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
More pictures from my phone

Friday February 28 2003 at 14:27 GMT

Last night I went to a wine tasting run by Rose Murray Brown. The class, for we were all seated, looking to the front, taking notes, was excellent. We tasted nine reds from all over the world, and had to rate them according to how they looked, smelt and tasted. It was tricky to do, but once we were told what to look for, it was possible to pick out certain aspects.

Rose is running more classes over the next few weeks, and I'm quite considering signing up to those.

Friday February 28 2003 at 12:11 GMT

This year I know three people running the London Marathon for charity. Sophie is running for Children with Leukemia and you can pledge or sponsor her online <hint>.

Wednesday February 26 2003 at 11:44 GMT

Yes, it is taking some time to put together, however, I can say that the phone is great, overall. The Register have just published a good review that is worth a read.

Wednesday February 26 2003 at 11:14 GMT

My site seems to be loading super slowly again. I've made a few changes, so this page is now coming to you without tables. I'd be interested in any feedback you have, but my current hosting provider are definitely on the slide, it seems. :-(

Tuesday February 25 2003 at 15:01 GMT

Ladies and gentlemen, for your amusement and pleasure, I present the newest member of the blogging club,

Tuesday February 25 2003 at 14:59 GMT

It would appear that blogging by email is now NOT an option - it is *SO* slow. The entry below was actually sent at about 3pm, so it took 12 hours to get to blogger, then it didn't publish itself. Looks like another approach is required!

Tuesday February 25 2003 at 03:04 GMT

Does this one arrive any faster?

Monday February 24 2003 at 17:30 GMT

Last night I discovered the live webcam bookmark on my phone. Truly crazy - I can watch live webcam streaming video, via GPRS, on my phone. Thanks to this dude's nice coding, I can show you screen captures too!

Monday February 24 2003 at 11:29 GMT

If you had a P800, you wouldn't have had time to update your site either. ;-) My phone is pretty cool indeed - I promise a full review shortly!

My weekend consisted of a great night out on Friday (although I couldn't believe when the bar shut so early(!)), an 8.30am start to ... play with my phone, watching the rugby, watching a DVD I bought literally years ago (The Big Lebowski - weirdly entertaining), sleeping, watching Scotland get thrashed by France at rugby. Oh, and playing with my phone.

Sunday February 23 2003 at 04:44 GMT

Test from my P800.

Friday February 21 2003 at 13:37 GMT

I now have my P800. Full review shortly!

Thursday February 20 2003 at 14:26 GMT

Today is very much a day for links...

Wednesday February 19 2003 at 18:19 GMT

Some humour just in from Anthony: Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. There are a few amusing videos on there, well worth a laugh. I think I'll suggest hiring him to my boss...

Wednesday February 19 2003 at 18:13 GMT

As I've always said, Glasgow Smiles Better than Edinburgh, confirmed by a nationwide study. The new look BBC site is very nice indeed - it looks fresh and clean, and loads fast too. I'm kind of surprised they haven't included any technical details of what they changed, though - that's the interesting part!

Wednesday February 19 2003 at 11:33 GMT

We employ some dudes from Infosys where I work - this is a great article about the two founders, and why they are succeeding. Chairman N R Narayana Murthy and CEO Nandan Nilekani have been voted Asia's Businessmen of the Year, by Fortune magazine. It's a good read.

Wednesday February 19 2003 at 11:13 GMT

My friend Ravi is getting married, in Hyderabad, on Thursday and Friday. I was invited, but cannot find anything like a reasonably priced flight... I wish Ravi and Sirisha a fantastic wedding, and a happy and prosperous life together.

Wednesday February 19 2003 at 00:33 GMT

I found this much more detailed review of Opera on the P800. I also found lots of good stuff about the P800 there, too.

Tuesday February 18 2003 at 18:14 GMT

Two bits of phone information caught my eye today. The first is that Opera have released their Web browser for the P800, as a free download. Reports thus far suggest that it is a GREAT piece of software. Apparently it is even capable of FTP - ideas abound. The list of standards the browser supports is huge - full respect to the Opera dudes.

The second piece of news is that Nokia and SonyEricsson are to align their development efforts for the Symbian UIQ and Series60 platforms. I read recently that Nokia has the largest installed base of software - larger than that of Microsoft. Microsoft have had very little luck breaking into the phone market, and this latest move must be bright on the radar for them. Watch this space.

Tuesday February 18 2003 at 14:12 GMT

This sounds like a neat concept - simply place your battery-powered device on a special pad/area, and, as long as it has been equipped with a thin receiver, it will recharge. More here.

