What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than driving a Koenig CC round the Paris periphique at 235 mph whilst listening to Green Day cranked up loud? Midtown Madness 3 continues to be ACEBEST fun, particularly in multiplayer - here's hoping for a massively multiplayer MM4 on xbox360 at some point. Serious racing games have their place, but threading through traffic, avoiding the cops and bouncing off street furniture to get round tight corners is much more fun than turning left for 200 miles.
I left Jamie busily creating mayhem in Parisian underpasses and went to collect Alicia from her mum's. For one thing, I couldn't find my car key so I had to get the spare one out of the bits and bobs drawer, and for another herself started going on about money again. I should be giving Alicia the child benefit money she says. I am, says I. Ten pounds for bus and lunch money, five pounds pocket money, and the rest (a princely £1.85) is left over for little luxuries like clothes and food and a roof over her head. Grrrr.
I came back and spent a bit longer looking for my key card. I must have had it the previous day when we drove home from Meadowhall, but it wasn't in any of the places that I normally put it. Curiouser and curiouser. I went upstairs to download some pictures off the camera and noticed that the sound wasn't working on the server. I tried the usual round of resinstalling drivers and checking devices with no joy. In the end I gave up and went downstairs to watch the mighty Green Day playing live on Top of the Pops, and jolly good they were too. Time was, I would watch TotP every single week to see what was in the charts but I haven't watched it for years since they started mucking around with the simple format of playing new entries and climbers, one or two videos, doing the countdown and then finishing with the number one. The show is now on BBC2 on a Sunday and seems to have gone back to basics, so it might be worth watching again. After the last couple of years of the pop music scene being dominated by manufactured Boy/Girl/Whatever type bands there seem to be some interesting acts around at last - not least Green Day and the whole neo-punk scene.
We were all a bit giddy after that, so I put my Orbital DVD on and cranked up the 5.1 DTS mix of the Doctor Who theme and jumped around the living room like a loon for half an hour or so. At nine we watched 'Heads up with Richard Herrings' on some obscure poker channel (why are there so many poker channels now? When did that happen?) which was amusing, but full of dreadful and slightly seedy jargon. There were lots of references to men "holding 'em" and going "all in" on a "head's up" before ending up with a "flop". I now realise what I must sound like to somebody that is not computer literate when I start wibbling on. That was followed by the penultimate two episodes of 'Funland' on BBC3 - grim stuff, and I really don't know why they keep describing it as a comedy drama, but gripping and intriguing nonetheless.
This morning, I was on a roll. I found my key under a bag of apples on the work surface, fired up the server and after a little bit of detective work tracked down the sound problem to a missing driver for the plug and play software enumerator, and to cap things off found a set of Nvidia drivers that cured an odd texture mapping bug on the Ge-Force card so that we can now put Sims 2 back on for the kids. Oh, and I also compressed a video clip from 66Mb to 4Mb with no loss of quality. Yay me.
Right, now to go and delete lots and lots of unused contract codes from our accounts database, so that the code lookup in the purchase ordering system will run at a usable speed ...