flock to the wallpaper

Today I am sporting a repeated background image, specifically no.5 in a range of 126 from www.squidfingers.com. Never one to miss a bandwagon. Not sure I like it or not yet so make the most of it because it might disappear before you know it.

(Novelty wore off very quickly)

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starting vncserver under redhat 8

I couldn’t get vncserver to start using command vncserver – it wasn’t recognised. Closer inspection showed that I only had the viewer, not the server installed. I downloaded the latest rpm from the vnc site (which contains both viewer and server), uninstalled the vnc viewer and installed the rpm

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simulating compressed web video

I was struck by an idea this lunchtime, whilst attempting to watch a "video choice" (choice? since when – i’d much rather read about it) video on the bbc news site allegedly about a farmer who has struck oil in Hampshire. I realised that I have thought of the perfect way to simulate the experience of watching one of these highly compressed postage stamp size videos.

For the experiment you will need:-

  • 3 or 4 marbles
  • plastic toy telescope
  • cheap cider (preferably "white lightning")
  • an assistant

First, share the bottle of cider – don’t worry if you can’t finish it, a couple of hearty swigs should have your senses suitably distorted. Then, your assistant should put the marbles in their mouth and start talking – it doesn’t matter what they say, just as long as they can produce an incomprehensible mono type of sound. Finally, look through the wrong end of the telescope and start wandering round.

You can vary the distance between you and your assistant, just as long as they are in earshot. You might want to approach passers by to get some more people in shot, just for authenticity. Reassure anybody you do approach that their face is completely indistinguishable from anybody elses.

If you can understand what the f**k is going on then the simulation has failed – try drinking more cider.

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Multi-mix digital music format launched

an interesting multi-mix digital music format called DI has been launched according to this article at the register. It seems that the format contains multiple tracks like you would have in a cubase project, with the ability to use loops and alternative parts e.g. alternative vocal track. It uses a proprietary player, which is free. The idea is that you record in the normal way then import, rather than mix, the final version into this format.

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back to dial up

This is my last week with broadband at home. As of next week I will be hogging the phone line again and closing my browser in disgust when a page doesn’t load instantly. I think it will be a bit of a culture shock.

So why? well the main reason is money – £25 a month might not seem a lot for a dual-income household and arguably I could end up building up these sort of charges on my phone bill if I have cause to use the internet a lot at home, but I resent paying that amount for a service I don’t think I am getting £300 a years value out of.

Also I spend too much time sat in front of a computer – I spend eight hours a day monday to friday tapping away at a keyboard and making myself shortsighted staring at a screen right in front of my face, and with my always-on connection at home I seem to be unable to resist the urge check my email everytime I walk from the living room to the kitchen.

I don’t download music and films as a rule, not for moral reasons but because of the lack of quality that seems to be the norm, so i’m not going to miss that.

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visited links

once upon a time someone early on in the development of the web came up with the idea of making hyperlinks within a web page appear as a different colour to the rest of the text. Then at a later date (probably – i’m guessing now), arrived the concept of links appearing as a different colour if they had already been visited.

This is a useful feature as it allows you to see where you have been, therefore stops you going round in circles in your endless search for information. Or maybe when you are in a bored haze clicking frenzy like I was at lunchtime.

When CSS 1.0 arrived, we were given the ability to control these styles, and many designers opted to make visited links look the same as non-visited links, just for consistency, thus removing this once useful feature.

At time of writing I have left my visited links to show their default colours, and I have to admit it does make the page look a bit ugly, and I was wondering what to do about it, when I saw this idea of applying a background image for visited links, making them look sort of crossed-out.(Tip: click on one of the links then go back to the page where the link was).

Nice, might blatantly copy that idea one day.

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