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The Blogspot | The Techie Blog



Friday, June 27, 2003

Hooray, jubilation, celibration.... at last I managed to get Blogger to archive by the month instead of by the week........ boring techie stuff ?? Well maybe - but at least you won't have so far to scroll the page !!! Anyway - talking of boring techie stuff (were we ?) :-

Speaking to a few of my readers *cough* (well friends anyway) and they say they've given up on my blogs because of all the techie stuff I include. I figure the converse (good word huh !) might also be true - that folk who are interested in the techie stuff might not give a damn about the minutiae (how do you spell that one ?) of my love life.... (I'm getting married soon... nah nah ne nah nah... :-).

Sooooooooo.... I'm doing a personal blog and a techie blog on this page............ wee ha... (I don't know which one to put website updates on though.... if I add a new article it feels kinda personal man.... *sigh*)


Soooo....... in this blog there ought to be less weirdo geeky stuff... ain't that good news now :-)
posted by Mike Foord on Friday, June 27, 2003





Thursday, June 26, 2003

Still busy - sorry........... just more techie stuff to report :
Based on the mini-itx shipset which include a pentium type processor and graphics chipset etc... these guys are building a 233mhz PDA sized PC..............
Nohrtec Mini-Servers

posted by Mike Foord on Thursday, June 26, 2003





Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Busy, busy - passing invoices that I missed last month, preparing for the wedding - inclding fending off the mother-in-law who wants to fly over from Israel to take over (and is trying to blackmail us into paying!!) and sorting out my new group for the Jesus Centre Project. I thought the 'church-beauracracy' was going to sweep away all my hard work - turned out I overreacted... but was a stressful couple of days.


Anyway - onto boring PDA techie news............
The new version of windows is out....... and with it a rash of new PDAs - including upgrades to some I didn't even know existed. Looks like JVC is entering the PDA market as well - expect further price falls as competition continues to increase.

A couple of months ago the Dell Axim X5 was a 'no-brainer' for my upgrade... but now the Viewsonic V36 is tempting and a few others as well...........

The Register New PDA Article
CNET PocketPC 2003 Article

posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 25, 2003





Saturday, June 21, 2003

New article in the computer section and one in the 'esoteric' section as well :

Automated Denial of Service
This is an article about blurring the lines between the physical realms and the virtual realms. Both an interesting article about revenge on a 'spammer' and how 'virtual life' can cross over into 'real life'.

Introduction to Cyber Magic
The internet puts people all across the globe in touch with each other - instantaneously, virtually and magically ? For many magic is all about the connection of consciousness and here Philip Farber explores how that might be true across the internet.
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, June 21, 2003


Wee hee - as a brick lover I couldn't resist this one ! A wired article on how the brick is about to go techno........... [QUOTE]If that seems like overkill for a 6,400-year-old technology[/ENDQUOTE]
Smart Bricks, or a Dumb Idea?

And the new Harry Potter book has gone on sale.... I've already seen a copy of the first chapter that was psoted to USENET.... nah,nah ne nah, nah !!!
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, June 21, 2003


Oh yeah... we got hammered in Atlantis. The two biggest players are fighting it out (naturally I'm on the side of the good guys). The badguy, called Warwolves, has sent up some mages with currently 14 Balrogs (meaning big beast) in tow and is *stomping* all over Calipso's cities. It doesn't look good. We've got a lot of mages who are moving in to position to build up a Balrog army to try and save the day (this war is fought with technology as well - meaning well trained mages ! - a balrog definiely counts as a WMD) - but it will be sometime before our mages are all trained to a high enough level. In the meantime big armies are just being wiped out.... ouch.
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, June 21, 2003


I tried to get blogger to convert all my 'archives' (the old blogs) from weekly to monthly........ It didn't work *sigh*. Oh well -to be fair, I guess you don't care !!

You might find the following article slightly more interesting. A few more details on gateway's new PDA - due *soon* - with PocketPC 2003 which is due to be released next week. This will mean there are some 7 or 8 different *decent* PDA's available for around 200 quid (pounds sterling for those not up on british slang).
Gateway's New PDA.

Controversially, by decent I mean running PocketPC on an Xscale (or ARM) processor clocked at *least* 200mhz. Anyone who disagrees with that spec is welcome to come and find me and we'll fight over it. True to form - just as PocketPC 2003 coems out, I'll probably be buying a machine with PocketPC 2002. Living without my Jornada is *killing* me at the moment.... but I have a plan............
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, June 21, 2003





Friday, June 20, 2003

flippin' archives in blogger do my head in....
Whats the HTML code for a 'bullet list' ? anyone remember ?
posted by Mike Foord on Friday, June 20, 2003


Dilbert can be very funny.... I think the last two days are great..........







The second one is funny... not only because I'm dependant on caffiene - but because if I had to switch to decaf it probably would be more convenient just to change *all* the coffee over. Does that reveal a bit more about my character than it ought to... oops...........

As an aside - my Jewish Grandfather (who was a bit of a snob) used to call Decaffinated Coffee - 'le cafe castre'.... coffee with the balls cut off !!
On the subject of which (being Jewish - not having your balls cut off) - I'm reading Schindlers list again. Its very well written and very disturbing. I reccommend it, as if that counts for anything though :-)

posted by Mike Foord on Friday, June 20, 2003





Thursday, June 19, 2003

Here's a nice url. It shows all the traffic statistics for Voidspace.... more people use it than you might think.....

posted by Mike Foord on Thursday, June 19, 2003


Well, I'm sitting in the Northampton (UK) CEMC (Council for Ethnic Minority something...) where they have a nice cool room *filled* with computers - all with funky flatscreens....... And they give free internet access *very* nice of them :-)

I've just finalised the date of my wedding - five weeks away (August the 2nd) - you're all invited ! ;-)

My goodness - gorgeous warm weather, a day off to chat to a lady about our Jesus Centre Project and a headache off my mind now the wedding day is sorted.... great - much happier than yesterday. Why does disaster come all at once ? As if having a big screw up on sorting your wedding day out wasn't enough.... it's manically busy *and* I manage to fall out with two people...... bizarre..... I blame my karma.

I had an old buddhist friend called Aparimana (he was actually ordained as a buddhist priest with the FWBO in Cambridge). At the time I met him he was more interested in becoming a black magician - a most un-Buddhist thing to do ! - and he had this theory that you could cash in your Karma.......... it kind of worked like a bank account..... I think at the moment I'm busy trying to cash in some Karma to get a new PDA - theres various funky new ones available for not *too* much dosh... unfortunately more than I happen to have... oh well - who needs karma anyway ?


And I just learned a new acronym - IDE - Integrated development environment. I've started to look at a new programming language - Squeak. If I do it'll be the first programming I've done for years. And what's more - its proper - an object oriented language. A bit overkill for the few scripts I want to do *but* I can write stuff and it will run on my desktop *and* my PDA without modification... funky. Thats the only 'high-level' language I've found that I can do that with... and it doesn't look *too* hard to learn either.
posted by Mike Foord on Thursday, June 19, 2003





Monday, June 16, 2003

Ever have trouble with your computer at work ? Heres some advice from the IT dept. to hep you sort it out :
Fuchsia's Advice from the IT Dept.
posted by Mike Foord on Monday, June 16, 2003


By an unusual series of events I came across some photos by a lady called Heather. Heres my favourite.




You can see some more at Heathers Photopage.
I included this to show her its possible to include pictures in blogger - the picture you see here is just linking to the picture on her website.
posted by Mike Foord on Monday, June 16, 2003





Sunday, June 15, 2003

Well, at long last I've done the update for Babak Memari that I've been promising him. He's an Iranian gentleman who had problems with his last ISP and who's pages of useful links are now hosted here at Voidspace. The new version used 'includes'... it looks very similar... but is much more neatly coded and easier for Babak to update and edit........

