for the lolcat above, and thatcanadiangirl for introducing me to lolcats in the first place... it turns out that cats (and other animals/children) can actually caption their own pics, although the spelling/grammar is generally a bit off (because cats etc don't normally type?) Anyhow, it's an incredibly amusing site. I have wasted an entertaining amount of time here and humbly warn you of the dangers of clicking through and voting on each of these pictures; you may notice huge swathes of your day disappearing.
I also got my moo cards today which I'll be taking with me to various events and occasions... I might take a pic of them and post them up here when the mac fever dies down somewhat...

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Snow Day in April

Sometimes the unexpected happens - take this morning, for example - on opening the window, the view that greeted me was like a picture postcard from somewhere much more expensive than East London.
There is something so cleansing about urban snow, I'm not sure what - perhaps it's the acoustic effect of laying a blanket of absorbent material across normally loud and jarring city noises, or the mental concept of the world looking soft and fresh and ready to reboot - all I know is that the feeling I got from this scene was unfamiliar to me. I felt... tranquil.
I did my stint on TV yesterday, just before the snow started. In between shows, I had a nice big plate of Chinese food with one of the camera operators, then a lovely cup of tea with Keeley from Elemis in the QVC cafe. We talked about the new social media aspect of the Internet and managing your online reputation.
Tonight I watched the last episode of Torchwood season 2. Don't worry, no spoilers. Blimey though, what a finale, can't wait for the next season... makes what I get up to on TV rather tame...
And so, to this week - with great unexpected joy, it seems that my diary is gloriously, wonderfully, deliciously empty apart from a mad dash round London town on Wednesday. I can't wait - it's the perfect week to get some admin sorted while chugging through Season 3 of DS9 (for my sins - Star Trek keeps me in one place while I enter stuff into MS Money, and as I didn't see them all first time round, it's all I have). I'll also try and get some gadgety video stuff filmed for internet release as well (watch this space), but - most unexpectedly of all - I might just attempt this thing called "tranquility" before the frenzied madness kicks back in. Wish me luck.
"Pimp My Mac" Update: Proper obsessives modding their Mac computers: witness a golden mac, a demon mac, and some serious paint jobs, I'm excited now, counting the days in an almost disproportionate manner.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Qype Party Last night

This is a picture of me first thing in the morning, after only 1/2 cup of coffee and a croissant, here at the Social Media Cafe...

Last night was the Qype Party - I met up with Annie Mole, Rob (who was hosting the party), Mr Blue Sky, Lloyd and Darika, among others - all clutching our raffle tickets with undisguised excitement, as prizes ranging from the biggest Chupa Chup in the western hemisphere to posh chocolates were up for grabs.

I was incredibly chuffed to have my restaurant review selected as "London Review of the Day" on Qype's site yesterday, and I've just been Qik'ed around the croissant table (as it were), involving video phones and a chance to talk about this very blog, so hello, if you've come from Qik!
Around the croissants, I'm sitting with Judith, Robert and Gondul chatting about whether Stargate Atlantis is better than Stargate SG-1, or vice versa. This conversation stemmed from an email I received a week ago from a viewer - and it appears to be more complex than first thought - the general consensus is that post-O'Neill, Atlantis is better, but the discussion rages on...
Mac Pro update: My lovely new Mac is going to be suitably "pimped" after the chassis arrives at the depot on Monday - it's also been suggested that along with the indecent amount of ram and hard disk space, I actually add some serious bling in the form of big gold chains and Swarovski crystals around the optical drive, but that might be going a bit too far, what do you think?

See you on telly tomorrow evening! lots of love, LJ x

Monday, 31 March 2008

Geek Chic: Dream Machine on its way!

Happy Days! I have ordered a seriously ridiculous music studio which is currently in the post - it's been a good few years since I've upgraded my then-state-of-the-art steam- and pedal-powered music computer, so I can't wait for my Mac Pro, stuffed with Logic 8 to play with. I'm going to be in a pleasurable compositional vortex once this baby arrives, so it's now a race to get everything else sorted in advance of my delivery! My first system was at the time, a top specced PC system, however my friend and LBC Radio host Anthony Davis would be delighted to see I've gone over to the dark side.
I must confess, it seems like I should have bitten the bullet a long time ago and bought my dream system, but I think part of it is having enough faith to put your money where your mouse is, which is what I've just done - incredibly frightening, but necessary. Thinking about it, the other part of it was not spending on anything frivolous for a year to save up enough dosh. I'll keep you posted on the spec, as the nice people at absolute music in the UK are hopefully taking pics of the machine as they are customising it, so I can post the piccies here.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Three and Out Review - Movie Screening Last Night

Last night I met up with Brian Pigeon's PR agent, Lisa, Madame Miaow and Annie Mole (of "Going Underground" fame) - the latter being responsible for us all meeting up for a popcorn-stuffing, Revel Russian Roulette*-fuelled few hours sitting in the dark, or "going to the cinema" as it's normally called.

