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January 31, 2002

One of the things about

One of the things about being in Denmark is that internet time is cheap after midnight. Much as I try to avoid it, this gradually starts to shape my time here, and I find myself sitting in a dark room lit only by the glare of my laptop screen at 2am as Windows tells me that it's crashed again. I've just upgraded to Internet Explorer 6.0, and the main improvement is that I now get a pop-up window when it crashes. Thanks, Bill.

February 11, 2002

I spent the weekend attempting

I spent the weekend attempting to set Linux up on my pc, and after many hours, failed. I've also been busy working through the many, many photographs we've taken during our travelling in the last 8 months and trying to get some of them up on the website. At the same time we're moving bronek.org over to different servers with a 1600% jump in server space, which should just about handle all the new videos and photos!

February 13, 2002

Over the last couple of

Over the last couple of days bronek.org has migrated over to a new home, which shouldn't make any difference to most of you unless you've bookmarked it. If so, find the new version by clicking here, www.bronek.org, and bookmarking again. I've also uploaded the pictures I took in Finland and Iceland last year, and more countries are on their way.

Apart from that I'm not happy as Tiscali have effectively just doubled the cost of internet access here in Denmark!

February 28, 2002

I'm in Bristol now, and

I'm in Bristol now, and I've done been re-designing some of the front page of the website tonight. Chris will soon be getting up though, so I think I should go to bed!

May 16, 2002

Tonight in my attempt to

Tonight in my attempt to get away from Micro$oft products crashing on me all the time, I'm trying out the new browser from Opera and it seems to be much faster than Internet Explorer.

I also found this interesting article about anti-gravitational devices called Lifters.

May 18, 2002

Sun coming up and I'm

Sun coming up and I'm still sitting here... too much caffeine... must go to bed soon.

May 23, 2002

Computer virus and 10kg of chicken

On Tuesday I fly to London then onto Mallorca the next day so I've been attempting to enjoy the luxuries of civilised life now while I can. This has been overshadowed by getting a virus on my pc then spending 24 hours trying to get rid of it (don't worry, it didn't get out again). Now today, I was enrolled into Nina's project group at IT university to help with their website when I only went in to use their computers, and it doesn't look like they're going to let me do anything else until I leave the country.

We had a party at the weekend for Nina, Gitte, and allegedly my birthday, and we managed to get through about 35 litres of beer and 10 kilos of chicken. Much of this, of course, was supposedly consumed by me, but I have no memory of this whatsoever.

June 12, 2002

I'm in an internet cafe

I'm in an internet cafe right now where the pcs have Teletubbies Windows (i.e. Windows XP) loaded, and I have to say that it is the slowest, most awful looking OS ever! It really appears to be designed by five year-olds for five year-olds, with huge buttons and migraine inducing clashing colours.

August 3, 2002

Have been neglecting the website

Have been neglecting the website over the last 4 weeks due to having guests
onboard for the whole of that time. On Thursday, however, Berit left and
Chris is getting the ferry back to Barcelona tomorrow morning, so suddenly
Nina and I are going to be alone on the boat again and able to make sailing
plans without having to take into account guests getting seasick or having
to hang around Mallorca so that they can catch their return flights. We're
still in Portocolom, though we've been out for the odd day sail, and Chris
spent most of yesterday trying to get the outboard to go faster, though in
the end it went slower.

September 24, 2002

Goodbye to Compuserve

After 5 years of keeping my Compuserve subscription going so that I could
get a connection in whatever country I was travelling in, I've now
terminated it, and along with it goes my Compuserve email address. So if
anyone out there is still writing to it, then, well, don't do it. Technology
has changed in the last 5 years, but they haven't, and now I'm more likely
to dial into a UK isp from another country over my mobile and check my mail
than pay Compuserve up to $10/hour to log onto their local node.