The First Version
The New Babak-Memari Website

Now, I haven't properly tested it yet - so there might still be some of the internal links not working. When I've tested it properly I'll copy it over so that its all under the first link.

I found a nice utility called 'periscope' that will check all the links on a website to see if there are any dead ones. It produces a nice output - telling you which page the error occurrred on. It also doubles as an anti-hacker tool.

Periscope Download Page

I've just used it on Voidspace to correct a lot of the internal link errors.....


I always thought that the existing internet system was a bit 'geriatric' or something. When you look for a webpage by IP address (the numbers the internet uses to address computers) then effectively it looks in a big telephone directory to see how to get there. If you change something then the internet takes a few days to update these directories on its 'routers' all across the network. I thought it would make much more sense for the IP address (the numebrs) to actually tell the net *how* to direct the packets..... a bit more like a grid reference than a telephone number. Anyway - I'm sure its not as easy as that.... but it turns out there is a more up to date version of the Internet - called Ipv6 (we're currently on v4 I think... as to what happened to v5.... ??). Eventually we're all going to be using that system and the military are starting to switch their gear across - they reckon it will happen commercially by about 2008...................

Heres a short Wired News article about it :
Pentagon to Use New Net Protocol.


Heres a little article about how the arrival of broadband in the home is letting the internet *really* develop its potential :
At Last, the Web Hits 100 MPH.
posted by Mike Foord on Sunday, June 15, 2003


My friend Rob (a regular on the Void-Shockz message group) has updated his website at long last !! Its basically a photo-album ; but I can particularly reccommend the photos from Boston... some of them are quite spectactular.

www.tansley.org
posted by Mike Foord on Sunday, June 15, 2003


Every time I sit down in front of my computer my mind reels with possibilities... as a result I pootle around doing bits of this, bits of that... and rarely actually achieve anything !! Great fun ! (I feel emotionally crippled without smilies... must get some)

I'm working on developing my friends business through www.learnlandrover.com so I've been looking round the internet at 4x4 and landrover websites. Not a subject I know *anything* about - but it was nice when I showed him how a webpage worked (very basic HTML) and he was *impressed* - I know very little... but to a welder it looks good :-)

Heres a weird one - the first bionic chips.
Coal-Mine Canaries on a Chip

The Berkeley bionic chip works by gauging the electrical resistance of a cell membrane. In the cell's death throes, that resistance spikes, and then plummets.......... An individual chip could work for days or weeks, Rubinsky said, depending on how much care is taken to incubate the cell. It lives in a nutrient bath that sits on a silicon wafer. At either end are electrodes carrying electrical current. The membrane of a living cell won't allow many ions to pass, so the circuit is weak. A meter can then monitor for changes.

I think life scares me.

Heres one thats a bit 'safer' than microchips containing living cells :
Some Kid-Play on the Way to Mars
They're sending some lego space explorers to mars... and the little explorers are doing a blog of their journey !!
posted by Mike Foord on Sunday, June 15, 2003





Thursday, June 12, 2003

For PDA junkies (like me) the following CNET article is very interesting. Its about the next step in replacing flash memory (the sort of memory that keeps it's contents when its switched off). Apparently flash memory is getting harder to shrink any further and is also quite slow - this article mentions three alternatives - but particularly the advances made in MMRAM.... magnetic memory. Interesting....... Of course this is all leading to the stage wjhere we all carry 'micro-computers' that are permanently 'online'... perhaps even communicating with each other as we (the host) pass in the street - completely oblivious to what these machines are up to........ There are already plans to put microchips in clothing...... hee hee......

