Making Money

I’m going to experiment with some good old capitalist techniques beginning today. I’ve already slipped in some affiliate links (which I will declare on a post by post basis), and a few Google ads will slip in from time to time.

This is all in aid of the “Help Tom’s Hosting Bill” fund.

Wish me luck! When I tried ads on Past Thinking, I made $9 in a whole year, which isn’t enough to actually claim…


Pzizz – software that helps you relax?

I received an email today from Pzizz, which reminded me that I was going to blog about it ages ago.

I first heard of Pzizz back in July 2006, from Chris Messina‘s blog. The thought of software that helps you nap, relax or sleep sounded rather dubious to me. So I downloaded a demo to see what it was all about, and my, was I pleasantly surprised.

What the software does, is create a ‘guided meditation’ for want of a better term. You can get two versions – one for a short ‘energizer’ nap, and one to help you go to sleep. Suffice to say, I now have both versions.

A voice guides you into relaxation, whilst a nice soundscape is built up in really wide stereo. It’s astonishingly relaxing, and a number of techniques are applied to help you have a nice daytime nap, or slip off to sleep:

pzizz is a remarkable invention that combines several different proven techniques to help keep you feeling energized throughout the day. It combines Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques along with especially composed music, sound effects and a binaural beat to induce a wonderfully relaxed state, similar to that of the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep.

You can generate naps to put on an mp3 player as well, which is a handy feature if you don’t want to have a computer switched on while you relax.

What a marvelous invention!

Link: Pzizz (Disclaimer: affiliate link!)

Podcasting Web Stuff

Podshow+ Profiles

I’ve spent a while messing about with my BTpodshow (or Podshow+ or whatever it end up being called!) profile, and for ages I haven’t been able to work out how to edit the “About Me” text. I’ve been pulling my hair out over it (well, metaphorically at least). At last I’ve worked out how.

You need to go to the ‘Master Control’ page and click ‘Edit Legend’ to change the “About Me” text. Of course! Silly me!

Now I’ve done that I might find the energy to change how the page looks.

Cornwall Kernow

A Cornish Superhero at last!

KernowMan!Lots of countries have their own super hero, and it has recently been revealed that Cornwall is no exception. And, m’boy, he’s caused a fair bit of controversy

Is it a bird? Is it a pasty? No! It’s KernowMan!

Mac Software


Having just moved house, and having just packed all my books and CDs, I decided that I really ought to catalogue them. I’ve been tempted by Delicious Library for a while now and thought it an excellent time to buy it.

Luckily, I heard about MacHeist, who, at the time of writing, are offering Delicious Library and 8 other software titles for just $49. This includes RapidWeaver, Shapeshifter, TextMate, NewsFire, FotoMagico, Disco, iClip 4, DEVONthink Personal, and a Pangea game. To buy them all separately would cost you $307.74, so that’s rather a bargain.

For every $49, a proportion (25%) of that money is donated to a charity, so even better.

MacRumors point out that currently, MacHeist has raised over $100,000 for charities with this current offer. But it isn’t without some controversy. Without going in-depth at how MacHeist managed to make such a good offer (I’m not party to specifics), there are a number of critics mentioned on the MacRumors article.

It’s worth reading what MacHeist have to say about how it works, and to read the fors and againsts before you decide to take advantage of their next offer…


Naples and Herculaneum

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Casa Bottega, Herculaneum, originally uploaded by T.A.G.

This photo of the Poseidon and Amphitrite mosaic in Casa Bottega, Herculaneum, Italy, was taken with a Sony Ericsson k750i camera phone. I took three photos, staying as still as I could, altering the EV level for each one, exposing the sky, one normal photo, and one exposing detail in the shadows.

The resulting images were then imported into the excellent Photomatix software where they were aligned and combined into a single HDR (high dynamic range) image.

Using the tools within Photomatix, I “tone mapped” the HDR image so that the resulting image was roughly an average of all colour values captured by the camera in the three images.

As you can see, this gives this image a ‘painted’ feel. It’s quite an unnatural image (as many HDR images are), but quite compelling nonetheless.

So that’s how I did it for those that keep asking 🙂

Web Stuff


DreamhostThis website, and most of the others that I run, are now happily sitting on Dreamhost servers.

I’ve been using them since February, and they’ve been great so far. It took me a while to get the Windows hosting paradigm out of my head, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve used their support via email a couple of times and their response has been timely and helpful (both things were my mistake – ho hum).

This blog, for example, was installed with just a couple of clicks using Dreamhost‘s “one click installer”. When a new version of WordPress is released, I can just click the “update” button, and hey presto, my blog is backed up and WordPress is updated.

Other one click installs on Dreamhost:

PHP4 or 5:
WordPress Weblog (v2.0.5) –
phpBB Forum (v2.0.21) –
Gallery Image Album (v2.1.2) –
ZenCart Store (v1.3.6) –
Joomla (Mambo) CMS (v1.0.11) –

PHP5 only:
activeCollab Collaboration (v0.6) –
MediaWiki Wiki (v1.8.2) –

PHP4 only:
Advanced Poll (v2.03) –
WebCalendar Calendar (v1.0.4) –

Not to mention more bandwidth and diskspace than you can eat, with multiple and true sub-domains to boot. And it all seems to run fast enough for me.

If you use the code TOM50 you’ll get $50 off any plan (and I get a referral!) 🙂

Blogs Books

Antiquarian Bookshops

Who’d have thought that life in an antiquarian bookshop “in a cathedral city in the south of England” would be so interesting? I’ve been frequenting such bookshops for most of my life, and have even worked in one, and trust me – never think that these are dry and dusty places where nothing happens…

Every day is filled with bizarre behaviours and comments, absurd actions, wierd and wonderful people and oddity.

Have a look at “Book Rant” – an anonymous blog about the ins-and-outs of the antiquarian book trade. If you’re into books – this is a must!


First Post

I’ve set up this blog, called “The Hurler” “Switch Doctor” for now (subject to random change), so that I can blog about anything and everything that I have wanted to recently. My blogging started with Past Thinking, which is rapidly becoming a blog that is focussed upon heritage issues related to technology. I used to post random things about computing, Macs, and music on there, but as its reputation for comment and news grew, it has become apparent that Past Thinking is no longer the space for things other than heritage. This is fine. It’s nice that Past Thinking has found its niche, and I will continue to grow the blog, and hopefully have a co-author soon.

This blog will be for everything else!