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Archive for August, 2008

Niue leads the world

Friday, August 29th, 2008

That’s the headline in a brief "Newsbyte" in yesterday’s Guardian, reporting that:

The tiny South Pacific island of Niue is the first to provide all its children with a laptop and free internet access, after receiving 500 free OLPCs.

Cornwell Internet can claim to have been part of Niue’s technological edge ten years ago. In those days, Niue was ahead of the crowd, as one of the first small nations to realise that their internet was a saleable asset. And our very first domain, before it was practical for small users to register or .com addresses, was

A safe choice hovirunoilijan office

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I love Google’s automatic translation service: it reassures me that human translators are not yet threatened by competition from computers. I’m currently updating and expanding the section of Anne Fine’s web site where we try to keep track of foreign editions of her books, and since I have a copy of Aamu Ilman Äittiä – that’s Press Play in Finnish – I was trying to track down other books in the same language. Instead I found a newspaper article (from Turun Sanamat, in 1999) which intrigued me enough for me to accept Google’s kind offer, and read their translation. Which read, under the headline quoted above:

Britain entered the public, according to the highest poetry kunniavirkaan “poet laureate” selected poet Andrew Motion). 47-year old Oxford educated received a Motion is a traditional representative of poetry, and he has been one of ennakkosuosikeista. Officially, poet laureate appointed by Queen Elizabeth Prime Minister Tony Blair’s recommendation.

1600-in the early to mid established by lifelong hovirunoilijan office belongs to an annual nominal around 900 marks, as well as the pay box of wine. Poet laureate is expected to write poems nationally important events, such as the Royal häihin or funerals.

The election was pettymyskin
Previous poet laureate had died in the autumn of Ted Hughes, whose last book’s Birthday Letters (Syntymäpäiväkirjeitä)) sales have risen to record figures. Hughes reportedly had Motion production, which picks out seven runoteosta, two novels, as well as the poet Philip Larkinin a biography.

Motion selection has been a disappointment to many, who considered the second ennakkosuosikkia, Carol Ann Duffy prefers the poet. Press reports claim that he is not wanted the post because he is gay and unwilling to write to the royal family.

A safe choice is a disappointment even to those kirjallisuuspiireille, who have called poet laureate of “a thorough overhaul. Poet laureate has been made to amend the palkalliseksi posts, which serve more ordinary citizens.

The children’s own poet
The children have already benefited from the oman hovirunoilijansa, when the last week, was designated as the first children’s laureate, Quentin Blake. He received a celebratory occasion, Princess Anne’s ojentamana 10 000 pounds, or around 90 000 markka and the premium for the honour of the titteliä two years.

Children’s poet laureate chosen noted lastenkirjailija or illustrator and Blake have both. He has illustrated more than 100 books, mm. many of Roald Dahl books.

Blaken the selection of paneliin belonged to children, a librarian, publisher, critic, the bookseller, as well as radiotoimittaja. Two other finishing straight into the author was Peter Dickinson, and Anne Fine.

So now we know…

Penguin Internet Advice

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Penguin Books take the internet seriously. The Penguin web site is full of information about their books, with extracts and audio samples, and they encourage their authors to set up web sites of their own.

Not only do they encourage them, they provide a 40-plus page PDF file of guidance.

While this is no doubt just what some authors need, for others it is overkill, full of information which is more alarming than encouraging. The author has tried to combine very basic information (“What is a domain name?”) with guidelines for people who are confident enough to be running their own site – here’s a sample:

First, you need to transfer the files for your website to the server. This is done via FTP (file transfer protocol). It’s a very easy process, and will be handled most likely by your designer (although you could certainly do it if you have the experience and an FTP program).

And indeed you could. But if you need to be told that, you probably won’t want to do it yourself – and if you don’t want to do it yourself, then you don’t need to be told how. Again, a clear and on the whole helpful explanation of domain names and how to choose them is followed by the comment that you may find that a “cybersquatter” has already registered your chosen domain, but don’t worry:

In some instances this will be something you’ll be able to resolve easily, for only a few thousand dollars.

That’s all right, then.

So, if any Penguin authors are reading this, I’d like to tell them this: Penguin have put together some very helpful marketing advice with a lot of technical information which you probably won’t need. Read what they have to say about what they can offer you through Penguin’s web site, and about the different kinds of web presence you might want for yourself (a site of your own, a blog, using Facebook and MySpace…). They are sound, too, on why fancy graphic effects and Flash animations are probably not the best way to promote a book. But don’t feel obliged to try to register a domain name, find hosting or construct a site for yourself unless that’s what you want to do.

In fact, I’ll go further. Cornwell Internet – and I expect this goes for other web design companies too – would very much rather you don’t register your own domain before you talk to us. Unless you have a very popular name, it’s unlikely to be snapped up overnight – and if it’s that popular, it’s probably already taken, and we’ll think of an alternative (trust us on this: we built a web site for Mel Gibson, didn’t we?). We don’t ask this so that we can make a profit on registering your domain; unless you want something very exotic, domains can now be registered so cheaply that there really isn’t any profit in it. But administratively it is so much easier for us to register the domain than to transfer it, that there is no saving for you in registering it yourself – and probably a loss for us!

Moving pictures

Monday, August 18th, 2008

The New Rope String Band play all sorts of interesting venues – but even for them, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo was something special. So we wanted to make the most of the pictures they brought home with them: should we present them as a gallery of static images, or as a slide show?

Well, both, of course!

Our initial plan was to look at the software already available on the web. There are plenty of sites offering to display your pictures as a slide show, or software to allow you to do so from your own site – and we are all in favour of using what’s on offer: why reinvent the wheel? (That’s why, when Michael Jecks asked us about a keeping a photo diary, we built a page which used blogging software hosted on his own site, and the third-party Flickr photo hosting site.

So we started looking at slide shows on the internet: this one integrated well with the look of the site, but the photo quality wasn’t great (and the rapid rewind at the end of the show made me a little seasick), that one had better picture quality, but ran on a third party site… Which is why, in the end, Roger decided to write his own routine which would meet all our specific requirements. Sometimes, if you want a thing doing well, you have to do it yourself.

And if you want to know more, have a look for yourself!

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