# Wednesday, 28 March 2007

I read a humorous post on Owens blog today about the importance of choosing the right name for your website. He highlights a few examples where companies have got it wrong with hilarious consequences. I think my favourite was www.penisland.net which may sound like a porn site but is in fact a site called Pen Island offering custom made pens.

posted on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 17:28:24 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback

One of my cats Oscar was not very well yesterday. Unfortunately he had some sickness and diarrhoea and although he quickly recovered he was unable to clean himself properly ending up with poo all over his rear end, so we had to give him a bath. Bathing Oscar is not an easy task as he hates being picked up and is a very large strong cat. With this is mind we devised a plan that we thought would keep us safe from flying claws. First Rory prepared a washing up bowl of warm water with a generous amount of Herbal Essences 2 in 1 Shampoo added to it. I then fetched a very thick towel and we both put on gloves for added protection. After chasing Oscar around the living room for about half an hour I was finally able to throw the towel over him covering his head and front paws. I quickly picked Oscar up and keeping his head covered to avoid being bitten dunked the whole back end of the cat into the washing up bowl. Then holding him tightly Rory proceeded to rub the shampoo into his coat before rinsing him off with warm water. At this point Oscar was growling very loudly. Next I moved the towel from his head to wrap the back claws whilst Rory sponged soapy water onto the front part of the cat. One more rinse and Oscar was clean although very wet and not very happy. A day later and I am amazed at how soft and fluffy his coat is. Now that we have perfected the technique perhaps we will bath him more often…. Or maybe not.

posted on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 09:53:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Ollie seems unaware that there is a cat eating monkey behind him waiting to strike.

posted on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 13:20:20 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

The find and replace option in Quark (Apple key and F) can help save a lot of time. I use it primarily for removing double spacing from documents or for making changes to font size and style.

To remove double spacing make sure the text option is ticked and also tick the document option at the bottom of the box. In the first text box type two spaces by pressing the space bar twice. In the second text box type one space. Then click “find next” to locate the first double space. To change all the double spaces in the document at once just click the “change all” button.

You can also use the find and replace option to change styles within the document. Instead of ticking the text option instead tick the style option. Select the style you want to change in the first box and in the second box select the new style that you want to apply. Then click the “find next” button or the “change all” button as before.

Other options available with find and replace are searching by font, font size, colour and type style. These are also very useful: for example you may wish to change the fonts in the document from Ariel to Times New Roman or change all the fonts that are 16pt to 12pt. It is also possible to change font attributes such as making something bold or italic or underlining it by using the type style option. These options allow you to do this just once rather than manually going through the whole document.


posted on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 13:17:44 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 26 March 2007

Have you ever wanted to ski down an escalator? No me neither but this guy did at Angel tube station.

posted on Monday, 26 March 2007 13:08:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

To make a new colour in Quark, choose colours from the edit menu or the shift key and F12. Then select new from the options. Give your colour a name and select the type of colour from the “model” drop down list, this will usually be CMYK when typesetting a job for print. Uncheck the spot colour option and then select your colour either by clicking on the colour wheel, using the colour sliders or entering the percentages of colour in the CYMK boxes. Then click OK and your new colour will appear in the colours palette. If you need to make a colour from another document for example a PDF you can always open it in Photoshop and use the colours from the CMYK hex values to get a good match in Quark.

posted on Monday, 26 March 2007 10:31:49 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Lucy meets the cat eating monkey.

posted on Monday, 26 March 2007 10:30:08 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 25 March 2007

We all know that here in the UK it is very difficult to find a river or ditch that does not include a supermarket trolley. Well now it’s possible to see just how many abandoned trolleys there actually are out there. I found this bizarre website called trolley spotting. Basically it’s devoted to tracking abandoned trolleys in various locations. It includes maps to show the trolleys location and how far it is from its originating supermarket. 

posted on Sunday, 25 March 2007 15:51:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

We went to a housewarming party this weekend at Brads, Richards and Neil’s new house. Despite the fact that it was cold and raining someone had the great idea of having a Braai (BBQ). With the help of a few strategically placed umbrellas the meat stayed dry which is more than I can say for most of the guests.


posted on Sunday, 25 March 2007 13:15:46 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 24 March 2007

I found this interesting article on The Independents website. A new mobile phone company called Blyk is going to offer free voice and text services to customers who sign up to receive adverts on their phones. I can see how this service may appeal to people wanting to cut their monthly phone bill. Personally I rarely use my mobile phone and have it on a “pay as you go” contract so for me large bills are not a problem. I have noticed that recently I am receiving frequent text messages advertising services that are of no interest to me. There is nothing more irritating than reading through your texts thinking they might be important and finding they are what I have started to refer to as phone spam. I get enough spam through email without starting to get it on my phone.

posted on Saturday, 24 March 2007 12:01:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

