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

Saturday March 19 2005

I make no guarantees

that I'll get around to doing much with it, or that I'll keep it in operation in the long term, but I now have a Microsoft "Space" here. I'll be clear: It's a free service, and that's why I'm playing with it. No other reason, and as you'll know I already have this blog and one on Blogger so it's not like I'm short of places to put things. I have, however, moved slightly from my position of "avoid Microsoft wherever practically possible", at least with regard to their free services. This is because I have recently been impressed by their upping the capacity of my Hotmail account (not that I ever really use it much) and introducing what seems to be really rather effective spam filtering on it too.

From my miniscule tinkering so far I can see that for those who are never going to get it together to actually put a site together themselves by groping about in the oily bits of HTML, a Space is probably a good thing. I remain sceptical of the long-term viability of remotely-hosted stuff though. It's a relative pain to do much that looks good or has much functionality using Blog (as I do here) for example, but I can stick the whole of this blog / site - three years of bucolic ranting - on any web space I have access to within about five minutes. And that's called standing on your own two feet.

Get a Space though. You've nothing to lose in trying it out really, have you?

Posted at 12:33 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday March 16 2005

I have the strangest feeling

that I mentioned this before, but I can't find it and therefore have to assume that I didn't do so. I stumbled across this large but promising piece of software, NASA's World Wind, and made a mental note to give it a try. It's a big 171 meg download, but anything that promises to let one view satellite pictures of the world at a reasonable resolution has to be pretty exciting stuff.


Posted at 3:51 am by Jim Woods

Monday March 14 2005

Why, I wonder,

have I just had to resort to hacking my V-CamShow data file to death to get the application to run without error? Jim does re-install of computer from reformat upwards, reinstalls webcam application, copies carefully backed-up data file back, and - gets an error dialogue every time anything does anything. Apparently "12:00:20 A is not a valid time". I find no evidence of "12:00:20 A" lurking anywhere in the app's setup, and it sure ain't the current time. Finally, enraged by being impeded from wishing I was in a variety of other European locations, I poke around the "vcamshow.dat" file with Notepad, and see many instances of the fateful "12:00:20 A". Pretty clearly it is the time of - well, something - but why on earth it figures in the details of every camera entry is beyond me. Always one to favour brute force and ignorance where software is concerned, I simply do a search and replace - search for " A" and replace with f*ck-all. All is sorted. But it's an odd old world.

Great piece of free software in other respects, though.


Posted at 4:27 am by Jim Woods

For reasons as yet not properly

got-to-the-bottom-of I more often than not carry around a bag. Firstly, it allows me to carry much more of my essential handy stuff than my poor pockets will withstand, and secondly it's somewhere to put the shopping - in my case usually lunch and/or CDs and DVDs. I do like to root around in the cheapo bins of large media megastores. Imagine my delight, as a luggage-fetishist, when I discovered Gizmodo's periodic "what's in my bag" feature. At last, a chance to compare the extent of my baggery (spell checker suggests buggery, but I think we'll not go there today) with that of others - albeit others who generally seem rather more fixated on techno gear than myself. And richer, probably, although right now that's just about anyone. Bag joy, then, reached almost unbearable levels when I found this Flickr site where hundreds of people have done their own what's-in-their-bags pictures. I'd do my own pic for them, but my (okay, permanently borrowed) enormous iron-age digital camera is never charged up, let alone close at hand. I guess that, and my non-ownership of a hard-drive based media jukebox or a PDA, makes me a bad geek. Or perhaps not a geek at all, relatively speaking. In fact I have a pathological distrust of things that have to be recharged, because I've never recharged them just prior to needing them. Still, here's the verbal version. One day there may be a picture, but I really wouldn't be on tenterhooks for that.

I wonder what a tenterhook is?

My bag is either a Samsonite messenger bag I got in Boswell's sale or a green mono-strap rucksack thingy also from Boswell's. God bless the value-for-money of this independent Oxford department store.

In it I carry:

Sendo mobile phone (cheap but does what I need and has ridiculously good 400 hour battery life)

Nec 616v mobile phone (seldom with credit, but tolerable as a low-res camera and has useful apps)

Simple "Waiter" Swiss Army knife. Blade, screwdriver, tweezers, bottle opener, corkscrew. Care to guess at my hobbies?

Denim mini-Filofax used as diary, in which I've generally forgotten to note appointments.

Glittery metal notepad from Marks and Spencer gift shop for, er - making notes.

A couple of pens and maybe a pencil (you can't trust technology)

Antacid tablets from Tesco. Not unrelated to hobbies.

Tissues. Not hobby-related, I promise you.

Condoms. Hope springs eternal.

Various Allen keys for things on trusty bicycle and guitar, twin pillars of civilization.

My watch if wearing it has been pissing me off. I have a vast hoard of mostly broken cheap watches. That's another story though.

A little Sanyo AM/FM stereo radio thing I bought at duty-free in Dover Hoverport (now tragically defunct - boy, I loved riding to France on those big hovercraft) twenty years ago. Runs for about a decade on one AAA battery, and eases withdrawal from BBC Radio 4 while out and about. My kind of technology.

On some occasions my £15 CD walkthing from Tesco, loaded in all probability with mid-period Miles Davis. Very useful for terrifying children and animals, and sometimes myself.

Cheap sunglasses if any real risk of sun. Largely superfluous in UK.

Maybe some other bits and bobs. Right now, legal paperwork more often than not.

What's in your bag?

I know - you have no bag. And you're in bed asleep, not ranting about your luggage like anyone really cared.



Posted at 3:26 am by Jim Woods

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