IBM, Infineon tout magnetic memory
posted by Mike Foord on Thursday, June 12, 2003





Wednesday, June 11, 2003

My goodness......... another few updates - some of which I've been meaning to do for ages. I've put the Tractatus on with Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations in the Psychology section (*phew* that was a long breath). Added a couple of books to the Gibson section and a very interesting article in the Jung section - actually a scan of a newspaper article on Jung and the new age. I can't remember if I've done anything else (hey - its late..) but thats enough for one evening ;-)
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Just a little update. Fiddled with the sitemap a bit, added a section summary to the main index page and a couple of pages of jokes to the 'otherfunkystuff' section. Theres also a new 'cartoons and comics' gallery - but its not finished yet. A few more changes to go tonight hopefully.

Oh yes, I'd love to get back into programming - and I've found a project that might help. The PBeM (Play By e-Mail) Atlantis involves occupying territory and conquering it. Part of the trouble is that your borders can get quite large - and the alliance I am in is in serious risk of invasion from the 'Warwolves'. We are setting up about 100 scouts to monitor our borders against invasion.... the only trouble is - someone has to read the reports !! I'm going to try and write a script that will do it automatically and report anything unusual. I'm *hoping* to use Javascript as it seems reasonably accessible, can be ported straight to my little handheld computer (or almost any other platform) and even put on the web.... cool.

I found a nice looking javascript tutorial here.

Oh, one last thing.... I've started hanging round a bit on + comp.sys.handhelds + Its a USENET newsgroup - if you haven't got a newsgroup reader you can get there by the link on the left hand bar. I'm definitely on a mission to get a new PDA - theres some cracking new ones for less than two hundred quid - I've got about fifty !! PocketPC 2003 (the new operating system) comes out any day now apparently. (June 23rd ?).
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Hmmmm... I think, on average, a Linux user is more likely to have something interesting to say than a windows user. So its a shame that last time I checked Blogger didn't work with netscape (which shares a core with the common Linux browser) - ho hum, it might have changed recently anyway. Whilst we're on the subject of irrelevant stuff - look what I found..... nice huh







I've also put a guestbook online :



Probably keep it as I haven't wrapped my tiny little mind around getting CGIs to work yet.

We had our 'agape' yesterday. Thats our weekly meal together for the committed in my 'church household'. Every Tuesday these meetings happen all across the UK in my Church - kind of a family time for us. I was sitting and looking at the bunch in my household (qbout 40 of us) - and amazed fthat for a religion that is aging and dying - about 60% of the people there were 15-35, and for a religion that has a reputation for being effeminised and has trouble attracting men - 60% of us were male.... Nice - made me feel proud to be part of it.

posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, June 11, 2003





Tuesday, June 10, 2003

My google pagerank has slipped from 4 down to zero or even 'not rated'..... whats going on - don't theylike me anymore ? I thought 4 was ok.... but most of my pages aren't even rated anymore... gits... thats after I've had more traffic than ever as well.

The number of visitors is fluctuating wildly - on Sunday it was about 50.... on Monday 150.... I guess people get bored at work and go exploring. I've made a few minor changes, updated Luke's homepage and added some missing names to the friends page. Nothing spectaclyar. Even tried another guestbook... to no avail.
posted by Mike Foord on Tuesday, June 10, 2003





Monday, June 09, 2003

If it doesn`t work out theres always divorce...........

I wish blogger had smilies. ( [geek alert]I could always upload some to my site and point to them I suppose[/geek alert] ).
Sometimes emotions are just too trite to be expressed in words B-)
Anyway - I asked my girlfriend to marry me - she said yes *sigh* Thats gone and done it. I could waffle on about lots of other things - but it doesn't really seem relevant. I asked her on castle hill Cambridge - which was where my Dad asked my Mum... hee hee - I`m an old fool really. (I can't claim credit though - my brother asked his girlfriend there as well and it seemed like to cool an idea not to do it).

