The Null Device


You've probably seen this already: w3m, a text-mode web browser which can display inline images in an xterm.

Yes, xterms apparently have character codes for showing bitmaps. Wonder how long until the Linux framebuffer console gets those as well...


Last night I went to the Prince of Wales Bandroom to see FourPlay and george. First up was one Danielle Spencer, a well-groomed bottle-blonde who played electronic piano and sang (or possibly lip-synched; I couldn't tell) FM-radio pop songs into a Britney Spears headset, over slickly produced backing tracks. Her lyrics seemed rather bland and repetitive, and the music (most of which came off a Roland hard-disk recorder that her producer was operating behind the stage) was all rather MOR; polished drum machine loops, overly loud bass guitar, a bit of alternative-style guitar strumming, and those chime bells that have found their way into too many overproduced pop ballads. One got the impression of a Home and Away starlet trying to be Tori Amos (or perhaps Toni Halliday) but coming out as Dido instead.

Next up were FourPlay. I'd tell you that they rocked, but then again, I'm biased. They played with their characteristic energy; at one stage, Peter snapped the G string of his cello, and (as one does with a G string) threw it into the audience, where it was snapped up by a group of screaming female fans. And there were quite a few of those; in particular, FourPlay's Jeff Buckley cover seemed to excite the girls in the audience quite a bit. Wonder why...

Finally up were george. And they didn't sound at all like the Corrs (as Graham would say); though the male vocalist (the muscular guy with the oddly shaved hair) did sound rather like Jeff Buckley. Because the sound at the Prince was rather poor (see below), I couldn't form a complete opinion of how good they are. Though they do like their dramatic buildups. Halfway through the set, FourPlay came on stage and joined them on strings.

One major disappointment was the sound system at the Prince Bandroom. Seemingly designed more for booty-shaking bass than for actual fidelity, between the subwoofers under the stage and the main speakers pointed well above the crowd, there seemed to be too little midrange; as such, the sound was flat and muffled. During FourPlay's set, the chatter of the people at the back of the room almost drowned out the band, even from the second row.


Scare meme of the day: Bread, potato chips contain a known carcinogen, in alarmingly high quantities. (via Charlie's Diary)