This was a preview screening of "Three and Out", a film about a driver on the London Underground. On a slight tangent, why is it that even a "small" popcorn is absolutely gargantuan in size? Who on earth decreed that it's almost mandatory to nibble at vast quantities of packaging material whilst our brain is otherwise occupied with visual images? Perhaps there's some big recycling drive between Odeon Cinemas and Royal Mail that we're so far not aware of? I'm pretty certain it was Brian's PR who referred to popcorn as "Polystyrene" last night, and quite frankly, that's what started this whole thought process - not that I don't enjoy absently shovelling it in along with the rest of the audience, but I digress (as usual). Back to the movie - we have taken our seats to watch this British-made comedy out next month - trailer below.

Mackenzie Crook, tube driver in debt, has had 2 people fall under his train in as many weeks. He is then told about the Three and Out rule: three fatalities in a month, and you're out of a job with a huge payout. This is the story of what happens next, when he meets Colm Meaney (yes, O'Brien out of Star Trek, and yes, I know he's been in Layer Cake and is an established actor outside of the Federation, but this is "Geek Chic", after all, so I had to mention it).
Being the sort of person to avoid finding out anything about a film before going to see it, it's quite a challenge to review this film and say what I thought was good about it without giving too much away. It's a strange movie - how does one produce a screenplay dealing with death which is also a comedy? Certainly, having a dark sense of humour myself (probably due to traumatic childhood experiences) I found myself warming to a film which had a bit more substance than your average rom-com.

Although I found the love interest somewhat unbelieveable (Mackenzie Crook in an uncomfortably extended sex scene (no pun intended) with a Bond girl, anyone?), there was still a great plot to accompany the now obligatory "boy meets girl" storyline and a refreshing amount of substance to Meaney's character in particular.
Tube lovers like myself will also appreciate the train driver viewpoints afforded to the filmmakers by London Transport and I did enjoy the film despite one glaring geek error which I can't prevent myself from mentioning (watch out for what sound the Dell computer makes when it boots up, Apple Mac fans).
Considering there aren't any helicopters, explosions or Kung Fu, I still think this is worth a bucket of polystyrene or two in the dark.
Three and Out is in cinemas from 25th April 2008.

*mmm, Malteser!! Noooo, coffee!!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Alien Abduction? What happened?!

My goodness, how naughty, it's been ages since I last blogged... I can only apologise wholeheartedly and hope that the pictures below will help somewhat... these are from the long-since attended Spinvox ICA 60th Anniversary party a million years ago, i.e February.

These images are from Peter Serafinowicz's talk that evening about his most treasured posession, which is a very strange encyclopaedia called the Codex Seraphinianus filled with fictional drawings of pretend things that don't exist, along with a completely made up language as a commentary.
Actually, this was the fateful night I met up with whatleydude, annie mole, thatcanadiangirl and some other amazing Blogging types - it was lovely to meet a bunch of crazy tech-heads who are also passionate about the fabulous world of electronic paraphenalia. We discussed tech with the enthusiasm of the deeply faithful, which led to me wondering if this technophilia is an addiction...
I read somewhere that people who have a great love of rollercoaster rides (I'm definitely one of these!) could indeed have a kind of chemical imbalance in the brain, which gets "righted" when we are screeching through the air, preferably up-side down, swearing and feeling our vision darkening at the corners... ah, only a few days to go until the great British Theme Parks are open again...
Gadget-wise, I've been playing with the Creative XDock Wireless system which is a very snazzy iPod sender/receiver set which allows you to control your iPod in your bedroom, even though it's actually in the lounge - that's play/pause etc, not just listening to your music. The device itself has a sleek finish, and used with the Gigaworks T20 speakers, the sound quality is incredible.
I've also been tinkering with JVC's DVD network player, the Sophisti DD system - which has virtual back-surround speakers, meaning no need to trail wires around the lounge (unless you really want to). It is quite a feat to set this up - not difficult by a long stretch, but takes a while plugging all the wires in. The thing is, like lychees, the fuss is certainly worth it, as the speakers kick out a nice amount of sound, and happily there is a powered subwoofer in the DD3 system, along with some rather clever dialogue-friendly speaker technology.
Until then, enjoy what's left of the crazy bank holiday weather remnants - (for those of you reading this overseas, it was "The first day of Spring" this weekend, and in London we had snow, hail, rain and perhaps some sun - almost biblical) - and I promise to be back soon with some more random ramblings.

