QuarkXPress 5.01 for only £3.50

QuarkXPress 5.0 splashscreen shows lilypads and a flower

A quick heads-up for all you budding, amateur desktop-publishers out there. Computer Shopper magazine is giving away QuarkXPress 5.01 free with its January 2007 issue (on sale now).

Amazon are currently selling QuarkXPress 5 (Windows) for between £399 – £499.95, Computer Shopper claims that it is worth £880. You can get it for £3.50, a saving of £876.50!

While it’s not the latest version of XPress (which is now at version 7) version 5 (released in 2002) is still a very usable and powerful DTP application that has been an industry standard for many years. (Read more about QuarkXPress at Wikipedia.)

Prior to installing XPress you are required to register online with Quark, which for me was a quick and pain-free process. A few minutes later my validation code landed safely in my e-mail inbox. You have until sometime in January 2007 to register, so don’t dilly dally.

I’ve had an idea!

Five bulbs, only one is on.

It’s true! I’ve had an idea; a good idea.

But don’t just take it from me, I have e-mail proof from someone clever. Clever enough to own his own business, anyway. Here’s what he wrote:

These are the kinds of ideas I live for; it’s stunningly simple and highly useful.

I am planning development for the spring of 2007 because we are experiencing pressure from [insert name of well-known software company here] to get our [insert name of well-known software product here] versions out the door ASAP.

If you have any other ideas like this – please drop me another line (and I’ve marked you down for a free copy when it comes out).

I won’t give any more away, lest someone steals my good idea, suffice to say that it will add some superb and highly useful functionality to the software title that I use most often on a daily business. But once it ships you can be assured that I’ll spill the beans.

St Andrews Photos

Screenshot of St Andrews Photos dot com

Yesterday I had the chance to meet Chris Davy, a graduate of St Andrews and the photographer behind the St Andrews Photos website, which contains a collection of some of the most beautiful photographs of St Andrews that I’ve ever seen.

Chris’s images feel crisp, intimate and involved. As we discussed his photographs I realised that unlike a lot of images that I’ve seen of places Chris’s photos feel authentic, as though he has really engaged with the town; he hasn’t been afraid to get involved — up close and personal — with his subject. The model that I had was like the difference between someone who passes through the town and takes tourist-y photographs of the place and someone who embeds themselves in the place, rather like a wildlife photographer camps out in a hide, and waits for the right moment.

I urge you to take a look at the St Andrews Photos website and see for yourself this most beautiful place in which I have the privilege of working.

It’s alive!

Laptop with PC on a desk.
My PC is back up and running — it’s the double-monitor wonder to the right of the laptop.

It would appear that my PC had completely burned out the CPU as after an evening of educated tinkering beneath my desk — and no, that’s not a euphemism — my PC is alive once more.

Eager to tell someone I fired up Windows Live Messenger and chatted with my good friend Simon.

Gareth: Hey! Great news! My PC is alive again.

Simon: It’s alive. It’s aliiivvveeee! Very good news. Not as good as the news that Jesus died for your sins, but a close second.

A fair point, I suppose, all things considered.

So now my PC is back up and running, which is great news. But I’m still feeling a little cautious around it, wondering if it will fail on me again.

I imagine that it’s a bit like when you’ve been invited to an important and prestigious ball by your girlfriend, and you spend ages getting ready, and it’s quite a big deal and you arrive and everything is going well and you’re meeting loads of great people and the food is good and you’ve having a great time — in fact you are literally ‘having a ball’ — but then you get separated from your girlfriend but it doesn’t matter because you trust her and she trusts you and you get involved watching some entertainment, but then the entertainment ends and you go looking for your girlfriend and you discover her in a darkened room with another boy. And they are kissing. And then the next morning in the light of day you’re not quite sure if you do trust her any more, even though nothing has actually changed. Apart from the kissing another boy bit. I imagine that it might be a bit like that. I guess.

Only time will tell. That and good ventilation.