Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What is NMIndexStoreSvr.exe????

I have a yahoo widget running on my work PC called Informer. What it is is a really hand tool that sits in the background telling me how much RAM and CPU is being used up in realtime. Anyway, I was just working at work (as you do) and for some reason my computer started slowing down for no reason. I took a glace at my Informer and saw that my CPU was maxed out at 100%! I checked task manager and saw that something called NMIndexStoreSvr.exe was basically eating away my CPU, my memory and my hard drive!!

I shut it down immediately (hoping it wasn't an important system resource!)

After a bit of Googling I discovered that it's part of Nero Scout that comes with Nero CD/DVD Burning 7. Nero Scout is a database program that catalogues all of the media files on your computer (music/pics/video) and that makes this database available to other programs in the Nero 7 product package. I also discovered that it's pretty safe to stop it from ever running on my PC, as I know that it's nothing important. Here's how to get rid...

Press Windows+R (Or go to the "Start" menu and click on "Run")
Then when the dialog box appears bottom left type "MsConfig", this will bring up some built in admin controls.
Click the "startup" tab
Look for the NeroCheck and NMBgMonitor and untick the box next to it
Then click Apply/Ok
Then close and select restart
When the computer restarts it will say you have used MSCONFIG to change settings just tick the box to say "Don't inform me again" and click OK and that should be problem sorted.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Friday evening

So we got back from Southampton and got a text from James asking if me and LIsa would like to go down to Urban Beach for a few pints and to listen to some live acoustic acts. We though 'yeah, why not' but by the time we'd sat down after a long day shopping we were both knackered. I managed to rejuvenate myself enough to be able to go out but Lisa just wanted to have a bath and get an early night. But she offered to give me a lift down there, which was cool.

I met up with the guys out in the veranda. It would normally be cold but the had an array of outside heaters to keep the punters toastie-like. I didn't know many of the people there... I knew James, Emma, Potts and Ben and that was it. There were another 6 people there that were friends of James and Emma's. I recognised one of them but I can't remember his name. The bands were pretty good. Sarah Griffin doing her usual folky self-written songs reminicent of Katie Tunslut... sorry Tunstall. And the other act was two surfer dudes called Burning Shepherd (no myspace) still living in the mid 90's singing grunge ballads like Stone Temple Pilots' Plush.

(man, how 90's was that video?!) Don't get me wrong, I love Stone Temple Pilots ... or used to when I was a student anyway... and I thoroughly enjoyed the reminder. After we'd downed 2 pints and shots of sambuca me, James and Potts decided it would be fun to recreate the success of The Knights of the 31st album.

Unfortunately all my instruments and mics etc are over at Andy's in the studio so we stopped off at James to grab his acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, ukulele, USB mic and bottle of red wine. I'm not a wine expert but I know that the worst and cheapest wine to get is a merlot - avoid it like the plague. Which is why I was surprised to see that James, somebody who's pretty cultured and has european tastes, has a wine rack full of fuckin' merlot!!! Sort it out James!! Anyway, it was free wine and I was pissed so who's complaining. We stopped off at an off license to grab a bottle of vodka and some mixers. Pott's offered to pay the shop owner in the form of song. The man grinned but declined.

We got back to mine and started by doing shots of vodka and setting up the equipment. The next 6 hours were a blur... no seriously, they really were!! All I remember is seeing Potts crash out on the sofa at about 5 and getting him a sleeping bag before I went to bed. And that's it!! I don't remember anything else. All I have is nine 10 minute recordings of absolute drunkeness. Some of it is actually quite good. We even managed to record sections of bassline and loop them with some drum loops and then record over that on seperate tracks. Some of it is actually genius and will be nicked for Blind Voyeurs ... but 80% of it is utter pish! It's funny to listen to though ... if a bit embarrasing!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Friday's Day Off

I took the day off work on the 26th. I just fancied a long weekend and a trek into Southampton with Lisa. We did a bit of Christmas shopping and got a few odds-n-sods for ourselves. Southampton was full of loads of school kids 'hanging out' in the highstreet and the shopping mall on their half-term which was a tad annoying. One of my missions on this journey was to buy an external hard-drive. I had a budget of £100 and wanted to get at least a capacity of 500gb. First stop was the Apple Store - they sold them for about 160 quid!! Couldn't believe it! I came out a bit disheartened but I was spell-bound by the new iMacs. I ended up buying an external hard-drive from Argos for just under 80 quid! Brucey-bonus!
Lisa's mission was to buy a generous sized vanity case. Now I'm no expert but I was surprised to find out how hard it is to get one. Out of all the department stores and other such places like Superdrug and Boots we found just 1 vanity case that was the right size... but the pattern on it was really granny-fied! (Is that a word? Hmmm, it is now!)

