Tom Hollander's blog

patterns, practices and pontification

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  • Blog Post: What did the other 37.5% want?

    And so another US election is behind us. Despite the fact that I no longer live in the United States, the presidential race was still watched with interest by me and many, many others around the world. And like many others in the US and around the world I am very happy with the outcome, and look forward...
  • Blog Post: No, not that Tom Hollander

    I've been maintaining a relatively public online profile since the early days of the web, back to when I started peddling shareware apps for $10 a pop in the Netscape 1.0 era. And while I never have (and probably never will) climbed beyond C-list internet celebrity status, for a very long time I was...
  • Blog Post: Windows Media Center - Is it still just for geeks?

    I was impressed with Windows Media Center from the very first time I tried it. However when we got our first Media Center PC a number of years ago, it was quite a trying experience getting it all set up. Getting the PC to talk to the cable set top box through the "IR Blaster", getting a decent quality...
  • Blog Post: Dialog Box of the Week

    Luckily for me, it didn't actually take quite that long.
  • Blog Post: So, what did you watch last night?

    When I was growing up, we had two TV channels in my area: ABC, the government-run channel, and Capital 7, the commercial channel. While I don't really want to go back to that world, I do remember it with a certain amount of nostalgia. While the number options was obviously abysmal, there were some interesting...
  • Blog Post: Amazing Offer! All Sydney houses 50% off!

    It's another beautiful Saturday morning in Sydney, and I'm about to waste it all by shopping for real estate. I've always hated almost everything about buying and selling houses, but it's far worse now as everything is so bloody expensive. At the moment, an averagely nice house in an averagely nice suburb...
  • Blog Post: How to get money out of your telco, in 37 simple steps

    Before I get started, to my point about globally-accessible writing , let me warn you that this post is only going to have practical relevance to Australians. However anyone who has ever been screwed by a telco may get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the story. When I first moved into my current apartment...
  • Blog Post: Some bad sportsmanship

    It's been a tough month not to be obsessed with sport. Not that I don't occasionally partake in watching a bunch of sweaty men on a paddock doing unnatural things to a ball - but this last month has been bordering on the ridiculous. As a lot of people know, Australia is rather sports-crazed, and lately...
  • Blog Post: Inoffensive music offends me greatly

    OK I've been in the Qantas Club lounge far too long now, and before I board my plane I have just one comment: the so-called "inoffensive" music they are playing here (mainly easy-listening ballads from the '90s) offends me greatly. Playing such music in public should be banned.
  • Blog Post: I'm It!

    Alas, the game of Blog-Tag has finally found me (thanks Jezz and Olaf !). Now that I'm tagged, I need to reveal five things about me that most people don't know, and then tag five more people. So here goes: I was born in Woden Valley Hospital in Canberra, Australia exactly 7 days after my now-wife Paula...
  • Blog Post: The lights are back on!

    Last Thursday night, Seattle was hit by a major windstorm, which brought down trees and powerlines across the city. While I was lucky enough not to have been directly impacted by the storm, I was in one of the million-odd households that lost power. In our case it was out for about 48 hours, and tens...
  • Blog Post: ...And I disapprove of this message

    Here in the United States, it's election time again. Being an "alien" (as the US government insists on calling me), I can only watch from the sidelines (what was that thing about taxation without representation?) - but to my antipodean eyes, the American version of democracy is perplexing to say the...
  • Blog Post: The Emperor's New Web-based Office Suite

    Every couple of years, the tech media giants get together to hold a secret meeting. According to my sources, it takes place in a cave, deep underground, somewhere just east of Wagga Wagga. The main order of business is to choose the next technology that will be the death of Microsoft... this time for...
  • Blog Post: Windows Live Local comes to Australia

    This is very cool - Windows Live Local (aka Virtual Earth) has finally been launched in Australia, with detailed street data, aerial photography of many cities, address and business searches and directions. Find out more on the WLL Blog - and be sure to check out the awesome Collections samples! While...
  • Blog Post: What the Da Vinci Code and the Bible have in common

    After holding out for a long time, I finally went out and read The Da Vinci Code . I'm generally too busy doing other stuff to read a lot of books, but I guess I was specifically holding out on this because I figured that with so much hype around it, it couldn't be any good. (Call me a snob if you will...
  • Blog Post: Digital Media Library of Babel

    Not too long ago I read an intriguing short story by the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges called The Library of Babel (at least that’s the title of the English translation). The story tells of a honeycomb-shaped library filled with books that each contain 410 pages – in fact the library has a copy...
  • Blog Post: Fine Dining != Big Slabs of Meat

    Last night I went out to dinner at the Metropolitan Grill. Several people I know have named the Metropolitan as the best restaurant in Seattle, and several others have named very similar restaurants as their personal favorites. And I must say that the Metropolitan does do a very good job at what it serves...
  • Blog Post: MSN Virtual Earth beta launched

    This has nothing to do with my work - but I thought it was cool enough to share. If you thought Google Maps was slick (and I'll admit to being one of those people), check out the beta of the new MSN Virtual Earth . Here's a screenshot showing where I am located (it works it out automatically using...
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