Suse Studio

I’ve been trying out Suse Studio over the last couple of days. It’s a build service for livecds and software appliances, and it really is so easy to use that I think most non-technical users could get to grips with it. It’s invite only at present, but I got an invite just by asking (and I’m not exactly known for my love of the distro).

I’ve built a 300mb livecd with a very minimalistic Gnome install plus Dropbox, and it seems to do everything I want it to do. And it only took about 20 minutes in total to do.

I think this is something I will play with some more when I’m on holiday.

Upgrading Ubuntu 8.04 to 3.1

This guide has all the required info, and worked like a charm on my netbook running 8.04 and my laptop running 9.04 (although it was simpler than the guide suggests in both cases). I’ll hopefully write a more comprehensive guide at some point soon, because I think 3.1 is something that people should consider upgrading to.

I’m really not noticing the fact that I’m running 8.04 on my Dell Mini, largely because I’ve upgraded most of what I use regularly to later versions.

Review : The Glass Bead Game by James Blackshaw

James Blackshaw is a London based guitarist who creates 12 string guitar and piano based instrumental soundscapes. I’d been meaning to check out his work for a while, but only got round to downloading this album yesterday (another case of needing to burn a few emusic credits quickly). Each of the five tracks is different, but they gel together quite nicely to make something that manages to be both melodic and experimental at the same time. He’s been mentioned in the same breath as a lot of guitar greats, but I’d actually throw Jim O’Rourke or one of the other Chicago scene improvisers into the mix, as this music makes me feel the same way Bad Timing did when I first heard it. This music does not need vocals, or lyrics, or drums. It just needs to be listened to with an open mind. I think I’ll certainly be checking out his extensive back catalogue over the next few weeks.

Mercury Music Prize

The nominations for this year’s Mercury Music Prize have been announced. Usually I have a fairly clear idea of who I think should win, but this year I’m torn between Florence & the Machine, Bat for Lashes and The Horrors. I’ve played all three to death this year, and I think all three artists really deserve a bit more acclaim and money. It also makes me want to check out the nominations I’ve not heard of, as generally I end up quite liking everything that gets nominated.

Turning files into Wiki pages

This week I’ve been looking at a few extensions that might make my life easier. One that certainly will is the Sun Wiki Publisher. Basically it takes a document, logs in to a particular instance of Mediawiki, and converts that document into a wiki page (including table of contents, headings etc.). I’ve tried it with a couple of complicated documents and it did a fair job of converting them, and it is certainly something I will be looking at further at work this week, as I think it might solve a couple of long standing problems.

Albums of the last 3/6 months

Albums of the last 3 months (as a follow on from the first three months of the year):

1 Maxïmo Park – Quicken The Heart
2 Manic Street Preachers – Journal For Plague Lovers
3 The Horrors – Primary Colours
4 Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications
5 The Wind Whistles – Animals Are People Too
6 Super Furry Animals – Dark Days/Light Years
7 The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love
8 Bat for Lashes – Two Suns
9 Crazed Outlook – Double Talk
10 Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career

And then looking at everything from 1st Jan – 30th June:

1 The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love
2 Maxïmo Park – Quicken The Heart
3 The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
4 Frank Turner – Love Ire & Song + The First Three Years
5 The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
6 Modern Skirts – All Of Us In Our Night
7 And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – The Century of Self
8 British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
9 Manic Street Preachers – Journal For Plague Lovers
10 The Horrors – Primary Colours

So yes, I’ll do this again at the end of September.