October 1, 2002

Sex, Caffeine and Internet

I'm writing this from the Teledanmark in shop in Copenhagen which appears to have some pcs with free internet access (i.e. they haven't thrown me out yet!). I've been working on the new frontpage to the site for the last couple of days, and version 5.1 of it is up now. Off to espresso house now for some badly needed caffeine.

October 9, 2002

ADSL in Denmark

We've arranged to get adsl into the flat. Apart from the fact that we're often out of Denmark for months at a time and broadband here costs around 2-3 times the price it does in Britain, we can't really go on with life in Denmark any longer without it. We recently lost cable tv in the flat due to technical reasons, and sadly we can no longer watch BBC World or any other English programmes so internet is even more important now.

October 14, 2002

What not to search for...

If you do a search on Google for superyacht limitless, which is one of, if not the most expensive superyacht in the world, then this site is number 9 in the list of hits. We also seem to be quite popular with people searching for nudists in menorca, where we're straight in at number 4 in the charts, though I couldn't even remember writing about it until I followed the link. It's strange when you have to check Google because you can't remember something you did yourself, and I can imagine this happening more as I get older, "Now where did I put my keys? I know... www.goo..." As you might have guessed, tonight I've been looking into the referrals we've been getting from search engines.

October 23, 2002

Hard drive gets wiped

I was trying to burn some backup cds this morning but my writer decided that it just wanted to spit out coasters. Then ironically I downloaded a program called CleanCenter this evening, which is supposed to clean a lot of old, redundant files out of your pc to help it run smoother. For some reason, however, it decided to delete my entire hard drive, including Windows itself! So I have spent the last 7 hours attempting to get Windows up and running again, and examining my hard drive with a file recovery program to try to recover the files that I wanted to backup this morning. Looks like this should keep me busy for some time to come. Not a good day.

October 26, 2002

Saving data

I've gradually been picking through the remains of my deleted hard drive with recovery programs over the last few days, trying to find some of the files that I don't have backups of. As far as I can see, my main losses seem to be recent photographs, files, webpages, and most of my email, though some of my program disks, including DreamWeaver, which I use for websites, are on the boat, and therefore difficult to re-install from here! The upside of the accident is that Windows 98 is running much, much better since being re-loaded, and my pc is as fast as it was in the beginning.

October 27, 2002

The blog migrates...

Blogger, where this normally lives, got hacked yesterday, and so I went back to trying to get MovableType up and running on the server, something that I'd previously attempted. Well, after most of last night and all of today trying to understand cgi scripts, I'm happy to say that this is it, and so far it seems to be running!

So apart from the fact that this looks different, what is MovableType? Well, it's a server based content management system that allows me to log into my server from anywhere with internet access and update this. The biggest changes to the site are;
you can search the site
you can add comments, and I can reply ;-)
you can click on a category to go to its postings
all days with a posting are highlighted on the calendar

Hope you like it, though I'm still ironing out the bugs. Any problems or comments?

October 30, 2002

adsl and pixies...

The WeatherPixie
Yesterday I spoke to Ocean on IM, whom we stayed with when we were in Hong Kong last year, and there he pays �10 a month for a 3-Mbit adsl line - 12 times faster than the connection we have in Denmark, and a fraction of the cost. Electronics and internet access are much cheaper in Asia as they're considered to be everyday items, rather than having the luxury status they command in the west.
This is WeatherPixie, and right now she's showing what the weather's like in Copenhagen. As the weather changes, the graphic changes and she changes her clothes, which I think is very cool. Should she have a permanent place on the site?

November 1, 2002

My new Etch A Sketch

My laptop has begun to do some very strange things today. I now have to shake it to get it to boot up, a bit like an Etch A Sketch.

November 4, 2002

Aibo skate dude

Sony have released a skateboard for Aibo, which looks very hip. Now your favourite robotic pet can head down to the half-pipe and show off. But is Sony just hoping that by introducing Aibo to dangerous sports, his lifetime will be shorter? Can he handle hills? Will he be corrupted by skater culture? Also check out the new evil droid Aibo; could you sleep with this in the room?

