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If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...

At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:

More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Sunday June 30 2002 at 23:44 GMT

I am EXHAUSTED! After seeing Brazil win the World Cup final at Polly & John's house (and getting some new Robbie pictures), Senor Carlos and I took a wander along Princes St to buy a few camping items for Carlos' stay at the Buddhist Festival. After that, the weather brightened slightly, so we decided to climb the Scott Monument. This is something I've been planning to do for years, so it was cool to finally just do it! The stairs to the top really are very narrow and the ceiling low, but the view at the top is brilliant - I will be sure to take all future visitors there. Very well worth the 2.50 pounds. Some pictures, taken on my Communicam, are here, as well as pictures from last weekend at the castle with Elisha.

After that, we took a stroll down to the Botanic Garden, which is really nice to see if the sun is out! Some larger pictures are here - these were also taken with the Communicam.

Carlos made fine food for us tonight. I accidently made up a new name for him. If you are over 18 and not too sensitive, click here, otherwise click here for a nice version!

Sunday June 30 2002 at 01:31 GMT

Sunday June 30 2002 at 01:14 GMT

Last night Carlos and I saw Murder by Number. I am not a fan of Sandra Bullock or, indeed, that genre of film, really, but it was one of the best films I have seen in ages! Time flew past, the story was VERY gripping and there were some really exciting moments in it. It was a little bit easy to work out exactly what had happened, but apart from that, a most enjoyable film.

Today we caught the Turkey vs. South Korea game. Both teams played well, and South Korea really deserved the last minute goal. I'm hoping that the final tomorrow is as exciting.

My old T39 has been having some problems holding a call lately (Allan is going to use it), so I took it to the Carpet Warhorse to get the software upgraded. I also wanted my T68 software upgraded, but thought I had to take it somewhere else, however the most helpful chap said he'd do it for me. The whole thing took about 30mins - but the phone is SO much better for it! The text message writing is much faster than before (one of my biggest complaints), there are a load of new ringtones and nicer icons ... plus I can send MMS (MultiMedia Messages) - or I will be when Orange support it. The software upgrade does allow me to connect up a Communicam, so I felt I should really get one... The pictures are reasonable quality - I can take it back within 14 days, so I'll evaluate it between now and then. I really do want a digi camera, but the Communicam has no flash and is not really a 'proper' camera. When Allan calls me now, I get a quite wonderful picture of him flashing up!

Friday June 28 2002 at 11:32 GMT

Thursday June 27 2002 at 16:12 GMT

If you feel like coming to stay at my flat during the Edinburgh Festival(s), drop me a line and I'll try to sort it out!

Thursday June 27 2002 at 11:30 GMT

Some people think my Web site already goes too far ... however this guy has documented EVERYTHING in his house. A step too far?

Thursday June 27 2002 at 00:48 GMT

This is carlos

Tuesday June 25 2002 at 18:09 GMT

Well, my LM15 *does* appear to be working after all - really not sure what was up with it before. It amused me greatly when someone turned my light on this morning, to lie in bed and use my phone to turn it off again. Unfortunately, one of my work colleagues decided it would be funny to send repeated requests to the server in a bid to snap it, so I've currently taken it offline. I will be bringing it back, but with a password for my use only.

If anyone has any really good means of revenge, please let me know.

Tuesday June 25 2002 at 18:05 GMT

Monday June 24 2002 at 19:22 GMT

After some inspired advice from John Robinson (OK, my Linux skills are at level 0), it is now possible to turn a small light in my living room on and off - feel free to have a play with it: http://lofi.martinlittle.com/bluelava/bluelava.cgi. If you have a WAP-enabled, you can also play about at http://lofi.martinlittle.com/bluelava/telex10.wml - same functionality. Unfortunately, the LM15 (x10 controller) in my bedroom is not working just now. More soon...

Monday June 24 2002 at 16:00 GMT

This last article from Wired on a cool new techno/art group called Fischerspooner name-checks SomaFM as a reason for their popularity, given that they have not even released a single yet. Oh the bitter irony.

