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That is unfair

30.08.2005 / filed under default

I love Post Secrets, because they are scary and encouraging at the same time. And sometimes they are just fun:

i give decaf to customers who are RUDE to me!

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Finally, the EU comes to their senses

25.08.2005 / filed under default

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
Read full story over at Vowe.

And I encountered a new 'feature' of my new setup:
I am sorry, but you are unable to post a comment since you are not sending a referrer from a posting on That may the case because you are using a product like Norton Internet Security (some of the vendors call them firewalls, but they are actually proxies) with a "privacy protection" switched on.
*hrmpf* I would not even know where to look.

So, let's do what we do in these cases: Put my comment here:
That looked at the end more than french than German, but I guess, that is what they wanted anyway, right? ;)))

Google Talk not working because of same problems with audio drivers

24.08.2005 / filed under default

Of course, I have to test the new service.

But it did not connect. I was just about to write an unhappy article, until I figured, I could try the same trick which happens when Skype is not starting up: Dismissing my USB Tascam US-122 and set it to the built in Soundmax.

And again, did the trick. (Usually once started, I can set the Driver back). What is it with this external Tascam which seems to screw up _the start_ of such applications?

Thanks to Dragos Novac for giving me the good news ;)

Interestingly, it seems as if this would be a very fast way to expand the gmail users as well, because this is where they want you to be - just like the other services. I will have to play with that later. :)

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Useful Sounds No. 037: dizzy summer nights

23.08.2005 / filed under podcast

Some dizzy summernights and some cold make a confusing mix - plus some thoughts about the upcoming podcast con UK :)
More detailed shownotes to come later, I need my sleep! :)

26:34 min, 15,5 MB (right-click and say 'save link as')

Parts from the song Hiding as usual by the band !

And then there was this subtle feeling ...

22.08.2005 / filed under default

Sitting in the bar and slowly reading through the bloglist ... when suddenly another person appears with a laptop (stealing me the wifi bandwith!!), with stickers on it (mine is still empty - Tris, where are the collected nice schwag stickers? *g*) and suddenly, suddenly ...

I have to resist the feeling of showing off, turning the tablet to slate mode and just scribble nonsense on it.

So I fire up my pivot, and write this blogpost instead for you; so you can see: I am weak, so weak. ;))

And I still have to resist the feeling. Should write some more mails or posts or ... havetoresist ... ;)))

Mur's new podcast: I should be writing

20.08.2005 / filed under default

There is a new podcast in town

I Should Be Writing

A podcast by a wanna-be writer for wanna-be writers. Let my stack of rejection letters and battle scars benefit you
done by famous Mur Lafferty :)from Geekfuactiongrip. Not only because it is fun to listen to her, but I have the good feeling that this will be a very useful ressource.

And Mur: Do you really need to be a 'just published' fiction writer? ;)

Hope to see you soon again ...

17.08.2005 / filed under default

I was supposed to have my fritzbox up and running (also my wlan), and look calmy to my switch from dsl 1000 to 6000.

But as it seems, my new box only runs on the 6000 and it seems likely, that my old modem will only work on 1000.

Just to let you know: EIther I will have happy blog postings tomorow evening, or I will just be very desperatly disconnected from the world ;))


16.08.2005 / filed under default

Clicking on 'yes, notify me when new comments are in' - on your own blog .... ;)

Looking for an acceptable ho(s)tel in London

16.08.2005 / filed under default

So, dearest blogreaders, you can help me find a nice ho(s)tel around the venue for this nice event: PodcastCon UK - September 17, 2005

I am about to arrive Thursday and stay to Sunday. Depending on the price of the bed (and the fact that Ryanair costs more when returning Sunday), I might include Monday. The venue is between stations Oxford Circus and Tottenham, so anything near those lines is great.

I am also thinking about a not single room like in a 4 person dorm or so - I am very likely only to be there for sleeping and if they do have good lockers (do they?), and are clean and with showers, what would be against staying for example at the Picadilly hostel?

