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

Saturday August 21 2004

Very funny

indeed, this.

Posted at 3:52 pm by Jim Woods

Friday August 20 2004

I found

this amusing site containing a load of pictures of shambling specimens overcome by their refreshment...

Posted at 6:12 pm by Jim Woods

Thursday August 19 2004

The U.S.Navy's

first submarine is now to be hunted down. Check out The Alligator.

Posted at 5:01 am by Jim Woods

Mozilla browser

people, a new toy has appeared in your (our) world. Sunbird is a calendar/diary/scheduler application which can be used as a plugin or freestandingly (look mum, I've invented a crap word). If you're in the market for such a thing, why not have a play with it? It's in its very early stages at this point, but it seems to do all the stuff you'd expect vis-a-vis reminding you of appointments and so forth. And, of course, it's open-source and free. We like that.

Posted at 4:48 am by Jim Woods

Bloody hell,

don't I ever sleep?

Posted at 4:45 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday August 17 2004

Enraged by the

palsied performance of my ISP with regard to newsgroups, but basically happy enough with other aspects of their service not to rush into a change, I've read around the subject a little. The first thing I discovered is that yes, it's a known problem. It's crap, and it's been crap for ages and it may well not get fixed - at least soon. Marvellous. It's degenerated to the point where Xnews times out before getting anything done, even after a lot of manual config tweaks, more often than not. I've used Xnews for oh, probably nearly a decade, and it's always been the business. But it seems unable to really cope with ultra-slow servers. Fortunately some constructive Googling took me to this page. I installed Binary News Reaper 2 without further delay, as much because I liked the name as anything else.

Hey, guess what? It's a great newsreader. It's a bit confusing at first, since there is an amazing array of configuration options and the whole thing seems to require an in-depth knowledge of how news works under the skin. The edge is taken off this by the comprehensive documentation that comes with it though; just don't expect to access this from the shortcuts that are created on the start menu by the installer. On my system I had to browse for them manually as the installed shortcuts were incorrect. I've no idea why, as I did not alter the default installation path or anything like that. Still, the docs are there when you look using Explorer or whatever, in a subdirectory of the main program directory usefully entitled "documentation". This small annoyance notwithstanding, we now have a newsreader of pretty much unparalleled power and flexibility. It's to tenacious that it'll drag a big binary out of the most recalcitrant server eventually, and if you're trying to use the Pipex news servers that's what you'll need.

Give it a go. At the very least you'll learn a fair bit about nntp in the process.

Posted at 6:41 pm by Jim Woods

And I was beginning to think

that Oxford was largely devoid of interesting bloggers. Recent evidence suggests that this is not entirely the case.

Posted at 4:29 am by Jim Woods

Monday August 16 2004

What with the

amount of media I can receive via digital satellite TV, over my broadband connection and indeed via analogue radio - not to mention reading books and playing CDs, records and tapes and so on - you would think I felt beleaguered enough by information. Or do I mean entertainment? I'm not sure there's that much of a distinction anymore. Freedom, after all, is absence of choice. Choice is something that I've got rather a lot of at the moment, and I reckon a degree of rationalization is probably in order. That does not mean that I'm not interested in new formats though, and I found this rather helpful site which tells you pretty much everything about DAB broadcasting. From my perusal of it I conclude that the day when there's a lot of programming available Europe-wide is still some way off, as indeed is the day when DAB receivers are commonplace and - more importantly - cheap as chips. But there does seem to be some useful potential for DAB in the future, rather in the same way that digital TV is an inevitability. I think that for the time being my numerous cheap or free FM sets will do me though. Anyone have any experience with DAB?

Posted at 3:54 pm by Jim Woods

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