Rise Up Singing! in freedb

It took me a while, but I finally put all the track information for Sing Out!‘s Rise Up Singing teaching CDs (also on the artists’ website) on freedb. I was given the data just over a year ago by Mark D. Moss, the editor of Sing Out! magazine.
The discs are:

Perhaps what took longest was working out a UTF-8 safe processing workflow, from converting the original Excel table to e-mailing the entries to the freedb server. Let’s just say that OpenOffice, sqlite, and Perl were very helpful here.

indigo’s most overpriced yet

I saw the most obscene markup in indigo this evening: the Linux Format OpenOffice.org special edition was priced at a hefty $34.95. This costs £10 in the UK.

The thing is, UK prices are quoted tax-inclusive. The ten quid you see is the ten quid you pay. Not so in Canada. In the most boneheaded move ever, our prices don’t include tax, so that $34.95 really costs you $39.84 (in Ontario, at least).

According to Google, £10 is $20.53. Indigo’s markup is almost 100%


I just installed IBM® Lotus® Symphony™. I don’t have the pokiest PC on the block, but in order to make it run at any speed at all, you’d need to have a bit of grunt in your PC. My VIA SP13000 box takes a couple of minutes just to bring up the main window.

To be fair, OpenOffice isn’t the fastest starter either; none of them have large bits of themselves running in the Windows system code, unlike MS OfficeThey both work, and are free – and Symphony looks a deal prettier than OpenOffice. As there’s no Mac version of Symphony yet, I’m unlikely to switch just yet.

Canadian Citizenship CIT 0002 Absence Calculator

When you apply for Canadian citizenship, you need to tabulate all your absences from the country in the last four years on the form “Application for Canadian Citizenship — Adults [Form CIT 0002]“. It’s irksome to do this, so here’s Canada_CIT0002_Calculator.sxc; an OpenOffice spreadsheet to do the sums for you.

I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it’s provided for no more reason than to be helpful. If you use it for other people, don’t charge for its use.