December 3, 2002

Moving Servers

bronek.org may be down at some point over the next few days as I'm moving it to new servers with more capacity and features.

In the meantime I've set up a chat client that I'm testing on the site. It allows open conversations with everyone connected and the ability to send private messages to any user. Type something on it or email me to arrange a chat sometime (requires flash).

Short FAQ below

Continue reading "Moving Servers" »

December 4, 2002

Mail and Lights

play_pong.gif
As my mail server is being moved at the moment, any email sent to me may not arrive. I'll post here once it's active again, hopefully in a day or so.

I've been looking at these cool displays of interactive computer controlled lighting that were installed in tower blocks in Berlin and Paris recently for art festivals. Dialling in to them with a mobile phone lets you take control of the display or play Tetris or Pong, using the building as a huge screen. [quicktime video 3.2Mb]

Talking about tall buildings, this article raises some interesting questions regarding September 11, and references this BBC report that the US was already planning an invasion, as well as this story about the need for an oil pipeline across Afghanistan.

December 5, 2002

New Home

Looks like my email is back up and running, and bronek.org is in it's new home.

December 19, 2002

Return of Max Headroom?

Max Headroom, the computer generated character from 1980's British television could be set to return according to this story. This page shows some of the things that the show accurately predicted long ago in the days before the world wide web existed.

January 13, 2003

New Apple Laptops

One of the things I didn't see when I was away was that Apple have released some very sexy new Powerbooks. I've found myself staring in the windows of Apple stores over the last couple of months and drooling a bit over iBooks, but these are way sexier - it could even be enough to get me to switch.

January 22, 2003

No More Graffiti

Having been a Palm user for over three years now, and actively avoiding using paper during that time, I now have serious problems when I'm forced to fill in a form or scrawl something with a pen. So it's very worrying to read that future Palms won't be using Graffiti, their handwriting recognition system which I've adapted over to totally, but will be changing over to using a rival system, Jot, which uses different characters. Suddenly I won't be able to write at all! One of my favourite things about Graffiti is that because all of the alphabet characters are single-stroke, you can write without looking at it (which doesn't work when I try it on paper).

January 25, 2003

Piracy Fears

As the media corporations continue to fight against file-sharing networks, Wired is carrying this story telling how Sony is being hit worst of all by being an electronics company as well. Unable to decide which side to take, they're continuing to cripple their products with copyright restrictions while companies like Apple and Creative innovate and begin to take over the future of personal audio players with hard-drive based units. How long will it be before the media companies realise their time has passed?

February 16, 2003

Google buys Pyra

In a move that should really take blogging mainstream, Google have just bought Pyra Labs, one of the companies which developed some of the first weblogging tools, and which I used to build this blog with. Well done to Evan Williams, who scraped through the tough times to keep the Blogger service running when all the dot-coms were collapsing around him.

March 7, 2003

Laptop Fuel Cells

Toshiba have announced the world's first fuel cell for laptops. Finally I can stop worrying about my battery running out, but if only they could get it to run on ethanol then I could charge my laptop by filling it with vodka. For an explanation of fuel cells, look at this.

March 8, 2003

Powerbook Opinions

I had a look at the new 12" Apple Powerbook yesterday through in Bath as I was thinking about getting one and switching away from Windows, but it just didn't quite measure up to what I was looking for. No infra-red or usb 2.0, the dvd drive is region locked, only 256k of L2 cache and the volume output isn't very loud. On the other hand, you can spec it up with a dvd-writer and it is built well; hopefully Apple will do something about these shortcomings and upgrade them soon.

July 3, 2003

test

Test blog

November 6, 2003

Seeing the Light

I promised myself months ago that this year I was going to stop using Windows due to the number of weeks I'd lost from my life having to sort out Windows crashes, and the fact that I hate Micro$oft and the way they operate. I came up to Scotland with the idea of a new Mac in the back of my mind and Colin, being a long time Mac user, has since been doing his best to initiate me into the ministry.

