Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Good tech/bad tech

Been playing with the tech again. Which has led me to think of furniture buying ...

Had a fairly long running saga with my blu-ray player, which was a Sony player that didn't really like to play dvds. So I've been looking for a while to upgrade my stuff to bits that are 3d capable. I was already there with the amp and speakers, a 5.1 surround sound set probably does more for 3d experience than the picture does. 3d pictures just makes things jump out at you, 3d sound has the bullets flying all around you.

Anyway - that's getting beside the point. Point is - it's a bit of techie kit that doesn't work completely as intended. It's a victim of a good solution (HDMI) compromised by being meddled with (Anti-copy Stuff aka DRM).

That was the old, what's the new ? Panasonic are currently doing a deal where you buy one of their players and can send off for free Star Wars blu-rays. Hmm. 3d upgrade, free Star Wars, planned upgrade = me buying earlier than I needed to. Oh, it also gave me an excuse to use the car.

Hang on - he mentioned "Good tech / bad tech" ...

Ok. Hook up the new Shiny. Immediate problem - it's too thin to fit properly under my V+ box (think Sky+ or Tivo) so the V+ box is half on, half off the blu-ray player. That wasn't a problem for the Sony but it apparently crippled the Panasonic. Cue lots of screenblinking as that HDMI cable thingy acted up.

Long story short - it didn't want to play Iron Man 2 (loss of picture) until I moved it somewhere it was in the open. I suspect heat sensitivity, which is Very Bad for domestic electronics. If you cram the bits into a box that's too small to fit with other stuff, then you're going to get heat trouble. That's bad design all the way. Make it so it's reliable, which means Total Design, which includes making sure it works reliably as well as looks pretty.

So that's bad tech - an item that does what it was supposed to but only after putting up a fight. Still, it's better than Nasty tech, which is what Belkin specialise in these days.

Impressions of the Panasonic player ? Picture seemed a little sharper but that's small improvements over an already good Sony. Sound seemed better. I suspect both of those are placebo effect though. And I had to fight to get Best quality lossless sound as a default setting makes the player give lossy compressed sound. (Tip - turn Secondary Audio to Off) Picture was jerky during Iron Man 1, however this could have been due to overheating in its cramped location.

Good tech - anything Lexus. Had the car 1 week now and I'm still having the buzz from driving it around. The Focus felt like a tool that you drove because you had to, the Lexus (and the Puma before it) feels special. And anything associated with it just Works, from the iPod integration to the phone integration to the tech that makes it go. It's a very intuitive car to drive, there's no clutch or gearbox ratios to manage. There's an engine to turn on and off but the car does that for you, anticipating what you want.

I thought I was a pretty smooth driver but the Lexus is teaching me stuff there. I'm learning how to make the most of the energy you carry when a car moves, steadily smoothing things out to get the best out of the car. It'll still fly and leave people in the dust at the lights when you want it to but the challenge is more in how efficient you can be. Any brute can floor the throttle all the time but not many will achieve the same results with finesse. And I value finesse over the sledgehammer. It's a rare car that can do both finesse and sledgehammer but the Lexus seems to be managing it.

Doh - I'm rambling again.

Will close out with :
Bad tech - domestic electronics. They do what you want eventually but fight you for it
Good tech - complex stuff presented simply with reliable confidence.
Nasty tech - our IT system at work. Or anything Belkin.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First impressions

Been feeling glad today that I went for the ex-demo and therefore only had 1 week to wait to pick up the new car. I suspect if I'd gone New, the 3 month wait for delivery would have led to me winding myself up so much I'd explode ...

First - I have to say Lexus Cheltenham really take to heart the Lexus creed. They're courteous, friendly and patient. Even to things like the finance guy who chased after us when we were doing the final handover, just so he could shake my hand on Deal Done. They put Customer First. Which is something the customer definitely appreciates. Well, I do at least.

Ok - first impressions. I picked the car up after work and I'm kinda glad I did. I wear a suit as standard work clothes and I think I'd have felt underdressed taking it out for the first time without the suit. The insides of the Lexus feel as special as I remember them feeling when I first sat in a CT in Lincoln.

