1. General Mish Mash (overview)

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2006

Audacity 1.2.5

Another one of those Sourceforge beauties is the free digital audio editor Audacity. One of my many Unfinished Projects consists of a remix Projectst between an ambient British collective and one of those dinosaurs of rock. Audacity is the program I made it with and, no, the results are for my MP3-player alone and not free for download. Audacity is, of course, free and can be downloaded from Sourceforge if that page is not down as it is now, the moment I write this. Some of Audacity's features include (I...

Heinlein Manoeuvres In The Dark

Robert Heinlein - Rocketship Galileo - 1947. Can a book that starts with the sentence(s): "Everybody all set?How about your camera, Art?You sure you got the lens cover off this time?", possibly be good? I am not so sure. Books that starts with the sentence(s): "It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression 'as pretty as an airport'.", or: "It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my...

Thingamablog 2.0 Announced

It was feared that the rather excellent blog freeware Thingamablog, that also powers this blog by the way, was going to get stranded on version 1.0.5 that dates from November 2005. But Bob (The Builder, sorry couldn't resist that one) has now announced version 2.0. Adventurous people can already download an alphaish version of the software:TAMB's wysiwyg html framework nearly complete If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Some updates......

Thingamablog 2.0 on its way

If you don't have a webserver that allows database actions, php, asp and all that stuff and you want to make a blog of your own then you have two choices: subscribe to a free blogging service or; install Thingamablog It was already announced here that Bob from Thingamablog (TAMB for short) was working on an update of this rather good piece of software (to make it excellent it still has a few minor bugs that should be cleared out). He finally found some time to explain what version 2.0 will bring, but...

UTF-8

Instead of cleaning my house like I promised to my dear lady I have been converting my webpages to UTF-8, another one of those daft html standards they come up with every now and then. Not that my pages weren't 'readable' or something, but in order to make a Google-XML-sitemap with Endsheet they had to be UTF-8. Don't ask me why. Don't ask me what UTF-8 stands for, although I have a pretty good idea now about the F letter. The blog pages are already in UTF-8, Thingamablog does that automatically, but I...

2007

Belgium: WTF?

When Douglas Adams was asked to change every instance of the word fuck in the American version of his novel Life, the Universe and Everything it didn't take him a light-year to ponder over the new word. He chose Belgium. Adams collectors over the world also know that an extra paragraph was added to explain this twist of words: "Belgium," said the girl, "I hardly like to say it.""Belgium?" exclaimed Arthur. (...)"Are we talking," said...

GiveAway Of The Day

People that keep a close watch on this blog may have seen that, since a week or so, there have appeared two links at the right side of the screen, right under the Google search for this site. The first is called 'Giveaway of the Day', the second 'Game Giveaway of the Day'. The concept behind these websites is fairly simple (it must be, otherwise I wouldn't understand it). For one day, one day only, a commercial program can be downloaded and licensed for free. The software in question, so it goes, is a...

jPod

So I finished Douglas Coupland's jPod this week. It took me that long because I waited for the paperback version that only landed on the shelves of my local Fnac last week. Louvain, that contains the oldest still existing catholic university in the world, doesn't has an English bookshop anymore since the excellent American Book Center closed down a few years ago. Must be that these catholic students still fancy Latin or simply buy their books from Amazon (link intentionally directed wrong). Everybody...

Money for nothing and your bits for free...

I'm a great believer of freeware (or beerware as some call it). Practically every utility can be found legally and for free on the web. It's a bit like generic medicine. Some freeware sites however are not that harmless at all or are only in it for... the money. George Dillon has put his 50 favourite freeware programs on one page and I'm pretty sure you will find one or two in the list that will make you say: hmmm... He writes that he wants to thank the authors of the programs he lists. By hyperlinking to...

No time.

I had these superb ideas for at least half a dozen of posts on this blog but local warfare prevented me from writing, more about that later. Then yesterday, when I had some time at hand, my LA-girl threatened with divorce if I didn't go to the hairdresser. So I took a bus to the hair stylist where a consultant recommended me what to do. In my days one went to the local barbershop where an elderly cantankerous guy would give you the choice of three different haircuts: short, shorter or bald. Nowadays you...

