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

Saturday May 10 2003

The fearful Stylophone

Because I am extremely old, I can actually remember coveting a Stylophone back in the early seventies. I think it was because Rolf Harris was associated with it or something. Unfortunately it cost a princely tenner, so there was no chance at all of my getting my hands on such a costly item. I had a friend who had one, but my constant fearful racket and the exorbitant cost of the batteries needed to feed my art put a terminal strain on the friendship. Nowadays the buzzing beast is a collector's item. Extraordinary.

Anyway, this site has a large representation of the dark one's organ. And you can play it. Get down.

Posted at 1:26 pm by Jim Woods

Friday May 9 2003

Busy at the moment

So entries will be sparse. But here's a rather interesting NASA time-lapse video of 24 hours of U.S. air traffic. Be aware, medievalists on dial-up, that it's 14 Mb long. Sorry.

Posted at 8:52 am by Jim Woods

Wednesday May 7 2003

Blow your tiny little mind apart!

Can't cope with maths? Can't understand how origami works? Excellent. I'm the same. I wish there were more like us.

If you wanted to defect to the ranks of the nerdy, here's a helpful site.

I think I'll need to lie down soon.

Posted at 11:02 am by Jim Woods

Aha - and there's more

Following on from yesterday's entry about the "Making Ends Meet" site - and I've spent a fair few hours exploring that, I can tell you - I have discovered a load of other panoramic stuff on the host site. So in the light of this, this heeyah is a better starting point for your explorations.

Posted at 9:57 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday May 6 2003

How others live

If you've got the patience (or the bandwidth - gloat mode on) you can visit this site, Making Ends Meet. It contains excellent and thought-provoking Quicktime VR tours of various places. So far only the Danube Delta of Romania seems complete. But you can walk around an entire village and learn how the people there get by.

It should, and probably will, make you feel both lucky and strangely wistful...

Ironically, you'll need a pc with Quicktime and a decent connection to get a tiny window on this simple world.

Posted at 6:10 pm by Jim Woods

Monday May 5 2003

Digital Tallinn

Well, I can't say I've seen a site as highly designed and weirdly intriguing as this one for a long while! I've always had an interest in the Estonian capital, ever since I used a rather cracking poster of its turrety glory as a meditation aid to avoid actually thinking while at school. And now I stumble across this site...

A word in advance to you medievalists on dial-up: the site is heavy on graphics and sound. But it's worth it, because you probably won't have seen the like. Do go for the Flash option - Flash by name and flash by nature.

Posted at 10:13 am by Jim Woods

I can't believe he's ranting about free software YET AGAIN...

The cry goes up.

If you'd be a Mozillist were it not for all the rubbish festooned about it, then give K-Meleon a shot. Nice and simple, and has only one major deficiency in my view - the popup window blocker and cookie management is not very flexible, meaning that they're best disabled. It is plenty small and lightweight though, and brilliantly you can use your Favourites from MSIE and manipulate them in a transparent fashion. By this I don't mean that you can smear yourself all over in grease and wrap yourself in clingfilm while surfing - although there are a lot of proponents of that, and who am I to judge - but that you don't have to arse around importing and exporting stuff in order to keep all your bookmarks (favourites, whatever - just terms for the same thing) synced between browsers.

Freedom from IE, without the usual pain. Well worth a go.

Posted at 6:36 am by Jim Woods

Eurotunnel cheap joy

If like me you like to shop in France from the UK, because booze and tobacco and food and clothes and so on are so much cheaper, be aware that at the moment the already pretty reasonable day trip fares for a car filled with dedicated smokers, piss-artists and fat b*stards are even cheaper at the moment. Go look at the Eurotunnel site for more info.

I tell you, if you're paying UK prices for most stuff you're crazy, rich, amazingly idle or you don't have a car. And if you need a car, you can save up to 40% or so on it buying it in Europe. Go to it, troops.

Posted at 4:00 am by Jim Woods


Don't you just love it when I talk about software! So here I am, after sweating out a nasty something or other over the last four or five days, itching to tell you about something I've found.

Faithful readers of this blog will know that I've talked a great deal in the past about how invaluable I find hierarchical tree type organizer software. You'll recall that I've said that KeyNote is a great tool for sorting out all those bits and pieces of text, and maybe that I've bemoaned the fact that it's not possible to have a simple live spreadsheet running in it (although it's promised for the not-terribly-immediate future). Well, I've found a rather useful little free app called XDesk95 which allows data to be entered in a free-form text format AND in tabular form. Simple sum and product stuff can then be performed on that tabular data. This is handy as hell for doing total insurance value of a list of electronica (yes! yes!), for example. So hats off to XDesk95 really.

But there are a few salient points to make before we all get rid of KeyNote or Maple or whatever we're using for text trivia storage and the like. First, XDesk95 has now evolved into a shareware product called EZOrganizer; therefore there will be no further free lunches or bug fixes or whatever. But who cares as long as the app works for us? One cannot spend one's whole life changing apps and chasing updates, although sometimes I feel as though I'm trying. Upshot: XDesk95 is in its final form as a free app, and what's broke - not that I can find anything - isn't going to get fixed.

Secondly, and this is as much a plus as a minus except to real purists, XDesk95 is a multi-purpose app. It does appointments and calendars things as well as tree-type texty things. Oh, and it has a very pokey calculator too. So If you want real simplicity and dedication to a task, it may not be your cup of tea. It is all round useful though in my opinion. It even shows a neat little date readout in your taskbar; no need to mouse over the Windows clock to quickly see the date.

I like XDesk95, and you may well like it too.

Posted at 3:40 am by Jim Woods

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