Thursday, January 29, 2009

Couch potato or Pooter potato ?

I've noticed that I'm not going through quite as many biscuits lately as I usually do ...

I think it's cos my habits seem to have shifted a bit. Tonight is actually the first time I've been gaming on my desktop pooter for about a fortnight. Which is an amazing length of time away from games for me. I'd have had nosebleeds if it had gone on much longer :-) My Warcraft characters are kinda sleeping at the moment as I've not had that much interest in games. Dunno why, I've just lost the interest somehow, the games seem to be more chore than fun.

That hasn't stopped me collecting the games though :-) I picked up Dark Messiah at PC World last week at the same time as Kaspersky Anti Virus 2009. Well - it was only 97p. Less than the price of 2 Mars bars and it should last me longer. Muahaha - I reckon I could eat the 2 Mars bars in less time than the game took to copy on to the machine. I'd test that but I don't have any Mars bars in the house. (And the shop is shut!)

Sooo :

Pooter potato - goes through the biscuits like a logging machine at a sawmill. But I'm cleaner with the crumbs.
Coach potato - not snacking nearly as much :-)

No visible signs on the waistline yet, my energy output isn't nearly high enough to shift weight around. Must start doing things like walking around the block (to be followed by running around the block when my legs are healthier). The trouble I'm having is that even though I'm not snacking so much at home, the canteen are doing Orange & Chocolate Chip Muffins. And they're addictive. I think the site might need a new club : Muffin Addicts Anonymous. "Hello everyone, my name is Sleepy and I'm addicted to the Orange & Chocolate Chip muffins"

Tried out the webcam on this laptop last night and got a shock. HEY ! The screen did not crack. Shame on you for thinking that ! :-) Only kidding. The shock was actually my nose. It's weird - in the mirror, the bent nose isn't too noticeable. But on the webcam, it looks like it's pointing off in completely the wrong direction. Bit like as if I'd run into a wall and not had it straightened back again.

I had to ask a few people at work today if it looked bent. I've just checked again and the webcam has it appearing well skewed. But the work people reckon it's ok. Our BYT (Bright Young Thing) couldn't tell it was broken at all, said it looked ok :-) Which as you can imagine, a comment like that from a pretty young lady leads to me bouncing around with a grin for the rest of the day.

There are after effects still from the broken nose, as always with bones when they heal. The nose isn't quite square and with fingers in the right place you can feel the edges where the fracture occurred. I can breathe again properly now though :-) and my head seems clear of the amnesia and false memories I suffered in the months after I broke it.

Right - game's been closed down, it could well be time for me to move back to the couch and my book, before the contents of the biscuit packet mysteriously disappears.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just finished reading : Dragons of Heorot

I've not been playing games much at all lately, so how have I been spending my free time ? Apart from listening to music that is :-)

Latest book to be well and truly devoured is The Dragons of Heorot by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes.

It's actually the sequel to the Legacy of Heorot, both books are pictured above. The setting is a planet in orbit of Tau Ceti, a star 10 light years from Earth. The first book has the colony in the early stages of setting up. There's not many of them but unlike a few other colonisation books, they really mean business. Most "new colony" books tend to have the people bringing lots of equipment. That kinda takes up lots of space ... These guys do bring a decent amount of high tech but there's a long term view where they're looking to maintain that technology by building from local materials.

So not so much bringing tanks, guns and steamrollers but bringing the means to build. That said though, they have a main colony defended by a series of electric fences, minefields, heavy machine guns, with that defence being coordinated by a supercomputer. All of the high technology you would expect but technology that seems lacking in most "humans colonise planet" books.

I'm rambling again ! Book 1 has humans vs Grendels ... What's a Grendel ? The name comes from what the colonists think of one of their number, a military man called Cadmann. Because Cadmann is not as confident in the colony's security as the rest of the people, they accuse him of being a "Beowulf" that's looking for a Monsta (think Ray Winstone voice) to fight. That Monsta takes the form of the Grendels ... The image I got was a cross between a mean nasty crocodile and a stegosaurus. But the novelty with the Grendels is they take advantage of "speed". So a tonne or so of armour, spikes and claws that can accelerate to 120km/h in nothing flat.

