coming home present

the problem is, of course, whether to be happy that biggles likes me enough to give me his dead mice, *OR* to be worried that there is (was) a mouse (or mice) in my flat... maybe it's time to board up the hole in the bathroom wall before it gets colder?

seeing music, hearing pictures

i just have to post a link to this site. it's called the music animation machine and consists of videos of classical pieces being performed, with a piano-roll type animation showing the notes as they play, with different colours for separate voices and highlights for the current tone, almost like a strange karaoke machine. you can buy them on dvd or just watch some samples on youtube. apparently edward tufte is a big fan, and uses the system as an example in his lectures, to show how information can be easily assimilated if it is in the right format.

the best ones i have seen are Johann Sebastian Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Frederic Chopin, Etude, opus 10 #7 and Franz Liszt, Feux Follets. i think they look like some sort of bizarre 2D cellular automata evolving with the music


(see also the IBM glass engine, infinity edition - a java applet for exploring philip glass's musical works.)

bandwidth gadgets

ok, i better post something since otherwise it'd be a full year (well, in a fortnight it would...) between posts. and, of course, fifty weeks is a perfectly reasonable gap instead.

the other reason for posting is that i finally got myself an interweb thing and my email and web-browser suddenly started working again! but no ADSL (no land line, rented property) or cable (not in my postcode, anyway) for me. instead, i now have a vodafone 3G data card in my laptop. it goes in the expresscard slot (although it does come with an adapter for PC card slots) so it looks nice and tidy, as opposed to the alternative white brick on the end of a USB cable i was offered. it does cost GBP 50.00 for the internal card, and the USB dongle is free, but there's no competition when you see them, and what else am i going to put in that slot anyway?

i also grabbed a new mobile phone, too - the sony ericsson W880i walkman phone. beautiful shiny steel case, really thin, candy-bar phone, plus it's 3G. the walkman features are pretty cool, and since it came with a 1Gb M2 data card and proper sony in-ear headphones (i.e. the ones with changeable rubber seals that stop noise escaping and irritating other people...) i might even start using it instead of my ipod. to complete my sony collection, i'm just holding out for the MBW-150 bluetooth watch, supposedly shipping in october...

it's still the 3g data card that amazes me, though. i remember my first GSM modem card (in an apple newton, actually, connected to a motorola star-tac) which gave me 19.2Kbps with compression, if i was lucky. this card gives me 7.2Mbps (peak, confirmed) or 1.4 Mega-bytes per second. boggle.