Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Tuesday 2/12/2003In the course of our rigorous programme of product tests, we often have need of appropriate data. When it comes to set-top boxes and hand-held devices for streaming video, this means a small collection of DVDs kept to hand from which to generate test mpegs and the like.

Tuesday 2/12/2003
In the course of our rigorous programme of product tests, we often have need of appropriate data. When it comes to set-top boxes and hand-held devices for streaming video, this means a small collection of DVDs kept to hand from which to generate test mpegs and the like. Sometimes, we slap them onto a video projector -- even the biggies like The Matrix and Apocalypse Now get nothing more than a curious glance from passers-by.

Not so the latest acquisition, picked up by yours truly on a whim in Tower Records. Three episodes of The Sweeney, six quid, can't be bad… but I wasn't prepared for the reaction it got from certain members of the office. Amid shouts of "Get yer trousers on -- you're nicked" and "We're the Sweeney and we haven't had any dinner", the disc was ripped from my grasp and shoved into a nearby player faster than you can say "Oi! Guv!".

Anyone who feels that the existence of "Feminism Studies" in universities is indicative of an unbalanced guide to gender appreciation would find The Sweeney a most excellent antidote. For sheer alpha male primate antics, Regan's violent, boozy, fag-soaked path through the finest London villainy take some beating -- and then there's the popular game of Spot The Landmark. Yes, the Tower Thistle hotel looks as brutally ugly new as it does thirty years down the line.

All of which makes us wonder about a Sweeney distro for Linux. A few new messages -- "Close…" replaced by "Shut it!", "Are you sure?" by "Leave it aht!", and "File copy completed" by "You're going dahn, son" -- and we're half way there. With a bit more of the old rhyming slang, we can comprehensively baffle the Americans and regain control of our own operating system destiny -- "What's that bailey's bottom?", for example (Old Bailey Trial -- File and Bottom and Thighs, Size).

A whole new way of computing awaits our mincers.

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