The first book tells the tale of the colonists struggle to firstly come to terms with what Grendels are and then to survive the onslaught. It has the story of their attempts to conquer the small island they've landed on. Not a bad book but I found it a bit of a struggle. Maybe the committee effect of 3 authors made things a little confused.

The second book takes over the story about 20 years after the first concludes, with the tag line at the back being :
"But the dangers awaiting them on the mainland are far greater than anyone could imagine, for lurking there is something even worse than grendels ... something that eats grendels."
And on that, you're thinking, ok ... grendels are these invincible killing machines. Where humans defeat them by technology, how could anything natural get the better of them ? And I'll say no more there cos it's big plot spoiler stuff :-)

After a slow start (blaming it on being distracted by other things), when I picked this up again last week it didn't take long to finish it. Think 500 pages in under a week :-) There's a good cross section of characters in this one, which helps its readability. There's the exploits of the characters themselves, plus there's a rich ecology which is steadily explored through the book. Whereas the first is mostly Human Vs Grendel, this second book is a lot more Human Vs Planet.

I think the star of these books is Cassandra but then as a self confessed geek, I tend to be highly interested in the technology :-) The problem most sci-fi has is in describing the computer technology available. Some do it well, some not so. Think computers in sci-fi that are less powerful than we have today, that's where it goes wrong. The Cassandra of Heorot is a fully fledged supercomputer AI, which gives the colonists a resource that allows them instant global communication as well as library and analysis tools. It's a lot more advanced than we have now but as a logical progression it seems perfectly reasonable. If you think Jarvis from Iron Man but on a planetary scale, that'll be Cassandra.

To finish up, not a bad pair of books but the sheer power of the grendels made the first book seem a little silly. Worth a read if you're a Niven fan but the Ringworld series of books are a better introduction. Footfall and Lucifer's Hammer are other Niven books I'm going to be reading again sometime soon.

Next book - To Sail Beyond The Sunset by Robert A Heinlein :-)

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Musical Friday Fourteen (errrr - make that Fifteen)

I've not done a Thursday Thirteen for a while, which is a shame cos I enjoy thinking up things to put in the 13 :-) Events have moved on a little though and the Thursday Thirteen hub has closed its doors to allow the people behind it to concentrate their efforts on those events that have moved on.

But ! I'd been wondering about ideas for next post and for some reason the idea of a Friday Fourteen based on music popped into my head :-) That could have been something to do with Coldplay's Trouble coming over the iTunes Party Shuffle :-) So, in the tradition of the musical Thursday Thirteen's I did a little while ago, here is a musical Friday Fourteen that'll be showing off some of the better tracks that are coming over my iTunes party shuffle at the moment. Youtube links will be provided where I can find them.

1 - Coldplay's Trouble. Only got introduced to Coldplay a few months ago but I never knew what I was missing. Whereas I ignored Travis because everything they came out with was the same, everything I hear from Coldplay is high quality and original.

2 - Kirsty MacColl's Days. How beautiful is this song ? And how much of a shame is it that this wonderful voice was taken from us way before its time.

3 - Dire Straits - Expresso Love. It's not the best track that Mark Knopfler has been responsible for but it's one that's really shown off what the new Airport Express link can do. Get this track on decent speakers and you'll hear all the interplay between guitar, piano and voice. Lots of intricate work in here. If you've not heard much Knopfler-music, then Making Movies (the album this track is from) is well worth picking up.

4 - Pink Floyd's - Wish You Were Here. One of the tracks that's guaranteed to perk my ears up for a listen, has been for a very long time. Here's the version from Live 8, which does a good job with the intro which is what really makes this song special.

5 - Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven. Come on ! You musta heard this track before :-)

6 - Duffy's Delayed Devotion. Mercy is what attracted me to Duffy's Rockferry album but this is one of the more special songs on the album. Going to be wishing this girl luck for the awards that are coming up, she deserves a few for Rockferry :-)

7 - The Hoosiers - Worried About Ray. Not quite sure what to make of these guys. Not bad and this one is the best on the album that I bought on the strength of the Lovestoned cover from Live Lounge 3. Interesting :-) (just finished watching the video - great stuff)

8 - Paramore - Let The Flames Begin. Another interesting group, will keep an eye on these. They contribute to the soundtrack for the recent Twilight film. And that cannot be her natural hair colour. (note - not great quality there ... erm - I mean the audio!)

