Thursday, March 24, 2005

Thursday dinner with Ron and Gill

Monday, March 21, 2005

Sunday Lunch

Originally uploaded by hchalkley.
Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff
Mushroom and Aubergine Veganoff
Saute potatoes with vegan pesto
Purple Sprouting Broccolli, Carrots
Apple Tart

Karen, Imogen, Leo, Wendy, Daniel, Rachael, Richard, Elizabeth, Matthew, Phil, Meriel

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Monkey King is a webcomic version of the classic Chinese novel

Friday, March 11, 2005

screenshot of bandwidth tester
I have just upgraded my cable speed from 300k to 2Mb/sec by following this link to NTL

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Rabbit CDs

Rabbit CDs
Originally uploaded by hchalkley.
I don't often blog about work - confidentiality is a big issue - but we have just acheived a milestone build on Project Rabbit, and this photo shows the number of trial CDs that went into M7.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Bright Coop, Inc. have patented a chicken-catching mchine. It is just so Wallace-and-Gromit. Follow the link to their website for a video of it in action.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

I stumbled across Luke Chueh's site today - with images of his paintings. They are both bizarre and cute.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005


originally uploaded by hchalkley.
They say let sleeping dogs lie - but what if they're in the way at the top of the stairs?
(Just trying out Flickr)

I have had my Mac (a 15" Powerbook) for about a month now, so I suppose it is about time I wrote up my impressions, and a summary of the apps I have installed. I should say here that this is my first Mac, and I have been a Windows user for almost as long as Windows has been out. (And I still use a PC in my [day job])
I like the overall look and feel - after this time I think my remaining niggle is that I can't resize a window by dragging any side of it, only the resizer in the bottom right corner. Oh yes - and I'm used to having a 'delete' key as well as a 'backspace' key.
I have been using Firefox and Thunderbird on the PC for a couple of months, along with Jeager (RSS reader), so these seemed like the most obvious things to install first. (I have nothing against Safari specifically, but I'm happy with Firefox)
Thunderbird however didn't last long. I tried migrating my email across from the PC, but I couldn't get it to work (despite finding some FAQs on the subject), but I was able to import the email into Apple's Mail app, so I'm now using that quite happily.
I have an Archos portable mp3/movie player, which is tied to the DivX movie format, so I have downloaded the codecs for that - they seem to work fine in Quicktime.
My next requirement was an ftp app to maintain my website. I found Cyberduck does all I need - I know you can open an ftp window in finder, but it is a bit slow. TextEdit isn't great for working on raw html, and I'm not keen on any of the unix textmode editors, so I found TextWrangler for simple text editing with html syntax colouring.
NeoOffice/J seemed like the best bet for basic word processing and spreadsheet work - it's not something I'm likely to use heavily, but it's fine for my requirements.
Up until about 3 years ago, I used to develop desktop publishing and graphics applications for Windows. It's still an application area I'm interested in, so I decided to get Apple's iWork; the Pages DTP app, and the presentations app Keynote. they look pretty good - although I have yet to give them a thorough workout.
As I have a laptop, I don't really want to be tied in to using it in just one place, so to cut the umbilical cord I now have an Airport Express. (Now playing: Tangerine Dream's Coldwater Canyon). The old printer had a centronics interface, so I decided it was time to upgrade to a new one, with usb: I settled on a Canon Pixma 4000. It's also connected via the airport.
The old scanner (hp scanjet 3300c) had usb, but didn't have any mac drivers. I was able to find the 'twain-sane' open source drivers, and that's now working fine. I do have to plug that one in though! (It was a bit disappointing that there was no useful help on either or
Other utilities that are occasionally useful: Disk Inventory X, to get a graphical view of disk space usage; Realplayer for streamed audio from the bbc; JAlbum for turning digital photos into a webpage (with a bit more panache than iPhoto); XBattery, to monitor battery levels; GoBan, to (learn and) play Go; MacJanitor as a front-end for the unix housekeeping scripts; RedPill, the 'matrix' screensaver; I have tried out MacTheRipper to rip DVDs, purely as a backup of course - I don't have a means to write the files back out to DVD. I'm trying out DiscBlaze as a cd/dvd burner: using Finder to backup to dvd takes ages.
Programs I tried and abandoned: Newsfire (RSS) - I have just got used to the look of Jaeger; and Sofa helps find cover artwork for iTunes music, but I can find it quicker on A9.
I had a go at setting up a BitTorrent client last night. Azureus was easier to set up and more user-friendly than the official client, but I found that I couldn't get it fully working though the Airport due to NAT issues, but it did (seem to) work when plugged directly into the CableModem. Shame the download rates were crap: maybe I should look for other data hosts. Also, even though I set my powersaving so the mac wouldn't go to sleep, when I left it overnight, the mac had closed itself down and restarted to the login screen. (Later: I have spotted that the security settings were logging out after an hour of "inactivity")
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