Monthly Archives: March 2009

mailto: no more

It’s time to stop using mailto: links.

I mean c’mon. You think I still read my email in a local client? That’s just so twentieth century.

Captcha FAIL

I think my eyesight is okay. I know I’m a bit colourblind, but other than that and a lack of perspective, it’s okay.

These captchas, seen on the Oz-Astra web site forums though, these are too much. I know you have to fight spammers, but there comes a point where real humans are going to be defeated too, and eventually give up in frustration. Thankfully you can refresh the image and hope for something a bit more readable, but why not bring the difficulty level down from eleven so it’s not so hard?

Captcha image Captcha image Captcha image

(I’m not trying to single this site out; there are others that also frustrate. And I suspect this is down to an over-zealous implementation in vBulletin.)

Copying your iPod MP3 collection onto a Windows PC via the iPod

I wanted an instant music collection at work, without installing iTunes or anything else, and without individually ripping the CDs. Fortunately all my CDs had been ripped to MP3 on my iPod, so I just took it into work and plugged it in.

Of course you don’t want to use iTunes, as that will mess it up completely, but as long as you can browse around the iPod’s files (eg you’ve switched-on Enable Disk Use), look into the \iPod_Control\Music directory (it’s hidden, so switch Explorer to view hidden files) and you’ll see iTunes has helpfully given random meaningless names to the MP3 files, such as F00\AJUR.mp3

No matter. Copy them to the new PC, and then drag them to Windows Media Player’s media library. It looks at the MP3 tags, which do match the actual artists and track names, and displays those in its library.

Done.

I knew there was a reason I encoded all my songs as MP3 instead of AAC. While there are hacks to get WMP to play AACs, officially it can’t — making it awkward to do on a corporate PC. I figured when I ripped them that MP3s are more widely supported, and perhaps more futureproof.

Saw a guy on the train with an old-style portable CD player. ‘Cos, you know, digital music from real CDs have a warmth that MP3/AAC on iPods just can’t match…

Melway edition 1

Damn. Someone at Ausway forgot to renew the custommaps.net domain, so the First Edition Melway is no longer online.

Apparently they haven’t realised yet, as it’s still linked from the Ausway site.

Some pages are in the Internet Archive (and also some from edition 5) though not all.

Update Friday: I was wrong; they’ve moved it to here (but they haven’t updated all their links yet)

Something I don’t like about WordPress

I love WordPress.

But not 100%.

Something I don’t like is how it decides arbitrarily when to decide to re-authenticate you.

I had logged in here to write a post, and it happily let me type it all out, until I hit the Publish button, when it decided to double-check who I was. Which was fine, but by the time it had done that, it revealed that the draft of the post that had been saved was from several minutes before I’d hit Publish, and I’d lost a couple of links I’d put in which now I’ll have to find again.

Blargh.

Twitter widgets

I used Twitter Tools for a while with WordPress, and it worked well until recently, when it stopped.

While pondering what went wrong, I noticed Twitter now has an official set of widgets for web pages.

Twitter / Get a Widget for your site

They’ve got customised ones for MySpace, Blogger, Facebook, Typepad, and a generic one (in HTML or Flash) for everything else.

The dangers of HTML email

See what happens if you don’t properly anticipate how your HTML email might be rendered?

Dangers of HTML email

Yep, the world’s thinnest and lightest 17″ notebook… featuring a really odd-looking askew display, apparently.

(GMail in Firefox 3.0.6 on Windows)