Bristol Old Vic Revisited

Bristol Old Vic logo

Yup, that’s right, the shiny revamp of the Bristol Old Vic website has gone live with the new incarnation of the Haystack Admin System. The updated system bristles with a whole heap of new features and modules, but, above all, I’m particularly pleased that I can now subscribe to their forthcoming schedule directly through iCal in Mac OSX, although I’m told there’s now a nifty iCal plugin for Firefox through which one can also subscribe happily on any OS. I don’t even know if the Old Vic staff are aware that they can get the schedule in RSS and iCal formats, but I decided to bung in the functionality anyway. Dan Brickley reminded me on the Bristol Wireless chat channel of the importance of the machine-readable web, and persuaded me that it would be worth the effort. I hope it makes a difference to someone… sometime… somewhere…

A Planet of my own

Ever fancied a planet of your own design? Wondered what would happen if you then let it loose in the Solar System? Well theat’s just what you can do with Planet 10, a Shockwave 3D project that I programmed at Telepathy for NESTA’s Planet Science website way back in 2001.

Planet 10 Solar System Explorer
Solar System Explorer

The Planet Science blurb says:

Explore the planets, comets and asteroids on an interactive virtual fly-through. Zoom in close on a particular planet or choose a different orbit view to see the whole system from afar. The data sheets let you discover more about some of the elements that make up our Solar System.

Planet 10 World Builder
World Builder

Continue reading A Planet of my own

Skinning Up

A burnt out car
Source image for my Underscore skin

I’ve been enjoying mucking around with templates for various open source packages recently. Firstly, after long discussion, I got tired of the chatter, and simply went ahead and revamped the MailMan mailing list manager templates for the Underscore Archives.

Flush from my success in upgrading the MailMan templates from rather dodgily-written HTML3.2 to semantically (more) meaningful HTML4.01, I then took another look at the Bristol Wireless website, which consists entirely of an install of PhpWiki. It was great to see how the site had come along in the last year.

So then, two new skins for two websites in two weeks, two new wrappers that I hope make more sense of existing content, and I have to say that skinning up has never been quite so much fun.

Audio Toy Goes Live

My latest little programming project has gone live on Planet Science today – it’s a recorder and sequencer made in Shockwave. The idea is to allow the anatomy of sound to be explored in a (hopefully) entertaining way. Don’t expect something as sophiticated as Cubase or Logic, though…

Main interface of the audio toy
The main interface of the audio toy

What you can do, however, is play with audio from the built-in sound libraries, or record your own if you have a microphone. The “keyboard” allows you to play the sounds pitch-shifted to a maximum of one octave up or down, and the sequencer screen makes it easy to overlay up to four audio tracks.

Here’s the link to the page from which you can launch it:

Planet Science | Out There


Slash or stroke?

I’ve been struggling with my techobabble of late… getting bothered by the angry and violent tone of many of the terms I use daily in relation to computing: “abort”, “execute”, “kill” and so on. Most common of all is “slash”, as in bbc dot co dot uk slash news, and I’ve decided to try and use the perfectly good description “stroke” instead. It just sounds much less aggressive. bbc dot co dot uk stroke news… mmm… stroke that news…