Friday, 29 February 2008

Reality TV follow up mini-blog is currently showing a clip of that reality TV event I attended at BAFTA a few weeks ago - I'm not sure how long it's up there for, but for people who read my earlier blog about the surreal nature of people like Kelvin Mackenzie and Greg Dyke talking about how reality TV is shaped, I promised to put a follow-up on this blog, so here it is - I must confess it made me see TV very differently. Click the speaker if there is no sound.... and I'll be back with a proper report on the Spinvox ICA 60th Anniversary report soon!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Brushes with the Rich and More Famous!

Now here's something that doesn't happen every day... it's a picture of me in OK magazine!! how exciting, apart from the fact that a) this was from 2005, a million years ago, and b) there's an errant bit of hair in my face...

Ah, that short brush with tabloid fame and such a long time ago.... thank goodness I can redeem myself tonight, and get glammed up to attend the ICA's 60th Anniversary Gala dinner... I will be leaving shortly after the systems failure in the Wardrobe Registry gets debugged i.e. I decide what to wear.

I'm going to grab my JVC Everio camcorder just in case anything exciting happens, it should fit into my TARDIS-style handbag along with the vast amount of other electronics that generally accompanies me everywhere. Thank goodness I have a powermonkey to plug into, which makes things a little greener.
[...someone performed a Random Act of Kindness on me the other day and touched my heart.]
Tomorrow I'll be off to Bournemouth to do some filming in my capacity as Tech Girl on the Telly - but rest assured, I'll report back from this fabulous occasion, probably on the train back home if I finish processing my emails... which reminds me, if you read my "extreme" blog a few weeks ago, I went off to that club Guanabara in the end, and the London School of Samba gave a live performance, which was incredible - I'll post up some pics of that as well.
...and don't forget to visit my latest Q&A session on Virgin's page! love, LJx

Monday, 11 February 2008

New Year, Different Difference?

A slightly belated "Happy New Year" to you, Chinese and/or otherwise. The picture on the left is Twilight on Gerrard St, London, which is the main drag of Central London's Chinatown area. The place looks magical, with lanterns swaying in the breeze attached to absolutely every possible stationary object. New Year fills us with optimism, that this time, things will be different; we will be different.

On my way to the gym this morning, I remember reading a statistic saying 97 % of all people who make New Years resolutions break them - 8 % of the total actually break those resolutions in the first 10 seconds, and it is with this thought in mind that I'm feeling pretty proud of myself about making my way to the gym on this freezing occasion, a full 1 months and 11 days into the UK's new year. But this was not a new year's resolution - I decided to join a gym in September.

Why did I not pressurise myself with a New Year Resolution this year? Because with an NYR, I'll get 364 chances to fail - guaranteeing that every time I don't reach my expected goal, it's time to resign myself to endless telly, feeling dejected about the sheer mountain of unfinished business shouting for attention, and hoping that next year will be different.

So today, I'm going to challenge the popular assumption that an arbitrary day, zero hour, "wipe the slate clean on Day 1" mentality is the only way to get back on the self improvement train, and say instead that any day, at any time, when we make a conscious decision to do something different, that's when persistence, determination, and that elusive, sparkly feeling that we're "on our way" is a great and just reward.

Like many people, I'm interested in goal-setting, personal development and self-improvement, and writing down my goals and aims helps me to focus more. (If you're looking for a goodie, I humbly suggest Getting Things Done, which I overhauled my life with a year or two ago). Last time I did this was in November - not conventionally a month for that sort of thing, unless it's your birthday, perhaps.
Be Excellent to Each other!
Anyhow, this week I received some interesting emails, including one from the BBC, one from a short film producer, and the continuation of an exciting music project I'm currently sworn to secrecy about. All of these emails represent a move in the right direction - and I have to confess it's all a little bit scary. I know I'm on TV already, which is a massive achievement, but these projects represent quite a big leap and I wonder why taking that step into the unknown brings up such feelings of vulnerability, even though what I want most in the world is to be knee deep in Music, TV and technology for the rest of my days.

