<< August 2007 October 2007 >>

Friday 28 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Play This Thing: Another World - In the end, what matters most in Another World is the feeling of isolation and companionship, fostered by your connection to a fugitive alien who helps you in tight spots. Your companion provides a sense of the dangers of the landscape you play through, and a humane (if not human) face to the game. Another World offers not only enemies, but a friend.
Atmospheric, rather compelling, side-scrolling game. Around since 1991 but new to me.

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Thursday 27 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Samorost
Beautiful, fun, little game.

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#[linkfarm] Johnson is Tory mayor candidate - Boris Johnson has overwhelmingly won the battle to be Conservative candidate in next year's London mayoral race.
Ken vs Boris! This should be fun.

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#[linkfarm] The OpenBSD packages and ports system
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Wednesday 26 September, 2007
#[Arabica]Arabica September 2007 Release 2

This is a re-release of the September 2007 release which fixes a couple of build issues, affecting some platform/parser combinations.

The September 2007 release notes were:

The "certainly-break-your-build-but-it'll-be-easily-sorted-out" release.

This is the first Arabica release ever that knowingly breaks existing code, but the changes required are all straightforward and shouldn't take more than a few minutes to recover from.

The changes are

Source tar.bz2
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/arabica/arabica-Sept2007-2.tar.bz2

Source tar.gz
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/arabica/arabica-Sept2007-2.tar.gz

Source zip
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/arabica/arabica-Sept2007-2.zip


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#[linkfarm] Machine Architecture: Things Your Programming Language Never Told You - Would you be surprised to discover that only about 1% (one percent) of all the transistors on your modern CPU exist to ever compute anything? And that the other 99% (ninety-nine percent) of your CPU's transistors are essentially dedicated to nothing but hiding memory latency? Those are round numbers, of course. But you get the idea...
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#[code] Arabica release, fixing build issues on some platforms.
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Tuesday 25 September, 2007
#

Have just swapped my spam filtering to use Akismet. My homegrown collection of homegrown heuristics and regexes had become overaggressive and was killing ham while still letting through spam. If you spot anything odd, please let me know.

Thanks and apologies to Ken, who alerted me to the problem.


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#[linkfarm] Shatner Secrets - It would my duty to kill as many Americans as I possibly could. I'd enjoy it.
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#[linkfarm] Bob Mould "If I Can't Change Your Mind" - Live at Birmingham Academy 2, 22 June 2006
Ah, yes. Lovely.

   * Pete Ashton [w] said I am 90% sure that's my head bobbing in the foreground. [added 25th Sep 2007]

Yep, I thought it was you. [added 25th Sep 2007]

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#Outraged! I almost wrote a letter to the Times.

Today's children all get given homework from the age about five. This is, obviously, because if you didn't keep them busy they'd all be out, playing on the pavement, blowing raspberries, eating snails, scaring old people, and getting in the way of ratrunners who need to get to wherever the hell they're going in a such a hurry that their desperate need for speed entirely outweighs anything as trivial as not being a fucking menace to pedestrians. And we couldn't have that. Daniel's homework currently includes the 16 times table (duh! easy!), reading, and spelling.

Scanning this week's list of words, I was stopped short. Fascinating - ok. Infuriating - hmm, tricky. Googling - easy. Hey, wait a minute. Googling?

"Googling?" I queried, "Googling?"

"You know," Daniel replied, "when you look something up on Google."

Well, of course.

Ken [e] said Outraged? Try this...

Ben's first day at daily preschool, we get handed some of the usual 'let's fob off a load of responsibility back to the parents' forms to fill in. We've complied with all but one, and if I get chased for it they'll get the sharp edge of my whatnot.

Let me present to you Kineton Green Primary School's Responsible Use of the Internet form...

'...please indicate that you *and your child* have read *and understood* the rules...'

Some of the rules are:

1. I will only access the system with my own login and password;

4. I will not bring in floppy disks from outside school;

9. I understand that the school may check my computer files and may monitor the internet sites I visit.

And it continues in this style for some time. My problem? Ben is three years old (just) and I challenge any parent to make a three year old *understand* the concept of a login and password. He's not alone - this is preschool we're talking about, even the next notch up (those who are almost five) will not really understand the concepts being batted about, and yet we have to undertake to take responsibility for all of this.

Moreover, last time I looked, parents are not best placed to oversee computer use at school, mainly due to location I'd hazard. I'm all for getting parents involved but please, let's have some common sense here.

And, floppy disks??? Even I noticed from a cursory glance that class PC is a new Dell sans floppy. I mean, I'm beginning to forget what the darn things look like.

