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Writing: 2003

  1. Richard Herring on his new watch

    The [Timex Ironman digital watch] comes with a box about the size of a pack of playing cards that…

  2. Jame Oliver’s new site

    I just helped set up Jamie Oliver’s new-look weblog, er, I mean diary. It has a fantastic cookery question and answer section.

  3. Its true

    Greil Marcus quoting John Humphrys in the Sunday Times quoting Lynn Truss’s Eats, Shoots…

  4. Ideas Bazaar redesign

    I’ve just done a redesign and build of the company’s website, which I found enormously satisfying.

  5. Vito, Michael and Henry

    In ‘The Believer’s September 2003 issue, Jim Shepard compared the “honourable” morality of the gangsters in Coppola’s ‘Godfather’ films with the destructive selfishness of those in Scorcese’s ‘GoodFellas’, and, all too briefly, likened the latter to the world of Enron and Bush’s government.

  6. Statement of a Photographic Man

    An excerpt from Henry Mayhew’s 19th century ‘London Labour and the London Poor’, in which a photographer describes one of the many scams he pulls on people with this new technology.

  7. Marching

    Yesterday’s Anti-Bush march, and thinking of ways to make such protests have a larger impact on those who don’t take part.

  8. Action Energy

    I spent a couple of weeks copying and pasting text into the redesigned site. Even though it has a content management system.

  9. Extendaword

    The project I’ve been working on recently, a word game for the Financial Times, is finally launching.

  10. Semi-public events

    Wondering how to create a distributed calendar system for inviting friends along to events without showering them with emails.

  11. Moneydance

    A personal finance application for the Mac (and Windows and Linux) that seems to work. Yeah! Rock’n’roll!

  12. T610 calendar having problems with winter

    The Sony Ericsson seems to screw up appointment times in its Calendar once British Summer Time ends…

  13. A question

    If you insure your CDs, what is it you’re actually insuring?

  14. Teachers

    “There’s only one thing I hate more than a sore loser.” “What?” “You.”

  15. Felicity on ITV2

    In the dead of night, ITV2 is airing the best US teen angst drama.

  16. Geolocational link dump

    A collection of URLs scavenged from two months’ worth of unread Geowanking mailing list emails. Maps, wikis, GPS, Flash, RSS, RDF… the usual.

  17. Delancey and 2nd St

    Eddie Morton, ‘The Sound of Vaudeville’, and my photo of his neighbourhood.

  18. Changing jobs

    The Guardian’s special report on changing jobs, and how great it is to hear about people making the break…

  19. Looking as cheerful as any man could do…

    “I went out to Charing Cross, to see Major-general Harrison hanged, drawn; and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition.”

  20. The Caretaker

    John Peel played a track by The Caretaker earlier this evening. It’s good stuff and you can…

  21. Sunsets and shared experience

    Other peoples’ photos of Wednesday’s London sunset show how much richer the online world can make the real world. Hurrah!

  22. McSweeney’s vs They Might Be Giants

    “Quirky” pop duo and self-absorbed literary quarterly… a recipe for embarrassment. Or maybe not!

  23. Linklogs are taking off. Again.

    Ooh, excitement! Some people think “linklogs” are taking off! But, of course, they’re nothing new — Jorn Barger was doing it waaay back.

  24. “I wish he would pull my hair again”

    A friend of mine in the US has started posting excerpts of her diary from when she was 12 to her weblog. “I want to be Joey’s friend … I wish he would pull my hair again.”

  25. Bloglines’ blogrolls and the real world creating friends

    You can now include your “blogroll” direct from Bloglines. And I ramble about why some people feel like closer “friends” just because they’re physically nearer.

  26. Hiragana and Katakana practice page

    I’ve made a page to help people (like me) practice their Japanese alphabets.

  27. Online autobiography tools?

    Is there a market for a simple tool that would allow people to easily document their lives? No, not weblogs; something geared towards the past.

  28. Link-only weblogs aggregated on Haddock Blogs

    Haddock Blogs now has a separate list and RSS feed of a few other “link logs” or link-only weblogs, or whatever you want to call them.

