Saturday, July 11, 2009

I've upgraded to dasBlog 1.9; the site appears to be working, aside from the fact that I can't log in. This is also functioning as a test post to see whether Word 2007 is able to post to it. Edit: Seems to have worked. :-)

posted on Saturday, July 11, 2009 8:57:14 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Monday, May 25, 2009

Instead of revising for finals, this evening I completed a little add-in to add a Clone Army to your Publisher documents. Currently probably of beta quality - not stable for creating more than a hundred or so items (I think due to limitations of the CustomUndoAction in Publisher), and the UI is slightly ugly. Still, if you need an array/clone army/measured repeat feature for Publisher, this is better than a kick in the teeth.

posted on Monday, May 25, 2009 5:53:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm making a rare post to the blog to warn anyone considering buying the BlueNEXT BN-WD54G Wireless USB Adapter to not even think about it. It proudly declares itself to be "Mac Compatible", but on closer inspection it provides only marginally better wi-fi connectivity on a Mac than a toaster.

I should have known that it was true good to be true - a USB wi-fi adapter for a Mac for under a tenner? The Mac compatibility is in fact probably the least possible that the manufacturers could provide without being taken to court for false advertising. Their website declares (in broken English) that technical support cannot help Mac or Linux users. Whilst most third-party wi-fi cards for Macs will integrate with the AirPort feature, typically being reported by the interface as third-party wi-fi cards, although in some cases being reported as a genuine Apple AirPort card (thanks to clever people using the same chipsets).

No such joy for users of this pile of faeces. OS X doesn't even recognise it as a wireless card - it shows up just as a standard network card. Management of the device is done through a proprietary piece of software, which looks just like the worst wireless interfaces you tend to see on Windows, except with no option to switch to WZC. It has the ugliest-ass icon you can imagine, which will sit in your Dock the entire time. It doesn't remember your network preferences unless you manually create a profile. It can't be plugged into a non-powered hub because it doesn't get enough power (OS X is kind enough to tell you), but it's so large that it blocks out all the surrounding ports on your machine, so you have to find a USB extension cable. On my iMac, it actually caused the machine to fail to boot the first time I tried to boot with it plugged in.

But this pales in comparison to the performance issues the thing experiences. Cisco VPN Client (another piece of work in itself, but I don't think the culprit in this case) refuses to connect over it, claiming that there is no IP address. And today, it has point-blank refused to connect to an ad-hoc network. It claims to be connected, but it never gets an IP address.

All in all, this product is all but useless. I'd send it back, but I doubt I'd get a refund. I strongly advocate against its purchase - spend the extra couple of pounds and get a named brand. You'll save money in the long run.

<Rant mode off />

posted on Thursday, November 06, 2008 11:11:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [2]
 Sunday, October 26, 2008

THIS is a cinema display!

(Don't take this post as a commitment to blogging resuming - I just found the idea amusing. Images from here and here.)

posted on Sunday, October 26, 2008 7:53:46 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Thursday, September 27, 2007

For anyone still following this, I'm pleased to announce the release of PubCat, a tool for combining Publisher files, and one long-requested in the groups. It can be found on the swanky new Tools page.

I might start blogging again soon. Time will tell.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007 9:32:31 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1]
 Saturday, December 23, 2006

Well, it seems I never let you (whomever you may be) know how Attempt 3 went. Following the instructions on the tin (80g of egg replacer - which is a massive amount - and an amount of water that now escapes me), with 8oz of flour, margarine, and sugar + flavourings gave me something bearing a remarkable resemblance to cake! Problems: Lack of flavour (I failed to account for the amount of cocoa required to flavour an extra 80g of egg replacer), lack of height (I might try adding a little baking powder next time), and tasting a little too strongly of egg replacer (maybe more cocoa will solve that). I'm not sure when I'll try the next one.

As my warranty for my laptop expires on the 28th of this month, I decided that sending the machine off for one final warranty repair would be a good idea. The faults I highlighted to Novatech were the intermittent display corruption, USB port instability and the dodgy audio. UPS were a pain (collecting a day later than when they were scheduled to), and Novatech claimed delivery far later than they should technically have received it (not sure who to blame there), but I can't really complain as when I finally received the machine back yesterday (exactly two weeks after it left me, almost to the hour), not only had it had the motherboard and VGA cable replaced (as had been claimed on the phone to me and the repair sheet with it), but it had also had seemingly every other component bar the hard drive replaced. Perhaps a kindly Novatech tech decided to give me an early Christmas present. To whomever was responsible, thank you and a Merry Christmas (or other appropriate holiday greeting) to you too.

I should really have done some (academic) work this vacation, but have so far failed (mainly citing my lack of laptop as the reason, although procrastination was probably another contributing factor). For the first time in a while, I do have set vacation work, as well as trying to catch up with Quantum and revising for collections.

(I think there's a mouse in my keyboard - it's just started squeaking at me!)

Below is possibly the worst cartoon you'll ever see. Richard said it was good (he may have been humouring me), so I decided to inflict it on all 0 of you reading this. Have fun!

And before I forget, to try and give it a kickstart into the Google rankings, here is the website for the Oxford Students' Ice Skating Club - OxIce.

Have a great Christmas (or if you don't want to, don't).

posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:54:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Friday, November 17, 2006

Well, it seems this is turning into a cookery blog! It turned out that the second half of the Accidental Brownies was so burned that it was not worth eating.

Attempt 2 (using more baking powder, a little bit of Xanthan Gum, more oil, less water, and some Stork - as shortening is impossible to get hold of round these parts) was made Wednesday, and was slightly more successful. The cake rose massively at the edges, overspilling the tins, but failed to rise in the middle. It also turned out to be rather greasy (oil needs to be replaced with water, I'd guess). It has less of a tendency to fall apart than did the last attempt, and now it's iced it doesn't taste half-bad. Although it's not the sponge I was going for. I've ordered some Allergycare Egg Replacer from www.goodnessdirect.co.uk; I'll make another stab at the sponge once that arrives.

posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 7:18:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Saturday, November 11, 2006

Well, today I tried to expand my range of allergy-compatible cakes by baking an egg-free cake. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to properly account for the lack of egg, and the cake didn't rise. Well, it rose for about 5 minutes in the oven before it exploded and collapsed back into the base of the tin. As I was scraping the remains out of the tin and wondering whether to throw the other half of the mixture (my college oven can handle only one half of a cake at a time), I tried a crumbling, flaking bit of the residue (which was unable to hold itself together, at all). It was gorgeous! I had, as many before me also had, discovered Accidental Brownies. I'm now going to get very fat, as I've already eaten one entire half; the other is waiting downstairs (although that is a little overcooked, so I'll have to leave it to soften before eating it).

posted on Saturday, November 11, 2006 10:01:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]