Monthly Archives: August, 2008

Remotely Possible

One of the neatest apps to be released for the new iPhone/iTouch software is Apple’s Remote, which connects to a copy of iTunes running on a machine on your network and allows you to control it from the iPod.

This is great, but I seldom feel the need to control my computer from across the room. It lives in a very small study and, from across the room, I can reach the keyboard! I did, however, have an old Airport Express hanging about, and an idea occurred to me today… I plugged it into the back of my stereo downstairs:

and configured my iTunes upstairs to play through the Airport Express, and suddenly I had wireless control of my entire music collection at my fingertips.

But wait, it gets better… I found the Settings panel on the Remote application and it had grown a new feature: the ability to select the speakers you want to use:

So now, sitting on the sofa, I can browse my music located in another room, and send it to the big speakers in this one.

Very cool. Mmm… Those Airport Expresses on eBay start to look much more attractive…


An exceedingly impressive video from Boston Dynamics. Well worth a look.

Dashed clever, these robotics chaps.

Many thanks to Jason Young for the link.


Back home, jetlagged but happy. And back to a rediscovered Cambridge insitution… I was delighted to hear recently that Domenic – the hairdresser who nobly strove for nearly twenty years my ‘knotted and combined locks to part, and each particular hair to stand on end’ – has come back from retirement and is working again, this time at 45 Newnham Road – about here – which is just around the corner from me. Splendid news.

This information will be of very little interest to anybody outside Cambridge, but for those nearby desirous of the services of a gentleman’s hairdresser, he comes highly recommended.


Dinner tonight at the splendidly-named Bar Q. It does Asian-style barbecue (and, by the way, comes highly recommended).

The friend who met us there was asking the waitress how business was going (since so many NY restaurants last only a few months). She said it was good, but the pattern of business changed in the summer because so many people go away for weekends, and she came up, completely seriously, with what I thought was a wonderfully New-York phrase. She said that

Wednesday/Thursday is the new Friday/Saturday

Road trip

Well, after our flight from Detroit to New York was cancelled twice in a row and delayed for an uncertain period on our third attempt, we decided that 36 hours of delay was quite enough for a 2 hour flight and we should take our destiny into our own hands.

So we’re driving. This comes to you from a thoroughly uninspiring Best Western in Youngstown, Ohio, where we’ve broken our journey. Normally I quite enjoy long cross-country drives in the States, as long as I have plenty of time to stop and explore the back-roads. This time, however, we need to see Rose’s publishers before the flight home, so I think we’ll hit the highway again tomorrow for 7 hours or so on the cruise control…

Update: Well, we got to New York in the end, and, even including a reasonable night’s sleep and meals, we still managed to travel an average of 28 miles per hour for the last 24 hours!

Different Worlds

I was out with my brother-in-law a couple of days ago, when his mobile phone beeped. He looked at it and handed it to me.

“It says I have a ‘text message’. What’s that? And how do I read it?”

On the border

I drove from Pittsburgh back to Detroit a couple of days ago. Five hours of, frankly, not very interesting roads, relieved only by a good selection of podcasts and a rather splendid sunset somewhere near the Ohio/Michigan border.


Blackstone books and beyond

For those following its progress, Rose’s book is now generally available in the States. We found it on the shelves of a Borders in Ann Arbor this morning.

It’s also starting to appear in other forms. Those with a Sony eBook Reader can find it here, while those who prefer audiobooks and have a fair bit of cash to spare can get 14 enjoyable hours of listening here. I quite like the CD cover:

The official launch & signing is in Allen Park, Michigan, on Saturday.


Oh boy! I so want one of these:

Flying inflatable boat

Arfon has a beautiful photo of one in action here, and there are lots more in the gallery on the Polaris site.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser