Winamp 5.0 Bento Skin

The new Winamp skin is actually usable! I’ve always hated the modern skin and so have not installed it for who knows how long, preferring the classic sking and it’s darker colour.

Well I’ve just installed Winamp 5.0 and thought I’d try out the new Bento skin. The good news is it’s actually usable! Woo! Well done.

Elite IV is not Vapourware

In a recent CVG interview, David Braben talks about the next version of Elite. Confirmation that Elite IV (No better name exists publically yet) is not vapourware as some have been saying.

Obviously they’ve not been listening to David and the passion with which he speaks of a future Elite.

Elite will be Frontier’s next big next-gen game after the political thriller The Outsider ships. The Outsider is going to be a game that breaks a lot of new ground in gameplay and immersiveness, ideas and technology that is required to make Elite what Braben dreams it could be.

Also confirmed is that the next incarnation of Elite will be a single player game at first, with a small LAN based multiplayer element. Followed later, after more development and technical advances, by a proposed Massive Multiplayer Online version of the game. Something that a lot of Elite fans have been fantasising about for many years.

PHP Wiki Software and Skinning

Having recently acquired some unix hosting I’ve been experimenting with various PHP/MySQL based applications. WordPress for example that this blog runs under, as well as Joomla for CMS and phpBB for forums.

Having been a long time user of ASP applications some of my experiences have been quite refreshing, especially with respect to ease of installation on shared space in some cases.

Now just the other day I decided I needed a Wiki for a new project. I’ve been using the driven FlexWiki for some time now and have been very happy with it’s ease of install and the small changes I usually want to make to look and feel. When it came to choosing a unix based option I immediately plumped for MediaWiki, it seemed an obvious choice being that it runs the most famous Wiki out there, WikiPedia.

Oh how wrong could I have been though. When it came to skinning it to get a look that suited my purpose, it became a complete nightmare. The skinning system is a complete disaster area and it requires more work than I have time for to get your head around it. Yes it can be done, as witnessed by the Mono-project website or the Mozilla Dev site, but it’s a complete bitch. The mixture and muddle of markup and PHP code is just simply unprofessional.

So I had a look around and after a while searching I came up with a beautifully easily skinnable Wiki software. PMWiki has a great philosophy behind it’s code base and a simple skinning system that is a joy to behold after wading through the nightmare depths of MediaWiki.

I shall enjoy designing a nice template later tonight.

Sigma SD14

Sigma’s new D-SLR the Foveon X3 powered SD14 is looking very nice. The teaser site has some very luscious photography on it, mostly portraiture, that has the look of well scanned transparencies rather than digital pics.


I must admit I find the whole Foveon sensor concept very appealing, yet I’m never likely to go the Sigma route now that I have a collection of EF mount lenses. Now if Sigma were able to build bodies with different mounts as they do with their excellent range of lenses then I expect you’d see many many more people thinking about upgrading to a Sigma body. Especially if the sample images from the SD14 are anything to go by.

Also announced at the same time though is the new Sigma DP1 compact digital camera. This a similar Foveon X3 sensor as the SD14 with the same 14 mega pixels. So if you’re looking for a compact and want to try out the whole Foveon lark then this seems the perfect route for those of us that can’t see ourselves switching to a different mount for our SLRs.


It has a prime lens equivalent to a 28mm. Looking t the pics it also has a large LCD screen, and manual controls. Looks promising.