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

Saturday October 4 2003

Holden Sandman

The Sandman is/was an Australian ute with a V8 and a neat image. A true icon of the Antipodean 70's.

Posted at 8:47 pm by Jim Woods

Friday October 3 2003

Dan's Data
A great site written by a straight-talking Aussie. There are loads of reviews, articles and so on concerning not only computers but all manner of electronic gadgetry. I'm glad it's not just me who, on getting a new gadget, feels honour bound to pull it apart and test it to destruction. Got to feed the toy-drawer...
Posted at 10:19 pm by Jim Woods

Abandoned Places update
Henk's lovely site of photos from derelict buildings has been updated, which is becoming a fairly rare occurrence as he is clearly busier than he was! What singles this site out from a legion of urban exploration sites is the quality of the photography; have a look.
Posted at 2:54 pm by Jim Woods

Thursday October 2 2003


Woohoo! OpenOffice 1.1 final release is out, huge and free. But it's something most of us need, so there.

Posted at 9:45 pm by Jim Woods

Surround audio

As a keen espouser of surround sound in the living room, I was interested to discover HighFidelityReview.com. This site has superb all-round coverage of new releases on SACD and DVD-Audio, which new formats both offer 5.1 sound. Now obviously it's possible to create a Frankenstein's monster by swiftly banging together a surround mix of existing material, but there also exists a growing body of work which is specifically recorded for 5.1. I'm holding off buying a player at the moment since it's so far unclear what the future holds for either format, but with the falling cost of the hardware I may in any case get an SACD player; I have an inside track on these. The idea of waving goodbye to inadequate 16-bit technology does appeal.

Posted at 2:40 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday October 1 2003

Useless Technologies
Bruce Sterling (read his books if you haven't, especially Cryptonomicon) has produced this nice list of ten technologies that really don't warrant the space they take up. Go to it Bruce, vent that bile!
Posted at 2:50 pm by Jim Woods

Things I don't like

Number 567,349 of an infinite series (how many discrete things are there in the world anyway?). I don't at all like the recent distressing tendency for such instant messenging services as MS and Yahoo to take steps to break interoperability between clients. What this means is that neat software like Trillian cannot access these various services as it used to. Patches are appearing, but the big boys are determined to try to force you to use their clients. Which would be fine if there clients were better - for which read not crawling with sad ads and able only to talk to their nasty little friends. Anyone who has to run three or more separate instant messenging clients to talk to everyone they know will realize what I'm complaining about.

This sort of proprietary mentality is very stupid, and in the mid-to-long-term will benefit no-one. If we can't have a standardised, open protocol for messengers (as we do for email, news and so on) then at least we should have the choice of client.

Time I posted some stuff that's not about software soon. I'll get on it...

Posted at 4:14 am by Jim Woods

All your stuff

in one place, nicely cross-referenced, so that you can write your novel or whatever. Regular readers know that I like software that ties things together and allows planning and organization, in my case for writing. So check out The Literary Machine (it's free). If you can make it through the somewhat conceptual instructions, this one is a good tool.

Posted at 4:02 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday September 30 2003

Loads and loads

of pretty fair abandoned building stuff here. Almost all of it in New York State, but well worth a look for everybody.

Posted at 1:11 am by Jim Woods

Monday September 29 2003

Move fast

in order to read this article on cassette tape, reminding us all why we loved it so. In fact, I still do. Chiefly because it's analogue but also because it's universal - you can give a tape to anyone in the certain knowledge they'll be able to listen to it, unlike MD and various other silly modern seen-them-come-and-seen-them-go formats.

There's also a nice kind of unassuming nature to cassette. Hands up who like me has heard quite enough overproduced bells-and-whistles home recordings of - yep, sounds like the school band. Multi-track cassette can sound great for home recordings, as well as for taping LPs so that you can preserve the life of the originals! Digital audio, let's face it, very seldom does. Bah humbug, that's what I say.

War on those who use digital recording because they think it sounds better. Their analogue gear must be dire :>

In fact, war on everyone. War day! Bring it on.

Round someone else's house.

I'll watch.

Time for dinner now.

Posted at 6:35 pm by Jim Woods

It's time

To get your wallet out, and pay up for a piece of software that really gets you out of the brown stuff when you're in it. PartitionMagic lets you do all sorts of re-partitioning, resizing and multiple booting on your hard disk. I just used it to persuade my machine to dual boot XP Pro and 98, as the official solution meant going back to square one and putting 98 on first. I only wanted 98 available to play games, and I was able to do this relatively painlessly. Highly recommended.

Posted at 4:50 pm by Jim Woods

Sunday September 28 2003

Bongo drumming TCP/IP

Extraordinary! Replacing the lower layers of the OSI protocol stack with bongo drums! 2 bps!

Posted at 5:14 am by Jim Woods

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