hirez: (Trouble with my worms (ii))
I actually finished a short story. And indeed started it. There's a middle, too.

(Wants to mature for a bit before editing, mind)

I believe I shall be really quite pleased with that outcome.
hirez: (dissent)
The missing Wainwright that no-one talks about is obviously 'A pictorial guide to the mountains of madness'.
hirez: (Lomo)
Actually, it's probably a good thing that HTC's 'social meejah' 'application' has expired. A sack of bollocks at either end with Brownian goalposts in the middle. This would be why I don't take 'web deveopers' seriously.

Apple's Mail.app. Does it have a 'Next unread message' command/menu-item? It does not. It's not actually for reading mail, is it.

Anyway. Here's some pictures of proper kit that was designed to work for a long time:

Thumping great jpegs of unusual objects from familiar angles )
hirez: (dissent)
This, rather than brutalist shopping centres for grim-faced proles.

(From here.)
hirez: (Q-309)
Up on that there FB right now are a few tracks from the other band I was in. (the) Total Bureau lasted for, um, about a year and then stopped in unfortunate circumstances. Being a pallbearer is a shit job.

Anyway. I have a few C90s from one or more Portastudios and I'm poking about at recovering the alleged songs.

My feeling is that I can scrape them off tape with a reasonably good cassette machine, hope that the azimuths on the various bits of kit were more or less aligned, reverse the tracks that come off tape backwards, apply rudimentary processing (Although Bob alone knows how one would un-DBX a track. Piss about with a parametric EQ until it stopped sounding shite, I think) and then somehow persuade all the recovered tracks to start at the right time so as to perform some kind of mixdown. Or just leave them as components.

I'm guessing Audacity, since Goldwave doesn't immediately appear to do multitrack.

Unless, of course, you know different.
hirez: (psyche-out (ii))
Via the Manchester Guardian, we find this marvellous work of Cold War propaganda. Not that I'm a particular fan of Strategic Air Command, Christmas icon notwithstanding, it's just that the film is an unintentional cavalcade of pre-90s cultural icons. Big analogue screens driven by shipping container-sized tech. Curvilinear stove-enamelled computer equipment that provided the styling cues for WOPR. Red AT&T handsets connected to arrays of buttons marked '273rd strategic bombardment wing'.

... And a mysterious woman at the end of each reel standing next to some colo(u)r bars against a curtained background. Cinematographer's partner? Lab tech? Someone who didn't end up on the cutting-room floor?

If there's a plot to her appearances, it's likely that of 'Hidden city', which was a splendid Film-Four enterprise of the mid 80s. It was similarly concerned with the side-effects of the Cold War.

I wish I had a copy of the Poliakoff film about the photo library.

Adam Curtis is still firing on all cylinders, mind. If we're all Tricky Dicky now, I'm writing a piece called 'The million-pound shithammer'.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Three selections from three different articles within the BBC website:


Before those experiments can even begin, however, the target chamber must be prepared with shields that can block the copious neutrons that a fusion reaction would produce.

But Dr Glenzer is confident that with everything in place, ignition is on the horizon. He added, quite simply, "It's going to happen this year."


---

The message emerging from the briefing appears to be that Obama has made his mind up. He will run with the recommendation of his Augustine panel and contract out the launch of US astronauts to commercial operators, and he will extend space station operations to 2020.

---

Walls in restaurants like the Kong Long are decorated with satellite stickers from past launches - such as Superbird 7 and Inmarsat 3.

I pop into the town's Deli France for a coffee and it, too, has stickers for Rosetta, Protostar and a Union Jack with the word "propulsion" on it.



I don't know about you, but I appear to be living in a Ken McLeod novel.
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
Bother. The ATM nailed to the side of the Tesco metro had a mechanical and failed its attempt to sick up my card. After three tries, accompanied by increasingly distressed peeping and me attacking it with a sharp knife (we'll gash the caul, etc), it gave up.

Hurrah for backup bank accounts, although it's still going to be a bit tiresome for the next 'seven to ten working days' + postal strike.

I'm not sure if it's just Bristol, but there seems to be an exciting new fashion amongst crap car drivers who live on crap streets to park their terrible shitboxes most of the way onto the pavement.

I'm vaguely convinced this is agin the law. Bastards.

I seem to have watched far too much telly this last week. It must be the coming of winter. Anyway, the Micro Men thing on BBC4 is being repeated this very even and is well worth the time, even if Sir Clive appears to be played by Kryten. You fucking buggering shitbucket.

It certainly filled in a lot of the gaps in the timeline that was otherwise documented in the pages of Practical Electronics and Personal Computer World. I'm bound to admit that the whole of the Cambridge thing passed me by, though I never was a fan of the Z80.
hirez: (tank)
... Which leads a chap to wonder why such images appeal so.

Reading about this in one or other of the original set of Eagle Annuals, which contained pictures of this splendid device, obviously leads to mental images of yon Tucker 743 hauling a motley shed-collection hover platform across a Trackless and Alien Expanse.

We also find this, which is possibly the best collection of pictures in the world ever. With the possibly exception of the late-model Range Rover, because they're just hateful.
hirez: (tank)
http://www.hovertrans.com/projects_george_wimpey.htm

... Being a set of images that feature sheds, hovercraft, chaps in scruffy pullovers smoking pipes at a tricky problem, 4x4 tractors and marine navigation lights.

What's the word for pictures that make your brain resonate? Those. Yes.

It's like... You know the way that Ballard's Vermilion Sands accurately describes a certain mode of permanent resort-life that you sometimes get a glimpse of when you're standing on the edge of the sea and there's no other bugger about? As if reality's shifted a bit and you can see things as they are, not as people think they should be.