I'm beginning to realise that the big change for me this day, 15th February, is that it's time to be ready for the next level, which I've spent my whole life preparing for, so this year is as good as any. It's time for all that hard work to be translated into amazing opportunity, and although it's a petrifying concept, I think I can handle it. So Happy New Day to you, dear reader, and wherever we go, let us go boldly, as a certain Starship Captain or two might say. Live long, and Prosper.

lots of love, LJ x
spoken through SpinVox tweaked by LJ

Friday, 1 February 2008

I'm on TV Right Now!!!

I'm sitting on set with Gary, the floor manager, with about 18 minutes till I go back on air! Talk about taking advantage of free wireless internet :-)

I've decided to try and blog from more unusual places after I met someone whose cousin's husband is currently aboard the NASA space station (you can see him here). As I can't get into space right now, I thought I'd settle for a live television studio instead.

Studio 4 is, for once, warm - it's usually closer to absolute zero here, due to some incredibly zealous air conditioning. I've just come from Central London to do a quick show about MP3 players and I'll be going back out to a Brazilian club called Guanabara after I've packed up.

Wow, that sounds really exciting - it's the first time I'm going out dancing in ages, so I'll try and take a few pics of the place so you can see it too.

Right, James the producer has just said there are two minutes until I'm back on air, so I'd best get myself ready, and post like the wind... Rock and roll!!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Reality TV and Poptarts

"I had an amazingly strange night last night starting at BAFTA where I attended an event called "Truth or Dare: The Reality of Television" which pitted a selection of imaginary reality TV scenarios to the likes of Greg Dyke, Kelvin MacKenzie and a host of other high-up TV producer types. After being exposed to what *really* goes on behind the scenes in a Reality TV show (there will be a follow up blog on this I think), I then went off to actually appear on live TV (QVC UK in this case) at 1:00 in the morning - which was a very surreal thing to be doing, especially after the televisual wool had been firmly pulled from my bleary, overtired eyes.

... so I got back to the house at 3.00 am and woke up at around 1100 - (it's OK, any self-respecting technology journalist is allowed to wake up whenever they want, after all, "online" is a 24-hour city) ... and here is where you join me, speaking this blog whilst trying to work out how to optimally toast a chocolate pop tart that my friend Ivy sent me from me from Seattle, USA. In case you're interested, my aim is to warm it through, but not burn it, and (geek that I am) I'm trying to calibrate the exact number at which to set the toaster. In case you're still interested, it appears to be 2.5.

In case you haven't realised from the (undeniably) creative procrastination above, I've got a few days to myself this week and I don't have to be on TV until Friday night. Today I'll be talking to a journalist from The Times (UK) about mobile blogging and technology in general (I'll link to this in my next blog), then after a spot of Facebooking (is that a word?), I'll probably beach myself in front of some reality TV after all, as there's no Stargate Atlantis.

Speak to you soon, it was lovely to check in."
spoken through SpinVox, tweaked by LJ

Thursday, 24 January 2008

I wish I was Hiro from "Heroes"...

... because if I just concentrated really hard, I'd suddenly have a whole glut of time - then there'd be half a chance of completing the gargantuan schedule of errands, documents, and general odds and ends well before this weekend - you see, on Sunday I'll be on the telly for around 24 hours and therefore unable to do anything apart from drinking copious amounts of coffee and wrestling with AV cables, which is why the sudden rush.

