Monthly Archives: May 2004

ISBN 0-9547930-0-5

Smith, D. (2004). Practical Guide to Making Money on the Mobile Internet (second edition). Bango Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 0-9547930-0-5.

About the author: David Smith is a writer, editor, designer and techie. With over ten years’ experience in the computer industry, David has written clear, accessible documentation for over twenty leading products including the acclaimed “Introducing VisionFS” manual.

I’d actually written “for over twenty product releases” but I guess I was big-upped in the edit.

There is no photo. Apart from the one of me in the wig at the Christmas party a few years back, but that’s different.



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Wherein Avaragado neologises

I have invented a new word or phrase. The new word or phrase I have invented is the word or phrase status lag.

Status lag is the tendency for your IM status to lag behind reality. I generally remember to set it to “Stepped Out” when I go for a wander, but rarely remember to pop it back to “Available” when I return. Status thusly lags, in a vaguely Schrödinger’s Cat-like is-he-or-isn’t-he “Stepped Out” kind of way.

Now drink your weak lemon drink.

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Waiting, waiting, waiting

Delivery persons are the scourge of our age. It’s so convenient to buy over the net and have a man+van deliver it, but so irritating when said man in said van fails to arrive on the designated day.

The sun’s out, it’s a warm day, I have things to buy, people to see, cheques to bank (well, one cheque, but it has trailing zeros before the decimal point so I’d like to bank it quickly), but I’m tied to the flat waiting, waiting, waiting.

I need a gopher. Or maybe a waitpher, so I can do the going bit.

Meanwhile, someone in a flat opposite (directly above James) seems to have installed tinfoil windows. Heat reflectors? I don’t recall moving to the Mojave Desert. Maybe it’s something to do with the US Government and thought rays. I wonder what they’d do if I put a tinfoil silhouette of a man underneath that window.

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Ban television

Wall of silence over terror threat

Panorama tonight asks the simple question: how well would Britain cope with a terrorist attack? The programme devised a plausible scenario: suicide bombs on the tube and an exploding chlorine tanker in the east end of London. The government branded it “irresponsible”, withdrew cooperation, and our dear bonkers Home Secretary David Blunkett refused to appear because the BBC wouldn’t agree to his demands (the full list of participants, a rough cut, and no interviews after his).

Everyone Panorama spoke to unofficially, of course, said it was perfectly plausible and had been discussed in government circles. But officially, the response was:

[…] it would give ideas to the terrorists because terrorists watch television.

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Monkey tennis

Ah, British TV at its best.

Channel 4, May 17th, 9pm: Celebrities Disfigured
Actor Craig Charles and model Caprice agree to be disguised with wigs, glasses and remarkable prosthetic make-up in order to experience the public’s reaction to people with facial disfigurement. After spending 48 hours undercover, they reveal how they were treated and the resulting impact of the experiment on their own perceptions of the facially disfigured. (Subtitles)

(Summary from Digiguide.)

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Avaragado update, wherein fate is tempted

I think my back must be going through one of its moods. The sciatica eased up over the weekend, possibly helped by me standing up for most of it. So far this week things have gone more or less back to how they were a few weeks ago. I get some twinges now and then, and a vague feeling that things have shifted a bit, but overall I’m happier than I was on Saturday morning. I suspect I’m turning into one of those people (© Denis Norden) who can tell when the weather’s going to change by the creak of their joints.

In other news, I’m apparently an “acclaimed technical author”. At least that’s what Bango’s calling me in the cover letter they’re sending out with my book to, er, whoever they’re sending it out to. I saw my first printed copy today. Found a typo, naturally, but overall I’m pleased with it. The final title is Practical Guide to Making Money on the Mobile Internet. It even has a price on the back – £19.99.

And finally, squiddy himself is the newest member of the exsquiddies. Tarantella has rebranded, and replaced the logo. The product now has its fourth name in seven years: Tarantella Tarantella Enterprise II Tarantella Enterprise 3 Tarantella Secure Global Desktop, Enterprise Edition. Secure Global Desktop for short. Hmm, SGD. Sgiddy? Never mind, forget I said it.

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While wandering through Cambridge earlier:

Him: I wrote an essay in four hours this morning.
Her: Really?
Him: Yah.

Yah. I didn’t think people still said that. Clearly I only associate with common people.

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I’m sorry, sir, your warranty has expired

It’s been six months or so since my surgery. I’d be back to normal afterwards, they said.

What they didn’t say was that back to normal meant back to the time before your surgery when you had sciatic pain.

It’s appeared in the last few days. I got an inkling of it on Thursday, and Friday was confirmation. I can feel a pressure again. Sometimes standing up (or lying down) hurts. Not as badly as it used to, but that’s scant consolation right now. I had an uncomfortable night last night (you think I always get up at this time on a Saturday?); a little targeted prodding near the site of the surgery had some effect, which suggests it may be treatable (I’m speculating).

I can’t think of anything specific that might have brought it on, except maybe carrying a bit too much shopping from the car on Monday (god, couldn’t it have been something a bit more exciting?). There was no “Ow!” moment that I recall. Maybe my body has just noticed that I’m doing some work for Tarantella again, and associates Tarantella with sciatica.

So, what are my options?

  1. Do nothing. The typical-man approach that I took last time, which led to two-and-a-half years of pain, two hours of surgery, two months of recuperation and four months of painlessness. Probably not the best approach.
  2. Hit it with a hammer until it stops hurting. Tempting. But percussive maintenance is not, I think, a recognised treatment for spinal problems. Even so…
  3. Go back to the physiotherapist. There’s no guarantee that a physio will be able to fix it, but they are trained in the art of prodding backs so they might do a better job than me.
  4. Kill myself. Long term, we’re all dead. Shorter term, however, the gains are small and the losses considerable.

Since I want to (D) live, (B) walk, and (A) do something rather than nothing, looks like I’ll be (C) ringing the physio first thing on Monday.



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Avaragado’s culture supplement

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It’s a film, as Lionel Blair and/or Liza Goddard used to say. Six words, fourth word, the. (It’s also part of a quote.)

The film features Jim Carrey, acting rather than gurning. It’s Truman Show Carrey not Mask Carrey, thankfully. And the film’s pretty good. I guess it’s fair to say that if you liked Being John Malkovich (the one with, er, John Malkovich) or Memento (the one with, er, Mike from Neighbours) you’ll like this.

Saw it at the Vue (cinema, not pub) yesterday. (The Warner Village cinema with a lick of paint and fewer cartoon characters.)

Ironically for a film which could actually boast an original idea, two of the trailers that preceded it were for remakes. The Stepford Wives, and, fer chrissakes, The Ladykillers starring Tom Hanks. Guinness he ain’t.

Avaragado’s Film 104 awards ESotSM two tomatoes up.

And now our food critic writes…

Prezzo (ex-Michel’s Brasserie) was our post-cinematic excursion, via the County Arms (as the Castle wasn’t open) and the Rope and Twine (ex-Town and Gown).

Naturally we got the new waiter. Second night on the job. We had to point at everything on the menu and we still had trouble getting what we thought we’d ordered. His mentor/superior was a little stressed. We also had to beg for a little more elbow room, as the nine of us were shoe-horned into what I think the lawyers would call a “table for six”. We got them to lash an additional spare table on the end so we could spread out and breathe.

Starter: salad-type-thing, avocado, mushrooms, green stuff, red stuff. Most satisfying.

Main course: a crostini of some description. Too small. Snarfing of other people’s side dishes while they weren’t looking was required.

Avaragado’s rating: 0.74 sweet green peppers.

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