Friday, January 12, 2007

I'm Gaiming

I use Gaim, the cross-protocol Instant-Messenger client, everywhere: My Ubuntu Linux install at home, during the day, and now even when I occasionally boot into Windows at home. I thought I'd give their Windows release a try, so downloaded the latest released beta - version 2.0.0beta5.

I downloaded the release including the gtk library, but it refused to start up on my Windows (seriously old 98SE install - but why would I buy 2k or XP? I have Ubuntu!). Until I found an upgraded version download of the gtk library on the site, that is. Before that tt was complaining of "Error 31. A device attached to the system is not functioning" then another message box before bailing out.

Now I have working msn, yahoo, icq, jabber, and gtalk chat from one program instead of 4 or 5 filling up memory and the task bar. Happy bunny.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Ice bar

The Ice bar is a very cool bar just off Regent Street's in London's west end. I'd heard of the ice hotel in Sweden (Stockholm) before, but didn't know we had our own ice bar in London.

A friend had booked a slot there to take her mum to as a Christmas treat after a posh restaurant dinner out, I'd volunteered to drive them to and from the restaurant and she suggested if I wanted to go to the ice bar after.

In the end, their meal went on longer than planned, and because you have to book a particular slot for the bar (40mins at a time), I went on my own. It was still a great experience, and definitely a cool talking point with friends after!

The actual ice bar is attached to the side of an ordinary bar, sealed off except for the small entrance draped with bearskin to keep the cold air in. It's usually the other way round! They keep it at -5 degrees C, and everything inside - the walls, bar, glasses, decorative sculptures, are all made of ice.

The ice bar and drink

There were some nice sculptures there too - a female bust, a man sitting on a chair with a hi-fi next to him, an urn within an urn within an urn (being clear ice, you could see the inner one and how they were supported inside each other), and this large block like a kissing-arch with the inside hollowed out so you could stand inside it, almost like when David whasisname stood on a pole inside some ice for a long time. This was a good place to take photos, so I got someone to take one of me. There were a few cute girls there, but it was mainly couples and groups unfortunately - would have been an awesome place to get a date!

It's not cheap at £15 for the 40minute slot, and you do need to book in advance (days? weeks?), but you can hang around in the non-freezing bar before and after and just pay normal drinks prices, and the entry cost gets you a free drink (or two, if you're not drinking alcohol). The drinks mixers do look very cool with the brightly coloured juice sitting in the middle of this hole-in-the-block that is your glass. Saves on washing up!

The bar staff must get freezing. I spoke to one of them, he said they swap every hour and a half and although they don't wear the same full cover clothing we were given, they have gloves (the most useful when you're handling frozen blocks of ice all the time) and hats.

New blogger

Ooh, tag-like things appear to be built in to the new blogger! Wonder if they'll be better than the ones at that I was using? I suppose I should synchronise them for older articles. Maybe...

I haven't written anything for ages. I've been meaning to, but other things have been more important or fun! Hopefully I won't forget to post one every now and then, at least. Got a few I should write from the last month or two.

PS: Happy new year, hope you all had a good Christmas!