Elly Williams' Weblog

Caught Between Industries

Unlearning Bad Habits

I can type properly. I learnt when I was quite small due to pressure from my Mum and Mavis Beacon‘s perpetually annoying tone of voice.

Now, just recently I’ve upgrade to a natural keyboard – due in part to the state of my hands and also because I spilt tea over my old one – and I’ve discoved a bad habit.

On a standard keyboard the “B” key is equally far from either index finger. On a natural keyboard there is no way I can reach it with my right index finger – But for some reason, I keep trying.

Now “B” is one of the lesser used letters in the English language, but it’s still quite useful for words such as blog, web, February (they month I was born in), brother, building, brick, banana … I could go on.

So, will I be changing my keyboard again. Well, no. I like this one, and for the most part it’s not too bad. But I suspect it would be a lot more confusing for anyone who has to watch where they’re putting their fingers when they’re typing.

Charity Season

Anyone who thinks they’re anyone in music or news is covering the same story today. The iTunes Music Store will not be stocking Band Aid 20: Do They Know it’s Christmas?

And everyone is pasting Apple & iTunes as the baddies. The evil face of capitalism which is killing off the third world. iTunes sells songs for 79p, the Band Aid song goes for ?1.49. Bottom line. If they don’t want stock the song and keep their pricing moral high ground, that is their choice. If people want to buy the song, and help starving babies, iTunes is not their only avenue. EVERYWHERE is selling this song. One site I read (I forget which one) even went as far as suggesting that iTunes refusing to stock the song would prevent people from listening to the song on their iPods. That’s like saying that when Napster died (before its resurrection) everyone would stop being able to get/play/download mp3s.

Apple have shot themselves in the foot. And that is all. This will not stop anyone who wants to from giving to charity. This will not stop people buying this song on impulse. It has given Apple a whole load of bad press – but I’m sure they’ll keep making iPods.

If you were an [insert genre] what would you be?

…..*shrugs* Could be worseYou are .cgi Your life seems a bit too scripted, and sometimes you are exploited.  Still a  workhorse though.
File Extension are You?

You are Windows XP.  Under your bright and cheerful exterior is a strong and stable personality.  You have a tendency to do more than what is asked or even desired.
Which OS are You?

Nightmare After Christmas

About a year ago I got very excited about the PS2 version of “Nightmare Before Christmas. As I said at the time, it’s one of my favorite films. And I’d completely forgotten about it until yesterday during a conversation about Pumpkin Pie and seasonal pumpkin distribution in the UK.

After getting Simon very worked up (and then having to persuade him that getting a PS2 in the middle of his final year was a really bad idea) I looked it up on Amazon.co.uk.

And in a fantastic display of timing the game is not due out for Hallowe’en (as previously advertised) or even before Christmas (like in the name, geddit?) but in the New Year… so it’ll have to go on my birthday list…..

Syrup Sponge

I’ve made this quite a few times recently (mainly at the request of Simon, and also because making Tristan‘s eyes pop out of his head is so much fun) and figured I should share the recipe.

This is the basic recipe, but it’s one of those that you can vary ad infinitum.



In the last week or so I had meant to get around to fixing stylesheet switcher I’ve been going on about. I’d also meant to do a stylesheet for Guy Fawkes Night and Rememberance Day – which I guess I might still do. I’d also planned a couple of deep and meaningful posts about both of these events.

Except that my brain has been eaten.

And the guilty suspects are:-

Pumpkin Pie!!

I made Pumpkin Pie for the first time this weekend, and it was good fun.

I used this Pumpkin Pie recipe, which turned out rather well – if a little gooey in places due to being too thick.

I think I may have to have another go sometime……

More Stylesheets

Given that Hallowe’en is over, most of the food has been eaten, the washing up done (thanks to Tony and Tom) and the kitchen is vaguely back to normal (other than Nat‘s Jack-o-Lanterns, which are still on top of the TV) I figured the decorations should come down off the site too. Although the stylesheet is still up as an alternative so you can still see them if your browser will let you (hint: get Firefox)

I’m still trying to get some way of adding stylesheet switching into the sidebar, probably with PHP and cookies. However, my PHP skills are currently lingering somewhere between non-existant and terminally rusty, so it might take a while to get it to work.

I apologise for any loss of service while I’m trying to sort it out.

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