For all things sport, computing and anything I feel like talking about

“We are struggling to make it to the end of the season.” 

Trevor Birch, administrator at Pompey.

Trevor Birch, who has been given the responsibility of pulling Pompey out of the red

This is what Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch told the BBC just over a week ago. Portsmouth were placed into administration for the second time in two years two weeks ago and that does beg the questions of what are they playing at? Pompey became the first ever Premier League team to enter administration back in 2009 and now it has happened again? Why, when you have just come out of financial difficulties would you sign or keep on players that are being paid top flight wages?

Could this whole saga lead to Portsmouth doing the same as clubs such as Luton and Plymouth or even cause them to become extinct like Wimbledon? From a mutual perspective I hope it’s the first one, although nobody likes to see a team get relegated, someone has to be in League 2. If it is the latter of the two then my beloved team ITFC would lose the 6 points they gained against them this season and drop 2 positions, halving the amount of points we are clear of the drop zone. (Typical that a team we win against twice in a season, which is very rare for ITFC, are going under!) But more importantly a great club, with huge history and culture would be no more. (Get your violins out)

Design for Fratton Park Stadium

Unlikely to happen now. Pompey's new design for Fratton Park.

Reports over the last few weeks have denoted the seriousness of the situation at Portsmouth. When Pompey played ITFC it was reported that the payers had to buy their own shirts from the club shop. Another report has said that the suppliers have changed the locks on Pompey’s storehouses and Portsmouth have confirmed that they can’t afford a medical scan worth £400 for Liam Lawrence, who has since recovered and gone on loan to fellow Championship rivals Cardiff City. It certainly is a sorry state of affairs down at Fratton Park.

But it’s not just Portsmouth who are throwing money on the fire, the Scots are having a go as well. Rangers, who are the biggest club in Scotland along with Celtic are also in financial trouble, they are thought to owe £75 million just to HR Revenue and Customs in tax. I would like to meet the guys who were in charge and ask them how they thought they would get away with it. I’d have trouble dodging my £100 odd a month council tax, let alone £75m! After taking tips from them, I would give them a clip ’round the ears and ask them what they were playing at. Why pay huge transfer fees for players instead of clearing your debts? You can’t win the league every year and by spending more than what’s coming in has meant that Rangers probably won’t win the league for a few more years to come.

Ibrox Stadium

The Ibrox Stadium, home of Glasgow Rangers

UEFA's LogoUEFA’s new laws about only spending a certain percentage of what you earn is a good thing for me because it means that we won’t have great teams getting into bother. By being sensible and not going mad with wages and transfers and moreover being patient, clubs will be better off in the long-term. It is better to spend hardly anything for 5 years and then slowly become a good team, rather than splashing out on the big Premier League dream and 5 years later your sat in League 1 relegation zone. Speaking of League 1, in my next blog I will be writing about the madness that has be going on in the managerial world of the NPower League 1.

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Wednesday 29th February 2012 0600 GMT, the internet exploded because of the Raspberry Pi.

A picture of the Raspberry Pi.

It was six years in the making, but finally the most revolutionary piece of equipment was about to arrive. But wait, what does it actually do? What’s the point of it? What was all the fuss about?

When the Raspberry Pi foundation went live with the launch on the R-Pi, it announced that that it would licensing the manufacturing and distribution to two British firms. They are Premier Farnell and RS components. By doing this they can get more units out quicker and a lot more efficiently than doing it all by themselves. Farnell reported of a 300% uplift in web traffic and over 600 visits every second and they clearly were not expecting it. Both websites crashed almost immediately and RS components have now received over 500,000 people who have expressed an interest in the R-Pi.

I have ran through the specs of this machine before so I won’t bore you with the facts, but the general consensus I hear from people I know is they don’t understand what it is used for or what I am going to use it for. Obviously this is never really going to replace PC’s in anyway shape or form, it’s far to weak to do that. But the foundation’s aim is to get A 3D graphic of the Raspberry Pi's connectionskids back into computing and enthuse them about programming. This is what we need. What we don’t need is subjects that make kids make a powerpoint presentation every two weeks about the types of cheese made in Hampshire. I won’t name the subject but it begins with an I and ends in a T. 😉

What we need is to generate a real interest in computers and their nuts and bolts as it were. This is demonstrated through the fact that Britain has dropped from 3rd in the video games industry world rankings, to 6th in just two years between 2008 and 2010. Experts put this down to a ‘lack in fresh talent’  i.e nobody wants to code anymore.

So what can you do with the R-Pi? One of the most popular options at the moment is to turn it into a media centre. Plug it into the back of your TV and stream movies and videos from websites such as NetFlix with no problem at all. Or similarly make a cheap ‘Smart TV’, instead of LG ripping you off for a TV with a limited browser and a handful of apps, why not make your TV a fully fledged desktop environment.

Another option is to use it as a web server, OK you wouldn’t exactly be able to cope with huge amounts of traffic, but for a small business this could be the cheapest solution to hosting a website.

Finally and what I am most looking forward to is ripping it to shreds and messing around with it. Playing around with programs, reprogramming a few things, seeing how easily I can break it, after all it’s only £20 if I really screw it up.

Finally, I did get my order in on Farnell at exactly 8:29 on Wednesday moring … two and a half hours after logging on, oh well it will be worth it. Expected delivery date now 23/04/12 instead of the original 26/03/12. 😦

You may be forgiven if you look at the title of this blog and think ‘hmm … he’s spelt pie and bite wrong’. But no, I do not come to speak to you about a fruit filled pastry. It is in fact a computer and a very cheap one for that matter. Raspberry Pi Foundation is a registered charity who aim to promote the study of computer science, especially at school level. Their first product is called the Raspberry Pi and is a single board computer as you can see by the picture is is about the size of a credit card. (85.60 mm, 53.98mm) It has a 700MHz ARM11 processor, 256MB of RAM a composite (Scart) and HDMI video output two USB slots, a SD card slot and it runs on Linux.