  29. Sensible RSS feeds for “link logs”

    Looking through RSS feeds of various link-only weblogs, I realised they all had entirely different formats. So I’m trying to work out why people do what they do, and what (I think) they should do.

  30. Imperial Rome’s high density living

    In Rome 2,000 years ago, most people lived in apartment blocks five to six storeys high.

  31. Dinnerladies

    Nancy Banks-Smith on the canteen sitcom, and why Stan should be in ‘The West Wing’.

  32. Family Tree

    I’ve just drawn up the (partial) Gyford Family Tree.

  33. Viewing iChat logs

    Logorrhea is a simple and free application for browsing and searching your iChat logs.

  34. Underground Britain

    Fascinating information, photos and floorplans of underground locations around the UK, particularly the half of the site devoted to old cold war bunkers.

  35. Greater London Industrial Archeology Society

    Their bi-monthly online newsletter is an amazing collection of wide-ranging background info on everything from bricks to the distilling industry.

  36. Awesome commercial use of XHTML/CSS

    Ryan Carver has built a site for Lee Jeans and describes how its CSS and XHTML 1.0 Strict are achieved. Very impressive. Plus a couple of web page validator type things.

  37. Douglas Coupland interviews

    Two interviews with Coupland on the launch of ‘Hey Nostradamus!’.

  38. Farmers’ Market

    Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market and occasional second hand book sales. A perfect Saturday morning.

  39. Bill Nighy

    “There is nothing lonelier than being on stage in pantaloons.”

  40. Heading south for the winter

    My sister’s making an unusual career move…

  41. Ella Guru

    Heard their song ‘On a Beach’ on Late Junction last night and it was good.

  42. Gigantomachia

    I’ve had my first real play with TypePad, and got a new site up and running that isn’t a weblog.

  43. Wired UK employees

    Most Wired UK staffers are missing from the roll call on the website of Gary Wolf’s book, ‘Wired: A Romance’, so here they are.

  44. Eudora 6, inching slowly forward

    Eudora 6 has been released. An improvement, but it’s falling still further behind the competition. It wouldn’t take much…

  45. This week’s culture

    This week I’ve seen Douglas Coupland talk and I’ve heard ‘Newsnight: The Opera’. I missed Gillian Welch and Burning Man.

  46. Bloglines

    I’m loving the online RSS feed reader which is replacing NetNewsWire Lite for me.

  47. Colours

    I’m no good with colours, as you can tell, but here are two simple yet handy things that…

  48. iCal time zones

    iCal has almost exactly the same problem with time zones as Movable Type. If you travel iCal will change the time of all your appointments…

  49. Movable Type time zones

    Weblog entries should have their own time zones, rather than be stuck with the weblog’s default that you can never change, even if you move from one continent to another.

  50. Post boxes

    Red post boxes all over the web. Hurrah! Buy them (and phone boxes) for your garden! Yay for hobbies!

  51. David Lynch on sheds

    Sheds are apparently fashionable right now but David Lynch was way ahead of the curve. He likes sheds.

  52. Telegraph poles

    Telegraph poles are often marked with their owner, size and date. More details here…

  53. Updated Haddock Blogs

    A couple of updates to the Haddock Blogs script, mainly including the full item descriptions in the feed, where available.

  54. Summer playlist

    A selection of tunes from Greil Marcus’s ‘Mystery Train’ that make for fine heatwave listening.

  55. Pre-client spam filtering

    After trying the very nice Knowspam.net I’m left uneasy by the whole idea of challenge and response spam filtering.

  56. What are the chances of that happening, eh?

    Brian Eno documentary on BBC 6 Music.

  57. Three web widgets

    Three generally unnecessary JavaScripty things that you’ll probably never need, but they’re pretty good solutions if you do.

  58. Open mapping

    Some folk in a German city have generated a set of freely-available mapping data, because authorities in Europe don’t release such information.

  59. Essex signposts and milestones

    A great site of photos of signposts and milestones around Essex. No, it’s interesting.

  60. T610 dimness

    The Sony Ericsson T610 is indeed lovely, but that review was right about the dim screen.

  61. Great ‘24’ review

    A good review of ‘24’ in ‘Sight & Sound’.

