Daily Archives: October 11, 2006

Resizable luggage

Ola is travelling to Poland for the weekend. It is the first time that either of us have had cause to fly since the security alert in the summer.

I checked the Wizz Air website for the latest information about luggage restrictions. She was hoping not to check any baggage.

From UK airports, the following restrictions apparently apply:

ONE piece of cabin baggage through airport security search point which must not exceed a maximum length of 56 cm, width of 45 cm and depth of 25 cm (including wheels, handles, side pockets, etc.).

From Polish airports, the restrictions are different:

ONE piece of cabin baggage through airport security search point which must not exceed a maximum length of 45 cm, width of 35 cm and depth of 16 cm (17.7″ x 13.7″ x 6.2″ approx).

Hmm. So she has to get a smaller bag to bring back? Pretty odd.

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Greater IBM, and a bloc party

IBM recently launched a social networking initiative aimed at connecting up existing IBMers, and former IBM employees (“IBM alumni”). The initiative is called Greater IBM. There’s a blog if you are interested in learning more. Currently the network is organised around a group on the OpenBC network… OpenBC itself is changing to become Xing in the near future.

Tomorrow, there’s going to be a Greater IBM “bloc party” in Second Life. We recently held a very successful 3D Jam in SL internally, and we also held a press conference last month discussing some of the cool stuff that we’ve been involved with in SL. If you follow the eightbar blog, you might be aware of some of what we’ve been up to already.

Oh, here’s my OpenBC profile, in case you want to hook up. If you’re already connected to the Greater IBM group, I hope you can make it to the virtual bloc party tomorrow, and I look forward to meeting you!

Update: 3pointD have also got some information on the bloc party

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Google integrates its webapps

In case you missed it: Google has brought Writely into the fold by integrating it with Google Spreadsheets (here’s my earlier mini-review of Spreadsheets). The result is Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

NB the old Writely URL www.writely.com now redirects to docs.google.com.

Logging in with your Google account leads to a welcome screen. An interesting aspect of the screen is that in the bar at the top you can just see the links to Google, Gmail, Calendar and Photos (i.e. Picasa), so they are increasingly bringing all of their services together.


I thought I’d try creating a new document. That was trivial. Clicking New Document produced an editor screen. The editor itself is very usable, even down to the “standard” keyboard shortcuts working within the editor within the browser. The File drop-down menu provides options to save locally in a variety of formats, including PDF… I tried this and it offered me a PDF download version of the document, which was exactly what I’d typed on-screen.


Next, I saved the document. I was curious to see how it would cope with importing a Word document, so I uploaded a trivial example. I was never a Writely user, so had no idea of what to expect. It worked fine, although I didn’t test out any of the more advanced features of Word. It looks like GD&S can support a range of document types including OO.o and HTML. It also supports uploading via e-mail, which I didn’t test.


There’s a nice, simple list view from which you can open and edit documents.


One interesting surprise was that Google allows you to publish the documents – either to the web via google.com URL, or to your blog. I tried the latter option. I configured GD&S to know about my blog, and then hit the Post to blog button – results here. I can’t see this displacing my normal blogging client, but it is a neat feature and “just works”.


Finally, I took a look back at Spreadsheets, which I haven’t had cause to use since my original mini-review. Nothing much has changed.


Other features that I didn’t try out were the Collaborate and Discuss tabs on the UI.

Overall, it is a pleasant experience. I think there’s a change of mindset required to move across to working with all my documents online, and there are clearly privacy / confidentiality issues for corporates. However, the interface is simple, consumable, and smooth. I’m impressed – but I’m not sure that it will become a central part of my computing experience.

Hello World, testing Google Documents

Hello World, this is a test of Google Documents.
You can have different styles and fonts (although only a limited range of fonts).
There are keyboard shortcuts like ctrl-B for Bold.

this is a quotation

Very interesting!
I can save as OO.org, Word, PDF, RTF, HTML.

(NB full post on the way…)