Popular science books are fun

I've got one called On The Road To Infinity from Dr. A.E. Wallenquist, published by the Bosscha Space Observatory Lembang (Java) in 1934. It is still written in the old school Dutch spelling from De Vries and Te Winkel (1864) so it is even tricky for Dutch speaking people to read (the modern Dutch spelling rules were made in 1946 but it took to 1954 before the new spelling was made official). But Mr. Wallenquist, who was an astronomer, was perhaps too much of a scholar to write gobbledygook so the book...

Rockbox

Rockbox is an open source replacement firmware for mp3 players. It runs on a number of different models: Archos:Jukebox 5000, 6000, Studio, Recorder, FM Recorder, Recorder V2 and Ondio iriver:H100, H300 and H10 series Apple:iPod 4th gen (grayscale and color), 5th/5.5th gen (Video - 30GB and 60GB models only), 1st gen Nano and Mini 1st/2nd gen(Nano 2nd gen and 80GB Video 5.5th gen are not supported) iAudio:X5 (including X5V and X5L), M5 (including M5L) Toshiba:Gigabeat X and F series(the S model is not...

Some updates...

Audacitybeta 1.3.4 releasedstable release version 1.2.6. PokerTHbeta 0.6 released. With this new version of PokerTH, you no longer need to exchange IP addresses and configure routers to play on the internet. The makers are now running a dedicated server which will host PokerTH games. Thingamablogbeta 1.1 version 4 has been released fixing some bugs. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Freeware Poker...

Thingamablog 1.1b

This blog is made with open source software called Thingamablog. As a whole TAMB isn’t bad but even the world’s most average blogger could use some extra bells and whistles that were promised by its maker in September … 2006. Since then nada, nothing, zilch… and it made me wonder if this Projectst had been officially declared dead. Lucky another TAMB fanatic kept the fire burning by adding some add-ons: Wikilink Update 2 (Thingamablog add-on).  No I’ve got nothing against...

Thingamablog Add-On Of The Year

You may know or not know this and probably you don't care but this blog is entirely made up with Thingamablog (or TAMB). Thingamablog is a cross-platform, standalone blogging application that makes authoring and publishing your weblogs almost effortless. Unlike most blogging solutions, Thingamablog does NOT require a third-party blogging host, a cgi/php enabled web host, or a MySQL database. In fact, all you need to setup, and manage, a blog with Thingamablog is FTP, SFTP, or network access to a web...

Thingamablog Update 1.0.6

Thingamablog has issued a small update to deal with some problems under Java 6.0. This is not yet the big step forward towards version 2.0 but just a bug-fix release. The download can be found, well eh, here. And this post is merely a test to see if everything works... If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Some updates......

Updating this blog

Parts of this blog are in the middle of being updated, changed, altered, transformed, metamorphosed and even transmogrified. It could take a while before the Search Engine kicks in and starts indexing all the changes. Sorry for that. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Some updates......

Wikilink Update

A few days ago I wrote about a state of the art Thingamblog add-on that was developed by Fabian Voith of Favorithsoft. An update, taking into account some of the things I had asked him to add, has been made and can be downloaded at Favorithsoft. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Thingamablog Add-On Of The Year...

Wikilink Update 2 (Thingamablog add-on)

A few days ago I wrote about a state of the art Thingamablog add-on that was developed by Fabian Voith of Favorithsoft. There is now a new, completely bug free, version available at: Wikilink. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Some updates......

2008

13

It took a Belgian court 13 years to reach verdict in a computer virus case. Here's the story. Somewhere in the dying decades of the last Millennium a 'professional' software company distributed an update by sending floppy disks to its clients. What the company didn't know was that about 10% of these disks had a virus hidden in the root section. Some clients found that out soon enough, got infected, complained and asked for very huge damage claims. The legal department of the software provider pondered on...