You may be thinking that this looks like the biggest (but maybe smallest ;D) piece of junk that has ever been sold on planet earth (Apart from a Norwich City shirt). But for its size and its cost, which I haven’t got on to yet. This little piece of engineering beauty only costs … … wait for it!!! £15! This is unbelievable. A portable computer that you could make presentations, surf the web and watch 1080p high definition videos, for £15! In my opinion anybody who doesn’t purchase one of these is a fool, but then again I support ITFC, so I may be the fool here.

This is a great tool for just about anybody to take anywhere and plug it into a TV and start doing PC orientated tasks, like programming into homes where families can’t afford a computer, which I think is good. Finally to conclude, I think it is worth a Bite … or a Byte.

For more information visit http://www.raspberrypi.org/

A detailed diagram of the Raspberry Pi's specs.

Anyone else Worried???

I must admit that even after the revival at Oakwell on Saturday night, I am slightly concerned that our top goalscorer and by far our best defender are only on loan and will go back to their parent clubs in less than a month. Danny Collins is due to go back after the game against Derby on Saturday, while Andrews returns to Blackburn Rovers on the 13th January. Although Town have the option to sign Andrews after the loan deal, there are already other clubs swooping for his signature. Swansea were rumoured to be lining up a £2m bid for the Irishman, which to be honest Ipswich can’t even get close to competing with. Who in their right mind would want to sign for a team with the worst defensive record in the country instead of playing in the top flight for a decent wage.

Collins, who looks more likely to sign on again has been for me the best player of the season, against Brighton I didn’t see him lose a header and he has performed outstandingly all season. But this does beg the question; What is going to happen if both these players leave and don’t come back? This is what worries me a lot. I can’t see any other Premier League players wanting to sign for us. (They’ll probably go to the other half of East Anglia :@ ) In my opinion I think we will be well and truly relegated if these players leave and maybe its not such a bad thing, we could always do a Norwich! … or a Plymouth.

You may call me pessimistic but we haven’t got the best defensive record anyway, but the idea of Tommy Smith playing at the back for my Ipswich,  just sends shivers down my spine and my word Ivar Ingimarson doesn’t exactly travel like a Bugatti Veyron and he wears his shorts higher than Simon Cowell … just saying. Any way to round off this very depressing blog all I will say is that I’m looking forward to travelling to Yeovil and Oldham next year.

Well, Well, Well…

After yet another demoralising first half for Ipswich Town, every ITFC fan was feeling down in the dumps after seeing 45 minutes of Ipswich being trampled on…AGAIN. The game started with the normal display of Ipswich losing possession, playing the useless long ball and generally playing bad football. So it was no surprise when Daniel Drinkwater (Yes that is a real name!) Went clean through on goal and David Stockdale was forced into making an unnecessary challenge and consequently conceding a penalty after just 13 minutes. The spot-kick was coolly finished by Craig Davies as Barnsley took the 1-0 lead. From then on Ipswich never looked like even threatening the Tykes defending third. Things got worse for Paul Jewell as Ipswich conceded yet another goal from a set piece as Carlos Edwards was unable to control Ricardo Vaz Te’s run in the area which led to the Portuguese man scoring a spectacular diving header from the front post which was his fifth goal in four games.

Ipswich went back into the tunnel with the situation looking like they were going to break the club record with eight league defeats on the trot. But unfortunately for Barnsley Keith Andrews had other ideas. Within 22 seconds of the referee blowing his whistle, Andrews fired a full volley into the bottom right hand corner of Luke Steele’s goal. He didn’t just stop there either, 2 minutes later he scored his second goal of the game to make him Ipswich’s top goalscorer with 8 goals for the season. The travelling fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing as Danny Collins stormed in from a Lee martin corner to see the ball fly into the top corner. Just another 2 minutes later and Ipswich were 2 goals ahead when Michael Chopra, who was looking to end his goal drought, pulls off a neat finish with the help of the inside of the post. Ipswich were flying and the smiles were finally coming back to the fans faces, and to the players faces too. This was a completely different Ipswich to the one we had seen over the past seven defeats and there was more goals to come as we approached the 80th minute. After a wonderful cross from Aaron Cresswell, Jason Scotland was left free in the box to tap home his 4th of the campaign. As is we hadn’t had enough excitement for one game of football, a cracker of a free kick from Craig Davies beats David Stockdale and fly’s into the top left hand corner. But Barnsley hit back with too little too late and didn’t have nearly enough time to recreate what Ipswich had done after the first half. Although the referee gave them an extra 5 minutes injury time just for good measure.

Well, Well, Well us Ipswich fans didn’t know what to do with ourselves after that comeback, we were in shock, OUR Ipswich made a comeback and ACTUALLY managed to hold on to a lead. Unheard of around Sleepy Suffolk, which actually after that game, I would imagine is not so sleepy anymore! Paul Jewell hailed the second half comeback and said “When you’ve been on a run like we’ve been on, it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and think the world’s against you, all you need is belief, desire and determination and we showed that in abundance in the second half. We looked lively all of a sudden, from nowhere.” This has got to go down as historic win for Ipswich and we can only go upwards from here…Unless we want to lose another 7 in a row of course. Keith Hill was surprisingly upbeat since his team just got a rollicking in the second half and he praised Ipswich for the way they did play in the final half.

Keith Andrews get a brace of goals at Oakwell