iriver h340

I was looking for a multi-format jukebox that was going to work properly with Linux (which rules out an iPod!) but that had a large enough capacity to hold all my music (300+ albums and nearly 20Gb of mp3 files).

After a bit of seraching I found the iriver H340 which has 40Gb of storage (a 20Gb version is available), supports all common audio formats (MP3, WMA, OGG Vorbis and more) but most importantly can simply be connected to any machine as a fast USB disk drive. Dump your audio files on it and it will automatically find and catalogue them – no need for any additional software, although there is some available if you feel the need.

Works like a charm with Linux and comes highly recommended.

Tracing Susannah Bamber

We’ve reached a bit of a dead end in the family tree research, so we’re having to think a bit laterally.

We know from the 1901 Census and various other sources that my Dad’s Grandmother, on his father’s side – Susannah Bamber – was born in Ireland, as was her father Robert Smith. We don’t know much more than that though, not even her mother’s name.

On the 1901 Census however Robert Smith is shown as living with another daughter – Sarah J Roddy – who was born in St Helens. Sarah is only a couple of years younger than Susannah, so we can assume that the family must have moved across from Ireland soon after Susannah was born. If we could find Sarah’s birth certificate then there’s a fair chance she will share the same mother as Susannah.

Unfortunately the certificate we thought may have been our Sarah show’s her father to be Robert Smith (as expected) but his occupation is listed as Grocer – all the other evidence we have suggests he was a Carter so we may have the wrong Sarah!

To try and clear this up we’d like to find her marriage certificate, but on the 1901 Census she is shown as married but her husband isn’t listed so until today we didn’t even know his name.

We had sent for the birth certificate of one of their children – Mary Roddy – to find his name and then hopefully the marriage certificate. That certificate arrived this morning and showed Dad’s name to be Thomas Roddy and the J of Sarah J to be for Jane.

Interestingly this is also consistent with the certificate we thought might be her, so maybe Robert Smith did change profession after he moved across from Ireland.

Time to send for that marriage certificate I think…

Ubuntu Linux

Anyone looking to try out Linux could do a lot worse than giving Ubuntu a try.

It’s based on the Debian distribution, so your package management’s a doddle, but it is far easier to install and the hardware recognition is the best of any distribution I’ve used. The stable releases also tend to include more recent versions of packages than the equivalent Debian releases, which was a common complaint.

There’s a new release due out this month, called The Hoary Hedgehog, which includes Gnome 2.10 amongst other goodeis. There’s a Release Candidate available to download from the website which is already stable enough for general use.

Another new look

If you saw the site yesterday you’ll see that we’ve got a new look.

WordPress allows you to easily switch between themes, and the new look is customised from one I downloaded from their website.