Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Silent protest

Robert Scoble, the blogger I've followed longest, is going silent for a week in protest at the attacks on Kathy Sierra.

What has our internet come to?

Don't imagine anyone will notice, but I'm following suit. It seems kind of pointless, but less pointless than anything else I can do.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Third time lucky

I took Johnny to the swimming pool at the Brixton Recreation Centre for one more try after two unsuccessful visits, where despite his love of bathwater he'd clearly found the whole swimming pool environment rather alarming.

Unlike our first visit the training pool was open this time, albeit after a ten minute wait for a lifeguard to appear. This is good - it's warm and has metre-wide, shallow steps going into it, perfect for aquatic toddlers to get used to the water. But Johnny wasn't impressed by any of this, and when I tried to lower his feet into the water he scrambled up my tum until he was clinging limpet-like to my shoulder.

I was almost ready to give up when I had the ridiculous idea that maybe I could get him used to the water without prising him off my shoulder, so I lowered myself onto my back with my head and left shoulder sufficiently raised to stop either of us from drowning, and waited for him to get bored. Jake's mum Melissa waded by and helpfully did a bit of splashing for Johnny, then he did some splashing with his hand, then he sat up on my chest and did some kick-splashing, and at last he slid off and waded around the knee-high top step.

With trumpets playing fanfares in my head, I lent him my hand to step out of the pool and back again, and then for stepping onto the waist-height second step and back a few times. Finally, when I was all ready to quit while we were ahead, he decided to step down to third step -up to his chest - and up again.

Two very satisfied individuals left that pool with smiles on their faces, one of them with his head full of notions about the importance of combining logic with spontaneity - until a post-pool Melissa punctured it all with her observation that we had made a fine sight, Johnny on me, me on my back, like the ship's cat on an upturned hull.

In praise of Babytype

My favourite new utility is Babytype, which makes your computer into a wonderful baby-proof activity centre - every key pressed pops up an image and makes an entertaining noise, rather than sending emails to employers and old flames or reformatting the hard disk.

The only flaw was that I kept having to dive across the sitting room to start Babytype whenever Johnny approached the keyboard, which he can now just reach. So I asked Raize software if it could be turned into a screensaver, and got the following helpful answer:

First, you need to go to the directory where you installed BabyType. The default location is "C:\Program Files\Raize\BabyType." In this directory, you will find several files. One of the files is named "BabyType.exe".
Select the BabyType.exe and then select the Edit|Copy menu item. The select the Edit|Paste menu item. This will create a copy of the file which will be named: "Copy of BabyType.exe".
Next, select the File|Rename menu item and change the name to: BabyType.scr
Then finally, select the File|Install menu item and Windows will install the program as a screen saver.

I would like to say that this works perfectly, that the sitting room PC is now goes into Babytype after 5 minutes without use, and that the reply was sent on Saturday night, which is pretty damn impressive for a product that currently costs a mere $19.

Great product, great attitude. Thanks!