Last week I had a sudden revelation, and replaced the 60W incandescent bulb in my desk light with an 11W low energy bulb. Like most people these days, I have these bulbs fitted in many of the lights in the house. For some reason I never thought to put one in my desk light. It used to be too hot to touch within 5 minutes of switching it on, now it runs cool and remains easy to move around. Yes, I know I sound like a bit of a dork putting that in my blog. :) P.S. My desk light is an old original Luxo L-1, with a clamp rather than a base. My father-in-law gave it me when he rescued it from the office where he worked.

Chemistry professor claims his discovery will spell the end for soap powder on wash day

Richard Pashley, a professor of physical chemistry at the Australian National University in Canberra, has discovered that when tiny air "particles" are removed from water - a process known as "de-gassing" - the water lifts oily stains from the surface of clothes, allowing soap-free cleaning. Prof Pashley said that the technique was so effective that even the greasiest stains could be removed. "You can use de-gassed water to clean whatever you have dirtied. We even experimented with Vaseline. We cleaned it off completely. This is a new area of science - the mixing of oil and water. It could be a cleaning revolution."
Read the full article on The Telegraph

The only piece of DOS or Windows shareware that I ever registered was a message editor for FidoNet called GoldEd. Through many years of Linux usage, I was sort of proud of the fact that I didn’t need to buy any software for it, because everything I needed was available as Open Source. In a previous job I did buy an excellent piece of Linux backup software called Arkeia. Since switching to Mac, I have bought the following software:



Notebook (Circus Ponies)

I hardly ever use it to be honest.

OmniGraffle Pro (The Omni Group)

Very useful for doing nice network diagrams for work. I also used it to make a plan of my bathroom at home.

Ecto (Kula Co, Ltd.)

Using it right now. :-) It’s a nice way to keep my blog posts organised, but I hate the way it messes up all of my carefully hand crafted HTML if I switch to Rich Text mode.

Pulp Fiction (Freshly Squeezed Software)

It starts up when I log in and runs all day. Without it I’d spend a lot more time clicking around the web.

Letter Star (Objectpark Software)

I hardly ever use it, but when I do it does its job with no fuss

Aqua Data Studio (Aquafold Inc.)

Java version of MS SQL Server Manager. I use it quite often at work.


Runs on bootup, I don’t use its “special features” all that much, but I appreciate the fact that I can customise the time format in the menu bar. I have (at the moment) “Fri 4 Feb 12:26”

Side Track (Raging Menace)

Superb piece of work! I can’t live without the side scroll-wheel emulation.

Salling Clicker (Salling Software AB.)

I used to use it loads, now not so much. Now I’ve got iWork I might use it more so I can control Keynote from my phone.

Audio Hijack Pro (Rogue Amoeba)

Comes in handy every so often. Nice for archiving material from the BBC Radio player.

Konfabulator (Pixoria Inc.)

It was a cool gadget for a week or so. Then I just got bored with it. These days I never use it.

xScope (The Iconfactory)

It works great when I don’t have an external monitor plugged into my PowerBook. When I do, xScope crashes when the Loupe tool moves across to the other screen. I’ve reported the bug twice over the last year, and even had an email confirmation of the bug, but they still haven’t fixed it.

Commercial Applications

iLife ‘04 (Apple) and iLife ‘05 (Apple)

I use iPhoto quite a lot. I ordered my first Photo “Book” the other day. I bought a DV Camcorder just after Christmas so I’ll be making a lot more use of iMovie and iDVD soon.

iWork ‘05 (Apple)

I’ve only just got this, but it looks really good. I’m working on a presentation in Keynote, and I’ve written a few letters in Pages.

Quicktime Pro (Apple)

Well worth it and only a few quid.

Photoshop Elements 2.0 (Adobe) (came bundled with a Wacom Graphire 3 graphics tablet)

I don’t use the tablet as much as I thought I would.

Photoshop Elements 3.0 (Adobe)

I wish I could afford the full version of PhotoShop. Every tutorial ever written seems to assume you’re not using Elements. The main thing I wish Elements had was guides. I don’t know what this proves. Mac users buy more software? Mac users don’t mind paying for good software? At some point I should dig out the receipts and add up what I’ve spent so far…

This lunchtime I went to the pub with a colleague. This was stenciled on the outside wall of the pub: Lethal Peach Update: Aha! It probably has something to do with this band

I once bought a computer game called Alone in the Dark. In fact, spinning around on my office chair I can see that the box is still sat there on my shelf. It turns out that they’ve made a feature film out of it. It’s getting amazing reviews, here are some samples:
The three stars have seen better days, but I’d like to think they could still do something classier and more dignified than this. Like gay porn. – Rob Vaux, FLIPSIDE MOVIE EMPORIUM
It’s only January, but I can’t imagine any upcoming film replacing ‘Alone in the Dark’ as my leading candidate for Worst Movie of 2005. – Betty Jo Tucker, REELTALK MOVIE REVIEWS
Saying Uwe Boll’s Alone in the Dark is better than his 2003 American debut House of the Dead is akin to praising syphilis for not being HIV. – Nicholas Schager, SLANT MAGAZINE
…asking the viewer to accept Tara Reid as a scientist is pure insanity, requiring a staggering leap of faith that I can’t even begin to contemplate. – David Nusair, REEL FILM REVIEWS
Alone in the Dark co-stars perpetual party-girl Tara Reid as an archeologist. That alone should give you some clue as to how bad this movie is. – Bob Townsend, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
As video game adaptations go, even Pong: The Movie would have a lot more personality. – Michael Rechtshaffen, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
via Defective Yeti