Hey wait - there's something from before the first impression. When I went in the showroom, there was a yellow CT in there. When I left, it had gone. And I hadn't noticed ! That's how quiet these things can be in electric mode. (I did notice them take away the IS that was across the showroom)

More impressions :
Petrol. Kinda weird fueling up, need to work on that. Only got £5 worth in the tank earlier because the pump kept refusing to let more in.

Economy. Hoping for more than I was getting, although hopefully the data will sort itself out. Petrol gauge didn't move on the way back :-)

Driving. The CVT gearbox is weird. As a driver, you have to ignore what the engine is doing, because it revs far more freely than a conventional car does. Apart from that, Super smooth and intuitive. Press throttle - goes faster. Press brake - slows down. Automatic so you don't need to balance clutch in traffic.

Power. Was struggling to get the speed consistent but figured it out in the end. "Normal" mode puts up an Eco-meter, which tells you if you're being naughty (Power sector), being nice (Eco sector) or slowing down (Charge sector). Motorway cruise was mostly in the Being Nice sector with power available when it was needed.

Overtaking. I like my cars to have "lean on throttle" power. That's where you're stuck behind someone at 50 (slow) and spot a gap. "Lean on" power means you can overtake without using too much throttle. The hybrid works well here because you get a hefty boost of power from the battery and motor.

All the rest - it's just so refined. Need to figure out the ventilation system to keep the inside comfortable.

Sound system ? Very impressed. My phone hooked up to it quickly which makes me hope that the Test Match Special via phone trick will work :-) Ipod integration definitely works well. All it needed was plugging it in. Easy as that. Byebye FM transmitter !

The satnav works but with just 5 memory locations plus "home", I'll be bringing bits of paper with postcodes.

That's quite a few first impressions isn't it ?

Closing out with a hope that I'll get used to Smart Entry (unlocking without clicking anything) quickly because it may make me Ultra Paranoid.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Careful what you buy ...

Nope - it's not about the car, bit early to have regrets 2 days before picking it up !

Nah - this is about stuff that sounds like a Good Idea when they present it but will actually get you into trouble.

One thing I've been offered with the Lexus is a 3 day "get you home" insurance ... And it'd be free. Sounds good doesn't it ? So ... Plan last week would be :

Step 1 - update current insurance to take account of the new(ish) car coming.

That means ringing up my current car insurance provider and letting them know I'm changing the car. Qu : When do I want cover to start ? Thinking I'd have the 3 day policy I said midnight when I'd be safely tucked up in bed and not driving. (I did say midnight didn't I ? Oops - mustn't tell whoppers) Felt like a good idea at the time.

It makes sense to keep it consistent between insurances so you don't end up with the extra expense of cancelling one policy in favour of another. That spookily spreads the bills around the year too, although with the Lexus being registered in March I believe it matches up those MoT (in 2.5 years), service and insurance bills again.

Step 2 - phone the Lexus insurance people to tell them when to start the 3 day cover.

Oops - I get advised that what I'd sorted out with Admiral would leave me with duplicate cover for 2 and a half days.

That's illegal ! Oh well.

Step 3 - phone Admiral again (and get another nice Indian girl sounding spookily like the first I talked to) and tweak Step 1.

So now I'll have cover on two cars on Wednesday, the Focus and the Lexus. All sorted.

(Sidebar - why offer a "cover starts 2012" option in a form asking for quote details when you're only going to accept up to Dec 2011 ?)

So - if you get offered something ... and it's free ... Make sure you check what's involved, there's probably a catch ...

Oh - I'm currently sniggering my way through a blu-ray of the A Team movie. If you've grinned while the 80s TV show was on, you'll love this one.

PS I believe I'll be switching car insurance next time round anyway. Dunno the exact Admiral cost for my next car but Direct Line quotes £20 cheaper whereas Admiral asked for more.
PS2 Admiral may cost more but I definitely approve of their call centre staff. Courteous and they could even understand me ! That's rare ...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's a hybrid ?

I've said quite a bit here that I'm getting something Shiny soon ...

In fact, the anticipation is making me read all sorts of Stuff about hybrid cars. There's a lot of different types of vehicles out there that use electric to get them going :

Stop/Start :
These are still technically hybrids, although they will only work in hybrid when you're starting off. It's aimed at you not burning any fuel when you're sitting at traffic lights, while still being able to pull away while the engine is starting up. They have bigger batteries and as well as recharging the battery off the engine, they can recharge while you slow down. I think the idea is that you take the car out of gear at lights and the engine will turn off until you put the clutch pedal to the floor again.

