Because I forget stuff. Part of

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May 2006

Posts made in May 2006

Cup Of Tea

Just every now and then you come across something that makes it worth keeping an eye on Digg’s front page. So, via there, and a fine use for YouTube watch a cup of tea poured during a barrel roll. The rest of the stuff that the pilot (the legendary Bob Hoover) pulls off is frankly amazing too but the thing that did it for me is his quote near the end Now the difficult part to think about is trying to pour backhanded. Yeah, the rest is easy…

This Entry Is A Bit Like A Car

In an instant message conversation with Ed last night I said something along the lines of “car analogies should be banned”. He agreed. Except I think I’ve just decided they’re occasionally useful. You see the one thing with cars is they’re the one piece of relatively complicated tech that the majority of the populace can operate, and has been familiar with for some time. The appropriate word here being complicated.

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The Things I Don’t Say

There are posts hidden away in draft which will probably never see the light of day. Never be known to anyone but me. Not because the writing is any worse than other things I’ve published. Not because they’re half finished. This blog talks of me but it hides the shades within which I don’t dare scratch the surface of. For I am scared that the surface is all that holds me together, like a thin layer of paint speaking of the ghost of a collapsed inner shell.

The things hidden are true thoughts, raw feelings. Some—they know who they are—have seen some of that written raw across me. Those that tried to find some way to erase are thanked. Others are simply begged. Even this, now, is a mirror to deflect away from truely seeing.

Some things can’t be said.


Most people living on the net have probably noticed Google Trends by now. I hadn’t really played with it until Football 365 mentioned which countries had been searching for Theo Walcott. A graph showing the volume of searches on Google for the term Theo Walcott, as a function of time. A sudden large spike is apparent in the recent past, corresponding to his naming in the England 2006 world cup squadThe trend certainly shows a sudden spike, as everyone went who?. Following that line it’s actually quite interesting to note how close the terms soccer and footballA graph showing the volume of searches on Google for the term Football compared to that for the term Soccer, as a function of time. The two are quite close (with football slightly higher). Football exhibits two broad peaks related to the american game are too each other (the peaks for football seem to be related to the silly american game which has little to do with the foot).

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Posted From Linux

A little while ago I got bored one day and so decided to install Kubuntu on the laptop (dual booting with Windows). That whole install process was remarkably smooth, apart from the problems it left (and here’s the “linux is far from ready for the average user’s desktop part). Laptop installs of linux are, from what I gather, notoriously tricky. Given that, I don’t think this is too bad. The touchpad works, I can see things on the screen, I’m savvy enough to get hold of all the non-included bits to play mp3s. Hell, I’m even savvy enough to have the Windows partition mounted (read-only) so I can see my mp3s (and I was long sighted enough to create a FAT32 partition to share stuff between Windows and Kubuntu too). I was left with only two real problems.

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It’s All Gone Black And White

A screenshot showing this blog with a black and white colour schemeIf you’re reading today you’ll notice there’s a little less colour than normal—the blog’s gone black and white. Well, the whole of Newcastle is turning black and white in tribute to Shearer, the greatest number 9, so I thought I’d join in. The screenshot shows what I’m talking about, if you’re not reading today.

Thanks to the magic of CSS it was a pretty simple trick to pull (it hasn’t been extensively checked because it’s only for one day, but it wouldn’t take too long to make sure it was all fine, and apply it to the rest of the site).

Off The Rails

I seem to be turning into something of a website complaints blog (after the rant about Lloyds-TSB and a quick mention of PowerGen’s). This time it is The Trainline which comes into the firing line.

Screenshot of the offending login screen, showing the login link lost within the noise

For those that don’t know this is the site which allows you to purchase tickets for the British rail network online (I could go on about the insane rail pricing system but that would take at least a post of its own). All in all it’s not that bad a user experience (though it always irks me that it takes an intermediate page to get to the actual prices I understand that this is so you can indicate railcards, number of passengers etc). What gets me is the fact that it’s necessary to login to get to that prices page—surely I shouldn’t need to be logging in until I decide to buy something; most of the time I’m just checking prices. Actually what really annoys me though is the login page itself. It’s full of big bold writing, for things like forgotten passwords and terms and conditions and the form fields. Hidden in amongst all the noise is the little thing that 99% of the time you actually want to click on (the form fields get filled in by my browser, so I really am mouse driven at this point). Why oh why is the actual login link the smallest, least noticeable thing on that page? It takes me a moment to find it every bloody time (hmm, Greasemonkey scripty goodness may be in order…)

Edit: Added the screen capture I forgot to put in when writing the post!

Greasemonkey! A greasemonkey script to automagically zoom past the offending login page. See the script for instructions.


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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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