Archive for January, 2007

gaim broke gimp

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Since installing the latest update for my instant messaging client, Gaim (2.0.0 beta6), my photo editor, GIMP stopped working. More specifically, it wouldn’t start – reporting missing DLL’s like libexpat.dll.

They both use GTK for their interface. A quick Google shows that the gaim update comes with a newer version of GTK which breaks gimp.

I’ve upgraded to a newer version of GTK which seems to have fixed things – all is right with the world again. 🙂

Nintendo could produce accurate game charts

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Spent too much time today playing on my Nintendo Wii. And when I say I spent too much time, it’s official – I have proof.

When you play any game, a message is added to the Wii Message Board for today with the time you spent playing. The message is an itemised list of time spent on each game today, and is entitled “Today’s Accomplishments” (an interesting choice of title – perhaps Nintendo thought that “This is what you’ve been doing when you could have been accomplishing stuff” was a little negative. 😉 )


Sending long web addresses in emails

Friday, January 26th, 2007

From Macworld (snipped for length):

If you send URLs using your e-mail program, you may have an issue where the receiving client breaks really long URLs. For instance, if you were trying to send a URL for a site like this one: ref=amb_link_4263902_/002-5510588-1062447

You might find that your recipients are unable to click on the link in their e-mail program. That’s because many e-mail programs will do what I did above – break really long “words” (for that’s all a URL is to them) into multiple rows. Typically when this happens, only part of the URL will show up as a clickable link. When this happens, your recipients will get a “page not found” message when they try to load the URL – because the browser will only receive that portion of the URL that showed as clickable.


Building in Second Life is kinda fun

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I’ve dipped my toe into Second Life from time to time, although I’ve mainly been an observer of the whole thing – the increasing media coverage it has been receiving, and some of the interesting things that companies like IBM have been doing in this space.

After spending most of today “in-world”, I’m starting to get into the whole thing a little more. I’ve always liked the idea of Second Life and been excited by the potential, but my experiences with it before today could be pretty much summed up as “wandering around aimlessly looking for something to do”. When you actually have something to do, it all starts getting much more interesting.

I got to spend today in Second Life for work (a nice change from WMQ!), as a few of us spent the day developing a recruitment centre for IBM in Second Life.


Sony can work together

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Finally got round to seeing the ‘new’ (Sony Pictures) Bond film, Casino Royale, last night. It was pretty good, although I couldn’t help thinking that when it gets released on DVD, it’ll make a great drinking game. Drink every time a Sony product makes it’s way into a scene, and you’ll have a fun evening.

Not just in the most obvious ways, either: like every character in the film having a Sony Ericsson phone, or all computers being Vaio laptops, or pictures taken with Sony digital cameras. Even opportunities you think they might have missed were used for a bit of Sony product placement – like security guards recording CCTV footage onto Sony-branded blank CD media.

I guess we should be impressed – nice to see that the different bits of Sony can work together!

Finding out what young people want

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

I’ve been having a look through some results of the Hampshire LPSA survey conducted at the end of last year. LPSA stands for ‘Local Public Service Agreement‘, and are voluntary agreements negotiated between a local authority – in this case, Hampshire County Council, and the Government. The idea is to improve local public services by focusing on targeted outcomes from Government.

In order to measure progress on the targets in these agreements, Hampshire County Council gets MORI to conduct surveys and research. A lot of this is public information, available on the web, which makes it very useful to charities like us, who can’t afford to carry out such large scale research.

It means that not only do we get the raw statistics, but also the benefit of statistical analysis included with the published figures. Reports often also include comparisons with surveys conducted by MORI for other authorities in recent years, “intended to act as a context in which to place findings for Hampshire and to aid in the interpretation of results”. This makes them a valuable resource when developing and evaluating the projects we provide for our local community.


Making the interface that works best for you

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I’ve mentioned several times before how easy Visual Studio makes it to knock up mobile applications. This is one of my favourite aspects of Windows Mobile. Why put up with an interface that doesn’t work for you? If you’ve got a spare hour, make a customized interface that gets your phone to work in way that suits you better. You can create a new interface (a ‘form’) without knowing any code – just drag-and-drop to put buttons, pictures and text where you want them. Then fill in the empty methods to get the buttons to do stuff – most of the core applications expose an API that let you drive them from your own forms.

In this post, I’ll go through an example – what I didn’t like about the WM interface, why it didn’t work well for me, and how I hacked together a new interface this evening.


Wii is region-locked

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

My copy of Elebits for the Wii arrived today. I’ve been looking forward to it arriving for ages, as it looks amazing. But, it doesn’t work.

I ordered it from MovieTyme, and what I didn’t realise is that Wii’s are region-locked and cannot play imported games. 🙁