26 March 2014

Free Windows 95 software!

My old UPS, which was a cheap-but-evidently-not-cheap-enough no-brand one that made an annoying hum, recently became an Interruptible Power Supply, possibly due to battery failure or general patheticness.

So I've just bought a new one from UPS market leaders APC, and it's a great improvement. Virtually silent apart from a faint high-pitched eeeeeee that could just be my tinnitus returning. Even with the PC running my office is now eerily quiet.

Weirdly, though, among the various multilingual safety alerts etc. that filled the box, I found this:

Free auto-shutdown software for Windows 95/NT
Having just spent a chunk of time and money excising Windows XP from my setup, I think I'll take a raincheck on this quaint offer.

20 March 2014

Chilli crisps roundup for March 2014

It’s been a while since the last insertcrisps.com update on our favourite spicy inputs, but I’ve been saving up for a bumper serving. And here it is: five new varieties to try.


Nando’s Peri-Peri Spicy Chicken

You know that we love the Nando’s HOT crisps here at InsertCrisps Towers. They are a source of almost endless joy. Well, their Spicy Chicken variety is a milder (1.5 on our heat scale) yet still delicious alternative, with the frankly obvious addition (in terms of flavour) of chickeniness. These are ridged crisps, with an excellent crunch and a good colour. Highly recommended.


Burts Guinness Rich Beef Chilli

Patient and loyal readers of this blog will remember our positive review of the original Guinness crisps back in 2012. If anything, I like these even more. There is a mild chilli hit (registering 1.5–2), but there is plenty of yeast-extracty Guinness flavour and a bit of meatiness to go with the now-traditional grey-brown appearance. You might hate them, I don’t know. But if you do, I’ll cheerfully finish your leftovers.


Brown Bag Crisps: Oak Smoked Chilli

I’d never seen these before when I encountered them in our local deli, so I thought we should give them a try. Rather glad we did. They have an attractive orangey colour and a nice crunch. Most importantly, the flavour is very pleasant indeed, with a gently smoky, sweet heat (3 on our scale), with background flavour notes of red pepper and garlic. The bag we tried was rather salty (i.e. the crisps inside the bag, not the bag itself... g’uh), but not unpleasantly so. Definitely worth trying.


Burts Spicy Chorizo

Unfortunately these were a bit of a disappointment. They have an attractive, orangey-red appearance and are nicely spiced but didn’t seem very chorizoey – there’s no meaty flavour at all, just a strong red pepper/chilli flavour and a rather acid back taste. (The auxiliary tester described them as “bland”, but I wouldn’t go that far.) Heat was a very variable 1–2.5. A missed opportunity.


Tyrrells Sweet Potato Crisps with Smoked Chipotle Chilli

Oh, what a find. It seems like aeons since last I had some truly great sweet potato crisps (Kettle used to do some good ones, back in the day), but these are utterly delicious. That distinctive sweet potato texture is backed up with a gently smoky paprika vibe and a serious chilli kick, registering an estimated 3.5 in the throat and on the tongue. Got to get some more. Recommendation is mandatory.