Btw: "1 Euro = 0,666464 Britische Pfund" can't you use Euro as every other decent european country? :))

Btw 2: Do I need different power plugs? *arg* I think I can start to use all of the questions for reboot :)

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Those tablet things ;o)

15.08.2005 / filed under default

Thanks to James and Marc for having me on their 20th show of the TabletPC show :) As for the 'überblogger' - that just means I have too many blogs, and you only linked two of several. ;))

As I know that this little cutie (at least I don't paint it pink ...) will lead to more blogpostings, I decided to bring them on cruel to be kind, so further postings on tablet will go there. :) Please give me feedback, if a seperate feed just for the tablet entries is needed, ctbk is not that high posting rate. :)

I have not heard it yet, but one thing to learn - again: Never use an untested system like a new headset, that one is sounding much better than my usual Skype headset but it is dead now. :( ... I hope, the other side has 'only' had Skype problems. :)

So, if you like, go continue reading on "Get advice directly from the gurus".

The list of the old postings tablet related here are:
Useful Sounds No. 036a: Testing the tablet
What is the most efficient way to get things fixed with a Tablet PC Windows XP edition?
Need a new name for my toy.
Useful Sounds No. 36: Crashes and my new Tablet Toy!

Odeo support system down / problems with podcast files?

14.08.2005 / filed under default

Hm, anyone else having problems with like me?

I don't receive notifications with my ticket id anymore (which I could use to look up the status) and I have had no luck in bringing "Useful Sounds No. 36: Crashes and my new Tablet Toy!" into their systems and have no clue why not.

"Useful Sounds No. 35: Itunes Odeo // and new ways of communicating" and Useful Sounds No. 036a: Testing the tablet work perfectly, all files are available, and the other fetchers can run it also. :(

Useful Sounds No. 036a: Testing the tablet

12.08.2005 / filed under podcast

Dummy me - I need of course an entry for the feed to have an enclosure ... *grr*

And if you want to see some examples (now I know what to use that flickr thing for - easy upload of picture things and reference them on two blogs ;)): Visit Tablet experiments.

Parts from the song Hiding as usual by the band !

What is the most efficient way to get things fixed with a Tablet PC Windows XP edition?

11.08.2005 / filed under default

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(As for the headline: It can't always be Mr. R.S., there must be other persons one can bug about those annoying things I found in just some hours of basic (!) playing with that windows edition. Because it is mainly about that windows edition, not the hardware so much.)

Okay, after the new toy arrived this morning, I made a bunch of fotos (which turned out to be not so great, because it is the handy camera :() and then the final moment came - the starting moment of 2 hours of despair. Dead on arrival. Which brings me to point one of my longer to come review: If you don't have a machine booting up, you can't access any of the documentation! And online? Nada del niente.

Call at the IBM support hotline? "We don't have that modell in our list" Hm? You just started shipping in Germany you freaks! Turned out, that ram needed a little push and then everything has been working nicely. They did call back late in the afternoon and where very happy to close the call - I only mentioned it works again. They could have asked for opinion and feedback (which they would have gotten, but I guess, a ticket is meant to be just a ticket ....)

I just wrote in an IM: i am usually not in geek toy land, but if everyone gets that much attention when buying toys, I will turn into gadget lady! The amount of envy via mail (all of course in good humor) is amazing, and I have not even taken it out into the wild! People like me just for having thise nice new toy ;))))

BUT - the thing I was most looking forward to, the Microsoft experience pack and the education pack? Both won't work at my machine. Because it is non English! CLEVER.

Using some buttons? Quite idiotic arrangements. My Lenovo, if held in right-hand manor? Description of buttons is upside down! Direct microphone quality? Miserable. I am curious how in here speech recognition is supposed to work by that? Fingerprint scanner? Quite doubtful it will work, I just hope I get into the system again tomorow ...

Using the tablet for handwriting recognition? Quite great - except some basic features missing like inserting simple things (space, colon etc), which I know of the Palm Pilot - will have to look deeper into it. Problem is: it has to be horizontal for recognition, does not work if you write in 45 degree angle. Tip for Microsoft: You can turn drawings in *all* your application for ages! Why not here? !

And the thing which annoys me most: [more ...]

Need a new name for my toy.

09.08.2005 / filed under default

It was supposed to arrive at the vendor at Wednesday, maybe shipped on that day, but probably more like Thursday, which would make it really possible to arrive at Friday but Saturday latest: My new toy, the tablet.

But today I receive a mail from the seller which supposedly sets me in shock and on fire at the same time:

Dear Ms. Simon, I am glad to tell you that your toy was shipped and will hopefully arrive at your place tomorow.
How the hell am I supposed to do any work today or sleep this night?!

Toy. Available. Tomorow. I'll probably stand up at 7 am (which is 2 hours before my usual time) and wait for the delivery man. Which will probably bring it it not at 8 am but somehow 10:30 or so.

