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

Friday May 23 2003


Some rather nice free Windows wallpapers on this French graphic designer's site.

Posted at 10:29 am by Jim Woods

Swedish techno-cyclist intrepid adventure

Swedish postal worker Patrik Ahlvik is doing a 3 month trip from the Northern tip of Norway all the way to Gibraltar. On his postie's push bike. He's taking a GPS mobile phone and a Nokia 3650 mobile phone - the snazzy new one with the camera built into it.

This web page will show his current position on a European map, . He'll also send notes from the journey by email, photo and SMS messages from the Nokia to this mobile blogging site.

I like cycling. I quite like my (distinctly mundane) Nokia 3310 mobile phone. But I'm not contemplating any such odyssey myself; I'm going to keep a close eye on this gent. Rock and roll.

Posted at 3:01 am by Jim Woods

Thursday May 22 2003

Ford SVT

One can give one's politically-incorrect petrolhead urges free reign at the Ford SVT website. They seem to be manufacturing some very naughty cars indeed...

Posted at 7:49 pm by Jim Woods

Royal Festival Hall site
London's RFH has what I'd call a fine example of a useful and functional web site. Obviously there are listings of upcoming events and so on, and the opportunity for punters to buy tickets online. What particularly impressed me, however, was that when bookings seats - from a handy seating plan - one can see a picture of the stage view from that location. It's such an obviously helpful thing, but that's what good design is. There are some excellent shows to catch there too.
Posted at 7:02 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday May 21 2003


Turned 40 today. So far, feels OK. Time will tell...

Posted at 12:36 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday May 20 2003

Sticking it to the useless
This woman's blog details the endless trouble she (and many others) have had with a certain electrical retail chain here in the UK. As a consumer electronics junkie I've had very extensive dealings with all manner of these b*stards and can confirm that they are characterized by poor customer service, badly-trained (and often mendacious, voluntarily or otherwise) staff and in general almost every conceivable type of product or behaviour you don't want. And to cap it all they have a habit of sending begging letters to you when the warranty on something you've bought from them is about to expire. Does anyone still fall for that extended warranty crap any more? DON'T BUY COMEDY EXTENDED WARRANTIES. DON'T BUY FROM ELECTRICAL SUPERSTORES UNLESS YOU REALLY KNOW YOUR STUFF AND THE CONVENIENCE IS WORTH IT TO YOU. Amen.
Posted at 6:22 pm by Jim Woods

Monday May 19 2003

Right, you'll wish I'd never started checking out coffee on the web

Ha! Trainee insufferable coffee-bore/pompous deli tosser reporting from amazingly fussy land. I have further played about with hand-grinding coffee beans, various types of ground coffee and my Morphy-Richards fifty-quid wonder machine. And guess what? The results are fairly bitter from the Morphy. Not appalling, but certainly not of the first water either. This, I now know, is because it's a cheapie machine. Extensive research has proved (and I may have already said this) that machines costing less than about 300 (or five years clothing budget as I'd call it) can't really do the business. This is because they tend to use steam to do the honours, and the last thing you want anywhere near your precious coffee is boiling water. It needs to be a few degrees below, or bitterness rears its ugly head.

I have enough bitterness in my life already, thanks.

Well, the day I spend 300 quid on a coffee machine is no closer really than it was before I started the whole geeky process of my researches into the brew. Partly because I have better uses for the loot, and partly because I can pretty much guarantee I'd immediately lose interest in the whole plot. So I've recommenced using the old cafetiere I've had for years. These little beasts cost very little and make great coffee. All they don't do is keep it warm for any length of time. But then I never was one to stew my coffee to death for hours and drink it continually. So the moral of the story for me is simple: hand grind the beans, use the cafetiere. Great coffee - minimal hardware. Okay, no espresso, but that's where the big bucks are required. Never was too bothered about espresso in any case. I rather like the idea of carrying out the whole process (apart from heating the water in a kettle initially) "by hand" like this. Simple is often best.

Doesn't mean I shan't continue to read around the subject though. See my earlier entry on coffee if you missed it for enough links to put you off coffee for life. Seems coffee's a bit like hi-fi; if you could ever possibly afford or justify some piece of kit or whatever, someone will tell you at length why it's deficient. Oh yeah.

Posted at 1:29 am by Jim Woods

Remember me talking about Myst?

Well, I see that we're on the brink of even more Myst excitement. Anytime in the next few months "URU - Ages Beyond Myst" is coming out. Not only is this a further, fourth. Myst adventure but it will be playable online using broadband. As with RealMYST the movement around the worlds is going to be fully three-dimensional and unconstrained, and when online there'll be the option to interact with other online players. Sounds excellent to me.

Posted at 12:04 am by Jim Woods

Sunday May 18 2003

Here is the extensive Bermuda website, for those who share my interest in tiny isolated islands. I grew up largely in Bermuda, which had its good and bad points. There's no debating that the colony is very attractive and prosperous though, and a dig around on this site will yield many stunning photos.
Posted at 5:27 pm by Jim Woods

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