Newsletter 149 – February 2009
——– MANTEX NEWSLETTER ——–
Number 149 – February 2009 – ISSN 1470-1863
Music, Arts, Culture, and Technology
as seen from digital hub Manchester UK
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0— ‘Using Drupal’ – new book
If you want a web site that delivers all the
features users expect these days, you’ll need
to use a content management system and a database.
Favourites amongst the open source (f.r.e.e) options
are Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress
Drupal is the most powerful, industrial-strength
option . But it’s notoriously difficult to configure
This new guidance manual is written for the
latest version of Drupal (v6.0). It shows how
to build all sorts of sites by using a selection of
the most popular add-on modules.
Five-star rave reviews at Amazon for this one.
It’s one of the best-written instruction manuals
I’ve come across for years. Get up to date at –
0— Pub Quiz Question #1
Who was brought up by wolves in “The Jungle Book”?
0— ‘YouTube: An Insider’s Guide’ – new book
YouTube only started as recently as 2005, and it
was snapped up by Google for $1.6bn a year later.
Ten hours of video is uploaded every minute of
the day, and many people have landed jobs or
TV appearances on the strength of a two-minute
This book shows you how to make those videos
that go viral – and how to climb up the ratings
charts whilst staying completely legit.
0— Pub quiz – Question #2
Who was King of France during the revolution?
0— Amazon announces Kindle 2.0 – latest
At just over 1/3 of an inch, it’s as thin as
most magazines. Lighter than a typical paperback.
3G wireless lets you download books right from
your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees.
Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds;
no PC required. Improved Display: Reads like
25% longer battery life; read for days
More Storage: holds over 1,500 books.
20% faster page turns
New Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can
read every book, blog, magazine, and
newspaper out loud to you.
Over 230,000 books at $9.99 each
The only downside is that it retails at $359,
and is only available in the USA.
If you’re determined to embrace eBooks in the UK,
your best option is the Sony Reader at GBP 220
0— Pub quiz – Question #3
What type of novels were written by Zane Grey?
0— ‘A History of the Hogarth Press’
The Hogarth Press was started as a therapeutic
hobby for Virginia Woolf. Her husband Leonard
thought it would be a psychological distraction.
They bought a small table-top hand press and
started publishing booklets written by themselves
and their friends.
And it worked. Virginia became one of its
best-selling authors. But in the meantime they
also published lots of other important writers
around at the time.
These included T.S.Eliot, Vita Sackville-West,
E.M.Forster, and Sigmund Freud.
John Willis spent ten years researching the business,
and his book on the history of the Press is amazingly
readable – deep in anecdote, character sketches, and
gossip about the Press and its authors – as well as
a dispassionate account of its progress as a
0— Pub quiz – Question #4
What type of singing is “In the Church style”?
0— F.r.e.e laptops
Have you noticed the latest sales pitch
in the High Street? Sign up for a broadband
supply, and they give you a free laptop!
Hold on! Just remember that these laptops
are only worth GBP 250 on average. And that’s
full price, retail.
The fact is, you might end up paying more
than if you bought the laptop and the broadband
supply separately. Also beware of suppliers
offloading outdated models.
PC World are offering an Advent 10 inch
screen netbook on a GBP 20.00 per month
0— Pub quiz – Question #5
Which boxer’s real name was Walker Smith?
0— Graphic Design – Book jacket covers
We’ve just started a gallery of book jacket designs
from the early years of the Hogarth Press. These
include woodcuts and paintings by artists such as
Dora Carrington, Vanessa Bell, and John Banting.
They get better as they go along.
0— Pub quiz – Question #6
Who was King Solomon’s mother?
0— ‘Carlyle’s House’ – Virginia Woolf’s sketches
This is an unusually exciting event for literature
fans – the first publication of an undiscovered
notebook which had been lost for seventy years.
Virginia Woolf wrote the sketches as a sort of
artist’s notebook: “I take up my pen & trace here
whatever shapes I happen to have in my head. It is
an exercise – training for eye & hand”.
The results will be quite a surprise to many
readers – for she manages to be amazingly
snooty and sometimes quite cruel. But this side
of her is offset by sharp intelligence and a
0— Pub Quiz – Question #7
Which ship sent the first SOS message?
0— The Death of Handwriting?
The BBC has a somewhat alarmist piece on the
possible demise of handwriting skills.
It argues that because most of our communication
now takes place via email and text message, we
will all lose the ability to write legibly.
0— Pub quiz – Question #8
What does the Koala bear eat?
0— Going Viral – The Idiot Ryanair Blog War
Blogger and web developer Jason Roe stumbled
into a glitch on Ryanair’s web site whilst
trying to book a flight.
So he posted about the problem on his blog,
with screenshots to prove the point.
Wow! Ryanair staff picked it up and came down
on him like a ton of bricks – spitting hatred
He responded quite politely – but they came
back with even more, only worse.
Suddenly, the blog post was picked up everywhere.
Comments are currently running at 400+ and the
airline’s reputation is in free fall under the
weight of negative publicity. Here’s Digg’s report:
“The article itself is just an average blog post,
until you read the comments, then it becomes a
top blog post. This will get a lot of media coverage.
Go read it for a great laugh!!”
Remember, this is the air line which has just
announced that it will charge people to use the
toilet on its flights.
Ryan Air blog protest
0— Pub quiz – Question #9
Phnom Penh is the capital of which country?
0— Typography and f.r.e.e fonts
Here’s a top class site for typography buffs.
It includes articles on type design, oodles of
f.r.e.e stuff – and it’s an award-winning example
of site design using WordPress.
It also includes a ‘Guess that Font’ game which
is pretty compulsive stuff. Go there, admire the
style, and be amazed.
Here’s the link for the font game
0— Pub quiz – Question #10
What colour flag is flown at pollution-free beaches?
0— Funny pictures
You’re sure to find something to amuse or
amaze you at this collection of weird and
0— Coming soon
‘Memoirs of a Novelist’
Josef Albers on Colour Theory
‘Painting the Web’
‘The Diary of a Man of Fifty’
0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS
#1 Who was brought up by wolves in “The Jungle Book”?
#2 Who was King of France during the revolution?
ANSWER: Louis XVI
#3 What type of novels were written by Zane Grey?
#4 What type of singing is “In the Church style”?
ANSWER: A capella
#5 Which boxer’s real name was Walker Smith?
ANSWER: Sugar Ray Robinson
#6 Who was King Solomon’s mother?
#7 Which ship sent the first SOS message?
ANSWER: The Titanic
#8 What does the Koala bear eat?
ANSWER: Eucalyptus leaves
#9 Phnom Penh is the capital of which country?
#10 What colour flag is flown at pollution-free beaches?
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