It's the IT personnel malady, but at school. Bloody idiots. Grrrrr. [added 25th Sep 2007]


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Monday 24 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Super Serif Brothers! - Feel the octothorpes beneath your feet. Feel the periods in your hair.
Beautiful, clever, ultra-retro. Works as a game, as a design, as a oh-look-at-that. Lovely.

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#[linkfarm] India crowned Twenty20 champions - India 157-5 (20 overs) bt Pakistan 152 (19.3 overs) by five runs
Blimey, that was exciting. What a finish!

   * smellygit said The guy next to me at work is from India and was rather excited to watch the last ball via the slingplayer on my phone! [added 24th Sep 2007]

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Friday 21 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] 13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me
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Thursday 20 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Faith schools should not be tax-funded, and here's why - If the Catholic church is prepared to ban Amnesty because of its stance on abortion, what other rights might it censure?
Gasp! A Zoe Williams piece that not only isn't wince inducing, but almost makes sense. She actually doesn't go far enough, faith schools shouldn't even be legal.

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Wednesday 19 September, 2007
#

The Bean and I had a conversation on Monday evening about computers and networks and programming, the result of which was that he jumped out of bed and started designing a game.

I spent all day in London yesterday, gone before he got up and back after he'd gone to bed, but apparently he talked of little else. This morning he claims to have woken at half past five, because he couldn't stop thinking about his game. "Can I put it on a CD?" he asked, as I bleared my way downstairs.

I decided the only way to shut him up was to give him some code to play with. Sadly it seems that QBasic has been dropped, but 2 seconds of Googling lead me to a suitable replacement.

I started with a quick multiplication table1:

10 print "Hello"
20 for i = 1 to 5
30   for j = 1 to 5
40     print i; " x "; j; " = "; i*j
50   next j
55   print "========"
60 next i 
and he, by stepwise refinement2, turned it into something else
10 print "Hello"
20 for i = 2 to 1000
30   for j = 1 to 100
40     print i; " - "; j; " = "; i+j
50   next j
55   print "========"
60 next i 
And you know what? He loved it.

1 Yes, line numbers. I'm old skool, me.
2 The kids today just naturally adopt agile methods.

Ken [e] said Did he (you?) mean i+j, or i-j ??

Mind you, better than

10 print "tosser"

20 goto 10

which we were apt to see in electrical retailers during the 80s. [added 19th Sep 2007]

Ken [e] said Oh, and Big Paul's eldest son (same age as Bean I think) recently asked me if he could make his own website. I pointed his parents at some off-the-shelf cheapo stuff, and then regailed them of the benefits of Blogger et al. He replied, "Oh no Uncle Ken, I want a chat room, mp3 previews, video downloads and some Flash gear"...

In my day we had to know how a floppy disk worked before we were allowed near the RM 380z, and you just try telling that to the kids of today etc. ;) [added 19th Sep 2007]

He did have it as
print i; " + "; j; " = "; i+j
and was mid-way through changing it to minus when I interrupted and made him come for his breakfast. [added 19th Sep 2007]

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#[linkfarm] Gathering Scattered I/O - Have your cake and eat it, too, with STL extensions. In this chapter extract from his latest book, Matthew Wilson shows you how to take full advantage of the STL Iterator abstraction, without sacrificing block-transfer efficiency of Scatter/Gather I/O memory.
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#[Arabica]Arabica September 2007 Release

The "certainly-break-your-build-but-it'll-be-easily-sorted-out" release.

This is the first Arabica release ever that knowingly breaks existing code, but the changes required are all straightforward and shouldn't take more than a few minutes to recover from.

The changes are

Source tar.bz2
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/arabica/arabica-Sept2007.tar.bz2

Source tar.gz
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/arabica/arabica-Sept2007.tar.gz

Source zip
http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/arabica/arabica-Sept2007.zip


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#[linkfarm] Nice titles
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#[code] New Arabica release.
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Monday 17 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Windows, svn+ssh and the Subversion command line client
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Saturday 15 September, 2007
#[Arabica]Arabica: New release any time now

Worked through my list of things to do rather more quickly than I expected. Look for a new release in the next few days.


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Friday 14 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Hobgoblin Music will sell you a ukelele for 14 pounds of your Earth money
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#[linkfarm] TheUke.com - Ukulele Quickstart Lessons - including How to Play the Uke in Three Minutes or Less!, How to Play Even More Uke in Four Minutes or Less, Ukulele Nomenclature & Assorted Lingo, Proper Finger Position on the Ukulele, How to Read Ukulele Chord Diagrams and The Anatomy of a Ukulele
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#[linkfarm] Tweddle slumps to fourth on bars - Britain's Beth Tweddle conceded her title after finishing fourth on the uneven bars at the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart.
Slumps is bit strong. Shame, though.