9 - Goldfrapp - Road to Somewhere. Why is it that I have a thing for ladies who sing with incredible voices ? I think this is the best track off the Seventh Dream album.

10 - Evanescence - My Immortal. I bought their Fallen album out of speculation, based on some of the music that's graced Warcraft videos. One word - Wow. It's not what the purists will like but there's so much emotion here.

11 - Lene Marlin - How Would It Be. I bought Lene Marlin's first album, Playing My Game, a good few years ago now on the strength of the excellent Sitting Down Here single. It then gathered a heap of dust on the shelf before I put it into iTunes. Not too much time later, I have all 3 of Lene Marlin's albums :-) And all three are very good indeed. Here's a track from the Lost In A Moment album that CQ bought me for Xmas. Also, so good to hear someone sing just as well live as in the studio.

12 - Paul Weller's Wild Wood. Bit different to what I usually go for but this is an exceptional song.

13 - Soul singer Seal. Always been a fan of this fella's distinctive gravelly voice, here is his interpretation of an old classic, Knock On Wood.

14 - And to finish - the Star Wars end theme penned by John Williams. Yep, I now have 7 cds worth of Star Wars music in my iTunes library ! As well as a couple of Ennio Morricone (Spaghetti Westerns) cds.

Wot no Snow Patrol ! Ran out of room for these guys :-( I'm a little disappointed in Songs For Polar Bears but one not so good amongst the 3 gems of Eyes Open, Final Straw and what I've heard so far of A Hundred Million Suns can't be bad :-) I've also been listening to a bit of Dusty Springfield and Nina Simone lately, which only didn't get in above cos I didn't see them in the library quickly enough !

No Arctic Monkeys either ! Lol - time to introduce A Certain Romance and turn this into a Friday Fifteen.

PS Techie note - love the moving thumbnail preview of a window that Vista puts up when you hover over a taskbar button. It was letting me have a look at the Youtube video while tapping stuff here :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thematic Photographic - Aged - Old Father Time

Another post brought to you partly inspired by Carmi Levy's Thematic Photographic :-)

This time it's something even older than the hat in the post below, although it's nowhere near as Aged :-) That's the theme for today's post - when are things Old but not Aged ?

(click to open a bigger version with more dots per inch that should be more readable :-)

I was bought that by my mum & dad when we lived in Northern Ireland. If you peek at the bottom right corner, you'll see "By Ulster". It's made of proper Irish Linen. It was bought at the Giant's Causeway, which dates it to being acquired when I was about 8 years old. Which makes that piece of linen at least 25 years old.

So that's "Aged" number one :-)

Number two is the fella in the background taking the bales off the stumps. That's Old Father Time, who graces the Home Of Cricket. The Lords cricket ground has Old Father Time on a wind vane, over looking the playing area. The wind vane is viewable here. He's still doing well up there, Old but not Aged.

Lastly, we have the words on the picture. The Laws of Cricket have been essentially unchanged since 1787, with the Marylebone Cricket Club being the custodian, holding them at the Lords Cricket Ground. Again, they're Old but are they Aged ? Cricket's stood the test of time so far and it's still extremely popular. It's the number one sport in India and still very popular over here and in the other Test playing nations. It has its idiosyncracies but quirks are something it shares with all sports :-) (Ermm - Offside rules ? Lol)

So there we have it - 3 Old things that have avoided the signs of being Aged.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thematic Photographic - Aged

This post brought to you courtesy of a theme from the wonderful blog of Carmi Levy :-)

Thematic Photographic is something Carmi does weekly, with a different theme each week. I've not put in a Thematic Photographic before because I've always struggled to think of something worthy. This week it's "Aged" and I think I have a suitable piccy :-)

Here goes :

That's my last cricket hat and I hope the different colours show the effect of ageing ...

You're currently looking at the underside of the hat, the part that never got exposed to the sun. The dark blue is how the hat started life, the light purple is what the sun did to it. Yep - that's a lot of UV rads hitting that hat to bleach it so much ! I don't play nearly as much cricket as I used to but when I did, that hat was kinda like stapled to my head. I'd wear it all the time, except when I was bowling. I'm a bit older and wiser now, so I wear a helmet when I bat. The occasional dark spot is actually blood - I was wearing this hat when I broke my nose.

