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Nov 11

The Weeknd

TheWeeknd - Thursday (cover)We’ve featured a good few albums on this blog before, and they tend to fall into two distinct categories. Either they are from established artists – such as Nine Inch Nails, or Coldplay – as a “thank you” to the fans.

But just as often – as here – the people giving their music away do so as a trailer to their live shows, and the highly regarded indie rockers TheWeeknd do exactly that. In fact, the strategy is so successful, they’re commanding huge fees for sell-out concerts all over the USA. (Forgive me if indie rock isn’t exactly right – it’s difficult to judge genres for people like me who use Deicide as chill-out music…)

And you can find out for yourself exactly why – both their albums Thursday and House Of Balloons are available from their website. (You’ll need JavaScript enabled to experience it properly, and a zip application to extract the files, by the way).

Home page: http://the-weeknd.com/

Sep 02

Mystified – Waste As Fuel

Waste As Fuel - coverThe hyper-active Mystified (real name Thomas Park) seems to release an album a month, and most of them are uploaded for free to The Internet Archive. This one is just over half an hour, and it’s an ever-shifting soundscape.

The title is apposite, as the atmospheric industrial rumblings that begin the piece remind me of the waste disposal escape scene in Toy Story 3. But it’s not all pounding industrial noises Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 01


vim - the editorFor those of us who started our computing careers with Unix, or a Unix variant, or who were introduced to the system at university, some time in the 1980s, you will have been introduced to the joys (or evils?) of the editor vi. While idiosyncratic, there’s no doubt that vi is, like its predecessor TECO and the like, an extremely powerful text editor. However, it’s a “love-or-hate” program, with idiosyncratic key combinations that must be learned before you can do any real work.

Vim – “VI iMproved” – clones vi very nicely, and responds in the same way any vi afficionado would expect. It also adds a nice Windows GUI to it, with lots of mouse support Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 31

Left Right Left Right Left

Left Right Left Right Left - coverDid you see Coldplay at Glastonbury? If you didn’t, it’s perhaps amazing you managed to avoid it, given it sems to have been shown live on the BBC and then again and again for days. Which means you probably did it on purpose, so if I were you, I’d move on to the next post.

Still here? Good… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 25


NirSoft logoHere’s a clever little piece of software, and it really works well at what it does.

Have you ever got a wireless router for your Internet connection? Most Internet Service Providers give them out these days, but you can still buy slightly-better-than-average ones from electronics shops. And most laptops include wireless these days, so almost everyone uses it.

But one of the first things they recommend you do is to give your wireless network a secure passcode. Which is fine – unless you make it so secure you forget. So what happens when a friend comes to visit from out of town and wants to use your Internet conection on their laptop – and you’ve forgotten your network key? Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 10

Just to let you know…

We’re re-jiggling our bytes over at the server end (ooh, I love it when my bytes go all jiggly)… Anyhows, we may be slightly offline a bit in the next few days, but don’t worry… we will soon be back – and we’ve got a ton more free stuff to tell you about – so stay tuned :)

Mar 26

Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Now here’s a lovely thing. If you know of one piece of romantic poetry, it’s probably number 52 from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. You don’t? Really? Are you sure? Well, it goes like this:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

And if you didn’t, well, you probably know the reference from either Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, or perhaps from Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.

Anyhow, there’s a very beautiful 1904 volume available at the Internet Archive. You can have it as a PDF of full colour scans, black and white, text, or in DjVu, Kindle or Daisy format.

Download page: http://www.archive.org/details/poemsbyelizabeth00brow

Mar 24

Firefox 4

FirefoxWe’ve been using Firefox here at Emudir Towers for years, ever since the dim and distant days of version 1.0. But the latest version – released just a few days ago – adds some useful and exciting features. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 15


paint.netForgive us for going on about graphics programs, having featured both GIMP and Serif Photo Plus in the not-so-distant past, it’s probably not time for another one yet. So… here’s a graphic editor.

While you groan away, here’s some things to like about Paint.Net. Despite being Windows only (and requiring .Net 3.5), it supports layers, contains an automatic updater (which, in a moment of what can only be described as clear thinking, good design and sheer sanity, can be made to install the update once you’ve finished using the program), and a plethora of effects. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 01


Code::BlocksFor any C++ programmer, the integrated development environment or IDE is the tool they spend most of their time using. And while commercial tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio are popular with commercial development houses, the problem is that they are frequently limited to a single platform. Read the rest of this entry »

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