Saturday 31 December 2011

2012 Tour Dates

Here are the dates so far for my re-vamped show, "Love Your Chocolates" in 2012

Friday 3rd Feb The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, 7.30pm
Friday 10th Feb Haile Village Hall, Cumbria 7.30pm
Saturday 11th Feb Ireleth Temperance Hall, Cumbria 8.00pm
Sunday 12th Feb Lamplugh Village Hall, Cumbria 6.30pm
Saturday 24th March Sarah Thorne Theatre Club, Broadstairs Q&A 7.30pm
Monday 17th Sept Beccles Public Hall, Smallgate, Beccles 7.30pm

Happy New Year everyone - hope to see you there.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Ranting again

It's the little things.

In Outlook Express on Windows XP, I could press "Go to folder", press the initial letter of the folder I wanted, and get within one letter of where I wanted to go. In the early nineties, there was a lot of correspondence with System Operators, so I had a folder called Sysops. Then, as other S folders got added, the quicker way to get there was to give it a unique first letter, so the folder became Xsysops. So then for anything nerdy or receipts or computery things, I could go Go To Folder... X , Enter. Bosh.
So then I upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit, which comes with Windows Live Mail. I import my entire history of emails, going back to 1992. Wow, that's 20 years of email and I've still got it all!

So I start off, Go to Folder, hit X - and nothing! Ok SOME GUY has looked at this and made a conscious effort in the upgrade, to DISABLE this function. Why? Is it saving fucking band width, memory, disk space? No, it's a tiny little function that a child could program, and some dipshit MIT graduate has decided probably a billion people don't need that, it's redundant - they never used the program so they didn't see the need. This then got past a whole host of other MIT graduates, all earning huge amounts of money, in countless meetings, going over every line of code, and decided that it would be a positive, thought-out plan to TAKE AWAY SOMETHING THAT WAS USEFUL! Why would you do that?

I despair. 

Friday 25 November 2011

Tasting the "Bentinck K50"

Still recovering from heavy sampling of the "Bentinck K50" at Brew Wharf, Vinopolis, to celebrate Kevin's birthday. An agricultural brew that reflects my Aussie birthplace. Very little subtlety and hits you like a rock. It's almost edible. I completely love it. Having some bottled especially, so pressies on their way for Christmas!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Books need cataloguing

I've been needing to do this for years. When my father died in 1997, I inherited his large collection of books, which are all together on shelves downstairs. Judy and I already have a pretty large collection and I've been wanting to assimilate the two into their relevant categories.
I've bought some software called Collectorz Book Collector, which syncs with the net to provide all the details if you input the ISBN number, plus it comes with a barcode scanner, so for modern books it's pretty quick.
I don't need anyone to shift the books around, I'll do that afterwards, just input them all to the database and note the location.
I haven't got much money to pay anyone, so ideally this would be a labour of love, or possibly minimum wage. You can do it in your own time and join us for meals. There's a spare room if you need to stay over.
I've got a friend who is interested and she's popping over next week, but may not want to do it.
If you're still interested, we're in North London - Islington.
Please email me at

Friday 13 May 2011

My show in Fulham 20th Sept

If anyone fancies coming to see my one man show at Fulham Town Hall on Tuesday September 20th 2011, here's how to do it.

It's actually a fund raiser for The Haven Breast Cancer Charity Therefore it's by invitation and £25, but you can get an invite by ringing Dawnie Vernon on 07831-120669 or email

Alternatively you could come to one of the other six gigs I've got this year (see previous blog)

Hope to see you. xT

Thursday 28 April 2011

Autoplay MP3

Please help, I've Googled this to bits.

Why won't the following code autoplay an mp3?

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="" width="290" height="24" id="audioplayer6003" autoplay="true">
<param name="movie" value="" />
<param name="FlashVars" value="playerID=6003&amp;bg=0xF8F8F8&amp;leftbg=0xEEEEEE&amp;text=0x666666&amp;lefticon=0x666666&amp;rightbg=0xCCCCCC&amp;rightbghover=0x999999&amp;righticon=0x666666&amp;righticonhover=0xFFFFFF&amp;slider=0x666666&amp;track=0xFFFFFF&amp;loader=0x9FFFB8&amp;border=0x666666&amp;soundFile=;autoplay=true" />
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="menu" value="false" />
<param name="wmode" value="transparent" />
<param name="autoplay" value="true" />

Here's the code in action:


Friday 15 April 2011

2011 Tour Dates

"Love Your Chocolates"
An Evening with Tim Bentinck
(David Archer in "The Archers")
-An Earl Entertains-

Hanger Farm Arts Centre, SouthamptonSun 22nd May
Theatre Royal, Bury St. EdmundsFri 10th June
Otley Courthouse, Otley, E. YorksSat 25th June
Watermill Theatre, NewburySun 3rd July
Church Stretton School Theatre, SalopWed 3rd Aug
Fulham Town Hall, LondonTues 20th Sept
Drill Hall, LondonTBA

Tim Bentinck has played David Archer in The Archers for over 28 years. Join him as he brings his hugely entertaining one-man show ‘Love Your Chocolates' to our theatre, and find out what really happened on that roof! The only Earl currently working as a professional actor, Tim Bentinck brings tales from The Archers, comedy songs, video clips and a live radio lambing!

Thursday 7 April 2011

Windows 7 and HP C4480 problem solved

Ok. Bloody Microsoft again.
New computer with Windows 7 64 bit. Year old HP Photosmart C4480 printer that worked fine with XP. Couldn't install software, got "Fatal Error during installation" then install prog went into a loop. It said the printer was installed and the scanner worked in Photoshop but when went to print, got "Printer not installed". Tried everything online, no joy.
Paid £16 to HP support for an online 'Friend'. Got Nathan. Top man. Here's what we did.
Installed latest Java, Flash, C++ Runtime, MS XML and .NET version 4. Still got "Fatal error during installation" and program looping but....... IT PRINTS.
Now to get on with the rest of my life.
By contrast, when I bought my Macbook and plugged in the printer, it recognised it and installed the driver immediately. WTF?????