Monday June 24 2002 at 15:50 GMT

Monday June 24 2002 at 15:42 GMT

My favourite online radio station, SomaFM has been forced off the air by ridiculous pricing demands by the RIAA. You can find more info on the site as well as how to fight against the law. Wired have a good article on what it's all about.

I smell greedy record companies...

Monday June 24 2002 at 15:32 GMT

Over the weekend I read a LOT of the mails that have been piling up in my inbox from all the subscription lists I am on and also cleared my name (hopefully) from a lot of them. I feel cleansed! A lot of the mails just got binned, but I managed to read through a bunch of Wired daily mails. There were a lot of links I could have posted, but decided to be somewhat more selective. This story about putting a tiny radio or mobile phone receiver chip inside a tooth definitely caught my eye, although I'm not sure I'd be first up to get it done. At least if something goes wrong with my phone I just take it to a shop and get it fixed - but this way could potentially lead to way too many dentist visits.

Saturday June 22 2002 at 20:42 GMT

Saturday June 22 2002 at 13:45 GMT

I have to say that yesterday's game was not that inspiring, so I am not so sorry that England are going home... Plus I've got Brazil in the sweepstake at work! :-D

South Korea have gone through to the next round, which is BRILLIANT news. The game was too early for me to watch, but I'll get the highlights later.

Senegal vs. Turkey is on just now, and Senegal are definitely getting my support!

Last night was quiet, as my Friday nights tend to go. I had a few drinks with the boys, then Allan got back from an interview in London. He just sat down, and noticed Carlos walking past - so we had a drink together, then headed home to get some food. As it was the longest day yesterday ('nights are fair drawing in') I thought there would be some celebrations on Calton Hill. Carlos and I headed there and I managed to persuade some gulluible friends to meet us there too. Unfortunately nothing was on ... so we went back to a flat and had a few drinks.

Today, Carlos and I are off to the castle. Probably.

Friday June 21 2002 at 17:23 GMT

Copacabannockburn by Barry McManilow


His name was David,
He was a goalie,
With a pigtail in his hair, why was he standing way out there ?
He tried to run back but couldn't make it,
The Brazilians watched it from a far, as it sneaked under the bar
You could hear the crowd roar, Rivaldo's lying on the floor
The lions whimpered out the door,
Oh baby, who could ask for more...

At the Copa, oh, Copa-ca-bann-ock-burn,
Its great to watch Rivaldo turn,
At the Copa, oh, Copa-ca-bann-ock-burn,
The man with the Moustache should stick to making the adverts,
At the Copa - They fell to bits.

His name was Rio, He was a diamond,
He was running round in rings, he saw Rivaldo level things,
And when he finished, He called him over
But Rio went to slow, Rivaldo slammed it in the goal,
And then Brooking had a spew, Motson bit his mike in two,
Then Rhonaldino, he got a red card, but with Mills picked by Sven
It looked like ten versus ten....

At the Copa, oh, Copa-ca-bann-ock-burn,
Its great to watch Rivaldo turn,
At the Copa, oh, Copa-ca-bann-ock-burn,
With heskey near the ball, how did they score a goal at all ?,
At the Copa - We laughed and laughed.

His Name was Bobby, He was the captain,
But that was 30 years ago, thats when they used to have a show,
Now its a party, but not for Beckham,
Still in the dress he used to wear, faded feathers in his hair,
He slumps down on the pitch refined, and then cries himself half blind,
He lost his cup, and lost his glory,
But up in Scotland thats not the story....

At the Copa, oh, Copa-ca-bann-ock-burn,
Its great to watch Rivaldo turn,
At the Copa, oh, Copa-ca-bann-ock-burn,
Three little kittys on the chest, Now we all know whos the best,
At the Copa....we...said...good-byeeeeeeee!!.

Friday June 21 2002 at 15:46 GMT

And there ends England's World Cup run...

