OutSider Weblog

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

According to Jonathan Jones in the Guardian, there are hidden depths to the painted flats of Dr Seuss's The 5000 Fingers of Dr T (which is being re-released on Friday).

Thursday, March 21, 2002

From today's Guardian, Jack Schofield on usability: The web is bad and it's getting worse. The expression "Tell me about it" comes to mind... It seems that no matter what, there will always be folk who use PhotoShop as a web design tool, and insist on designs transferring across platforms with pixel-perfect accuracy. Surely the goal should be to look good across browsers and platforms, not to look identical?

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Useful thing (via This is Mister Alan). Opt out of assorted internet advertising...

All your kitten are belong to us? Truly, the world is full of kittens. [Via Boing Boing. And many other places, too, no doubt.

Looks like Charlie's seen this piece by Patrick Wintour in yesterday's Guardian. I'm almost tempted to point him at the book reviewed here, by Hugo Young.

According to this story in Silicon.com, Contractors will no longer be able to claim for travel...

Actually, I'm not sure that this really makes things worse than I thought they already were. As I understand it, when I started to do the contract thing, I was employed by a company (admittedly my own) that would send me off to work in various places, and would pay me a salary out of the money the client company paid it. This meant, for example, that my travel between Edinburgh and (say) London was a cost of doing business (or whatever they call it). Then the rules changed, and it looked as if my travel and accommodation when working away from Edinburgh were meant to come out of the money I was paid -- but if the ability to claim for travel has only just gone, then it looks as if I was wrong here. Time to talk to Nice Mr Accountant, I guess.

Monday, March 18, 2002

A strange weekend - still lurgied on Friday (would have been a DJ post on that, but I wasn't up to it), so did minimal web-dinking, then a very quick beer before staggering off to Euston. Couldn't really face concept of bar, so bought a new paperback (not accessible at the moment, but it's about a modern journalist's quest to track down a mediaeval travel writer called John Mandeville, with special reference to how much of Mandeville's "Travels" were likely to have been genuine, as opposed to nicked from earlier travel writers, or simply made up out of whole cloth. I'll probably say more about this later, though).

Crashed out quite early on the train, drifted in and out of sleep until about Carstairs (where the Edinburgh and Glasgow ends of the train separate), and eventually made it home for about eightish.

What I should've done then was to crash out immediately, but there was computery stuff to deal with, and post (including a new Linux distro to play with: Lycoris aka Desktop/LX from the folk who used to be Redmond Linux - first impression, it's a bit sucky).

Large chunks of the rest of Saturday passed in a sort of haze, ending up with dozing in front of the television, and not making it out to see the midnight showing of Akira.

Sunday wasn't too brilliant, either - took the family for a meal (again, after a lot of mucking about trying to get things sorted - my subconscious definitely doesn't like packing for the return to London). Unfortunately the meal was a bit of a disaster - nothing ever quite bad enough to complain about, but far and away the least pleasant meal out we've had in a long time.

Back home, I managed to smash Rob's china ashtray from den Haag before going out for a pre-train drink with Charlie and Feorag.

Made it onto the train with plenty of time to spare, to discover that there was no bar. This was probably just as well, as I fell asleep within minutes of the train moving off, and didn't wake up until just before Euston.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Bloody hell. McDonalds cook their fries in vegetable oil, yes? However, it would appear that they're still flavoured with beef fat (scroll down to No. 65)...

Thursday, March 14, 2002

One for Dovya, I think. David McKie has managed to sneak an article on the Poisson distribution into the Guardian...

Oh, neat. Apparently the killer app for the X-box isn't Linux, it's Apache. Or network file storage. Fun...

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Another evening of happy webbery - at least it keeps me out of the pub. Dammit, I didn't realise that tweaking the LJ style to match this one would be so infernally tricky (not hard, just a few simple cut and paste errors that led to other things not quite working right). Did a bit of stuff on the CV as well - although I'm still not quite happy enough with it to link to it on the open net...

It's almost last orders - I think I'll try for a beer after all.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Just added links from the AKICIF main page to the various subdomains... Will make it pretty later. After all, with the PlayStation job finally ending, I plan on spending a week or so doing seriously frivolous webbery (along with assorted re-installations, networky stuff and so on).

Monday, March 11, 2002

Having fun adding the blogkomm commenting system to Dovya's Weblog. Looks more or less okay, but something weird is happening to the screen width when the (inline) comments appear... I'm not sure I want to use it for my own weblog, though, 'cos of the pain involved in changing over from [filename].html to [filename].php on stuff that's been around for a while (I'm fooling myself -- who reads this, anyway?).

Still, what I'm looking for is a pop-up based system that stores the comments in a plain text file on my server (I don't want to use up any of my MySQL ration when I may have other plans for it...

Friday, March 08, 2002

This chap has a page about Blogger archive scripts that comes very close indeed to what I want to do with my calendar gadget, and which I think may get rid of some of the complications I thought I'd need.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

The children in scotland artery project homepage. Some nice stuff, and some fun links.

A vaguely productive lunchtime - more tints and tweaks. Doubt I'll do the LJ thing tonight, though (too much else on). Maybe something to do before getting the sleeper up tomorrow night...

Never did make it to the pub. Spent a little time looking at LJ customisation, and then headed for the tube. Distracted on the way, however, by beef teriyaki at Taro on Brewer St (I'm not sure, but I think that's where the late-night Japanese takeaways used to come from when we were working on the playstation.com shop). Pleasant, but was followed by the tube acting up. So, as the Piccadilly line's been dodgy for a couple of days now, I decided to walk in from Waterloo this morning. Not as nice as last Friday (I think it was), but still a pleasant morning's dander.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Whew... Nearly nine, and I've got the docs on styling my LJ page, but I've a feeling I'm looking at perhaps hitting a pub instead. The last week or so has been pretty well HTML-heavy (the new hardware site being a cinch compared to some of the mucking around I'll get to do later) and the weekend was somewhat fraught in places, but this week it's been working late and no beer so far.

Oh, and the archive page. And perhaps the livejournal. And any other loggy things I play with...

Well, that was fun... Just applied the stylesheet stuff I've been messing around with after work, and I'm reasonably happy with it. The hard bit, of course, is going to be getting the clever calendar thingy working to choose arbitrary stuff from the archive with. I'm not sure at all how to do it, but I've got the bits and pieces to display a calendar and pass a date back to a form. The rest, surely, is just logic.

Not to mention that I've probably still got a vaguely unholy mixture of the fonts and colours I used to have with the ones from my vaguely crisp (slightly soggy?) PLUMS page (which is to say the Product Library User Management System, that being the tool for which I designed the front-end that I'm ripping off here).

And via not.so.soft, the Online Color Scheme Generator. It's pretty, and useful into the bargain.

Via Bagpuss Coffee Shop, a link to an article about the Singularity on KurzweilAI.net.

I seem to be using this for nothing but security reminders at the moment. The Register has another one. Time to update Netscape this time...