Monthly Archives: August, 2007

Getting too absorbed in my work?

One of the pictures that didn’t get used in the recent Guardian article:

Quentin Stafford-Fraser

Many thanks to John Robertson, who owns the copyright, for permission to post it.

What’s NXT for Mother’s Day?

Suppose you’re a successful UK high-tech company with an interesting loudspeaker technology. Who would you naturally partner with?

Why, Hallmark greeting cards, of course.

Financial review

This is an interesting site: allows people who have received VC or similar investment to review and rate their investors. An intriguing idea.


At CamVine, we’re starting to experiment with using an AppleTV as a server component of our CODA architecture. Being engineers, the first thing we had to do was take this beautiful piece of kit and dismantle it. Michael has a great photo on his blog.

Being framed

Just starting to get to grips with the new features in iWork.

Keynote has a nice one: When you select the fill/outline characteristics for an object such as a photo, one of the stroke types is ‘picture frame’ which puts a fancy border around the thing you’ve selected.
Example pciture frame

This is very cute, but there aren’t many frame types available. Over at KeynoteUser, however, they’ve discovered that there are many more hidden away inside Keynote, which can be enabled with a quick hack.

Oh, and it works in Pages too, with a minor modification.

Shall I compare thee to something?

I’m always a little bemused by those who make bold comparative statements without specifying to what they’re comparing something.

Here’s an example. I find myself tonight in a Bed & Breakfast near Gatwick airport. The little sachet of shampoo in the bathroom says:

This product has not been tested on animals, and uses materials are less harmful to the environment

Well, that’s good. Mmmm… Wait a sec….less harmful than what? Than the animals, presumably?

The Mac sites are buzzing…

New iMacAnnounced today – new and very pretty iMacs, an update to iLife, and iWork now has a spreadsheet application and many other improvements.

An iWork update will certainly make me get my credit card out. I’ve become a great fan of Keynote and Pages, and the fact that Pages now has a ‘track changes’ feature means that most of my reasons for starting up Word have now vanished. Hurrah!

Have a look at some of the iWork demo videos on Apple’s site. Looks very pretty. My family pack is already on order…

Oh, and the Mac Mini is now a Core 2 Duo machine.


Not long ago, Dell announced that it was starting to ship computers with Linux installed.

Now Lenovo have followed suit. Lenovo are a large supplier of PCs, having bought IBM’s PC business a few years back.

This is encouraging stuff. Linux’s biggest handicap in the past has been that users need to install it, which put it at a big disadvantage when compared to other PC operating systems.


I’ve moved Status-Q to a new version of WordPress on a new server. Please let me know if you notice any hiccups…

Silly season

We are approaching the time of year often known in the British media as ‘silly season’. There’s usually relatively little real national news, and so a variety of completely daft things end up in the papers. Oliver Burkeman, writing in the Guardian this week, offered a wonderful “sneak preview of some of the other scoops you’ll be reading over the coming weeks“.


Gatwick terror panic

The government has banned airline passengers from wearing green hats after a man in a green hat was arrested at Gatwick airport carrying a bottle of potentially lethal hydrogen peroxide. Holidaymakers who flout the new rule face severe penalties, although hats of other colours will still be permitted, as will rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

Bohemian Rhapsody triumphs in ‘Top 100’ lists

Bohemian Rhapsody, by Queen, has been named the greatest film of all time following an administrative mixup among Sunday newspapers preparing this weekend’s plethora of “Top 100” lists. The glam-rock band’s celebrated anthem also won the title of funniest British comedy of all time, and most powerful person in the British media. A source at the polling company contracted to produce the lists blamed human error. However, a corrected version of the Best Musicians list still showed Arctic Monkeys several places ahead of the Beatles and Johnny Cash, a result that pollsters attributed to people these days having absolutely no taste whatsoever.

Phone location tracking

Interesting – I didn’t know that such services were generally available yet…

For a cost of about 35-50p, Trace A Mobile will tell you the location of a mobile phone. You need to sign up for a monthly subscription, and you need to have the advance approval of the phone user (usually established by sending them a text message) but for nervous parents, or for spouses who need to know how close their husband is to home, this could be a good service.

Of course, it would generally be cheaper just to call them and ask. So this may be better used for locating your lost Irish Wolfhound, or your stolen Ferarri.

Ndiyo in the Guardian

There’s an article about Ndiyo in the Technology section of today’s Guardian.

It’s not bad – a few mistakes, but no more than the typical column. My main concern is that it sounds as if I did everything singlehandedly! Apologies to everybody else!

Update: Some have asked about the fact that I recently mentioned a photographer coming round, and then all that appeared in the article was a picture of coffee beans. This would have been entirely justified on aesthetic grounds, but in fact they did use a picture of me in the paper edition.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser