Xbox Replacement Power Cord

I received my Xbox replacement power cord (not a power chord, though!) and laughed when I saw what comes with it - Instructions on how to use it. Plug it in. Throw out the old one.

Monkey says:

A single strand does not make a thread, nor can one hand clap. Even a chicken must work for it’s food. Sit tight for ten days, and in one day you’ll shoot nine rapids.

Sandy says:

In a thousand days, one eats up a thousand measures of rice.

Tripitaka says:

Heaven favours, where virtue rules. And what would this be but to paint the tiger and carve the swan? To save one life is better than to build a seven-story pagoda.

Monkey says:

Better sit in one house than run to three.

Two in hand is better than three in bond.

A household cannot have two masters.


I loved the TV series ‘Monkey’ that was on the ABC during the early 80s. I have found most of the first series on DVD, and just recently found a copy of an English translation of some of the original stories.

Wu Ch’êng-ên was born in Huai-an, Kiangsu, China around 1505, and died in about 1580. He was known at the time as a poet, and is believed to have been a District Magistrate.

He based the fables of Monkey on the life of a buddhist monk, Hsüan-tsang. Living in the 7th Century, Hsüan-tsang was also known as Tripitaka, and there are several contemporary accounts of his journey to India, and by the time of Wu Ch’êng-ên, these had transformed into legend.

The bureaucracy that is in Heaven is a direct reflection of the Chinese government of the time. The stories of Monkey are part satire, part poetry and part allegory. Tripitaka is the everyman, Monkey the genius and Pigsy the appetite. Sandy is said to be the sincerity or whole-heartedness.

The TV series is probably more based on one of the Japanese translations, although if the two (book & series) are from seperate translations, they match well.

The thing I like best are the proverbs - most of them just crack me up. I’ll post a whole heap of them as I come across them.

PalmOS Library

Since I now carry my Zire everywhere, I’d like to be able to keep a database of my iTunes Library, and if I get around to it, my physical books as well. Perhaps a reading list too…

RSS Feeds

I really like RSS as a technology. For the uninitiated, instead of checking a web-site to see if something is updated, or having an email account, you have an XML file that keeps the most up-to-date data in it, and this file can be downloaded (if it has changed since the last check) and the new entries can be easily displayed. I have about 55 feeds I currently subscribe to, including:

As you can see, they vary between news sites, blogs, cartoons and weather reports. The great thing about them is that, unlike email, if you miss a couple of days, (depending on the feed length) you just skip that stuff, and go onto the newer entries. Of course, for some things email is still more appropriate. What I’d really like to see are the following:

  • A feed for my bank account: a list of latest transactions. This would enable me to keep a close check on how much money I’m spending, and allow me to spot fraud fairly quickly.
  • A feed for new (for instance) books at the library that I might be interested in.

The difference between the like-to feeds is the individualisation. RSS now allows for authorisation on feeds, this would allow me (and only me) to access certain feeds, while, if I am too busy (on holidays, for instance) I just miss that news. Still, I’m waiting for my libraries to actually email me when a) my books are overdue, and b) my reservations have come in. Surely b) would save them a heap of money: since they post out notices in the mail whenever a book arrives…

Apple & The Feds

An interesting point I just discovered in The Hacker Crackdown: Apple used the FBI in the early 90s to find a leak or leaks - someone who stole code about QuickDraw - and effectively dealt with it internally. No charges were laid against the person who published the details, only the employees/contractors who stole the code. Compare this with the recent legal action taken by Apple against that guy from ThinkSecret, or MacRumours or wherever. Whether Apple has taken action against the original source is not obvious, but clearly action is being taken against the public ‘reporter’. Perhaps the current ease of publishing such information to a wider range of people, who can actually make use of the data is responsible. Or maybe, you’ve changed, Apple…

iTunesRater 0.2

I’ve done a bit of work to iTunesRater, and upped the revision number to 0.2 It’s a bit more robust, but there still seems to be an intermittent bug to do with loading the artwork from the temporary file. I’m not sure if I’ve solved it or not, since it only appeared once, but I’ve put a try…end try across where I think it was, so it should just silently fail. I’ve also added a check-box to the bottom right corner which reflects and controls the ‘enabled’ flag within iTunes. So, if you find a song you really don’t like, then just un-check this box, and it won’t play again, depending on your iTunes settings. Oh, yeah, you can find it iTunes Rater 0.2.