Jim's Inchoate Weblog
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hits since 18th June 2002
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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!
Saturday October 26 2002
Declining standards (or "get yer wallet out, baby - you're on")
I see that Cnet downloads, a software download site which I have used for a few years now, has reached new highs of intrusive advertising. A filthy great banner obscures what you are trying to do at least some of the time. And I hear that there is a $99 charge being introduced for those who want their software listed on the site for download. This is hardly practical for freeware authors.
Seems there is less and less free stuff out there. Pisses me off really, as the sharing of information and tools for the sheer joy of it was always the best thing about the web (which I've been using ever since we had to use Lynx* and stuff like that). I suppose this commercialisation is/was inevitable, but sometimes it's nice to go for a little while without someone trying to sell one something. Ho hum.
I shall continue to do my bit in recommending free (or worthwhile - for example I bought Opera) resources and software wherever possible. And if you see a banner ad on this site, it'll be a spoof one...
* The original, text-only html browser. I'll say one thing for it - it wasn't half quick... It's here, and there is a certain amount of value in running it up the mainmast for a while just to get an idea of what things were like back before Netscape came along. Now, who remembers Gopher?
Posted at 12:06 am by Jim Woods
Thursday October 24 2002
Tongue in cheek
Here's a hilarious site with a comprehensive rundown on what European nationals think of other European nationals. Not to be taken too seriously...
Posted at 4:04 pm by Jim Woods
Wednesday October 23 2002
This man in The Netherlands has wired up loads of his domestic stuff to the web; you can see things like toilet flushes and fridge openings (not entirely unconnected in any case) both on camera and plotted on graphs over time. In fact you can see an incredible amount of stuff about the household. I like the cat tracker... I must admit that my own home wiredness has more to do with home entertainment. Some kind of digital media player now needs (oh how it needs) to go in my living room. A laptop seems as though it would be the best and most flexible solution at the moment. Anyone want to sell me a good unstolen one cheap?
Posted at 8:00 am by Jim Woods
MP3 is soooo past it, dear
Ogg Vorbis is the happening thing in digital sound compression. Think all the advantages of MP3 only with better sound in smaller files and OPEN SOURCE! This is the charlie. I haven't the inclination to enumerate all the things that are good about it, but visit the site and check it out!
Posted at 3:39 am by Jim Woods
Tuesday October 22 2002
Vibraphone master, read all about it here! This site has a wealth of soul/funk/Hammond info - just the stuff.
Props to Peacock for the tipoff.
Posted at 10:56 pm by Jim Woods
Here's a gem
The appropriately named oozinggoo.com is a site dedicated to the lava lamp, timeless head icon. What? You only have one? Amongst a plethora of technical articles and tips this site tells you how to manufacture your own lavas on the cheap and has a great gallery of pics.
Turn on, tune in, burn your house down...
Posted at 10:21 pm by Jim Woods
I may have mentioned this before, but CDex is a good FREE tool for ripping audio CDs to your hard disk in either compressed or uncompressed formats. You can also convert files from one format to another and all the usual trimmings. It's what I use for my rare forays into PC audio.
Posted at 7:29 am by Jim Woods
Amsterdam Muntplein webcam
Here is the beast; Muntplein is most attractive IMO, much like the rest of Amsterdam. Incidentally, if anyone knows how to link such Java-based cams as these into Webcam Watcher, then please let me know. I pride myself on persuading things to inter-operate, but I think that there is a problem with the way Java cams display images inasmuch as Webcam Watcher needs to pull a simple Jpeg from a simple HTML page. The scripting seems to cause confusion...
Posted at 2:13 am by Jim Woods
Monday October 21 2002
Fender USA site
I love Fender guitars and basses, for all their ups and downs. Here's their main site, with lots of specs and pictures.
Posted at 2:39 am by Jim Woods
Sunday October 20 2002
St Helena is a small, remote island in the South Atlantic with which I have developed a recent fascination. There is also a Saint Helena Development Agency site here.
Posted at 5:36 pm by Jim Woods