Yeah, I caved in and bought a 2GB iPod Nano at the weekend. I had various gift cards and cheques come in, so…

It’s a lot better than the Shuffle was. I still don’t particularly like being tethered to iTunes, but I can live with it.

new tokens

ttc tokens, old and new

I rather like the new TTC tokens. Their swirly pattern makes them look asymmetric, but it’s a trick of the light.

Wish I had one of the pre-1975 “SUBWAY” tokens, but alas …

Dexit® INSTEAD? No, Dexit is dead

dexit tag

I see that the number of Dexit terminals has reduced to almost nothing, and now they’re offering refunds of outstanding balance. Looks like it’s dead.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Dexit. It was almost a great idea, but offered no significant advantage over cash from the bank machine. I wonder how long it will be before you can buy the old terminals in Active Surplus?

they own 1983

Go and see The History Boys. Sharp dialogue, killer casting and and a great depiction of the time (post-Falklands Thatcherism just finding its feet) — not a second of your time wasted.

Reeks of Astroturf

Either the Fair Air Association of Canada is a last-gasp attempt by Big Tobacco to overturn Canadian smoking bans, or it’s a delightful work of twisted humour. I’m unsure which.

that tired, worn-out spam filter feeling?

If your bayesian filter’s no longer doing it for you, zap its database. Sure, you get a couple of days of false positives you have to watch out for, but all those penny-stock scams and “hi, it’s no-one you know” e-mails disappear again. No point in having your filter sticking to the old ways when the spammers and scammers have moved on to new methods.

the grass is bluer at the Brunswick

The Foggy Hogtown Boys play The Brunswick House every Saturday afternoon. They’re good; Chris Quinn might eventually be able to afford a proper banjo one day…

computer joy

Uhoh, there’s a huge Canada Computers opening just up the road; next to this sign, in fact. I’m glad I no longer commute past it; the temptation would be too strong.

the great lost opportunity

I’ve always thought that Adobe missed a great opportunity when they didn’t make their basic PDF writer freely available for Windows. Other OSs now have transparent print-to-PDF options. If you’re lucky, a corporate PC might have MS Office Document Image Writer installed, but a 300dpi monochrome TIFF can’t compare to a PDF.

Still, one can always install PDFCreator (if you have admin rights to the PC, of course). It’s a shame they decide to bundle a marginally dodgy toolbar/spyware package with it, but you don’t get that if you use the MSI installer package.

very, very old school

Mac OS 7.5.5 Notepad

As I appear to have broken Catherine‘s ability to play Crystal Quest by upgrading her eMac to 10.3.9, I need to find an alternative way to run it. I remember running Basilisk II years ago on a very old Linux box — indeed, my ancient instructions are still here: archive.org :: Installing Mac OS 7.5.3 under Basilisk II on Linux, and quite amazingly, are still useful.

I found the following helpful to get it going under OS X:

rip the carpet up off the floor

It’s moving day. We’re moving the office from North York to downtown. Very downtown, in fact; 200 University, almost my old Oanda stamping ground.

In celebration of leaving Vic Park & Sheppard, I guess I really must have one last burger from Johnny’s…

new greenery

Finatics were having their opening sale (yes, it seems that they were open before, but not officially) so I got a whole buncha plants to replace the rather gnawed/algaed ones I had.

The algae eaters were not pleased to have the tank delved about in, no sirree.

hey livejournal, quit claiming my content

Read this. Oddly familiar, huh? It would seem that LiveJournal is republishing my blog on its own site http://syndicated.livejournal.com/wesawachicken/.

The thing about syndicated publishing is that the author has at least given permission that it takes place. I gave LiveJournal no such permission. Sure, I have a public RSS feed, but I don’t expect people just to grab my whole site and publish it for their own ends. That’s not syndication, it’s theft.
They also have the gall to claim there’s a “syndicated user” wesawachicken. Again, I didn’t set that up. I wonder if I can make it implode by getting it to syndicate its own feed?

yeah, I get this too

Every few weeks someone contacts me with a proposal for what is, in effect, a perpetual motion machine. He (for it is always a he) can demonstrate to my satisfaction that, unlike all the quacks and cranks and mountebanks I have heard about, he really has solved the problem. He has a special catalyst, or a new equation, or a hotline to God, which demonstrates what all other physicists consider impossible: that energy can be created. … My only defence against these people is to ask them for an article in a peer-reviewed journal, whereupon I never hear from them again.

 — from Heat, by George Monbiot.


Took advantage of the holiday to scoot down to The 12th Fret to have my banjo looked at. I’d managed to do a bad thing to the tailpiece (which I’d rather not talk about, thank you), and had Grant fit capo spikes at 7, 9 & 10.

While working on the fretboard, Grant confirmed that these really were model railway track spikes — or more correctly, model railway enthusiasts use capo spikes to hold their rails down!