Friday, December 08, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
The other evening, whilst enjoying another gripping episode of "Deal or No Deal" (which I daily pre-record and watch at four times speed over my evening meal), the present Mother-in-Law telephoned BuddlementTowers in a distressed state, wondering why she couldn't get a clear picture for Channel Five and QVC on her Digibox. The reason for her angst was that she couldn't get her weekly dose of Gary Sinise in CSI:New York and had to content herself with Hugh Edwards on the Nine O'clock news discussing the 210 kilos of Russian Polo mints (again).
I quickly identified her predicament as a clear case of poor reception on one particular multiplexer or MUX; however how can one easily explain this to someone not familiar with finer technicalities of modern broadcast television? I quickly came up with a simple analogy and I thought the technically challenged amongst you, may find the explanation I gave, of use.
"Let us compare television to toothpaste.
Analogue television is rather like brushing your teeth with a simple mono-colour toothpaste (such Colgate freshmint... other toothpastes are available). You select a channel (or toothpaste) and clean using a toothbrush (or television set). However, what if you only had multi-striped toothpaste (such as Aquafresh), but yet still wanted to enjoy the same, simple delights of a mono-coloured dental cleaning product? This is where the Digibox comes in. A Digibox separates the multiplexed toothpaste into it's constituent parts (or channels). Multiple channels (or toothpaste stripes) are broadcast on the same multiplexer (or toothpaste tube) and arrive on your Digibox or bathroom shelf. The user (or Digibox) would then delicately de-multiplex, or separate, each stripe on the bathroom shelf, into single strands of red toothpaste (Channel Five), blue toothpaste (QVC) and white toothpaste (Bidup TV), before placing them onto separate individual toothbrushes, or slots in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). The viewer, then selects the appropriate toothbrush, unaware of the other multiple channels, or toothbrushes. These toothbrushes are all broadcast on the same MUX or toothpaste tube. If however, your tube of Aquafresh emerges in a single strand of purple toothpaste, the digibox cannot decode the toothpaste into the separate channels and Gary Sinise, ends up looking like one of those pixilated villans as seen on the excellent ITV programme "Police, Camera, Action!""
I hope this makes things clearer.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
"Is it me...?"
Dear Mr Motorway Service Station Owner,
I'm no professional complainer, but I do feel I should bring to your attention the miserable experience I had in your establishment on the M4 yesterday. Rather than highlight the whole sorry story, blow by blow, here are some positive, improvement recommendations. I'll leave you to fill in the gaps...
- I accept that the price of petrol is several pence higher than my local garage, but at £1.99 for a cup of "Regular" Americano coffee I estimate that comes to approximately £30 a gallon. Here is where the comparison ends, however one does expect a coffee to be produced in a little faster time than it takes to fill up with 10 Gallons of diesel.
- When it's 30c outside, please keep the doors and windows shut and let the air conditioning do it's job. This will reduce the number of flies in the eating area and make the large array of uncovered cakes on show, far more appealing to potential customers. Would it then be possible to place English/Serbo-Croat phrase books amongst the complimentary coffee stained editions of the Daily Mirror, in order that patrons can make themselves fully understood to your employees with regards to this hygiene risk.
- The digital display board claimed that the gentleman's washroom had been inspected "34" ago. One can only assume, from the state of the said facilities, that the units to be applied to that figure must be hours (or possibly, days).....
Friday, July 21, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
Every now and then something crops up in converstaion that makes me realise something that should've been blatently obvious. Welcome to the first in this irregular series.
Today someone was referred to using a term from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". The term was "Kerr-nig-itt" (a phrase uttered by the tauning French sentry man, whilst hurling insults at King Arthur and his Knights).... I then realised that this man's surname (being Knight) was the realise a colleague used this term of endearment.
"So "kerr-nig-itt" and Knight are the same thing ?", I asked
"Errrrr..... yes", my colleague repsonded
Estimating that I first saw the Holy Grail around 1980, this joke has taken 26 years for me to get.