Jim's Inchoate Weblog
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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 November 29 2003
Things are somewhat hectic for me this weekend, so it may be Sunday night before I write here at any length.
Before I forget, though, my experiment with running Thunderbird in tandem with my regular mailer is proving worthwhile. I am still "training" the spam filtering, but it's shaping up well. My initial impression is that if you need to administer very large quantities of mail Thunderbird looks like a good tool. I'd class it as a bit big and heavy for my own modest day-to-day needs. See what you think.
Posted at 4:02 pm by Jim Woods
Friday November 28 2003
Right, let's have some good links then
"Wakey wakey, rise and shine - hands off cocks on socks", as they say in the army. It's time for me to dish out some improving links for you lucky lot.
And have I found some good stuff? Does Bombay Sapphire make you more attractive? Yes, and yes.
A mind-blowing map of the whole internet can be found here. And it's really, really beautiful. Treated with the colour scheme that these guys are using, it resembles a celestial event - a great amorphous glowing cloud of data and links - and a fair amount of porn, no doubt.
As a brief aside, I'm a voracious reader; I'm the sort of person who can't sit still and eat without reading matter. But I've just realized that I never talk much about books on this blog, if at all. I suppose that this is because I regards the printed page as a kind of parallel universe (cosmic today aren't we?) to the electronic page. Both, of course, are good. Anyway, I've just re-read Norman Davies' "Europe - A History" and thought I'd recommend it here. It's a great interpretation of events over the last millennium or so in Europe, and many of the appendices contain fascinating data that I think you'd take a long while to assimilate by other means. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (fiction) is fun as well, and I gather that you can now get the whole lot in one volume - Christmas bonus.
There's now a film based on the "Shut Up, Little Man" CD I mentioned a while back. I imagine it's hilarious. There are some good clips on the site; dial-up medievalists need probably not apply.
Umberto Eco, he of "The Name of The Rose" and "Foucault's Pendulum" fame, has a rather good lecture "on varieties of literary and geographic memory" published online at the moment. As a human geography graduate with a taste for the written word and a shocking short-term memory I found this rivetting. Get some highbrow in for the festive season and read it while it's hot.
EPC Sound & Radio Arts has a good "collection of sound poetry, audio art, audio hypermedia, and arts radio broadcasts" available online. I've been getting into listening to a lot of spoken word stuff recently; it's one of those pleasures that one can easily overlook, what with a large record collection and a pile of books and a satellite TV/TiVo rig. In fact, it's a wonder that I ever get anything done besides process sensory information of various kinds. Come to think of it...
I've hooked up an auxiliary shrine to technology that allows me to run all sorts of audio off the computer onto cassette tape for my car. Cracking.
If you like aircraft boneyards, than you'll need to take a squint at this (unofficial but beast) AMARC website. Wrecks aplenty. While you're at it, take a shufti at the online version of the Titan Missile Museum. Nice missile, vicar. And it even plays Amazing Grace on the bagpipes at you while you marvel. Trust me, even I couldn't make this stuff up.
There's a good site here on a U-boat wreck off L.A. Interesting ocean floor maps, and a good story. UB88 is the only U-boat wreck off the U.S. Western seaboard, although it was not sunk in action. If I'd known about this when I was in California in the early eighties I'd have dived into the sea and swum strongly down to it like Marine Boy, but I'm too old for all that now.
What else have I found over the last few days? Nothing I remember bookmarking for inclusion here. But stay tuned, and I'll be back after the break. Don't go changing.
Posted at 8:47 am by Jim Woods
Thursday November 27 2003
Yep, new version of the browser that allows you to keep using filthy IE's rendering engine for compatibility and insecurity while actually managing to get some work done - tabbed interface, popup blocking, countless neato features blather frot.
Fry my yellowed grunters if it's not a good one, too.
Tomorrow, when I am rested, I shall post some links that people like me will find fascinating. I've a few in store. Try and get some sleep despite the buzz of anticipation.
Posted at 8:39 pm by Jim Woods
Lovely lovely Amsterdam photos
And they're all here for you. If you haven't been, go. If you have been, why aren't you there now?
Yeah, I know. It's very expensive :(
And bloody cold this time of year.