Friday June 21 2002 at 15:26 GMT

Here's my link for the day - the latest Nokia.

Friday June 21 2002 at 15:16 GMT

Neil's link of the day: today takes us to the wonderful SatireWire site to bring us the latest reports on how CEOs in the States are doing, following the Enron 'issue'. Neil's link.

Friday June 21 2002 at 14:12 GMT

If you are interested in Home Automation (what all this X10 stuff is really about) on the Linux platform, the best page to check out is Neil Cherry's.

Friday June 21 2002 at 14:09 GMT

Well, the replacement CM12U arrived yesterday, so I got busy with it when I got home. In about an hour or so I managed to get the appliance module being talked to by my computer, just using the command line interface. I'm using a program called Heyu as the daemon and command line interface, with BlueLava as the Web and WAP interface. It's CGI-based, but I quite fancy writing something myself in PHP - will see over the weekend just what this requires. It is SO cool what people write & maintain for free on the Internet. Maximum respect to those guys!

Unfortunately, I'm getting some errors when using the Web & WAP interface just now, but feel free to have a play about. At the moment you can only really turn a small pebble lamp on in my living room: http://lofi.martinlittle.com/bluelava/bluelava.cgi. At some point I will be making this password protected.

Thursday June 20 2002 at 15:15 GMT

Even thought this is from the second worst mobile phone network in the UK, it is still fun: http://www.o2-online.co.uk/world_cup/. I am Rivaldo: You're one of the best players on the planet. You lead by example and you're way too refined to rake your studs down anyones shins. You do sometimes have trouble passing the ball to lesser players, though.

Thursday June 20 2002 at 14:24 GMT

Stark is on a roll today with this World Cup humour.

Thursday June 20 2002 at 00:49 GMT

Jams caught an article about a 'secret switch' on the Automated Home site. The Secret Switch looked to involve a little too much work for right now, but the company that make that are now making a Sensor Switch that can simply replace the original lightswitch with a blanking plate. Jams and I both ordered one up, just to see how they worked and test them out, and I've got to say that it really is quite cool - once you get over the concept of not needing to touch a switch to make a light come on. I was planning to replace all the lightswitches in my house with silver switches anyway, but I may now just buy the sensor switch cirtcuitry and get some nice silver blanking plates. Hmm, ideas ideas!

Today my X10 stuff arrived (X10 allows control of lights and appliances with the electrical network inside your house - everyone has a ready-made network!). Unfortunately, the CM12U (computer interface) had some super-crazy three pin plug on it like nothing I'd ever seen before and has had to go back. FINGERS CROSSED that the replacement arrives tomorrow and I can get playing. My mind is buzzing with potential ideas. They should be online within the next few months, depending on how much time I can dedicate to it!

In other news, I have Carlos, a Buddhist from Mexico who will be ordained as a monk in a month or so staying with me - we met for the first time in Edinburgh airport last night. Allan and I have been trying to sort out some short term employment for him.

Tuesday June 18 2002 at 02:29 GMT

Ying, and yang.

Tuesday June 18 2002 at 01:48 GMT

Man, Mexico out, and Brazil certainly did not hugely impress against a solid Belgian team. So, the Mexico Brazil (thanks Neil :-O) vs England game is on Friday, when I shall be looking after my wonderful Godson.

So, I finally managed to get some of my new CDs ripped. They will be on Netjuke PDQ. Unfortunately, Netjuke really has been quite a success, but two bad things have happened. Firstly, I just DO NOT have enough bandwidth to support the server. My downstream (to Internet) bandwidth is only 256kb, and I am currently finding it is *permanently* maxxed out - I cannot do a thing on it when the server is running, which is not so good for me, given that I am paying a fair amount to have it in the first place. Apologies to those who lose tracks, but I need to use the connection at times! Secondly, the stat machine has broken due to the download file sizes getting so mad. It is reporting a few GB downloaded, whereas it is closer to a few GB per DAY, every day this month (and last, actually). Need to try and get something to fix that...