Tuesday February 18 2003 at 14:00 GMT

Thanks to some GREAT work by John, my Linux box is now fully Bluetooth'd, as well as running kernel 2.4.20. At the moment, I'm trying to get a Bluetooth remote control for XMMS working. My webcam is also online too, after six months offline. During the installation, I discovered that my old 'broken' cam actually still works... The next thing I need to buy is a USB hub. Then I'll be able to move the cam(s) to the windowsill, instead of leaving them randomly pointing at the window.

Tuesday February 18 2003 at 13:49 GMT

On Sunday night I went to see Catch Me If You Can at my local cinema, the Dominion.

Firstly, the film. It was a reasonable escape from reality (required), but nothing special, really. The story was fairly interesting, but at no point was I on the edge of my seat... Now, the seat, on the other hand, cost me GBP 11.90. For that, I got one beer, one small can of Pringles and one large leather, electronically adjustable (back- and footrest). The seat was brilliant - I was in the middle of the screen (not literally). The downside(s) were that the sound was not that great and the screen was really quite far away. They also have sofas at either side of the screen. It's a cool place.

Monday February 17 2003 at 11:27 GMT

Read this page (carefully) -

Monday February 17 2003 at 00:02 GMT

I've posted my pictures from Grenoble. Kev and Lukester both had cameras, and also have the requisite skill to be able to use them properly, so I'm hoping to get a few shots from their films on here some time, too.

Sunday February 16 2003 at 18:19 GMT

Google has bought Pyra Labs, owner of Google is really becoming the powerhouse of the Internet. They effectively control what and how many of the more vocal elements of the Internet publish (Blogger) and how they find information (Google) as well as having a huge respository of newgroup articles (what was DejaNews, and is now Google Groups).

Some groups are already questioning Google's reach of power - see google-watch, for example.

I hope Evan Williams really can now take blogger forward - there are so many areas it could be improved, but I guess that with a staff of five, it can seem pretty daunting. It's going to be a space to watch. There are already plenty of thought on Slashdot.

Sunday February 16 2003 at 13:47 GMT

Yesterday was a very strange day. A very good friend left to return to her native Australia. She's not been part of my circle of friends for that long, but saying goodbye to her was not a happy experience at all. It also made me realise that I don't think any of my other friends have moved in such a way - they've gone away but always planned to come back... Christie, very best of luck in your new adventure.

Sunday February 16 2003 at 13:14 GMT

The Netscape DevEdge site has been reworked, using CSS and XML. There is a great article about how they did it here.

Over the weekend I made a few small changes to my site - most noticeably the front page. I've added a little php widget that runs on my home server, capturing the tunes I'm playing there (thanks to these guys for pointers) and also got rid of the old notable page, that was just links, also moving it to the front page. I'm going to rationalise these links over the next few days. Any constructutive comments gratefully received. According to these dudes at, "3 Columns, The Holy Grail of page layouts The most elegant technique and perhaps the most sought after layout: a 3 column page with a fluid center column. Easy to understand, easy to implement.". Cool.

Sunday February 16 2003 at 12:57 GMT

It's ten years since Mosaic was launched! Read the interview here.

Saturday February 15 2003 at 13:19 GMT

InfosyncWorld have posted a detailed review of the P800. Maybe if you read this, you'll understand why I am *so* excited about the whole thing.

Friday February 14 2003 at 19:57 GMT

I bought Lukester the Pavement DVD 'Slow Century' for his birthday. One of my earliest memories of meeting Luke was at a Pavement concert in Edinburgh (although we were on similar courses at university). Handily, he also got a DVD player for his birthday, so we were able to watch parts of it. It *completely* took me back to the mid-90s and made me so happy ... so I popped out and bought it for myself.

Over on the Pavement list (which runs on, even though the band have split up) they have been having listening/watching parties of the DVD, where groups of Pavement fans get together and recall the good old days. I'm planning to have a party, probably in late March or early April - let me know if you're interested in coming round. Requirements are: Pavement t-shirt(s) and drink. I will also be posting this to the list...

Friday February 14 2003 at 19:25 GMT

Annie had bought this CD, and I rapidly had to hear it every day in Grenoble. It is an absolutely great - and it only costs GBP 7 from Fopp, at the moment. This is what they say about it:

label: matador
::: Phenomenal release from New York's Interpol. They're New York through and through in an old school, new school, too cool for school way, a group of blokes who've listened to everything that came out from Manchester and Liverpool circa 1979-1984, chewed it up and spat it out in the shape of this album. It's totally restored my faith in guitars, they've not sounded so sky-scrapingly gorgeous, so majestical, so damned fine since My Bloody Valentine's 'Loveless'. The Smiths, The Bunnnymen, Joy Division, Psychedelic Furs, Magazine - the influences are obvious, the results are incendiary. 'NYC' is all slow and brooding melancholy, the guitars hit their marks precisely. 'Say Hello To The Angels' sounds exactly like the Lower East Side's answer to 'This Charming Man', 'Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down' is just plain and simply magnificenct. Don't let this one pass you by. Nostalgic, romantic, a love letter to the New Wave. It doesn't come much better than this.
review: phil, fopp edinburgh, 10/02/03

I've ripped it to MP3, so if you'd like to listen before you buy go here.