I also bought something I've been meaning to get on DVD for a long time - Escape From New York. That film is sooooo flippin' good. And it still stands the test of time. It was on TV a while back but I only caught the end of it. I absolutely LOVE the feel of the film mainly thanks for John Carpenters inventive lighting and excellent soundtrack (which was scored by John Carpenter himself - something he's done quite a few times) I also bought Fisher King and Look Around You series 1.

After a long day shopping we headed back for the car via West Quay. We passed the Apple Store again as it was on the way but this time it had the shutters half shut, staff outside (except for one staff member polishing the surfaces), and queue of about 50 people with their macbooks in their hands. I had to find out what was going on so I asked one of the staff. He explained to me that Apple's new operating system, Leopard was about to be released as of 6pm. As soon as he started to say "Apple's new operating system..." I instantly knew what he was talking about. This was a relief to him cos before I asked him I saw him explaining it in full length to nosey OAP's with glazed looks on their faces. I felt sorry for him. I mean, how do you explain to someone what an operating system is to someone who has never even used a computer?!

Friday, October 19, 2007

...and now, the news!

News! I've always hated it. Lisa's all for it and says I should "watch it to keep up to date with current affairs." Fair enough I thought and started watching it occasionally. But as I was watching it I started remembering why I stopped watching it in the first place. I could go on to explain what I'm talking about but recently Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe News Special hit the nail on the head for me. Here it is...

Needless to say, I've stopped watching the news again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anniversary 2

This is a quick post to say that me and Lisa have been together for 2 years as of today!! Who woulda thunk it? I love her more and more everyday. Happy Anniversary baby. xx

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Strong Coffee

Man, I hardly slept last night. I just couldn't sleep. I remember seeing the clock at 3:20 thinking "For fuck's sake SLEEP!!" I think it was due to the 3 strong cups of coffee I had over at Lee's earlier. Now, I don't normally drink a lot of coffee - I used to when I was at College/Uni - but I've started drinking it again recently, and last night I needed one ....or three.

I was over at Lee's doing some overdubs on Mockery. It took us probably about 4 or 5 takes before we were happy with what we've got - all recorded in nice managable chunks. Now it's really starting to take shape.

We also had a lot of time to record Lee's guitar parts to Ghost Written and play around with 2 new ideas/tune. One of which you can hear below. It was just recorded as an acoustic guitar played to a click track.... but like I said I couldn't sleep last night so I had a little fiddle around with programming some beats to it.

Have a listen and tell me if you can tell that I'd had a lot of coffee that evening...

Lee's Idea 1

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hallway Reverb

Me and Scott recorded some over-dubs for Lyposuction last night. Here's a pic of Scott 'performing' the tambourine to put on a section of Lyposuction. My plan was to get a nice active 'real' sound of a tambourine being hit on the snare on the second half of the song. We put the microphone in the bathroom and Scott played the tambourine in the hallway where there's lots of hard angles. The result sounds great. I know that nobody will ever notice it but that's the point - if it sounded 'off' or too clinical it would stick out like a sore thumb. If it's not noticable then my job is done!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Kim and Paul's Wedding

Saturday morning we got up real early. Had a LOT to fill in this day. First I had to do a quick run to my mums to do the usual Saturday chores. Then off to Castlepoint - Lisa needed passport photos for Uni enrolment, I needed a new shirt for Kim/Paul's wedding, we both needed food and a wedding card. We tried to get some confetti but couldn't find any anywhere!