It's the simplest form of hybrid but still offers up decent fuel economy gains. (And emissions but I don't personally think vehicle CO2/mile emissions are particularly significant to anything) Not convinced about the additional wear inherent in continually stopping and starting an engine, hopefully the oil and water is still circulating during the off time.

This is what the Formula 1 cars have nowadays. It stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System and is the next simplest form of hybrid. What will happen here is that while you brake or slow down, energy that would have gone into heating up your brake pads and discs will get harvested into a battery instead. With the F1 cars, that energy can then be pushed back into the wheels later when extra power is wanted.

I'd call these Series Hybrids as the engine always has to be turning to make the car go. A road example is the Honda CR-Z, which has a small electric motor supplementing a 1.5 litre engine. You have the better baseline economy of the 1.5 boosted to something like a 1.8 litre when you ask the car to give it. One difference between CR-Z and F1 is that the CR-Z will give the extra power when asked, whereas the F1 driver will press a button. Apart from that, they're the same.

The disadvantage is that the motor and batteries add extra weight. So whereas the CR-Z technically has more and better power available than my old Puma, it's slower to the magic 60 by over a second.

Range Extender Hybrid :
Still a Series hybrid, although this time the motor is connected directly to the wheels instead of the engine. Most of the juice comes from pure electric from the wall socket but when the battery gets low the engine fires up and recharges the battery. One big advantage there is that the engine can turn at the speed where it gives best Power vs Economy, most of the time a car engine is nowhere near that because the speed it goes is directly tied to road speed.

Sidebar - what do the Power numbers for an engine mean ?
Power : bHP - brake horse power (or PS or kW). This is the amount of energy an engine produces over a certain amount of time. When the car is moving, all sorts of things are trying to hold it back and it takes energy to overcome that. It's when Energy back = Energy forward that you get a consistent speed. Some cars have what's called an "Overdrive" 5th or 6th gear where the maximum speed is lower in top gear than in the gear below because lower engine revs = less power = less able to overcome what's holding the car back. The "Overdrive" means it's burning less fuel at cruising speed.

Power is what people look for but it only helps top speed which you are never going to do. Excess power is burned off and wasted as heat.

Torque : Nm or lb/ft. This is more interesting ... Torque is "turning power". If you've got a siezed nut you want to release or a jar cap that refuses to budge, it's irrelevant how quick you can spin the nut. Torque is the power that gets the nut or jar top moving.
High torque = lots of acceleration.

Where an electric motor helps is that it gives huge amounts of torque without any delay. The motor in the Lexus that's waiting for me gives 207Nm torque, the engine in my Focus gives 196Nm. That's more turning power in the motor as a boost than is in the Focus total and it's available at all speeds instead of just a small segment of the rev range.

Where was I ?
Range Extender Hybrids work off the motor and battery most of the time, with the battery being topped up by the engine when it needs it. The idea is that they have a long range on the battery, with you topping that up on your home electric. I'm not so sure about that, mechanical stuff works best when they're being used. If it took a while between needing the range extender engine, it's going to take time for the cobwebs to come off.

Nice idea - not convinced ... yet. We'll see how the Chevy Volt and Vauxhall Ampera do when they come out. Another issue is that you lose energy twice with the Range Extender - firstly when the generator gets it from the engine, secondly when the motor puts it on the road.

Parallel Hybrid :
This is what I'm getting. It's a car with engine and a motor, like the series and range extenders. However, either the motor or the engine can drive the wheels. Or both can join in for when you want maximum power. So you can do stuff like cruise on just the engine and then have a burst of acceleration using the engine coupled with the motor.

It's not the same as having a Big Engine, as that pulse of extra power from the motor only lasts as long as the battery does. But it gives you the power advantage of the big engine (temporarily) coupled with the economy of the small engine. The motor also adds some smoothness and refinement back in.

With the Lexus/Prius, the motor and engine are driving the front wheels through a Continuously Variable Transmission. That's like a gearbox with 1000 speeds instead of 5 or 6. What it means is that the motor and engine can go at the speed they want to go at, instead of being tied to road speed. So they'll give max power when you want it or max efficiency in the cruise.

