Simon’s Backup Weblog


Free Bryce

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 31, 2006

(at least until the 6th of September 2006)

Pop along to the Daz web site and download Bryce 5.0 from the link there. Macintosh and Windows versions are available…

It may not be the latest version, but it’s still one of the best landscape generating and rendering tools around…

[Update fromautopope: “Does not run under Mac OS/X 10.4 and above”.]

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Cross-fertilisation (or, “Let’s Play Doctors and Mechanics”)

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 31, 2006

Surgeons from Great Ormond Street Hospital are working with Ferrari’s pit crew, to see if the high-speed surgery of the Formula 1 team can help them improve their emergency room procedures.

The Ferrari people filmed the doctors at work, then dissected the images with them. “For years we’ve been convinced that we were doing things pretty well, but seeing the tape it was shocking to notice our lack of coordination”, says Nick Pigott of the intensive-care unit.

TEDBlog also mentions how IDEO have been taking US emergency room surgeons to NASCAR pits:

Time is of essence in both the ER and a car race, and “doctors were impressed by the high level of preparation and coordination of the pit team”. Tom explained that while the Nascar teams are perfectly synchronized and approach the car from planned directions and carrying all the necessary tools and parts on them, doctors often enter the ER just to start asking nurses to gather, every time anew, the necessary tools and machines and drugs.

Fascinating stuff, and a look at just how we can learn from many difference places.

TEDblog has gone straight onto my blogroll.

New Writing Gig: IT Pro Server and Network sections

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 31, 2006

It’s official – we can now announce the new writing gig I’ve been hinting at.

From the start of September and I will be looking after the Server and Networking sections of IT Pro. Not only that, we’ll also be running a joint blog on the IT Pro site.

On a more formal note, we’ll be doing several news stories a week, and a similar number of features a month – so we’ll be looking for plenty of press releases and people to talk to.

Any PRs with relevant clients, please, get in touch – we’re starting to work on September right now!

We’re not dropping any of our other regular writing. We’ll just be busier…

Sunset Gliding

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 30, 2006

Sunset Gliding
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Seagull in evening light, over Camber Sands on the South Coast.

Sussex
August 2006

The Great Smiley Face In The Sky

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 30, 2006

Skywriting
Originally uploaded by whump.

took this picture of some rather cool Bay Area skywriting.

Some rather careful flying on what must have been a still day…

A Flock Of (New) Birds

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 30, 2006

A Flock Of (New) Birds
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Kite surfers near Camber, on the South Coast.

Sussex
August 2006

Harvest Homed

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 30, 2006

Harvest Homed
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Empty fields in a golden light across Romney Marsh.

The wheat is gone, and the fields are roughly ploughed, ready for the autumn.

The turning of the seasons.

Sussex
August 2006

Using USB CD-ROM drives in DOS on a Toshiba Portege R100

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 29, 2006

I know we’re not the only folks around with a Toshiba Portege R100

A failed software install left ours blue-screening on boot due to a corrupted driver. While we’ve got a USB DVD drive in the house, the R100 doesn’t support USB CD or DVD booting. I’ve spent a goodly chunk of the afternoon trying to find someway of getting it to work.

DUSE, the DOS USB project doesn’t work with the R100’s USB hardware (though it may well for many other platforms). However, I was able to track down a site with a copy of Toshiba’s own recovery boot floppy software – which is conspicuously absent from the UK site.

You’ll probably need to add files like SMARTDRV to the disk just to be sure…

It’s not just for recovering Windows installs – you can also use it to install Linux or any other OS on your laptop. OpenSolaris, anyone?

Opting out of Royal Mail delivered junk mail.

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 29, 2006

If you send email to the Royal Mail opt out address to stop “Door to Door” deliveries of unaddressed junk mail, they’ll just email you back a form to fill out.

I’ve taken the liberty of putting it here for you all to use, without having to send the email. Just print it out, fill it in, sign and send off. Unfortunately you’ll need a stamp – I can’t do that bit for you!

If you want to opt out of other junk mail (the stuff that comes addressed to you), then you’ll need to register with the Mailing Preference Service.

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| ‘Stop Door to Door’ Confirmation Form                                       |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|           To:| Door to Door Opt Outs                                                |
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              | Royal Mail Door to Door                                              |
|              | Kingsmead House                                                      |
|              | Oxpens Road                                                          |
|              | OXFORD                                                               |
|              | OX1 1RX                                                              |
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              |                                                                      |
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|         From:|                                                                      |
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|      Address:|                                                                      |
|              |                                                                      |
|              |                                                                      |
|              |                                                                      |
|              |                                                                      |
|              |                                                                      |
|     Postcode:|                                                                      |
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              |                                                                      |
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|    Reference:| Request to stop Door to Door mail being delivered to my address      |
|--------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------|

I confirm that I have read and fully understood your letter advising me of the implications of “Opting-Out” of receiving deliveries of Royal Mail unaddressed ‘Door to Door’ items to my address.

I understand that I may miss important information from local, national or government publications that are sent using this service.

From time to time, Royal Mail would like to contact you with information about our products and services that may be of interest to you. If you do not want to be contacted, please tick here.

Name:

Signature: Date: /

Hopefully, things like this will stop the Royal Mail from threatening the jobs of postmen who are just trying to help their customers.

Goodbye to an old friend.

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 25, 2006

Anyone working in technology journalism or PR in the UK will have met Sonia Howell-Jones. She was one of those few people who could take a professional relationship, and turn it into a deep and enduring friendship.

She was one of the first PRs I met, while working on one of my first articles, and she was a friend from our second phone call. Sonia helped and me many times, and when she retired we stayed in touch, driving across West London for dinner at her or our place. She even helped us find the cats that now share our home…

Sadly Sonia had a sudden stroke last night, and died this morning. She will be missed by many, including most of the folk on CIX, where her online presence “shj” was an important contributor to many conferences.

I know that anything I write won’t capture more than a few facets of a wise, funny and welcoming friend.

Goodbye Sonia. We’ll miss you.

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