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Obscure view of Vermeer does it by the book

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I'm happy (to be honest, sad) to see that my ADSL experience is a shared one.

Last week, the magazine .net ran a letter of the month from a bloke who was so hacked off with his ADSL installation that he asked BT to remove the whole shebang.

He was told the only way to do this was to e-mail which, of course, he couldn't because the system had failed to start. OK, he had the old modem, but repeated messages failed to elicit any response. My system still runs in fits and starts, but I'm so cravenly grateful it occasionally works that I'm scared to rock the boat with a complaint.

Site of the week was going to be www.vermeerscamera.co.uk. It belongs to Philip Steadman at the Bartlett, who has this plausible theory that Vermeer used a camera obscura to set up his paintings. I've just read his book which, not surprisingly, is called Vermeer's Camera. In it he reverse engineers the paintings to produce a threedimensional room with windows and a tiled floor in which the great Dutch artist painted so many of his interiors. I don't care if Steadman is right or not, the book is a must for anyone who has ever set up a perspective by hand and then decided they had got the picture plane wrong. Site of the week? Er, on balance, read the book: this is a tad on the self-adulatory side.

So site of the week is RIBA Practice department's Practice Bulletin. It seems that this is the most regular contact one-third of members have with 66 Portland Place. It's produced by an old mate of mine, Neal Morris, so I'm a bit biased, but it contains many useful nuggets of information. It is a happily abnormal beast because it's outside the normal corporate RIBA operation - and that's probably is why it's so readable, clear, no-nonsense and good.

To subscribe you have to be an RIBA member.Send your name, e-mail address and RIBA membership number to gail. kimber@inst. riba. org. It comes weekly in e-mail form - and life is good.

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