Friday, December 29, 2006

Soul » Devil

OK, so I've slated MySpace countless times in the past, because it is pretty ugly, clunky, buggy and so on. Blah blah...

But: There's no denying that it's pretty good for promoting music, and there's the small matter of it having rather a lot of members. So I've created a profile page on which to air my bleepy computer music. And it's here:

And no, I've not 'Pimped' my page, sorry.

My Last FM profile will remain for the more sophisticated web users.

Stay Forever

Stay Forever is the B side of Another Visitor.

Listen or download at Last FM.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Another Visitor

Another Visitor - cover art

OK, after way too many years of not getting round to this, I've finally sat down and put a finished track together.

A bit of deep melodic electro, this is one of two tracks off the 'Another Visitor EP'. The other one's not actually finished yet but I'll add it to this release when it's ready.

Listen here on Last FM.

And as it's Christmas, the MP3 is available as a FREE download on the Last FM page. Season's Greetings!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

That Slade Song

Now I'm all up for a bit of Christmas cheer but would the Advertising Standards Agency please outlaw the use of 'Merry Xmas Everybody' by Slade. It's plain irritating. It's 2006, 33 years since its release (I didn't know that, I checked on Wikipedia obviously). Enough is enough.

And ASDA, as a protest against your use of a choral version of it in your current TV ad, I've decided to boycott your stores for one year.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Last work day of the year

Out very late last night. Work today. Well, half a day anyway: a very long team lunch then out early this afternoon for pub-related activities. Such is Christmas.

I'm off back to Stockport for two weeks in the morning. And I've not packed my stuff yet. Better get on with it really.

Listening to
Source Direct – A made up sound – Classic 1996 drum and bass.

Random link
Ben Hammersley – Talented photographer.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Did Sony fire its creative director?

I know this isn't particularly exclusive but – with all the PS3 hype going on – is it just me who thinks the Playstation 3 is rather ugly? And what were they thinking using that typeface? It's the one from the Spiderman logo! How incredibly cheap of them to have not created their own logo face.

Like most of their products, the PS2 and PSP were so on the money, but in my opinion this is awful. George Foreman Grill anyone?

In stock?

I found this while hunting for last minute Christmas present ideas. Someone bought me an acre of The Moon a few years ago. I somehow doubt these things will ever be honoured, though I guess it's cheaper than going there and laying claim to it yourself.

Winter is here

According to my computer anyway.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

2006: my year in pictures

Well believe it or not it's nearly Christmas. I've taken a lot of photos this year. I suppose that's what happens when you're into photography.

I've put together a 'best of' set from the year, primarily to make into a book (via the fantastic QOOP service), but for those of you who aren't the lucky family member who's getting the book for Christmas you can view them online from this blog post.

There's some commercial work, some holiday shots, some people, some places. There are 106 shots in total.

View it as large slideshow (recommended). You'll want a decent broadband connection for this. 106 photos at 6 seconds each takes just over 10 minutes. Unfortunately there are no controls, and it loops round again at the end but it's still the best full page slideshow tool I've found.

Alternatively, browse the set manually on Flickr.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ten years of Flash

Love it or hate it, Flash – the flawed and oft badly (and inappropriately) used interactive web content and vector animation software – is ten years old. Despite my reservations it does have many great uses too: interactive web presentation, video, gaming, and dare I say it advertising. YouTube would never have got where they are without Flash and, hey, we all love YouTube don't we?

Here's what the Beeb had to say about it.

I've been working with Flash since 1999, know it pretty much inside out, and it still does my head in on a regular basis.

Dear Adobe, how do you feel about fixing one or two of the major Flash authoring tool bugs as a kind of birthday celebration? Like that network saving bug where the document gets corrupted and won't save - you know the one.

Hey, you could even release a free patch instead of charging for an 'upgrade'. That would be nice.


Well happy birthday anyway.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Flickr / Yahoo have sorted out the 'map issue'

Back in August, upon its launch, I reviewed Flickr's Geotagging feature. I gave it a bit of a slating because, well, it was pretty crap. Read the article if you're wondering why I had a problem with it.

Anyway, I'm not sure when it happened but they seemed to have sorted it out. So it's now quite good. Here's my photo map so far. It's going to take a while to tag all my photos because I have over 3000 of them on Flickr. Maybe I'll just do the interesting ones.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

break in the clouds

I took this on the approach into Heathrow yesterday (on the way back from Stockholm).

It's a bit of a shame about the low quality. The plane window had a distorting perspex layer. Also, the shutter speed was too low because I hurriedly unpacked the camera to take this when we emerged from the clouds and didn't have time to switch ISO.

But excuses, excuses...

I'm off to Barcelona tomorrow morning to visit my bro - a bit of a week of travelling.

NHS Efficiency

Rant Time.

Because I've not been to see a doctor for a few years I've been struck off my previous GP's records. Great, thanks.

And because I'm trying to buy a flat (a process that apparently needs to be extravagantly complicated at every conceivable stage, and to be handled by a number of parties, each consisting solely of unreliable, inefficient ambassadors of ineptitude) I need a medical note for the compulsory life cover on my mortgage.

OK, should be no problem.

So I called the NHS surgery nearest to where I'm moving and they said, "Sure, just come down and fill in a form". So I bussed and walked my way over there, to be told on arrival that the person on the phone (I'm sure it was the same woman) had misinformed me because I need to have already moved to the area before I can register.

Great. Thanks for wasting my time.

But that's not all. According to the receptionist, it would take about two months for them to get my medical records, and that they can't write the medical note I need until they have those records. She said: "They'll be in a vault somewhere".

Two months? A Vault? What? Why?

I guess the two months is owing to this vault being on the wrong side of a series of Indiana-Jones-esque traps, in a labyrinth only accessible by cave diving into the heart of an inactive (or active?) volcano somewhere beneath Antactica. Oh, and Indy's on leave.

Dear Patricia Hewitt, Health Minister,

Please could you explain how it's possible for both of the following statements to be true at the same time:

a) It takes two months to get my medical records.
b) You still have a job.


P.S. Oh, I hear the NHS IT upgrade is having a few problems. It's only a computer database for god's sake. How hard can it be?

Some days I do wish Sturgeon's Law didn't have to apply to people too.