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A microsoft-certified satirical programmer-poet, Verity Stob has just published a collection of her essays

Thursday March 3, 2005
The Guardian


Mac? I'm afraid not, although I would like to try out one of those sweet little Mac Minis. I love the way they dispense with what I had supposed to be prerequisites to a useful computer: keyboard, mouse and screen. Not quite sure how this works in practice. Do you have to get some sort of Bluetooth implant at the Prof Kevin Warwick Clinic of High Bandwidth Surgical Modifications?

Google? Marvellous, isn't it? So quick. Mostly I use it, as everybody does, for running searches on my own name. The first reference to me, as opposed to other Verity Stobs, is page 9 entry 5 from when I was in this lady's shop and it wasn't flooded, and my next is page 17 entry 2 from when I was unfortunately in court. I think most people would be very proud of Page 9 entry 5, if they had a common name like mine. The earlier pages are all about a Verity Stob who is a pharmacist in Petersfield. I don't see what is so important about her. Just standing behind the counter at Boots and saying "There's a 45-minute wait at the moment" and "Can I just check your address, please?", I feel I could do that quite easily.

Firefox? An exemplar of slick and elegant programming and a jewel in the open source crown. I particularly like the way it displays perfectly the website of its archenemy, www.microsoft.com, yet garbles the spiritual home of its main supporters, http://slashdot.org. Mere commercial organisations might have yielded to the temptation to fix this after a year or so, but not the Firefoxen. That's what I call integrity.

BlackBerry? Pah! Texting for suits.

Texting? Sony Ericsson kroWkcolc kIl rOlf Nhctik d xa nur tad NEC 338 z1 nworb lttil - @lf ym n ecim og evI 3G not yet ready for the mainstream.

VoIP? "Be the first person you know to get Skype." So I was. Not that many callers, so far.

Radio? We use the BBC's Listen Again a lot to check contested decisions in the Today programme cricket, which we play most mornings. You score a single if a politico says "we've made it very clear", and a four if he or she breathes mid-sentence so as to have enough puff to gabble on through the next full stop and so deprive the interviewer of the chance to interrupt. You forfeit a wicket if James Naughtie can't find the weather, or Garry Richardson claims that Radio Five Live's forthcoming coverage of greyhound ice hockey from Roehampton is "for you".

Email? Google again, I'm afraid. I use Gmail. Marvellous. Incidentally, if any of your 400,000 readers wants an invite on to the beta programme, I still have one left. If my sister Parity doesn't want it.

Visit: http://masl.to/?F1AE5229A

Verity Stob's favourite links

NTK
www.ntk.net

The Register
www.theregister.co.uk

Better than wareZ, because you get to finish writing the program yourself
http://sourceforge.net

Jackanory theme at TV Cream
http://tv.cream.org

The Gallery Of "Misused" Quotation Marks
www.juvalamu.com/qmarks

Flash animation of Tom Lehrer's The Elements
http://masl.to/?E25112527

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