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

Friday September 9 2005

Aha, what's this?

A first beta of Firefox 1.5 is what. And whatever the changes in terms of supporting new standards and their ilk, there is purely one thing about it that pushes my buttons. It appears at this early stage that they've fixed the one bug I really cared about. Now I can alphabetically sort things directly in the bookmark menu without losing the first folder in that menu as a matter of tedious predictability. This makes me very happy. I don't know how it took so long, but I'll be charitable and assume that it was a heroic struggle. Also, most of the extensions I was using no longer work (for now). Still, it doesn't hurt to have a good clear out from time to time. See what I do and don't really need.

Anyway, seems my browser is now better. And regular readers know well how important this is to me. After all, it's where I live. Partly.


Posted at 7:22 pm by Jim Woods

Thursday September 8 2005

And speaking of watches,

I don't know why I love this so much much I do. Props, Boing Boing. They sure find some odd stuff.


Posted at 10:19 pm by Jim Woods

The thicker the hands of the watch,

like on a diver's model for example, the less tolerant I am likely to be of temporal inaccuracy. I don't know why. I have a load of watches, being something of a collector of cheapies, and I know I'll put up with anything from a gracefully-handed standard gents model. Give me big hands and I want the world, or at least atomic synchronization. Perhaps there's a sense with the thick hands that there is an innate lack of precision? But how does that square with the increased high-speed legibility of a big dial and broad indicators?

What I want next is one of these. It'll be both accurate and legible. And a bit different. A model A661.30308.11SBB in fact. Costs a bit. so it has to wait, but the one I've seen in the flesh was an impressive brute.

Watch-less fortnight at the moment anyway, in order to get real.

Broad hands. Tsk tsk.


Posted at 7:56 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday September 7 2005

An avid fan

of local history, and of my home town, I was looking for some in-depth information on Oxford's old city walls after a debate in the pub about where they ran when I Googled my way into a couple of nice sites.

"Nice sites". Seems to be the mantra of the age.

Anyway, for some really good stuff take a look at these Oxford walks and this tour of the High. Labours of love, both of them. You can play around with the URLs, of course, and find loads of other good stuff local and not.


Posted at 6:47 pm by Jim Woods

Tuesday September 6 2005

So it's all about the media playing software.

It's all about writing something about software, glistening free software with which great things can be accomplished. It's about media players, in fact.

There's so much stuff out there to check out. You have your local media collection, some DVDs and CDs and MP3s and all sorts of other media files you've got on your computer. You need to play it all. Let's be clear: I'm not going to talk about video. That can be the subject of a frustrating study. I have so much grief with video. I just stick with playing DVDs generally. I'm not that much of a video person.

I like audio though, and that's what I'm discussing here. My listening needs are such that I have been using Winamp as my audio player. It's a really capable piece of free software with a long pedigree, that plays CDs and allows me to play the MP3s on my system all very nicely. It has the invaluable ability to serve me up a whole shedload of Shoutcast streams as well. With this facility on the case I can always get some music I like fast. God bless streaming web audio, bless its pointy little head. I'd recommend Winamp to anyone without reservation, really.

I'll get to the real subject of my post now. The exciting software thing.

Until a day or so ago all my audio was being nicely handled by Winamp. The only thing was, podcasts. I've just this last few months or so had a Zen Micro, and have been very pleased with the idea of downloading music to it for use in the car when I go to Thame to see Al. Yeah, and a few other places. Stuff like Bending Corners is now indispensable to me. A periodic shot in the musical arm. I used iPodder to manage all my podcast subscriptions, and I'll take the opportunity here of just stating that of course you can enjoy podcasts just as much on your PC as on a media player, so no additional hardware is required. iPodder is cool. It's free, it's simple and it works. Probably the best of the current crop of free podcast managers, which simply do regular checks for and downloads of your subscribed podcast feeds. The only tiny thing is, iPodder at current only allows the use of iTunes or Windows Media Player to play the files it has downloaded. Obviously you can load them into any old media player outside iPodder, no problem there, but I'd always yearned for the ability to send this stubborn outpost of disorderly audio into Winamp with a simple click. No sign that iPodder would have that, though.

So there I am running Winamp to play my audio, except the stuff handled by iPodder from podcasts. That has to be downloaded by iPodder then loaded into Winamp manually. Less elegant than ideal. Not the end of the world, but don't we always want simplicity? The fewer applications I have to use the happier I am. Therefore when help comes from an unexpected quarter, and the new Winamp turns out to handle podcasts beautifully as a new feature, I grin like an idiot. Now all my audio is under one simplish interface. Now it's all just laid out there in the media library. There's even a plugin for Winamp to manage my Zen Micro.

It's so nice when something just does the whole job for you. So rare, and so nice. Get the new Winamp. It's great.


Posted at 12:49 am by Jim Woods

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