Scargill – A Few of my Favourite Things

Solar Power for All?
I’m wary about this one – it’s all a little vague, but as they seem to have won awards, could this really be the start of a photovoltiac cell revolution?

I need a Wii
If you’ve been on the moon for the last year, you won’t know about the WII – a £200 games machine that is taking the world by storm (and who’s bowling game is killing my arm). For everyone else, I wonder if you’ve thought at all about that brilliant gadget, the WII remote. This is NO TOY – at £30 or so each, it is the bargain of the century for the experimenter – it has an IR camera, movement sensors, buttons, all accessible via Bluetooth….. but so what you say… well I say go to the site above and see how one guy is making waves with the controller – I’ve tried some of his experiments and they work – and work WELL.  Sorry that your laptop isn’t touch-screen? Add a WII controller and it can be!  Amazing, yes, impossible, no!

Google Hacks for Dummies
Just as most of the power of Microsoft office is often unused, most of the power of Google also gets missed. Here’s a particularly good way to waste your time – watching other people’s webcams thanks to Google.

MediaPortal
Considering your own Media PC? I did and set up Window Media on Vista – didn’t like it. I’ve chosen MediaPortal for now because it is free and it works – mind you I’m not watching live TV (or recording) as I have a SKY HD unit – but I’m using it for everything else – watching movies, movie previews, music, images, streaming radio stations etc – this is a good bit of software.

Free Stock Images
Looking around the web you’d think there were no shortages of free images – but in fact quite the reverse is true. Most of the sites I see have images that are going to get the site owners in trouble, sooner or later.  Take a look at the FSB’s forums at the Getty and Corbis topic if you want a real eye-opener.  So if you’re going to use images in your website – make sure you know where they come from – anyway, the above is a link to a number of sources of images.

TV Channels Galore
Thousands of TV channels – granted most are in a foreign language but there you go. Fun for all the family.

DIY CSS
Want to play with CSS – this handy online tester (TryIt Editor) lets you dump in your own CSS and code and see what it looks like immediately

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Scargills new toys – Bricopack Vista Inspirat and Launchy

Hi

I’m running XP mainly because I’m waiting for SP1 before moving along – right now I find Vista a little slow for my liking – but I DO like the visuals. So here are a few toys to make your old XP box zip along.

Shell Packs BricoPack Vista Inspirat Ultimate 2 dlbFirstly,  Bricopack Vista Inspirat Ultimate 2 – good grief I hear you say… that’s a name and a half – well it is but it converts your tired old XL machine with new visuals, new sounds and a new start bar – and it’s free. I’ve put this on 2 machines now – no adverse affects and your PC looks just like Vista.

The only thing about BVIU2 is that the start bar isn’t that clever.  I’ve been running a little program called LAUNCHY for some time now, hit a couple of keys and a little window pops up – you type in the first couple of letters of any program on your computer (for which you have a shortcut) and it offers it as an option. Invaluable and WAY better than hunting around with a mouse. Oh, and one more….   get the flashy task flipper so beloved in Vista. It isn’t obvious but instead of using ALT-TAB  you use WINDOWSKEY-TAB (to the left of ALT) and instead of the normal boring icons you get exactly what Vista users get.  Great fun!