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He's leaving home / Drive my car
gritted teeth
nmg

Moved the last of my stuff out of my old house this morning. In total, my belongings fit into three conference bags (WWW2004, Multimedia 98 and Autonomous Agents 2001) and a black bin bag for my duvet.

Goodbye to the sink estate! Goodbye to being hassled by urchins, the smell of burning cars, unlit alleyways, petty vandalism, In-ger-land flags and the four forms of base elemental matter that I've had to negotiate daily for the last two years (namely dogshit, broken glass, fag ends and plastic bags).

Hello to Portswood! Hello to living within five minutes of two supermarkets, two bakeries, a butcher, an off-license, a post-office, a greengrocer and several takeaways! Hello to a house with broadband interweb, wired and wireless networking, a kitchen that you can swing a cat in, a whiteboard in the living room, and parking space outside!

* * *

In other news, had my first driving lesson in twelve years last night. Yes, my name is Nick, I'm thirty-one and I can't drive a car. I had lessons before I went to uni the first time around, and took (and failed) an indeterminate number of tests (either four or five - I honestly can't remember exactly how many), the last of which was for undue hesitation.

Apart from the first five minutes being terrifying, the lesson went well. Happily drove around Southampton for an hour with only a couple of problems: stalled once in a traffic queue and missed gears a couple of times, which is acceptable considering I've never driven that car before. The driving instructor (who is younger than me) seemed to be pretty impressed, so this generally bodes well.

Beep beep'm beep beep yeah!


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Re: ipod fm transmitter

I ordered mine online via an amazon-affiliated retailer in the UK, and had it delivered without any problems.

I'm a little unimpressed with the device itself. The range is fairly short; ten feet in clear air is about the furthest I've been able to get before the signal starts to break up. In our car, the antenna is at the back of the car, so we've not been able to get a good signal with the iPod and transmitter in the front of the car. In addition, I've not been able to get exactly on-station when using digital tuners as opposed to a good old-fashioned analogue twiddly tuner. Finally, the process of finding dead spectrum to broadcast in is very hit and miss, especially if you're using a digital tuner. I've not been able to rely on auto-seek on the tuners, since the tunecase's output is so low, and it's easily drowned out by other nearby stations. UK airspace is pretty crowded, so frequent retuning on motorways would be inevitable.

As an experiment, I don't regret buying it (it was cheap), and I may try and build an extra amplification stage if I get really desperate, but I've continued to rely on the tape-on-a-wire for the time being.

Of course, all car stereos would ideally have a line in socket...


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Re: ipod fm transmitter

Our tape-on-a-wire gives quite a bit of hum, so the resulting sound quality of the wired and wireless options are roughly equivalent, but the advantage of the wired option is not having to worry about tuning and retuning.


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Re: ipod fm transmitter

I find my iTrip works fine in the UK, as long as you do find a frequency without a station on it - 87.9 MHz works OK most places (Cambridge to Bath via London). For the problem with the antenna in the rear, I found that putting the iTrip up high (like the top pocket in the dash) rather than in the centre console pretty much solved the problem.
There's a Belkin transmitter widget that's got external controls if you prefer that sort of thing, but it costs more and is far less cute than the iTrip.

Re: ipod fm transmitter

I've got the Belkin Tunecast, so it might well be tat it has inferior range compared to the iTrip.


Re: ipod fm transmitter

Of course, all car stereos would ideally have a line in socket...

Darn shooting. The stereo we bought for our big vehicle has this and so is ipod compatible, but the one that came with our recently purchased car lacks this essential component and it's a pain, especially as we don't have the tape on a wire option because it's CD only. I've been considering buying one of the transmitters but since I don't drive yet and Phil doesn't get to take my ipod out with him the impetus has not been sufficient. Maybe once I pass, though it's good to know how well/poorly it works in practice.

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