Posted at 12:12 pm by Jim Woods
This man Francisco Lopez,
whose accent in Lopez has fallen victim to my UK keyboard and unwillingness to piss about with character map, comes very well recommended. I like the essays on his site, but have only found 30-second samples of his work - and those were on CD sales sites rather than his.I may very well buy a CD, because he does interesting things with sound. And that includes music, installations and a whole host of other possibilities.
This is a good and relevant place to remind you that the Quiet American site is a treasure trove of cool field recordings, as well as some more extensive manipulated sound productions. Lots of practical advice on field recording too, mostly but not exclusively using MiniDisc.
Posted at 5:32 am by Jim Woods
It's early in the morning
and guess who's pissing on virtual gate posts around the web? Me, that's who. Funny how I have an almost geographical sense of the places I go on the net; it'd be very interesting to do some sort of perceptual map of spatial awareness related to virtual places.
Still, f*ck that. Too much like hard work by far.
Here's some links to edifying and improving sites I've found.
First up, a chance to get two albums worth of prime cheesy music free and legal. Massive, throbbing, engorged, bonus... Of all the preceding terms, only bonus really applies in this case. But you must nonetheless make a point of getting on over to the Comfort Stand and grabbing that tiki while you have the chance.
Glasgow Survival is an amusing site. Very amusing, in fact, and all the more so if you've been there. Lovely city, but as the site says, not totally so.
Right, that's it.
Posted at 4:50 am by Jim Woods
Wednesday November 26 2003
With the best will in the world one is forced to wonder exactly what Ritchie Blackmore is up to these days. I liked it when he played his Strat loudly. We all did.
Posted at 3:47 am by Jim Woods
Playing with Thunderbird
As I often tell you, I approve of the Mozilla suite of web applications in general. Good, free - what more do you want? This general approval extends to the browser-only Firebird, which I make quite a lot of use of, and now Thunderbird. Thunderbird's the mail and news-only application. It is similar to, but not the same as, the mail and news part of Mozilla. I kept seeing it about when I was keeping tabs on Mozilla development, and I thought it would be worth a try. I'm happy with Vivian Mail really, which again I've said numerous times. I've used Vivian exclusively for my email for nine months now, and it really does the job in a small free package. Great multiple account handling and many other advantages. But no real likelihood of an update any time soon; it's been version 3.27 for the whole time I've used it, and the developers seem busy. No matter - it's all you need and I've not found any bugs, but there is this matter of the huge tide of spam...
Vivian lets me filter spam off. But this is a relatively simple keyword-based filtering method. It's slow, and you need as many rules / keywords as there are miscreants. The problem there is that once spamming w*nker boy decides that pen1s and perscr1ption are but two ways of defeating a keyword-matching filter farce follows swiftly. Bugger, in technical parlance. So I installed Thunderbird too (boom boom), telling it not to delete messages from the POP server - handily enabling me to give it loads of test fodder without my emailing via Vivian being affected at all. Vivian carries on business as usual, Thunderbird gets a copy of all my email too. Neat tip, that, for parallel evaluation of email software by the way. I notice some things about Thunderbird: it's biggish, although we're assured that that will change in time, and it filters spam and it's quite nice overall. It filters spam...
The way that it filters spam is that it looks at all your incoming mail and flags what it thinks is spam as such. It can be told to delete this (unwise, sight unseen) or move it to a junk folder or whatever. Great. Now, the clever bit is that you then look at the whole haul of email and correct the flags on it so that any junk the filter missed is amended to junk status, and anything wrongly flagged as junk is unflagged. Lovely. Over time, the filter learns. All you ever have to do is correct it as it grows in accuracy. What you don't have to do is muck about adding loads and loads of keywords to a list - which approach is rapidly becoming inadequate for spam control these days.
I will let you know how I get on with it as it's early days yet. But if you have a spam problem I'd suggest you may want to have a play with Thunderbird yourself.
Posted at 3:10 am by Jim Woods
Tuesday November 25 2003
Fiddle with multitrack
Posted at 7:12 pm by Jim Woods
Monday November 24 2003
Another bout of viral illness, it would appear. I'm literally sick of this. I'm officially becoming monastic, at least until I develop a thirst.
Posted at 10:15 pm by Jim Woods
Sunday November 23 2003
I found this comprehensive Jonathan Creek site while looking for, erm, a Jonathan Creek site. There are really comprehensive episode guides, which is handy.
Posted at 6:03 pm by Jim Woods