Bag of Spoons
Just off the A1(M)

Tue, 05 Oct 2004

A new Palm, but disappointing

Palm have officially announced the T5. I think they have dropped the ball. I like Palms, but this looks like it will not excite people enough to steer them away from the Microsoft alternatives. All it seems to have over the T3 (they skipped four because it's unlucky in some countries, Psion did the same) is extra memory that is also non-volatile. It still doesn't have wi-fi as standard and they dropped the microphone that is probably a useful feature in the business market. Sony were taking the Palm platform in interesting directions, but have pulled out of the US and European markets.

Meanwhile, MS Pocket PCs have VGA screens, Wi-fi, loads of memory and other neat stuff. Getting cheaper too.

In other news, my Palm is back at Dixons awaiting collection after it's repair. I've missed it, but I survived. Next time I'm on a trip I will have to investigate the new, cheap SD cards that are appearing in 1GB and 2GB sizes. That's a fair chunk of music or video. I intend to use the Zire for a few years, but I'm not sure what will be my next PDA.

[08:28] | [Palm] | Comments | G

Thu, 30 Sep 2004

Gmail invites available

Google have been nice enough to grant me some Gmail invites. If you want 1GB of free webmail then drop me a line.
[13:24] | [Internet] | Comments | G

Fri, 24 Sep 2004

Feed Me!

For a while I've been wanting to pipe the RSS feeds from a few sources onto this page. I just found a tool that does the job quite nicely at RSS Digest. I've added my and Bloglines feeds so far. I just added Audioscrobbler, but it may not be working right yet. There are options to change to look of the feeds that I may play with some time.

BTW I got quoted over at Simon's blog for my idea about using Firefox's new live links to display recent links. Fame at last!

[13:21] | [Site News] | Comments | G

Tue, 21 Sep 2004

Aren't relationships fun?

This may be old news, but yesterday I found the site Things my girlfriend and I have argued about. Let's just say there's a certain resonance. It made Tanya laugh too.
[08:54] | [Humour] | Comments | G

Wed, 15 Sep 2004

Got Gmail?

A few months ago there was lots of fuss about Google introducing an email service with 1GB of storage. This was a lot more than anyone else was giving for free, but has since been matched by others. The idea is that you don't delete anything and can easily search it. It's still in beta testing and accounts are only available by invitation from existing user. I don't have many friends using it, but this week I heard about a site that was passing on spare invitations. It's here. Currently only 3 going spare, but there were several hundred this morning. I grabbed one there and have had a little play. Need to direct some mail there to try it out properly.

In other news today Amazon have formally announced their search service A9, It's based on Google, but adds a few features, like showing multiple results for text, images, books, films etc at the same time. Can also remember your searches if you want and store bookmarks. Another site that warrants some playing. I use Google anyway, so this should give the same results.

Finally, Firefox has almost reached version 1.0 and is available for preview. I've been using the earlier versions for a while and it just gets better. I rarely touch IE these days. I love having tabs, gestures and some of the other features that either come as standard or as easily added extensions. It's supposed to be safer than IE, so what are you waiting for?

[20:51] | [Internet] | Comments | G

Wed, 08 Sep 2004

Personal Radio

Although I've been using Audioscrobbler for a while, I hadn't tried their sister site until last Friday. This site uses their calculation of your musical 'neighbours' to choose other music you might like. This can then be streamed to you at a reasonable 128kb, giving similar quality to most MP3 files. In my case it through in a few new artists to me, e.g. Mogwai, but also old favourites like ELO. Had a good sing along to that :)

If I eventually sort out my Paypal account I'll gift them some money.

[21:49] | [Music] | Comments | G

Sun, 05 Sep 2004

A man and his Palm, parted

I took my Zire into Dixons yesterday for a warranty repair. I could be without it for a few weeks! Tanya has offered to let me use the old IIIx as she rarely uses it. I may have to take her up on that. We shall see what transpires on the repair.
[14:41] | [Palm] | Comments | G

Thu, 02 Sep 2004

Added a guestbook

I like to know if people have visited my site, but have so far failed to install the pyblosxom comments system.

I had a search around and found Ultraguest. It's free, has a clean interface and looks like it might do the job. Please make use of it. If it gets abused by spammers I'll have to take action, but we shall see.

[12:45] | [Site News] | Comments | G

Thu, 26 Aug 2004

Rebuilt a PC

I've been meaning to set up a PC for the kids to use for on-line and CD games. There's a couple of reasons for this. One is that some of the old games don't work on Windows 2000, the other is that I might want to use the PC at the same time.

I've got an old Celeron 433 PC that used to be in Dad's office. I had already upgraded it with my old Matrox video card, Yamaha sound card, more memory and a second hard drive, but had a problem fitting a CD. The case requires the drive to have plastic rails fitted and I couldn't find any that fitted. So I splashed out on a 10 case from ebuyer. It's not too bad actually, apart from having too many screws to undo. We have some old Gatemay machines at work that don't require a screwdriver to open the case and replace a drive. I guess something like that would cost a lot more. Over the last couple of evenings I've moved all the parts over and it all seems to work. I added a third drive in a removable caddy for backup and file transfer. Those three drives add up to less than 10GB. Not much by modern standards, but enough for what it will be used for.

Next stage is to do a clean install of Windows 98 along with some firewall and anti-virus software. I intend to use Firefox as the browser for extra safety. It seems to do all we need.

Of course the PC will also be running the client to give me a few extra points, but it's going to take a while to process each work unit.

I know a lot of people think they need the latest/greatest PC, but unless you play new games it's over the top. Anything over 300MHz will be fine for internet, word processing etc as long as it has enough memory. 256MB should be a minimum. You can pick up old PCs at computer fairs for less than 50. Much better for the environment to re-use old hardware than to keep producing new stuff. Just keep back-ups in case the disk fails. If anyone has old hard drives that they have outgrown I might be interested.

[13:31] | [Computer] | Comments | G

Thu, 12 Aug 2004

Another blog mapping system

Multimap seem to do some cool stuff. One of their developers has a blog where he posts the latest developments. The latest manifests itself in the new On the Map button on the right of the page. This takes you to a map of where I live, but also adds to their database of weblogs. You can select from other, more useful, categories including wifi hotspots. I just like to have lots of buttons on my site.
[21:39] | [Site News] | Comments | G

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