Monthly Archives: July, 2004

Express yourself musically

My Airport Express arrived today, and it’s great. I’m typing this on my laptop, sitting on the sofa in the living room, listening to music on the stereo. But the music playing on the stereo is also coming from the laptop, which means that when the phone rang a moment ago, I just hit a couple of keys to pause iTunes. (I recommend Butler for that, BTW). Remember those old days when you had to find a remote control?

So here I sit, rather bemused as I look at the bookcase full of CDs. All of my music is on my hard disk, and while it may be a little while before I’m happy to invest heavily in music which has no physical incarnation, I do now think of CDs as archival storage. It’s been a while since I actually had to open a CD case for the purpose of listening to the music inside. The iPod lives in the car, and the Airport lives in the sitting room. When I’m in the study, I have speakers plugged into the laptop via USB. I even find that I’m not listening to the radio as much as I used to, because all the programs I want are on the BBC or NPR websites and I can hear them whenever I want to.

Now that you’re staggering under the overwhelming flood of coolness emanating from my lifestyle, I can reveal that I’m actually listening to Boney M….


[Original Link] Light relief in the run-up to the US Election.

Hot and Cold

Here’s something that’s been bothering me, and no doubt has kept you awake at night as well…

Take a look at the word for ‘hot’ in many European languages: chaud in French, caldo in Italian, calido in Spanish, calidus in Latin. So how did we end up with the word cold which means exactly the opposite?

Well, the answer, of course, is that our words for hot and cold have Germanic rather than Latin roots. Our cold is like the German kalt and the Norwegian kulde, but I can’t help feeling this must have caused confusion throughout history. Interestingly, the Germanic word apparently derives from the Latin as well, but the Latin for frost, gelu.

So now you know.

Interactive Microcontent

[Original Link] John Udell has some more interesting reasons for using
Mozilla/Firefox.  (Interesting, that is, if you’re an
XML/Javascript enthusiast.)

More on Z88s

Blogs are wonderful things. John read mine, saw my posting saying how I bemoaned the absence of my old Sinclair Z88, and fished an old one out of a cupboard and gave it to me.

I can now take a photo of it using a digital camera, which I’d never seen when I owned my last one, and post it on the web, which I’d also never seen.

It seems funny now to think that I typed tens of thousands of words on one of these, including my final-year undergraduate dissertation in Computer Science, and yet never typed ‘www’, ‘.com’, or ‘.org’…

Firefox Web Developer plugin

[Original Link] Chris Cummer extols the virtues of Chris Pederick’s handy extension. He’s right. If you do any amount of web development, this is well worth having.


[Original Link]

The wonders of one-way mirrors. This rather interesting photo has been doing the rounds – nobody seems to know quite where it’s from…

Newnham Research

[Original Link] We have a new website at Newnham Research, so you can now find out a bit more about what we’re doing.

Sir Clive’s mini-bike

[Original Link]

Good to see that Clive Sinclair’s still going strong. I want one of these things! (So, I should think, would my father, who has ankle problems and is unable to walk very far, but uses a folding bike almost like a wheelchair.)

The last Sinclair product I owned was a Z88 – a wonderful machine:

I have often wished I had kept it, so I’m intrigued to see that there’s
an organisation still selling them! I might be tempted…

There are also quite a few Sinclair C5s on eBay if anyone’s feeling tempted…

Important things to try today

A friend sent me this:

While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. Now, while doing this, draw the number “6” in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Scandanavian simplicity

Thought for the day:

Ikea is to B&Q or Home Depot as Lego is to Meccano

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser