April 2004 Archives

Sanctuary Cove

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And here's what the place looks like from GoogleEarth (a year later with a retro-post)

Sanctuary Cove

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Life's tough sometimes. Down in Australia at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast for a week to co-host Aseriti's User Conference. At least two 24 hour flights gives lots of time for reading and writing.

Halo came 5th in the Best Interface category. Oh well at least she was placed. More results to follow.

Connected Home 2004

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Cracking couple of days at Connected Home. Great demo from Sony, lots of stuff from other manufacturers and installers. Microsoft also speaking about Media Center. It's all about Communications-Entertainment-Securoty, but crosses so many category boundaries nobodies quite qure how to sell it, or who to sell it to. Looks like the Koreans are storming ahead though.

The Connected Home

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What does the phrase “connected home” mean to you? Or “digital home” or wired “home” for that matter? If any of those have any resonance with you it’s likely to involve a fridge that orders the milk, a microwave that browses the web, or even a toaster that tells you the weather forecast (and no, I didn’t make that last one up!).

Having just returned from 2 days at the Connected Home conference, my head is not so much filled with outrageous technology as with a sense of frustration. And it’s a frustration which the whole connected home industry appears to share.

MP101

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Finally went out and bought a piece of WiFi HiFi. Decided on the NetGear MP101 because it has the integral LED display so you don't have to switch the TV on to seee your music. Not too fussed about image and video viewing. And given that it'll be out of date anyway in a month or so you can't knock a price of £85.

A few hiccups during set-up - had to disable WEP, hard code an IP address and load the server software on my new XP machine rather than the Win98 "server" I had planned. But the delight at being able to sit back on the sofa, scroll through your whole music collection (400+ CDs and LPs) and play it on demand was just indescribeable. Well worth buying.

Topic Maps

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Talking to some guys at the iCentrum event I discovered these things called topic maps. It's an XML standard which lets you show how things are related to each other, like a book index. Just the sort of structure I was looking for to order Halo's knowledge. Unfortunately nobody yet seems to have published any "common" topic maps - eg for the animal kingdom, or countries or household objects, so I'll have to teach Halo to make her own!

To save you the trouble of reading the spec, the main elements of a topic map are:

  • Topic - a subject or object, which may have one or more names
  • Occurence - a link to information about a topic (eg a URL to a relevant web page, or a page number in a book)
  • Association - a bi-directional link from one topic to another, and some category of association (eg Cat is a Mammal, Chair is a type of Furniture)

Simple huh!

Idlewild

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Nick Sagan - Idlewild **** 1/2

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Good book. Nick Sagan is Carl Sagan's son, and the imagination of Contact! shows through. Whilst threatening to be too Matrix derivative it has its own twist on the story and the whole thing is soaked in a gothic Lovecraftian ambience that gives it a character all of its own.

Talk after talk after....

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It's been a real month for getting out and about. In the last few weeks I've presented or chaired at:

  • Web Services and XML seminar at iCentrum in Birmingham
  • Mobile Data Seminar at the Wireless LAN show in London
  • Intellect Partnering Evening in Birmingham
  • Birmingham Chamber E-xtra event (on Wifi)
  • WMiTA Switch event (on Wifi)

At least I'm rounding it off by chairing Aseriti's own user conference in Australia week after next!

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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