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April 27, 2004

Blogging comes back to haunt You

I feel like a heel; a year or more ago, I wrote excoriating review of The Clangers Board Game. Today I got an email from the designer, the owner of the small company who made it. My comments on the game stand, but I also made assertions about the company which were quite wrong and unfair of me. So I've changed it...

Posted by Alison at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2004

Snail Mail

My post this morning included a catalogue, intended for the old lady who lives in sheltered accommodation in a nearby street that has a similar name to our street, and a bank/credit card, issued with a full and correct printed address, to someone who lives in another road with a similar name to ours, but in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

The Daily Telegraph posted 20 letters first class at lunchtime in East London. None arrived on time. Seven were one day late; two were two days late -- the other 11 are still lost somewhere in the system.

A couple of years ago, when the number of misaddressed letters we were receiving got intolerably bad, we complained and were told that the Post Office had decided to put only experienced postmen on our 'tricky' route (we live near the ancient village centre, with lots of twisty paths, almshouses and so on). And things improved for a while. But how much experience does it take to avoid delivering Cambridgeshire post to London addresses? Only last week I got a mis-addressed letter for the second time, despite having written clearly on the front the first time "Not E17". It had taken nearly a month to be redelivered to us; I hope someone wasn't waiting for it.

I wonder where our post is?

Posted by Alison at 08:15 PM | Comments (4)

April 24, 2004

Mac Retro

I got an email from a friend who works in educational computing; his school is skipping some Powerbooks (1400cs) and would we like a couple? These are contemporaneous with our first PC laptop, which was pretty serviceable until it was stolen. In a sort of old-fashioned way. They will run OS 7 or 8, and theoretically 9. But they should be perfectly capable of word processing, web browsing, and playing elderly Mac children's games -- and would allow us to give each of the children a computer that was entirely their own and wasn't shared in any way.

But hey, an entirely new operating system. Tips welcome.

Posted by Alison at 11:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 19, 2004

Phabulous Phantograms

I learnt about phantograms from Bill Burns. They're 3d pictures, designed to be printed, laid flat, and viewed with anaglyph (red/cyan) glasses at a 'sweet spot'. At the sweet spot, the object jumps out of the table at you. Terry Wilson has now posted a fabulous gallery of phantograms designed for web viewing on a monitor -- he's taken anaglyph photos of his printed phantograms. You'll need a pair of red/cyan 3d glasses to see them, which should be easy for everyone who's been following the Mars pictures. And indeed, some of Terry's phantograms are formed from the Mars images.

Posted by Alison at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2004


I was feeling sour about Macadamia, because I was getting tons of comment spam, and found the instructions for upgrading Movable Type scary. But I have steeled myself, and have also installed MT-Blacklist.

<plokta.con 3.0> is in two weeks, and the cabal have been feverishly eating everything in sight putting the finishing touches to the con. The programme has been inspired by pirates, more pirates, the works of Charles Stross, our GoH, robots, Mars, the Third Dimension, and the Subservient Chicken.

Meanwhile, following the example of Patrick and Teresa, I now have a CafeShop. There are only two shirts there at the moment, one a special order for Jonathan and one a special order for, um, somebody else. But if there's anything you'd like in the way of a shirt or other item, let me know and I'll see what I can do. I can produce art with mine or Sue's art from Plokta, or various Photoshop effects, but I can't do anything that infringes anyone else's intellectual property, or violates reasonable standards of good taste.

Posted by Alison at 09:54 PM | Comments (1)