Archive for June, 2003

Battery Park

Good evening. I am back from New York.

I got there around 1.30pm on Saturday and made my way downtown. I’d arranged to meet people to go see 28 Days Later at 6.30pm, so I had quite a lot of time… but, while there are plenty of interesting things to do in NYC in five hours, (a) I have an urbanite’s disdain for doing anything “touristy” in a city, so would have to have done a bit of research beforehand, and (b) I was tired and very stressed. So I took the subway down to Battery Park on the southernmost tip of Manhattan and, basically, had lunch, wandered around, sat under a tree, read a book.

Closer to the time I took a walk up Broadway and accidentally came across Ground Zero. “I wonder what that huge building site is doing there, and why all those people are walking around the fence?” I thought stupidly, and went over to take a look. “Oh yeahhh… I remember now….”

Film, drinks afterwards, all good though I think I could have done with a bit more sleep. I’ve been wiped all day, and haven’t even done my laundry.

The lights still don’t work in my apartment.

Sorry if this has not been very interesting.

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Instant Messaging

Go here for full contact details

Waffle

Latest waffle

03-Jun-2003

Trying out the Java ICQ client, ICQ2Go, and it works through the firewall! You might have to change to “HTTP request” to get things going. So I am logged onto ICQ at this very instant.

Past waffle

02-Jun-2003

Right now, on the iBook, my IM client is Fire. The Jabber server I was using decided it was going to close down, and I really couldn’t be arsed going through the whole process over again.

I’ve been using IRC a bit more, but haven’t stabilised on a client.

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I’ve recently started using Jabber and I wish I’d explored it a bit more before. You can use it to connect to all the networks at once, in a different way to Trillian (you don’t connect to the networks, you connect to a jabber server and it connects for you) though, as usual, AIM seems be causing problems.

Right at this instant I’m using a client called Psi, which doesn’t behave like most OS X apps being compatible through QT rather than native, but it seems to be the best one out there. It’s available for pretty much any OS, Windows, Linux, whatever.

I do advise you to check it out. If you’re not techy you might find it confusing, but you can drop me a line and I’ll give you a hand if you like.

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I used to IM quite a bit but then… I don’t know, the appeal kind of wore off. I still do sometimes, though.

At home, I’m likely to be on multiple networks, since I’m currently using Trillian. I don’t like MSN Messenger, because I don’t like the way Microsoft are trying to make it compulsory to have it under XP. I don’t like AIM because AOL are generally crap, though they have at least gone with Netscape as their browser so that’s something. Yahoo are okay.

ICQ is owned by AOL but has a nice shiny new client (ICQ Lite) that you can send text messages from, which I recommend if you don’t want to use Trillian. I like to have the individual clients hanging around anyway, just in case something goes horribly wrong.

Clients

Trillian

Get TrillianIt’s the best IM solution for Windows machines. Don’t bother getting all the individual programs, just get Trillian instead – it looks nicer, it’s smaller, and you can use every network at once, as well as IRC. And it’s free, or, rather, there is a free version that has pretty much all the functionality you could want and no ads.

I actually have the paid version of Trillian. I donated some money to them before there was a paid version, and when they announced it they sent me a code. I donated less money than the actual cost of the software ($25) but they sent me it anyway. See? Being nice does pay off, once every milennium.

More clients

These are ones that aren’t the products of the major networks.

  • Fire (OS X) – open-source multi-network client, looks good, works
  • Proteus (OS X) – shareware multi-network client
  • Psi (all platforms) – Jabber client (so intrinsically multi-network) looking a bit like ICQ
  • Gaim (nix & Windows) – A multiple-network IM client for Linux with more features than EveryBuddy, a better name and the advantage that it works. Windows version available now.
  • EveryBuddy (nix) – a Trillian-esque Linux client that does multiple networks. Unfortunately, it has a terrible name, and it stopped working on my machine.
  • LICQ (*nix) – runs ICQ, looks nicer than EveryBuddy and you know, that does matter.

