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

Friday November 4 2005

Although I have never knowingly had Mozilla Thunderbird crash,

more recent builds of Mozilla's Firefox have begun to display this tendency. As I use Mozilla all the time, as in all the time, this is a distressing tendency. Be careful, Foxy,because Opera is only ever a click away on my systems...

I hope that this is not going to be an ongoing situation when the final release of 1.5 comes out. I have a sinners list of pieces of software that are really neat and powerful and so on but tend to fall over, and so far it has only had one lonesome inhabitant - VLC media player. Which is a pain really, because it's a bloody good video player when it's not having fits because you're trying to use the playlist or the filters. I'd hate this list to expand to two entries, Firefox being the second.

Still, it wouldn't be Friday afternoon if I couldn't postpone buying a new coat and drying out the leaky boot of my car in favour of playing about on the net. Anyone noticed how cold it's got? There's (finally) an autumnal nip to the air that puts me in mind of long winter walks.

Around the corner to my local, most likely.


Posted at 2:36 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday November 2 2005

Predisposed as I am to the hefty grooves underpinning rap,

and with as much of an ear for a great sample as the next man, I cannot help but be irked. Why? Because there seems to be a depressing tendency for rap artists to big themselves up and tell their life stories at the expense of any other actual depth or content. Not all rap falls into this trap, for sure. And I respect the right of anyone to make their art a reflection of their life. But surely it's the reflective process that throws up interesting ideas and images isn't it? Reflection and narration are not at all the same thing, and I'm hearing a lot of self-indulgent narration and very little insight in a lot of the stuff I'm hearing. So, rappers purely concerned with talking about themselves, why don't you get blogging?

Only sort-of joking.

Can't beat those rhythm tracks. And that Eminem, he's funny.

My speakers are turning my TV funny colours. I need a bigger house.

Beautiful autumn leaves, falling in my pond. Time to fish them out. No fish any more though. Maybe next year.


Posted at 3:26 pm by Jim Woods

Channel 4 are showing a series of little five minute programmes

under the collective heading "Tate Modern" at the moment, and they're great. Each compares and explains a handful of works from the Tate Modern in London, making a clear point about how they relate to one another. For those such as myself, who'd like to know rather more about the history and culture of recent art, I cannot recommend these highly enough. They make things so clear, which cannot be said of all the art programmes I've watched. And five minutes is great - no waffle, just the meat.


Posted at 3:22 pm by Jim Woods

Tuesday November 1 2005

When you buy a drive that does DVD and CD burning from a major manufacturer like Philips

do you expect to have to perform an upgrade to the firmware using a third party hack simply in order to rip CDs for your MP3 player at more than 2x speed? Or do you assume that the thing will at least perform as well as your three year old LG drive at this sort of thing? Stay away from the Philips DVD 1640. After you've jumped through all kinds of hoops with the firmware you'll still have a very average drive. May as well buy any old cheap crap instead, frankly. Is it just me or have standards really fallen in all kinds of hardware of late?

End of rant. Pint.


Posted at 6:43 pm by Jim Woods

I've just completed the first phase of my filing project.

That is to say that I've bought a load of cheap cardboard folders from Honest Stationery on Cowley Road and categorized all my heaps of paperwork into them. This is not my favourite sort of thing to do, but then it's vastly preferable to sweating away under pressure trying to find things. Why do I have piles of 10-year old telephone bills? Who can say? I find myself increasingly flirting with the idea of a shredder. The second phase of the project involves actually attending to the various complicated matters which have arisen from this thorough examination of the documentary state of my life; I can state with some confidence that it's unlikely that this phase will commence soon, if at all. I have a current passport. I can always flee. It's important to be able to flee.

I actually sat in front of my ridiculous (for my exchequer) stereo last night and listened to some tunes. This is such a rare occurrence that it's worth noting here. There's a lot of electrical stuff in my house which exists purely for the purpose of doing things I'll seldom if ever do. It's rather like the paperwork, frankly. Compulsive acquisition of audio devices does not sit easily with a feeble leaning towards a simpler life. Perhaps I should have an open house sale? Actually that's not a bad idea.

Much though I enjoyed Sandra Bullochs exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, I was a little concerned to find that the pixel boxes run several sequences that last about an hour and a half each. Either I will have to pay them rent or I will have to make multiple visits. Either way, even given my largely free daytimes, experiencing the full splendour of the show is a rather time-intensive prospect.

My speakers are now nearer the ground in my living room. This makes listening to music, when it happens in that hallowed venue, rather less like an act of worship than it was. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Discuss.


Posted at 1:01 pm by Jim Woods

Monday October 31 2005

I've fitted a decent stereo to my new chariot.

Halford's provided an Aiwa CD stereo with a couple of hundred watts of clout at half price, being a hundred quid. So far so good. It has, as well, the killer feature which I really needed - a mini jack on the front to connect auxiliary sources. This where my Zen Micro gets into play, giving me access to all that musical and podcasting webly goodness while on the move. As a considerable bonus there was a Net MD thrown in with it, which means I can listen to all my old MiniDiscs too as well as record directly from PC to MD. Certainly worthwhile as a freebie. Pity it doesn't do microphone recording, as my legging-iron Sharp MD has thrown a fit after I lent it to Peacock and he tried to sautee it or pedal it around town or something. All I now need is some of the JBL speakers that I've seen in Halfords too, which will fit straight in on the existing mountings and apertures. Did I mention that I'm feeling poor?

I am reminded too that when driving an eye catching red Scirocco it is of paramount importance to remember not to wear a baseball hat. Really. I need to fight to retain such little credibility as I still have.

Studio work continues apace, with a very nice Rode vocal microphone proving a godsend. Sleeping has increased a bit, which is all to the good as I was really suffering. Scoffing a lot of vegetables at the moment, which seems to be improving general health. I wonder no-one thought of that before :> I am now going to embark on picking up a prescription, buying some groceries in Tesco and buying some files to continue organizing my paperwork mess drawer. Because I'm rock, man, and I have an exciting rock life. All right.

Oh, and if I didn't know better I'd say that the most recent beta of Firefox is a bit unstable. Of course it might be something else that's causing the odd crash, but I'm watching carefully.


Posted at 12:14 pm by Jim Woods

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