Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Monday 30 November 2009

Bonnie Prince Charlie battle re-enactment this weekend.

This weekend, Saturday 5th December 2009 and Sunday 6th December 2009 see the return after a two year break of this annual re-enactment.

The video above is one I made of the 2006 battle on Derby Cathedral Green.

On Saturday, a camp will be set up by Jacobite re-enactors at Swarkestone, which will be overwhelmed by Redcoat soldiers loyal to King George, then retaken by the Prince's men.
Map location :

On Sunday, the Jacobite army will enter Derby, marching from the Council House down East Street and St Peter's Street and across the Market Place to Iron Gate, where they will challenge the mayor.
This starts at 12:00
Do NOT got to Wilmot Street where it normally starts from otherwise you will miss the entire march!

Interactive Route map for the march:

View Jacobite re-enactment marching route in Derby. in a larger map

The bronze statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie on horseback that takes pride and place on the new Cathedral Green is by sculptor Anthony Stones and was unveiled in 1995, to mark the 250th Anniversary of the Prince's advance to the city.

Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie :

Interesting video about Bonnie Prince Charlie by Billy Connolly.

View my photographs from previous Bonnie Prince Charlie events :
2003 in Derby
2004 in Derby
2004 at Swarkestone
2005 in Derby

Turn up and show your support for all the people that take part in this re-enactment.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Windows 7 Audio Driver for ASUS K8V-VM motherboard, Solution to missing sound.

Have you tried the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating System yet?
If you had stuck with Windows XP rather than going over to the rather unstable Vista then you may want to try the new Windows 7 OS. Its a lot better than Vista, not difficult I know!
The ASUS K8V-VM Motherboard.
 I have installed it on an older machine which has an Asus K8V-VM motherboard in it.
It found all the hardware and installed all the drivers but there was no sound at all.
The Volume icon on the system tray showed a red cross in it, hovering over it showed "You do not have speakers or headphone plugged in", even though it did have.
It took quite a while to sort this problem out so I thought I would share this with anyone else out there who has no sound on their ASUS motherboard after installing Windows 7.

The driver I found fixed the problem and I now have sound on Windows 7.
Normally you would visit the download section of the Motherboard manufacturer but the audio drivers offered on the ASUS website for the K8V-VM would not install on Windows 7, but not to worry as I have the solution for you here.

It may be time to think about getting a new PC, ready to go systems are very cheap these days and come with Windows 7 installed so you know all the hardware is going to be compatible with it :

Here are the specifics :

The motherboard (Mainboard) is a ASUS K8V-VM, This uses an Audio Codec "Realtek ALC660" which is a 6-Channel Codec.

To get the Audio Driver you need to visit the website for the actual manufacturer of the Audio Codec.

So visit :

Click The Downloads button at the top of the page.
Click the High Definition Audio Codecs (Software) link
Tick "I accept the above" then wait for the page to update then click Next.
You will now see a page of files available for download, at the top of this list is..

Vista, Windows7 Driver (32/64 bits) Driver only (ZIP file)R2.37 2009/11/20 38690k

Click on the first Go link for Site 1 and download the ZIP file.
Once complete, extract all the files from it and run the setup.exe file.
Run through the installation and it will ask you to reboot.
You now have sound !

This codec may fix the no audio problem on many Asus motherboards. I notice on the Realtek site there is a seperate section for downloading Windows 7 drivers for the following codecs..

Please leave comment if this fixed the no audio problem on Windows 7.

UPDATE: I have noticed over the last few days that sometimes the sound stops working, looking in the devices shows that the driver has gone which is rather strange. Reinstalling it again brings it back to life, I had to do this about 5 times but then it seemed to stay working for ever. Bare this in mind.

If this happens again then I have a permanent solution and that is to buy a USB External Sound Card.
The one I'm looking at is a Creative Soundblaster X-fi Go, this DOES work with Windows 7 and you dont even need to open up your pc to install it.