However - all the energy ultimately comes from the engine, there's no power lead to plug in. So the ultimate economy is determined by that engine, boosted by how much the motor can scavenge.

There's a few interesting ideas coming too with the hybrids, things like :
Plug In Parallel Hybrid - just like the Prius/Lexus but you can recharge the battery at home. The Prius plug in will come with a bigger battery too, at the cost of extra weight.
Split drive - there's a Peugeot coming soon that sends engine power to the front wheels and electric power to the back. Curious as to how that will work. If it does, it could be handy - electric and engine could work to their full potential, however there's big chances for the front wheels to be spinning at a different speed to the back wheels. That tends to lead to not going in the intended direction.
Gas Turbine hybrid - Gas Turbines give great power ... but only work best inside a specific speed range. Which is perfect for Range Extender Hybrids !

Wow - I thought this was going to be a short "What's a hybrid" but it's gone Wall Of Text again. Oh well :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shinies coming ...

Finally did it, ended the months of procrastination by heading on up the motorway to Lexus in Cheltenham.

Don't get me wrong there - inaction can sometimes be the best form of action. Half the tech world points and sniggers at the early adopters who :

Can never resist going for the latest shiny,
Spend way too much on their toys,
Never really get much benefit from that latest little incremental upgrade,
Get stuck with something that gets replaced with a far better spec after 6 months
And they get all the bugs.

Sitting back and waiting lets you see whether that Day 0 Shiny is actually worth getting or is going to be a total nightmare. Happily the Lexus has just had good things written about it from the owners (the german car obsessed reviewers weren't keen) over the 6 months it's been on the market.

I also had the luxury of time this time around. Most of my previous cars have either been run into the ground or were getting more and more expensive. There were bills coming for the Focus but they were maintenance things (brake discs), items that wear out eventually. However, it's done 66,000 miles now, which is the point at which the Puma started getting really expensive.

It's cost a bit more than I'd have liked to pay (less reduction + less than expected for mine) but I'm expecting cost/mile to end up a lot less. Maybe not for the next 3 years while I'm paying but definitely for the time after that. I also get it next week instead of having to wait until December for a new one, which would also cost me cash to tax the Focus for a bit longer.

So what have I gone for ? Quick trip up the motorway to Cheltenham saw me arrive at the Lexus place there. Waiting was a blue Lexus CT (linky) which I'll be heading back to pick up next week. There will be a few changes :

It's an automatic - I've driven two but not owned any of these before but thankfully the Gearbox Brain of this one is fairly in tune with what I like
No long wave on the radio ! GAHHH!!!! That's where cricket commentary lives !!! However. I have a cunning plan. It involves a phone, mobile internet, BBC radio streaming and a bluetooth connection to the car stereo. Curious to see how that works.
Bluetooth hook up for the phone, which means it can go Hands Free. Dunno how long that will last considering the vulnerabilities of Bluetooth and the battery munching.
Byebye IpodFM - there's a direct link in the car. No more losing the signal in the middle of a favourite song.

Hybrid powertrain. This is actually fairly irrelevant from the driver's point of view. Press throttle - car speeds up. Press brake - car slows down. There's a lot of complicated stuff going on under the skin but the driver doesn't need to pay attention to any of that. Apart from maybe hitting "Sport Mode" occasionally :-)

Built in satnav. This isn't normally the sort of thing you'd look for in a car, as a Tomtom is much cheaper and can be programmed while you're not in the car. This is more Trip Computer not just on steroids but with an overdose of them, coupled with a better stereo. It just happens to come with a satnav.

It's a big step up in value from what I've been driving lately, bit slower but far better inside.

Already looking forward to picking it up next week.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Diet Pills

Leg started getting worse again last week (I'm bored of it now and want the leaking to go away) so I gave in and saw the doctor ...

Result - diet pills.

Ok, they're not really diet pills (it's penicillin) but with instructions of "leave 2 hours after food and 1 hour before food", they're cutting in severely to my snacking time ! I have to take one 4 times a day too but I've figured out how to weave that into a breakfast, lunch & dinner cycle.

