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Welsh wonders, 3D fancies and a load of RSS

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I don't want to overly inflame envy among Scots and Irish readers but I can report that Open Office is now available in Welsh for both Windows and Linux.

The download site is at www. meddal.

com and, from the look of it, this column not being especially Welsh-speaking, there are other interesting applications in this language, such as that fine browser Mozilla Firefox plus Mandrake Linux. Someone has been burning midnight oil down in the valleys.

The next big thing is said to be threedimensional (3D) printing - which is what you and I probably call rapid prototyping. The visioneers predict that soon you will all have this inexpensive 3D printer churning out realistic models of your latest designs and full-size prototypes of your most recent essay in door-handle design. Right now, it isn't cheap and, reports Gizmodo at www.

gizmodo. com/archives/emachineshopobviates-your-greasy-cousin-020145.

php, a New Jersey firm, eMachineShop, offers to make smallish prototypes in the real material, rather than solidified grey prototyping goo, at relatively low prices. You download its software, use it to model your design and email it off to the US at www. emachineshop.

com. There is a 30-day turnaround, a bit longer presumably to cross the Atlantic.

No, I don't have shares and I haven't tried it, but it looks intriguing.

The current big thing is said to be RSS (rich site summary) readers - so big that some fear they will clog up the internet even worse than viruses. RSS readers are also known as aggregators because they sort of aggregate information. You install a reader such as SharpReader for PCs (www. sharpreader. net) or the more self-explanatory NetNewsWire for OSX-powered Macs (ranchero. com/ netnewswire) or the Linux Gnome application Straw (at www. nongnu.

org/straw). You set up the kind of news you want to get and sit back and wait for it to flash into your ken in a simple form.

You might care to try it all out before the internet grinds to an aggregated halt.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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