Jiig-Cal and BBC Scotland


I posted to Seesmic this evening about an email I got from BBC Scotland about this blog post from 2005: My JIIG-CAL results from 1985.

According to the BBC journalist who contacted me “the story will be up on the website from first thing on Friday morning and there should also be a piece on Reporting Scotland tomorrow night.”

So check it out on BBC Scotland tomorrow at 18:30 … obviously if you’re living in Scotland that is; maybe they’ll do a BBC iPlayer kind of thing too, I dunno.


The story is now on the BBC News Scotland website: The computer that predicted the future, although the link to my blog is currently broken — I’m sure the BBC Web boffins will fix that soon though.

Update 2

This is what JIIG-CAL suggested that I should spend my life doing:

  1. Statistician (8/10) – Skills: logical, numerical ability, good self-expression, co-operative
  2. Occupational Therapist (8/10) – Skills: good organiser, resourcefulness, sympathetic, good with your hands
  3. Youth & Community Worker (8/10) – Skills: outgoing personality, good organiser, energy, tolerant
  4. Social Worker – Fieldwork (8/10) – Skills: sympathetic, pleasant manner, able to inspire confidence, patience
  5. Assistant Prison Governor (8/10) – Skills: able to understand other people’s problems, leadership, good administrator, able to discipline
  6. Mathematician (8/10) – Skills: good concentration, logical, analytical, good self-expression
  7. Probation Officer (England/Wales) (8/10) – Skills: able to inspire confidence, perseverence, resilience, sympathetic
  8. Social Worker – Residential (8/10) – Skills: able to inspire confidence, perseverence, resilience, sympathetic
  9. Insurance Underwriter (8/10) – Skills: sound judgement, honesty, able to take responsibility, accuracy
  10. Physicist (7/10) – Skills: scientific approach, numerical ability, good reasoning power, accuracy

Firebug bug


Today I spotted a bug with Firebug 1.2.0b3 in Firefox 3.0. Here’s what I posted to the Firebug Google Group:

I’ve just upgraded to Firefox 3.0 (on Windows XP Pro) and have installed Firebug 1.2.0b3 but I’m having an issue with Firebug not responding once it has been opened in its own window. My colleague is experiencing the same issue, which we can repeat again and again, (which is reassuring that it’s not just me).

The issue seems to (sort of) resolve itself once the page has been refreshed (either in Firefox or Firebug), but this is certainly different behaviour from Firebug in Firefox 2.0.x.

Here’s what we do:

  1. Right-click on a page element and select “Inspect Element” from the context menu.
  2. Firebug opens in a panel at the bottom of the Firefox window.
  3. As expected the HTML tab is selected and if I hover over the tag elements in the left-hand pane it highlights those elements on the web page within Firefox. I can also open or close the various nodes by clicking on the [+] and [-] buttons.
  4. Now if I click the red icon at the right of the Firebug panel to “Open Firebug in New Window” the Firebug panel ‘leaps’ out of Firefox and appears in its own window, however, the functionality described above is now disabled: hovering over the HTML elements in the Firebug HTML pane no longer highlights anything within Firefox, and the [+] and [-] node buttons are now unresponsive. What does still work, however, is the bar beneath the menu bar in Firebug, the bar that begins: “Inspect Edit |”.
  5. If I then refresh the page in Firefox the functionality in Firebug is restored. Similarly, if I select View > Reload in Firebug.
  6. Now if I close the Firebug window, and then begin again by right-clicking something on the page and select “Inspect Element” Firebug opens in a panel at the bottom of the Firefox window but now everything is ‘frozen’ in the HTML panel again until I refresh the Firefox page. Clicking on the [+] and [-] node buttons do nothing. The issue is not resolved if I open Firebug in its own window by clicking on the Firebug button on the toolbar, either.

This appears to me to be a bug.

Within 30 minutes I got a response:

Probably a bug, we don’t usually use the open-in-own-window ourselves so we break it sometimes without knowing.

So I’ve logged it on the Google Code fbug bug list: Issue 823: Firebug 1.2.0b3 unresponsive in Firefox 3 when opened in own window.

I do hope that it gets fixed soon, as I use that feature all the time. Such are the benefits of having three monitors at work, and two at home.

My Seesmic debut

Today I made my internet debut on Seesmic: the video conversation website.

I remember someone leaving a comment ages ago when they heard my voice on an MP3 file saying that it kind of freaked them out to hear me because up until then I’d just been an anonymous stranger behind the written word. Well, now you get pictures too! I hope it’s not too upsetting for you.

I was quite unsure about whether I’d enjoy it or not. What would I have to say? Would I want to join in any conversations? But to be honest it was great. It was easy and people were really friendly.

The embedded video above was my Seesmic debut. I introduced myself and a bit like wandering into a room of strangers before long someone said hi and we got chatting. Except that both of us were sitting at home looking into a webcam.

Seesmic simplicity

The Seesmic software is tremendously easy to use. Once you’ve logged in all you have to do the first time is make sure that the camera, microphone and speaker settings are assigned to the devices you want them to be set to and then you simply click on record and get chatting. It couldn’t be simpler.

Recording directly to the website makes it so much easier to use than say YouTube where you need to record to a particular video format, upload that file to the website, which then takes time to convert to Flash format, and eventually view a couple of hours later. Seesmic is almost instant; it’s great.

The only issue is that after watching Seesmic videos it seems to mess up my audio playback settings and my MP3s then sound like they’re being played by a chipmunk band!

Nothing that a quick mode change on my soundcard doesn’t fix, but I’d like to prevent that if possible. It’ll be to do with a change in bitrate or something, but it sure is annoying.

What’s the point?

It’s like video blogging, I think — you can start new threads or leave comments. But unlike a blog where you type you just chat. It’s far more personal, you can really show your personality, your gestures are obvious and, of course, you can wear odd hats too!


I had intended on doing something useful and productive this evening.

Instead I ended up installing a new webcam (Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000), trying out Seesmic, and trying to work out why

  1. the Mozilla store had sent me an XL Ladies’ t-shirt instead of a man’s one (even though the label on the cellophane wrapper says “Men’s”),
  2. why my MP3s were now being randomly played at about 3x the speed, and
  3. why I didn’t have a third question.