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blogonblogoff - side b

'everything is nothing if you've got no one'

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Advance flip top
Very old news but only found out today. Nintendo will be releasing a redesigned version of the Gameboy Advanced named SP. It looks pretty nifty too with a flip top screen. Here's some pictures of it. The official Nintendo site has quite a good flash promo. I very much liked Mario Kart Super Circuit on the GBA. It looks like to be made of plastic like the other Gameboys but wouldn't it be nice to have a metal version like the special edition of the Gameboy Light.

Posted by Edward @ 11:50 PM GMT
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Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Critical issues for the mind
Okay the reading a book thing isn't working. I read one chapter (a grand total of 2 pages) then put it down. I just felt I had to do work instead because I have so much on. I need to give it another try sometime when I am not so tired. I abandoned much of my caffine intake a while ago but recently I think I need a strong cup of coffee to help stay awake.

Whilst doing some research for yet another project I have, I came across RubberBug who do all sorts of animations and special effects things. This one of the cow is especially nice. Takes a while to get going on a normal dial-up modem. They have some tutorials too but most of them don't seem to work.

Posted by Edward @ 08:44 PM GMT
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Monday, February 24, 2003
Blue, Blue, Electric Blue
Having realised I've not read a book that's not in some way related to my course, well since my course started in fact. Okay I did read 'Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom' but that doesn't really count as I printed it off onto A4 sheets from my computer. Anyway I decided to re-read John Welter's Begin To Exit Here, a book I've read a few dozen times before. It's typically American, about an alchoholic journalist Kurt Clausen who shuns the Associated Press style guidebook for his own journalistic style amongst other things (ultimately it's about doing what you believe is the right thing for you). There is something about the character of Kurt - his absurdity, pedaticness and honest truth - that makes it really enjoyable. His coverage of the KKK march through the local town is a laugh out loud material.

Currently enjoying a new band The Sea And Cake. Their version of David Bowie's Sound & Vision on the album One Bedroom is fantastic.

Posted by Edward @ 11:43 PM GMT
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John Peel, surely not
Not sure whether to believe this or not. Surely this is a hoax. Someone has posted three identical comments onto this blog entry claiming to be John Peel and that my record label Emma's House Recordings is going to be mentioned on a radio show. The reason I am dubious is one, it doesn't mention which show or specifically when, I'm sure he should know since he presents them and secondly the comment doesn't seem right quite right.
Posted by Edward @ 01:37 PM GMT
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Animation for the nation
I'm getting a sense of deja vu, having spent a whole day experimenting with effects in Flash MX I can only say that most of the time, I could do it better with a standard Web site. Those little moving effects that catch the eye aren't exactly the best use of Flash is it? Having said that my project seems to be full of these cliché effects and bad uses of Flash. I'm looking at the file sizes and it's nearly 100k. That's massive for what is effectively a bunch of animations and behaviours, though not as big as Shockwave files. I'm still questioning whether they add quality to the general experience of the web. I've tend to find that the best Flash and Shockwave examples are all standalone things likes games and toys (such as Switcheroo Zoo and that silly golf game that I can't find the link to). Rarely are there whole sites that are worth visiting of any substance that are written with Flash/Director for the Web. It's mostly style over substance and the content is usually better on a Web page. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places or just like to keep it simple.

Posted by Edward @ 12:01 AM GMT
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Friday, February 21, 2003
Been accused of stealing
Tiredness kills as they say on those motorway signs. Right now I could sleep for 48 hours and still feel tired. I need a week of rest to recuperate the effects of working double shifts each day on University projects. I am still nowhere near getting anything done which is quite frustrating. My female housemate said to me I would make a good husband because I was cleaning the grill pan after using it. Now I don't know whether that was meant to be compliment or an insult but I guess it was more of the former. There's no point in complaining that people don't clear things up if you don't clear up after yourself either. It's funny how I find my tolerance levels in difficult house sharing situations much higher than for my work. The self questioning of am I doing the right thing appears now and again and I am never too certain of the answer. It's not money or security but trying to achieve a level of contentment that seems to be void in what I've been doing since I've left University. I don't even think my goals are that outrageously difficult to obtain yet it seems further away than before. Maybe being my destination is too far to reach even with compromises. My personality stems from the fact I am too stubborn to 'just get on with it'. Too much work gets you in a funny mood I know. Could be dangerous.

Just wanted to say also my local council back home in Manchester, Tameside is the first local council to get ALL it's departments and services online, over two years ahead of the Government target. It's not a bad council but there are still a lot of problems with crime around. Visit Tameside council's website.

Posted by Edward @ 11:18 PM GMT
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Thursday, February 20, 2003
There's nothing to compare
Was searching around for shadows, yes I have gone crazy and stumbled upon this site. Standing In The Shadows Of Motown which is a documentary of the backing that played on most of the Motown hits - The Funk Brothers. It was released in the US last year but wonder if it will ever reach here. Hopefully it will be as having been to Detroit to visit Hitsville USA it would be fascinating as it was not really covered when you went on the museum tour. Just listening to David Ruffin, a lesser known star of Motown but still huge, his rendition of 'I Could Never Love Another' is just superb.
Posted by Edward @ 06:54 PM GMT
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Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Did he cobblers say that
I never thought I would be doing this. Java programming in the middle of the night. Even when I was working on tight deadlines in my old job I wasn't coding near the midnight hour listening to Radio 4 comedy. When you start thinking you need double the number of hours in the day you know there is something wrong in your life and that you are living to work and not working to live.

