Off I go to Wales

Right, I’m staying away from computers for the next week, stolidly ignoring the Jubliee celebrations and the World Cup in west Wales with Jala and Tip.. Back next Friday. Have funky ones, everyone…

Road To Reading

Those good people at Road To Reading wrote to me to tell me that their 6-cassette Advanced Reading Course is available free to anyone in the world, not just to Americans, as I had stated on this very page in April 2001. Silly me. Still, I might have to order one now.

Pleasant side-effect: when browsing through my archives I was reminded of the existence of the excellent extended cake mix, a blog which is updated infrequently but well. Don’t miss the story about the talking panther.

Iain Banks on “The Culture”

Iain Banks on “The Culture”. [via null, tenuously]

RMS in Aber next week

On my birthday, next Wednesday, Richard Stallman is giving a lecture at Aberystwyth University. I’m going to be in west Wales anyway, so it’s kinda tempting, but seems on overly geeky way to spend a birthday, perhaps.

The following Monday, Tony Benn is at Milford Haven. Also tempting.

Perhaps inspired by the above, last night I dreamt I met Richard Stallman and he told me to contribute to the GNU project‘s documentation. Who should I believe? Him, or Guido van Rossum, who visited me in an earlier dream, instructing me to write a programming manual for children? And what is the deeper meaning of all these nocturnal visits by software luminaries?

Musical mornings

Two pieces of music with occasionally true names: Lionrock‘s “Morning will come when I’m not ready”, and Transcendental Love Machine‘s “When I wake up in the morning my head is full of wires”.

On most mornings, one or the other of these is true. Sometimes, both.

Today, it was the wires.

BSD vs. Linux

BSD vs. Linux – a very convincing argument, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Malc goes adventuring

Email from Malc this morning: “Guess where I was last night…” Got back at 6AM, apparently.

They got off lightly

They got off lightly.

More on python and lisp

More on the Relationship Between Python and Lisp.

C++ is just too complex?

C++ is just too complex?

iBrowser to be gecko-powered?

iBrowser to be gecko-powered? I do hope so. [robot]

When audiophiles run unchecked

When audiophiles run unchecked. [ntk]

Selections from Aled’s photo album

Selections from Aled‘s photo album: See Him Fly!, See Him Gurn! (warning: shocking), See Him Nearly Lose His Hands, Nice, Nicer, and finally, Why Me?

How to 0wn the internet in your spare time

How to 0wn the Internet in Your Spare Time.

Dave Gorman rides again!

The one and only Mr Dave Gorman

Go Dave. Can’t wait.

Chuffin’ excellent

Chuffin’ excellent.

Google sets

Google sets – funky.

Sad but true

Sad but true.

Excellent pick-up line

What a great pick-up line…

Interesting ravings about how fabulous lisp is

Interesting ravings about how fabulous lisp is.

Wainwright – he loved the animals, he did

I’ve just read in my Wainwright biography that at the end of the last book in his series of guides to the Lakeland fells, “he also reveals that he had made a small fortune from the books – all of which he is going to give to animals, helping the RSPCA to set up an animal shelter in Kendal.”

What a guy…

Fingerprint ID systems compromisable quite easily

Fingerprint ID systems compromisable using cheap, commonly-available materials.

Matsumoto tried these attacks against eleven commercially available fingerprint biometric systems, and was able to reliably fool all of them. The results are enough to scrap the systems completely, and to send the various fingerprint biometric companies packing. Impressive is an understatement.

Continuations Made Simple and Illustrated – again

Continuations Made Simple and Illustrated, including an example of using continuations to implement a back-tracking search. n-queens with continuations, anyone?

Parsing in python with SimpleParse

Charming Python: Parsing with the SimpleParse module.

Returning orphaned seals to the wild

My girlfriend was there, she was.

Online thesaurus

I found a nice, lightweight implementation of Roget’s Thesaurus (circa 1911, admittedly), so I’ve included it in the search proxy, under “roget’s”. Much better than the Merriam-Webster offering currently in my left-sidebar.

Update 2002-08-13: I’ve now replaced that with a more up to date thesaurus.

Worst Case Scenarios and how to deal with them

Worst Case Scenarios and how to deal with them. [wotever]

Must try out the fire-making some time…

America to invade Holland before 2020

America to invade Holland before 2020 (probably). [null]

Wainwright’s Lakeland Fells photographic guide

Excellent: Wainwright’s Lakeland Fells photographic guide.

How To Criticize Computer Scientists

How To Criticize Computer Scientists.

HTTP headers from slashdot include Futurama quotes

HTTP headers from slashdot include Futurama quotes.

