Sunday, February 26, 2006

Another little something that I found by digging around on

What it does is let you enter words, which it then builds from images of letters stored on Flickr. You can keep changing the letters until you're happy with the result, and it then gives you the html, so you can post your (ok, multiple other people's) creation.

Here's the URL:

Br oneletterIT WebsterTLEVIEeWS

Monday, February 20, 2006

What better way to enjoy President's day than to line up a collection of music-related movies, ensure an endless supply of tea, and settle back and enjoy!

First up was 'I Am Trying To Break Your Heart', which chronicles the challenges that Wilco endured in finally getting "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" released, after they'd been dumped from Reprise Records.

You have to smile when you learn that the label they finally signed to, Nonesuch (part of Time Warner) paid $600K to get their hands on the album that Reprise (another part of Time Warner) had spent $200K to record.

Monday, January 30, 2006

For those of you who know me, you'll know that I've always had a lot of gay friends, both male and female. Throughout my life, I've often had people telling me that I was suppressing my own latent homosexuality (a little concerning when two of them were girlfriends at the time). My response has always been that I don't see sexual orientation as a binary thing (i.e straight or gay) but as a multi-dimensional continuum, with people being at different points at different times of their lives, or under different circumstances.

I do have to say that it has all been a lot easier since someone coined the term metrosexual. Since then, more people seem to accept that for a man who enjoys the occasional manicure or facial is not necessarily familiar with the "the love that dares not speak its name". Not that it has ever really bothered me, as I've always been pretty comfortable with my sexual identity, whether others were or not.

I give this background so that you know a little bit more about me, and to give some context to the following email that I received from my daughter last Wednesday, and how I'm reacting to it.
There's also something else you should probably know. The friend I would be coming out with is also in fact my girlfriend. We have been dating since June of last year, and it is quite serious. We are planning to move in together in London over the summer, and this would be our summer holiday together before starting our new jobs, etc.

Since the Holidays, I'd been playing telephone tag with my daughter (who is in her final year at University)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Unable to sleep, I get back on my PC and start to wander aimlessly through links.

Here's one from that made me sit up with a start!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Linux for Human Beings

Okay, I have to admit it... if I checked my biorhythms, I'd find that my geekiness was in the ascendant.

Ever since I had to replace the hard drive in my notebook PC (moving up from a slow 60GB drive to a fast 100GB one), I've been itching to do something else with all that real estate.

It's not that I hate Microsoft or Bill Gates (heck, I just bought some MSFT stock), but a lot of the fun that I had in the early days of desktop PCs just seems to have dissipated. I think part of it is that I just know Windows XP and Office 2003 so well, that they don't really present much of a challenge any more.

Anyway, I decided to set my notebook as a dual-boot (Windows XP/Linux) machine. It took me a few attempts (see below), but this blog is coming to you courtesy of Ubuntu Linux.

Attempt 1: Ubuntu 5.1 - AMD64 version
This loaded okay, but I soon hit multiple problems because of the unavailability of some key 64-bit Linux drivers.

Attempt 2: OpenSUSE 10.0
This one loaded okay too, but didn't do as well with recognizing my wide screen (1280 x 800). For many Linux distros (this one included), one of the key challenges is getting wireless access working. If you google for help, you enter a world of what could be taken for black magic and mysterious incantations. Maybe I didn't have the right type of chicken bones to scatter, but after an hour or so I gave up. I would have tried longer, but SUSE didn't seem to run too fast on my machine, so I decided that it was time to move on.

Attempt 3: Ubuntu 5.1 - x86 version
It was a little frustrating to have to fall back on the plain vanilla (x86) version, as it doesn't take advantage of the Athlon 64-bit processor that I have. Having said that, it did let me get wireless access up and running (by cleverly 'wrapping' the Windows driver, so that Linux could use it), and so I'm ready to forgive a lot.

Okay... I promise I'll try and get out more ... must see more shows... MUST SEE MORE SHOWS!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blogging via email

Often finding myself in airports with time to kill, I suddenly started wondering if there wasn’t a quick and easy way to keep up with my blog.

Sure enough, a few seconds with Google and I came up with the answer – blogging via e-mail.

Before you can use this feature, you do need to configure it, but it is very straightforward.

1) Sign on to your blog and click on the ‘Select’ tab.

2) Select ‘e-mail’ from the list of options that appear directly below the tab settings.

3) You’ll see a field called ‘Mail-to-Blogger address’ which is made up of the following components:

· ‘Your blog name’, followed by a period.

· A blank field where you can enter a secret word that will make up part of your blogging by mail email address.

· A ‘Publish’ check box (if you check this, your blog entry will be automatically posted; if not, you’ll have to go in manually and publish your blog to post your entry.

All you do is fill this in, and then you can send you mail-in blog to the following address:

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The inner geek in all of us

I'm afraid this is a bit of a geeky blog entry, but I was just so excited to find the following page. I'd been looking at the new Treo 700W as a potential replacement for my Blackberry 7100T (my plan's up for renewal next month, and I've sort of got used to getting a new 'free' phone every year). While I was browsing , I came across a link which told you how to use the Treo as a wireless modem. This got me wondering if I could do the same with my Blackberry, and one quick google later, voila!

Sanjay's Coding Tips :: How to use the Blackberry 7100 as a GPRS Modem

I have an unlimited data plan with my Blackberry, which I need to be able to get the synchronized e-mail. This uses GPRS which is pretty slow (25KB down / 5KB up). Up to now, I've been limited to using it for simple browsing on the phone itself (checking flight times, checking directions, etc.), but now I can use it as a wireless modem and save those outrageous airport/hotel hotspot charges.