Two interesting pieces of news Google buying up Blogger and Anheuser-Busch loses case against Budejovicky Budvar for sole use of the name 'Bud' trademark. A triumph for a great beer over multi-national bullying.

Posted by Edward @ 11:32 PM GMT
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Sunday, February 16, 2003
There's no light on in my head
As most of you will know I like taking photos with my Lomographic Camera. This week sees two Lomo related items happening in the UK. Firstly there is going to be a documentary on the Lomo on BBC 4 entitled 'Lomo Cameras: Shoot Before You Think' on Wednesday (19th Feb) at 9pm. The preview promises it to be worth watching. However that's only if you have a digital TV receiver. From recent ratings, BBC 4 only manages to attract a few thousand viewers at peak time. The Lomographers will be out in force to watch this one to boost ratings I would have thought. Not me though as I don't have access to it. Anyone out there kindly willing to tape it for me then contact me. The second thing is the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is having an event called Snap Happy Days, all about snapshot photography. It's not confined to Lomographic cameras but also Poloroids and disposable ones too. Read about Snap Happy Days on the Lomographic Society website and V&A site.
Posted by Edward @ 10:03 PM GMT
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Saturday, February 15, 2003
A quiet disappearance
It's remarkably quiet in Bath today, on the radio it mentioned that most people have gone to London for the Stop The War march. It was the first time I had seen the Lower Bristol Road completely empty during daylight hours.

I was reading The Ecologist for the first time while it was quiet in the Oxfam shop and found it a completely satisfying read. Their breakdown of a Glaxo Smith Kline advert was very well done. Anyway there is a link in there - Earth From The Air which is brilliant. It's pictures following nicely on from the Elements Of Design book very well. The Earth is beautiful and these just make you appreciate it more.

sample earth from the air image

Sadly missed the Valentines Day e-card.

Posted by Edward @ 03:29 PM GMT
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Friday, February 14, 2003
Out in the trees, dirt on our knees
Happy St. Valentines Day, or should that be just Valentines Day now that it is officially a purely commerical thing. Hope you all got a card/text message/picture message/gift from the one person you were hoping for.

Highly recommended is the new album from The Be Good Tanyas - Chinatown. A great follow up to The Blue Horse which I put into my 2002 end of year music list. Also ideal to listen to when you are in a little downbeat mood. It won't cheer you up but as Folk Roots Magazine says:

“it will surely haunt you for the rest of the year”
Posted by Edward @ 10:36 PM GMT
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One step forward, two steps back
Having not done any 'real' programming for over half a year I find myself getting back into a programmers mindset. It's taken me a while to get back up to speed with Java and now I am re-familiarising myself with ASP. In both cases I have noticed that I am having to be careful not to get into nasty bad habits and properly structuring everything. After coding in Lingo and some ActionScripting it's nice to write understandable code that doesn't sprawl all over the place. Does this mean I am a programmer at heart and all this creative stuff I am doing on the course is only really superficial. You know the situation, I'll finish my course and get myself a job programming or doing the exactly the same thing I was doing in my previous job, completely neutralising the course. That's progress for you.
Posted by Edward @ 08:37 AM GMT
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Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Eat this and laugh
This is quite an amusing list of food myths. Time to eat a bucket of ice cream, I'm rehydrating myself. Bad news, Popeye...
Posted by Edward @ 09:52 AM GMT
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Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Sucking up a little bit more
Don't believe the hype about The Second Coming but here's a lot of praise for it. Okay that's it back to Java programming and thinking of Flash project ideas. Sigh, “the heart sighs when it's too full for words”, that's a good quote from the bible.
Posted by Edward @ 10:06 PM GMT
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Come pray for peace
I don't watch much television but this was almost unmissable TV. The Second Coming two part-drama on ITV started off brilliantly. Set in Manchester it follows Steve who realises he is the Son of God following a night out. The setting is unusual but that's it's appeal. Steve sets about convincing people he is including a scene at Maine Road where he turns the sky to light. It's down to earth, humourous and most importantly not glossy, at times you really sympathise with Steve. Christopher Eccleston puts in a great performance as Steve. The second part sustains the excellence of the first, high in tension and as much expectation as the almighty,it doesn't shy away from the unexpected. The ending with the discovery of the third testament and what was to happen is a revelation. It was quite apt for it to be shown aroud this time. That's enough praising of a TV programme. It's back to quality radio programmes.
Posted by Edward @ 09:58 PM GMT
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Sunday, February 9, 2003
Shapely repurporsing
I am seriously fed having spent so much time trying to figure out the Greymatter problem. Although I have installed a new version of the software, there are still some minor bugs that were supposedly fixed. That is quite annoying. The new installation is very painless and I still want to stick with it.

Anyway apart messing with this I have discovered a great book - The Elements Of Design : rediscovering colours, textures, forms and shapes by Loan Oei and Cecile De Kegel. I am a great fan of geometric shaped patterns that can be found in everyday scenary and sometimes try to capture some of it in my Lomography. This book however is a great collection of photos and makes you look more thoughtfully at simple shapes that create our everyday environment. In much of my own artwork creation I use images with simple shapes as starting points to creating new images and I have found it has so far not let me down. Read about the The Elements Of Design and view sample images from the book.

Posted by Edward @ 04:58 PM GMT
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Welcome back - take 2
I got fed up with my old Greymatter installation doing funny things now and again. It won't update my indexes or archive files properly. So I've taken the plunge and installed the latest version in a new area. This could be seen as version 2 of Blogonblogoff. If you are looking for old archives then go here for Blogonblogoff version 1.
Posted by Edward @ 04:09 PM GMT
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