The Ten Commandments for C Programmers

The Ten Commandments for C Programmers.

I heart Cumbria

In the words of the furniture, “well, we’re back”. We found a very nice, yet pleasantly cheap B&B in Coniston, and had a few lovely days tramping around. The weather was mostly best described as “pissy”, but we did have one day (Thursday) when Jala manged to catch some sunburn (poor thing). Good food was eaten, excellent beer was quaffed, the rain was ignored with a shrug, and I fell in love with Alfred Wainwright‘s beautiful, detailed, witty and just damn cute guides to the Lakeland Fells.

The highlight of the week was definitely Sunburn Day, which was spent ascending, traversing, and descending the excellent Crinkle Crags, but we also had a good time at Tilberthwaite Gill, and watching the Everest IMAX movie. Oh yes, and going to Keswick three evenings in a row because Jala lost her purse. Fortunately they’re very honest in Ye Olde Golden Lion. :-)

We also went to Penrith in search of the fabled Penrith Tea Rooms, just so we could demand the finest wines available to humanity and state that we’re coming back in here. Alas, although we definitely found the right spot, the tea rooms appears to be the “Garden” cafe, unrecognisable on the inside. Ah well… We had some cake anyway.

Right, I’m outta here

Alluded to earlier but not explicitly stated: I’m on holiday next week, in the Lake District with Jala. Thus, I won’t be updating Gimboland unless it rains constantly and we get so bored of sitting in a pub reading and playing Go that we seek out a cybercafe.

Good weeks all round, catch ya later, etc. As a parting gift, here’s one of my new photos: an angel in a graveyard in my home town (which is Callington).

Total eclipses from now ’til 2020

Want to know where all the total eclipses of the sun will occur between 1997 and 2020? Me too!!! So it’s lucky there’s a handy chart which may be seen here, here, or here. Hurrah!

Climbin in the Lake District

An unsorted, uninvestigated list of links from the venerable piemaster to help me suss out climbing in the Lake District:,,,,, Cheers, Pete!

Why is it so hard to get decent digital versions of your photos?

Got three films back from Jessops yesterday, including CD-ROMs on which, I’d been told, I’d find lo-res and hi-res images, where the hi-res images were 20 megabyte JPEGs – excellent.

Alas, ’twas a bare-faced lie. The range from 600K to 1.3M, ie exactly the same as on the Kodak Photo-CDs. Still, at least the CD packaging’s more sensible. Sigh…

Oh yeah – will put some of the pictures up later, or maybe much later as I’m on holiday next week…

Nice bit of cheese seeks biscuit or mouse

Nice bit of cheese seeks biscuit or mouse. No bourbons. [milk]

Go loopback!

Funkin’ excellent… I just used the loopback device to mount an ISO image without first burning it to a CD. Nice!


Yummy. [popbitch]

Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About

Fantastic!!! I saw this page (“Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About”) a long time ago but lost the link, couldn’t find it on google, and subsequently forgot about it. Now those good lads at wotever have only gone and brought it back in to my life… Cheers lads!

I remember this being one of the funniest things I’d ever read. I shall now go and re-read it and find out if it’s as good as I remember. (Later: yep, not bad. Much bigger, too.)

Buying your first motorcycle

The Exquisite Agony: Buying Your First Motorcycle

Deadly Bloody Serious About Python

Interesting pythonic weblog: Deadly Bloody Serious About Python (amid the larger Deadly Bloody Serious).

Lake District photos

Lake District pictures here and here.

Fix that proxy, mofo!

Julie pointed out that multiple words weren’t being handled properly by the search proxy. Interesting, doesn’t seem to be a problem with Opera under Linux, or IE5.5, so maybe it’s a non-issue, but I’ve tried to fix it anyway. Will try it out later from home…

Blogging in python?

Well well, what have we here? Pyblog, a “highly-customisable blogging framework coded entirely in Python”. Wooty!

Curling on Linux

Stoned – a curling simulator for linux.

Music theory for geeks

Music theory for geeks (and part 2). [null]

Go monarchy!

Queen to be granted absolute powers by parliament, for old time’s sake.

You are an…

You are an…

Securing and Optimizing Linux

Securing and Optimizing Linux: Red Hat Edition. So where’s the Debian edition? :-)

cat5 o’ nine tails

cat5 o’ nine tails. [girl]

Satan’s Cheerleaders

Satan’s Cheerleaders. [milk]

You are visitor number 666…

Oh, so scary

Hahahahaha – 54% of Americans know that it takes the Earth one year to orbit the sun. What the hell do the other 46% think?