Archive for June, 2006

iTunes 6.0.5

June 29, 2006

Now with added Nike goodness. Meh. I wonder if it sorts by surname yet?

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Address Book thoughts…

June 26, 2006

Suddenly the air is thick with 10.5 rumours, including the notion that Address Book might get together with iCal. Actually, that one might be mince. I hope so anyway, I like having lots of little discrete apps, and the intermixed window metaphor thing and services and whatnot mean it doesn’t actually much matter if apps are monolithic or not.

Ramble.

Anyway, I’m just fooling around with custom fields in Address Book in 10.3.9. And I noticed that you can’t, in fact add custom fields.

So I cant add people’s blogs, flickr accounts, etc. Just their “homepage”. Meh. Nicknames are handy though; can you sync nicknames to your phone? If you can I might start to use syncing.

Also, there’s not much in the list of IM networks. And my six IM buddies are mostly on MSN, not iChat or AIM. SO that’s quite annoying.

And I suppose different categories of contact “personal”, “family”, “argh, work”, etc. would be nice too.

I’ll stop now before I get carried away.

rural bus timetables, etc.

June 24, 2006

I got the bus, for various reasons, from Dumfries to… well, an apparently nameless glen on the Solway Coast of Galloway, where my grandmother has lived since the 70s. Lets just say "the countryside".

It was an interesting trip on the 372 bus. It left two minutes early. And it was late almost immediately. Looking at the timetable it was easy to see why; the timetable was hopelessly optimistic.

I've noticed this in Helensburgh too. A long time ago, a friend with a car helped me test the Peninsula bus time-table. We rapidly discovered that it was impossible to keep to the published timetable (which still stands), even in a car, travelling non-stop.

I was the last passenger on the bus, and I left it long before it's destination, though I expect more people got on towards the end of the route. But it's hardly very surprising few people use these buses, if they're badly timed and irregular. Regular, reasonable intervals and honest time tables might make rural routes like this one more popular.
Still, the service beats the one in Kinlochleven in the far north of Scotland. Last time I was there there was one bus, three times a week!

feed readers; desirable offline behaviour thereof

June 24, 2006

I definitely prefer full-text feeds. Not least, you can read them offline.

It would be nice if the news-reader prefetched the images in the post too. Perhaps NNW/NewsGator could instigate some kind of proxy-server-cache-magic-picture-store thing, and download the pictures at the same time as the posts…?

Offline Nuisances

June 24, 2006

In Galloway, for my grandmother's 90th birthday party. Her actual birthday was last year, the 26th of December. Who can blame her for moving it? Approximately five billion relatives of various ages will descend on us on Sunday.

Anyway, being here rather than at home involves… dial-up. You forget what life was like in the old days, before ubiquitous broadband access.

MacOS X isn't very good at dial-up. See Pierre Igot for a comprehensive description of the bad things that can happen. I think maybe that certain people think it a little old fashioned and less than cool. But it can still be handy. And the whole point of the Mac is to do everything really, really, well. Only a fool would say it does that just now.

What particularly annoys me is the way apps don't seem to realise they're offline. So Camino says "can't find the web-site" instead of "can't reach the internet". Mail is particularly clumsy, falling offline without a word. Also, Internet Connect liesabout the status of the PPP connection, and often sits there for whole seconds saying "connecting" when in reality, the connection has already been made. This is misleading. Error messages should either retain a zen-like vagueness, or say exactly what's wrong. They shouldn't be somewhere in between, leaving me to play a guessing game with my computer.

This non-zen-like vagueness catches me out every time my broadband connection falls over, because the error messages don't indicate if there's a connection problem or a DNS problem. It invariably takes me a few minutes to realise what's going on, and those few minutes tend to be annoying. Is it DNS? Is it the Airport? Definitely a nuisance.

And, clearly, boring old-fashioned dial-up can give you insights into more modern forms of connection.

If I can ever afford a MacBook, I'll be going for one of them USB modems. It's not a facility I use a lot, but round here, it's certainly not one I can do without. You never know when it'll come in handy. And who knows, one day I may need to send a fax.

The Longest Day

June 21, 2006

The longest day, here, is wet and cold and miserable. I don't remember seeing so much rain and wind since, well, last winter. And the temperature hasn't been above 12C all day. It's cold. It's cold on the longest day.

 Oh well, it can't be helped.

New Theme

June 19, 2006

I’ve settled on this theme, White as Milk, over at otan2, so I thought I might as well use it here. As usual though, the WordPress unpredictable results effect occurs… my admin links have vanished! I know I can use the web page URLs directly, but force of habit, you know…

Scottish Councils Act Rationally Shocker

June 16, 2006

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Councils float joint working plan

Looks like Stirling and Clackmannanshire are getting together to provide services jointly. This is a very good idea. Of course, if the region/district system hadn't been destroyed by the tories, this probably wouldn't be neccessary. I harbour an entirely evidenceless theory that they did it purely to get rid of Strathclyde. 

Pothole

June 15, 2006

Pothole "Swallows" Jeep in Sofia
An alarming story on Sofia News Agency. I can safely say that I never saw a hole that big on a road. I did however discover an uncovered drain at least five feet deep, and can state with authority that the road maintainance crews in Sliven have a relaxed attitude towards informing the public of their work, and that roads only get closed when the hot tarmac is actually being laid.

Meanwhile, in Scotland…

A few weeks ago the road out the back of Helensburgh got resurfaced. The trouble was the warning signs and speed limit had been posted at least two weeks before. So everyone was ignoring them.

I'm not sure which is worse. 

Norwegian Meteorite: someone got overexcited

June 15, 2006

In a Norsk article at http://www.forskning.no/Artikler/2006/juni/1150188651.93 Professor Kaare Aksnes of the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo basically says that someone got a bit over-excited and grossly exaggerated the size of the Nord-Troms meteorite. Here's an Aftenposten article in English, summarising that. I suppose I could say that the media could have shown a bit more scepticism in reporting this, but then so could have I.

I suppose that just goes to show that scientists are human after all, and are capable of genuine human excitement when something exceptional happens! And I see nothing wrong with that.