Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Nice story on an excellent beer mat

I came across this beer mat, from a local pub. It a great piece of marketing for Hobgoblin.

This is the story on the back (via the scanner, this modern OCR tech. is magic).


It was in a shadowy corner of the old malting: in Witncy that the first gurgle was heard: a delicious, dark, rich ale pouring from the cask. A local landlord called Phil had commissioned a special brew to celebrate his daughters wedding. Our founder, Chris Moss, bless his soul created the ale of his life - a dark, rich, and mysterious brew. What to call it though?

There was far too much for the wedding, so Chris sold a firkin of our still nameless beer to a local grog shop. It went down so well that customers came back asking for another fug of 'that stuff. In recognition of its character, the student behind the counter drew a picture of a goblin and stuck it on the barrel Customers started asking for the 'Hobgoblin' beer and so the legend was born.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Six Point Five - Smart new band with a great attitude

My son went to the local youth club today to see the band Six Point Five. At the end of the gig they were selling their 4 tracks EP Earthquake. Since my son only had £1 left they let him have the disk at that price on the condition that he copy it for his mates. That's just a fantastic new media attitude.

Their music is a little like Capdown, ska, brass, rock, seems pretty good.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Why are people getting this wrong, in a recent BBC news article about Microsoft's Live Mesh service, an interviewee is quoted as saying "The proof is in the pudding but at the moment it's all demo ware and advertising.".

I keep seeing and hearing this more and more, and every time its more annoying. There's no proof of any thing in the pudding itself, all that's in the pudding is the fruit, you've got to eat it to know if it's good. It should be "The proof of the pudding is in the eating".

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Office 2007 Zaps dual core PC with 3GB of memory

My work PC is a dual core lap top with 3GB of memory running XP Pro, it was nice to use with Office 2003 (aside from never being able to get consistent section numbering in a document). The company recently insisted in upgrading to Office 2007. The first install was botched up as they didn't remove Office 2003 before installing the new version, Windows Update then insisted on trying to update Office 2003 failing because it mostly wasn't there. You would really hope that by now a Microsoft installer would be able to cope with a simple upgrade. So I had them clean it up removing Office 2007 and 2003 completely and having Office 2007 installed again.

I was hopeful that some of the quirks that I had noticed, would be rectified by a clean install, but no unfortunately its not the case. It now takes over 15 seconds to start up Word, I watch as it paints the bottom part of the screen, then finally gets round to the top part of the screen. Apparently the Windows standard windows decorations are no longer suitable for mere word processing, it all has to be repainted in a non-standard way. 'Page no # of #' is no longer obtainable. All the menu items are moved or hidden, the ribbon eats up a big chunk of screen real-estate (always such a premium on a laptop), OK I know it can be minimised, but why should I have to care? Because I need to use a legacy format, opening documents now takes twice as long, and occasionally it suffers from typing lag. I've had my PC downgraded!

Back when a state of the art laptop had a P100 and ran Office 97, Office did everything I needed and more quickly. Once again Microsoft upgrade my working environment by making it go slower.

Office 2007 is the best reason I've yet seen to use Open Office, even loading the Java environment will not make it this slow. Google docs is looking attractive too.

Twhirl to Twitter

Using the browser to twitter is just too clunky for frequent/constant use. I first looked for an iGoogle applet for my iGoogle homepage, there were quite a few but I couldn't configure any to work. Then I tried a few desktop applications, which were not consistently functional, finally a fellow twitterer (is that right?) suggested Twhirl. I installed Twhirl which required an Adobe Aero to be installed first.

I can highly recommend Twhirl its compact, has nice little popups that notify of new messages and parks away in the tray when minimised.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

To twitter or not to twitter?

Is twitter any use, I had a go with it but never really entered into the spirit of the thing, but it's not gone away and I hear more and more about it, so I'm giving it another go.

I've started by following know contacts, so that gives me literally a handful of followers. Also I've decided to follow some 'new media' people too, since they are the exponents of this medium perhaps I can perceive its utility by observing their interactions.

What I really need is a way to add the twitter thing to my desktop in an unobtrusive but readily available way. I looked at the iGoogle add ins but they all appear to be pretty dire, they either won't work, fail to log in or require me to update software on my PC. Need to research this more.