In pursuit of textual glory

Month: October, 2004



Here I present the origin and evolution of Huxley…er..Hexley, my favourite mascot and email signature.

Hexley was created in response to a query on the Darwin Developers mailing list that they needed a mascot. This was sometime in the year 2000. A web vote was taken of the various submissions and the platypus was chosen. Some of the other submissions included an Aqua Darwin fish and various devilish modifications of Clarus the DogCow.

Once the platypus was chosen someone suggested that “Hexley” be used as the name of the new mascot since Darwin’s assistant was named Hexley. It turns out that they were wrong and the person they were referring to was actually Thomas Henry Huxley. Huxley was not Darwin’s assistant but was a prominent English biologist in his own right. He was a vociferous defender of Darwin’s theories, so much so that he was nick-named “Darwin’s Bulldog”.

By the time the mistake was found “Hexley” had escaped into the ether and it was felt that it was too late to change the name to “Huxley”.In retrospect they probably should have originally had a Bulldog character, but it gave them the chance to give Hexley a sidekick.

The original design also included an apple on Hexley’s fork but it was removed at the behest of Apple computer for legal trademark reasons.

Hexley lives here

New Pods

Apple , the uber cool tech company has recently released two new ipods, thus adding to their products that have enthralled users since the dawn of personal computing.

The first is the photo iPod that extends the functionality of the ordinary iPod by adding the ability to view photos.It has the same form factor but is slightly bigger by a millimetre than the regular iPod.The new added colour screen is the crowning glory of the product and takes innovation to a whole new level.

But for all its cool features it lacks an all important detail and that being the ability to transfer photos directly directly from the camera.

When you import photos via your computer (and this would be through iTunes), the files are converted and placed in a special thumbnail file (multiple pictures appear in these files). These are the pictures that play back on the iPod and to a video device (a TV, for example) attached to the iPod via the included A/V cable or via an S-video cable attached to the Dock.

iTunes also allows you to copy the full resolution version of the pictures to the iPod but these pictures are not displayed on the iPod or attached device. Rather, they’re placed on the iPod for the purposes of transport — in case you want to easily transfer a photo library to the iPod and then dump the pictures to another computer you later attach your iPod to.

When you import your pictures via media reader, they’re stored like the high resolution pictures — they’re on the iPod so you can easily transfer them to your iPod. In order to display these pictures on the iPod you must sync them to your computer (as you did photo transfer in the past with an iPod) and then use iTunes to bring them back to the iPod in the special thumbnail format.

What this means is that the iPod is not the preview mechanism for photographers on the road that I’d hoped it would be.

U2 iPod

October 1976

14-year-old Larry Mullen, Jr. posted a note on his secondary school bulletin board seeking musicians for a new band. The response that followed that note resulted in a 5-piece band, known at the time as Feedback, with Mullen on drums, Adam Clayton on bass guitar, Paul Hewson on vocals, Dave Evans and his brother Dik on guitar. Bono was named after Bonavox (meaning ‘beautiful voice’), a store that sold hearing aids, and The Edge got his name from Bono who thought it was an accurate description of his head.Thus was born U2.

October 23, 2001

Apple unexpectedly announces the first iPod at a price of $399. Unlike most (but not all) competing digital audio players available at the time, Apple relies on a hard disk for storage instead of flash memory or interchangeable CD-ROMs, and uniquely focuses on promoting the small size, power, and ease of use of its device. The first iPod has a 5 GB storage capacity – enough for over 1,000 songs – and works only on Macs, using iTunes as a music organization and CD-to-iPod conversion tool.

A few years later , these two titans come together to become one of the many partnerships in the history of digital music. The first iPod to commemmorate a rock band,a special edition, embellished by the signatures of the U2 band members is released on 26 October 2004.