Monthly Archives: August 2006

Maglev

Finally, a proposal by the Conservatives that I agree with, building a 360mph “maglev” link between London and Edinburgh. It would take under an hour, and pollute eight times less than the equivilent air journey. Now, who pays for it?

“You have to ask yourself, if Japan is developing this technology, if China has already introduced this kind of train, if Germany is looking at this technology, why on earth are we not doing so in Britain?”

Calamity James

Remember James Harland? Well, he’s started blogging again, and I hope his nickname of Calamity James will give us something to point and laugh at.

Well this is my third ever WordPress blog, and i WILL keep this one up to date, I promise.

Where have I heard that one before, eh James?

Porridge

About three times a week, I buy a tub of porridge from the staff canteen in the morning. Theres nothing better than having a nice steaming hot bowl of oat porridge wake you up in the morning, however everytime I’m faced with the dilemma of how much golden syrup to pour on top.

You see, if you just pour some on the top, then you get some nice sweetness in the beginning, but by the time you reach the bottom it tastes like you’re eating liquid cardboard. The trick is to scoop the porridge into the tub bit by bit, and layer each with a thin dollop of syrup. However, there are two major obsticals to this approach. Firstly, it is rather time consuming; a rather long and bearing line forms behind you when you try this, and secondly, you run the risk of over-sweetening the porridge to the point where you’re just eating syrup.

And so here lies the dilemma, should I risk under sweetening my porridge but keep the queue happy, or should I risk over sweetening, incur the wrath of the queue, but play the one in a hundred chance of getting the perfect tasting porridge?

I suspect the quest for the answer will out live our generation.

Pluto: the planet that wasn’t

Scientists have decided to downgrade Pluto from it’s planet status, after they rejected the proposal to keep Pluto and classify three other objects as planets too.

Allowances were once made for Pluto on account of its size. At just 2,360km (1,467 miles) across, Pluto is significantly smaller than the other planets. But until recently, it was still the biggest known object in the Kuiper Belt.

That changed with the discovery of 2003 UB313 by Professor Mike Brown and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). After being measured with the Hubble Space Telescope, it was shown to be some 3,000km (1,864 miles) in diameter, making it larger than the ninth planet.

Deleted icons

In an attempt to bring more focus to Ejecutive and get rid of the clutter, I got rid of the lists of recent movies, music, books and photos icons on the right hand side on the info block. I don’t think anyone used it anyway, and I got lax at updating it.

Stupid Alert: Theft

Students are told to brace for increasing “iPod and laptop thefts” in a TechNewsWorld article, but I quote from the article:

As Justin Bills walked across his condo’s parking garage on a Sunday morning last fall, he noticed shattered glass surrounding his car. Through the empty window frame, he noted the iPod he left in a car charger the night before was missing.

Justin Bills, obviously the average student with his condo and car, left the iPod in the car overnight. Now to me, this is common sense, but leaving expensive items in your car overnight in plain sight, and you have just as much chance of it getting stolen if you just left it laying on the street. What an idiot.

The right wing New York Times

This is what right-wing Americans see when they read the New York Times.

Essentials

After using a computer every day for the past few years, you start developing your own way of doing things, and then it goes from being your own way, to the only way to use a computer. So here are the applications that you have to use to be able to use a computer. Got it?

OS X

  1. TextMate. I’ve been moving away from Macromedia Dreamweaver for my HTML and CSS editing, and started to use text editors for a more lightweight experience. I do miss the auto-complete and intellisense though. This is also pretty much the best editor for writing Ruby on Rails apps.
  2. Safari. Nothing really competes it for its speed, and its heavy itegration with OS X. Firefox is too slow, Camino doesn’t really offer any features over Safari, Opera isn’t OS X optimised enough and I’m not really interested in other niche browsers at the moment.
  3. Mail. I love it’s interface and searching ability, but I hate some parts of its IMAP support (like its insistance to use its own deleted messages folder instead of the default one on the server), so I’m considering a move to Thunderbird which has excellent IMAP support.
  4. Adium X. There is no competition to it, in any platform. The 1.0 betas have problems logging back on from standby though, but apart from that a slick application.
  5. Seashore. It’s GIMP for OS X, kinda. I only use it occasinally for some resizing and cropping so I can’t really justify a Photoshop license. Not until a Universal Binary is out anyway.
  6. VLC. It works with many formats, it plays any region DVDs. It just works, and it doesn’t suck like Quicktime. I do have quite a large collections of videos now though, something like iTunes for videos would be nice.
  7. iTunes. I have an iPod, enough said? No? Well it has an excellent library system, and organises my files well. But why doesn’t it get lyrics or album art from the internet when I import a CD? It also constantly ask me to authorise my computer to play the one song I bought from the iTunes Music Store, which promptly led me to delete it. iPod integration is crucial though, I can listen partly to a podcast on my iPod, sync it with iTunes, and then iTunes knows where I listened to and I can continue listening at home. Slick.
  8. Quicksilver. An excellent launcher, but it’s so much more than that. I’ve only gotten around to using it as a glorified launcher though.
  9. Witch. I can finally alt-tab between windows instead of applications.
  10. Azureus. I can’t get Transmission working damnit, but Azureus is probably the best featured BitTorrent client so I’m not complaining. Actually I will: double clicking torrent files doesn’t work, its ugly and a slow piece of crap. I wish I could get Transmission working…
  11. Transmit. It’s numerous awards give testimant to the quality of this application, with FTP and SFTP support (no more command line hell with SFTP), it’s my client of choice. It simply has no competition, even with it’s $30 price tag.