Sunday 22 November 2009

iPhone UK TV streaming service for all the main UK TV channels

This is absolutely amazing, its NOT an App its a FREE website that allows you to watch 27 UK TV stations almost live (about 15-25 second delayed).
The quality of the video is stunning on 3G. Not even tried it on Wifi yet as 3G quality was amazing.

So now anywhere in the UK you can watch BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, Five, ITV 2, BBC three, Film 4, E4, More 4, 4 Music.
As long as you have a good 3G signal or wifi signal strength.
If you have ever used the BBC iPlayer you will have noticed that it only works on wifi where as this works on 3G.

To watch TV now

On your iPhone, Run Safari and goto:

Then click on Register, all you need is an email address and a password. The login details will also work on the Web version of the TV viewer on your PC.
Then click on one of the channels and after about 10 seconds it will start playing that TV channel.
At any point you can tap the screen and click the Done button and it will return you to the webpage that allows you to select another TV station to watch.

Its worth adding this to your homepage so it has its own icon (like an app has)
To do this goto the home page http://iphone.tvcatchup.com
then click the + button at the bottom of the Safari browser screen
Then click the Add to Home Screen button
Now edit the text as you wish, e.g. "TV Catchup" click the Add button.
Now if you press the home button on your iPhone you should see an icon on the home screen which will allow you to get to the TV channel selector page very quickly.

iPhone users who live outside of the UK trying to access the site will be informed they are “not authorized” to view the content.

This works on O2 3G but not sure if it works on Orange 3G, anyone confirm this?


Wednesday 18 November 2009

SmackTalk, One of the funniest Iphone Apps ever.

If you have an iPhone (or iTouch with headset mic) then this is one of those apps that you MUST have right NOW.

SmackTalk allows you to select one of several interactive characters that listen for a noise that rises above the background noise, like the sound of your voice. When it hears that a loud noise it starts recording. When it hears that you have stopped talking it stops recording and starts playing back the recording, only squeakier. The character moves about as though IT were talking. Of course once you hear it play back your voice in a funny squeaky manner it makes you laugh which then triggers off the recording again and once you stop laughing it plays your laugh back too!
There are also a few preset sounds at the bottom of the screen thay play when you touch them such as a Burp and a fart.

This app will have you in tears, so funny to see it.
This app costs just 59p

In your App store search for smacktalk

Let me know what you think of this app. If you don't find it funny at all then there is something wrong with you.

Friday 13 November 2009

Derby Christmas Lights Switch On 2009 with Eoghan Quigg from X Factor

Derby's Christmas Lights Switch On takes place THIS WEEKEND on Saturday 14th November.

Derby Market Place
Details for Saturday 14 November 2009:
4.00pm - Market Place Event begins
4.15pm - Parade leaves the Spot
5.20pm - Eoghan Quigg performs on stage.
5.45pm - 2009 Derby xmas Lights Switch-On

Derby’s festive celebrations will be given the X Factor when two of the stars from last year’s show switch on the Westfield and city centre Christmas lights in a joint ceremony and parade.

X-Factor finalist Laura White will switch on the lights at Westfield Derby at 2.30pm before attention switches to Market Place, where teenage sensation Eoghan Quigg will light up the city centre.

The Christmas parade will leave The Spot at 4.15pm, where a fairytale horse and carriage, carrying Santa, The Snow Queen and Ugly Sisters will proceed into the Market Place, arriving at 4.45pm.

Entertainment begins in the Market Place at 4pm, hosted by RAM FM's Dino & Pete.

At 4.10pm there will be traditional Christmas songs from the cast of Beyond the Barricade at Christmas, who will be performing their whole show at Derby LIVE's Assembly Rooms at 7.30pm.

This will be followed by performances from Fame Factor Runners-up, dance act Dynamite, followed by Fame Factor winner, contortionist Lucy Mather and The Ugly Sisters from the Pantomime.

