At last, something worthy of the name “303 clone”?

It’s about time someone did this [null]. Think it’s a bit late for me: I might have actually bought/built one five years ago but now I don’t have time for making music, and if I do have time, can’t be arsed with soldering irons any more… Still, I must admit, I am drooling just looking at it. Very sexy box.

A Hunter Darkly

Two goodies via popbitch: Hunter S Thompson’s last column, on the joys of “shotgun golf” with Bill Murray, and (don’t miss this) a teaser trailer for A Scanner Darkly.

I read the book for the second time lately and it was every bit as good as I remember – especially the end. Judging by the trailer (which is always a bad idea), they might not have screwed it up too much here… I was dubious when I saw the word “Keanu” (surely Johnny Depp would have been better), but at least he’s genuinely animated in this setting. ;-) And Robert Downey Jr as Barris, Woody Harrelson as Luckman, and (yay) Winona Ryder as Donna – that could work. The scramble suit looks pretty cool, too. So: so far so good. The only thing I didn’t like was that tagline: “In seven years, everything you do will be recorded.” Well, no, see, only if you’re under observation by narcs. Anyway, we’ll see.

IMAP in Python: imaplib

Discussion of/tips on imaplib, Python’s IMAP handling library.

Zooming demo of The Humane Interface

Zoomdemo – a large (8Mb) Flash demonstration of (part of) how THE, The Humane Environment should work. THE, now renamed “Archy” is Jeff Raskin‘s answer to all our HCI woes. Interesting stuff: no tabbing or linking, but lots and lots of zooming in and out. It’s not as smooth an experience as it should be because of limitations of Flash (it is just a demo, after all), but I like the way you zoom in on something then discover, sat next to it, a tiny something else to zoom in on later… [risks]

Autistic savant article in Guardian

Here’s an interesting Guardian story about an autistic savant who’s unusually able to discuss, analyse, and explain his worldview. Fascinating.

The number two, for instance, is a motion, and five is a clap of thunder. “When I multiply numbers together, I see two shapes. The image starts to change and evolve, and a third shape emerges. That’s the answer. It’s mental imagery. It’s like maths without having to think.”

l33t words possibly indicating illegal activity

A parent’s primer to computer slang – Micro$oft kindly bringing the cliched “is your kid acting strangely? MAYBE THEY’RE ON DRUGS!” school of parenting into the Internet age.

… information-age slang is commonly referred to as leetspeek, or leet for short

Well it’s sure as hell not commonly referred to as “information-age slang”, that’s for sure.

Rules of grammar are rarely obeyed… Mistakes are often uncorrected

Well durrr. We are talking about teenagers here, after all. :-)

Interestingly, no mention of pr0n, however – which seems odd given that (as everyone knows) it’s what the Internet is best at, and WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TEENAGERS HERE!

Update 2005-02-19: Hmmm, pr0n is there now (misspelt), but I’m fairly convinced it wasn’t there before, and Bash (who sent me the link) agrees. Either I am/we are a numpty and missed it first time round, or someone at M$ reads Gimboland. Come on readers, which do you think is more likely? ;-)

Update 2005-02-22: I’m informed (see the comments!) that they’ve corrected the spelling mistake. Gimboland clearly rules the waves. :-)

Red eyes, itchy sinuses, and a good night’s sleep?

Looking back over my diary, I’ve just noticed something my Mum said on Boxing Day while we were staying with them:

… like you get if you go swimming in chloroform.”

Tablewidgets in Python/tkInter

File under “could be useful to me some time”: python wrapper for TCL’s Tablewidget.

Underwater gnomes considered harmful

Underwater gnomes considered harmful (also here) [null].

Wastwater’s a really beautiful but incredibly imposing place. And I am reminded that I have a couple of films of Lake District photos I really should upload some time…

How to destroy the Earth

How to destroy the Earth [tr].

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Bash and Bob

Burn the feel

w00t… I’ve been at work solidly for the last 24 hours, and counting. Probably won’t be able to stop until about 5pm, which would make a 32 hour day, bringing my total for the last week to the big ton: a 100 hour working week, ladies and gentlemen.

Shame I don’t get overtime, isn’t it?

XTC Radio kept me going through the night – it rawks, but y’know, in a ravey way.

Google Maps

Holy crap on toast – once again, Google rules the world. [null]

Feel the burn

Wow. I’ve just worked out that I’ve done an 84 hour week during the last seven days. No wonder I have a cold.

This rolling total may have increased by Wednesday: watch this space!

Mozilla Calendar in Firefox continues to be rubbish

Mozilla Calendar in Firefox continues to be rubbish. I’ve been (reasonably) happily using Firefox quite some time now, and have been generally happy with it. I’ve also been using the Mozilla Calendar plugin for quite a while to keep track of my day to day activities. It’s almost usable. Sure, the rendering is pig ugly, and sure, it’s unresponsively slow, and sure, there’s no easy way to change which calendar file an event lives in (cut-and-paste seems to be the way to go, except when it decides not to work). But hey, it’s free, it’s early days and I guess I could live with those peccadillos.

Lately, however, I’ve wanted to share calendars with Bash, who joyously delights in the smooth love that is iCal under OS X every day. Cue research into setting up a WebDAV server and setting up remote calendars. It is, of course, easy to do in iCal and just works. It is, of course, a complete pain in the arse to do in Firefox and (so far) just doesn’t work.

There are pages online which tell you what to do. Their instructions don’t work, and in fact don’t match my experienced reality. Some of them tell you the subscription URL should start with “http://” not “webdav://” – wtf? Most of them tell you you’ll need to enter a username and password, but I never get prompted for one – wtf?

But the cardinal sin, the Unforgivable that is committed by Firefox’s Mozilla Calendar plugin, is this: it fails silently.

Here ye, students of code: failure must never be silent.

It is stupid and baffling that my experience is as follows: a) tell Firefox I want to subscribe to a remote calendar; b) give it a name and type in the URL of the calendar (eg webdav://server.example.com:portno/path/foo.ics); c) click OK; d) there is no further feedback, but I get a new calendar in my list – a calendar which contains no data; e) if I open that calendar’s settings, the remote URL is blank. In the words of “Jerry Springer: The Opera”, WTF? WTF? WTFFF?

OK, so I just upgraded both Firefox and the Calendar plugin to the latest version. The only change I see is that everything’s running even slower.

Why is it the fate of web browsers to bloat until useless? I thought Firefox was supposed to be lightweight? What reason is there for its terrible performance? How is it supposed to take over the world on that basis?

If anyone can tell me what I’m doing wrong, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, I’m going to give the ludicrously pre-alpha Sunbird a try, but I don’t hold out much hope that it will be better, or indeed any different at all. :-/

Not an Ermintrude Inch in sight

Today I managed to use the word “defenestrated” in casual conversation over coffee. Gladly, I was with people who appreciated just what an unusual opportunity this is, and there was much rejoicing.