Irregular Verbiage
from the desk of Colin Nicholls

Reason #702 to avoid Windows Vista

June 22, 2008 10:02 by colin
The File Types tab has been removed from Folder Options. This feature was available from Windows 95 up to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
The File Types tab allowed users to change the file associations for various types of files. It allowed configuring which application would open when a user clicked on a certain type of file, or allowed manually defining a new file extension, defining/editing custom secondary actions, showing extensions only for specific file types, or customizing the file icon. While there is a more simplified option to change the file associations, called Default Programs in the Windows Vista Control Panel, this option only allows users to change the default action that occurs when they double click a file. It does not allow users to choose which application would load if the user were to right click on a file and then choose a secondary option such as Edit.
The Open With dialog box in Windows Vista also uses the corresponding Default Programs API which limits only one registered application to be set as the default program. It is also not possible to navigate/jump to a particular extension using the alphanumeric keys on a keyboard; scrolling is required.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_removed_in_Windows_Vista#Windows_Shell


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Categories: Computers
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Mrs Bird minds the house

June 15, 2008 21:07 by colin

So that empty nest we noticed when we moved in 6 months ago is now occupied. We think she is the mate of the little guy with the red plumage. Interestingly, we haven't seen much of him lately. Perhaps he's done a runner. Anyway, Mrs Bird is always there, looking out at us, or sitting on the edge of the nest with her arse in the air and her head down in the bottom of the nest arranging things. Perhaps she is turning her eggs.


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Categories: Photography
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Cell phone camera excels

June 12, 2008 00:38 by colin

This is pretty cool. I took it with the built-in camera on the Nokia cell phone, at around 1:30pm, during a quick walk after lunch:

The cell phone camera doesn't capture colours accurately; is pretty low resolution; and has this halo effect that you can't really avoid. But the results can be quite good! I suppose it helps to be in a picturesque location. You wouldn't know from the picture that it was very bright sunlight and 92 degrees. It all looks very tranquil and mild.


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Categories: Photography
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The Fugue arranged for String Quartet

June 2, 2008 01:48 by colin

Thanks to the trial version of Synful Orchestra, which I am currently evaluating, Here is a version of the Fugue from The God Program (a work in progress), arranged for "String Quartet":

Fugue (arranged for string quartet) (mp3):

[mp3:http://spacefold.com/colin/ps/mp3/GodProg_Fugue_Quartet.mp3]

There are 5 days remaining in my trial period and I'm still debating whether it is worth the money. Would it kick off a surge of musical inspiration? It might. That would be worth something.

With careful tweaking of MIDI data, Synful Orchestra is capable of landing pretty much in the uncanny valley of emulated instruments. It's good - but it is not going to fool anyone and they might back away from the sound, saying "something doesn't quite sound right here but I'm not sure what".


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Categories: Music Studio Diary
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Visiting Mystery Bird

May 28, 2008 14:11 by colin

This little guy shows up in the morning and evening and sings for about 10 minutes before flying off somewhere. He's very regular in his schedule. So far we have not indentified him.

I took this picture (one of 12, the only one that had him in focus) through the slats of our window blinds.

Normally he faces towards the house and we can see his glorious red-orange waist-coat.

He's about 4 inches tall.


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Categories: Photography
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Snapshots at Dusk

May 25, 2008 19:14 by colin

Last weekend we ventured outside just before the sun set, to walk around the neighbourhood and take the air. It was very picturesque.


Sailing behind East Marin Island, looking South.


East Richmond hills - possibly Wildcat Canyon Regional Park - poke their heads above a cloud bank looking East across the San Pablo bay.


A duck flies West.


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Categories: Photography
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360 San Rafael

May 11, 2008 16:49 by colin

Yesterday I took a walk into Barbier Park, climbing up San Pedro Mountain. It's really just a big hill on the North side of the San Rafael valley, but it is big enough to have very nice views.

The trail starts at the end of a cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood, and is initially quite steep, but soon levels out and is a much easier walk. It took me about 45 minutes to get fairly close to the top

I expected to get to one of the highest peaks and take in some panoramic vistas, but actually the radio relay stations or suchlike are surrounded by security fences and dense bush on either side of the trails, and the best views are to be found about 3/4 of the way up:

This is a true 360 view, with San Pablo Bay in the North East, Mt Diablo far away in the East, the Richmond Bridge in the South-East, and the San Rafael valley in the South-West, and the glorious Mt Tamalpais. The Sun is thinking about setting in a couple of hours, behind the hill to the West.


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Categories: Photography
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Deer at McNeer

April 28, 2008 16:36 by colin

I walked down to McNeer's Beach yesterday as part of an effort to get regular exercise. It was very busy, lots of people picnicking and playing volleyball and suchlike, but also some quiet areas without anyone around, where if you were patient, you could see some wildlife:


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Tod at TED

April 19, 2008 15:23 by colin

I had heard of Tod Machover from the pages of KEYBOARD magazine many years ago when he was working on augmented Cellos. This 20 minute video of a talk he gave at TED this year is fascinating, but from about the 13 minute mark on, it actually brought me to tears:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/246

I was reminded of William Horwood's book Scallagrigg, which also blends the themes of Cerebral Palsy and Computer Software, and enablement.


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Categories: Miscellaneous
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New SONAR color scheme

April 14, 2008 06:09 by colin

sonar sessionSONAR 7.02 is running great, positively humming along (except with no audible hum thank goodness). To celebrate, I am releasing a new color scheme:

Prodigal Clips 8.clr (save to disk and remove .txt extension)

Click the preview image to enlarge.