2006 — Day 46 - Time for bed

I really should consider shifting my hours of consciousness, I suppose. More to come, in other words. But having watched enough of Starship Troopers (in 4:3 ratio, inexplicably) to catch, once again, the immortal line "It sucked his brain out", it really is time for bed.

Remaining science-fictional, and having noted the recent passing of Jack Williamson, I thought it time to read his autobiography. Mr Amazon has just slipped Wonder's Child onto what passes for our doormat. On an initial skim, I'm delighted to note it's been updated since its original publication in 1984, too. I love the entry We built the house in the fall of 1949. The months of carpenter work were a welcome break from writing; I enjoyed them so much that I wondered if I shouldn't try building as a new career. Science fiction, grown harder than ever to do, was paying too little. And I was fascinated to learn that Star Bridge, which I re-read once a decade or so, began life back in 1941, but was abandoned "when Campbell turned me toward seetee". Not to mention learning of Eric Frank Russell's appetite for dirty jokes!

Back to 1862

Via BBC Radio 4 and a programme looking into Lewis Carroll's private life as revealed by his bank account details in Barclay's archives. Is nothing sacred? £668 overdrawn back then equates to around £33,000 today, it seems. Not bad on a quarterly stipend of £4!

Edges all squared away

Young Ian B down on his farm in NZ came closest with the answer about the Media Player corners, correctly deducing that it was a capture issue. When I captured the Media Player's window in its minimised form as a bitmap (alt/PrtScrn) I was for some reason unable to "trim" the resulting bitmap in my bitmap editing program. (I can normally do this to bitmaps because it's happy to throw away white space to the edges of the image area.) I deduce, therefore, that MicroSoft, in its infinite wisdom, doesn't really minimise the Media player window, but merely makes it look small, with a transparent space around it. So I displayed the captured screen complete with its untrimmable white space around its edges in the Windows Picture and Fax viewer (not that I've ever received a fax, you understand), recaptured it, and was then able to trim the resulting recaptured bitmap as "normal" — hence the square corners. Stupid, simple, and irritating all in one go.

Although whether that's me or the software I leave as an open issue.

19 December 2006