Monthly Archives: April, 2003


[Original Link] Some bits of software are really elegant in their simplicity. Imagewell is brilliant – small, simple, useful, and with great online help. Congrats to Xtralean and thanks to John Naughton and John Robb for the link.

3d Munitions

[Original Link] I guess it’s only a matter of time before the ‘Iraq War’ computer games start appearing, but this does feel a bit as if CNN is trying to get there first…


[Original Link] Got a Linux box and an OS X box? Michael Dales’ handy utility may save you desk space.

Furtive phone photography spurs ban

[Original Link] As camera phones become more popular, lots of organisations are restricting how they can be used. [BBC News | Technology | UK Edition]

There are going to be some interesting socialogical issues here. Cameras will soon be common in everything from keyrings to pens to watches. What sort of new etiquette will evolve for dealing with them?

Getting at your data

Possibly the best aspect of OpenOffice is its open file format.. Here’s a very crude quick and easy way on a Unix platform to get at something close to the raw text in an OO document:

   unzip -p mydocument.sxw  content.xml | sed 's/<[^>]*>/ /g'

This extracts the contents of the document as XML, then strips out most XML tags. Could be improved in many ways, but this is fine if you want to run the text through grep, wc etc or just want to get your paragraphs into a text editor. Is any normal user likely to do this? No, but it’s important that it can be done, even on a machine which knows nothing about OpenOffice.

(Here’s why I think this sort of thing is important, by the way.)

Benefits of budget cuts

[Original Link] From Robert Cringely’s article:

Sun Microsystems recently sponsored a major seminar at George
Washington University in the Washington area and the federal
government’s IT people attended. One source said that the
present administration has so strangled the budgets of
government agencies, especially research and education, that
they’re now considering dumping Microsoft’s licensing schemes
and transitioning to open-source Linux.

Thanks to Scott Weikart for the link.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser