Friday, December 31, 2004
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
I love tea. I had an awesome loose leaf tea collection in Australia and now I need to re-build the collection in London.
Over the Christmas period I started checking out the tea options in London. First I visited The Tea Shop in Covent Garden, where I bought some blood orange black tea. Then I visited Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly, where I bought some blackcurrant black tea. Mmmm.
I’m also on the look out for a good teapot. I had two great Avanti teapots in Australia. I really like them, so I’m after something similar.
Posted by Jasmine at 7:01 am
Friday, December 24, 2004
It's not just Dan Brown who's cashing in on the success of his latest novel, The Da Vinci Code. Completely obsessed fans with some spare cash can now take organised tours of various locations in the books. Here are a few options.
- 7-day Da Vinci Code tour with accommodation at the Chateau de Villette (one of the locations in the book). Cost: $70,000 for a party of 12.
- 7-hour guided tour of London Da Vinci Code sites. Cost: about $590.
- 3-hour guided tour of London Da Vinci Code sites. Cost: about $415.
BTW, I read about these tours on an Australian news website, so I assume these figures are in $AUD. If I was sufficiently interested in the tours I would have checked, but I'm not.
Posted by Jasmine at 9:22 pm
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
I had a little trouble working out how to set-up my Fastmail email account on my new iPAQ hx4705 (running WM2003SE). I've now got it working so I thought I document the process so (i) I can refer back to it later if I forget, and (ii) I can maybe help others who've had the same problems.
Setting up Fastmail on the hx4705
- Make sure your iPAQ is online (whether this be via your laptop using the docking station, wirelessly using WiFi or some other means).
- Open the Inbox.
- Go to the Accounts menu at the bottom of the screen and select New Account.
- The Email Setup (1/5) screen will appear. Enter your full email address (not just your username) and tap Next.
- The Email Setup (2/5) screen will appear. The iPAQ will attempt to automatically configure some of the email settings. After a short time you should see a message saying Status: Completed. Tap Next.
- The Email Setup (3/5) screen will appear. Enter your name in the Your name: field. Enter your full email address (not just the username) in the User name: field, e.g. email@example.com. Enter your password in the Password: field. Tap Next.
- The Email Setup (4/5) screen will appear. Select IMAP4 from the Account Type: drop-down menu. Enter a Name for the account. The Name can be anything you like, it's just so you can identify different accounts if you have multiple email accounts setup in your iPAQ's inbox. Tap Next.
- The Email Setup (5/5) screen will appear. Enter mail.messagingengine.com into the Incoming mail: field. If you are on one of the paid Fastmail accounts (member, full or enhanced) then you can use Fastmail's SMTP server. This means you can enter mail.messagingengine.com into the Outgoing mail: field. If you are on the free guest Fastmail account, then you will have to use your ISP's SMTP server (contact your ISP for this information). When you have entered the appropriate details, tap Options.
- The Options (1/3) screen appears. Choose the frequency of checking for messages. Tap Next.
- The Options (2/3) screen appears. I found that I had to have both Outgoing email server requires authentication and Require SSL connection selected, otherwise I could only receive messages but not send them.
- The Options (3/3) screen appears. Set the options you like here. Tap Finish.
- The list of Accounts screen should appear. Tap OK.
- To download your email, tap the send/receive icon in the bottom menu.
Monday, December 20, 2004
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Sunday, December 12, 2004
There are lots of cool bits and pieces in the USB power sync travel kit.
- AC travel charger module
- Four slide in plug adapters for AC travel charger (US, UK, Europe, Australia)
- Car travel charger
- Module USB to IPAQ sync charger cable
This means I can now do the following things.
- Simultaneously sync and charge the iPAQ via the laptop's USB port without using the iPAQ cradle
- Charge the iPAQ via a power outlet in the US, the UK, Europe and Australia
- Charge the iPAQ in the car
I'm very excited that I've finally been able to purchase a USB sync/charge cable for my new little iPAQ!
I've been having trouble acquiring this item because the reputable online stores didn't stock them and the physical stores didn't have them on the shelf. The only place I could find an hx4700 compatible USB sync/charge cable was at HP.com.
Accessories are often more expensive if you buy them directly from HP, which is why I never have in the past. However, in this particular situation I was prepared to pay the extra dollars. Unfortunately I still couldn't get the cable because the HP online store only accepts US credit cards.
I had pretty much given up being able to get an hx4700 compatible USB sync/charge cable. Then, amazingly, when Peter and I were in CompUSA yesterday, I saw one sitting on the shelf! I couldn't believe my eyes. It was just sitting there waiting for me to buy it! :) And what's even better is that it was cheaper than at HP.com
CompUSA have by far the best range of PDA accessories on their shelves. I think the other major stores have given up stocking PDA accessories and just have a few token items on the shelf. This means that PDA accessories usually need to be purchased online. This is certainly true of memory cards.
