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

Friday February 18 2005

I am having a whale of a time

watching "Scratch" at the moment. Watch a bit here, watch a bit there, watch the whole thing again. Having somehow failed to pay sufficient attention while the whole hip-hop DJ thing evolved I am in short not compounding the error by failing to watch "Scratch" enough. And what is "Scratch"?. A fascinating documentary by a guy called Doug Pray which details the whole history of the hip-hop DJ is what. I can't get over the dexterity of some of the guys in this film, and above all I like the music. I bought the DVD on the strength of its reviews, and would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone who wants to broaden their horizons a bit.

And thank you, omnipotent being, for the ability to watch films on my computer. I can sit and do this on my Bond-villain landing (the office) rather than having to freeze my arse off in the living room (the Antarctic base).

Posted at 7:28 pm by Jim Woods

Thursday February 17 2005

I find that

strenuous avoidance of Internet Explorer, application of all updates and patches that Microsoft come up with, and the enabling of the XP firewall seem to combine to keep me out of trouble. I use the Firefox browser with everything locked down, and Thunderbird likewise for mail, and have AVG running to keep an eye on viruses. You need to do the same, and assuming you're already running XP none of this involves additional expense. Hurrah.

But there's also spyware. The bastard. So you need to fortify against that, and I use three packages - all of which are free. Reliable opinion has it that all of these packages will catch stuff the others miss, so that's why the belt and braces and glued-on trousers approach. The three, which of course you'll want to deploy, are:

Spybot Search and Destroy

Spyware Blaster

Ad-Aware SE Personal

Oh yes, and I'm also running Microsoft's own beta spyware-detecting software, catchily called Microsoft AntiSpyware.

And I found this free tool called Harden-It, which - and I quote the makers - "is a Network and System hardening tool for Windows, by hardening the IP stack your Network can sustain or completely thwart various sophisticated network attacks. Harden-It is intended for advanced or professional user". Boys, who could resist anything with a name like that?

So I reckon I'm reasonably secure. I've never lost data to any malware, so it all seems to be working. Good job really, as there's a lot of valuable data on the machine and I only have the one system. But what a wicked world it is when you need to go to all this trouble to safeguard a simple PC on the net :(

This is not really over the top stuff either...


Posted at 10:47 pm by Jim Woods

Came across

this slightly cynical but basically sound article on how to get served in a French cafe. Suspect that there's a degree of overstatement regarding the magnitude of the difficulty involved? Not in my experience.

I also found the Lighting Wiki. This not only fulfils the function of allowing you to learn all about the art and science of lighting, but also has added wiki-play joy. Wikis are very cool indeed.

I'm getting pretty tired of it being so cold here now. Roll on spring, roll on garden maintenance.

Posted at 12:05 pm by Jim Woods

Monday February 14 2005

There's just something

about the way I have to prepare these posts in Blog that slightly impedes my doing more posting here. I imagine I've just become so idle as a result of using "BlogThis!", in conjunction with Blogger, to do my contemptuously-cursory Inchoate Satellite blog. Somehow it's not the same when you actually have to write the entries, as well as cut and paste URLs and so on. Life's so hard :>

Actually, occasional bloody annoying bugs in Blog - or to be fair probably the HTML editing component which has always been something by an author other than the friendly and courteous Fahim - have made me think about the whole issue of software again. You can search this site to see all my various ramblings on the subject of blogging software and services, but to synopsize: With Blog I get to keep it all on my machine and publish to any old web space, whereas with anything else I've ever found that actually works (mentioning no names, oh ok then - TKBlog) I need server-side scripting or dependence on some third party like Blogger. Problem with otherwise very slick and free basic service from people such as Blogger? It may not always be free, they may turn funny, they may develop an irrational hatred of me, they may have rights - or decide to claim some - over my content, and so on and so forth. Just nicer to keep it all on my own box.

Actually, I'll just have another look at what there is.

Sorry if I haven't been sufficiently amusing of late for some. Willies. There you go.

Posted at 9:07 am by Jim Woods

BBC Radio 4

on Mondays (11.30 am) has a great adaptation of Lindsey Davis's "Shadows in Bronze" on at the moment. Episode 4 of 6 today. Had I known earlier I'd have said so earlier. The excellent "listen again" facility, included in the BBC Radio Player, will allow you to get the most recent episode though. For those who haven't come across them before, Davis's series of detective novels set in ancient Rome are really good fun, and apparently pretty accurate historically too - I wouldn't necessarily be able to tell, but it's good to know. I've always enjoyed reading them though, and I see that I'm about four behind. Bookshop visit coming on, I think...

Posted at 6:31 am by Jim Woods

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