20 Weird Wiki Entries

The Dutch online youth magazine Spunk recently made a list of the weirdest Wikipedia entries, although Spunk contains some rather weird stuff itself. I'm only trying to give you good advice here, if you ever get invited to a Spunk cocktail party try to avoid the Mojito (see picture to the left as well). Weird Wiki(pedia) Entries (slightly edited by yours truly) The success of Wikipedia has lead to different - more or less specialized - spin-offs: 20. ChickipediaOne of the most recent additions is...

Bad Kompany

1 Belgium is known for its mediocrity. Maybe this has been glued inside in our genes because for the past couple of thousands years we have been invaded, occupied, violated, liberated and then invaded all over again. After a while if a soldier knocked on the door of a little cottage all he could hear from the inside was a deep sigh and “Who is it this time? Romans, Germans, Austrians, Spanish, French or Dutch?” This is probably how the Belgian disease (as it is called in our country)...

Boobytraps

I came home with a broad smile on my face because I found out at my local book- and DVD shop that the cult-series of the Sixties The Prisoner has finally reached this continent. Years before Twin Peaks, years before Lost (getting stupider and stupider by the episode, pardon me for not watching it anymore), The Prisoner was Britain’s most haunting and psychedelic TV experience. Of course the series only got better and better in my mind and I can only hope that watching the seventeen parts, 40...

Buggy software

At the right side of the screen there is a link to the giveaway of the day website. The concept of this site is simple enough. For a day, and that day only, you can download a commercial software package and license it for free. The deal is: no upgrades, no support and in most cases no commercial utilisation of the program. What you get, so they promise, is a complete version with no trial version limitations. Up till now I have only installed a couple of programs of the site, less than half a dozen in...

EUlogy

What follows is a rather boring post, but I've spent a lot of time writing it, so I'll publish it anyway. Sorry for that. My country, although you probably won’t believe me, was one of the founding dwarfs of the European Union. Belgium itself is an amalgam of three different nationalities that, due to several historical atrocities, were cut off from their original fatherland, whether they liked it or not. Because Germany, Holland, France (and even England) had better things to do than to quarrel who...

F-Prot: Don't Panic!

Last week’s entry was about buggy software. This week I wanted to post about the first of the most recent Orb reissues, 4 in total, but then disaster struck. I have been sympathetic towards the anti-virus product F-Prot since my MS-DOS days. F-Prot has saved my day and my ass at least a couple of times. F-Prot was (at least the dos version) freeware and with some tweaking you could make it run as a real-time scanner on Windows 3.11, 95 and 98 as well. Shame on me! The dos versions refused to work on XP...

Giordano Kazemi

Today at the rattrap aka bus stop this girl who had meticulously invested in the under-nourished-empty-cocaine-stare look perplexed me. Instead of proposing her a bite of my vegemite sandwich the only thing I could think of was if she would address me with that universal pick up line: ”Sucky sucky for a coca cola?” That would have to be diet coke obviously. I shuddered at the idea that a man’s mind lays not that far from under his belly. When I finally escaped from my rêverie the girl was gone and...

Holy Cow

I’m typing this entry, sitting on a Serena chair with a solid wooden seat and armrests, a moulded dark grey leather back and four anthracite coloured legs. Some of the dark grey paint is already coming off. A 17-inch Dell 1702 flat panel UltraSharp colour monitor stands in front of me. My fingers rest on a Dell RT7D30 multimedia Belgian azerty keyboard. If you take a closer look at the interior of the keyboard you are likely to find crumbs of Spar American Style Apple Pie Cookies, small pieces of dried...

Just like Belgium

I seldom write about politics here. You wouldn’t care about politics if you are trying to get ArianeB out of her clothes, would you? But sometimes this shithole of a country I live in is getting more surreal than the Belgian painters who put surrealism on the map. It took the politicians over 9 months to create a government and yesterday, when the government was officially one day old; the first crisette (a Belgian neologism for small crisis) took place. One of the five (5!) deputy prime...

Kopfgeburten

This week, sad week, brought me scattered thoughts, feelings and sensations. Let me empty my cerebral scrapbook first before I continue with the subject of the day. Activate cynical mood warning… 1 Three weeks ago a Belgian soldier was killed in Lebanon attempting to dismantle an Israeli bomb. He was posthumously decorated and the big shots praised him for his bravery. Strange enough nobody from the Belgian government had the guts to convene the Israeli ambassador and to officially demand for an...

Kraft und Karl

I should be more careful with what I write, so told me a good friend. I know. I gave up good manners a while ago soon becoming the fat bellied belching and farting man in the restaurant at the end of my own private puniverse. After dinner mint anyone? Slowly I've become the person I once loathed. A transgression like in an Arthur Machen novel. Taste, even bad one, does change with age. In 2003, after nearly two decades of doing nothing, the German band Kraftwerk came out with their Tour de France album. I...

Minestrone

I once found this interesting theory about how cosmogony took place. This may not be how it exactly happened but I like it so it's fine for me. In the beginning, although you need some notion of time to coin that phrase and there wasn't any time to begin with you had nothing. Now this nothingness was a kind of crystal-clear soup. A glass of pure water has neutral (read: zero) acidity or alkalinity. It is safe to drink. Next to it is another glass. Its content has also a neutral pH. It is also colourless....

Picasso Power

This week, in the middle of the week, I found myself with a mini writer’s block, not knowing what to comment about on my blog. Professional writers have got little black books for that, with throwaway subjects when this occurs. I don’t. A few, two, three, weeks ago I wanted to vehemently comment on one single chapter from Adrian Berry’s The Giant Leap. I have already stated here that I had started reading the book; as a matter of fact I love reading those old science books because I’m a nitpicker...

Random Blueß aka sucking for statistics

In my youthful days I was a member of a, then illegal, university radio station where the lefty management proudly believed that revolution would come if we played enough Lynton Kwesi Johnson records. The Jam and The Clash (Sandinista!, what else?) were politically correct choices as well. As a voluntary contributor I always tried to sneak in some Pink Floyd. One night, I still remember this as if it were yesterday; I programmed a tune from Rick Wright's Wet Dream album called Mediterranean...

When in doubt...

...make a list. Last week's entry wasn't much of a post, I confess. It is a lazy and uninspired blogger's scapegoat to publish a list, especially when it is grabbed from another source, and calling it your own. Magazines do it all the time: the best 100 guitarists of rock, 20 rock stars who went gaga (Syd Barrett, for one reason or another, is always on that), 50 ways to leave your lover... When sci-fi authors don't have enough inspiration to write a novel they add a touch of time travel. It is easy but...

Wow!

Atagong.com should now be completely updated.Time to open all kinds of bottles of Champagne, Spumante and other fizzling stuff. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Penumbra Walkthrough (the very first entry on this blog)....

2009

2-0-0-9

When I opened my eyes and went to work I knew that 2009 was going to be business as usual. At Brussels train station ‘North’ the monitor at platform 7 was still out of order, as it was before Christmas. I felt strangely relieved when I accepted the fact that the Belgian railway company NMBS, with its 38 522 employees, can’t find a repairman or that there isn’t one single spare monitor in their stock for any of their 582 train stations. But on the other hand the Belgian railway company is...

Annual Easter Rant (2009)

I am writing these lines while the pope is doing his yearly humbug in about sixty different languages. He started saying something about Saulus from Tarsus, probably the first roman-catholic tyrant around as that bloke merely changed the first letter of his name but not his manners. Of course I thank god (that’s a joke, obviously) for letting me live in a country where I can write these things without being sentenced to death by a bunch of people who like to walk around in dresses. Not that I am an...

Babylon By Bus

I don’t read a lot of books anymore like I used to. An iPod in the ear and a game driven smartphone has replaced the pile of printed letters that some people refer to as a book. On top of that my right eye, the good one, is slowly dying on me. At the local hospital they stuck a needle through the lens and injected some oily substance. For a minute or so it made me the centre of a highly personal Mike Leonard’s light workshop but that is all the fun there was as for the next couple of...

