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Saturday November 15 2003


The deluge of spam continues unabated :( Seems like this particular problem has got well out of hand lately, as it seems that most people I know are being inundated too.

On the good news front it looks as though there is going to be at least enough new Farscape to resolve the story, left hanging rather when the fifth season was cancelled last year. Fingers thoroughly crossed, despite increasingly severe hand pain.

In Japan they have the world's most powerful supercomputer, which is splendidly called the Earth Simulator. You can read up on what they've been up to with it on the official site. Suffice it say there's some really, really clever stuff going on. Just think, with that kind of power you could even work out the details of my debts! Astonishing.

What else is new? Oh yes - I found another company, Tranquil PC, that specialises in PCs that won't give you hearing damage if you have them whining and roaring away by your ear. So that's nice. If there was any money in the Jimbo computing budget I'd be tempted. As it is, I'll be paying for the stuff I already have for the next hundred years or so. Really pretty little units though, and I recommend a shufti if you're after a new 'puter and style and silence carry more weight with you than muscle. In particular, they are no real use for gaming. Most other things, no problemo.

There's a good article here on The Register which clarifies exactly what the imminent legislation concerning the use of mobile phones while driving means. Have a look if you're someone who does that sort of thing.

The Mozilla site has had a nice facelift. I can so very nearly use their Firebird browser all the time. But still not quite. Please fix the bookmark management people - it's a really important part of the browser, not an afterthought...

NIRO have produced an interesting home cinema rig for those who don't want there room turned into a pig's breakfast of cables and cabinets and electrickery. I suppose there are people like that, but it pains me to think so. I mean, your living room is your shrine, right? It's where your symbols of earthly power are arranged. It's where you worship at the multi-denominational altar of your debt. Where you silently contemplate the mysteries of all media, and confront the "stuffer" - that telly's all crap and yer Floyd sounded better on the stereo you built while you were at school. It's all character-forming stuff. It's the root of your strength, and the humbling focus of your tiny wasted life. I love mine, at any rate.

But not everyone's like that. Some people have partners that want to use the shrine-room for other things. Things like - well, I've no idea what else they'd do in there but they don't want the whole place filled up with consumer electronics. They're sick, they're dangerous, they're wrong and they may even be female. But thanks to their heretical views we have NIRO. One speaker, one subwoofer and a slim DVD player-cum-CD player-cum-digital amplifier, and that's all. Miraculously, this all sounds just like a full home cinema setup, with thrilling surround sound and at a cost of only six or eight hundred dollars.

My fat white hairy arse.

I can live with the idea that for many people something like this will be good enough. It's sad, and it impoverishes the human spirit in all of us, but many people will be happy with it. It's a sonic Big M*c and it'll no doubt sell like one. But let's please not talk about it as high-end audio. NIRO do. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

Enough rant. Get to your shrine and do your devotions. It's Saturday, people. You'll need to be on the lash any minute. No time to waste...


Posted at 6:44 pm by Jim Woods

Friday November 14 2003

Beta of Blog

I am much pleased by the latest beta of Blog 8.0 - link at top right, you know the drill by now. Many wondrous things are promised, such as more ways of publishing than you could shake a telegraph pole at and an HTML preview mode. Call me old-fashioned, but I simply type plain text and links in and send the results off by ftp. As a result of this semi-Luddism I only really have a view on those simple aspects of what is becoming a fairly complex and powerful piece of software.

For me the single best thing about Blog is that it remains the only piece of working software I've ever found that will allow me to keep a nicely databased series of entries such as this on my computer and send another copy to the web independently. My significant quibbles were restricted to an instability in the toolbars that led to various frustrations. Fahim has fixed all that - touch wood - so I'm a happy man. Text entry now seems more stable too on longer entries, which is all to the good.


Posted at 7:03 pm by Jim Woods

Thursday November 13 2003

Here's a couple of disparate things

Firstly, these superheroes sure know how to have a good time.

And secondly, more rather good photos of cycle trips around the Netherlands - which I've done and would do again tomorrow.



Posted at 1:20 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday November 12 2003

Well, here I am darlings!

Blogging functionality restored to at least tolerable levels by the star Fahim. If you're using the very early beta of Blog with the problems with links, pictures and so on then the permanent link in the box to the right of this will lead you to a newer less buggy beta of blog. An aside here: children, eat your vegetables or the buggy beta of blog will get you.

We're off to see the beta, the buggy beta of blog.

Get a grip, man.

So what's new? Well, I have to be recording in half an hour so here's content with brevity thrown in for free:

Here's an article on TiVo. I confess to feeling like the first guy in the article sometimes. Still, everything has its good and bad points - and too much choice is seldom bad. Aargh, I haven't the time to get into this right now due to musical stuff to do. I'm bursting for a choice rant about choices too. It'll have to wait.

Here's a guy who writes with insight and eloquence about the theory and practice of blogging, and a lot of other things too. A good read.

I'll be back, if not Arnie, with more poptastic drivel when I have the time. For a man as laid back as me I never have time except in the middle of the night. Which erodes my wellbeing.



Posted at 6:47 pm by Jim Woods

Tuesday November 11 2003

I am

loading a great deal of frightening jazz, hairy-arsed rock and just plain wrong ambient recordings onto a newly-acquired (and cheap) 20gb MP3 jukebox. This allows me to enjoy filthy racket, and move data, in many environments - including my Micra (choice of kings) since it even came with a car kit. It'll even do something stupid like up to about a million hours of live recording, so I can do sound experiments while on the bog and other less exciting projects.

Of course this doesn't help you, dear reader. You want to know where the diatribes are, the cool links and unhinged jabbering.

Well, they're still largely suspended while Blog gets sorted. I am lobbying hard re the new version, but the one I'm running is as yet not conducive to much protracted blogging. Edge of seat, prayers delivered upward; soon I'll be in business.


Posted at 12:58 am by Jim Woods

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