Just off the A1(M)
Thu, 14 Jul 2005
Mon, 11 Jul 2005
Sat, 09 Jul 2005
My first experience of being on-line was with a Teletype (an ancient device that was more mechanical than electronic and just printed everything on a roll of paper) and an acoustic coupler (a bit like a modem except that you put the telephone handset into a pair of rubber cups and the data was sent as audible noise). That probably managed a few bytes per second at best. Later I owned various modems starting at 14.4kb and working up to the heady heights of 56kb. So now I'm getting over 30 times that speed. The upload speed is a fraction of the download. So it's still going to take a while to send large emails. I wonder if this is just a tactic to stop people sharing large files.
Thu, 07 Jul 2005
I'm fortunate in that I'm fairly sure that nobody I know was hurt today, but my sympathy goes out to those who have lost someone and to those who will bear the mental and physical effects for the rest of their lives. It often seems with a disaster that you hear plenty about the dead, but less about the survivors.
I hope this doesn't result in knee-jerk reactions like the USA did back in 2001. If we all have to change how we live then the terrorists have won. See Bruce Schneier's comments for a reasoned look at how terrorism should be handled. London is riddled with CCTV cameras, but that didn't stop this happening. Would ID cards have made any difference?
Tue, 05 Jul 2005
Kino is a simple DV capture and editing suite. All I had to do was make the Firewire devices accessable and it worked. Now I have to work out how to get it into a suitable form for writing to DVD. There seem to be tools around that let you do menus and other fancy things.
Mon, 04 Jul 2005
I had a problem with an encrypted email crashing Thunderbid. I've not see that before. Out of interest I had a play with Kmail. This handled the encryption well and has some nice features like showing the spam score of each mail. It should also integrate better with other software than the Mozilla programs do. I want to see if I can synchronise my Palm address book with the one used by Kmail. It makes a lot of sense to only have to enter that data once.
I watched a bit of Live 8 at the weekend. I remember watching Live Aid and have seen quite a few similar gigs on TV since then. The only one I've been to was the Freddy Mercury tribute at Wembley. I think the novelty has worn off a bit, but there were a few good performances. I still fail to see the point of Dido. I thought the aging rockers at the end did a good job. Nice to see Pink Floyd together again.
Fri, 01 Jul 2005
I learnt a lot of new things from this book and it filled in some gaps in areas I do know about. If this had been a textbook for science at school I would have enjoyed it even more.
Although the book looks thick it's a relatively easy read and there's over a hundred pages of notes, bibliography and index that most people will probably not look at.
I'm now reading Prime Obsession about an unsolved mathematical problem. It's slightly less mainstream, but I like numbers.
Wed, 29 Jun 2005
I sought medical advice on my shoulder and the opinion is that it's been strained. So I'm on painkillers, heat packs and rest. I've not suffered an injury this serious that I can remember, although I picked up a few aches at Aikido. I've managed to get through nearly four decades with no broken bones.
Other things I need to look at are audio (Ubuntu comes without MP3 support due to licence issues), digital images (organising my camera pictures), scanning, video (possibly Xine), personal accounts (GnuCash does the job) and various other stuff to keep the family happy. At some point I want to get into digital viedo and audio, but that's for when I have more time.
Weather news: big thunder and lightning storm last night. Then it poured with rain.
Tue, 28 Jun 2005
So I downloaded the ISO, burnt it to one of my old CD-RWs and fired it up. The installation program is purely text mode rather than the flashy graphics that others use, but it's all very logical. I was able to select what I wanted to do with my existing partitions. I elected to keep my /home partition. After copying all the packages across the system rebooted and spent some time preparing them all for use. This part could do with a progress bar so you have some idea how long it will take. Eventually I got a graphical log-in screen. The system starts up with some pretty grahics and various noises. Personally I prefer my PC to only make noises when it's really necessary. It uses Gnome as it's front end rather than KDE, which I'm more used to, but there is an option to install that.
The initial menus are fairly sparse with a single option for each type of application, unlike Knoppix which overwhelmed you with choices. I only had time for a brief play so I ran Firefox. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had retained all my bookmarks, cookies and even the extensions I had previously installed. Now I just need to install the various other applications I need.
So far, so good.
In other news, we decided to try a little bit of tennis with the kids in Bedford Park on Saturday. This was going well until I overstretched myself trying to return a shot and went crashing to the tarmac. I grazed several placed on my right arm and my hip. The shoulder is very sore, making just about any use of it painful. That will teach me not to show off
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