Going High Tech!

November 15, 2010

Ever since I got my playstation 3 last Christmas  and found out that I can hook it up to a surround sound system through optical cables and have full 5.1 surround sound I have wanted to upgrade my system in my bedroom. As it stands at the moment I have a HDTV, playstation 3 and xbox 360. I am in the process of upgrading the xbox and last week I bought a hdmi switch.

The reason I bought a hdmi switch is because my TV only supports 1 hdmi connection, I got it when hdmi was just becoming popular, nowadays there are multiple hdmi ports on TV’s. So I bought the hdmi switch which came with a remote control which allows me to switch between devices.

HDMI Switch

I want to also invest in a home theatre system for my bedroom, nothing too fancy, just a basic DVD 5.1 surround sound system which supports optical input. The cheapest I have found is this sony system on Amazon. It is cheap since it supports optical, you can get other 5.1 surround sound system for cheaper but they don’t support the optical which I want. I plan to get this sometime after Christmas, and there may even be a sale on it then!

So in preparation for this optical setup I have bought a few items tonight from Amazon, I bought 3 HDMI cables which were going really cheap, 3 optical cables and also a 3 into 1 optical switcher, the reason I got the switcher was because the surround system I am looking at only has 1 port for optical cables and since I will only be using 1 system at a time, it is more than enough.

Once all these arrive, which should be late this week or early next week, I will have a full HD setup in my room, I just won’t be able to use the optical cables until I get the surround sound system, I just got the cables now since they too were going cheap!

So with all this, my room is surely to be a bit over the top with electrics. I no longer use Sky in my room so I cancelled my subscription, and instead I will be linking into the sky which goes to the rest of the house.

A free alternative to Dreamweaver

November 08, 2010

I was asked lately for a program that could be used to build a low end website, just something quick. I usually would use Dreamweaver or a text based editor such as textpad but this person wanted an alternate to Dreamweaver and free!


After a while of looking around I found a great program which is free and powered by Mozilla! The program is called KompoZer and I downloaded it and gave it a quick try out. I managed to make a quick website with pictures internal and external links and also adding the likes of tables. This was just with a quick 5 minutes of looking around.

Kompozer code

You can do a lot more with it such as create stylesheets and the program allows for code and design editing views and also has a preview section of what your site looks like. It is a great program, especially for free! And if you have used Dreamweaver before you will see some similarities in KompoZer.

If you want to download it you can go to the site here.

Marina & the Diamonds – Live at Vicar Street

November 01, 2010

Last Wednesday (October 27th) I was up in Dublin to go and see Marina & the Diamonds live in Vicar Street like I mentioned back in May. It had been a while since I last went to a concert and I was really looking forward to this one. The name of this tour was The Burger Queen Tour 2010.

I drove myself and two of my friends up to Dublin, and then met another friend in Dublin. The doors opened for the gig at 7.30pm and the concert itself was due to start at 8.30, we arrived shortly after 7.45pm and got really close to the stage, not that it is a very big venue as those of you who have been there before will know!

Marina came onto stage at about 9.30pm after the support act. Marina was excellent, she has an incredibly strong voice and sounds just as good as you would expect after listening to her CD, usually a lot of artists have some alterations made to their voice when recording to CD, not in this case.

I managed to record a few videos, two full videos which I have uploaded to YouTube and these are them below. The video quality and sound came out extremely well, especially considering I recorded them from the iPhone 4! The second video is the last song that was played, it takes a while to get into it, the music you hear for the first 1 min 40 is just while Marina was away to get changed.

Marina & the Diamonds – Shampain

Marina & the Diamonds – Hollywood

Marina also played a “New” song, called Jealousy, I say “New” because it is not on her album, however if you have her E.P from before she got signed then you would of heard it before, unfortunately you cannot buy these at the moment, but I don’t mind because I have them :).

Someone else that was at this concert recorded that song so here it is below too! I think it’s a great song.

Marina & the Diamonds – Jealously

Graduated Yesterday

October 31, 2010

After three years of work I finally graduated from college yesterday. Everyone had to pre-book the robes for the ceremony online a few weeks prior to graduation day, then on the day itself we picked them up in the nursing building.

Me in my graduation robes

The ceremony started yesterday at 1pm but everyone had to be there in their seat 20 minutes before the start. I arrived at 12pm just so I could get organised, getting my grad ball tickets, robes and meeting up with people before we went into the graduation hall.

The ceremony itself was actually quite short, it started off with a brief introduction with some heads of the college and then it was straight into the calling of student names to collect the certificates. Each student was called by the head of whichever department your course was in.

Once my name was called out I went onto the stage, shook the college presidents hand,  got my degree and then went back to my seat, I was a little nervous once I was in the queue waiting to go on stage, I was fine while I was sitting down beforehand!

My Degree - Sean Lucas

After all the degrees were given out a short speech was given again and then everyone left. Followed by the ceremony was what seemed like paparazzi! Everyone was taking photographs of everyone, as the photographer said later to us when our class was getting a group photo “Enjoy it”, sure why not it only happens a few times in your life if you are lucky.

Class Group Photo - Graduation 2010

Later I went out for some dinner with my family and then I went on to the graduation ball which didn’t start until 10.30pm! Quite late I thought, it went on until 2am. It was definitely a great day & night overall and with a bit of luck, this time next year, I will be doing it all over again!

So I now have my first ever degree and I could not be happier, the degree I received was: Bachelor of Science in Computer Applications & Support with and overall grade of Merit 1.

Disable Windows 7 welcome screen

October 28, 2010

For some reason, every so often the windows welcome screen suddenly starts coming on at start-up even if you have no set password. It often happens to me after I install some new program, but I don’t know why installing a program would cause the welcome screen to come up!


I usually start my computer up and walk away for a while and when I come back I expect the desktop to be fully loaded, but when a program messes with the configurations of the welcome screen it just causes hassle.

Anyway, after a while I found out how to disable the welcome screen if it suddenly starts coming back up, to do disable the welcome screen simply follow these steps.

  1. Click the start button
  2. type run in the search bar and press enter.
  3. type netplWiz.exe and click ok
  4. Uncheck “Users must enter user name and password to use this computer.”
  5. And finally click ok

Such a short and simple process, and yet it causes a load of hassle, hope this helps anyone that has run into the same problem I have from time to time.