July 2008

I saw a post on the Antics forum telling that this software package is now free. Curious I went over to the Caligari website and found that it was true enough. Truespace 7.6 for free, no serial number needed, just sign up and dowload.

I’ve used the program before. Version 1 has been freeware for a few years now and a few computer magazines in Britain have put other versions on their cover discs, I think up to around version three or four.

Of course since then Microsoft have bought out the company and it looks like they are positioning it as their answer to Google’s Sketchup: both applications working with the respective mapping applications, Google Earth and Virtual Earth.

Truespace has always had a quirky interface, and version 7.6 increases this. It’s very slow on a Vista machine, which means it’s resource hungry or not fully optimised for Vista. Given the fact that it’s now owned by Microsoft I’d go for the former.

So I don’t think I’ll be dumping Lightwave any time soon.

I might play around with it, but its’ help files have always been a problem, and they are a massive 60MB download of PDF files. No searchable html help files then. I find them much more useful than Acrobat files.

It seems to have a lot more features than the version I have lurking around somewhere, but without adequate road maps I wont be able to find them quickly. And it takes up about half a gigabyte of disk space. Lightwave takes up hardly any; it can go to a couple of gigabytes but only if I add the content that comes with Lightwave. But it doesn’t hurt to have an extra tool in the armoury.

I’m becoming sociable.

I’ve avoided the ‘social networks’ but my cousin introduced me to one and soon I was on Bebo and liking it. I’m now also on Facebook and MySpace. Facebook is actually growing on me despite an initial dislike. MySpace is okay, a lot of the bands I like seem to have their own MySpace pages, so I’m going round them asking if they will be my friend. I still think Bebo is the most fun.

I recently bought the Zonealarm security suite and today it earned its keep.

I use WordPress for this blog. There is a new version out so in preparation for an upgrade I download the whole of the website as a precaution. Zonealarm decreed that up.php was a back door virus.  Backdoor.PHP.c99shell.ag.  No information was available on the net. The date stamp on the file on the server was sometime in June, so it has been sitting there for a while.

The file has been deleted from the server, and passwords have been changed.

I have OEM copies of both Word 97 and Word 2002. They come with editions of Works, Money and Autoroute attached but those programs are of little importance. Both laptops I have come with the latest versions of Works. And, unless you’re running some sort of business or a student, Word is all you need from the Office Suite.

Word 97 is on the new laptop and after running it a few times I noted that the find feature in particular was very slow. The dialog box would take a couple of seconds coming up on the screen and a further couple of seconds disappearing. It got a little annoying after a while.

The idea popped into my mind one day – no doubt placed there by some little devil – that I should put version 2002 on that laptop as it’s more modern (i.e. bloated) and would no doubt run better under Vista than the ancient 97 version.

So I dug out the disks and duly installed the software. It was quite clever and un-installed Word 97 too. I then activated the product over the net and started working with it.

Only I didn’t.

I didn’t expect Microsoft Word to fnurg up a Microsoft Word document but it did.

On trying to load a file the program promptly cried like a little girl and passed the buck to Vista. Reboot the machine I thought, Microsoft software (indeed any software) likes to do that. I rebooted but still no go. The document wouldn’t load, causing Word to crash each time. Works and Open Office wouldn’t open it either.

I spent at least an hour trying to recover the file, downloading shareware programs and such. None of them could get any more information that the ‘recover text from file’ option in the Word Open File dialog so they turned out to be a waste of time.

I was quite lucky in that I only lost about five, six hundred words, but it’s still five to six hundred words lost.

The problem solver in Vista suggests I download the XP service pack but I’m a bit wary of that. I may or may not install it, depends how soon I stop being pissed of at Word.

So my holiday and the planned Antics time went awol. I spent most of the holiday driving and Antics didn’t even get loaded up. The day I had set aside dissolved into nothingness.