September 2007 Archives

links for 2007-09-27


If I had a Hammer...

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At last! I can buy music online! Amazon's MP3 Store (link down on the left hand side) might not be as polished and integrated as the iTunes Music store is, but at least it works where I am!

Finally I can complete my collection of William Shatner Albums!

  • Spaced Out - The Best of Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner
  • Brian Evans Live in Concert with special guest William Shatner
  • The Transformed Man
  • Bozo and Pals
  • Soon, I'll be able to take over the world! Muahahahahaha!

    Ahem! But seriously (and stop calling me Shirley!), one of the coolest things about the Amazon store is that it remembered some CDs I bought from the store in 1998 and offered me some newer works by the same artist.

    Why couldn't Apple do this years ago?

    (Oh, and it supports Mac right out of the box, which is excellent. I'll report later on what the free song is.)

    UPDATE: The song it offered me was Energy by The Apples in Stereo, which isn't downloading for me at the moment. I am behind a proxy though, so it's most likely something to do with that.

    Bugger! just noticed this in the Terms of Service:

    5. Territorial Restrictions

    As required by our Digital Content providers, Digital Content will, unless otherwise designated, be available only to customers located in the United States.

    So, hammering all over this land, but only for certain values of 'this land'. Sorry for getting anyone's hopes up.

    links for 2007-09-25


    OS X first boot music

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    links for 2007-09-23


    links for 2007-09-22


    links for 2007-09-21


    links for 2007-09-20

    • Even as President Bush stripped away the inalienable rights guaranteed by the Founders in the Constitution, he kept much of the population confused with misdirection, by asserting that he was taking these actions to defend "liberty" and "freedom.
    • Work on the light-rail line in Seattle has almost been completed for what officials call the South Lake Union Streetcar (SLUS), but locals have taken to using the word ”Trolley„. According to, more than 100 people have bought ”Ride
    • At Cepstral®, Text-to-Speech is our only focus. We make realistic synthetic voices that can say anything, anywhere, with personality and style. From the smallest device to large installations and high-end interactive media, Cepstral voices can bring fres

    links for 2007-09-19


    links for 2007-09-18


    links for 2007-09-17

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    links for 2007-09-16

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    links for 2007-09-14


    links for 2007-09-13


    links for 2007-09-12


    iCal, DateBk5 and Timezones

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    Anyone know of any timezeone aware method of syncing between a Palm running DateBk5 and iCal?

    Both applications are timezone aware, but the standard Palm datebook isn't, so time zone information isn't synched properly. I end up with multiple versions of the same appointment at HKT, Bris-time, GMT, BST, West Coast time, etc. Very annoying.

    Believe your eyes


    No, your eyes didn't deceive you - this blog was briefly updated to MT4.0 and back to MT3.x a few hours later. I'm trying to set it up so that I can gradually add the various customizations I use here, without having to update the whole thing in one go.

    I'm not a fan of the management console with the new version, however. I prefer the more traditional (web_1.0?) style of the previous version.

    A day in the life

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    A day in the life of an iPhone owner circa 2010. Prompted by the Starbuck's deal.

    You wake up, grab a shower and a coffee. Some overnight emails are synced to your iPhone. This you can do today.

    You hop in the elevator and head for the lobby. On the way down, some upcoming events in your building (regular maintenance, scheduled outages) are synced to your iPhone.

    You head for the MTR to go to work. On the way, your iPhone notes that there are 10% discounts on some taxis next week. In the MTR you can check your emails. Any up and coming promotions are automatically synced to your calendar.

    You pick up a coffee from your local coffee shop. They have some discounts and special offers which are automatically synced to your iPhone.

    You go to work and get stuck in a meeting. Relevant tasks (according to your personal settings) get automatically added to your calendar. As does Secretaries day, Personal Assistants day. For some reason "Worship Your System Administrator Day" overrides your golfing appointments for next Friday.

    Work has been crap, and you head for the pub afterwards. As you enter, the next two weeks of Happy hour promotions are synced to your phone. There are no regular happy hours anymore - the freebies are varied and given to regulars only.

    The band staggers on: Their next two weeks appearances appear in your calendar. You acquire an iTunes bookmark for their new single. (And three bookmarks to your local bottle shop for their favourite hooch!)

    Time to go home. You flag down an Honest Chan's Company taxicab, and receive an electronic voucher for the next time your blood alcohol is so high and you elect to have someone else drive you home. 15 spam appointments for 'massage' services appear in your address book.

    Tasty Dumplings!


    Din Tai Fung's famous dumplings certainly live up to their reputation.

    links for 2007-09-06


    Hotpot, Taipei-Style


    Susam was pretty good. The food is similar in style to that of Xiao Fei Yang, the Mongolian HotPot restaurant, but the soup tastes nicer and has less salt.

    links for 2007-09-03


    Freeing up the desktop


    For about a year now, I've had a Microsoft Natural Keyboard. It's a very nice keyboard, but it's a bit on the large side! Split keyboards are easy on my RSI, and the Natural is very comfortable to use. It feels like the dashboard of a reasonably nice car, with high quality plastic and faux-leather.

    Microsoft's hardware division is good at making quality hardware. I've have Microsoft Keyboards, Mice, Joysticks and Steering Wheels over the last ten years or so, and they've nearly always been very solid and reliable. (Quite unlike the software, actually, although the software side has gotten better over the last few years.)

    I killed my first Natural Keyboard with a glass of wine, way back when. No amount of cleaning and drying would resurrect that keyboard, which was a bit annoying for such an expensive bit of kit.

    After that I went off expensive keyboards for a while, preferring to use generic PS/2 units.

    I used to have an Apple Pro keyboard, back when I got a Mac Mini (G4) for the first time - USB keyboards were a bit thin on the ground back then, and decent USB keyboards were not cheap . It was a nice keyboard - solid and compact, with a nice clunky feel. This one was killed by about half a bottle of wine, thanks to my Brother in Law. I stripped it down to the layers of plastic and got it working again, but a few keys got lost in the cleaning process. It never really felt the same after that anyway.

    So I got the MSFT Natural. Guess what happened to it?

    Yep, my brother in law. Dude can't hold his wine. Specifically, he usually ends up dropping it over my keyboards. I stripped it down and had to separate the individual layers of wires to clean every single scrap of fluid out of it. I had my huge split keyboard back.

    Then I got a MacBook. The keyboard looks like it should feel like a Sinclair Spectrum, or the IBM PC Jr. But it's really nice. It's very light on the fingers, which is good for my RSI, and amazingly solid. It looks like it should be small, but it really is full size.

    Recently, Apple released a new Apple Keyboard based on the MacBook keyboard. It took me about ten seconds to decide that I wanted one as soon as possible. I went to a local department store (Myer). I flibbled around on the keyboard for about three seconds and resolved to buy one next time I was back in HK.

    Of course, now that I have one, there are some issues with it. For one, the Option and Command keys for OS X map easily to the Alt and Windows keys on Linux and Windows (not that I actually use the Windows key on Linux, but I use the Alt key. But they're in different positions! What to do?

    On windows, download KeyTweak and remap Option to Left.Windows and Command () to Left.Alt.

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    This page is an archive of entries from September 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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