Archive for June, 2005

So anyway, there I was minding my own business…

June 30, 2005

…pruning a willow tree, as one does on a really hot day in Drammen, when some people asked me for help opening a bottle of apple juice. Turned out they were filming some children’s stories.

The woman doing the reading turned out to be the author. I don’t know her name.

They gave me strawberries and pistacio nuts for helping me, which was kind, but they might be a bit less sympathetic when they play back their tape and hear the crunching of my secataurs right though it!

Photos?

June 30, 2005

Yes, maybe some photos would be a good idea. Perhaps one day I will figure out how to post them.

Mysterious Signs

June 30, 2005

Well, actually, only one. I saw it the other day on the way to Austad. Pointing up the hill, it just said “Odd Fellow”.

MarsEdit and NetNewsWire for £25

June 30, 2005

…has to be considered good value.

I’m sorry I said IKEA sucked…*

June 27, 2005

So we went to IKEA.

I was unprepared. Quite, quite unprepared. We drove into a landscape like a lunar crater, for this is the Oslo West IKEA, the oldest in the universe, and it is in the process of being rebuilt.

The car park was full. And a quarter of the size it should have been. We circled like hungry ghosts, waiting to pounce on a parking space. At last we found one, and travelled into the Oldest IKEA in the world. And entered a different kind of space.

Walls of sofas. A whole room full of frogs. Baskets full of mysterious little rubbery things in bright colours. A warehouse full of tables with vices along one edge. Towels. Stuff that I just didn’t know what it was.

And other weird things, like little slides for children down the sides of the stairs. Little green plastic eggs you could sit in. And the names. Everything has a name, as everyone knows, but the surrealness of IKEA names is without parallel. I suppose it is possible it all makes perfect sense in Swedish, but somehow I doubt it. To my weakened mind, the names made bizzare puns and and clashed with the objects they were naming, and it was all I could do to not burst out laughing.

And everywhere, people treating this as if it was quite normal. But IKEA does mysterious things to the mind. One of my companions on this visit not only wore a frog on her head, but picked up a chopping board (despite having three already), and said, “we must get this… it’s so thin! We didn’t get it, we managed to resist.

I had the meatballs. They were nice. But the staff serving me all seemed terribly depressed. Then we wandered out into the chaos of the car park with our napkins, frogs and plant pot trays, and drove off into what would be, in a properly run country, the dusk.

*http://www.jonathancoulton.com/songs/

It can be really hot

June 12, 2005

Norway. It’s like, really far north. It can’t be warm there, can it? Oh yes it bloody can. I was baking today, turning over soil in flowerbeds right next to a white building. Yes, it can be very hot. Mmmm, hot. Very hot. Makes your head go all swirly and your nose all red. Then people notice your nose, and make remarks…

Truism

June 12, 2005

No matter how much water you put on the plants in a greenhouse, it isn’t enough.

So I was sitting in this museum in Norway…

June 7, 2005

Minding my own business, eating my lunch, when the four Norwegian volunteers sitting with me looked amused. After a while it was explained to me that I was eating like a bird.

I was eating peanuts. I may have to brush up on my etiquette.

Surrounded by Silence

June 7, 2005

I’ve noticed this before, but never in such a pronounced way: that the quieter your background, the better your music sounds. Back in Helensburgh, my iPod frequently sounded rather rough, lacking in bass, and with an edgy distortion (but not actually distortion).

Here, in the middle of a wood, where it is very quiet, apart from the huge crowds of Norwegians, the bass is clear and strong and tiny details I can hear clearly, like the spooky noises in the base of the mix in “Goodbye Goodbye Goodbye” by Bill Frisell.

It works on everything. The telly, a perfectly average radio, an all in one DVD player with little speakers: everything sounds good.

I like it.

The point at which it all goes wrong…

June 7, 2005

…was probably the point at which Steve Jobs said that 10.5 was going to be called “Leopard”. That’s a lame name. I wonder if the UI will be even more horrible than 10.4’s?

Not wishing to sound too bitter, I’m sure 10.4’s underneathy stuff rocks, and 10.5 will rock even better.

I’m also deeply concerned about the switch to Intel. Selling expensive PCs is not a growth industry. It will be easier for someone to hack Mac OS onto x86 PC hardware. Intel is just not as nice as PPC; they might work about the same, but PPC seems more elegant to me. And if people are churning out 3.2 parts for certain game consoles, and happily producing decent server processors on PPC too, that suggests to me the issue is not technical, but some kind of problem with the business relationship… is Steve being rude to people?

And NEXT on x86 was not a notable success.

Not wishing to sound bitter, I’m sure the new boxen will work very well, but for me it just won’t be the same.