... So these pictures accurately describe a mode of getting on with stuff that you can see when reality shifts a bit and things like focus groups and shops that can't spell have vanished.
hirez: (tank)
I'm staring only slightly vacantly into space, waiting for a train at Bath station (because it would be mildly inconvenient to wait for a piano. They only come on Wedensday mornings, and it's Monday evening. What kind of oaf d'you take me for, etc.) when I hear a low hooting noise.

Since I don't own a music-player with built-in Ableton functionality, although that sort of thing would be very nice, it must have come from outside. However, it's not the sort of noise one associates with modern trains. Clearly someone's having a jolly laugh with a ringtone or the station staff have cracked under the pressure of having to make constant excuses for the shiteness of the Cardiff service.

Nope. No. 34067 'Tangmere' huffs into view from the Bristol end and steams (quite literally great mate, etc.) at some pace eastwards.

Not unlike this.

Which made a pleasant change. I'm not sure that I'd want to want a return to steam traction, mind. It would be a murky and smut-filled place. It laid down a better smokescreen than a Suzuki Kettle, KH250 or RD250LC.

Edit: Thinking about it some more, it seems to me that the driver's mate bore a remarkable resemblance to one [livejournal.com profile] swisstone of this very parish.

Was this in fact a live enactment of 'Steam locomotive of the day'? I think we should be told.

I mean, it was jolly lucky I was handy for some railway. Had I still been working at Labs, there would have been no end of a palaver; cranes, low-loaders, navvies, ballast, health and safety. It just doesn't bear thinking about.

So my tip for you chaps out there is to think first of the other fellow and make sure you're convenient for a railway at all times.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Space Nazis!

(via [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker)

Have also written several hundred words that don't immediately look terrible.
hirez: (tank)
"And what is it you do for a living?"

"I'm, um, in computers."

"Oh, dear."

... Which is a just and appropriate reaction.

Odd but excellent sort of a day. Pottered round a set of fields, one somewhat oddly-shaped because it was going to be the site of a service station on the M5 and one with lumps in where a bomb had hit it; inspected a variety of sheds, most of which were filled with gladdeningly strange and/or ancient kit; fondled a couple of tractors... And then hoovered down tea and cake while discovering bits of the history of the other side of the family.

I did bag one or two pictures, but it was a paying attention sort of afternoon, rather than a standing behind a camera one. The interesting ones are the two views of a something bolted to the wall of the old forge. (Note that this really is an old forge, as the pile of tools will attest, rather than some stockbroker-belt twattery.)

Then there was chilli, arm-waving and fireworks round at Andi & Mel's. All very fine.
hirez: (psyche-out (i))
If I'd had my brain in and working, I would have worked out ahead of time that a helicopter museum was going to be a concentrated dose of Eagle Annual, retro-future, Gerry Anderson and Apocalypse Now. However, I didn't and it was. All of that from a reasonably-sized shed that hummed of warm metal, several different types of lubricant and kero, and was jammed with ironmongery that made you wonder how any of it managed to stay in the air long enough to do anything useful. I defy anyone to peer into the pilot's bit of a Russian gunship (Well, DDR anyway), view the labels on the dials and not think of Clint Eastwood. (Ok, wrong type of flying device, but still...) Or look at the surviving bits of Fairey Rotodyne and not think of Dan Dare. Or stand between a Hughes OH-6 and a Huey and not think (a) 'bloody hell they're small' and (b) starting humming 'Ride of the valkyries'. Then there was the random Westland with the Gerry Anderson interior (Fitted carpet, roll-top drinks cabinet, squared-off brown leather swivel chairs. White turtleneck not optional), the Interflug twin-rotor thingy...
hirez: (psyche-out (ii))
Following on from the last posting, the Manchester Guardian ask the right person to write a piece, and Danah Boyd makes an unsurprising amount of sense. The comments are illuminating.

Meatspace rules of engagement don't map well online. As experience with AGSF, uk.control, uk usenet in general, nipplegate et al have demonstrated with depressing regularity. However, it's futile trying to educate the sort of (self-righteous) activists who understand committees but don't understand when they're being trolled or that whoever is UID-0 controls their world.

I sense a poll coming on, but I'm mildly worried about the state of the results. In the meantime, I shall put up with that sort of behaviour as much as usual.

If you fully grok 'the right thing' then you're good. If you're a rules lawyer, then there's no hope for you and I hope you have a shit life.

Anyway. [/Clarkson]

The Czech Republic is clearly the world centre for mad transport and it makes me glad down to my little socialist/anarcho-syndicalist boots that we have an EU. Or it's a steam working day for the Titfield Thunderbolt re-enactment society. (Vaguely via RDD)
hirez: (tank)
A couple of years ago, I made up some extra bits of tube-map for reasons adequately explained in the original post.

It's a bit bleedin' previous to discover that LRT has been at that sort of thing for many years.

Also: Pictures of a startlingly twee Highgate station.
hirez: (pillock)
(accidentally via the orotund Mick Merciful-Release)

Bloody hell. The (psychobillyish) sound of dadaist young(ish) Redditch.

The Cravats/Paul Hartnoll single is a damn fine thing and exactly what you'd expect. You can win a packet of biscuits selected by The Shend's dog, too. This was why a youthful JH-R spent all his money on odd records, not f-ing ringtones or f-ing 'personalised' emails from some nobber-wannabe's PR machine. Biscuits.

Bonus round: Top entertainment! In Bristol! When I'm in the US! Arse! And the Nightingales! Double arse backwards round the carpark!

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