Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Nice Feel

Had a play with the iPod touch yesterday at the Apple Regent St Store, (none for sale there until Friday).

Gosh !! It's really nice !!

Has a great feel to the device, really smooth operation.
One thing I found strange was the scrolling, I kept scrolling the wrong way !!
On a Mac, you scroll down by dragging the scroll bar down, on a touch, you scroll down by grabbing the content and dragging it up, it kept catching me out.

That home screen looks horribly empty though ....... there is a lot of missing functionality, it's weird that Apple would hamstring it in such a way. And it's looking like cracking the touch is proving a lot more difficult than the iPhone.

I saw two announcements for applications that really interested me :

Elgato's new version of EyeTV will stream video to the iPhone/iPod touch, it sets up a little streaming server on your Mac, you access it via MobileSafari. Watch your stuff wherever you can get a net connection, without filling up the device :)

Alloysoft has an application called Signal, another little server running on your Mac, which provides a web interface to MobileSafari to act as a remote control to iTunes on that machine. Looks like the only thing you can't do with it is switch the AirTunes speakers the mac plays to. This is pretty close to one of the items on my wishlist.

All very cool IMHO.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Right Number

I do not use spreadsheets very often.
I do not make graphs from data very often either.

However, I had to make some graphs for my talk at CocoonGT2007.

I used the new Numbers from Apple, part of iWork'08.

I was very impressed. Slick, fast, intuitive.
From never having used it before, I was making what I needed within minutes, you can't say better than that, can you?

I needed to use graphs made in Numbers, within my presentation made in Keynote (the reason I have iWork).
Copy & Paste did the trick obviously, but what got copied?
I expected it would either retain a live link with the original file (like OLE?) or that it would copy over an un-editable object.
Wrong on both counts, it copies a Graph Object that is still recognised by Keynote, allowing you to further edit data there, (or further fudge your results, as the case may be ....... not that I actually had to do that myself of course !! )

It is not perfect, there are a few bugs with the graphics engine etc., shared by the other iWork apps ..... little niggles ..... stuff they will hopefully fix soon ......

There is a 30 day free trial, give it a go.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Open Letter to TFL

Sent to the TFL contact page :

I really like what you are doing with the Transport For London website. Being a Londoner I personally find it very useful.

To make planning public transport use in London even more easy, I implore you to consider supplying the necessary data feeds to enable Google Transit to work in London.

Please see the specification here.

As you can see, a growing number of cities are doing this.

Many thanks for your consideration.

I should have done this ages ago

All Busses Lead To Brixton

I just noticed that Transport For London have a nice public-transport route-planner widget generator, that allows you to build a widget to place in your webpage, hard-coded with your location, to allow visitors to plan a route to you.

I just added it to my contact page.

Need I say, public transport is cheaper for you and your descendants than driving ......

Well done chaps !!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

See You In Rome ?

I am happy to say that my proposal for a talk at CocoonGT2007 in Rome, has been accepted !!

Here is the outline for the talk :


Break My Site -- Practical Stress Testing and Tuning of Cocoon Applications

It is best to know before you go live, whether your new site will stand up to the traffic you expect it to receive. There is only so much you can tell about the speed and capacity of a web project from browsing it by hand. This talk offers practical advice, garnered from real-life experience about how to measure and tune the performance of Cocoon applications, using free tools like JMeter, the Open Source load-tester from Apache.

The talk will cover, planning your tests, setting up the tools, advise on what data to capture, how to interpret it and some of the possibilities for tuning your project.

It will help you answer questions like :

How many users will it take to break my site ?
How can I handle more users, faster ?
How reliable will my site be ?
How can I measure the effect of my changes during development ?
How do I compare different implementations of the same functionality ?
How do I determine the right size for my server infrastructure ?



Many thanks to the GT team!!

The program looks very interesting as usual, here is the complete programme.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

And now the good news

My bank did the decent thing and paid me back for the money spent fraudulently on my debit card.
They also got a replacement card to me.

It was all very inconvenient plus I lost two days at work dealing with it, but it looks like it is all over.

PHEW!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Insecure Sharing

Still trying to find a work-around for sharing calendars between multiple Macs, now that I have dropped .Mac (as unreliable).

I have a WebDav Server at home, running in Ubuntu on an old Mac Cube.
It is set up to only work via SSL with a self-signed certificate.

Once I had set the certificate to be 'Always Trusted' in KeyChain.app, iCal was able to publish the calendar via https://
Great I thought, I am on my way ......

The next step, subscribing to the calendar from another machine proved to be impossible, for some reason, iCal cannot subscribe via SSL, only publish.

WTF?

This is so dumb !!!

Did Apple do this on purpose to somehow 'promote' .Mac ?

Will they fix this in Leopard, with the new support for CalDAV ?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Eastbourne Man Edits World-Famous Book

The (original) title of an article in a local Eastbourne newspaper, written by Howard and friends as a piss-take against all those in the town who never thought Dr. Howard Cunnell would amount to anything.

I spent a very pleasant evening at the Cunnell household last night.

One of the highlights being the chance to look at the new UK and US editions of "On the Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac". Currently receiving great reviews in the US literary press.

This is a new edition of the world-famous book, transcribed and edited from the original scroll, apparently far closer the original than the old edition.

Howard's first novel is on it's way, you can read most of it on his blog.

I hope this page continues to fill up !!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Books

Google added a personal book library feature.

You can add books from Google Book Search to your own library, then publish it.

I added some Philip K Dick, to mine.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Touch ?

Nice iPod Touch

I have never had an iPod, though maybe I will one day

Now if only .......

could it play music over WIFI from other computers using iTunes sharing ?
could it play music over WIFI using AirTunes to remote speakers ?

the combination would make for a very nice music system

will we be able to write to the file system?
could MobileSafari read stuff like local webarchives or use the file:// protocol or run Gears, so you could carry stuff around with you?

can you play the music while you are browsing ?

is there a microphone ?

will someone compile VLC for it ?


I hope it is cracked as quickly as the iPhone was

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ripped Off

Someone has been spending my money using my debit card and it isn't me.
Over £1000 in the last two days, in several cities in the USA.
I just found out this morning when I logged into my bank account to do my usual monthly financial chores.
Debit card is now cancelled, I will be without one now for up to 10 working days :-(
Have to go into my bank on Monday morning to try to get them to agree with me which payments were fraudulent.
Looking through my recent transactions to see if I can work out who nicked the card details .......

The good news, Apple Store in Regent St. have repaired my MacBook in less than a day. There was a crack in the case they have repaired for free. Thanks guys.