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#[linkfarm] Photon Propulsion Breakthrough Could Cut Mars Transit From Six Months to a Week
Wow, that's fast. I thought a trip to Mars typically took nine months, but a week? Blimey.

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#[linkfarm] Italy urged to go on pasta strike - Consumers' associations in Italy [asked people not to buy or eat] pasta for the day, in protest against recent price increases.
Way to go. Protest rising prices while ignoring the underlying cause of those price rises, to whit - there's simply less wheat on the market. The harvest is down across Europe, Canada (source of a big chunk of the wheat used in Europe), Australia (hence rising imports from elsewhere), Syria (just imposed an export ban) and elsewhere. In Italy, the wheat acreage is down as more land is being given over to bio-fuel production, which is a rather short-termist. In the face of reduced availability demand for wheat is actually rising because so much of it (along with other staples like soya) is being shoved down gullets of flatulent cattle, due to increasing demand for beef and diary products. So, Italian Consumer's associations you should be pointing the finger elsewhere, I think.

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#[linkfarm] Software Freedom Day - Software Freedom Day is a global, grassroots effort to educate the public about the importance of software freedom and the virtues and availability of Free and Open Source Software.
They'll be some fresh-faced young shavers out on New Street tomorrow. Be nice :)

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#[linkfarm] Paddington in Marmite Advert - Paddington Bear sits down to enjoy one of his trademark marmalade sandwiches. But on spying an advert on a passing bus for Marmite, he decides to try something new.
No. Paddington is, at heart, a deeply conservative bear, rigourous in his personal habits and mode of dress. To suggest that he'd be swayed by something as, literally, passing as bus advert is utterly ridiculous.

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#[linkfarm] Threading Building Blocks - Intel® Threading Building Blocks (TBB) offers a rich and complete approach to expressing parallelism in a C++ program. It is a library that helps you take advantage of multi-core processor performance without having to be a threading expert. Threading Building Blocks is not just a threads-replacement library. It represents a higher-level, task-based parallelism that abstracts platform details and threading mechanism for performance and scalability.
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#[linkfarm] EXTERMIKNIT! - Even the Doctor might feel differently about Daleks if faced with one of these cuddly monsters. This pattern will let you knit your very own plushy Dalek, to keep for yourself or give away. Knit a whole army and prepare for world domination!
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Thursday 13 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Forbidden LEGO - Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against
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#[linkfarm] Male Restroom Etiquette - All men of the world can find common ground in these simple rules of "evacuation" etiquette.
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#[linkfarm] How older siblings stunt growth - Having an older sibling, particularly a brother, can stunt growth, work suggests.
Research from the splendidly named Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (well, it's better than Bristol Tallness Study) says older brothers are, and I'm paraphrasing here, food-stealing time-wasting womb-trashing bastards.

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#[linkfarm] Super-Hanger
!

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#[linkfarm] Birmingham is Blooming again! - A Gold medal for the Floral Trail and named as overall winner of the Heart of England Britain in Bloom Urban Regeneration category. Moseley Britain-In-Bloom also won a Gold and were winners in the Community Regeneration category.

Birmingham could hardly fail to win the Urban Regeneration category. There were only three entrants; the Floral Trail, the Jewellery Quarter, and Smethwick. Later in the release everybody's favour councillor Ray Hassall is quoted as saying " ... the work of the City’s Horticultural Maintenance Team is duly recognised by these awards, they did a great job during a particularly wet and difficult summer ..." Well, they may have done in the city centre, but they didn't do fantastically out here. Moseley in Bloom's achievement is almost in spite of the services contracted from the council rather than because of them. You'll note this press release devotes one line to MiB and manages to get both the name and the award won wrong.


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#[linkfarm] Reference kilo shows mysterious weight loss - “We could obviously use a better definition.”
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#[linkfarm] New-look Emu back on television - Toby Hull, a trained actor, has performed with Emu since his father's death in 1999.
Nice detail. Still seems a strange and slightly melancoly career to follow though.

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#[linkfarm] Phonetic Ambiguity - It was enough to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.
Tom has a cigarette incident while listening to Radio 4.

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Wednesday 12 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Strap-on stealth jetplane for special forces - ... It's going to be a bloody long walk back out again, that's for sure ...
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#[linkfarm] Python 2.5 Bindings on Windows - Simply renaming all of the python/libsvn/_*.dll to python/libsvn/_*.pyd makes the bindings work.
All except libsvn_swig_py-1.dll that is.