Anyway, on to some new sounds. I'm skipping the front covers, cos it takes so long to find the image name on Amazon.. :->

First up is the new DJ Shadow. I am loving this new album - it is just SO good. Fresh and catchy. I got the special edition, with a live version of something or other. Didn't notice the price tag at the time... listen.

Next comes the new Weezer - only had a chance to listen to this once really, and it sounded OK. Looking forward to getting more into it - I love Weezer. listen.

Mum I have not had a chance at all to listen to, but should do now I've ripped it. A review will follow! listen.

Cinematic Orchestra's first few tracks are pretty good indeed, but as I was listening, I think I'd overdone my listening to that genre. In a while I'll get that one out for a proper first listen. listen.

Aqua Bassino is another unlistened CD. Got a review? Drop me a line: CDreview AT martinlittle.com. listen.

Finally for tonight, I offer Maximum Minimalists. Yes, I bought it just because I liked the title and the case was nice. Still unlistened. listen.

Today has been long, now I need sleep. Goodnight.

Monday June 17 2002 at 14:29 GMT

Need to get all your food for the year in one go? Try here. Try not to barf as you read the canned goods included in this remarkable deal...

Monday June 17 2002 at 01:05 GMT

After a few swift beers with Jams tonight, I have decided that Oloroso is my 'local'. When I arrived, two of the bar staff greeted me and immediately asked if I wanted a Stella. I have always wanted this to happen!

Monday June 17 2002 at 01:03 GMT

The end of another weekend - it all happens so fast these days!

SpiderMan on Friday was good - I recommend it. It was not as good as I had hoped for, but was very nice to enjoy.

Saturday was pretty laid back, then a stag night ensued. To be honest, I had somewhat forgotten that I was meant to get going to it, but am very glad John reminded me. We had a few(!) pints in the Standing Order, then went to Ricks, where the cost of a round doubled! Luckily I found a twenty pound note on the ground... We ended up in Fingers Piano Bar - not the most salubrious location, but fun for all.

Sunday started with a trip to Fopp. I had remembered that Ireland were playing Spain (vaguely), but decided to get some new sounds. As I was walking down the road, I heard yells from a pub, so decided to stop in. Ironically, I was in the Scotsman Bar with a bunch of Irish and Spaniards. NAILBITING STUFF is all that can be said for the football. Ireland played fantastically and gave Spain a real run for their money. It was really a sad deal when they fluffed their penalties.

My trip to Fopp then continued, with purchase a-plenty! I'm MP3ing as I write, so they should be available to listen to online tomorrow.

Have a good week!

Thursday June 13 2002 at 18:24 GMT

Big Brother continues to runble on here in the UK. Unfortunately Sandy decided to leave yesterday. Or rather, he decided to 'escape'. After a very brief farewell to his housemates, he hopped up some trellis, on to the roof and was away. Good work Scotsman!

Thursday June 13 2002 at 18:21 GMT

It's been a very long time since I last managed to find anywhere selling Negra Modelo, but my local Mexican import shop, Lupe Pintos does just that. Last night I truly enjoyed the taste of a cold bottle - took me back to my too-short time spent in Mexico City some years ago. Keeping on a Mexican note, their footballers have moved on to the second round of the world cup after the most exciting match of the cup I've seen thus far! It truly was fast paced, exciting, interesting football - such a pleasure to watch after the staid performance put on by England yesterday morning!

Wednesday June 12 2002 at 09:38 GMT

Well, despite some last minute efforts by Argentina, England have made it to the second round...

On a positive note, it took me 7 (seven) minutes for me to get from my front door to the bus stop closest to the office (at 7.30 this morning!). I was very impressed with that kind of effort by my friendly Lothian Buses driver.

Tuesday June 11 2002 at 10:29 GMT

However, if you are my (English) cousin John: Come on England! (I promised him I would say that.)