  62. Encoding with LAME in iTunes revisited

    There’s a much updated version of the iTunes-LAME Encoder.

  63. Removing languages

    I’ve reinstalled OS X and found a handy utility for removing all the unnecessary language files afterwards.

  64. HTML is for grown ups

    Why HTML is both easy and hard, and two Internet Explorer bugs.

  65. Doonesbury via RSS

    I made an RSS file that links to this week’s ‘Doonesbury’ strips.

  66. And Nancy Banks-Smith too

    Finally, the civilised world can relax. The Guardian’s top telly reviewer is now tracked by Byliner.

  67. Greil Marcus

    Greil Marcus’s ‘Real Life Rock Top Ten’s, once at Salon, are still going over at City Pages. Yes!

  68. Freelance charging

    How much does a freelancer need to charge to equal certain full-time annual salaries?

  69. Birkenstock

    The Guardian’s lack of research, Birkenstock’s new range of shoes, and my fashion dilemmas.

  70. Getting there, slowly…

    Six months in and only 3,000 or so days left to go with Pepys’ Diary. At current rates…

  71. Domestic geeks

    There is an emerging tradition of geeks analysing how to perform certain domestic tasks with the most efficiency.

  72. Hire me!

    I’m looking for freelance or contract web building and/or designing work. I comment my code!

  73. The Mapmakers

    I just finished reading The Mapmakers (Amazon US, UK) by John Noble Wilford which was wonderful.…

  74. The Big Brother universe

    Swapping housemates between different countries’ ‘Big Brother’ houses. It’s fantastic, really!

  75. Revamped Haddock Directory

    I’ve rewritten and redesigned the Directory. NEW! IMPROVED! STILL GREEN!

  76. The Believer

    McSweeney’s new mag can now be shipped outside North America. Hurrah.

  77. Arthur Brown, 1914-2003

    Distant Christmas memories of the Essex historian, who died in March.

  78. Life as a 19th century fire-eater

    Part of Henry Mayhew’s interview with a street fire-eater is fascinating, but not for the weak of stomach.

  79. We’re all reporters now

    Webloggers should respect “off the record” briefings… just as companies should be aware their employees might be well-read webloggers.

  80. Smoke: A London Peculiar

    Issue one of a low-key and enthusiastic little zine about London.

  81. Social sausages

    Social software and social capital at The Wonk Foundation; cocktail sausages; Microsoft missing the point; getting bored at talks; and how men in suits rarely live up to TV’s portrayal.

  82. Buy comics NOW!

    Fantagraphics need you to buy some comics to help them out of a nasty hole…

  83. As the Apple Turns

    Even better than a Mac rumour site.

  84. Especially lovely Richard Herring thing

    “I wondered how many thirty-something overweight men were spending this glorious bank holiday night eating unpleasant, artery clogging fried food, before returning to their flats alone. I thought it was probably 29.”

  85. The all@ rite of passage

    The journey from fun start-up to grown-up company is marked by one obvious rite of passage: the taming of the company-wide mailing list. Getting rid of the jokes and amusing URLs may be inevitable, but handle it wrongly and you’re in trouble…

  86. Auntie Phyl’s fruit cake

    The recipe, handed down through the generations. Burp.

  87. Fly away UpMyStreet, be free!

    uSwitch buying UpMyStreet; whether there’s anything left to be “saved”; webloggers as primary news sources; missing people.

  88. So, it’s over

    Rate it “10” Phew.

  89. Someone’s having fun…

    Samuel Pepys has just arrived in the Netherlands.

  90. Soon, it will be over

    It was just one of those days, of salvation and loss.

  91. Cartographic Congress Show and Tell

    Notes from the event — lots of internet mapping, GPS and RDF.

  92. Once in a lifetime offer! Employ today!

    Not one, but two wondrous web talents are available for work. Hurry along, don’t miss your chance!

  93. Eudora 6 beta fights spam

    There’s a beta version of Eudora 6 out for Macs (Windows coming soon). I’ve been using…

  94. Snow crash

    Is this car art or wank? You decide!

  95. Paris photos and Kyupi Kyupi

    Photos and strange art from a recent long weekend in Paris.