I suspect that cycle would have stopped me raiding, as it stops me from having dinner until after 7, which is when the raids are due to start. We've not been raiding much recently though and I've not been signing up to the New Content progress raids anyway due to stuff I've posted before :

Bored with the game
No motivation to join the progress raids
Silly rules being brought in

Been at Warcraft for a long time and I remember the challenge of the game as it was early on. It used to be a lot tougher, with you needing to think about tactics needed to get the enemies down. I reckon that's where the game has lost something, both in content and player skill. Skill isn't really needed in Warcraft now, just a memory of what to avoid. That's what the raid boss fights are : knowing what to do when the "One Mistake And Everyone's Dead" mechanic kicks in. I find those mechanics contrived and boring, although the boredom comes with knowing there's people in the group who will blatantly not be wary of the mistake triggers.

Hoping for better from Star Wars The Old Republic, which is coming "soon". I suspect diving into the Star Wars world, albeit a few thousand years before the movies, will get the desire to see content back. I'm even struggling for the single player gaming at the moment, my main PC has been cruising in No Game Mode* for at least one night when I could have been gaming and this will be another.

*No Game Mode - the original Windows on my main PC is hopelessly broken due to a combination of Kaspersky and other apps (I blame copy protection malware that you are forced to install). To game, I have to go to another Windows install on a second hard drive.

I'll not be gaming tonight, which means I've missed a week's worth of MC farming. Oh well. Gaming should be done for fun, not as a second job. That's one reason I struggle to keep going with the MMOs like Eve and Warcraft, the amount of grinding (repetitive tasks) time required detracts from the fun aspect of the game, especially when Expectations get piled on you from people in the corp or guild.

What can make that worse is when there's a perception that the people telling you to do stuff are not pulling their weight. You should only ask people to do stuff that you are willing to do yourself. At work, I'd happily do the filing and some of the other mundane stuff but ... I know there's a few people in the team already trained up to do that who will get bored if I take all their work away from them. They know what to do, so I let 'em get on with it and they're good enough to do it better than I can. On the other hand, I'm much better at analysis and engineering which is what I'm there to do :-)

You can cause trouble by being too keen - especially when you do the Bull In China Shop thing and trample on stuff someone has carefully set up.

Yep - gaming is suffering a bit at the moment. Or at least the online stuff is, we're looking to restart the DnD group soon. That's multiplayer gaming but with pens & paper on a table top. There's a bit more time to think about what you're going to do with pen & paper stuff and you don't lose the ability to chat to your groupmates.

Pen & Paper has one major advantage over Voice Comms - you can share the munchies instead of listening to the occasional nomnomnom over Mumble :-)

Other stuff - if I can get away early enough, I may well be looking at a car tomorrow ... It's in Cheltenham though which is at least half an hour away before traffic. It's £1000 cheaper than Lincoln as well as being closer. I cleared the car out earlier (needs portable vacuum though) but have a bit more prep to do in the shape of getting Car Change documents together.

And then there's the PC upgrade ... I bought Deus Ex Human Revolution last week, which looks awesome. It's easily the best graphics I've seen so far, even though I have the options turned down a bit. New bits would definitely help out there.

Doh ! I started typing about the Diet Pills and they appear to have Verbal Diarrhoea as a side effect. I've been typing so long it's almost time to take the next one.

What I am doing is chilling out to the Julianne Regan Mice album which really benefits from the decent hifi kit. Plenty of effects and clever stuff in the production and mixing coupled with Julianne Regan's sublime and unique voice. This comment was triggered by seeing an Imelda May advert come on - Imelda May's group is based around a poor, weak imitation of a music style that died out decades ago ! She's NOISE ! Why is it being hammered so much ? Maybe because it's so bad it needs the hammering to get into double figure sales numbers.

Lol - After that mini rant it's time for a chill pill and more Julianne Regan.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Into reading again

With the irritation of RSI coming from too long engaging the enemies of humanity with mouse and key and the loss of sleep that comes from furthering the cause of the Horde, I'm trying to get back into reading.

There's another reason, at the start of the year I put myself up a challenge of looking to read books in an A to Z. I've been updating that as the year goes but there's 8 months gone now with 14 of 26 read. Need to get back into reading to hit the 26.

However ... The A to Z is feeling somewhat restrictive, there's books I want to read that have already had the gap filled. Books like Game of Thrones, which my sister has lent me. Or Polar City Nightmare to follow Polar City Blues (Katherine Kerr does sci-fi). The two Polar City books are bad examples because they can fit the gaps. I just got the next Lost Fleet book by Jack Campbell, it got released this week and on the strength of the first six has jumped the queue to be The Next Book.