So, I've decided (in the time-honoured "Let's play Minesweeper" tradition) to post a little bloggette (is that how you spell it?) on the art of procrastination instead. In honour of this, I will now decide exactly what font to use for this article.
Right, After a few minutes of deliberation, I have decided to use the same font anyway.
I am, as you possibly know, a fully paid up geek -I actually had a conversation on the phone this morning with a business colleague about the fact that the number "42" was mentioned in Stargate Atlantis the other night - they agreed it was a humorous reference - we both snorted appreciatively.
Apart from the encyclopaedic knowledge of sci-fi and pointless but amazing trivia, my geekiness is displayed with superhuman skills when it comes to organisation and recall... although this streak comes in useful when I'm reviewing technology (I actually do read the manual - and enjoy it), I also get far too much enjoyment from colouring in the cells in Excel, so it's a constant left-brain/right-brain battle for me.
This week I amazed some people at work because I have absolutely NO desktop icons OF ANY KIND on my laptop's Desktop display, as I like things to look neat and tidy.
On the other hand, at the moment (this is where the title of today's blog comes in) my Real World Desktop is currently invisible under 25 items inventoried below for your "pleasure":
  1. many DVDs of varying importance
  2. promo bags from CES (Alienware, UA, Panasonic)
  3. contact lenses (unused)
  4. Sharpie Markers (wide, black)
  5. keyboards (Creative Prodikeys music keyboard)
  6. microphones (one for Skyping, one for Singing Vocals)
  7. business cards (copious quantities from CES, mostly entered into my system)
  8. handbag (why??)
  9. dri-wipe marker (there's a bit of velcro on its side -probably from before it emigrated...)
  10. Belkin USB hub (rotating 4-port)
  11. some post-it notes (these appear to be from an infinite source, I can't remember buying this many)
  12. a 15cm ruler (blue, transparent)
  13. Wacom Graphics Tablet (pen resting on groove)
  14. Galileo thermometer (showing 25 degrees Celsius)
  15. Musician's Union Newsletter (unread)
  16. Ergostation and Laptop (this bit looks quite organised)
  17. Receipts (Marks and Spencer, Muji, Borders)
  18. Nokia phone for review (with box)
  19. indeterminate USB cables (who knows what the other end fits into?)
  20. JVC Everio Camcorder (on telly with this over the weekend)
  21. PDA cover (I was looking for this)
  22. phone bill (laughable)
  23. notepad (inedible, medical-style scrawl)
  24. towering pile of paperwork (terrifying)
    and of course,
  25. nice cup of tea that I'm drinking (now lukewarm and therefore undrinkable)
Let's keep the RW desktop a secret, boys and girls. It'll all be back to normal next week, once I've completed the editing for two videos - one for Virgin Media about the future of gaming (I'll post a link here when it's done) and one for this weekend (which I'll upload to Youtube in advance of the airing for anyone who wants a sneak preview). Meanwhile, if you need any post-it notes, just let me know :-)

Monday, 14 January 2008

Back in Blighty - Back to Work

So I've finally returned back to the UK, absolutely tired out, and completely and totally culture shocked by the craziness that is Las Vegas and the ridiculousness that was CES.

I found out that there were 2 million square feet of exhibition space of which I probably only managed to get across a fraction- and even then that was with incredibly hard work and very, very, very comfortable shoes.

For now I'm back in the UK - once I've finished unpacking and sorting through my email, I'll be spending time getting ready to talk about JVC's MG330 HD camcorder on QVC UK . For the purposes of this blog, and for general curiosity, I've found out that a) QVC is the biggest electronics retailer in the world, b) Marco Polo House, where the studio is, was named after real broadcasting Satellites in Space and c) the UK arm reaches 21 million households, which explains why people come and chat to me in really odd places like Milton Keynes British Rail Station.

Actually, it's great fun when people come and say hello most of the time - although I once got recognised at a certain large 24hour supermarket at 3am buying Imodium - that's the not-so-glamorous side of life in the public eye - "Hi LJ, how are you? Oh, not too well I see" was the gist of that particular conversation.

On the plus side, when I was flown over to QVC in America, where it's the 5th most watched channel in the States, I went to the mall the day after the show, and someone came up to me and said "Wow, you're that videogame girl from England!" - that made my week!

So I'll be broadcasting live for 24 hours on the 27th January and it will feature JVC's hard drive camcorder that I took around CES with me to Vegas. So that should be quite fun. It's still quite surreal chatting away to my phone and I really am enjoying this blogging service, it has to be said. SpinVox might even come over and film me doing this which should be even more fun, although I don't think it will be very telegenic to have SpinVox film me doing what I'm doing right now which, at the moment, is my laundry :-)

I can't believe it's already halfway through January... I'm in the studio with Graham Wood working on some exciting music projects, and this week I'll pop over after the initial recording session to do what is known in the trade as "Tweakage" - I'll also be composing a mini ident (that's about 3 seconds of music) for a digital device, which is always exciting, as I love to take into account the acoustics of the device, and what it looks like before working out what tune it should have!

spoken through SpinVox tweaked by LJ

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Lost at The Venetian in Vegas

Take a look at the picture on the left - what really got me is that I wasn't outside, I was on the 3rd floor of the gargantuan Sands Expo / Venetian Mutant-Sized Hotel Complex.