I should probably wash that hat ! I haven't worn it since I broke the nose, it was one of the things that got changed with the rest of my kit. So there's definite signs of age. The hat held together extremely well on top of a muppet who dived around in the field far more than was healthy but was well on the way to turning white from all the UV !

PS Was highly curious to spot another of my retired cricket hats at my sister's place at Xmas ... Yep, she's still got the white hat that I retired after it got moldy ... I made the mistake of leaving it in a golf bag that got rather damp due to typical English summer rain. And that white hat must have been about 18 years old ! I think the one above must be 16 years old.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Curiosity found the gadget ?

I never knew there was a trombone on the opening track to the Flood album by They Might Be Giants ...

Jumped over a few stepping stones to more gadgets over the past couple of days. For a while, I've seen a few people's MSN Messenger contact info bars show what they're listening to and I've wondered if I'd be able to do that through iTunes. It's a bit useless but I like my gadgets enough to see if it could be done. In the end, it's been done through complete accident rather than any grand design :-)

I'm often logged into MSN at home and I'm happy to give out the address to blogfriends. It's not the iceangel.mercs@ which is on my profile, although I do see emails that go to that address. Although the Mercs don't exist any more, I'm keeping that address for sentimental value :-) My MSN address has too much info to put where phishing scanners can see it, which is why I'm not going to post it.

When testing out the Airfoil app (linked in post below), I was originally going to test it using a couple of Windows Media Player tracks that came with this machine. As it turns out, Airfoil didn't work too well with WMP but it's gotten me the iTunes track info into Messenger :-) The problem's one of Digital Rights Management, where Vista objects to the trust chain being broken into. Airfoil's an application I'll get "Sometime" but that sometime will be when the dollar to pound rate is more favourable, so the $25 licence fee costs me less. Until I get a telly that supports HDMI inputs, I don't see too much of a need to acquire the Airfoil app.

It's the difference between "Want" and "Need".

I "want" the chocolate and orange flavoured muffins from the shop but I try to avoid having too many because I don't actually "need" them. Unless it's a day when you've had a lunchtime meeting out of the office and you've missed when the sandwich bar is open :-) Muahaha - I think the "need" there is to have an excuse to hunt the muffin :-)

The "want" vs "need" battle is one I find myself fighting fairly constantly with food ... My weight is fairly stable but still a little high compared to what it should be (I'm around 2 stone overweight for the muscle I currently carry). I find myself "want"ing far too much rubbish but I'm getting better at only munching when I "need" to.

The telly's another example, I "want" something new, shiny and high def but will resist until it breaks into being "need" ... Old telly is still going strong at the moment, so I have a little while yet which should let me regenerate a bit of cash (after buying laptop) as well as allowing the market to settle a bit. It does make it a mite more frustrating for people looking to buy me stuff though :-)

What else has been happening ? The CrazieBoys watched the film Defiance last night and it's not often a film finishes with the people leaving in a decidedly sombre atmosphere. Cracking film this one, tackling a very tough subject in a horrible time for many. A very well done to the makers here as they've done a cracking job here.

Work is still being stimulating and we're moving into a very "interesting" time. With the possibility of being "interesting" in quite a few ways. Plus I still get to talk to great people and completely cave in when the finance girls ask me for money. It's part of the job honest ... And no, it's not that kind of job. Ermm ... think I'm digging me a hole here ... They're a good bunch our people, it makes working on the project far more satisfying when you can have a bit of good harmless fun with your workmates :-)

Like being able to make your boss crack up by sending him an email that says "Ok, I've just lost all hope of concentrating on writing this document ..." The trigger was highly pretty contractor girl sitting on a desk that was right in my eyeline past my screen. That's sitting on the desk, not on a chair behind desk. Not totally politically correct but harmless fun and I think my boss knows me well enough now to know that while I would be highly distracted by highly pretty contractor girl, I'd still be cracking on with being professional. (In the end, I got dragged away by someone, so I didn't spend too long in gaze-mode !)

That's a lot of the reason I've stayed where I am for so long, the project itself is an interesting one and is continually moving forward. But it's the people who really make me stick around.

PS That muffin was definitely more healthy than the chocolate bar alternative :-) Honest !
PS2 Must work on psychological techniques to help me resist feminine wiles. Somehow, I think that may be a project doomed before it starts.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Woo ! 300 posts

It has been a while since I started up this blog :-) Although I did have that big long break in the middle.

