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Saturday August 12 2006

As a frightful Google Earth junkie,

I'd done the inevitable and whacked the beta of version 4 onto my computer as soon as it was available. The interface is a bit cleaner, I thought, but no big differences that I can see. Time went by. As I earthed away, happy as a sandboy, it began to seem like too much time had gone by. In fact, things were slow all round. It seemed that when I was just running the omnipresent Firefox and maybe some music on Foobar, I was getting a lot of hard disk thrashing going on while using Earth. A bit of poking around with diagnostics, and I could see that Earth was scarfing massive amounts of memory. There's 768 meg of memory in my venerable but trusty box, and I can safely say that nothing's ever made me wish for more. Well, until Google Earth 4 beta did. I did the unthinkable. I actually read the release notes. I gleaned things, and they are here:

Google Earth 4 beta differs from 3 in only a few ways. The interface is a bit tidier, but not in any must-have ways. 3D buildings can have textures and look a whole lot more realistic, which will excite you if you are a browser of urban areas. Myself, I like coasts and tiny islands. So no big thrills with the textured building thing. I mean, much of Oxford is still lo-rez. We'll do the 3D building thing five years down the road. Most important difference? Earth 4 needs quadruple the memory of 3.

Jim quickly uninstalls 4 beta and reinstalls 3. He noticed the difference in only one vital way. It's like having a new computer. Balance is restored. I have enough memory. There are many better ways to spend one's money than on hardware, after all.

Oh yes, and there's this Windows Live Local thing too. Everyone in the world but me knew about this already, right? I am computing strangely on the perimeter of the web. I don't always come across the bleeding obvious. It's not the bleeding obvious webly worlds which I like to explore. To be brief, it has my home city of Oxford in spanking high resolution, and for that I am eternally grateful. Oh, it's good. I can see my house. House goodness. Runs very well in Firefox, too. Microsoft really must be getting soft.

Posted at 8:16 pm by Jim Woods

Friday August 11 2006

Enough global warming discussion already.

And there's that Middle East, and terrorists, and so on. And it's all a big worry, and we need to do what we can about these things. But I am going to try and ignore the news, because it seems to me that no good comes of brooding on it all. I declare a media blackout in my house until I feel better and I've addressed some rather more pressing concerns.

I have beaten the podcast demon, largely.

Posted at 4:23 pm by Jim Woods

Monday August 7 2006

Fairly triumphant gig

at the Jericho Tavern to celebrate my sister's 40th on Saturday - although her birthday is this Wednesday. Staff could not have been nicer or more helpful, guests were guestly and beer was clean. Band played not at all as dogs, all doing a good one. I felt myself to be the weakest link much of the night, but not necessarily in a bad way. All in all, success. I triumphantly returned there today to retrieve the various pieces of important kit I left there in my "excitement" on the night, when it should be noted that I enjoyed an open tab, and the staff were again very friendly and helpful. They did not say "you were so pissed the other night that you left a hundred quid's worth of your equipment strewn randomly about the stage, you toothless old joker". For that, I'm thankful. And their advertised "amazing burgers" are exactly that, and I don't say that lightly.

Today I have bought stuff from five establishments; the birthday presents, in fact. Much that glitters, much that dissolves slowly in water. Some Miles Davis, because influence is to be exercised for good. A book about salads, because not everyone has the sense to seek the quality burger. I must now do a great deal of washing. And possibly visit some friends.

Posted at 5:38 pm by Jim Woods

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