Kim's wedding - I was really nervous and it wasn't even my wedding, Paul was as cool as cucumber (must've been the pint he had beforehand!) The vicar looked like Brian Blessed ... but without the signature booming voice - he had a timid high voice with a lisp. The funniest bit was the organist! He must've been at the communion wine cos he kept playing bum notes. Jo sang a lovely song - made Kim blub.

After the service and all the photo's had been taken we went to The Bell for a few pints and some food (me, Lisa, Scott, Lots, Mat, Claire, Andy and son) There was a weird atmos in there for us though. It must've been cos we were all suited and booted! The thing that pissed me off the most was that I'm probably more local than any of the other people in the pub as I live across the road!

After the nosh Andy and son went home, the rest of us went back to mine for more booze and Wii. Claire and Mat had never played before but are now hooked. After a while, we realised we should be at the wedding reception. It was being held at the Tudor Grange. We ordered a couple of taxis - was told they'll be about 10 minutes. We stood out in the rain for about 35 mins before one turned up, we let the girls get that one. The other never arrived so we flagged down a random taxi. Got to the Tudor Grange hotel but missed the speaches and cutting of the cake - Thanks for never arriving to pick us up, Star Taxis (the only time they let me down!)

Saw the 'first dance' and the emotional 'proud dad dances with her daughter' bit. All the girls were all welling up. Time to hit the bar. After a couple of jars we did a bit of random dancing to cheesy 80's hits. Paul's Brother, Stuart insulted Claire and brought her to tears. Paul and Dave sorted that out - she got an apology.

Kim threw the bouquet from the balcony, Dunno who caught it but Glen found it and rushed to give it to Kirsty. I think that's a proposal in disguise! Details are fading cos I was pretty drunk but all in all, good times were had by all!

Here's a couple of vid clips...

Aruba Restaurant

Still on a buzz from the night before (ie, the gig at Kyps) I woke up in a real great mood. It was short lived though cos I had to go to work! Joy!

That evening I had a power nap and then woke up feeling real hungry. We had no food in so me and Lisa (sorry... that should be Lisa and I) went for a random meal at a new bar/restaurant in town called Aruba. I'd never seen or heard of it before but Lisa read something about it. It's basically a complete refurb of the Show Bar at Bournemouth's Pier.

Man, the food in there was really nice and the atmosphere was great. Best bit? The hot waitress in pigtails and hotpants!! Even Lisa said she would! (sorry, no pics of the girl!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blind Voyeurs Gig - at Kyps 27/09/07

On Thursday 27th, Sept Blind Voyeurs had a gig at Mr Kyps. I was real excited about it cos it's a great venue with a amazing sound system and proper lights and dry ice. I knew it was gonna feel like I was in a proper band, not a pretend one from granny-capital Bournemouth. Hahaha!!

It was good fun hanging out with the other bands backstage. Before we started some of us were a bit worried about a couple of things - the size of the venue and the projected visuals. We thought the place would be too big and the fact that we didn't have a white sheet to project our visuals on were concerning. I maintained that there was nothing to worry about. The other guys were flapping and saying we should've at leat wore white t-shirts. We told Kat our concerns and she tested the projection for us.... it looked effin' amazing! You couldn't wipe the grins off of the guys faces.

The actual gig went well. I know that I made a few fuck-ups here and there, and the guys know that they did too but they were just minor details.... except at the very end of the very last song Scotts bassdrum pedal fell apart, so we had no bassdrum for, like, the last half a bar! Nobody noticed and, to be fair, looking at the videoclip you really can't tell. Speaking of video clips, here's a couple from BHone...

We produced 50 CD's for that gig, all limited and numbered, and we didn't expect to get rid of many. In fact at the beginning of the night we put about 20 of them around the venue and a further 10 by the front door, thinking that we would need to collect left-overs after the gig. But to our amazement when we came of stage we had people asking us for CD's as the ones that we'd put out had all gone!! We gave out the remainding 20 and even then there were still people that wanted a CD!!!

All the other acts played well too. My favourite bit was at the very beginning when Chris (Little Boat) started playing. Everyone was stood at the back when he started and by the time he'd finished his first track about 30 people had creeped up to the front - it gave him a scare. He said it was like some kinda Zombie film and got everyone to give a Zombie-like moan.

All in all, It was one of my favourite gigs we've played!