Eoghan Quigg will top the bill, performing at around 5.20pm and the City's Christmas lights will be switched on at 5.45pm

More details : 2009 Derby Christmas Lights switch on.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

How to get the cheapest first class train tickets from Derby to London.

Please watch in HD and fullscreen for best clarity.

The train ticketing system in the UK is extremely complicated to understand.
Here in this tutorial I will demonstrate how easy it can be to track down the cheapest prices for your journey from Derby to London in First Class. You can use this method for any train journey of course and you don’t have to travel First Class.

You may be asking yourself why not just do the whole thing on the Trainline website, well the simple reason is they charge a £1 booking fee, plus an extra £3.50 for credit card payments and also a charge to have the tickets posted to you. So for this reason I think its best to use their site as a tool and then go and book the tickets in person. This avoids all those extra charges and you get the tickets in your hand rather than them getting held up by the postal strikes.

Why go First Class?
Once you have tried first class you won’t want to go Standard Class again, on a longer journey such as Derby to London (1 Hour 31 Min or more) it makes the journey a lot more relaxing. Travelling by first class often costs only an extra £5, or sometimes such as in my example video only £1 extra.

So what do you get in First Class on East Midland Trains?
1) Extra roomy seats to work or relax
2) Free newspapers
3) Free cups of tea/Coffee (served in a proper cup)
4) Free bottled water
5) Free snack cake
6) Mains socket for a laptop or mobile phone charging.
7) First Class menu with waitress service to your seat. (Food is not free)
8) Better clientele, so no noisy children kicking the back of your seat!
9) Reserved seats

Its worth pointing out that if you travel on a weekend or bank holiday then you do not get items 2 to 5 above which is why I have recommended weekday travel to get the most out the first class experience.
You never know who you may see in First Class, last time we went first class Jimmy Carr was in the same carrage!

Useful Notes
At weekend or bank holidays there are sometimes engineering works and other disruptions from time to time so its worth checking before you commit to buying tickets. East Midlands Trains have a dedicated page which lists any alterations to train services, usually for planned engineering works:

Be flexible
In order to achieve the lowest possible prices for your journey you need to be flexible in your travel times. For example if you go into this with set times in your mind of when you want to travel then you will pay a lot more.
Using the dates in my tutorial if you were to decide that you want the following travel times 27th November leaving Derby at 07.05 arriving in London at 8.57 First class ticket is £115 and 1st December leaving London at 18.55 arriving in Derby at 20.46 First class ticket is £62
So thats a total of £177 return, This goes to prove that you need to be willing to adjust your travel times about to maximise the savings.

Book well ahead
Contractually Network Rail must have the timetable set 12 weeks in advance,
Booking as early as possible gives you the best chance of being able to buy the
cheapest ticket for the journey you want to make. I have found in practice that you can still get real cheap tickets even just a few weeks before you want to travel as in this tutorial example.

Reserved Seats
When you get onto the 1st class coach and look for your seats you will notice a scrolling green message above your seats saying "Reserved Derby to London".
When you book your tickets you can choose if you want to be facing in the direction of travel and if you want a table with 4 seats or two.

Save more money by using the 2 for 1 London tickets.
There is a great website that you can use that allows you 2FOR1 entry to over 100 top London attractions, restaurants, theatres, exhibitions and more, when you travel by train to London:
In August barriers were installed at both Derby and St Pancras. When you get to St Pancras you put the ticket in the barrier and it will take the ticket from you so you will need to keep your inward bound tickets as proof when you use the 2 for 1 system.

St Pancras London
St Pancras station is where your journey will end, from here you can get on an underground train to anywhere or even the Eurostar to Paris.

Music Credits :
Fountains of Life by Champius
Licensed under Creative Commons

The Photograph of East Midland Trains at start is by Stephen Craven and licensed under Creative Commons.

The small timelapse video journey along London Road/Midland Road to the Railway station was filmed on 8th November 2009 at 14.57

Another reason for making this tutorial was so I could learn how to get to grips with Camtasia studio to capture my actions on screen. I will be making tutorials soon on how to make any sound into an iPhone ringtone and some Sony Vegas 9 stuff too.