  96. Learning biotech

    I want to know something about biotech, but I know nothing about anything.

  97. Two reasons to avoid using Safari with Movable Type

    If you use Movable Type and Apple’s Safari web browser you should probably read this before you do what I just did.

  98. Toy shop

    Once upon a time there was a magical toy shop. And it’s still there today.

  99. Set beats-per-minute in iTunes

    A handy thing for tapping along to MP3s and setting their BPMs. The world’s gone wonderfully mad.

  100. EtCon photos

    I’ll shut up about the bloody thing soon, but until then, here’s the handful of photos…

  101. Home and catching up on EtCon

    All the Hydra collaborative session notes are now together online, and some of the presentation files too. And more about Hydra.

  102. EtCon day 3

    More good stuff: How Google stays good, nanotech and tiny devices, lots of collaborative notes.

  103. EtCon day 2

    Alan Kay’s amazing Squeak, Clay praising Pepys’ Diary, Stewart Butterfield on games, and too much more.

  104. The first day of EtCon sessions

    Surviving a migraine, I managed to catch some sessions that ranged from fascinating to “oh my god, who are these people!?”

  105. Another day in San Jose

    We got a lovely reception when we arrived to register at Etcon on Tuesday morning. The lady with…

  106. Riding on city buses for a hobby is sad

    Lots of slow travelling around Silicon Valley as friends gradually colonise the area.

  107. Walton from the air

    Aerial photos of Walton-on-the-Naze and the town’s beautiful backwater.

  108. Heading to EtCon

    It’s all very last minute, but next week I’ll be attending the O’Reilly Emerging…

  109. Byliner RSS feeds

    Read your favourite writers from around the web via RSS. And read about the cunning caching method involved.

  110. More UpMyStreet

    Coverage of the continuing UpMyStreet administration and analogies for Administrators.

  111. Haddock Blogs problem

    Sorry about the flood of Live Journal entries — they seem to have changed all their URLs. Hopefully it’ll be OK from now on.

  112. London tours

    You can do tours of the old hotel at St Pancras and the Freemasons’ Grand Lodge in Covent Garden.

  113. Tax-efficient giving

    How to maximise your charitable donations for the benefit of both you and the charities.

  114. UpMyStreet Falco

    UpMyStreet, my employer, is up for sale.

  115. Geo-encoding UpMyStreet

    UpMyStreet is already geo-encoded in a way of course, as almost every page contains specific…

  116. That summer feeling

    With British Summer Time looming this weekend I wondered whether I’d need to change the…

  117. Do as Cal says

    Cal has a great article about writing robust PHP. Specifically, making it less vulnerable to…

  118. Questioning time

    What he said. Last night, unable to find anything on TV that wasn’t about the war, that…

  119. Ethical ISAs

    Options for saving money that aren’t going to make the world even worse than it already is.

  120. “New!” markers in Movable Type

    A method of marking entries or comments as new since a user’s last visit.

  121. New old photos

    Photos of Madrid, Chamonix, Philadelphia and Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex.

  122. Happy birthday Wired

    Wired is ten years old. Gary Wolf writes about what things were like ten years ago. But nothing in…

  123. Big bag of words

    A guide to talking like a gamer, an online language journal, and a language weblog.

  124. Internet Explorer’s font size strangeness

    Wondering why Internet Explorer resizes fonts that are specified using ems and percentages very differently.

  125. Changing Movable Type archive URLs

    A quick way of changing your Individual archive URLs without breaking links.

  126. Road geeks

    Celebrating geekery in an unexpected area… Chris’s British Road Directory.

  127. Testing font sizes

    An attempt to find out how to size my fonts so that everyone can read them.

  128. I’m now available in French!

    My ‘Introduction to weblog terms for weblog readers’ has been translated.

  129. Creating a 1980s virtual world

    Chip Morningstar’s entertaining and still relevant 1990 essay on building and running ‘Habitat,’ a mid-80s online multi-player game.

  130. More Newton fun

    Pointing to a summary of what’s happening on the Newton, five years after it stopped shipping.

  131. Babies galore

    Ada, Aasta and Oskar.

