Monthly Archives: August 2006

Advertising on a laptop lid

Sacha Chua (a fellow IBMer who I really need to add to my blogroll) has come up with the interesting idea of selling advertising space on the back of her laptop – trading on her personal noticeability as a geek girl, and the cool factor of the laptop itself.

I guess this follows on from ideas like the Million Dollar Homepage as a way to make money, although I’m not entirely sure how much Sacha can hope to make from it. I reckon she is going to be a great way of promoting a product or idea – I’ve never met her in person, but her internal IBM blog is legendary for her sheer enthusiasm, so I’m sure that will bubble over into public.

If you are interested in reaching an audience with Sacha at Toronto BarCamp, go here for more details.

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Yahoo Messenger login problems

All of a sudden, Gaim doesn’t want to let me logon to Yahoo IM. The Yahoo Web Messenger doesn’t work, either (either it, or the Java plugin, causes Firefox to crash; and if I run it in IE, it doesn’t connect). Anyone know why?

I’m waiting for the Yahoo IM interoperability for Sametime 7.5 to be released…

How to take a (longer) long weekend

This coming Monday is the Late Summer Bank Holiday in the UK. As a qualified historian, I can tell you that Bank Holidays were established in 1871, around the concept that bank workers should be able to attend cricket matches. The current list of 8 official Bank Holidays was laid down by Act of Parliament in 1971. Essentially, it’s a public holiday. We all get the day off work.

Not satisfied with a single extra day off? No problem. If you’re a driver with South West Trains (the train company I have to use in order to get into London from home) and a member of the ASLEF union, you simply plan your strike action so that you get the Tuesday off, as well. Not satisifed with only one long weekend? No problem. If you’re a driver with SWT and in ASLEF, you book yourself another set of strike days for Friday 8th and Monday 11th September, ensuring another nice 4 days off.

Now, I’m not on any side here… as a passenger, I’m just furious, and it’s hard to see how the timing of the strike action isn’t just a cynical way of extending the public holiday. All week, there have been announcements on the trains that the contingency plans for the days affected would be announced at stations today. Well, it turns out that the contingency plan is to tell customers not to travel. Brilliant. Sadly, I don’t think my customer in London will be particularly thrilled…

Windows XP hibernation fix

If you are running a Windows XP machine with more than 1Gb of RAM, and are having trouble getting your machine to hibernate, take a look at this just-released fix from Microsoft. Useful for Thinkpads that have trouble with hibernation!

Windows Live Writer mini-review

Not-at-all-coincidentally following on from my w.bloggar lament, I’ve been testing Windows Live Writer (which I mentioned last week, but never got around to installing).

Some observations:

  • Lovely user interface. I can’t really fault it.
  • The ability to just point it at a blog URL and have it work out what type of blog it is dealing with is very nice.
  • It fulfils my major criteria for a blogging client, allowing me to edit the HTML of my post if necessary – although it doesn’t perform syntax highlighting, or have any obvious way of setting up custom tags. Also, it forces the use of paragraph tags / style even if I don’t want them.
  • It doesn’t know about Roller, so for my internal IBM weblog I had to set it up with the Metaweblog API. It doesn’t seem to retrieve the tags / categories for a Roller weblog. It also isn’t able to download my blog’s style settings. 
  • It would be nice to have it provide support for uploading pictures to Flickr.
  • There’s support for sending trackbacks automatically. I haven’t tried this yet, but it is a welcome addition.

All-in-all, remarkably nice for a beta.