Saturday 26 March 2011

On the phone in the quiet coach

(Names have been changed to protect the guilty)

Last week on a Virgin train to Birmingham, someone was on the phone….

“Oh hi yeah can I speak to Jane Davenport please. It’s Andrew Price. Thanks.

JANE! Hi, it’s Andy… Andy Price… it’s Andrew Price, I’m covering the Black Sofa concert in Birmingham tonight? Black Sofa? It’s a band. No it’s not a sofa contest, and they’re not black. We’re trying them out, I think they’re brilliant.”

He goes on like this. Another call, brags to his friends Alan, Blake and Piers about how he was just chillin’ with Jane.

He then lowers his voice, but because he’s been SCREAMING, his lowered voice is merely what we can hear, rather than what we’d been assaulted with. He is driving everyone in the coach to distraction, but no-one says anything. I start plotting.

He rings Steve. “Steve mate, can you retrieve my emails from your computer for me? My login name is the usual format for Universal employees, and the password is las revinu – it’s ‘Universal’ backwards. Clever eh.”

I’m sitting across the aisle from him, doing the crossword, and writing all this down.

In Birmingham, I get to the hotel, get on the computer. I Google Universal and find their email format. Login as password lasrevinu and at two am email Jane Davenport.

“Dear Jane, Well what a disaster. I was so wrong. They were terrible. All the effort this company has put into Black Sofa is wasted, just like I am actually, wasted that is! Ha ha ha! Seriously though Jane I think we’ve been duped, we’ve been taken for a ride. Although I wouldn’t mind taking you for a ride any day! From a distance Jane you know you’re not half bad looking. Anyway must go, feel my curry’s having an effect. Love ya! Andy xxx”

The next morning I log on with an anonymous email address and copy this email to Andy, with the accompanying message:

“Hi Andy, I sent this to Jane last night. I suggest you get round to Universal straight away. I’ve also sent copies to Alfie, Blake and Piers. It’s cool. Just explain that you shouted out your login details on a train for all to hear. As Abraham Lincoln once said. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. And in future Andy, in the quiet carriage of the train, keep your voice down, there’s a good lad.”

That's what I could have done. If only I had...

Tuesday 22 February 2011


2018. Google Brain Implant Spells Death of Pub Quiz.

Tim Bentinck © 2011

A child born after 2000 has no concept of what the world was like pre-Google. Not so much pre-computer, but specifically pre- the instant ability to find the answer to almost any factual question, almost without thinking about it. No-one’s thick or bright any more - you just dip your head to the screen, tap it a few times, and there’s the answer. The need for learning has passed. The accumulation of knowledge, that has been the driving force of civilisation throughout its history has been made redundant, because everybody knows everything.

And in 2018, at the present rate of progress, Moore’s Law[1] dictates that we will have a brain implant that we communicate with by thought alone and that answers us as a soft sound in our ear and an image on our retina, and is permanently hooked up to the net, and, because it’s Google Plus v.6.5, it doesn’t give us a choice, but finds the most pertinent, the most interesting, the cheapest, the best, the most profitable – for you. Because it knows you. It knows all about you.

And if this becomes so, which it must do, what then? What value school? What value learning? What would be the point in cramming facts into young heads? Why should we ‘know’ anything? An exam question that demanded knowledge would be pointless. The very word ‘knowledge’ would cease to have any meaning. Is this the end of education?

Well I hope not, and I don’t think so, but it is absolutely certain that education will have to change to take all this into account. It does mean that everything will be different. The fundamental problem though is that this database knowledge, this accessed knowledge, this ‘ask and you shall get’ thinking is passive. It is only found when asked. It does not reside in your memory when you make decisions, it does not inform your choices based on things you know.

But if the eleven-year-olds growing up like this in the next decade learn as well from the questions they ask their implanted selves as my generation did from reading books and listening to teachers, is there really much difference, as long as they remember what they find? The job of the teacher will be to give a structure to this ‘self-learning’, to give a strong outline of the reference points of every subject and let the student find the facts and figures by themselves. Making relationships between facts will be the key, and whether, given that power, they’ll bother to remember it.

When a University student, lying on their back in the park with their eyes closed, might be editing a movie, reading a book, writing a novel, finishing a spreadsheet, socialising, paying a parking fine or having sex, and doesn’t understand the concept of what life was like before that, we have entered a different world where the only role a teacher can play is that of the inculcator and organiser, the one who tells them what questions they should be asking, from birth.

If this is not a meme in 2011, it will be soon.

[1] The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years

Isoworg Speech

Just to finish off this whole re-appraisal of my father's book, here he is giving a speech to punlicise the book in Trafalgar Square on July 18th 1971. In order to create publicity for the novel, he 'invented' the International Society for World Government and attracted three hippies and a few passing tourists, oh and a nutter.

His speech lasted half an hour and I recently found a recording of it on reel to reel tape and transcribed it. It's my Pa. Highly articulate, persuasive and way ahead of his time. The World Government he describes could be the EU today. The latter half of is spech is what he was really about though. He warns of the coming ecological disaster and is so correct when he predicts that the message of people like him, seen in 1971 as green fringe nutcase, would come to be seen as mainstream orthodoxy and people who deny it would be seen as 'the enemy'.

As I say, it's half an hour long, but worth a listen. The first 15 seconds or so are distorted, while the recordist plugs the mike in, but after that it's pretty clear.

It's a good name anyway, so I've renamed my web design service after it.