For a start I'm staying in his spare room where his eMac lives and it's a bit like having company in the room. While it's sleeping the white power indicator on the front of the casing pulses slowly on and off like a living, breathing creature. The attention to small design features are terrific - the mouse plugs into the keyboard and the keyboard plugs into the main unit, keeping cabling mess to a minimum. There's also a spare usb socket on the side of the keyboard, so I plugged my digital camera into it the other evening just to see if I could get it working. Immediately, the camera appeared on screen as an external drive, I clicked on iPhoto and it found all the shots, then clicking 'import' they were all downloaded. So easy it explains why all the stoners use Macs.

December 29, 2003

Welchia Woes

My anti-virus subscription ran out the other day and my pc, promiscuous as it is, managed to immediately catch the Welchia worm. Last night was a nightmare of trying to find out what the worm was while being unable to stop it from running and completely controlling my pc as if it was possessed, but it now seems to be clean again. Off to find a fast wi-fi hotspot tomorrow to catch up with Windows security updates for the last few weeks. Oh, for a secure operating system...

March 29, 2004

Switched

After thinking about it for a long time, today I finally took the jump and bought a very lovely Apple laptop. I'd had enough of using Windows, it's instability and problems, and swore I wouldn't get another pc, especially one running xp, so I'm now the very proud owner of a 15" Powerbook, with 802.11g, and built-in dvd burner. Carita's already feeling neglected!

April 4, 2004

iPod Lust

Since I'd first played with an iPod in an Apple dealers, I'd been hooked - there's just something highly sensual about their design that makes them so desirable. So the other day, now that I've got a decent laptop to plug it into, I finally bought one. The first really impressive thing about it is the box - you slide off the sleeve, the box flips open in the middle, and the word, "enjoy" is printed on a white card covering the machine. Truly the nicest box I've ever opened, and great if it's a present (even to yourself!). iPod itself is smaller than you expect, easily fits in the palm of your hand, and with a perfectly polished back, making it something you just want to touch. It works so smoothly and seamlessly with Mac OS X that it's truly a pleasure to use. I'm planning to rip all my CDs onto it and then, as well as carrying it around, use it as the main hi-fi on the boat, plugged through the main amp and speakers.

July 1, 2004

Site Down

The other night the commenting system on the site was heavily attacked by an automated spamming system, aiming to spam adverts and links into all the weblog entries. It appears that the load was so heavy that my hosting company then shut down part of the site. At the moment I'm waiting for them to confirm this and put it online again so that I can address the problem and prevent the same thing from happening again in the future. In the meantime, obviously, commenting is down, as well as searching, and I'm unable to blog unless I hack the system like this.

July 5, 2004

Danish Service

I've sent repeated emails to Speednames, the ironically named company I use for hosting, since Thursday, and still haven't received a reply from them regarding what's happened to the site. It seems pretty useless that a firm that allegedly handles webhosting for some of Denmark's large companies can't reply to an urgent email within five days, but having dealt with them before I'm not particularly surprised. Needless to say, however, I am extremely pissed off as I sit coding this entry in html, pasting it, then ftp'ing it to the site in order to update this page, and I'm urgently looking around for a reliable hosting company to move the site to.

July 23, 2004

Nice to be Back

Finally, bronek.org is in it's new home. After three weeks I still haven't had any support from Speednames so I've moved servers and it's now hosted by Bloghosts who seem to be much, much better.

I couldn't get into my old system to do a full backup so I've spent the last days exporting from an SQL database and importing it to my new host. That worked but Movabletype wouldn't let me log-in afterwards so I had to scrap that idea and import from the last full html backup I did then manually import the rest.

