Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thinkpad Wireless Switch

I was really tired, had been at work all day on a Sunday, booted up the Lenovo Thinkpad X60 and no wifi. I kept getting this message when I tried to enable from the wifi icon it that it was switched off in the Bios or on the wifi switch. What wifi switch I muttered. After about 10 minutes of looking in the Bios, checking drivers and swearing I had a look at the warning message again. It had a little icon on it that looked like the wifi icon on the F5 key. Slowly my brain switched on.... I looked at the top of the notebook, on the sides and finally turned it over.

There's a slider switch on the lip of the notebook. If you look down at your keyboard, in the middle of the closest edge to you is a slot which the lid clips into. If you look under the notebook in the same position, there's a slider switch. One side has the little wifi icon - the computer with the little curvy things round it. The other one doesn't have the curvy thing. If you slide it from one side to the other it enables or disables wifi. Who new...

Maybe you all knew that but I didn't.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I was checking my sitemeter logs because it's fascinating to me people find this blog. There aren't very many but it's amazing to me that anyone reads my meanderings. It also makes me feel useful when answers to technical problems I've had are helping other people.

One of the searches today was for Ghost_k. As I blogged earlier when I put my 2 minute swan building a nest file on youtube I used Blue Mix by Ghost_k for a sound track. It was on ccMixter and had a creative commons licence.

Anyway someone has found it and linked to it on the ccMixterblog. Which is cool. My use of their track goes back to the mix site where other people might watch it and then think "what crappy footage of swans but I really like the song" - which would be really great because I really liked the song too :-)

Thank Goodness for Intermission

We went for a walk today and ended up at Sihlcity at about 8pm. We thought we'd see a movie so we looked at what was on in English and by default chose 300. I asked Dear Reader if he knew anything about it and he said he'd seen some blog posts where some people really liked it and others thought it was historically inaccurate. I asked the truly important movie question:

"Did anybody say that they wanted that part of their live back" and he said no. The blogosphere failed me. What were these people thinking - it was a terrible film. Bad acting, bad script, bad editing and not enough of it, unnecessary sex scene, bizarre digital effects - it was just bad.

For once we thought the Swiss practice of having intermission was great because we went outside, asked each other if we wanted to go back in and then left.

So yes I want that part of my live back but at least I only need back 1 hour.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sechselaeuten Bonfire

Sechselaeuten Bonfire
Originally uploaded by bristley.
We turned up late to Sechselaeuten. We missed the burning of the Booog but it was still fairly spectacular. Lots of people in costumes, big fire and afterwards mad people rushing up to the bonfire with long shovels picking up coals to cook sausages.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Red and Yellow

Red and Yellow
Originally uploaded by bristley.
We went for a walk in the Cemetery today. Actually we often do because it's just across the road. It's the Sihlfeld Friedhof. It is a lovely peaceful spot. A lot of the space if empty fields of grass and flowers. At the back in a away from the graves where they won't disturb visitors, people have quiet picnics. Now the weather has become Spring, there are people reading books or couples on a lot of the benches.
The graves have flowers on them in mass plantings. Really very lovely.

We took the SLR for a walk with a 50mm prime.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cycling in Switzerland Links

I've decided to collate some of the links we use when we're working out where to go cycling in Switzerland.

  • Swiss mapping site
  • - - excellent swiss map site. Tram timetables, restaurants etc.
  • Cycling in Switzerland
  • - these are the wonderful people who've put the cycling route sites all over Switzerland. You can buy their books too.

I'm still hunting for links to local ride route descriptions with more detail.

Update: just found a site with lots of descriptions in German: - this actually has routes with descriptions and maps, heights etc. Looks interesting. The descriptions for the Swiss routes I looked at were all German but even if you couldn't read any German the maps etc would make sense.

Flowers in the Grass

Flowers in the Grass
Originally uploaded by bristley.
We went for a bike ride yesterday. We rode to the Zugersee and then down the side of the lake. By the time we got to Kussnacht it was dark and so we skipped the last 10 km to Luzern and caught a train home.

This picture was from a field just near Zug. It's so pretty in Switzerland at the moment. There are flowers everwhere. It's about 25 degrees but as there's no cool wind it feels much warmer. Most people were in short sleeve t-shirts or singlet tops yesterday.

I can't believe that only 3 weeks ago there was snow in Zurich.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Zimmers

I just found The Zimmers.

Filmed for a documentary for the BBC at Abbey Road. Beautifully made and edited - and of course well performed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


The Sydney Morning Herald had an article on immunisation today. As usual they had a quote from the Australian Vaccination Network. Whenever they have an article about immunisation they quote this "anti vaccination lobby group". I suppose they have a PR person who is always ready for a quote. It's like talking to the "Australian Pedestrian Council" if there's a car accident but a lot more misleading. The Australian Pedestrian Council is not a lobby group against pedestrians.

I really hate it when a lobby group gets quoted without stating what they lobby for. Especially when they've chosen a name so that they sound like they're a government group.

