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Thursday triptych

Today was Industry Day here at IAM, in which hapless postgrads and postdocs are inveigled into demonstrating their work. Got a mail this morning from the departmental minuscule canadian, asking whether I or my erstwhile officemate Steve was giving a particular demo (which we had believed that the minuscule canadian was presenting). He's demoing it tomorrow, so I demoed today, which involved missing lunch (lunch was provided for delegates, but not for peons).

Demos are so much better when you can prepare for them.

Finally got a phonecall from Korea this morning, so I'm off to Seoul in early November to give an invited talk at PRIMA2003, all expenses paid. Need to get a photo taken and write a CV blurb for their brochure (will probably reuse the HT2003 blurb for the latter).

It seems that they'd mailed me a couple of times, but I suspect I missed the mail because it was in a Korean character set that my mailer couldn't display. Given the large amounts of non-European character set spam that I get (predominatly Chinese), it may even have been caught in my spam trap and deleted. Oops. Yet another reason to migrate my mail to something like Mozilla.

Found out that the (exceeding scatty goth) girlfriend of one of my Southampton friends has a LiveJournal. Reading her LiveJournal is somewhere between watching a car crash, and lifting the top off someone's head only to discover a scene from a Hieronymous Bosch painting inside. Long-suffering officemate Steve has maintained for many years that she's evil, a claim which I've countered by insisting that she's just misunderstood. I'm now coming round to his point of view that she's actually malign.

It used to be the case that I just didn't understand the relationship she has with her partner. I now realise that I really don't understand the relationship she has with her partner.

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Is it just me? (...probably...)

Not being a computer-techie type (though I have an interest) I don't even know what Mozilla IS. Though everytime I hear the word it makes me think of two things. Cheese. And Steven Patrick Morrissey's ego..

Short answer: it's a web browser related to Netscape

Long answer: after Netscape 4.75 came out, Netscape (which by then was owned by AOL) made the decision to publish the full source code to Netscape and make its future development ("Netscape 5") a community effort. This effort was codenamed Mozilla after the green Netscape lizard mascot (actually, Mozilla was an earlier nickname of Netscape from the days when the main competitor to Netscape was NCSA Mosaic, and IE was but a twinkle in Bill Gates' eye. But I digress...)

Travel about five years down the line, and you get to where we are now. Netscape 6 and 7 were based on the Mozilla code (taking the open source Mozilla code and adding proprietary stuff). Mozilla itself is a standards-compliant, state-of-the-art browser which makes IE look extremely poor by comparison.

The downside is that Moz or Netscape are unlikely to oust Internet Explorer from its dominant position, simply because IE comes with Windows as standard, and you need to install Moz yourself.

I've been using it for a few (three?) years now, and have no complaints. Worth trying out, in my opinion.

I still have visions of a 50 storey Morrissey stamping downtown Salford though..

The perennial problem with home computing; Gates. Indeed, I can appreciate the 'having to install it myself, gasp shock horror' thing as that is still the attitude I encounter with most other people. I'll never know enough about these funny boxes with their keyboards but the little I've come to divest from various sources is enough to tell me what a crock of guano-cookies all things Microsoft is.

Aquaintances with Macs - using OS Ten that 'sits' on 'Linux' (isn't that uncomfortable?) and is "rock solid" - and having seen BEOS in action are enough to show the clear difference between something that fails daily to do what it's supposed to. And Windows is SO BIG. I was told that they way they "improve" (clearly some new meaning of the word that I was previously unaware of) each new version of windows is something like this: To get it to do something better instead of deleting a line of code and writing a better one they keep the bad line and write a nother one, or another ten, on top countermanding the original one and getting it to do what it should that way. Only it doesn't always work. So they end up with instead of something svelte and efficient, something fucking huge and crap.

I muddle through on Windows 98 (2nd ed) and it's a huge megabytage. I daren't think how big XP is. It would probably take up half the hard drive (well, it would on my five year old charcoal burning steam powered box with barely minimal bakelite hard disc).

I AM as guilty as anyone else; I bought Windows because EVERYONE ELSE USED IT. I wasn't enough of a revolutionary to go another road, and at the time definitely needed the parallel of a home system to match those at work. I have paid though. Windowas has killed my PC stone dead at least three times and I've had to learn the hard lesson of reformatting/partitioning the hard drive from scratch and loading everything again. In the process losing both documents (I know! I know!) and performance. The damn thing never fully recovers.

I think that I would be happy to attempt using an alternate to Explorer (though I don't know HOW, in practical terms, Netscape/Moz is different) simply because it isn't Windows but is compatible. IF I ever get another computer and start from scratch. This one's failing so fast it crashes if I try even loading CorelDRAW onto it.

I wonder what the Bill Gates who started out with all this would DO to the Bill gates now if he could meet him. Going by various documentaries and articles I've seen over the years I find it hard to believe that the thenGates had a dark and evil plan and intended to be the vile and appalling Monster that nowGates so evidently is.

Somewhere between a car crash and a Bosch painting

What a wonderful compliment Nick, thank you :) I think I can safely say that you have confirmed that my mission to confuse the living crap out of everyone has succeded :)
Even I don't understand my relationship with My Immortal Beloved and I don't think he does either, it just is :)

Just one thing I would like to say, If you have read back far enough I have gone off on the odd rant about his mates, I would like to make it very clear that you are not included in the Unholy trinity :) I do like you very much and I think you are very good influence on My Immortal and I am glad you are his freind. :) You a voice of reason amongst thelemites :) Or something. :)

Maybe Bosch was a bit unfair - my mental image is also a bit like one of those Terry Gilliam-animated Monty Python heads, whose contents include whirring Heath Robinson-esque machinery, a line of kitten-headed chorus line girls and some random bits of Roman statuary. It doesn't take much to be a voice of reason amongst thelemites, I must admit (and I have no idea who you could be talking about).

That said, you do have an intermittent tendency to, uh, be a bit harsh on Al in your LJ (I am sad, I read it all), which was what prompted my post.

Honestly it was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me, to be a goth and be compared to Bosch is a wonderful compliment :) I don't expect you to understand but I do deliberatly strive to be well.... different. It's very complicated and I don't want to drag anyone else into my weirdness. My lj is a diary of my personal thoughts and feelings, myself and al have no secrets and he is not the easiest of persons to live with as you can imagine. (Just ask s and c about his home style :) ) I hope it helps if I explain that despite everything I love Al more than life itself. In my lj I will rant and say things I don't mean. The most beautiful thing about our relationship is that no matter what the argument we always sort it out and our love for one another always wins through. What I reflect in lj is not neccessarily what I would do :) I hope this helps you understand a bit better. And as I have said through both parties, myself and Al we do not have a conventional relationship, and this is deliberate on both parts. Neither of us are perfect, we are human beings and we do dumb things. It's what we do to sort it out that matters to the both of us :)

Also you are not the only one completly confused, Poor James from Edingbrough was totally baffled by the time he left our house. The guy will need years of therapy! :) We don't understand it, we just know it works :) And the previous problems are now sorted, and when the next set of problems come up no doubt I shall note them down in my lj and rant about them untill we find a way around it :)
But a big hug to you for being concerned about us, thank you :)

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