Bad Moon Rising

This blog has been made with Thingamablog that recently resurfaced with a new beta version after nearly two years silence. Since September Thingamablog, TAMB for short, has issued four beta versions in the 1.5 series and hopefully we will see a RC (release candidate) soon, but as there are still some bugs to sort out, it can still take a little while. The strong point about TAMB is that it creates static webpages that behave like a dynamic blog. Although all hosting companies offer php and MySQL enabled...

Foreign Affairs

I seldom write about politics here. Because...a) the visitors of this website have a tendency to be mostly interested in pixel-combinations that appear to the mind as sparsely clad virtual girls; and, of slightly more importance to me…b) criticism on the Belgian political system immediately results in the accusation that you belong to the opposite camp (whatever that is) and…c) criticism on the Belgian political system only feeds anti-politics, so they say… What you need to know about Belgium in one...

Lady Rachel and good girl Friday

For the second or third consecutive week I didn’t see a reason to write an entry for my blog and what frightened me even more I didn’t care. I must suffer from a serious case of early spring tiredness. At home I play the Sims for hours and hours, so presumably I’m in a perpetual god-mode, not always appreciated by my cohabiters in real time. What does a blogger do when in need of a post but with no inspiration at all? He makes a list. Here I go. The excellent freeware sound editor Audacity has...

Perception

Last week a Belgian governmental institution published some HIV statistics. In 2008 1078 new cases of HIV have been diagnosed (other sources say 1079). It has been established that, concerning unprotected heterosexual encounters; there is an almost infinite small chance of getting HIV in Belgium, 1 in about twenty thousand. Strange enough the government and its affiliated partners refuse to confirm that we may all screw now like horny rabbits, in their minds protection and safe sex are still the standard...

SBRS

The Syd Barrett Research Society forum has been down now since Sunday the 8th of March. This is not, to deny some rumours, due to SBRS, nor to the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, but to the (free) hosting company running these forums: http://www.hostingphpbb.com. All the forums (more than 10,000 apparently) on their domain (and even the introduction page) show the following error: Internal Server Error The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your...

Space cowboys

Last week a madman entered a crèche, murdered two babies and a childcare worker who wanted to protect them and stabbed, wounded and injured several other infants. Immediately press hounds swept the area trying to find a witness and as there weren't any around anybody who wanted to say anything to a camera was fine as well. One guy had heard from somebody who had heard from nobody that the psychopath had painted his face white and his eyes black. “Scream!”, the press screamed in unison until another...

The Great Belgian Firewall and Other Assorted Stories...

I’m in the middle of preparing a laptop for the use of the 3D animation suite that can be found on the cover disk of the July issue of Computer Shopper. It contains DAZ Studio, Hexagon 2.2, Carrara 5.1 and a couple of hundreds programs more… The only thing I can’t grope is how on Earth (this is Earth, isn’t it?) a July issue of a magazine can be found half of May in the shops in Belgium, knowing it already takes minimum a week before these magazines arrives in our little rainy country after they...

The Purloined Ladder

Six prisoners escaped from a Belgian prison by putting a ladder against the wall and jumping down, obviously at the other side where one of their mothers, Ma Baker, was waiting in a getaway car. Four could be arrested almost immediately; two are still on the loose… Is it normal, so wanted to know a journalist, that a ladder high enough to climb over the wall is lying there out in the open? This was a pertinent question because it had already been established that nobody had visited the escaped...

Thingamablog 1.5

Those that peek behind the green door of this blog may have noticed that it has been conceived with blogging software called Thingamablog. I have consecrated a few posts to the program before but these all date from quite a while ago. The reason is simple, the last update from the application dates of December the 2nd, 2007 and since then nothing happened. I am not in the business of upgrading for the sake of upgrading like all these other programmers, if anyone can explain me the difference between - for...

