Jim's Inchoate Weblog
link dump blog at inchoate satellite
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 February 8 2003
Incredible browser-fetishist toy
A small amount of strategic prodding on the site of Blog - see permanent link in the right hand column of this site - will reveal a free browser called Scope. It's another sweet shell for IE, with a nice clean interface but rather less functionality than MyIE2 - again see link at right. A bit like CrazyBrowser but prettier. But here's the dribble-inducer: not only can Scope use the rendering engine from IE, but it is capable of using the Mozilla one too. Interchangeably. Simultaneously. Yep - view sites rendered by either of the major browser engines in one clean browsing application. Excellent for developers.
This is go-and-have-a-lie-down stuff for browser fools. It's been around since 2001, so for me it's a kick up the proverbial that I've only just started to play with it. Game on. This one's a good simple tool, and that's what we like here.
And it's free.
Posted at 6:11 am by Jim Woods
TELE-satellite International Magazine
If you feel that your life won't be worth living until you can read up technical stuff on sat tv that you have little chance of ever understanding, then this is the place to indulge your perversity. TELE-satellite International Magazine. I count myself as sad as the next satellite tv viewer, but what really worries me about this site is that I've never even heard of the manufacturers of the bulk of the gear they review. Way techie. Go on. Go mad.
Posted at 6:00 am by Jim Woods
Friday February 7 2003
TiVo dead in the UK
Ok, not dead - but lying very still and not breathing much. Seems there will be no further TiVo units manufactured (by Thomson) or sold, once existing stuff has finally left the shops. Existing users will still have access to the programming guide service, and repairs will still be performed by Thomson. What a shame. I've had my TiVo about six months and find it invaluable. I grant you that Sky+ gives the same sort of service in one box, but it's no less expensive. And if, like me, you already had a Sky installation it made little sense to replace a lot of existing expensive and perfectly serviceable kit. I guess that's why my TiVo unit was so cheap. I don't regret buying it for a minute though!
Oh well, things change. I pity those who will now have to use a whole PC as a hard-disk video recorder. Talk about a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Still, there is still the beast elegant and possibly excellent Dreambox which I talked about a while back. Time to pay more attention to it, I think!
Posted at 6:26 am by Jim Woods
Thursday February 6 2003
The superb Simpsons get their 300th episode celebrated in Entertainment Weekly with a list of the 25 best episodes ever. It's a pretty subjective call, of course, but if you're a keen Simpsonite (a sort of beefed-up suitcase...) then you'll enjoy the read!
Posted at 4:18 pm by Jim Woods
Tuesday February 4 2003
Over to the left by my hit counter there is now a guest book which you can read or sign. Or not read and not sign, rather more likely.
Posted at 5:50 pm by Jim Woods
Go and take a look at the WikiWikiWeb site. What a neat idea - a web site which can simply be edited by its users! This principle has a hell of a lot of potential, particularly for anything collaborative in nature. Reminds me of the old H2G2 project, an attempt to put the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy online in a user-written form. An online guide etc etc. Good plan, if a little overtaken by developments such as Wiki.
I'm not so sure that I want to make this website editable by every Tom, Dick and Harriet who might fancy a stab, but I'm examining my options in relation to some kind of open forum. It's down to what I can find free that'll run painlessly on the Pipex server, so don't hold your breath as it'll take a while.
Play with the Wiki though - it's a daring concept and as such merits a prod.
Posted at 5:15 pm by Jim Woods
Well, I like my webcams. But why is it that so many webcam links and listing are full of dead cams? I have yet to find a really comprehensive directory of the things. I mean, I have posted links here in the past to sites that collate fifty or so cams. But there are many more out there I know - I keep stumbling upon them. Given that most other things are well signposted on the net if you know how to look, there seems a real lack of a "central register of webcams". I mean, I know the net is about decentralization as much as anything (discuss) but it's also about being able to find stuff.
If I showed you the mess that is my own webcam collection you'd be amazed. There really is no way to collate them all into one application, because they are implemented in a number of ways, or to locate them in the first place. I stand by Webcam Watcher as the best of the available viewers - at least it's not dogged by instability like so many of the others - but it chokes on many cams :(
I wish I were a better coder, then I'd do something about it...
Posted at 4:23 am by Jim Woods
Monday February 3 2003
Notice the new button to the right here, designed for the painless accessing of MyIE2's site. I've talked about it enough, so suffice to say that this is the best tabbed-interface browser I've found using the IE rendering engine. And it's free.
Posted at 2:39 pm by Jim Woods
Huge load of maritime links
Although there seem to have been no updates for years, this site has an awful lot of links to maritime stuff with an emphasis on missing ships. Ladies and gentlemen, I think it's pretty clear what I'll be doing for the next few weeks. This is pretty disorganized stuff, but that's no reason not to have a good butcher's at at least some of it. Many links are missing / dead, but any seasoned archaeologist of the web will be used to that.
Posted at 1:37 am by Jim Woods
Sunday February 2 2003
Good old Lavasoft Ad-aware... I've been using the free version of this for a couple of years now. What it does is search your computer for the sort of applications which do naughty things such as bombard you with ads or report information about your net activities back to some evil genius somewhere. It even detects cookies from known bad guys. The reason why you'll encounter this sort of stuff is that many "free" programs install this type of thing as a condition of their free-ness. Often they'll ask you to pay for a non ad-riddled version.
Download Ad-aware and run it and you may be surprised what you find. You could even regain some bandwidth. Oh, and most importantly of all don't install anything until you are really, really sure what it is and exactly what it does. Searching the net for background is always a good plan before installing anything. You may find that Google turns up a list of complaints from users about an application!
Posted at 2:48 pm by Jim Woods