Photos: Budapest with Alexa, March 2008

Here, finally, my photos of Budapest, from the week I spent there with Alexa at the end of March (as mentioned in an earlier post).

Yes, it’s really taken me three months to get back to tagging and naming them. You can’t really blame me: I did it once already then half the data was lost — such an experience is extremely disheartening. Stupid data.

Choice cuts:

The Alexa's tree St Steven's Basilica 300 stairs later Hammer On Alexa, slightly furrowed of brow Interesting graffiti First Alexa triptych More Alexa disdain Window arm, Margit Telescope eyepiece World Heritage Noncy! This way to the Labirintus Fisherman's Bastion, reflected (1) Happy Window Face... Peter Mansfeld Memorial (6) Kwak suds Andy drinking Kwak Budapest Fringe Festival, wobbly Alexa Approacheth, at the Fringe Magma Fire Theatre at Budapest Fringe Festival 2008 (2) Magma Fire Theatre at Budapest Fringe Festival 2008 (8) Magma Fire Theatre at Budapest Fringe Festival 2008 (14) Alexa on a Jetty Aggressive dog statue

First Alexa triptych

Andy drinking Kwak

Alexa Approacheth, at the Fringe

Portrait of a Kitteh

Portrait of a Kitteh

Swansea Bananaphone Flashmob Video

Swansea Bananaphone Flashmob

Nice vid, Dan. :-)

LoC is a measure of cost, not productivity

Yet people talk about programming as if it were a production process and measure “programmer productivity” in terms of “number of lines of code produced”. In so doing they book that number on the wrong side of the ledger: we should always refer to “the number of lines of code spent”.

Dijkstra, The Fruits of Misunderstanding, and also a similar sentiment (earlier) in “Why is Software so Expensive?” An Explanation to the Hardware Designer — quote spotted on reddit.

… and from the second (first, chronologically) of those essays, Dijkstra hitting the nail on the head with regard to aspects of some recent rumblings about higher education:

To the economic question “Why is software so expensive?” the equally economic answer could be “Because it is tried with cheap labour.” Why is it tried that way? Because its intrinsic difficulties are widely and grossly underestimated.

To any of my students reading this: don’t underestimate the difficulty of the tasks we’ve been educating you to tackle; thus, don’t underestimate your worth if you get good at attacking those tasks; thus, hopefully you’ll appreciate (if not now then one day) the value of a degree in (actual, not pretend) Computer Science.

Doors to hell

The Door to Hell [longnow].

Other entrances to Hell, originally noted by Gimboland in 2002.

A weekend of shenanigans

My my, I’ve had a busy (by which I mean fun and not working at all) and sociable (by which I mean much ale and good food, including bananas, was quaffed with silly people) weekend.

It started on Thursday evening, when a whole bunch of us went out to celebrate my birthday at Wasabi, my most beloved local eatery. I mean we celebrated at Wasabi, not it was my “Wasabi birthday” or something. Anyway. Through a combination of the magic of Facebook and the strong appeal of sushi, some forty people chose to celebrate Gimboday with me. I actually turned up a few minutes late, having gone for a quiet pre-meal beer at the Uplands Tavern, and was a) gobsmacked at this crowd of people waiting for me, and b) without somewhere to sit. Oh, it was great. The food was super, although Wasabi really doesn’t seem able to handle large groups: we were split across two tables, and it’s not a gross overstatement to say that everyone on table 2 (which I was on) had received all of their food before anyone on table 1 had received any. Given that by its nature Japanese food tends to come in many small portions (just like Arnold J Rimmer’s love), that really doesn’t make any sense, and must have been hugely frustrating for the denizens of table 1. Anyway, everyone was lovely and I really must log on to Facebook and thank them all for coming more coherently than I managed to in the speech I vaguely remember making. If I tell you I got everyone’s attention for the speech by clanging together my (empty) sake flask and (empty) sake cup, you’ll get the idea. A few of us topped the night off at Mozart’s for good measure. Apparently. Photos here.

Alien Bash Behold my awesome... er... Ladleface! Alexa and Ladleface Hannah and A Mysterious Mustachioed Stranger Emily Seran and Steve

Friday was, by comparison, very quiet. I tried not to make too much noise, or be anywhere too noisy, all day. I’d like to say I enjoyed two episodes of BSG with Bash on the sofa in the evening, but in truth only one could be enjoyed, the other being an insult to all intelligent beings. Tedious predictable cliched crud, alas.

Saturday was banana day. There’s a photo of me on the cover of Mondays’ Evening Post, next to the headline “WORST CHILD PORN EVER”, so that’s nice.

Saturday night was the annual SUCS beach party, and it was the biggest yet. Despite thunder and heavy showers (and even a spot of hail) earlier in the day, it was a fine fine evening, and a beautiful morning when the sun arose “sticking her rays all over the place” as Dave delightfully put it. I may possibly have had a few ales as the night progressed, it’s really impossible to say. I certainly laughed a lot.

The highlight of the night was noticing a bunch of third years playing a drinking game based on my name. Well, to be fair I think they’d adapted a “bingo” drinking game, but anyway. The object of the game was to spell the word “GIMBO” by shouting out its letters one at a time, but if two or more people shout the same letter simultaneously, they have to take a drink. I noticed them shouting “G! I! M!M! Fuck! G! I!I! Fuck! G! I! M!” at which point I jumped in (literally, splatto on the sand) and shouted “B! O!” to cheers and a rousing cry of “And Gimbo was his name-oh!”. Probably one of the happiest moments of my life.

If anyone can remind of the context which gave rise to the following 8AM tweet, I’d be grateful:

Wondering why no-one calls their firstborn “Gimbowang”. Why do you all continue to defy me?

Update: camp-fire singalong video, rofl, etc. [via welti]

The weekend was rounded off beautifully by spending Sunday with my new friend Sioned, a fellow drummer, ending with a visit to Arthur’s Stone and The Greyhound for dinner. Awesome X.

At King Arthur’s Stone, seeing for miles, hearing nothing but tweets and bleats – lush. Next stop: The Greyhound!

another tweet, 7:20pm

Big Ideas (don’t get any)

Big Ideas (don’t get any) — Radiohead on the old-tech; awesome and then some [brunns].

Sinclair ZX Spectrum – Guitars (rhythm & lead)
Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer – Drums
HP Scanjet 3c – Bass Guitar
Hard Drive array – Act as a collection of bad speakers – Vocals & FX

On a personal note, I’d just like to say what a joy it was once again to not only hear, but also to watch, a ZX Spectrum loading some bytes attached to an 80s television. It’s been too long…