In many layouts it is necessary to link text so that it flows from one text box to another. This can be done by using the linking tool (shown below). Simply choose the tool from the toolbox, then click on the first box to be linked, followed by the box you wish the text to flow into. You will now see an arrow linking the two boxes to show the direction that the text will flow. You can link any number of text boxes as well as linking text boxes across several pages. If you need to unlink boxes you can do this by choosing the unlink tool, which is found in the toolbox right underneath the linking tool. Simply select the unlink tool and click on the base of the grey arrow which links the boxes to unlink them.

posted on Saturday, 24 March 2007 11:29:43 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 23 March 2007

I found an interesting article about what goes into a McDonalds Chicken Nugget. Apparently it contains 56% corn as well as another 38 different ingredients one of which is obviously chicken but disturbingly it also contains TBHQ which is an antioxidant derived from petroleum.

posted on Friday, 23 March 2007 15:13:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I saw this article in The Metro about a pillow that apparently helps prevent hangovers. The pillow is stuffed with various plant extracts including fennel, juniper, mustard and peppermint, all of which are meant to counter the effects of a hangover. Personally I frequently sprinkle lavender oil on my pillow when I am having trouble sleeping and use peppermint or eucalyptus if I have a blocked up nose. I find that when doing this I awake felling much more rested the following morning. At only £7.50 even if it doesn’t cure your hangover this pillow is likely to help you have a restful nights sleep.

posted on Friday, 23 March 2007 15:04:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Often layouts require several different text or picture boxes to be aligned along the page. For a long time I used to do this manually, either by eye or by typing the values into the measurements palette. A quicker way is to use Quarks Space/Align items command under the item menu (Apple key and ,). Just select the items that you wish to line up and use Apple , to bring up the dialogue box. Here you can align items either horizontally or vertically and specify how much space appears between each item thus saving you quite a lot of time and creating a neater looking layout.

posted on Friday, 23 March 2007 14:23:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Playstation 3 is launched in the UK tonight at midnight. As someone who has owned a Playstation and currently has Playstation 2, I was eagerly awaiting the launch of the Playstation 3 until I read that it was going to cost £425. Although there appears to be the usual hype surrounding the launch and the usual queue of people waiting in line to be the first to own a Playstation 3, I can’t help wondering if Playstation have finally priced them selves out of the market with this new console.

posted on Thursday, 22 March 2007 19:30:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

As a regular user of Ebay I am well aware that I should avoid those sales where you get a "buy it now discount" if you contact the seller directly over email. This article on Ebay scams is useful reading for anyone using Ebay and shows how such scams work.

posted on Thursday, 22 March 2007 17:38:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I came across this article about a cat that can pronounce its own name. The cat called Agui apparently pronounces his name when he gets scared, usually whilst his owner is giving him a bath. Unfortunately there is no video of the cat actually talking so it’s hard to say whether it’s true or not. One thing is for sure judging by the picture below this cat really hates baths.

posted on Thursday, 22 March 2007 17:29:44 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

In Quark the position of objects placed on the page is measured by the position of the ruler origin. When you start a new project the ruler origin starts as default from the top left hand side of the page. This means that the x and y coordinates in the measurements palette show the position of a selected object from the top left of the page. However, when setting some documents it can be necessary to change the ruler origins so that objects can be measured from a different point on the page. This can be done by locating the ruler origin currently at the top left of the page. It appears in between the two rulers as show here.

It is then possible to click on the ruler origin and drag it to a new position on the page. You will see a cross appear on the page as in the picture above to show that the ruler origin is moving. Once you have done this you will notice that the ruler no longer measures from the top left hand side of the page, but now starts at 0 from your new origin point. To reset it to the default setting simply double click on the box where the two rulers join and its back to measuring from the top left of the page.

posted on Thursday, 22 March 2007 10:57:28 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 21 March 2007

It might come as a surprise to users of programs such as Word but Quark does not have the ability to produce automatic bullet points. There are two way to create the actual bullet point. You can either press the alt (option) key and 8. This creates a small bullet point but it can be a little hard to resize it in proportion to the text as it doesn’t always line up very well the text. Personally I prefer to use the Zapf Dingbats font and simply type a lower case l (L). This produces a bullet point that can be easily resized in the measurements palette in the font size section.

The other problem with bullet points in Quark is that when the text runs onto two lines it does not automatically indent. To combat this problem I insert a tab on the first line of the text after the bullet. Then simply use the format menu to set a left indent also set a first line indent but set it as a minus number. For example if your left indent is set to 5mm set your first line indent to minus 5 mm. This will have the effect that the bullet point is set back flush with the left margin of your text box and the text will be neatly lined up underneath each other.


posted on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 11:19:19 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Stressed at work? You need Virtual Bubblewrap. This site has all the stress reliving properties of popping real bubble wrap and comes complete with a timer to let you know how you doing. See if you are quick enough to get onto the scoreboard.

posted on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 11:16:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback