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

Saturday December 6 2003

Clickable, layered historical maps in Flash

What the hell do I write now? The title of this post rather says it all. Bugger. I've gone too soon. Aha! Link to it. Just the job. Another post.

Not that I can't be arsed to write much at the moment, you understand.

Sometimes writing things here begins to seem like a duty, and at those times I become pettish, petulant and a hair's breadth from Petula Clark. Nice, but James Last she's not.

In future there will be a resumption of longer, more unpleasant entries. But not just yet. I'm off to the pub.


Posted at 8:49 pm by Jim Woods

Friday December 5 2003

A fair amount of festive fun

Some nicely caustic Christmas blogging over at this site.

It doesn't necessarily reflect my views though. For the record though, I like Christmas. You get loads of coloured lights to look at, and you get to eat and drink a great deal. You get time off, and people buy you stuff and you buy them stuff. I reckon buying stuff is more entertaining than owning stuff, so the fact that you don't have to fill your own gaff up with all this tat is a plus. So there.


Posted at 2:47 pm by Jim Woods

Thursday December 4 2003


There's a new "fast, simple" UK search engine at Fush. The name's good, jury is still out on the efficacy of the engine.

Posted at 12:02 pm by Jim Woods


This entry is a test, nothing more, related to a weird little bug I have discovered in Blog.

On a related theme, the first entry for today is somehow listed at the bottom of yesterday's entries.

Nothing like an intellectual challenge, eh? Lovely...

Posted at 11:53 am by Jim Woods

Wednesday December 3 2003

Play your LPs with a laser

You have your vinyl, and you love it. But each time it's played the cruel stylus shaves off some more high frequencies. Bugger. The stylus also grinds any dirt and dust it finds on its travels into the groove walls. F*ck. And those static pops? Arse. Your vintage James Last platters are a battleground for hostile forces, dammit.

There's a turntable which uses a laser instead of a stylus, thus eliminating the above disadvantages. Hooray! It's 10-12,000 US dollars plus shipping plus import duty though, so you can't afford it and nor can I. And since it uses a laser and therefore reduces analogue vinyl to CD quality - not really comparable if you're at all serious about these things - you may as well record the LPs from a decent turntable to a domestic CD audio recorder; the hardware cost for that is going to be more like a grand. Quite a lot less if you're a cloth-eared buffoon happy with humble kit. So never mind the laser turntable, really. Go and drink fifty quid instead - it'll do you more good.

Aren't you glad I'm always finding useful links to interesting things for you?


Posted at 11:57 pm by Jim Woods

Hobbiting along

I watched "The Two Towers" over the last couple of days, pictures gorgeous on whizzy new DVD player and fillings rattling from beast surround rig. I thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous pictures, but I had to watch the film in three sittings since it's ridiculously long - at least on the "special extended edition thing". It was a visual treat, of that there can be no doubt. It was also dramatically less tedious than the first film of the trilogy (I cannot easily remember the titles to all parts I'm afraid, and am not enough of a hobbit-fancier to try too hard), which can only be a good thing. In fact I'll complement the movie by saying that it was so beautifully shot and edited that I was able to enjoy it despite the uninvolving characterization and the constant urge to look behind me for a gaggle of teenage boys with Michael Caine glasses held together with sticking plaster chanting "but have you read the book?", and planning their next bout of fantasy role-playing.

I don't know why I have this thing about the whole fantasy sub-culture. I think it may be that I graphically remember the sort of people who spent their teenage years doing this sort of thing while I worked hard to seduce every hairdresser (females in my case, but good luck to you all) in the locality of my school, and painstakingly researched the relationship between intoxicants and motorcycles with a view to finding the sweet spot on the curve. And played my electric bass loudly, if not as skilfully as all that. The thing is, the world runs on people; they're what makes or breaks one's little life. And I didn't reckon that having my snout stuck in "the manual of imaginary beings and worlds" was any substitute for a bit of life experience, cage-rattling and rampant socializing at that point. I still don't.