Yellow

It has been the most wonderful week. After I had read a favourable review of Douglas Coupland’s Generation A in the newspaper I bought me the book and I am in the middle of reading that one now. The story is put in a future not so very far from now where bees have disappeared altogether and the weather is constantly playing tricks on the population, like suburban smog. When 5 persons around the world get stung they are immediately abducted by special services into a research centre that reminds...

Z for Zeitoun

It was freezing cold this morning and exactly this week clothing manufacturer H&M decided to adorn the railway stations with some lingerie publicity that made me even shudder harder when I passed the semi-naked fleshy skeletons that pretended to have a good time. In the name of science I had a good look at them and decided that two models glued together would make a normal looking woman with the necessary accessories to put some lingerie around (and then, as I am – but – a man,...

2010

Double standards or niggers and Jews not allowed

The last couple of weeks I tried to explain to foreign friends, who had read in Le Monde or la Libé that Flemish politicians openly forbid French speaking people to buy houses in Flanders, that these restrictions were only valid for so-called social housing Projects and not for the free market. But last week Belgian television found out that several Flemish town administrations recommend building Projectst agencies to only sell their houses to Dutch speaking people and to, on a voluntarily basis,...

Escape from Kuregem

A slight miracle happened last week in Belgium. Two important Flemish progressive parties, social democrats and ecologists, suddenly asked for a zero tolerance treatment in the hot quarters of Brussels. When a few weeks before Christmas some (anonymous) policemen had complained in the press that they didn't dare to patrol anymore in certain Brussels streets this had been vehemently contradicted by the chief of police as utter humbug. Two incidents triggered this sudden change of opinion. A school in the...

Holy Wars

In May I wrote how the Belgian catholic church was left unbothered after a flood of paedophile priest cases came suddenly out in the open. The church communicated, in its own veiled way, that they had set up a commission that would, in all discretion, investigate case per case and take appropriate action: Matthew 19:14. This is partly understandable as lots of paedophile cases date from 20 years ago or longer, are legally expired and victims don't want to go through all the meaningless legal hassle. But...

Julian Palacios' Syd Barrett biography

Julian Palacios, contributor and friend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit let us know that the revised version of his Syd Barrett biography (first edition, 1998 already) will be out any day now. So, for the first time in the history of Felix Atagong's Unfinished Projects, let us celebrate a commercial break. Update: The final title is 'Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe', and it is out 29 September in Europe and America (Source: Julian Palacios). Here is a loud announcement. Silence in the...

Matthew 19:14

A few of years ago there were a couple of racist attacks from right-wing skinheads in Belgium. Basically the skinheads, having been drinking far too much lager at their local skinhead pub, saw a passing stranger with a different skin colour than theirs and decided to kick or stab the victim into hospital. Television crews and newspaper journalists tumbled over each others to cover the news. Prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, ministers of interior, ministers of justice, ministers of equal rights and...

Opium

Procrastination is a constant thing in my life even at a point that I frantically dive into one of my famous unfinished Projects for pretending I am busy while, in fact, I am just delaying something else. So I had to force me to write the following… Diet Belgium It is now a certainty that the two halves of Belgium are going separate ways and even the Walloons have commented that they have to think about a future without Belgium as it exists today. The latest rumour I heard is that Wallonia and...

Slow Train Coming

The Belgian railways have this magnificent computer management system that fully automatically delays all trains with 20 minutes or more whenever weather conditions change. Although most Belgians knew it was going to freeze a couple of weeks ago the over-subsidized operators of the NMBS, drinking pink champagne with scarcely clad nymphets in corporate bubble baths, weren't aware of this fact and thus the train schedules suddenly looked like overcooked macaroni. On television a communication officer...

The Terrorist Act of Breastfeeding

In the last two years I only had to use the term imbecile of the week twice but what I read yesterday in the newspaper made me re-examine my pudeur to use that particular term. This week's Felix Atagong Imbecile of the Week Award goes to the the doctor of the ASZ hospital of Aalst (Belgium), who is of the opinion that breastfeeding is obscene and even called the police to prevent a mother from nourishing her baby. The story so far: On Wednesday a woman, who had fractured her ankle ligaments, was brought...

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