I've had to implement a comment authentication service to avoid having further problems with spam. Unfortunately, this means that if you want to place a comment (and hopefully you will), you'll be re-directed to register a user name and email address with Typekey, a new consolidated weblog commenting service run by the same people who created Movabletype, the system this weblog uses. Further information and details of their privacy policies are here. Apologies for the hassle but due to the growing spamming industry I have no choice.

So, the site is back up, much of it isn't functional yet, but I'm working to get the rest of it live and fill in all those broken links.

Nice to be back.

July 25, 2004

Cold Nipples

Now that I'm using a hosting service with better tools and statistics, I've gone through the site's stats and discovered that most people coming here by search engine are looking for "cold nipples". Though muffs, ibiza naked, and squirrel hunting also seem to be on people's minds.

July 27, 2004

Speednames Reply

Over 25 days I received two uninterested replies from someone in Speednames support who suggested that I'd broken something rather than taking the time to check out the problem on their own server. Today, therefore, I was surprised to get an email from Nikolaj Nyholm, one of the Speednames/Ascio bosses who'd apparently discovered my weblog post on Feedster and wrote to apologise for the poor service. Although he asked me to keep the site with Speednames I've now put so much time into moving hosts that I won't, but it's good to see that someone's paying attention.

July 31, 2004

In Search of Wi-Fi

With still a huge amount of the site to get online and working again, I've been steadily dogged this week by not having proper internet access. The wireless at Cafe Guay has been down and so I've gone off, across island, to Ibiza Town for the last two days, only to discover that it hasn't been working in Canadian Cafe either. After untold frustration I decided to use a GPRS connection over my phone, but could only do a limited amount after realising that uploading the entire site would cost €2500 in data fees! Finally tonight I've managed to get hold of the right IP addresses and plugged in an ethernet cable in Guay.

...and it feels sooo good.

August 5, 2004

Email Problems

My email's been up and down over the last few days due to some teething problems with the new server which seem to be sorted now. If you've emailed recently, there's a chance I may not have received it so please send it to me again.

September 2, 2004

Crispy Powerbook

So this girl's house burned down as her website shows, and although she seems really happy about it in all the pictures (insurance job obviously), it scorched her Apple Powerbook in the process... but it seems to still work (though it's not quite as cool to carry about these days). Shame she's living on the street now.

November 5, 2004

Bloghosts Closing

Sadly, I checked Bloghosts, the company where this site is hosted, yesterday to discover that they are closing down.

Several technical problems with our backend have corrupted critical portions of our billing and support databases. While we have tried to recover this data several times and enlisted the help of an outside agency our efforts have been in vain. Although security has been very good we've found several discrepancies in our logs indicating the damage may have been intentional. For these reasons we have decided to stop taking new orders and will eventually cease operation altogether.

Their service and support over the last six months has been excellent. I've just completed moving and re-installing everything from my previous hosts and so now it seems I'm on the lookout for another home again.

December 23, 2004

Moving Hosts Again

I'm in the process of moving the site to new servers as Bloghosts, where bronek.org is currently hosted, is closing down at the end of this year. Hopefully, things will go smoothly but there may be some temporary problems over the next couple of days as things transfer.

Can You See This?

Well, if you can see this then you're looking at the site in it's new home at totalchoicehosting.

Happy Christmas!

January 10, 2005

New Easy Commenting

Several people have mentioned that adding comments was too complicated so I've abandoned the sign-in system and adding comments should now be as simple as clicking 'comments'.

I've added a system that should filter out most of the spam comments I was getting and stop them from getting posted, but if you have any problems then email me. You can also still sign in by Typekey if you want, in which case you'll bypass most of those filters.

January 12, 2005

iProduct

One day after MacExpo, Gizmodo, one of my favourite sites, is running these 'for and against' mock apple ads.
Click on them for the full text...

AppleiProduct.jpg

AppleHaters.jpg

February 17, 2005

Touch Me

wacom cintiq
This is obviously what I need to overcome my writing disabilities...

The $2500 Wacom Cintix 21UX - a 21" flat screen that you can draw directly onto just like Wacom's terrific pen tablets but without the usual hand to eye coordination problems.

Mmmm...

March 22, 2005

iHustle

ihustle.jpg
So this guy gets stopped on the street in New York by a crazed crackhead selling a laptop for $200 - and he buys it.

What he thought was a new Powerbook, however, turns out to be made of cardboard and rubbish bags spray-painted silver with an Apple logo painted on the front!

When Addicts Create

March 23, 2005

Name That Tune

Now complete strangers can judge how trendy you are from the music you listen to. iTunes makes it possible to share your music library over the local network you're connected to, allowing anyone else connected to the same network to look at your collection, listen to those songs, and decide for themselves how cool you are.

The cafe I regularly come to in Helsinki seems to be a big Apple hangout - attractive people with Macs outnumber pc users just about any day of the week. Sitting with my latte and using their wireless network, I was sifting through iTunes today when I noticed a shared playlist connected - Kinoma Soi. Clicking on it I could see it obviously belonged to a big heavy metal fan, with lots of Metallica and Iron Maiden, but there were some interesting tracks I used to like so I listened to a few.

iTunes allows you to stream the music to your machine but won't let you copy them so I quickly downloaded OurTunes, an open source program designed to get around this, downloaded a couple of WASP and Van Halen songs I used to listen to at school, and continued looking through the collection which probably belonged to a Hell's Angel somewhere downstairs.

But do you want everyone to be able to form an opinion on you by the music you listen to? What if you listen to shit? On college campuses where hundreds of students are connected to the same network it's now spawned a new form of discrimination - Playlistism. Close on the heels of that, Flirting by iTunes has begun. Maybe the time has finally come to clean up your music library.

April 21, 2005

Seduced by Sony PSP

I couldn't resist one any longer and as the European launch has been delayed for months, I bought myself a Sony PSP the other day. Though I haven't been into gaming for years I suspect I could get hooked as the graphics and controls are just so good on it. It's also a great screen for watching movies or looking through photos on. Additionaly, there's a lot of rumours that Sony could use it as their next PDA platform now that they've dropped their Palm licence (quite rightly as Palm seem to have just stagnated over the last five years with hardly any imporvements to the OS). It's already been hacked to work as a web browser, ICQ client, and ebook reader,though I fully suspect that Carita is going to steal it away before I get a chance to use it for anything like that.

Update
: Sony just confirmed it won't launch in Europe until September.

May 15, 2005

Gmail Invites

I've got some Gmail invites so if anyone's after an account then add a comment or send me an email and I'll forward you one.

May 17, 2005

Psycho Robotic Cat

psycho robotic cat
Necoro the robotic cat looks like the stuff of nightmares. Something about the fact that they've covered it in fake fur makes it look just a bit too much like it's straight out of a horror film about undead zombie killer cats. Think how an Aibo would look if they gave it hair and lifelike, staring eyes. Whilst seemingly soft and cuddly, one look into those eyes tells you that it's just waiting for the chance to leap up and claw your testicles off at the first opportunity!

Only a truly insane person would buy one of these for their family. Check out the video for the full psycho thriller effect, especially when they get together to hunt in a pack.

November 7, 2005

Domain Extortion

This website and my email have been down for the last week as my domain name came up for renewal and I didn't receive an email from DirectNic, the registrars I use, that it was about to expire. Legally they're supposed to send two. Overnight the site went down and my domain name was placed on hold. I contacted DirectNic, and eventually received the following reply...


In order to process the Redemption Period claim, please send a check or money order for $185 (credit card payment is not accepted for Redemption Period domains) made payable to Intercosmos Media Group, Inc.

Please note that all checks have a 10 day hold. If you want to have the claim processed ASAP, you should use money order.


