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

Archive for March, 2012

Administration – not fun for anyone

“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.

What was all the fuss about? – Raspberry Pi

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. 😦