  132. BBCi’s accessibility report

    The BBC publishes a great report on their own sites’ accessibility. But in the non-accessible format of PDF. Doh!

  133. Broxtt’s blog

    This week a few of us at work have been giggling quietly while creating a fake weblog for our…

  134. Micro marketing

    If you live in Barnet or St Albans and want to learn to draw or paint then you need Insight. I…

  135. Sieving spam on the Mac

    Using SpamSieve to filter email: 98.9% accurate.

  136. I’ll give them a word burst or two…

    Accpording to the New Scientist it might be possible to track societal change by monitoring the…

  137. Aqua on Windows XP

    AquaXP.com is devoted to making your Windows machine look like Mac OS X. There’s a distinct…

  138. Books read and to be read

    Lists of books I’ve read each year, what I’m reading now and what’s sitting on…

  139. HotWired archives

    A conversation on The Well about HotWired of old prompted me to Google for the remnants of the…

  140. Decent UK TV guide

    A really simple telly guide, at last.

  141. Protesting the war in Estonia

    My sister sent me this photo from a friend of a friend in Estonia and says: In Tartu the defence…

  142. The best thing about Movable Type 2.6

    From the changelog: Changed all visible instances of blog to weblog in the system and in the…

  143. Giving and the Jhai Foundation

    For me it’s finally time to start giving.

  144. Dawson’s Creek has a cast of one

    The kids of Dawson’s Creek are actually identical clones sharing a single personality.

  145. Pepys Diary traffic statistics

    If you’re as fascinated by the spread of memes as I am you might find my brief report on…

  146. Removing evil image links from Movable Type

    How to free your Movable Type screens from those awful menus made out of images.

  147. Felicity

    Wondering why ‘Felicity’ isn’t watched by anyone but me.

  148. Using a British/UK Windows keyboard with an Apple Mac in OS X (2)

    Outdated instructions for using a British Windows/PC keyboard with a Mac.

  149. Byliner is reborn

    Byliner, my site that lets you keep track of when (some of) your favourite writers publish new…

  150. How many Americans own passports?

    Investigating the often quoted, and always varying, statistic that “only x per cent of US citizens own passports.”

  151. The stationary city

    Waiting for a gridlock-sparked revolution in London.

  152. More weblogging friends and Trackback confusion

    More friends start weblogging and why Trackback makes no sense whatsoever.

  153. Yay for Rosie!

    The Rosie Butler Ideal Man Application Form is now closed.

  154. My x and my y

    I’m all geo-encoded now.

  155. Gadget bag

    Where I have travelled back in time to make it easy to find a particular bag.

  156. Thayer’s Pork Pies

    I shared my latest batch of flapjacks around the office today and in return got a slice of one of…

  157. Flapjack

    I’ve been experimenting with making flapjack and the current batch is a winner. Here’s the recipe…

  158. Laser Squad by email

    A great time-drainer of my youth returns to haunt me.

  159. Hello Byliner!

    An embarrassing, but relieving, u-turn.

  160. Validation tools

    Two handy things: Checky, a Mozilla validation plug-in, and Amaya, the W3C’s web browser.

  161. Mexican food and restaurants in London

    Originally wondering why the few Mexican restaurants in London are unfortunate tequila fests, rather than tasty taquerias. Now a summary of Mexican eating options in the city.

  162. Akufen

    Last week the New York Times had an interesting article about about the most underrated albums of…

  163. They all start blogging in the end

    My friend Ted has just started a weblog. He lives in Santa Barbara, makes films, writes film…

  164. Bye bye Byliner

    One of my websites, Byliner, is closing down after three years, 50,000 stories and 4,500 writers.

  165. An introduction to weblog terms for weblog readers

    Explaining terms such as weblog, permalink, RSS and Trackback to people who are new to weblogs.

  166. More Pepys and me

    Slashdotting isn’t as fearful as it once was. Radio is very exciting. My voice is OK.

  167. “They both hated DLT”

    Snippets from ‘The Nation’s Favourite: True Adventures of Radio 1’, an extremely gripping read.

  168. It’s all gone a bit Warchalking

    The growing snowball that is interest in the Pepys’ Diary site. Although snowballs don’t take long to melt.