Wednesday, 24 October 2007

TED Talks

"TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader."

So, a while back, I introduced Miro (formerly Democracy player), which allows you to watch video podcasts as channels. When you first install Miro, it comes with a few subscriptions loaded by default. One of these is "TED talks", which is videos of various talks/performances given at the annual TED conference. They involve all kinds of things ranging from technology to language to music to psychology to pretty much anything you can think of that's on the cutting edge of creative and innovative thinking.

I highly recommend checking it out as there's some extremely interesting stuff on there. Even if none of the things cover your field of interest, I'm sure you'll find the talks interesting and some might even spark your interest about things you've never even thought about before (I do nothing to do with neuroscience but Vilayanur Ramachandran's talk was extremely interesting).

So, you can either get Miro or head to the TED talks site, here.

Monday, 22 October 2007

The Death Of The Author

A small insight into the kind of thing I do on my course...


So, I installed Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on saturday and updated everything and installed everything I wanted (including all the Ubuntu Studio components) and so far, it's been good.

A couple of notes on certain things:
  • The new Ubuntu Studio theme is alright. I like the all black panels, as it means the blend in nicely to the background. I've changed the window decoration back to the old Feisty one so I can tell a fullscreen window from the panel.
  • GIMP 2.3 was a great improvement over 2.2 and I'm hoping 2.4 will be even better.
  • I still can't get my external monitor working the way I want it to, but there should be a new ATI driver out soon, which will hopefully fix that problem.
  • The new way XGL/Compiz is set up is great as you don't have to faff about with configuring Xorg and whatnot.
That's all for now, more to come as I discover various things.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Cheap Ubuntu PCs are now available in the UK!

And they're from Tesco!

eSys Intel Celeron PC Base Unit (£139.93)

eSys AMD 3600 PC Base Unit (189.93)

So, they're not the best systems out there and for some reason they're running 6.06, but they'll probably do just fine for surfing the net and writing documents, which is probably what someone buying a computer at this price would want to do (especially someone who'd buy a computer from Tesco).

Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen (Pro: This is a step towards the mainstream for Linux/Ubuntu, Con: These could be terrible computers, which would reflect badly on Ubuntu). Either way, that's a hell of a lot of clubcard points! :D

The next step is to get Dell to release Ubuntu PCs over here. Hopefully they'll do so by the time it becomes time for me to replace my current laptop... (or at least get myself a desktop to go with it)

Interesting links

So, I find interesting stuff on the internet all the time thanks to things like StumbleUpon (If you don't have it already, check it out, it's a great way to kill time on the internet and I've managed to stumble on many useful resources through it) and I thought it was about time I start sharing them with the world. I've got loads stored in my bookmarks, so I'll be going through them and putting them up here. I'll try and group them into categories somewhat. For now, here's just a couple of the latest ones I've come across.

Disposable web pages

So, you want a page for something that's coming up but you won't need the site after the event. You could make an event page on Facebook or a group or something, but why not something everyone can access, rather than just those on Facebook? Why not make a disposable web page? I'm sure there's even more possible uses, so check it out!

Open Design Community

"The Open Design Community (TODC) is a group of Open Source Website Designers providing hundreds of XHTML and CSS based free web design templates available for download.

The main goal of TODC is helping to make the internet a prettier place."

HTML Playground

Or, if you don't find a template you like, you can just use HTML and build it yourself. This is a great resource for learning as it tells you exactly what HTML tags do and gives you editable examples.

That's it for now, more to come soon!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The times they are a-changin'

So, there's been some changes afoot and I figured it's time to tell you about them.

I no longer do music tech. I graduated in July with a 2:1. I have now started a Master's course in Creative Technologies. I'm still at DMU, but now I'm working in the Institute Of Creative Technologies. You can find some links to various IOCT-related things over on the right.

What this means, is that this blog is now going to broaden its scope to cover all kinds of creative technology, rather than just those that are music related. I'm not changing the name though, as that's too much hassle.

Also, for those that don't know, Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) is being released in a few days. I plan to once again do a complete reinstall, as that should fix various things I've broken in the course of using Feisty for the past six months. I shall obviously give a full report on that endeavour when it's all over.

Friday, 12 October 2007