TUAW reports:
The Sims 2 1.0 rev b has been released, and includes the following changes:

<ul><li>Fixed problems using the in-game content browser to connect to Sims2.com.</li><li>Improved stability related to sound.</li><li>Added support for Japanese character input .</li><li>Package installer now localized in Japanese and Italian. </li></ul>Unfortunately, it looks like the "it is very boring" issue is yet to be addressed.
Their last comment is so true! Number of times I’ve played The Sims 2 since I last blogged about it? Zero. Total number of times I’ve played it since I bought it? One. I wrote to Aspyr Support, saying how disappointed I was with the performance of The Sims 2 on my G4 Powerbook, and asking if I could swap it for a copy of The Sims 1. Their answer: it works fine, and no, you can’t swap it. If I ever buy another game again, it will be for a Playstation or an XBox (which I will have to purchase at the same time because I don’t own one at the moment).

According to the Universal Currency Converter, the Sterling to Dollar exchange rate at the moment is 1 GBP = 1.74676 USD. iTunes UK sells singles for £0.79, the US store sells them for $0.99. This means that singles bought from the UK store cost $1.38, making them 39% more expensive. Music videos from the UK store sell for a massive £1.89 ($3.30), compared to $1.99 which Apple charge for videos on the US store. i.e. UK customers are charged 66% more for videos. If the rates were the same (according to UCC) the cost in the UK for singles and videos would be £0.57 and £1.14 respectively.

Here’s a Geektool command to show the “network distance” to a particular machine on your desktop all the time. I have the distance to my home server in the top left corner of my screen all the time. Go to the Geektool preference pane and add a new entry. Mine is called “ping home” Set the entry type to “Shell” Paste the following into the Command textbox:
PING=`ping -q -c 1 $HOST`
if [[ $? -eq 0 ]] ; then
    TIME=`echo $PING |tail -1 | cut -d/ -f 5`
    echo -n ${TIME}ms away from $HOST
    exit 0
    echo -n $HOST could not be reached
    exit 2
Change the value of HOST on the first line to the hostname of the server you want to ping. (Hint for writing your own scripts: use Option-Return to insert a newline). Switch to the “Colors and font” tab and choose something nice. I use Gill Sans, in white because my desktop backgrounds are usually dark. No frame, no shadow on the window. Switch to the “Text” tab, turn on drop shadow, select left alignment of text. On the “Icon” tab, check “Show icon”, use the default success and failure icons, and pick the left, centered icon alignment. Drag the window on your desktop to the top left and you’re done. If the network is working, you’ll get something like this: Picture 1-1 If not, you’ll get this: Picture 2-1 Update: JAW Software is hosting a more Tiger-friendly version of Geektool. The changes will hopefully make it to the official version soon.

From the BBC comes a report about various false callouts that the RSPCA have attended over the last year. My favourite was this one:
A woman rang to say the ‘beast of Bodmin’ had been asleep on her doorstep for 24 hours. It was actually a new telephone directory wrapped in black plastic.
This one was also quite amusing:
A member of the public reported a dead horse in a flooded field, which was actually a large plank of wood.

Last month I imported all of my old BMW E32 Articles to this site, but I was contacted by a reader pointing out that many of them had broken image links in them. This was due to the way I put the site together on my server before uploading it all to my web host. All of the images ended up with URLs pointing to the temporary host I set up on my server while I was configuring it. I’ve fixed them all now, as far as I can see. I’ve also set up an index page which lists all of the repair articles I wrote for my E32.