Simon’s Backup Weblog

Useful Site Of The Day: One Bag

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 28, 2006

On “the art and science of travelling light“…

Lots of how-tos on packing light, and travelling with just one small bag… The instructions on how to fold clothes are especially useful.


Thus caution doth make house cats of us all

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 27, 2006

As there are enough cat folk here…

To go outside, and there perchance to stay
Or to remain within: that is the question:
Whether ’tis better for a cat to suffer
The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather
That Nature rains on those who roam abroad,
Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet,
And so by dozing melt the solid hours
That clog the clock’s bright gears with sullen time
And stall the dinner bell. To sit, to stare
Outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state
A wish to venture forth without delay,
Then when the portal’s opened up, to stand
As if transfixed by doubt. To prowl; to sleep;
To choose not knowing when we may once more
Our readmittance gain: aye, there’s the hairball;
For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob,
Or work a lock or slip a window-catch,
And going out and coming in were made
As simple as the breaking of a bowl,
What cat would bear the household’s petty plagues,
The cook’s well-practiced kicks, the butler’s broom,
The infant’s careless pokes, the tickled ears,
The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks
That fur is heir to, when, of his own free will,
He might his exodus or entrance make
With a mere mitten? Who would spaniels fear,
Or strays trespassing from a neighbour’s yard,
But that the dread of our unheeded cries
And scratches at a barricaded door
No claw can open up, dispels our nerve
And makes us rather bear our humans’ faults
Than run away to unguessed miseries?
Thus caution doth make house cats of us all;
And thus the bristling hair of resolution
Is softened up with the pale brush of thought,
And since our choices hinge on weighty things,
We pause upon the threshold of decision.


Found on Cix:cats, and tracked down as far as here. There’s an illustrated version too…

Today’s Nifty Software: FEBE

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 27, 2006

FEBE is the Firefox Extension Backup Extension, a “does what it says on the tin” Firefox extension backup and synchronisation tool – as an extension (of course). Oh, the recursiveness…

Now almost all of my browsers can behave the same way…

Windows only

Brushed metal?

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 26, 2006

Why not set this image as your desktop background for that extra something?

Shiny Shiny

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 26, 2006

Shiny Shiny
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

We spotted this crystal lamp in Peter Jones yesterday, and I tried to get a macro shot of the swarovski crystals catching the light.

Not too shabby an attempt.

February 2006

Unfolding Origami into Haiku

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 26, 2006

Well, the Origami Project teaser site that I mentioned the other day seems to have quite a lot of people all over the blogosphere wondering just what Microsoft’s Origami might be. And it looks like my guess is wrong…

The folk at tracked down a brand strategy firm called Digital Kitchen, who have a concept video for Microsoft Origami on their Work site (all Flash – so click Enter, then Work, then Brandtheatre, and finally Microsoft Origami to see the video), which shows a device larger than a PDA, and smaller than a tablet PC, with fast wireless connectivity (WiFi and 3G) and handwriting recognition, plus the return of Smart Display.

instantly recognised it. She was at last year’s WinHEC, where Bill Gate’s demoed a concept model of a device with all those capabilities called Haiku. It was only a mockup, with a print out for a screen. At Fall IDF, we saw Intel demo a new form factor that would use low power Pentium and Xscale chips, calling it the Handtop. It looks like we’re about to see these two ideas come together. I wouldn’t expect to see shipping hardware much before the end of the year, though…

I suspect we may see hardware at Spring IDF in a week or so.

Another bit of the spring 2000 .NET concept videos finally coming to life?


Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 24, 2006

Is this the teaser site for Vista Beta 2?

Flow Stairs

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 24, 2006

Flow Stairs
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Lights, concrete, metal, and a set of escalators in constant motion.

The grey cyberpunk space that is the Jubilee Line concourse at Westminster Station.

I rather like the fact that the exposure gave the moving escalators the same feel as water…


Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 23, 2006

For all you UFO fans out there, the US Navy is planning a sub-launched and recovered UAV. Unlike the combined plane/sub that was UFO’s Sky:Diver combination, the Cormorant UAV is intended to be blasted out of the missile launch tubes of a converted Ohio class SSBN.

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater. The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy’s gigantic Cold War–era Ohio-class submarines. These formerly nuke-toting subs have become less useful in a military climate evolved to favor surgical strikes over nuclear stalemates, but the Cormorant could use their now-vacant tubes to provide another unmanned option for spying on or destroying targets near the coast.

Funky stuff.

But this is still cooler…

It looks like we’re slowly starting to live in a Gerry Anderson world.

A pity that it’s the institutionalised paranoia of UFO, rather than the optimism of Thunderbirds…

Quote of the week.

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 23, 2006

“Freelance journalists are the middle class, living an upper class life, on a working class salary”.

Someone’s been looking at my diary and my bank balance…

(apparently from James Governor of RedMonk fame)

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