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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Saturday January 4 2003

Today, three things

First thing is that I now have my hands, for the time being, on a Konica KD3000-Z digital camera. You will recall that I had loan of a Nikon Coolpix 2 mega pixel jobby, which was pretty cool although the firmware crashed a fair bit. All the pics on my photo page were done with this. I also used a Fuji FinePix 2800, which with its impressive lens looked to be even more fun - but the beast died almost immediately and strenuously all attempts at resuscitation. Hang loose, and I'll get some pics up here from the new Konica - reliability, subject matter and time permitting.

Secondly, stay tuned for a potted guide to home cinema. My building my own setup and intensive web research have led me to the point where I can now see through the marketing bullshit and complex technical standards to a fair degree. Therefore I'll be writing a piece - probably a section on this site rather than a blog entry - to help you understand the whole business and put together a setup to get the most entertainment for the least dosh. You can glean this from the mags, but they are tainted with the stench of marketing and I am not.

Thirdly, a quick word on categories. You may not even notice the categorisation of my entries. This is because I have yet to implement the HTML to allow filtering by category at the reader's end of things. Don't hold your breath, and use the site search. Why? Because I don't want to tie the entries - and there are by now a fair few of them - down too much. And I don't want to spend a lot of time going back and altering the category tags either; I'd rather write new stuff. So although I touted categories in the past, I feel that the search facility obviates them to large degree. If you want to know what I think about something, or what I've dug up about it, search by keyword. It's a better way.

Posted at 7:04 pm by Jim Woods

Friday January 3 2003

Jaques Cousteau's Calypso

Ever wondered what happened to the old minesweeper with which the famous oceanographer did so much? Here's a tribute page with good photos. And while I'm on the subject, The Cousteau Society has a great site.

Posted at 11:05 am by Jim Woods

The Filthy Critic
The Filthy Critic is harsher on films than I am, which therefore makes lively reading. If you're in the mood for some amusing bile, or simply can't afford to watch the latest movies and want to be assured that you're not missing anything, get on over there.
Posted at 10:39 am by Jim Woods


Well, a couple of days of reasonably heavy use later I can tell you a bit more about this free tabbed browser. I only like free, tabbed browsers. This way you can get IE compatibility without the necessity to run a load of third-party utilities and extensions. Etc etc. Anyway, so far this beast has been nicely stable. And although it has a feature set so extensive that it can take a while to make sense of the interface, most of it works very well. I LOVE the built-in clipboard for collating snippets of info and also the quick-save and auto-save functions for the same sorts of reasons. The pop-up stopper works. And the whole thing is so configurable. Highly recommended. And it's still in the early days of its development. I'll be watching...

Posted at 6:22 am by Jim Woods

Learning about the internet
LogicError is doing a great job of explaining the whole structure of the internet to the reasonably clever but un-geeky. I strongly recommend you to take a look at this if you find the whole business baffling. The way in which this guy is approaching the subject, layer by layer, is an excellent method given that the net itself is simply a composite of relatively simple services and tools.
Posted at 5:35 am by Jim Woods

Thursday January 2 2003

Broadband Reports has plenty of useful info on matters quickish. Plenty of good online tools here as well, and sections for UK and USA users as well as some international stuff.
Posted at 6:35 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday January 1 2003

Happy New Year!

As I say...

Posted at 3:06 pm by Jim Woods

Tuesday December 31 2002

Lovely lovely tabbed browsing

Long-time readers will know that I have an unhealthy obsession with browsers - the usual never-good-enough-and-how-I'd-have-done-it-if-I-were-a-better-programmer thing. My recent attempt to get the best of both worlds has involved using Crazy Browser, a pretty stable free effort which is essentially a front end for MS's IE rendering engine. Since many people (read virtually all of 'em) seem perfectly unaware of the difference between the MS way of writing sites and the standards-compliant way it makes sense to use the IE engine. That way at least one gets to use pretty much all sites. Anyway, I don't want to get into a massive browser-design rant.

I've found another front end for IE. It's free, and it's called MyIE2. I've been using Crazy Browser more or less exclusively for six months or so and am a big fan. MyIE2 has many of the same advantages but adds everything-including-the-kitchen-sink functionality. I am not able to say much about stability or bugs at the moment as I have not used it for nearly long enough, but it looks promising. If you fancy something that has an extreme level of features and is very customisable to boot then have a go with it here!

Posted at 5:50 pm by Jim Woods

Monday December 30 2002

The power and the glory. Not.

Just had a power outage for three quarters of an hour or so. Get too many. Makes me cross. Makes me more cross that my TiVo recovers gracefully but my satellite box (Panasonic Sky Digibox) comes back up in standby; unless a human paw turns the Pana back on, nothing gets done. Arse. Even my cd player comes back from an outage powered on. I see no reason why any low-power type thing wouldn't, ESPECIALLY a digibox which is "always on" but just mutes the output (exactly what I want to record of course).

Manaufacurers, again you fail me.

I may have to rant about switching audio and video sources and destinations soon. I can feel it in my water.

Posted at 9:10 pm by Jim Woods

In penury due to larcenous telephone companies?

Take a gander at this site then. To quote them "Call round the world for just 10p per min (inc VAT) - NO REGISTRATION - Just dial away!". Seems like a good deal to me.

Posted at 12:04 pm by Jim Woods

Sunday December 29 2002

Reinstallation - why such a production?

As - yet again - I reinstall my not-so-trusty Windows 98 I ponder the whole process. It takes hours to get the system back to where it was before it finally collapsed under a ton of different DLL versions and misconfigured registry entries. Surely it is not beyond the wit of the M-people to write in some kind of utility that exports all the necessary registry entries for an application, for example, in a way that the layman actually has a sporting chance of understanding and deploying?

Every time I end up giving advice to a less experienced user it is full of such phrases as "it'll say this, but ignore it", "that doesn't mean anything" and "you need to do this in the correct order - not in the order you might logically think". What a nightmare. Given that all operating systems are probably destined to be impenetrable to the user forever, it's nice when you play with one (e.g. Linux) that at least stays working once you've endured the installation baptism of fire. All the more of a shame then that MS operating systems tend to rewrite the boot sector so that one's dual-boots are dysfunctional after Windows has been reinstalled...

Posted at 6:11 pm by Jim Woods

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