So I spent today at the Billboard Digital Music Seminar at CES. If you add 8 hours of interesting interviews about the state of the music industry, together with (for some reason) air conditioners in the conference room set to "superconducting", and a quite frankly impressive amount of coffee, I was not just disoriented, I was M&S disoriented.

Just to give you an idea of how odd it is to happen upon a mini Venice, this is the back view that I came from. It's not enough that you're wandering around St Mark's Square, eating gelato and hearing opera music piped through the hidden speakers - to make it even more italian, the gondoliers are all accomplished singers, warbling sweetly as they punt you around the man-made canal.The more I see of this city, the more I'm falling in love with it. It's so bonkers, I feel more normal.

Last night, I bumped into a whole bunch of female gamers, one of whom had the same birthday as me. We're chatting in the taxi queue, and then we're in a taxi to Caesar's Palace, where we go to a place called Pure, a very exclusive club. I wish I could have stayed there, but, dear reader, I had to get back to do some editing, dedicated as I am to the cause.

I tried my hand at Craps tonight, and appear to have quite the knack of throwing the dice - I'm still amusingly foggy over the rules of this baffling game, but I put 20 bucks on the table, and walked away with 32 - yes, the last of the big spenders, but I'd rather spend my money on the coffee so I can make the most of my last few hours here. By the way, today's vid is TV with a twist. Catch it at, or type "LJ Does Vegas" into Youtube and do please write something nice after you've seen it!

p.s. Here I am at 2am watching FileZilla do its thing from the hotel. I love the fact that because there are over 180,000 geeky tech folk converged in one place, myself included, we're all trying to get online, all the time. The internet connection is pitiful :-) I also love the fact that the queue for Starbucks downstairs in the morning is amusingly long - every time I stand in it, I wonder if there would be the same queue for coffee if there was some kind of holistic health show on instead. I swear, caffeine is the drug of choice for the tech industry. Apparently, the coffee place in the convention centre actually ran out of beans on the first day of the conference, they'd underestimated the caffeine consumption of a bunch of techies by quite a large margin ! Right, I'm *really* going to bed now. Goodnight.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

PC Building, Overclocking and CES Mania

It's Day 2 of CES, and I am still shellshocked by the whole thing... not only did I attend Tiger Direct's annual PC building race last night - I left there with a PC building apron and a great bit of footage! That's already on Virgin's site. This was like a modern-day gladiatorial event, with some of the audience shouting so loudly, I could feel the sound vibration going right through my camcorder!

I then went on to Corsair's Pirate Party, which was even more surreal that I expected - there I got to chat with Fugger and Kingpin, two of the world's premier overclocking afficionados.

They talked me through exactly what overclocking involves, and then showed me a computer that looked like it might have been built by the Borg. I'm FTP-ing the footage across right now, while I'm in the "Blog Pit" in the Sands Convention Center, Vegas, before recording some audio voiceover material in the booth to go with the piece.

To have a look at the video footage, which will probably be available tomorrow, UK time, just head on over to

Monday, 7 January 2008

Vegas or Bust

It's crazy out here! I'm at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show - and it hasn't even started yet, and I'm already overwhelmed. Nothing you see on the telly can truly prepare you for the opulent experience that is Las Vegas. Mix that with gadgets and I'm in a very happy place indeed. That, plus the fact that the hotel I'm in has a sushi bar downstairs that is absolutely incredible.

I've just been trimming footage for my video blog with Virgin Media, which should be reachable here: and it's taking a lot longer than I thought - I got off the plane and haven't stopped since, there's so much to look at, and hopefully the vid will give you a taster of the gadget banquet that is CES.

Tomorrow (today!) I'm going to the Yahoo! keynote speech, and visiting Gibson to see their self-tuning guitar, which sounds heavenly. I once tuned someone's guitar at Stratford Platform 8 because their B string was so painfully flat, tuning was the only non-violent solution.

Currently I should be asleep, but I want to ftp those files over to Virgin so you get to see the vid at around 5pm UK time - too excited about "nearly live reporting" to sleep a full night, so I'm going to finish sending these files over, and see if I can get a quick bath and snooze in before Yahoo's keynote speech at 11am. Back soon!