Learn two german expressions:
Spielzeug = toy (the seller picked up on my expression of 'new toy! new toy!', something you usually would not expect in a formal mail notification.

*hibbel* erikativ from hibbelig, showing of the movement of waiting very, very impatiently for the new toy.

But, I need your help. (I wrote down the following yesterday, but made the fault of checking in the second life game - which led the computer to crash and take the text with it *grrrr*. see, that is why you need a second computer for things like this)

I need a name for my new toy! Of course it should be something meaningful, snarky, funny, possibly playing with mythologie and modern culture - you know the drill.

To give you a short expression, of what I have at the moment.
The computer at work is called Keksdose, cookie jar. I love chocolate and I like cookies.

The one at home is chocolate and cookie; it is called Noix. First, because it is a HP machine in black, second, because my aunt calls those machine big black boxed, third because there is a cookie I like called "Maison Delacre, chocolat noix" and finally: Because I love good, dark, chocolate.

My router is called Nemenisis - a mixture of Nemesis and Nisi, my general account name (neezee is just the spelling so you know how to pronounce it, by time now I like this spelling much more than nisi, but in general I prefer Nicole, thank you for asking. ;))

So, the new machine. The new cute, small, expensive toy. To give you some more information:
  • it is a tablet - in case you have not noticed till now

  • it is a 12,1" with 3 pounds of weight

  • it will be used as second machine - or at least that is what it is intended to be

  • will be connected with wireless most of the time

  • is supposed to be for notetaking

  • is partly a business machine for recording and possible mobile editing

So in general, a mobile working machine for hanging out in cool places and to support my consulting business and podcasting interests. :)

Got any suggestions for that lil' beauty? :))))

Additional problems: I will not have the wifi thing ready in time - which means I have a problem of having the weekend before me but not being able to play with it at the same time as doing work on my main computer :((

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The Odeo channels

08.08.2005 / filed under default

I forgot to post the promised links to all of the Odeo channels I am aware of made by 'them'. :)

So over at you have ...
The by founders and , which also have channels of their own, see Evan's and Noah's profile.

Also you have the and the .

Somehow related: which is a bit hard to follow because whatever service he is using, it is not picked up nicely by my ipodder :( Any more I should know of? ;)

Useful Sounds No. 36: Crashes and my new Tablet Toy!

08.08.2005 / filed under podcast

After some recording woes my machine does get it's act together - probably because it knows, that it will be replaced as the main machine by my new toy if it does not play nice!

Get the newest 'crash and toys' Useful Sounds!

32:45 min, 19 MB (right-click and say 'save link as')

Shownotes: The music as usual by Futureshock!

The pledge drive I am not talking about in this edition (even though I said this in the start):
I will donate 5 Euros per month to support an organisation that will campaign for digital rights in the European Union but only if 250 other people will too.

And the link to my English business blog Cruel to be kind.

Feedback as usual highly welcome as mail or comment right here.

iBaby - some clothes for your todlers :)

04.08.2005 / filed under default

Want one? Go to

Jealous wifes ...

04.08.2005 / filed under default

Just got that in my yahoo 360 mailbox:

Who are you and how do you know my husband, Surferdave2005?

Either it is a new spam, or a jealous wife - but either way, I don't know that guy :)

I dream of female geeky podcaster ...

03.08.2005 / filed under default

Mur Lafferty still is looking for female geeky podcasters!

And don't forget to check out her latest podcast, in which she has a great essay about why she believes in magic - and not. ;) (Hei Mur, you have it there, why not publish it so we can link to it?)

I totally agree with here: While I am not so much into D&D and all this usual stuff, I totally love my stories of Darkover series and it's general assumption of living in a telepathic world. Knowing, that we cannot do as it is described in Darkover I still wish it would be true.

And with magic - it would be so great to have some magic around. We can imagine it, why should it not be around the corner - just as hidden as it has to be from those muggels? :))

I love my imagination and I love theather of mind. And magic, psi-powers and dragon babies have a place in it!

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I am Nicole Simon, 34 years old and located in Lübeck, Germany. This is my English blog with the Useful Sounds podcast which is now newly located at

If you like to read more in English from me, go:
cruel to be kind

Or my German blogs:
The easiest way to contact me is through my comment form

If you are interested to see what I read: Here is my list

older stuff

November 2003
October 2004
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