So what have I been up to over the past couple of days ? One of my targets of things to buy has been a bag for the laptop - which has led to me joking about handbag shopping :-) Still getting a bit of mileage out of that one but I'm having to start watching out there cos the joke's getting stale and expected. So I need to find me a new joke.

I've been enjoying the iTunes -> Airport to decent speakers quite a bit over the last week or so and I've finally got the setup tweaked to absolute satisfaction. When I first hooked it up, I'd not long since watched Iron Man, so my speakers had crept into being a little bass heavy. Not me - the subwoofer dial crept up on its own ... honest :-) The problem was there just a little too much bass for music. You need some bass in there to make the punchy bits punchy but too much tends to drown out the subtle parts of the music.

It's just about right now and is showing off one of the new albums I got yesterday extremely well. That's Rockferry by Duffy, I grabbed the deluxe edition with an extra 25 minutes of Duffy. I'm not so impressed with the other one, which was Snow Patrol's Songs for Polar Bears. I think my Snow Patrol expectations must have been raised quite a bit by Final Straw and Eyes Open, which are both outstanding albums.

What's the big deal about having the music on the decent speakers ? If you haven't heard decent, well set up hifi sound, then you really don't know what you're missing. Honest :-) A good setup brings out all the subtlety that the artists put into their music plus you're able to pick out the individual parts a lot better. Things like the trumpet solos, the drums and strings on Gloria Estefan's Oye Mi Canto (current iTunes track). And Mark Knopfler going "1,2,3" when kicking off guitar on Making Movies. Tori Amos and the pedals of the piano.

All good stuff, which people tend to miss out on either because their speakers aren't up to it or aren't set up properly. My speakers aren't great (I'll be looking to replace them with the HD upgrade I'll do) but they mostly do a good job. They're a set of surround speakers made by Creative Labs about 10 years ago, which aren't available now but cost me about £200 when I got them. They're designed for being hooked up to PCs, with 5 small speakers to surround you and 1 subwoofer to deliver the bass. I haven't actually had mine connected to a PC for 7 years now. Since I moved into this house, they've been permanently hooked up to my dvd player, with the Airport Express now letting me get iTunes music across to them.

What's on the playlist at the moment ?

I've picked up albums by Paramore, Hoosiers and Goldfrapp as well as the Snow Patrol and Duffy ones, so I'll be listening to those soon as albums instead of as the individual tracks. Duffy's is the best of that collection. Arctic Monkeys has been a very pleasant surprise, their cheeky sound will be gracing my Party Shuffle and iPod for quite a while. Lene Marlin has another album out as well as the two I have, that'll be coming from Amazon some time :-) Evanescence is another where I'll be hunting more albums.

There's also the old favourites like Mark Knopfler's Dire Straits, Kate Bush, Gloria Estefan, Alisha's Attic, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos and Edie Brickell. The iTunes library is currently sitting at 2287 songs for 6.5 days of music and I've actually listened to 1112 of those over the past fortnight.

PS No handbag yet. Friday's centre of Bristol session got pushed into being a Saturday session because I was getting pain from my right hip. No handbags on show in the centre, which was kinda expected. I aborted the trip up the hill to Borders though cos of traffic and didn't peek in the Staples. Kinda unsure about how to get into the Staples near Cabot Circus, there doesn't seem an obvious way in from the main roads. Not too bothered there cos I'll be very close to a different Staples at the end of the month when I go to wish my dad a happy birthday :-)

PS2 No dropouts whatsoever on the Airport audio link ... the only issue has been that this laptop can be a little slow to find the router again after I need to reset it. (Router issue) Will be checking out a utility called Airfoil sometime, which will let me throw any audio to the Airport, not just iTunes. Could be handy when I get a decent telly to let me take advantage of the HDMI output :-)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Broom on the stories blog !

I've finally added something new to the stories blog !

It's not fiction though I'm afraid ... I'm turning it into a Geek Zone. One thing I used to do a lot at work was contribute to a Help Needed folder covering computers. I kinda miss that and the Geek Zone will be one way of indulging that side of me without confusing too many people here :-)

The link is on the right under "Sleepypete Stories" still - until I upgrade my template here I can't change that blogroll. Something to do later that is.

