Sweet IE shortcut

ALT+D
Selects the text in the Address bar

CTRL+ENTER (this is the sweet one)
Adds “www.” to the beginning and “.com” to the end of the text typed in the Address bar.

I know, I know, autocomplete is better but I just flushed my caches this morning. My office mate had to spend five hours watching the helpdesk guy take control of her PC (spooky) to get rid of a trojan. She had to sit and wait, wait to be told when to restart, which was every 15 minutes, it seemed. A real enema job. She could hear the techie muttering to himself, “Ohhh, I’ve never seen one of those before. Most interesting.” Probably stroking his goatee while he peers at the screen.

And btw, I know, I know, Firefox blah blah. Run it at home but here everything is house bound to a few (ahem) trusted programs such as IE. Make that trussed. Security is tight.

Keyboard-controlled art

I see this won a Macromedia award in 2001, well worth it when you see the way the interactivity works so fluidly with Shockwave.

This piece is by Nicolas Clauss, an immensely talented artist whose pieces are some of the best work I’ve seen on the Web. The clips are at once disturbing, moving and amusing; you are quickly drawn into his dream world of memories, might-have-beens and may-be’s.

Go now to Flying Puppet.

The telephone never rings twice

Just got my own telephone in my office. This is a mixed portent since it may mean I’m going to be sharing this space even longer. “My” office is still vacant down the hall, but it seems the administrative logistics involved in getting me in there are too daunting to deal with at present. (“I’ve just drowning under work right now” is our section slogan.) The plus side is that I don’t have to stretch across to R’s desk and dial in a prone position.

No one has my number, of course, and that’s the way I’d keep it if I had any choice. Nevertheless, since it’s been installed it’s been ringing every ten minutes. Get this: one ring each time and the line’s dead before I pick up. My first crank caller, how sweet. Actually the last two times it’s rung twice. I think they’re trying to psyche me out. Probably spying on me from across the way, waiting till I make a move to pick up. How am I supposed to do any blogging, er work, under these conditions?!

[16:30 update] Seems I’m sharing a line with one of the director’s secretaries. Dang she’s fast – picks up first ring almost every time. Bet she practises. I haven’t yet tried to outdraw her. If I did then I’d have to bluff my way through a query about the latest gizzard production quotas from Tajikistan. (“They’re up! Up! Up!”)

It works both ways, of course. When I try to call maintenance, my screen flashes GRP CALL LINE BUSY. Meaning gizzard gossip. I got through on the third try. Maintenance man sighed wearily, just back from a heavy lunch, bit late in the day to start on it now, will try to come by tomorrow.

BTW, taking my phone off the hook makes no difference; it still rings but I can’t stop it by hanging up. Final proof of deliberate sadism is that I can’t adjust the ring volume. Ha!

A wall of vinyl

Helium Music Manager is a music tagger, renamer, cataloger, player, playlist manager, burner, and report creator. It can catalog and edit the most common audio-file formats (including MP3, OGG, and WMA) as well as regular music CDs. Helium fully supports the latest tagging standards, including ID3 v1, ID3 v2, APE2, and Lyrics3. You can catalog your entire music-CD or audio-file collection with a few clicks, whether it’s stored on your computer, on CD-ROMs, or on network drives or any other media. Helium facilitates the structuring and
finding of your favorite music.

Uh, what about my ’78s? (see Not the Nine O’clock News sketch) I don’t actually have any ’78s, although I do have a 10″ Motorhead ep, along with 700 lps. I got tired of not being able to find an album in the middle of a conversation (“If you like that, I’ve got the original 12″ version here … somewhere.”). I’ve dragged them from country to country so I know what 700 lps looks like when not stacked neatly. Still, I felt pretty daunted when I started stacking them into alphabetical piles. I skipped all the existential wrangling about ordering them (by genre, solo female Brazilian artist, etc.) and went for straight alphabetical. It was quite impressive how the classifying sometimes had to go to the fourth letter in the name.

They look verrry neat all lined up the whole length of the wall. Pity the towering stacks of CDs on the floor block the view.