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 June 28 2003
A Lomo is a small, robust Russian camera, capable of taking particularly distinctive pictures. Something to do with the wide-angle lens, apparently. I'd posit that the Lomo film probably has something to do with it too though, judging by the colour saturation of most of their example shots. If you nip over to their site, you'll see what I mean. And there are some really, well, "different" cameras for sale in the online shop. You have to admit Russian stuff is cool.
There are loads of nice pics on the site, which I'm recommending partly because it's so nicely put together. It really makes you want to buy one of the little beasts and shoot off a few rolls of film!
Posted at 8:32 pm by Jim Woods
Friday June 27 2003
Can't leave it alone
That's right, you can believe your eyes. I've butchered some art (I buy it by the pound, my dear) in order to tart up the appearance of the site. I like the effect - it's easier on the eyes, and still loads quickly. I've also monkeyed around with the layout a little bit, hopefully making it clearer and more logical. Stuff on my site in the left column, pics on the right. Let me know if you love it or hate it.
Posted at 7:20 pm by Jim Woods
I really like this
Fourteen years of graft and really out there ideas have transformed this house, Luna Parc, into an amazing fantasy place. I can't easily describe it, so you'll just have to have a look. I particularly like the garden and its contents.
Posted at 1:59 pm by Jim Woods
Here's a gem, although you may already have heard of it. Open Office is a free, open source (so if you can be bothered you can see exactly what it does...) replacement for a certain other commonly-used office suite. It's an enormous download at 51 meg, but then again it's free. If you have annoying friends who send you files you can't open (in Excel format or whatever), this is your chance to cope. The package will load and save a huge number of file formats, uses XML as its own native format, and can even create PDF files. What's not to like?
Posted at 11:51 am by Jim Woods
Thursday June 26 2003
Personally, I like odd music. I certainly like the idea of it, and I often like the sound of it. So I'm pleased to have found this site, oddmusic.com. There is some really interesting stuff here.
Posted at 4:57 pm by Jim Woods
More on Trepia
Earlier this month I wrote about the Trepia instant messenging client. At that point, although I liked the idea of a messenger which took into account the geographical proximity of its users, I couldn't get it to work. Well, the software has been updated and now does work for me. Therefore there is a sporting chance it'll work for you too. If you feel that you haven't been sufficiently interrupted recently, or in fact that your life is far too long for the available occupations, you could get this loaded up in addition to all your other IM applications...
Posted at 12:50 pm by Jim Woods
Mozilla 1.4 Release Candidate 3 is now available on the Mozilla site. Seems very recently that it was release candidate 2 I was telling you was available. Clearly things are proceeding apace... Anyway, nothing new in this release except for loads of bug fixes apparently. Nothing wrong with bug fixes, mind you. It's a pity more software doesn't get tightened up and made more stable periodically instead of just being made larger and more feature-laden.
Posted at 10:32 am by Jim Woods
Tuesday June 24 2003
Another one of those useful freeware distribution sites which I love so much. Freeware Home is a big site as they go, and relatively nuisance-free. I'm slightly disconcerted by the listing of Internet Explorer 3.0, since the world has rather moved on, but a look at the updates section shows a healthy five or more packages being added every day. So the site is definitely not in limbo.
The thing about freeware sites is they'll never list everything that's out there. So you need to visit a few, and that's why I list them here when I come across a good one. Do be aware that "freeware" can mean "seething with hard-to-remove adware that pesters you with banners and does lord knows what behind your back". That's why NONAGS is such a good freeware site, as they simply don't list anything that's advertising supported or anything other than utterly free. And that's why you'll find a permanent link to them in the right column of this blog.
Given that much of the free software that uses adware or spyware doesn't actually come labelled with "more trouble than it's worth" warnings, let me put in another plug for Spybot Search and Destroy. If you're a keen web surfer you really NEED this excellent free package. It basically cures all web nasties. Not only does it remove spyware and adware, but it also deals with browser help objects that get jiggy with you and even immunizes your system against a lot of web-borne nasties. And trust me, there are plenty out there. Get this package, and update it regularly and use it as you would a virus checker.
Posted at 8:22 am by Jim Woods
Monday June 23 2003
Look at him go
I seem to be world record web active man today don't I?
