Elly Williams' Weblog

Caught Between Industries

Judging Books by their Covers

I saw this in WHSmiths at Bristol Temple Meads Station this afternoon and nearly fell over. “Why?” you might ask.. because it appears to be an “I’m not a SciFi/Fantasy book, honest” cover for Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett.

I was somewhat upset by this. I would never have started reading the Discworld novels if they had been maskerading as “grown up” books. In the same way that I would never have originally read any of the Harry Potter books maskerading as “grown up”

Actually it appears that a number of the earlier Discworld novels have also been given a bit of a makeover – apparently to commemorate the 21st Anniversary of the Discworld. But I’m still worried.

These new covers do not portray the contents of the books. A number of them could easily be transposed onto school editions of Shakespeare (I can see candidates for Hamlet, Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, Anthony & Cleopatra and Taming of the Shrew just in the ones I’ve linked to… no doubt if Wyrd Sisters gets a makeover it could easily be used for Macbeth)

In this instance I feel this quote from Neil Gaiman is particularly apt

“I think kids, like adults, are very good at looking at a book, eyeing the cover, looking at the jacket copy, reading the first few lines and deciding if it’s a book for them or not. They may, like adults, miss out on a few things they’d really like if only they knew.”

And it’s quite possible the only people who’re going to know in this case are the ones who already own copies.


T’day be International Talk like a Pirate Day so here be some piratey links.


A Step in the Right Direction

I’m not a fan of added functionality just for the sake of it. Too many gadgets and gizmos at the moment go for the “jack of all trades” approach, and as such end up being relitavely poor at any of the things they try to do.

But I was pleasantly suprised when I happened across this little gadget – a pedometer with a built in panic alarm.

You may well laugh (a couple of people I’ve talked to about this have done) but give me a chance.

Who is likely to want a pedometer? a walker? a jogger? quite possibly someone concerned about their weight? someone with low self esteem? someone vulnerable?

And when are they likely to be using it? early morning or after work. So for a large part of the year (depending on where you live, obviously) you might be jogging in bad light.

You might not want to jog on busy roads and jogging thru crowds of people is difficult. And you probably want to be carrying as little as possible.

So, combining two rather useful devices might actually be rather a good idea – expecially if you might not otherwise consider carrying a panic alarm.

No Overflow

A fix for a problem I’ve tried to solve too many times. Needless to say I’ve used a few workarounds, none of which work reliably cross-browser. Nice to see I wasn’t alone……

“After one too many times wistfully wishing I could scale fixed-size elements according to their content in a cross-browser friendly way, I did something about it. Presenting min-height, without the min-height”

min-height: fixed; from mezzoblue.com

101 things to do with a Gmail Invite

Well, not quite..

I had too many Gmail invites and not enough people to give them to. Not because I (to quote Martin) “don’t have enough l33t friends” but rather because the vast majority of my friends are at least as high up as (if not higher than) me in the Gmail food chain.

Cue isnoop.net’s Gmail Invite Spooler. Basically, you send your Gmail Invites to them and they forward them on to the needy. It’s been running for 2 days and has already forwarded over 8000 invites.

The only flaw I can see is that there currently doesn’t appear to be any means of checking whether these needy people are indeed people or whether they are machines – but at the moment it’s a preferable solution to advertising them on this blog – coz I can’t tell the difference between a person and a machine either.

Thanks to Simon and his blogmarks for the link.

It’s Sooo Preeeety!!

Yes, I’m talking about the new iMac.

It’s shiny, and small, and pretty and thin and the BBC article on the iMac unveiling is littered with “and also”s …… but, to quote everyone, where did the computer go?

is an Architecture Student and Web Designer based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (UK)