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What things look like

This is a subheading

This is a sub-subheading

and this is a sub-sub-subheading, hopefully I will never have to go lower than that

This is an unvisited link. This is an link to somewhere you have visited, assuming you’ve been to the home page, which you should have.
This is a quote. It’s used when I’m quoting from some other source.
This, on the other hand, is a code box. It looks similar, but is used when I’m listing out some code.
This is an acronym, an underused but great tag that’s a sort of sub-hyperlink. Hopefully, you should be able to hover the mouse over the text to get an explanation for it.

Bold text looks like this and italics look like this. Strong text looks like this and emphasised text looks like this. I prefer <strong> and <em> because they’re more semantic and I love my semantic tags, but often I am lazy and don’t use them.

  • this is an
  • an unordered
  • list
  1. and this is
  2. an ordered one

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Penguin – fuck you up, yo

penguin with a bat

It looks better with all the original colours but I had to cut the file size down somehow to put on the blog. Might upload the original at some point.

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Why the hell do I use Livejournal?

Why is it that I use Livejournal for this site? It’s got a rather bad reputation as the blogging tool of choice for 14-year-old girls who like to complain about their boyfriends and how their parents are assholes and how they’ve been cutting recently. And who write in txt spk and don’t know what full stops are. You’d think I’d be using something more sophisticated, right?

Livejournal is also notoriously unreliable, ask any LJ user. “LJ is teh suck” is a constant complaint. The database is always going down (if the blog column doesn’t turn up on the main page, that’s the reason).

Well. Actually, I do use Movable Type for my site (this is an MT entry) just to prove that I am capable of setting up my own system.

Another good reason is that, in a drunken spending spree, I paid out $100 for a lifetime’s membership. LJ has a strange pricing system. Most users are free, but not just anyone can join – they changed it so that you have to get a code from an existing user to start a journal. This was criticised when it was introduced but it’s actually a fairly good thing in practice; it’s slowed things down to “friend of a friend” enrolment for “I just want to type some stuff” users. Free users can’t modify the appearance of their LJ much. You can also pay $25 a year and be a Paid User, and modify pretty much what you want. Permanent accounts are only offered for sale occasionally, and in limited numbers.

There are a number of very good clients for LJ which make updating pretty easy. They’re superior to the Blogger clients out there in my opinion.

LJ and Blogger (and MT) work in very different ways. Blogger is basically a website that allows you to FTP things to another site. You make entries which are stored on their server; you then “publish” them to a different site when you’re ready. This means that if you have a lot of entries your files can get very, very large. I dread to think how much space mine would take up. Movable Type sits on your own server and stores entries not only in its database but also publishes them in HTML form, so uses even more space. (The reliability advantage of MT of course is that you only have to rely on one server being up to edit and view entries. Blogger, their server has to be working to add new things, and yours has to be up for people to read the blog.)

LJ is dynamic. It stores all entries on its own database, you make a request if you want to view a page, and it generates and sends back the HTML to your computer. This puts a massive load on their system but it means, if I change a detail of the appearance, which I do often, it’s instantly reflected in every page. I don’t have to rebuild everything which is a tiresome, tiresome process, even with a relatively small number of entries.

There’s the LJ comments system. This is excellent. Leave a comment on an entry and I will be emailed it. It’s threaded, and can be used for discussion groups – there are a number of communities on LJ where people go to debate, discuss and have massive stupid dramas.

Finally, LJ has a friends system which allows me to (if I want) filter my entries so that only certain people can see them. I don’t use this very often but it’s useful if for some reason I need to vent, but I can’t let just anyone see. If you view the journal from my home page, you won’t see these entries. As well as that, the friends page lets me look at all my friends’ journal entries, plus the communities I’m a member of, plus – and this is fairly new and extremely cool – RSS feeds from news sources and even non-LJ blogs.

The major disadvantage of LJ is the reliability. It really is teh suck. It used to be appalling, got better, and has recently got worse again. That’s the thing that might make me change to using MT for all of my entries. I’d still keep the LJ account for friends viewing and communities. Right now, though, I’m happy enough to keep using LJ.

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Are you depressed, sick, barren, confused, and under constant Satanic attacks?

photo of poster from nutcase christians

From when I used to live in Seven Sisters. These sort of churches were everywhere. There were constant flyers for exorcisms performed by imaginary nuns.

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Evangelion: Pen Pen pictures

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F2B Meet in D.C.

A few photos of various drunken (and one not drunken) reprobates.

Click here to see them.

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