I wrote a letter to the editor which will probably never see the light of day - not for any nefarious reason but because the editor receives a lot of letters so here it is:

The article "No immunisation, no job: public health policy" (April 11, 2007), contains yet another quote from the Australian Vaccination Network. Whenever there is an article on vaccines there seems to be a negative quote from this group never stating their background.

Hunting on the web to find descriptions of this group I found the most succinct statement in your sister paper the Age: "The president of anti-vaccine lobby group Australian Vaccination Network... " (Doubt cast on vaccine February 22, 2004) scare I think context should be provided for statements from any group - especially official sounding lobby groups

These lobby group are favourites of the Australian Skeptics Association among others. The Australian Skeptics group is a lobby group for people not being idiots. See - I provided context.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My New Bike

My New Bike
Originally uploaded by bristley.
I finally uploaded my photos. This is my new bike. I suppose it's not really pretty - it's a bit mean looking. It is very weeeeeeeeeeeeee.

So this photo was taken at Au. At the bus stop that says In Au. Au it hurts. Au the pain. Au Au Au. Actually I hadn't gotten my cleat adjustment right on my right shoe and so my right knee was a bit sore - so Au Au Au. It was ok the next day.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Swans Nest

We went for a walk along the Zurichsee and saw a Swan building a nest. I filmed it with my digital camera and made my first youtube video.

I found a creative commons licenced mix: Stop (blue mix) by Ghost_k and used it as a soundtrack.

I found it on ccmixter which describes itself as a
a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons
. Another very cool site.

Easter Weekend Books

I've been reading a lot over the weekend. I'm up to my fourth book and its only Sunday.

My favourites have been by Meg Cabot. Size 12 is not Fat and Size 14 is not Fat Either. Those are the Fictionwise links as I just discovered that Amazon doesn't list the 2nd one as released yet :-)

They are fun light fluffy mystery books by the author of The Princess Diaries. I saw the movie of this on tv not too long ago and Dear Reader and I both ended up enjoying it - which I didn't expect.

Our murder solving heroine is a ex-Avril like popstar whose Mother has absconded to South America with her money and other similar misfortunes left over from the end of her popstar days. She is now 28 and has just recently gotten a poorly paid job as an Assistant Directory of a Dormitory - sorry - Residence College in New York. Several murders ensure and all the other expected trimmings of the genre.

It's fun writing - love the main character and her calculation of meeting recommended exercise requirements by the walking necessary to get from her favourite cheese shop to her favourite bakery etc.

I kept reading little bits to Dear Reader that really appealed to me. It was funny and entertaining.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Watching Twitter

I was checking the Twitter timeline today for a little bit. It's worryingly addictive. Someone posted something like "just sent boyfriend out to shop for more cheese". I was checking back looking for the matching "buying more cheese" post but if it turned up I missed it.

I justed twittered that I was blogging about twitter and Dear Reader just got it as an SMS :-)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Online Music Stores

As I said in my last post I read review of online music stores. On Sunday we bludged around the house and I went to visit some of the DRM free stores they mentioned. Most cleverly promote themselves as iPod compatible :-)


At the moment emusic has a great big logo on the front and most things you click just have a register screen. After clicking on various of the smaller links at the bottom of the page I finally found a way to browse the site. I don't think that's a good marketing plan - how will I know if I want to register if I can't see the site.

Once I got to it's browse tab I thought it provided a lot of different ways of categorization of their music - genre, era, regions etc. I'm not sure I liked the idea of a subscription model. Although having 25 free downloads as their hook in is fairly clever - they you can get addicted before you have to pay any money.


Amie Street is the one I decided I'd probably most likely use. It's pricing model is quite cool. Tracks start as free and then go up in price based on how much they are downloaded. People can make recommendations and if the track becomes popular get credit. The recommendations becomes reviews on the songs. I think it would be a fun game.


Magnatune has a "pick your own price for an album" model. The bottom price is $5. So this is a more an honesty system. They had some very nice classical albums. Magnatune is a also or actually a record label. They provide good statistics on their sales.

They also do a good business in licensing of the music. They've got really great non-commercial terms for web-sites and podcasts and also have a really easy way to licence music for commercial use. My only reservation with this model is the guilt - what is a fair price. The angst.


It's similar to the model mentioned on the Freakonomics blog in the article on "How much is that song? It's up to you which was about SongSlide. SongSlide said they were doing a minimum price per song but at the moment had only low volume.

My Favourites So Far

I thought Amie Street had the most immediately rewarding sales gimmick - you could buy tracks for free but still help the artist - free stuff plus warm happy glow from immediate gratification - very nice :-) Plus I liked most of the sample music I clicked on.

Magnatune had a lot of different ways of promoting their music - encouraging sharing of songs, encouraging podcasts, easy licensing. That was cool - it said somewhere on their excellent write up on their statistics that 40% of their sales (ish) were classical even from people who came looking for something else.