Kicking Horse Pass bridge open

09/08/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2007/08/30/kicking-horse.html?ref=rss

When I drove through to Golden, BC, a few weeks back the new bridge was mostly built but not open. This meant I got to drive underneath it on the old highway. It's really very impressive to look up and see this huge thing towering above you. The photo on the CBC's site doesn't give a sense of scale -- the bridge is extremely high and those are very substantial pillars holding it up. Once you're on the bridge it'll probably look rather less impressive which is a bit sad. While the old road through the pass is quite beautiful, I would agree that it's treacherous and needed to be replaced.

 

Happy 1st Birthday to "Ready, Aye, Ready"

09/07/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

It's a bit of a belated wish; "Ready, Aye, Ready" turned a year old some time back in August when I was out of town. Alas I didn't get around to noting it then. Sorry, kiddo.

Come to think of it, I'm not quite sure when the blog turned a year as we lost all the posts from then due to the site being destroyed by a vandal. I do recall that it was some time in August 2006 when I started after getting bored of deleting the spam from Ritchie's comment files.

A year is far longer than I've ever kept a journal or diary active before so perhaps this blogging thing may have some longevity to it. Well, let's see if I can keep going for another year doing this...

 

Apple's iPhoto Books

09/06/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Macintosh

Link: http://www.apple.com/ca/ilife/iphoto/prints.html

This probably isn't news to the true Mac'o'philes but it was for me: iPhoto, the photo manager that's part of the standard iLife suite included with every Mac, has the ability to generate books of photos. When I say books, I really do mean books and not simply thumbnail sheets or individual pages out of one's inkjet. These are hardcover, glossy and look absolutely amazing.

Full story »

 

End of an era: bye bye MUSE

09/03/07 | by Adam | Categories: Games

Link: http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2007/QBlog310807A.html

On QBlog, Richard Bartle has announced that MUSE, his company created to license MUD amongst other things, is closed. For me this is very much the end of a period. I started playing MUD (aka "Multi-User Dungeon", a text-based but extremely sophisticated multi-user fantasy game) back in the early 80's using British Telecom's "Telecom Gold", a proprietary service analagous to Compuserve. MUSE came into existence around the same time. I played MUD on and off for years using various technologies so for me MUSE and MUD represent a growing understanding of computers and data communications which heavily influenced my subsequent career.

I don't play MUD at all any more but I still have a somewhat nostalgic feeling towards it. A seminal part of my youth? Yeah, I think so. Thank you MUD, MUSE and Mr Bartle.

 

User Friendly on software license activation/verification

09/02/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright

Link: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20070901

And here's another data point of the general inanity of continuous license verification (not the comic specifically but what it refers to.) I think Illiad makes the point quite well.

 

TomTom One

09/01/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Reviews, Macintosh

Link: http://www.tomtom.com/products/product.php?ID=259&Category=0&Lid=22

Summary: stand-alone car navigation system

I picked up a refurbished TomTom One earlier this year when Future Shop had a special on them. While it's worked pretty well inside the city of Calgary, I wanted to give it a good run for its money and the recent trip around Canada was a good test.

Basically the unit works well but the map data isn't so hot.

Full story »

 

Playing music in a car without an aux-in

08/31/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music

While planning my photo trip around western Canada, high up on the priority list was what to listen to and how I was going to listen to it. I've moved on from tape and CD so try to use line-in where I can. Compared to every other method outside of playing an actual CD, this is about as good as it gets. The source material for this trip was my MacBook running off an inverter with an awful lot of MP3s. I'm trying to be responsible, so it wouldn't be sitting on the passenger seat next to me but in the back where I couldn't look at it! Fortunately the MacBook comes with the little remote allowing tracks to be changed without taking one's eyes of the road.

Having now spent the last fortnight driving around western Canada in a borrowed 2000 VW Passat, I have to say it's a very nice car. Comfortable, relatively economical, lots of oomph and doesn't look half bad either.

Full story »

 

The definition of "depressing"...

08/30/07 | by Adam | Categories: Whining

Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9880510@N02/

...is uploading your most excellent photos to Flikr, geotagging them, and then making the mistake of looking at everyone else's much better shots of the same content.

 

Game copy protection goes one better (worse?)

08/29/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright, Games

Link: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/24/draconian_bioshock_drm_eased/

I'd not heard of this one until going through the Register's RSS feed. 2K Games (they of Civ 4 fame amongst others) put some copy protection on one of their new games that went a little above and beyond the usual. These days games typically have one or more of the various types of copy protection:

  • CD cannot be copied
  • CD must be in the CD drive to play
  • Game must be activated over the internet (STEAM is a good example)
  • Game won't run without some keyword being used (manual, license key)

Full story »

 

Spamese

08/22/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly

Sometimes one receives spam that's worth repeating. This is one such.

Dear Mr.;
In fulfillment of the effective legislation referring to the protection of data and Spam:
We asked for its permission to him and authorization to send our commercial presentation to him via email, if it is of its interest we requested that simply it responds in white to this email and say us in wich product you are interested.
In opposite case we requested ours to them more sincere excuses and except for indication hers, its direction automatically will be erased in maximum 48 hours of our data bases.
To its whole disposition and enchanted to salute to him.

 

Freecom's MusicPal

08/21/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music

Link: http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_detail.asp?ID=3593&CatID=8060&sCatID=1147458&ssCatID=1147458

I've been looking for a good replacement for the el-cheapo Sony alarm clock that awakes me to the dulcet tones of Radio Adam, and this could be it.

I wonder if it'll be for sale in Canada.

(Via Engadget)

 

RSS and the Blog

08/20/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.google.ca/reader/view/

While looking through my logs for nimblebrain I noticed that I had a decent number of searches from Google (both .com and .ca domains) that had no associated search queries. Since I wasn't sure on how that worked I did some basic investigation.

One word: RSS.

Full story »

 

Bishop's "The Campus" goes online

08/19/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.campusnews.ca/

I stumbled across the online version of Bishop's University's student newspaper, "The Campus." I was actually looking to see if the faculty and staff lockout at the university had been resolved (it has) but I'll take what I can get. I still have an interest in the publication as I had a great time editing it while earning my undergraduate degree there in the 90's.

The web version is nicely done for a volunteer effort, particularly if the timelines are as short as they used to be. Sadly it looks like they gave up in September last year. Perhaps the new crew will try again.

 

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"Ready, Aye, Ready" was a slogan used by Canadian politicians to indicate Canada's willingness to assist the British Empire in any conflict. It remains in use as a motto for some of the Canadian military. It has almost nothing to do with the content of this blog.

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