I think I'll start recording the books that don't fit as Bonus Books. And of course I'm not recording all the stuff I read at work, that is far too Interesting to be put in a public place - muahaha. Except when I mention the people who make it worth coming in. I have them worried because I've told too many people about my poorly leg.

Erm - this was supposed to be about books ? Get back to the point Marine !

Latest finished book is Battle Of The Fang by Chris Wraight.

It's another in the Space Marines Battles series, which have a common theme of taking the superhuman (literally) warriors of the Warhammer 40k universe, putting them into impossible situations and seeing what comes out the other side. This time it's the Space Wolves legion up against the Thousand Sons traitor marines in a follow up to the Prospero Burns Horus Heresy book which I haven't read.

This one is not a bad read, although I think my interest in the Space Marines Battles books is rapidly dwindling. The dramatis personae have suitable gravitas but turn somewhat into caricature. There's big action going on but your interest in truly caring about what's happening is low.

Maybe it's because it's not a Helsreach, a Titanicus or a Dan Abnett Ghosts book. It just doesn't seem to have the same impact as the others, maybe due to similarity with the other two Space Marine Battles books I've read.

Looking forward to The Next Book, I get the feeling there may be another mini-book-review coming next week :-)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

New car soon

It's the long running saga of the car again !

Been busy since last week. Car stuff is the highlight.

Leg got checked out on Thursday, although I need to get it looked at again. It looks "miffed" or "slightly peeved" at me now, instead of the angry scabbiness of last week. Much improved but a doctor needs to see it to lock down the cause. Once you know cause, you can figure out how to stop it. I reckon I'm on to something with it being allergy related, last time I bought washing powder blobs I changed due to thinking what I was using has affecting me. I have a feeling I went the wrong way with the allergy stuff.

So that's my leg, looks like it's improving. Must put more of the cream on it to help it improve.

Car stuff ! Progress here, as I went to see my mum & dad for the weekend. The excuse was that my sister had acquired some tickets for the Senior European Masters golf tour at Woburn which was not far down the road from my sister's place. More in a bit.

That left Saturday to do Stuff, as we weren't at the golf until Sunday. Loose end ... what can we do ? Quick trip to Lincoln to have a look at a car ... I don't think I'll buy the car I test drove in Lincoln but I will definitely go for one very much like it. It was a Lexus CT200h, leather seat model with the satnav. The satnav is expensive but it's not just a satnav, it's a fairly comprehensive computer for the car. I think the stereo is better with it too.

How was the car ? It's very shiny. The CT is a medium sized luxury hatch that's built around a hybrid powertrain. Translation - it can Go with either a proper engine or a motor. Or the motor can help out the engine with you want to go faster. The motor means pulling away is extremely smooth. Smooth is definitely the word for this car, it's probably the most refined car I've ever driven. What I wasn't expecting was blistering performance, which you don't get. But it still gets up to speed quite nicely, especially when you put it into Sport mode.

Yes - I know what my next car will be. What's holding me back is price. I can afford it but what they're asking for is more than I think they should be. I have the luxury of being able to wait this time, with no major work anticipated on the car.

Golf watching ...

We didn't actually do much of this. When we got there, it was starting to get a little damp, although it help off while we had a cup of tea. However, when we headed out on to the course to watch the play, the heavens opened. This wasn't just drizzle, this was full on Noah's Ark rain. Standing water on the greens kind of rain. It got into everything, some of my stuff may still be drying out next week.

We didn't hang around to watch the resumption, heading off to get dry. So the golf was a bit of a letdown but we'll try again some time. After drying off, we had a great dinner at the Fox & Hounds in Riseley. If you're in the Bedfordshire area I'd advise checking them out.

Had Monday off due to anticipating lots of travel. Needed it too because on Monday morning I was extremely crabby due to combination of driving at least 400 miles with another 180 to come, coupled with doing a Drowned Rat impression on the Sunday.

Looking forward to the weekend already, although I won't be looking at cars this time. Instead there's cricket on the Friday, England rugby on the Saturday and Formula 1 action on the Sunday. I shall be glued.