Physical stores usually have a pretty crappy range of memory cards, which is why Peter and I just ordered several memory cards from CompUSA.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
So it seems I'm hooked on these Dan Brown thriller/suspense novels.
After The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, I still hadn't had my fill, so I read Deception Point. I considered then reading Digital Fortress, but decided against it because I had heard that it wasn't Dan Brown's best work and I didn't want to be let disappointed.
In today's Sydney Morning Herald, I read an article about how well Dan Brown's novels have been selling in Australia. Take a look at this.
"There may be some people left who have not read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but they are a dwindling minority... The dominant trend in 2004's bestselling books may be summarised in two words: Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code has sold more than 40 times what Random House initially budgeted for the novel. Even a book exploiting interest in The Da Vinci Code, called Cracking The Da Vinci Code, by Simon Cox, made it into the non-fiction top 10, selling 33,850 copies."Urgh. I feel so mainstream.
Posted by Jasmine at 1:24 pm
Friday, December 10, 2004
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Have you noticed the little Weather Pixie I added to my blog a few weeks ago?
The current temperature is displayed and little Weather Pixie's clothes change to match the weather.
Occasionally a little kitty cat appears with Goth Weather Pixie. Why? According to the site's FAQ page it is because "He is a cat. They're like that."
There are lots of little Weather Pixies from which to choose. My favourite is Goth Pixie 4.
Posted by Jasmine at 7:02 am
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
I discovered that there's a beauty pageant for the digital world - Miss Digital World.
On the official website, creator Franz Cerami has described the competition as "the search for a contemporary ideal of beauty, seen through virtual reality".
This year the title went to Chilean beauty Katty Ko, who is based on a real person (a Latin American soap opera star) and was created by artist Flavio Parra (the digital version that is, duh).
Apparently these digital beauties are more than just a bunch of pixels thrown together. A Wired News article highlights five of the contestants and -- in addition height, weight and birthplace -- lists each model's manager, claim to fame and personality type.
And it's not just physical beauty that's important for the competition. In this CNN article, the competition organisers said that the entrants "... should not have taken part -- not even as extras or cameos -- in pornographic films, shows or plays nor have made statements... in any way out of tune with the moral spirit of the competition."
The competition proved to be quite popular, attracting thousands of entries from all over the world.
So, if you are an aspiring graphic artist with an eye for beauty, you'd better get cracking because the search for Miss Digital World 2005 begins on 1 January!
Posted by Jasmine at 7:48 am
Monday, December 06, 2004
Saturday, December 04, 2004
I found this cute Avatar creator, Portrait Avatar Maker. Here's the one I created for me.
- she's got long brown hair
- she's wearing a purple top, a black skirt, and black boots
- she's cuddling a kitty cat
- she's got a mobile phone
These are all very Jasmine things. The only thing missing is that she isn't solving a Rubik's cube!
Here's the avatar I created for Peter.
Posted by Jasmine at 2:33 pm
Friday, December 03, 2004
After The Da Vinci Code, I was kinda in the zone for more, so I read another Dan Brown book – Angels & Demons. It was basically the same book except that it was set in Italy instead of France, and involved the Illuminati instead of the Priory of Sion. Here's a dot point summary which could easily be describing either novel:
- prominent and respected man is brutally murdered by a mysterious assassin
- mysterious assassin takes orders from an even more mysterious leader, who only contacts the assassin by phone and whose identity and name are unknown to the assassin
- weirdness of the murder scene suggests a secret society is involved
- young female relative of the victim teams up with Robert Langdon (professor from Harvard who's an expert on secret societies and religious symbology) to solve the mystery
- young female relative is attractive, intelligent, successful and headstrong
- some characters who initially seem to be 'the good guys' turn out not to be, and vice versa
- lots of references to religious and historial artefacts, symbology and locations
- occasional references to potential romantic tension between the male and female protagonist
- male and female protagonist must solve a series of puzzles, codes, cryptic messages, etc. to get to the bottom of things
- male and female protagonist solve lots of puzzles, codes, cryptic messages, etc. and get to the bottom of things
I think that about sums it up.
Posted by Jasmine at 8:27 pm
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The iPod is very stylish. Style is important when it comes to gadgets. Many people just focus on functionality and features (which are key factors of course), but we shouldn't forget style. I know Jenneth would agree!
Jenneth had links to some great iPod cases, including a purple one which glows blue! Very pretty. Unfortunately the purple case is not compatible with the new fourth generation iPods so Peter will have to wait to get a cool case.