Tuesday June 11 2002 at 10:28 GMT

Kanu is out of the Nigerian squad against England tomorrow. :-(

Tuesday June 11 2002 at 10:26 GMT

The Italian Job is one of my favourite films ever, but they are planning to remake it, with Mark Wahlberg in the role of Charlie (previously played by the de la Michael Caine). What are they on?!?!?!?!?!!?

Tuesday June 11 2002 at 09:47 GMT

Denmark 2 - 0 France. And thus France's World Cup run ends...

Tuesday June 11 2002 at 00:07 GMT

Tuesday June 11 2002 at 00:06 GMT

Sunday June 9 2002 at 22:16 GMT

After a weekend of messing about with some PHP, I've finally got my new guestbook sorted out! This is NOT a blatant attempt to get some more entries in it ... or for some 'unpaid for user testing'! ;-)

Sunday June 9 2002 at 18:32 GMT

If you are looking for a new phone, you may want to start here. Assuming you have EUR 24,000 spare! The phones sold by Vertu *look* fantastic and appear to be crafted as opposed to built, but they have literally NO useful functions. If I was spending EUR 24k on a phone, I would at least expect it to be Bluetooth enabled and have GPRS, WAP and HSCSD (high speed data). None of these are included - I don't think their 'strategic partnership' with Nokia is being maxed out. The idea of being able to upgrade the internals of your phone, without getting a new case does make sense in this case though. Say, the internals actually cost EUR 600 max, that's a whole EUR 23,400 on the case!

Speaking of phones, my T68 is currently en route to Philli. Rich has been having all kinds of problems with his, so I volunteered mine to accompany him on his trip. His replacement phone should be with me in a few hours, but I miss the lovely colour screen and the shiny silver buttons. The hardship we are made to go through these days...

Thursday June 6 2002 at 00:41 GMT

This week is zooming past already. Truly, time flies. Tonight some colleagues from work and I ventured to a new Japanese restaurant called Izzi on Lothian Road. Now, Japanese cuisine in Edinburgh is HARD to come by (I've been trying to go to a noodle shack for about three years now - it is always either closed or full), so this was something special and would have received plenty of custom given it's proximity to my route home from work. Unfortunately, the Japanese section of the Japanese and Chinese menu was somewhat small and either off during the time we were there or else too expensive to really enjoy. Our meal was pretty tasty, but most certainly not cheap.

During my lunch hour I managed to get in some World Cup watching - Germany vs Ireland. It was an OK match, but I was very pleased with the score: 1-1. Ireland are still in there with a chance! As everyone has their tip for the top, I'm going for Spain. Yes, a bit of an outsider, but... Now I'm off to William Hill to put some money where my mouth is!

EnGurLand are playing Argentina tomorrow. To show my support...

Monday June 3 2002 at 17:27 GMT

I feel like my weekend has been one continuous day! Friday was a leaving party in Henry J Beans. The place itself gets so hot and smokey, and it takes ages to get served ... but the night itself was a LOT of fun. Saturday, my parents were over, and my dad, brother and I went to see Scotland play the Barbarians at Murrayfield. The score was not so great for Scotland, but it was cool to be there. As we went through the gates, I saw the Orange logo on a black box, with a thing called ref!link; after some quick investigation, I found out that it was a disposable device to let me hear what the referee was saying throughout the game. It was fantastic to hear what was going on and, since it was a friendly, there was a good amount of chat between the players and the ref. Even my dad was impressed, which is really saying something!

Then I caught up with Heather, her husband, his brother and his fiancee, who happens to know several people in Bridge of Weir, the village I come from. All good clean fun.

Sunday involved lazing about, then looking after my gorgeous Godson and then a few beers with the boys.

Monday was the first holiday I remember taking when everyone else is off - normally I don't take public holidays, but save them up and take them all together. This was a special holiday, in honour of our Queen being ... our Queen for 50 years. It was even sunny, so I stayed inside and caught up with some personal administration. Ahh, such good weekend!

Monday June 3 2002 at 16:42 GMT

I meant to get this up before Sunday, but just didn't get around to it... :-))

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