If you found my tutorial on how to get the cheapest first class train tickets of use then please rate and comment. Do you have any handy tips?


Tuesday 10 November 2009

Gadget Show, Great show for latest hardware reviews. Watch online.

If you have not seen The Gadget show on Five TV before and are into technology and hardware reviews then you can now watch this show live online using Five Tv on demand service which is free to use.
The consumer technology show is hosted by Jason Bradbury, Jon Bentley, Suzi Perry and Ortis Deley.

Watch the latest episode here : Gadget Show ondemand.
The previous 14 shows are also on there ready to watch when you want for free.

You can play them fullscreen too just like the BBC iPlayer service.
n.b. You have to sit through a 1 minute advert at the start of the show which you can not fast forward through.

The Gadget show is as good as the BBCs Click program.
Also you can win a massive set of prizes on this show, and I really do mean a massive set of prizes.

Update 19th August 2011:
Not sure if today's show was in Derby but the address you have to post your competition answer to is in Derby. Perhaps the house where all the gadgets were that Brian Belo managed to name was in Derby?
The Question was...
Morocco is in which continent?
a) South America
b) Europe
c) Africa
Post answer, name & contact phone number to GADGET SHOW 1601, PO Box 7557, Derby, DE1 0NP

The Gadget show is one of my favourite programs, always interesting stuff to see.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Pingtest.net - Check your Broadband connection round-trip time.

There is a new test now available for your broadband connection, this one is to test the ping time of your connection. See my results above.

A Ping test measures the round-trip time and records any packet loss. If you are a serious gamer then the ping time is important, it can be a matter life or death!

Use Pingtest.net to determine the quality of your broadband Internet connection. Streaming media, voice, video communications, and online gaming require more than just raw speed.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Video : Ripley, Sawmills, Ambergate, Belper, Milford.

Here is my latest video in my Derbyshire villages by car series.
This one is a drive from Ripley to Milford passing through Sawmills, Ambergate, and Belper.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Video : Heage to Ripley via Upper Hartshay, Derbyshire by car.

Here is my latest video in my Derbyshire villages by car series.
This one is a drive from Heage to Ripley via Upper Hartshay.

Driving Route Map:

View Heage to Ripley driving route (YT video) in a larger map

Monday 2 November 2009

Markeaton Park Fireworks Fiasco or Great night out?

Last Thursday I promoted Sundays Markeaton Firework display on my blog and put the start time for the fireworks as 6.00.

Looking into this a bit more on the Saturday I spotted that this was an hour earlier than it is normally due to start but 6.00 is what it said on all websites I had looked at.

On Sunday having googled for this event I was suprised to see that the first link to show up in google was a page on Ram Fm website that said the start time was 7.00
There was another webpage on their site that listed the correct 6.00 start time but that was much further down.

I was driving down Friar Gate at about 5.55 and could see hundreds of people walking towards Markeaton Park and thought their leaving it a bit late to see the Fireworks, and will have already missed the Bonfire.

Looking on todays Derby Evening Telegraph web version I see this very issue has been mentioned in the comments section.

I notice on RamFm website now (6pm) that the page with the wrong details has been deleted leaving the other one intact.

http://www.ramfm.co.uk/article.asp?id=928116 The page with the Wrong Details.
http://www.ramfm.co.uk/Article.asp?id=1555076 The page with the Correct Details.

But through the power of Google Cache (which is why the words are highlighted in colours) I was able to retireve the page which is here:
This page was still live online at 06:28:31 GMT.

What is strange about this webpage is that at the bottom it says "sponsored by Ramada Encore Derby, opening November at Pride Park". Well that hotel has been open for a year. When I saw that I thought perhaps this webpage is actually for the 2008 display but it says the date is "Sunday 1 November" so it has to be 2009.
No idea whats happened there but someones made a right mess of it.

So were you one of the people that missed the display?