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

Thursday January 13 2005

I have been amusing myself

with webcams, as is often the case. No, not that sort.

There's something immensely satisfying about sitting at the computer after a long night's strategic planning and drinking proper freshly ground coffee as you watch the sun come up, or go down, or just shine all over the world. I've tended to use the trusty Webcam Watcher for this in the past. There's a great deal to be said for this software, as you can download a free version which allows you to view as many cams as you like; the only snag is that it only runs for half an hour. If you want it to run for longer you need to buy the unrestricted version, for a not unreasonable thirty bucks. I use the previous version (3.0), where the restriction on the free version is a preferable - to me at least - twenty cams. It'll run 'til you're cold and dead, but on twenty cams alone. Nonetheless, I've found it a stable and effective piece of software.

Now having a stable and effective piece of free software has never been a good reason not to look around for something else of course. And, in that spirit of failing to leave well alone, I was having a shufti around for other free webcam-watching software earlier on today and found V-CamShow. I'm already very enamoured of this. Reason? It's bloody good. Okay, you only get to see one cam at a time where Webcam Watcher neatly thumbnails all twenty or more for an at-a-glance view of how much better the weather, life and girls are elsewhere. But the V-CamShow (snappy name, guys) has at least one killer feature up its sleeve - the list of cams which you are able to painlessly download from within the software. So, you say, what is the big deal about adding cams to a piece of viewing software? Why would one particularly care about this part of proceedings? Isn't the wobbly web awash with such gewgaws, just waiting to be viewed?

Yes and no. My experience is that although there are many sites listing cams, most of these sites have a right old mess of listings. I have found that by the time the wheat is sorted from the chaff - and by chaff I mean dead links, principally - one's energies are largely dissipated. And I've yet to see any viewing software which allows one to easily add cams, in any case. There are always loads of fields to fill in, and the whole thing is a pain. Far nicer to just fire up the software, refresh the listing from within, and find about seven hundred and fifty largely online, largely neat, cams already there. Which, readers, is what is so good about V-CamShow. Ready to rock out of the box. I think this one is going to be my new baby.

Of course the only downside to this hobby is that one cannot help but feel a yearning to step through the screen when a particularly nice view appears. No travel for those with legions of lawyers to feed though. Not yet...


Posted at 7:00 am by Jim Woods



Wednesday January 12 2005

A load

of Andorran webcams. Mostly these are used by skiing fanatics to assess the general level of snow in evidence, although there are of course rather better and more reliable ways of doing that. I reckon that with the addition of some sort of zoom facility some of them could be used to assess the general level of alcohol and tobacco in the many duty-free shops. Rather more worthy stuff altogether.


Posted at 8:04 pm by Jim Woods



Tuesday January 11 2005

Been keeping busy

playing the old guitar, or rather more accurately newish guitar. Still experimenting with various pieces of outboard, and still looking around for a suitably manly amplifier. I think that the search is going to be a long and arduous one, but I do have a few pointers from friends.

Other than that, I've been catching up on a few movies via Sky. And having a few curries. I have a couple of weeks with nothing in particular to do, so I might take the opportunity to do a bit of early spring cleaning. I am in the throes of re-furnishing the house, so the next couple of weeks would be a good opportunity for a delousing session. Oh yes, and I bought a new bicycle - a fairly humble seven-speed town affair - and have been riding it around despite the wind and rain. Gets a bit of oxygen to the brain.

Not a lot going on online at the moment, but I feel an all-night web surf coming on. Stay tuned.


Posted at 6:14 pm by Jim Woods





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