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Wednesday, January 23
Another blogging platform gets $30million... Share the wealth?

WordPress just announced they're getting $29.5 million for their B round of funding.

And they said the bubble had burst. Nice! There's still hope for my search for $65m in VC funding for my interactive wacky wailing inflatable arm-flailing tubemen social networking site.

I know that $30m only equates to about £4.69 in pounds sterling, but it's still an incredible amount for what's nothing more than a (very popular, and quite, quite clever) blogging platform. As Matt (one of the founders of WordPress) says on his blog,

Fast forward to 2007: many of the seeds planted started to really bloom. On WordPress.com 1.8 million new users joined, they created 25 million posts, we served 3.2 billion dynamic pageviews, and grew to reach over 100 million unique users worldwide. Akismet blocked billions of spams from reaching blogs. Nearly every major media organization, from the NY Times, WSJ, CNN, Fox, Time, People, and more, have embraced WordPress. Finally the approach of serious acquisition or majority-stake investments brought up the biggest question we’d faced so far: should we sell, or build out Automattic to be an independent company for many years to come.

That decision actually wasn’t hard. I couldn’t stop thinking about the opportunities and it became clear that the road ahead was much longer than the road behind us.

That brings us to today. The New York Times, the flagship of media, is joining our existing investors Polaris, True, and Radar in expanding their minority stake in the company. Automattic is now positioned to execute on our vision of a better web not just in blogging, but expanding our investment in anti-spam, identity, wikis, forums, and more — small, open source pieces, loosely joined with the same approach and philosophy that has brought us this far.

So the NYT is officially getting in on the act now... Free beers all round! Oh, and if you have a WP.com account, you've now got 3 gigabytes of space to play with. Have fun go mad!

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/23/2008 05:43:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 7319729944797960839·
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Monday, January 21
Come fly with me...

Some inspirational and mind-boggling photography: here's a panoramic collage taken by Charles M. Duke (Lunar module pilot on the Apollo 16 moon voyage):

There's tons more imagery and multimedia on NASA's Apollo 16 multimedia pages. I've been meaning to make a note of this page for at least a month now!

And while you're perusing these images, you can go download and listen to some of the music from some classic Nintendo games, courtesy of of USF Central (if you didn't own an N64 in the 90s, you missed out!)

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/21/2008 01:42:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 3418656648683673003·
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Thursday, January 17
How many five year olds could I take in a fight?

Evidently, more than enough. Great success.


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/17/2008 11:31:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 8309937085730961604·
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Monday, January 7
Vimicro USB PC Camera 301x drivers - free

Always nice to have something for nothing... I have a really cheap webcam (one of those purchases you make from eBay because hell, even if the thing never arrives, it only cost a few quid so it's no big deal). Anyway, various people sell it under a variety of guises, but in its OEM form it's a Vimicro USB PC Camera 301x.

Drivers for this thing used to be fiendishly hard to find, too (the most Google-popular ones were also infested with a nasty little virus, which I found out the hard way). So, when I decided to hook the webcam up to my new fileserver to act as a CCTV camera while I was away on holiday, I decided to take a fresh look and see if I could find some clean drivers for it.

Loads of Googling eventually took me to a (really quite unhelpful) page on Dowan.org, dating from 2005, where the author had put a link to a paid site where you cough up a few quid and you get the drivers. Loads of people were either asking for a copy of the drivers (which are really tiny filesize-wise), and the author was just telling them to pay up and download them. Makes you wonder whether she was getting kickbacks from each purchase...

However, I'm a great believer in free (as in both beer and opensource, but that's another story). Anyway, I refused to pay money for these drivers (paying for drivers? come on, seriously)... So, on a whim, I checked the Vimicro site, which had previously been scant on both information and driver downloads or any kind of support. However, they now have a revamped web site, but the downloads section is still quite confusing (it lists drivers by chipset, not by camera or model).

What got me excited was that they now have a really handy utility which will detect the correct driver for your camera and download it automatically - just by plugging the device in to a USB port and running the utility! Here's what their web site says:

If you are not certain about which PC Camera processor that your PC Camera uses, then please download the Detection Tool of Vimicro PC Camera Processors Model. This tool will help you find the processor model and will provide you with the corresponding link for the driver download.

Download: Detection Tool of Vimicro PC Camera Processors Model without notice
How handy is that! So, if you have any Vimicro webcam, just hit that link up and run the utility. It's totally painless, fast, and gets you the guaranteed correct driver straight from their web site. Couldn't ask for a more useful little app, could you?

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/07/2008 04:05:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 695764794288924975·
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Saturday, January 5
Why are banana sandwiches so good?

There's something about a cheeky banana sarnie (made with freshly-cut white bread, of course) at 1:30am with a cup of tea to follow it which really satisfies a snack craving - and in a moderately healthy way, too!

Can't really beat that, can ya... I wonder what my housemates' weirdest late-night snacks are, gonna have to go ask them now. :D

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/05/2008 02:28:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 6623269093827388013·
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Tuesday, January 1
... Hello 2008!

Yay for Comedy Connections on BBC2, taking me through the small hours. That, and some nice cups of tea. Happy new year, happy Year Of The Rat and United Nations International Year of Planet Earth, everyone :)

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/01/2008 01:26:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 5290259757780237740·
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