Friday February 14 2003 at 19:12 GMT

Friday February 14 2003 at 17:33 GMT

Hmm - second day back at work... The four days in Gernoble were great - it was fantastic to see Luke, Annie and James again.

Our flights out there were slightly delayed, but not too bad. Kev then managed to use his charm and swing a nice deal on car hire, which we had not initially planned to do. It turned out to be a good plan, however.

On the Saturday, we collected our boots and boards, fresh out the packaging, and headed to St Pierre de Chartreuse. We had a good day, although I had an awkward fall on my third run. When I got back to the car and took my boot off, I found myself in a LOT of pain, so we had to stop off at a pharmacy on the way home. The pharmacist looked at my foot and looked grave, stating I should not board on Sunday and maybe not Monday either, before packing me off with drugs and a support sock. Annie had an idea to cover my foot in ice, and I'm pretty sure this saved my foot. The injury I sustained is not really meant to be possible on a snowboard - I think my boots just weren't up to the job.

On Sunday, we all went to Alpe d'Huez (famous as one of the most gruelling mountain stages of the Tour de France). I watched from the sidelines, but the weather was incredible, making it slightly less painful. In the evening, Annie cooked a delicious meal for us all, and we talked about (mostly) old university times. I have not laughed so hard in ages - I was in tears on several occasions.

Monday saw us visit Villard de Lans, and I gently got back on my board. Tuesday, we returned to Alpe d'Huez for a great day, including a good number of times surfing through some nice powder.

It really was a great time all in ... w0rd to youz boyz. Pictures to come soon ... honestly!

Addendum: Somehow I managed to forget two great meals! First off, the Pav San (43 Av. Alsace Lorraine) had the best Chinese food I've ever had in my life. I've got to say, I'm not a huge fan, but if there was somewhere like this in Edinburgh, my view could well be changed! Secondly, a French restaurant called l'Auguste (4 rue Auguste Gach). The menu was interesting and the food delicious. If in Grenoble...

Thursday February 13 2003 at 11:54 GMT

The P800 is now showing on the Orange site, and is expected to be available to buy tomorrow, Friday the 14th. Price is GBP 299. Can't wait.

Wednesday February 12 2003 at 18:22 GMT

Now back in the UK. Quality trip all round - more later.

In the meantime ... check this out.

Tuesday February 11 2003 at 09:19 GMT

Back on the slopes today, but taking it VERY easy. Had a delicious dinner =
last night, cooked by Annie. The laughter was flowing thick and fast as we =
recalled all kinds of stories. A great night all in.

Sunday February 9 2003 at 21:12 GMT

This update coming via phone from the top of Alpe D'Huez... Core day board=
ing yesterday-fantastic snow and sun. Due to bad bindings, have trashed ank=
le, so no boarding for me today. :-l Hopeful for tomorrow or Tuesday, thoug=

Thursday February 6 2003 at 13:17 GMT

Three, the new 3G network from Hutchison, has announced it's pricing and is now taking pre-orders for the service. The monthly packages look to be pretty good, and they are offering 50% off the normal handset price, for the first 20,000 customers. The handsets look pretty ugly, though, so I'm sticking with Orange and soon, my P800.

Thursday February 6 2003 at 11:12 GMT

For some reason my blogger pages are taking forever to load - other pages on my site seem to be fast. If anyone has any ideas, PLEASE let me know. I will buy the problem-solver many beers.

Thursday February 6 2003 at 01:47 GMT

Today I bought a Wave Linker Bluetooth USB dongle. My last two phones have had Bluetooth, but I could never really justify the cost of a PCMCIA Bluetooth card, seeing as InfraRed has been built into my last three laptops. (I've been thinking about it since the first day of posting this blogger.) Now these USB devices are so cheap (this one is costing me GBP 28 delivered) I felt I really just had to get one. This one originally caught my eye, but it costs an extra tenner and Dabs had run out of them by the time I made my mind up.

I plan to put it into the back of my server/firewall/Web server. I'm not sure exactly what I will be able to do with it yet, but syncing all my contacts seems like a likely first step. I quite like the idea of using my phone as a remote control for XMMS, the MP3 player that goes into my HiFi. I'm sure there must be some software that would allow me to control my X10 devices via Bluetooth, too.

Thursday February 6 2003 at 01:17 GMT

Thursday February 6 2003 at 01:10 GMT

The first notes of a song that will go on for 639 years were played today. Good work Germans.