I spent some time with the aged parents as well - and they're ok. Falling apart at the seams a little bit - but in good spirits.
Oh - and I saw Matrix Reloaded and thought the prententious philosophy bits were pants - but the rest was ok... not a patch on the original - but thats to be expected I suppose. Visually stunning of course.
posted by Mike Foord on Monday, June 09, 2003





Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I`ve gone down to number 46 in the cyberpunk top 100 sites..... I used to be number 5 or something *sigh*.................
posted by Mike Foord on Tuesday, June 03, 2003


Oooo oooh - and I can now offer an excellent hosting deal - particularly for businesses in the UK......... Expect big adverts to appear *everywhere* the minute I get a chance..................
posted by Mike Foord on Tuesday, June 03, 2003


Well - the sitemap is updated........ unfortunately I updated it *before* I added an extra gallery to the gallery section !!
But there we go. The sitemap is generated by a program called Site Xpert. I use a free version they gave away on a magazine coverdisk. I would be interested in some feedback as to how easy it is to use. I think its easy to use - but then I already know my way around this site......

Likewise I`m still looking for a nice guestbook script - if any of you have any suggestions that would be much appreciated. You can always mail me using anything @ voidspace.org.uk !!

Any day now www.learnlandrover.com goes live - a project for a good friend called James Martin who teaches welding and breaking landrovers.


Oops - I almost forgot. The new gallery is called 'nice pictures' (sickly isn`t it !!)... I`ve tested the sitemap in netscape *and* I`ve updated the search engine index as well. There are lots of new photos in *most* of the gallery sections to browse. I`m currently working on finding a way to stop 'wide pages' breaking the table at the top - it looks rather odd... I think I know how to do it - but I still have to test it. I also need to update the search engine on the main index page *and* the sitemap page *sigh*........

[slight update.... I`ve tested the sitemap in Netscape - and although it appears, the folders don`t collapse/expand in the way they should. It still *works* - its just a bit big....... I`ll look at site Xpert some time and see if it can generate a Netscape compatible one........ oh and www.learnlandrover.com is now live.... great... no time to set it all up properly yet / submit it to search engines or anything like that !! ]
posted by Mike Foord on Tuesday, June 03, 2003





Monday, June 02, 2003


Another Silly Dilbert Cartoon

Isn`t that great.......
*sigh* its a sad day... I lost all hope of catching up with reading my e-mail newsletters and just deleted about thirty of them that were hanging around in my inbox........

One e-mail I get regularly, thgat only takes a couple of seconds to read, is my word of the day. Ahhhhhhhhhh, its the little things in life that make it bearable. Todays word was prestidigitation \pres-tuh-dij-uh-TAY-shuhn\, noun:
Skill in or performance of tricks; sleight of hand.
Now where can I slip that into conversation...........
posted by Mike Foord on Monday, June 02, 2003


This is another of those pointless blogging about blogging posts (say that word six times and it sounds *really* silly). Just an observation that the best blogs are people who's character comes across in their blogs. A dry wit is helpful - but a consistent style is even more helpful. I think as I only blog infrequently, and usually when I do a site update... or I have some personal news, or I`ve discovered something geeky - all of which are different styles etc etc..... oh well - such is this fragmented and odd life we live.

Hmmm..... just rebuildign the sitemap. I use a program called site Xpert which was given away free on a magazine cover disc. [Geek Warning] Because I use server side includes my website has to be read from the webserver - it can`t just read it from my hard drive. This means it builds the sitemap by actually going to the webpage and following all the links. It takes a bit of time - but it produces a very good sitemap. *If* you set the options right. If you set them wrongly it produces a sitemap with links in all the wrong places and you have to spend *ages* re-arranging everything because you can`t be bothered to run it again *doh*.

Hmmm... if I was motivated enough I`d make some witty and incisive comments and this would be a proper blog. (Even 'acerbic' comments - good word huh !). But I`m too lazy.......

Anyway - happy Monday - and a grey and bleak one it is too.............
posted by Mike Foord on Monday, June 02, 2003





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