October 2007 Archives

links for 2007-10-30


links for 2007-10-29


links for 2007-10-28


Mice Down Under


As I mentioned previously, I forgot to bring a mouse with me on my travels this trip. This is a relatively minor inconvenience with a MacBook, as it has a large and very nice built in trackpad with two-fingered scrolling and right-clicking, but sometimes you just want a mouse. It's a better pointing tool than the finger on the trackpad is.

So I went out into the city centre of Brisbane today to pick up a cheap mouse. You know, a generic USB mouse with two buttons and a scroll wheel, which you can pick up for HKD50 (or maybe HKD 70 for a nice one), but which has an odd Chinese brand name. Not a Logitech (have one at home), Microsoft (have one at home for gaming) or Apple (don't like the mighty mouse).

Could I find one? Nope. Not even in BigW (think WalMart) was there a simple USB mouse for less than AUD 20 (about HKD140 now!), and the prices of the brand-name items was shocking.

The Apple Mighty-Mouse was AUD 99, which is about USD 90. It retails in the US for UDS 69!

I realise that the currently strong AU dollar is bringing prices up, but there just doesn't seem to be the range of cheaper tech stuff available at all!

links for 2007-10-27


links for 2007-10-26


links for 2007-10-25


DIY Laptop Stand


Tired of bending down to type on your laptop? Make a Laptop Stand!

Take the top from a box of printer paper, remove the front (long) edge and trim the sides to make a wedge. Cut some strips from the front wedge to make a lip and staple it to the lowest edge.

Congrats, you now have a wedge shaped piece of card, er, a high tech, recyclable, earth-conscious, stand for your laptop, which will elevate the screen to a better height for reading from.

The keyboard's going to be at a steeper angle than before, but an external keyboard will work around that.

I wouldn't recommend leaving a laptop on it in an unattended fashion, though - it'll get reasonable hot (depending on your laptop model) and there is a slight risk of FLAMES REACHING THE CEILING, FIRE! PEOPLE RUNNING AROUND SCREAMING! and your laptop being a melted pile of slag in your melted pile of slag office. I take no responsibility for any damage to your laptop, desk, place you put your laptop or anything related to this post. Also, people RUNNING AROUND SCREAMING AIEEEE! are your problem too.




Here I am in the Cathay Lounge (The Pier, if you know there's two), doing a final check on some email before the red-eye to down under and I realise I left my nice Bluetooth Mouse (Logitech V270) sitting on my desk at home!

Huge great mounds of bugger!

Still, at least with the MacBook, I've got two finger scrolling and clicking to make the trackpad actually useful. I'll be ludicruously good with it by the end of this trip!

Maybe that should be a side goal: become completely fluent in the use of a Mac with no mouse. I'm not sure it's entirely possible, but I know most of the shortcuts, and launching apps from spotlight, and I know I can change the key-combinations within Office (mainly Excel) which I use quite heavily on little frodo[1] here[2].

[1] Why is my MacBook called frodo? Small but fierce and determined to do things and go places even if it doesn't know the way. Plus it's rather fresh-faced and innocent in an office full of jaded, fuzzy Dells and HPs.

[2] I did try to use numbers, but the charting in excel, especially for XY charts, just blows it away.

Anyone with superb and mad skills with using a Mac without leaving the keyboard is entirely welcome to check out the new commenting system and leave pointers and hints in the comments.

I'm sure that most of the comments will revolve around using QuickSilver (I'm trying!) and stalking Merlin Mann.

Are We There Yet?


So, are we getting there? I think so. The basic structure of the blog is in place now, and the whole changeover from MT3.35 to MT4.01, with a database change and a new set of templates is more or less there.

I still have to actually move over a whole bunch of extra styles, make a header graphic and tidy up the blogroll and linkrolls. I'me off on the road again, so that might take a while to do.

One of the reasons behind the changeover was to fix the commenting code, and allow users to log in. I'm not sure why it was broken before, but the fact the all previous upgrades were genuine upgrades and this one was a reinstall probably had a lot to do with it.

Ukulele links


links for 2007-10-17


Yay! Akismet!

I got Akismet working - you have to open the plugin in the system context so that you can enter the API. No more spam!

links for 2007-10-16

  • As the news spread about the Nobel Committee’s recognition of Gore’s work publicizing the threat from global warming, both the right-wing media and major news outlets geared up to hype criticism of Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in a ruling by a

Mac vs PC


links for 2007-10-15


Discover Ireland Movies

I saw these: Discover Ireland movie shorts on the Guardian website recently. I haven't been back to Ireland in a long time, so I don't know how accurate they really are, but they're certainly light and entertaining.

MT 4.01 is Windows Vista


It's a huge, confusing bloated monstrosity which has less apparent functionality than before and things that should be easy to do are far more difficult than they need to be.

This thing is making me seriously consider Wordpress...

I will beat this thing with a stick!


So, by default MT4 changes the default basename encoding of spaces. Sounds a bit techy? Well, it is, but what it means is that all of your permanent links break.

This is major bad news for anyone with any significant google juice, or internet history.

Luckily, it's possible to fix it, by changing the default archive mapping. go to Design | Templates | Archive Templates | Entry and look at the archive mapping at the bottom. I'd give you a URL, but the entire interface appears to be dynamically generated and is significantly harder to navigate than before. The line you want is the one with underlines, rather than hypens between the words.

This is the first major release of Moveable Type which has made me yearn for the days when I had to use Makefiles to add entries to this site.

MT 4.01 take two


No, I'm still not chuffed with it, but Akismet works, so it might keep a lid on the Spam. Also, in the process of playing with it, the entry preview is far better than MT3.x, and that was always a big problem I had with it.

I've migrated the database to MySQL as well, as I've forgotten the reason why I used PostGres in the first place. (Probably because I was more familiar with it way back when.)

Now to write some nifty SQL to populate the tags field with the categories...

links for 2007-10-07




*sings Waltzing Matilda to the tune of the Dead March*

And i didn't hang around Wan Chai because, in my experience, the English are not good winners.

I'll be back in Oz in a few weeks, and I'm sure a few bevvies will be hoisted (if only to half mast) in honour of the plucky Aussies.



So, I install Moveable Type 4.01, it takes an hour to rebuild the site, and within a few hours I have moronically obvious spam comments?!

MT4, go Cheney yourself.

links for 2007-10-05


links for 2007-10-04

  • I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state.

links for 2007-10-02


links for 2007-10-01


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

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