It looked more like something from a Nigerian spammer than a reputable company, requesting that a cheque or money order be sent to an unknown address. Apart from the fact that they were charging over $100 more than competing registrars, they were refusing to accept payment by Visa, so my site and email looked as if they would be down for weeks whilst the cheque made it through the post to the USA.

It felt as though my identity had been stolen and they were holding my domain hostage, knowing they could charge whatever they liked. Apart from losing my blogging rights, I was unable to get any email, and people were beginning to wonder what had happened to me.

I continued to argue with DirectNic for three days until finally they agreed to give me a 10% discount and allow me to pay by Visa, and other than changing to another domain name, I had no choice but to pay them. A Google search pulls up numerous other unhappy DirectNic clients which the same thing has happened to, such as Goodbye Directnic, many of whom seem to have never received notifications from DirectNic either.

Worse still is just how temporary things are on the internet, especially when you're trying to build something permanent and you watch it disappear overnight. Although it's possible to file a complaint to ICANN, the governing body for domain names, their website points out that they do not deal with complaints regarding registrars, but only 'monitor such complaints to discern trends'. As this article explains, the domain industry is suffering from a plague of unsupervised ICANN accredited registrars. Surely if we're to accept the internet as part of the future of media and communication, it's time for it to be internationally controlled, and for a better policy of policing to be introduced for companies involved in it's infrastructure.

November 15, 2005

DirectNIC Domain Problems

Due to further problems, the website and my email have again been down for the last few days. The domain was once more taken away from me and placed in redemption by DirectNic shortly after I wrote here complaining about them, but I'm sure that was just a coincidence! Hopefully I'm back to stay this time.

November 19, 2005

Blogmapping

One of the things I've been working on recently is trying to geo-tag some of the content on the site so that rather than just being a list of blog entries or photographs they can be viewed geographically on a map, giving a better idea of where they are.

The new map image on the right of this page opens a map with pointers marking the locations of blog entries. Clicking on a pointer pulls up the blog title, and clicking on that opens the blog entry itself. A basic intro to using Google Maps, which the page is built on, is here - you can drag to move around the map and click on the scale to zoom in or out.

One problem is that not all of the entries I've written can be linked to a location and many would link to the same location or one very close to others, causing a lot of clutter, so not every entry is linked from the map at the moment.

December 20, 2005

Unstoppable Google?

Google seems to be adding new features at an unstoppable rate these days. Already I'm an avid user of Google Maps for plotting places I visit and to get better views of harbours and anchorages when sailing than most pilot books give. The recent leak of a beta version of Google Earth for the Mac lets me zoom right in to see the back garden of my old house. Google moon lets you explore what you expect it to, with an interesting surprise if you zoom right in.

Even the basic google search box now does lots more than just searching...

calculate 5+2*2
convert currencies 3.50 USD in Euros
unit conversions 2 pounds 1 ounce in grams
definitions define:World Wide Web
Q&A population of Finland
stock quotes stocks:goog

List of Google Search Features

The share price seems just as unstoppable these days as well, valuing the company at over $117 billion, more than any other media company in the world.

January 14, 2006

New Frontpage Design

I've finally got around to updating the frontpage of this site. Although it's still very much a work in progress it's now a live update of the site with an exerpt of my last blog entry, the latest flickr picture uploaded, the latest / most viewed gallery photo, a random gallery photo, and a map of my current location and any nearby geographical blog entries.

January 15, 2006

Powerbook Ram Slot Failure

My Mac starting running really slowly about a month ago, and after lots of wondering, I finally noticed that half of my ram had disappeared. My first assumption, of course, was that Carita had taken it, so I shipped her off to Poland for some US style torture and interrogation.