Shouldn't fantasy be an interest for the senile? Surely they're rather more suited to it. It's not a young person's game. The young want to be out there making sure they don't regret not doing stuff in future.

Still, I enjoyed the visual treat.


Posted at 11:37 am by Jim Woods


I found a blog which is a mine of useful info on mobiles. Includes a link to a Nokia unlocking tool amongst other good things.

Yeah yeah yeah.


Posted at 12:34 am by Jim Woods

Harry Potter

I've just acquired (second hand, cheap, yes yes) the second Potter film, The Chamber of Secrets. Much more like it. This is a much more light-hearted and entertaining fantasy world than yer LOTR.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah - it's all clear to me now. I have a mental age of seven.

Posted at 12:10 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday December 2 2003

Ugh uuugh

must... write. Must write in...... blog.

Been quiet, at least as far as this blog is concerned, for which I apologize.

Go have a look at this astonishing Coral Castle, by way of apology. It's rather cool. I'd like to build a house with all sorts of quirky features, strange machines and offworld architecture. But it ain't going to happen, because I only have about seven minutes per day of focussed productivity in me. The rest of the time I'm dicking about the web looking for good stuff to post, or polishing my rages. So you'll need to stop holding your breath and go look at the Coral Castle instead. Any site which blasts cheesy music at you has to be a winner!

Tons of cheesy music links on my links page, as the assiduous will have realized.

I have just resolved to make something weird for my house, in the light of my statement above. Just as soon as I've cracked the inner mysteries of the Roland VS880 EX's effects expansion board, my chief bugbear at the moment.

Christmas is coming, and I actually like it - so I'm pleased about that. Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men, make mine a Guinness and an extra-large extra-hot curry. It's always been a cause of sadness to me that turkey doesn't make a better curry. Still, my Christmas day catering is in the capable hands of my sister in any case. All I have to do is show up and explain in detail what's wrong with it while my father kicks off and my mother tells him not to, causing him to kick off about that too. I'll kick off later on in the day, as I am a firm believer that time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.

My finances are not good in the lead-up to the festive season. But hey, they're not all that bad either. Woohoo.

I have no doubt talked here about Webcam Watcher. It's the only piece of software I've ever found that will let you keep an eye on a load of webcams in a convenient and logical way without paying money for the software. There is a paid-for version, sans limitations, as well. But the free version allows 20, which is as many places as I'm usually pining for at a given time. You'd have to be a world class piner to need more. I really recommend that you try it, as it's beast fun. After a couple of years there has finally been an updated release, but the limitation has shifted: instead of a limit of 20 cams there is now a limit of 200 - but there's also limited running time and the program quits after half an hour. I'm sticking with the old run-twenty-cams-for-ever version. Apart from the shift in restrictions there doesn't seem to be much material difference between the old and new versions.

SongTrellis is a good site, offering "Music and Musical Know-how For You". Howard found me this one, as I was hoping to figure out how to play my 1 1/2 BB King licks over the top of some jazz standards for the enjoyment of myself if not others. Check it.

I notice that I am always typing "myslef" instead of "myself". Perhaps I'll turn this common and frustrating error to my advantage by founding a union of self-centred w*nkers. MYSLEF. It does have a certain cachet. A bit like ASLEF, to which a friend of mine belongs as he is a tube train driver. I always think ASLEF is the lion in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" but apparently not.

I think I'll finish up here and get my lunch. The sun is making a guest appearance, so a trot to the sandwichoir seems quite attractive.


Posted at 10:51 am by Jim Woods

Sunday November 30 2003

Digital Deli

This rather engaging little book was first published in 1984. Described as "The Comprehensive, User-Lovable Menu of Computer Lore, Culture, Lifestyles and Fancy", the whole thing is now freely readable online. It'll give you a good flavour of where personal computing was at at the time, and it's extremely readable. Dig around the site a bit while you're at it; there's plenty of other good stuff there.


Posted at 2:41 pm by Jim Woods

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