Windows

  1. Visual Studio 2005. Nothing comes close to it for .NET development. It has auto-completion, excellent intellisense, code folding, code refactoring and the list goes on. It doesn’t have any testing (unless you plump out for the Team Architect edition, which is worth more than my car), so for that I use NUnit.
  2. Adobe Dreamweaver 8. I’ve still yet to let go of my IDE fetish on Windows, simply because of the quality of the IDEs is staggering (take Dreamweaver and Visual Studio), and the quality of text editors lower than OS X.
  3. µTorrent. A pure Win32 BitTorrent client that runs very smoothly. I didn’t really mind Azureus’ bloat, but the extra polish µTorrent and it’s strong feature set had me sold.
  4. VLC. It beat my previous favourite of BSPlayer as I don’t need to install any damn codecs, and it plays any region DVDs. The interface could do with a revamp though, and it could also do with a library feature.
  5. SmartFTP. Not as good as Transmit, and it crashes more often than I’d like, but it works the best out of all the FTP clients I use. It has a slicker interface than FileZilla.
  6. Notepad++. When I have to use a text-editor, Notepad++ is my one of choice. It’s interface is very dated, and the default font and colours are disgusting. It uses Comic Sans for christs sake! But it has code-folding and proper tabbing support so I’m not really bothered.

Stupid People

Of course, Stupid People are already ruling the world. I don’t think I need to give you the prime example. It’s about time someone did something about the problem, and Scott Adams has an interesting proposition:

I think the government should send spam to all citizens. If someone [..] tries to buy a miracle pill, the government erases his social security number from their records so he can’t vote. #

Someone that is stupid enough to be scammed through an e-mail with the subject “Re: NEW age of good old PENPILs.Scientists says YES!” should not be allowed to vote.

Infact, this is probably why Bush got two terms in a row: Dick from Texas gave him his support while responding to his “URGENT” e-mails from Mr Mobunko in Nigera who wants to give him hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for his bank details. A no-brainer eh? Indeed.

But why stop with just voting, we should cast the Stupid People aside from jury duty and being members of anything related to a school board. Thats would also get rid of most of this Creationism bollocks going through the American school system and make sure that people condeming other people are of at least equal or greater intelligence.

Girlfriend 6.0 Support

Apparently you cannot install Girlfriend 7.0 on top of Girlfriend 6.0. You must uninstall Girlfriend 6.0 first. Other users say this is a long standing bug that I should have known about. Apparently the versions of Girlfriend have conficts [sic] over shared use of the I/O port. You think they would have fixed such a stupid bug by now. #

Boot Camp 1.1 Beta

Boot Camp 1.1 Beta now adds support for the built-in iSight, some keyboard key mapping fixes (now has right click), fixes the dredded bug that leaves the speakers on when headphones are plugged in and the clock always being an hour early. Groovy.

Flash for Intel Macs

Theres now no more Rosetta-based Flash performance for Intel Mac owners, such as myself. Macromedia has released a Universal Binary version of it’s Flash 9 player.

Windows Safari

Swift is the WebKit based browser for Windows. If you ever wondered how Safari rendered pages, then this will give you a very rough guide.

It is, however, still in pre-alpha and very buggy, but worth a look none the less.

Galloway on Israel

Whatever you think about George Galloway, you can’t get past the fact that he makes a good argument, and rips the Sky news reader to shreads.

AMD drops ATI brand

Woah, I didn’t see this coming. ATI is no more, all hail AMD.

Chris Hook from ATi shrugged off the move, saying that “I don’t have a personal emotional attachment to it [the brand], one way or another.”

Update: It seems this story may be unfounded.

Roundcube Beta 2

RoundCube 0.1 beta 2 has been released, and is a significant update to my preferred webmail client.

After a long period of development and some major changes in the project organization, we finally released version 0.1-beta2. New features like message search, spellchecking, saving messages as draft and folder renaming are introduced with this release.

Logitech MOMO

I just had to quench my need for speed by getting a Logtech MOMO wheel and pre-ordering GTR 2.

I will report back with a review of both, and whether nearly £100 was good value.

workFRIENDLY

Afraid of your boss’ prying eyes while at work while you’re browsing the web? Well workFRIENDLY might just be what you’re looking for.

And don’t forget to try the “Boss Key”.

Ruby for .NET

RubyCLR is ruby for the .NET framework. You can now create full .NET applications with ruby.

I think it’ll take a lot for me to give up on C# with .NET, but you just have to love ruby.

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