Be realistic

Join me – smirk at the headline [wendym].


A.Simple.Blog, the blog of Craig Lockwood, erstwhile colleague of mine at Frontier, who’s now gone on to better things, i.e. starting his own company.

Noam Chomsky’s weblog

Oh. Wow. Noam Chomsky has a weblog [act]

One Gimblett In Italy

One Gimblett In Italy – in Tuscany, so probably some “purncey Eengleesh bourgois” in the words of Steve Bell‘s Monsieur L’Artiste.

Check your surname here [gamma].

Whose Linux Is It Anyway?

Whose Linux Is It Anyway?, a Computer Business Review article about some claims that Linus Torvalds effectively nicked the early Linux code from other sources. Nicely, the article brings in the Super Big Gun of Andy Tanenbaum, author of Minix, who basically shrugs and says “it’s a load of nonsense, and the whole thing is highly suspicious”. The article concludes by hinting that Microsoft may be involved…

None more black

Saw Spinal Tap for the first time in years last night. Oh, so good. It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever…


iicf [simon]. Fantastic.

(Context, for the uninitiated.)

TouchGraph GroogleBrowser

Via Krag, whose wotever, he assures me, will be back up and running “real soon now”, we have the TouchGraph GoogleBrowser V1.01, which seems to use the Google APIs to make some pretty funky interactive graphs in a Java applet. It seems to use Googles “Similar to…” functionality, which means that the one for doesn’t contain much that I recognise – lots about clocks, it seems. File under “odd but cool”, I guess.

Also cool, assuming your browser supports it, is the StumbleUpon toolbar – random web surfing with peer-recommendations, ratings, etc.


fotoLibra, and an explanatory article by the missus. This is very tempting – I have some photos which are potentially of marketable quality. I just wonder what chance there really is that they’d be picked up and I could make some money from them. I suppose I can try six for free, and see what happens…

Mac Daddy

Today I wanted to get root on Bash’s Powerbook but didn’t know how. She, ever the clever one, suggested Google. Oh, such an obvious answer, so cliched… But it’s funny because it’s true, and I found my answer at this two year old article on the top ten Mac OS X tips for unix geeks (it’s number two – use the ever groovy sudo). Marvellous.

Clockin’ out!

It’s five o clock and I’m leaving work. This is wonderful – the first time this has happened to me for weeks. Colour me cycling!

Canine Comprehension Compendium

The 24 words every dog knows, according to Matthew Baldwin. Particularly nice to see “Brillig” and “Barebacking” there…

Moby Dock

Moby Dock, an OS X-like dock for Windows XP/2000 [null]

Birthday shenanigans, and the week from hell

Like Simon, I’ve spent most of the last two weeks in Exam Processing Hell. Part of my duties include collecting module marks from the various lecturers in the department and inserting them into a couple of fairly hairy databases. On the face of it that’s simple enough, but it’s fraught with all sorts of terrors, such as chasing late marks, keeping the vast amount of information thus produced organised, and dealing with all the annoying “edge cases” – that 0.5% of students who are, say, external candidates and for whom the rules are different.

Oh, it’s fun, and last week I basically work and slept, and was working after midnight on three occasions. Anton, my colleague in this venture, got it even worse, and was here all night one night…

So in short, it’s been Real Unpleasant, and I haven’t had much time for updates. However. I must record, as hinted at here, that I turned 30 last Saturday, and barring the obvious and unavoidable existential crisis which must accompany such an event, had a rather good time. I spent the day dressed as Spongebob Squarepants, in the company of two rather foxy mermaids, a couple of pirates, a flamingo, a tree (avec tres amusing monkey), a Pacific savage, a stochastic hammerhead shark, and a few normal people (here gathered). We had a great meal, a very pleasant cruise through the Mile, and a splendid all-night bonfire/barbeque courtesy of SUCS.

Being born in June has two big benefits. The first is that you’re as far from Christmas as you’re gonna get, so there’s a minimal risk of “well, OK, but it’ll have to be your birthday and Christmas present” type deals. This is important. Second, the weather’s often gorgeous, as was indeed the case this year. The sun shone, there was a pleasant breeze, my sponges soaked up the sweat (and, on a couple of occasions, the drink), and all was well. A few of us met up at Chez Bandy then perambulated through Mumbles (enduring or enjoying the stares of passers by) to the beautifully situated restaurant Castellemare, just around the headland with views of the Bristol Channel and the north coast of Devon. There we met the rest of our happy band, and had a rather yummy lunch. (Will, of course, was too immersed in abstract or poetic thoughts, to remember to pay, so we stung him for a round later.)

From my parents, I received a bicycle horn. It is mighty. From many, many, people (including my parents, they didn’t just give me the horn), I received one of these, which is very very nifty indeed. Andrew, of course, gave me a maul.

After lunch, we took a leisurely crawl back through the Mumbles Mile, taking it easy and trying not to get blue on everything. We touched base at Chez Bandy once again after that, before heading off to the beach for the bonfire. There were shenangigans and hijinks.

So, big up thanks to everyone who came and made it possible, apologies to anyone I offended or annoyed, and particular thanks to Andrew and Will for the photos. We’ll do it again next year, and every year after that until I’m 40, when the aim will be a party in space.

Chilled out Cornish ducks

The Cornish ducks made longer and more relaxed sounds, much more chilled out.

Dr De Rijke said she chose ducks because they were sociable and had a good sense of humour like humans.

I don’t know, we were at a comedy night here at the uni and this duck came on and he was all like, quack quack quack, and we were all like, that is like, so not funny.

Goodbye youth, hello tartan blankets

Today is the last day I will spend in my twenties. Will I spend it squeezing every last drop out of my youth while it remains, by climbing mountains, making music, and imbibing proscribed substances from off the breasts of young ladies? No, I will not: I will spend it marking the CS-238 Networks & Data Communications, and CS-228 Operating Systems exams.

The rest will have to wait until tomorrow.