When this failed to turn anything up I dropped into the Apple maintenance centre in Helsinki to borrow a really small screwdriver and scrounge a loan of a new ram chip for five minutes to see if one of my ram chips had fried. Whilst I was busy opening up the machine the woman there suggested that it could be the ram slot itself, which seemed an unlikely thing to say, as I'd then need to replace the entire motherboard. Assuming she just had mental problems I ignored her comment, but obviously she'd seen this problem before. Swapping around the ram in the upper slot made no difference, however, and the lower slot was a bit difficult to access in the time I had, as I was taking up most of the counter in the Apple Centre.

Later I was doing a search for the dreaded white spot screen syndrome which my mac also seems to be getting (my serial number's not covered by the recall), and bizarrely, or because of Google's all-seeing intelligence, a page about lower ram slot failure also turned up. It seems that so many Powerbooks have been affected that there's a petition against Apple to do something about it. Apparently, even after the motherboard has been replaced there's a high incidence of it recurring, especially when doing a software update, so I'll probably just buy a big stick of ram and put that in the working slot. Now if only my warranty hadn't expired last year...

The new Intel Macs do look very tempting - but it'll probably take a year or two for them to iron out initial problems. Hopefully they come with an asbestos tray to save your legs from being fried by the 4-5 times speed increase, but what's with the name? Macbook Pro?? Sounds more like a burger.

In other Mac news... the Apple Newton lives! Newton, my first and IMHO the greatest pda has been resurrected to run on Linux.

April 8, 2006

Mac Abuse

ouch-powerbook.jpgHere's a Powerbook that's done some suffering - it's been run over by a 4-wheel drive but is still working. Guess there's no point trying to get it repaired on warranty though.

April 10, 2006

Road Sign Hacking

LEDsignhacked.jpg
Driving in Britain last month, as we passed yet another massive, expensive and out of date LED sign suspended over the motorway displaying idiotic lines such as, "Fasten your seatbelt", I commented on how they should be hacked to display more interesting messages. Fittingly, a group in Canada has now done exactly that.

March 17, 2007

Badchoice Hosting

My email and website have been suspended twice in the last few weeks by Totalchoice hosting, the webhosting company I use. The first time was when I was in Thailand and everything stopped working. Eventually I found out it was because they'd screwed up my billing and after days they finally re-activated it whilst insisting that it was all my fault. Then a week ago it happened again. My website disappeared and my email stopped working overnight. Again I contacted them and was eventually told that due to a script on my website using up too many resources on their server they'd decided to suspend my account. They hadn't emailed me to ask me to do something about the script or even to tell me that my account had been suspended, and it seemed illogical to suspend my email as well.

Unfortunately, as I'm in Sri Lanka I don't have the bandwidth to move the site to another webhost so for the moment I just have to stay with them. Because of this I've had to temporarily disable comments on photos and blog commenting now requires signing in.

December 9, 2007

Eee!

Seduced by the promise of a tiny, cheap laptop and stories of people running Mac OS X on it, I bought an Eee pc the day after I arrived in Bangkok. Smaller than I expected, it fits into the bag I carry around and weighs under a kilo. As it's so small the keyboard does take a bit of getting used to, but it's quite useable for typing on.

It comes with Linux pre-installed but can run Windows if you're that way inclined. Having read up a bit more about it now, it sounds as though no-one has OS X running smoothly on it yet - so I guess I'll hang off with that for the moment. If only Apple would bring out their long-fabled ultra-notebook! There are so many times when you want to check a website or have something with a full-size (ish) keyboard for typing on but don't want to lug around a huge laptop. So far it seems to be fitting those uses for me pretty well.

September 30, 2009

Is Apple Looking to Change the Face of Publishing?

Ever since the last days of the Newton, rumours have abounded about Apple bringing out a new tablet device. Recent reports that they've re-hired one of the former Newton gurus, have given more credibility to that happening soon, along with a new reason... Apple could be planning a large iPhone style tablet to do to book, magazine and newspaper publishing what it did to music purchasing.


Gizmodo - Apple Tablet Aiming To Redefine...

iLounge - Ten New Details on the Apple Tablet

Apple hires former Newton designer to head product marketing