Thursday February 6 2003 at 01:09 GMT

I just found Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Co in San Francisco. I can confirm that it is delicious. :-D

Thursday February 6 2003 at 01:08 GMT

The first teaser for the next Matrix installment was released today, part of the animatrix series. I've never been a big fan of animation like this, but ... it's The Matrix! The site also hosts a good section on the philosophy of The Matrix, with some good articles.

Wednesday February 5 2003 at 01:28 GMT

Last night I went for a snowboarding lesson at Hillend. The conditions really were perfect - the nursery slope, where I started, was covered in a few inches of snow - MUCH better than the carpet-type-surface I'd been subject to on Friday. My instructor, Greg, was happy I was comfortable and took me over to the main slopes. MANY years ago, I had nightmares with button tows, but seeing as the chairlift was closed, I had to face my fear. I was SO happy when I managed to get well up the slope before I caught an edge and had to drop off! I got a few nice runs down the proper slopes, which were in not bad condition, since they were partly covered/filled with snow. The night gave me a gentle confidence boost for my time in Grenoble. After the lesson, I couldn't be bothered to wait for a bus, so marched the 2.6miles to my house. I'm going to sleep well tonight.

Wednesday February 5 2003 at 01:16 GMT

This is kind of an amusing article. It is kind of like Europe, say, five years ago. I guess the cost of local calls in the States has had something to do with it, but all the same...

Tuesday February 4 2003 at 15:47 GMT

They are still going - you can see their new video online here.

Tuesday February 4 2003 at 10:47 GMT

Apologies if you've been finding my site slow of late. I prefer to link to images, instead of copying them to my own Web space. A link to the TGIFridays logo seems to have been slowing the front page down. On reflection, I should just copy these images to my own site - they're normally pretty small and I'll be no longer influenced by outside forces. Lesson learned.

Tuesday February 4 2003 at 02:00 GMT

I completed a quality questionnaire for the Carphone Warehouse, simply becuase I couldn't be bothered writing on paper then posting it blah blah. At the end of the questionnaire, it said:

Get Connected
Thank you for completing the on-line questionnaire, the postage we have saved will be donated to:

It seems a great plan - well done CPW. I'd like to see more of this!

Tuesday February 4 2003 at 01:26 GMT

On Friday I'm off to see Lukester, Jim and Annie in Grenoble with Kev for a few days of boarding. Conditions are looking good, however I'm scared. This was part of an email exchange with Lukester today:

> Do you need to know my foot size and height?

Bring: dig camera, wirless networking kit -i sold my laptop and have no
IT at home whasoever,,,shades or mask waterproof warm trousers,
longjohns (it is -18 at the top right now) waterproof jacket, warm
jumpers that dry quickly on radiators, thick socks (two or three pairs)
and gallons of adrenalin
energy bars you can buy here
go for some uphill cycles everynight this week - you'll need your thigh
muscles. cycle from morningside up comiston rd, turn right at margiotta
and head up craiglockhart hill and down to longstone, then turn
around and come back. do it every night this week.

put your hands in your pockets right now - the bits of thigh you touch
-outside leg down to outside knee - must be SOLID. cycling uphill at
speed is a good way of hardening these, even going four nights in a row
should be enuff to do that. DO IT.

Donners Lukester I.

Now I'm scared...

Tuesday February 4 2003 at 01:04 GMT

Tuesday February 4 2003 at 00:58 GMT

There is a good whitepaper on the P800 here, although it is 4.5MB and requires registration. A good technical read - the phones is going to be mental!

Monday February 3 2003 at 03:00 GMT

At the weekend I (legitimately) acquired a Macintosh PowerBook145B (pictures here). It is a classic piece of laptop technology and looks pretty good for being almost ten years old. I've no idea what I'll actually do with it, but I quite fancy networking it with my Mac Classic, just cos I can.

Monday February 3 2003 at 02:25 GMT

Pictures from this afternoon are here. There is also a video here (4MB).

Monday February 3 2003 at 01:06 GMT

My weekend has been really fantastic. On Friday there was a small work celebration for achieving a user-uptake target for a project I was involved in long ago. Then I headed off to Hillend, to remind myself what a snowboard actually is. I stuck to the nursery slopes, just to get going again. It was fun, although real snow is much better! A reminder of just how unfit parts of me are has been somewhat painful - my shoulders still hurt. After that, I went to a housewarming party, which was great fun. It was with a group of friends I don't know that well, but the night was fantastic. A few beers, some tasty food and several games of Jenga. Ah...

Last night was a boy's night out/in. We got a good curry close-by, then headed back to Neil's for more beers, TV and some Doom on the Playstation.

Today I had an early start and got loads of small tasks done around the house. Then I caught up with Neil again and we had a good lunch at Howies and then popped down to see Robbie. He was on good form and I got a few pictures which will be online soon. Hope yours was great too.

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