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 March 29 2003
Interior design, darling
Roger Wood builds brilliant clocks which you'll have to go and look at, as describing them is next to impossible!
Posted at 9:15 pm by Jim Woods
Friday March 28 2003
This is grimly amusing.
Posted at 9:31 pm by Jim Woods
Stick a red nose and funny shoes on me and call me Susan
For I am truly a colossal clown. My "monkey see, monkey spend ten hours drinking with Alan the Hat, monkey do" approach to HTML coding has proven to be the reason behind the weird appearance of this blog in Opera. So I apologize to you and to Opera - although all my comments about them stand save for the accusation of faulty rendering. Preferring a hands-on approach to computing I do the HTML raw, rather than relying on any kind of anything to facilitate the process. This is a great approach if, and only if, you know what you're doing. Well, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.
I have removed a lot of crud and cruft from the code, and the site should now work properly in ALL browsers. Of course, it doesn't look the same in all browsers. But that's life. It actually looks best in Opera 6.6b, but that may change. And before anyone emails me, I'm well aware that it doesn't look great. I'm working on it. At least the code is a lot tidier now. When I've had my lunch I'll get on with tarting it all up a bit more.
Posted at 1:19 pm by Jim Woods
Thursday March 27 2003
B*stard software, b*astard computers etc etc
I notice that this page breaks (as in causes random font variations in size) in Opera 6.06. Thanks again Opera for demanding MORE money - I paid my 39 bucks for version 5 - for the upgrade to new prolonged active dog. Erm, I mean version 7. It's bad enough having to pay for a browser, let alone twice. So I soldier on with IE.
Speaking of which, I have furthered my empirical research into my 98 / IE6 problems. You will recall that I recently learnt (not, of course, from Bill) that upgrading from IE4 (as installed with 98) straight to IE6 is what we in the trade call "a known w*nker". Handy, that, since that's exactly what Windows Update would have us all do. I'm repeating myself, but I'm cross and it's my site. So I'll rant on for a bit.
There is, apparently, a way of avoiding this scenario. Install IE5.5 as a stepping stone to 6. Great. Hours of bollocking about downloading stuff and rebooting the system endlessly. But after that, a result.
I spoke too soon. IE5.5 has been withdrawn by Microsoft. Who knows why, when it offers the solution to these problems, but it has. And I'm here to tell you, after another sleepless night, that using IE5.01 as the interim stage DOESN'T work. I could uninstall 6, install 5.5, and then reinstall 6 - but frankly, life's too short. So I'll live with frequent Explorer crashes and frequent IE crashes until either Opera build a better product and stop trying to rob me OR Mozilla gets its act together. I'm not holding my breath.
I just know that this is a plan to get everyone to buy XP, but I don't need it. Things have come to a pretty pass when I cannot continue to use a PC which has served me well for a couple of years with an OS I paid good money for without being railroaded into patching it to the point of instability.
Why the hell does the browser have to be integrated into the operating system anyway???
So we can better be spied upon and ripped off.
Time for lunch...
Posted at 12:58 pm by Jim Woods
Head.... spinning. Memories....
Must..... go to Amsterdam again before too long, I think. Incredibly, although I've spent a total of at least six months in Amsterdam, and have various web resources upon which I rely to keep up with the place, I had missed the official site. So here it is, www.amsterdam.nl.
Posted at 3:09 am by Jim Woods
Handy little doobrie, the digital photography. Here's a load of rather good tips on how to go about it.
Posted at 2:22 am by Jim Woods
Wednesday March 26 2003
Daily rambling and ranting
Ha! Just because I'm taking a holiday from the pressure of scouting new and interesting links, I'm not taking a holiday from ranting. See Boing Boing for neato links all the time. Here's what's going down here.
War. Can't say much about this because, frankly, it is a horrendously complex moral issue. Aside from worrying the hell out of me, the whole thing has certainly forced me to dig out all my radios. Anyone ever counted their radios? They breed. Most things I own have one built in. There's Sky satellite TV (loads of radio stations off these birds), my receiver (see equipment gloat page), clock radio alarm in the bedroom (Mmmm.... Clock radio alarm....), little tranny in the loo (no, not transvestite), another on the landing, and a couple of ghetto blasters. Radio 4 all over the house. What goes on I hear. And all the news channels on satellite TV. Media frenzy. I hope some tiny good comes of all this.
The battle with Windows and browsers continues. Having recently discovered that installing IE 6 directly onto Windows 98 (avec "integrated" IE 4) is a known problem I tried the following rigmarole. Every clean install I do of my OS involves doing the aforementioned upgrade. Frankly, I had not imagined that there would be any reason not to just install the latest version of the overwhelmingly most common browser on top of the ditto OS from the same company. Bill in Redmond has clearly not assumed this to be a common activity. Probably a plan to get me to upgrade to XP at vast cost....
Here's how I tackled the problem:
My fully patched and updated 98 install was updated to IE 6 SP1 almost immediately. Life has become greatly less stable as a result. So my first step was to uninstall IE 6, which restored IE 4. So far so good.
I have gleaned - and when it comes to definitive info on the entrails of Windows this is no easy matter - that I will experience greater stability (and ain't it all relative?) if the upgrade to IE6 is carried out via an interim install of IE 5.x. So I dig out a copy of IE 5, and install it. I do all the Windows Update rigmarole to get it up to date. I am reminded that 5 is a lot less memory-intensive, or seems so at least. I hazard a brief surf, which reminds me that my only reason for putting up with the bloatosaur that is 6 is that 5 is brain-dead with regard to handling cookies. Hey ho.
Next, I add bloaty IE 6. Lovely, not. I do all the Windows Update rubbish - service packs for service packs etc etc.
WHY THE HELL DOES MICROSOFT NOT JUST INCLUDE ALL ITS FIXES IN THE IE 6 DOWNLOAD??? Why must we again and again restart the system and download more fixes??? Really annoying for those of us on broadband. Ghastly on dialup. I do wish there was a way of just downloading an up-to-date copy of IE. Surely this is not impossible for MS to arrange?
Now I am back where I began. I have IE 6. Hopefully things are more stable now. My arse. Things are much worse.
Off I go to give Opera another go. This is making an old man of me.
My house is jumping again. I suspect the work of the devil, or public transport. There's little to choose really. More rant when I have the energy.
Posted at 2:36 am by Jim Woods
Monday March 24 2003
Spam and irritation
Good grief, I'm getting a lot of spam these days. Is it just me, or is it getting worse and worse? It's like the bad old days when I used to get epidemics of physical junk mail; at least that was sorted by registering with the Mailing Preference Service or whatever it's called. I wish there was a decent working solution to the spam.
I've just learned that upgrading directly from IE 4.x to 6.x without an intervening sojourn with 5.x is troublesome on 98 boxes like mine. Bloody marvellous. I had noticed that the whole setup was noticeably less stable of late. I hadn't realized that this was due to my using Windows Update to do all recommended maintenance by downloading patches and upgrades. Thanks Bill. No doubt the proposed solution is to update the operating system, but I'm happy enough with 98 in most respects. I'm certainly not looking to spend eighty quid or whatever right now. Arse. More and more I am tempted to abandon Windows...
Posted at 4:38 am by Jim Woods