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Wednesday 7 February 2007

Free painting software

I’ve been looking at some free painting programs. In particular I wanted something that had realistic natural-painting tools (oil, watercolour, crayon, pencil, airbrush, pastels) to use with my graphics tablet.

(more…)


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 9:58 am
Tuesday 22 August 2006

Free Download Manager

I’m using Free Download Manager with RSS Bandit.

Life is good. It’s the most painless method I’ve found for grabbing file enclosures from my favourite vlogs… RSS Bandit presents the enclosure link nice and clearly. Just right-click > copy link location (shortcut), Free Download Manager pops up, hit OK and the file is saved in my downloads folder.

Windows always seems to offer the wrong file location when I save a file the usual way. The worst is when you are opening from one location and saving to another.

However, for years I’ve been using a little utility called File-Ex, which enhances the file dialog with lists of favourite and recently-used files and folders. A big timesaver.


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 5:35 pm
Monday 14 August 2006

Great RSS feed reader

For quite a while I’ve been looking around for a good feed reader. I was using the one that is built into Opera, but the slow-down while it updated the feeds every so often bugged me when I was busy looking at web pages at the same time. Sadly this is just one of the problems with Opera lately. I’m using Firefox much more these days.

I tried quite a few RSS programs then, finally, found the humorously named RSS Bandit. It’s open source (free).

I like the way it presents the feeds and file enclosures and it has a nice integrated, tabbed, web browser.

RSS Bandit - RSS feed reader for Windows


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 3:33 am
Wednesday 26 April 2006

Fireworks on the top of Beetham Tower, but does Manchester really need more city centre apartments for the rich? (VIDEO)

Fireworks from the top of Beetham Tower, Manchester, 26 April 2006

At 9.15pm tonight fireworks erupted from the top of Beetham Tower in Manchester, making it look like an over-sized roman candle firework. A topping out ceremony was taking place, marking the completion of the highest point.

The Tower stands 171m (561ft) and 47 storeys tall, making it the highest residential development in Europe. The first 23 floors will house a four-star Hilton hotel and apartments will fill the upper half.

Some people may wonder if Manchester really needs more apartments for the rich. When so many ordinary people in Britain are absolutely desperate for affordable housing and a large number of relatively well-paid workers are now excluded from ever owning a property of any kind due to high prices.

PFI

At the same time, Manchester City Council is busy trying to force various schemes onto residents of its council (public) housing, some of which is in the city centre. The aim being to pretty much wipe its hands of public housing.

Tenants are being denied a vote on whether housing should be transferred to a PFI (Private Finance Initiative) of the kind that is currently causing disaster in the National Health Service, an Arms Length Management scheme or whether it should remain in Council control.

In other parts of the country, residents have made it clear they want to remain in Council control. Which is something that Tony Blair and his New Labour cronies at Manchester City Council don’t want.

Tony doesn’t like it when people disagree with him and, if residents won’t be sensible and vote the way he wants, the answer is simple… Don’t let them vote at all and leave the decision to people who ‘know better’. In other words, those feeble-minded Labour councillors who have compromised their left-wing principles so much in recent years…

So, the original proposals to give residents a vote on the matter in Manchester are quietly being forgotten about. Instead, local Labour councillors will decide ‘what’s best’.


Filed under: Buildings,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 9:44 pm
Thursday 6 April 2006

Windows XP — this is progress?

A quick video.

Bill Gates, the $100 laptop and Windows XP.

It’s day four of .


Filed under: Net & technology,Personal — GS @ 3:41 am
Tuesday 21 February 2006

Video formats on my site

Updated on 14 April 2006

In the world of online video, things change almost weekly. Just when it seems I’ve found the ideal format for the videos on my site, along comes something better and it’s ‘all change’ again.

Then there are the developments with the hosting and listing of videos: iTunes, blip.tv and YouTube, RSS feeds… More people are getting ever-faster broadband and inexpensive portable video players are just months away… It’s all pretty exciting.

I’m switching to Quicktime (.mov) for the videos that are embedded on the page. I never thought I’d use Quicktime, but I like the way it works now. There will also be options to download either Quicktime (.mov) or Windows Media (.wmv).

Windows users may like to check out the free Quicktime Alternative player which will save you having to install the official bloatware. Though you’ll have Quicktime already if you’re installed iTunes.

Up until now, putting up two versions of each video meant that I was rapidly running out of space on the server. But now I’ll be hosting some of the files at blip.tv.

You probably won’t even notice, but you may like to check out blip.tv as I think it is the best video sharing service around at the moment.


Filed under: Net & technology,Video-making — GS @ 6:46 pm
 
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