I have made many trips to Belgium, and amongst other things there has always been a considerable devouring of the omnipresent and superb fries i.e. what we in the UK call chips and most of the rest of the world (erroneously, it seems) calls French fries. Fries with mayonnaise is the classic Belgian snack. So I am delighted to present, for your gourmet delight, an excellent website devoted to the topic.
Posted at 10:15 pm by Jim Woods
I've just done a thorough check (by hand, even) of all the links on my links page. Had to remove several dead ones, and update a few addresses, but all should be OK now - at least for a while. I don't add links to the list, since this entire blog fulfils the function of a searchable archive of new wonders that I stumble across. But there are, and probably always will be, a great many good links on the page already, particularly if you're into music (the odder the better). Check it out...
Posted at 1:02 pm by Jim Woods
I've made minor updates to the electronica page on this site (see link at right) to reflect equipment changes and enchantment / disenchantment fluctuations.
Posted at 12:16 pm by Jim Woods
Underneath Moscow - and other Russian cities - are all sorts of interesting things. Some are really rather naughty, as you might expect. All are worth reading about. A band of people called the Diggers are dedicated to the investigation of such stuff, be it bunkers or subterranean rivers or whatever, and they have a nice website here. Have a look-see.
There is, as you'll quickly notice, a slight hitch. The site is almost entirely in Russian. Given that your Russian is most likely on a par with mine (tovarich), this is a considerable obstacle. Might I suggest using a web translation service? The easiest way to do this is to use MyIE2 (link at the right here as usual), which has an interface to such services built into the browser menus. You'll be wanting the "Russion-English" option. Other highlights are "Spainish-English" and "Chinese Triditional-Chinese Simplified". There is a certain irony to a list of language translations which fails to correctly name/spell many of the languages. Still, the author of MyIE2 is Chinese, and it's a great piece of free software, so I'll stop taking the piss now.
Actually, no I won't. Because the translations you'll get from WorldLingo via the browser interface are hilarious. I don't know if it's because the Russian on the site is excessively colloquial (just a guess) or what, but you do need to persevere a bit just to read them. Still, cool subject matter. Worthy of some effort, given the paucity of such Muscovite bogelry on the web.
Posted at 10:17 am by Jim Woods
I remember when myself and a friend used to spend countless hours running a piece of software called Fractint in order to view the funky fractals. There was an element of competition involved. My friend, Paul, upped the ante by harnessing the awesome power of 16 or so colours to his (at that time spanking) 12 Mhz 286-based PC. I gnashed my teeth. His fractals were in colour! B*stard!
I headed to my local shop and mortgaged my soul for a new 20 Mhz 386 SX. What was I ever going to do with that power? Imagine - I could run Windows 3.0. I didn't want to, but I could see the way the world was going. Anyway, the throbbing beast could produce a hell of a fractal. And it only took about 12 hours, depending of course on zoom factor and complexity. I was cock of the walk. How I gloated. Paul was taking a few days to get results like these.
When I recently remembered the fun I had plotting fractals, I thought that with my (admittedly far from state-of-the-art) Duron 850 I'd be able to enjoy hitherto-undreamt-of plotting power. I sought some software with which to do the dirty deed. And that's where the rot set in. Fractint had hardly been updated at all! It was still a DOS program, and therefore 16-bit, and it only used 256 colours at most. A great bit of software, but nearly a decade past its prime. What a shame.
Recently, tremendous joy! I found this baby, Fractal Explorer. Get this freebie and play with it. It really is superb, I promise you. Do something that really hammers that new PC, and blows your mind in the process. And be glad you weren't doing this sort of thing back in the stone age, where it could take a week. And then the result could disappoint...
Posted at 2:55 am by Jim Woods
And because I love you all dearly...
I found this rather cool site which covers abandoned autobahn stretches in Poland. Rumour has it the builders got told to go home without much ceremony before they'd had a chance to finish the roads. Good, because not only did the forces of darkness get a sound thrashing but we get to look at the fine ruins. Ruins. Yum.
Posted at 2:31 am by Jim Woods
Buying property abroad
Here, for the faithful, are a load of links related to buying a house in France or Spain. These links are not supposed to be a comprehensive overview of the subject; they simply represent my travels so far on the web. So play with the links, look at the links from these pages and so on. This should be a good start for you...
Posted at 1:34 am by Jim Woods