Anyway - first couple of new posts are on there, have a peek if you want to know what I really think of my new laptop :-) It's a fairly lengthy review so the one line summary is :

Nice - does the job so I'm keeping it :-) It's a very competent piece of hardware.

If there's any techie questions people want an answer to, please do drop me a line. I'll post it up on the other blog and hopefully add an answer if I know anything useful :-)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cunning plan, ickle flaw ...

This time of year, I'm usually doing at least one Mall run to pick up more stuff in the sales. I had another objective tonight, my new laptop is a bit wider than the last one, so I need to get a new bag to put it in.

This is where the ickle flaw becomes apparent ...

The cunning plan has worked beautifully, the new lappy is letting me stream music in pretty high quality to my decent speakers. All without yet another wire stretched across the room that I will trip up on. The ickle flaw is finding a decent bag, large enough to put it in. Eva Green's character in Casino Royale says "There are dinner jackets and there are dinner jackets." Well - there's laptop bags and then there's laptop bags.

My requirement in a laptop bag isn't too onerous ... I just want one that has decent strengthening in the sides to protect the laptop from crushing, plus a place to put the power supply that won't cause the plug to create scoring on the laptop lid. Having trouble finding one at the moment but I'm sure I'll figure something out :-)

Oh - I have more cds to feed the iTunes monster :-) I'll be listening later to :

Goldfraap - Seventh Dream
The Hoosiers & The Trick To Life
Paramore - Riot!

I like sales :-)

PS I may be doing something constructive with the Stories blog. When I first started working in Bristol, I made a bit of a name for myself as a PC hardware/software guru ... by carefully picking the questions on the forums to give an answer to. In other words, keeping quiet when I didn't have a clue but otherwise helping out where I could. I miss that now, the forums got killed a couple of years ago due to the forum supervisor wanting to have less work to do. So an extremely useful resource got lost to the site. But I may well be doing something with the Stories blog which resurrects that ... By putting the odd techie post on there :-)

PPS It's darn cold here ! The weather widget I picked up from the UK Metoffice (linked) is saying it's -5.7 degrees C. Think I may be playing pooter games later, not as something to do but so I can put my tootsies near where the hot air comes out :-)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New toy !

Friday I headed up to the Mall to do some checking out of the sales ... and to acquire the replacement for my old laptop that's done well but put up the "I retire" flag when it lost the ability to talk to the wifi router.

I didn't actually buy anything on Friday - the main Mall shops didn't have anything really interesting (although I get the feeling I'll get a Goldfraap cd sometime soon) and the traffic was so bad that I aborted the run to the computer shops I was going to do. So the main target (new laptop) had to wait for today.

I have a couple of changes to make cos the new lappy is somewhat wider than the old one ... So I'll be heading off to the Mall again for a bigger bag. It's also a Vista machine, which is an operating system I've never used before. Looks like it's more user orientated but I'll miss the special keys on my old laptop that I used to open Email, Firefox and Messenger. What I am noticing at the moment is that it is utterly silent, which won't last long cos in 4 minutes my iTunes library will finish transferring from my old lappy :-)

If an iTunes library takes over an hour to copy over, then you've probably got too much in it. I'm hoping that I'll be able to preserve the old settings cos I don't fancy rating over 2200 songs again.

The keyboard is taking some getting used to, as it's a full size keyboard design. So my usual reference point on the right hand side of the case is being disrupted by there being a number pad there. Looks like I'm getting used to it cos I javem#t mistyped much in this post so far.

Right - 1 minute to go until I dig into iTunes, I've been watching old Star Trek Next Generation episodes while it's been copying. Got a bit more setting up to do - email, Messenger, Firefox and some of the other regular apps I use are done. Others will wait (buying Kaspersky antivirus now would cost £30, waiting until it expires on my desktop will cost £40 for the pair, with AV for my dad's machine coming free!).

And ... a little bit later - I have my iTunes music playing over the wifi network to remote speakers - result :-). Current track - Some Journey off Suzanne Vega's self titled album. Sounds good :-)

(Techie bit to finish - iTunes 8 appears to have a critical bug re: Airtunes. There's periodic breakup occurring every 30s-60s where the sound disappears. Going back to iTunes 7.6 is showing flawless playback so far - extensive research coming after I have some dinner :-)