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#[linkfarm] Kernow 1.5.2 - Java web start
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#[linkfarm] Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day
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#[linkfarm] How to Fix Windows Vista Slow Network Transfer - I then attempted to disable the 30-day free McAfee trial security suite thingamajig that was bundled with the new Dell.
Aha! Maybe this is what I need to try

And it certainly seems to have made a difference. I don't know what McAfee was doing, but it was definitely stuffing up the network performance. I wouldn't necessarily advocate going commando wrt to anti-virus software. However, if your AV is, of itself, making your machine all treacly and sluggish then it's got the same symptoms already hasn't it ... [added 13th Sep 2007]

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#[linkfarm] Slow network in Vista? - Heres the fix (well, this worked for me).
Not sure it's made a significant difference for me.

   * James S. [e] said There's a known feature of Vista's Multimedia Class Scheduler service that prevents more than 10000 (IIRC) frames per second being received while a media application is running, and the number is lower for a machine with multiple network interfaces due to a bug.

If the low performance occurs while playing an MP3 or watching television or a film, and you have a gigabit network controller or several NICs, that might be your problem. My workaround was to enable jumbo frames, but that requires a compatible switch and similar configuration on other machines on the network.

If, on the other hand, you're finding that internet access (which probably isn't at GbE speeds) is slower generally, it's more likely to be a consequence on the new TCP stack. If you're not running third-party firewall systems and content filters, try adjusting the auto-tuning thing and make sure you didn't block "Core Networking" in the firewall rules. I have to say though, I find Vista throughput to be much better with the new congestion algorithms, for internet access at least. [added 12th Sep 2007]

Hi James,

I don't think what I'm seeing is the scheduler bug. It's just a general feeling of sluggishness. Thunderbird going through the IMAP motions, copying a small file over the network (11b wifi), that kind of thing.

I haven't touched the firewall rules at all, but it came with McAfee preinstalled. I suspect that may be what's getting in the way for me.

[added 12th Sep 2007]

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#[linkfarm] Editing your hosts file in Vista
Feel free to substitute Emacs for Notepad.

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Tuesday 11 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Microwulf - Microwulf is a personal, portable Beowulf cluster, providing over 26 Gflops of measured performance, for less than $2500. Its dimensions are just 11" x 12" x 17", making it small enough to fit on one's desktop or in a suitcase.
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#

We've got enough money in the business to buy a new laptop ... said Natalie last Wednesday.

As a bloke who earns his money writing software it probably won't come as a surprise to know that we have a number of computers around the house. None of them are especially new, my main development machine turns three this month. I've got a few in the office with me now (not all of which are turned on) making various amounts of noise. Natalie has an enormous laptop on her desk that does important things like transfer The Archers Omnibus to her iPod. Downstairs, in the lounge, is another small laptop that we were given by Natalie's Dad. It's not a bad little machine actually. The kids play on it, Natalie does her Moseley in Bloom business when she doesn't want to haul up to the top floor, and I use it for hacking in front of the telly of an evening. It is, though, starting to show it's age a bit. It struggles to run some of the newer kids games (and by newer I mean less than five years old), the wireless connection (via a card the kids have done their best to smash to bits) never quite drops to nothing but does get visibly faster and slower, the fan starts blowing like a mad thing when you ask to do anything resembling actual computation, and, irritatingly, the hinge on the screen has more or less gone so you have to balance it very carefully or prop it on a cushion or it'll just fall flat. I'm not actually sure how old it is, but it runs Windows 98 so it's no spring chicken.

Natalie has been nudging me in the direction of getting a replacement, but Wednesday night's pronouncement was clearly a coded instruction.

I ordered a new machine on Thursday evening and it'll be here any minute. I read a few reviews, finding a Gateway machine that looked pretty good. I go the Gateway site, eventually find the machine and scan the details. No prices though, but a statement that they sell this particular machine through Tesco and a link to tesco.com. Hmmm. Tesco? I clicked it anyway, and was dropped onto the tesco.com home page, not the page for the laptop. So I search again. And again. Eventually I find it on the Tesco site. It's out of stock. Gah! This actually turned out to be the pattern for most manufacturers and retailers. The manufacturers tell you a bit about what they make then point you, vaguely, in the direction of someone who might be able to sell you one. I know not everyone's interested in the full gen, but for some machines it proved almost impossible to find anything resembling the full spec.

In the end, I went and bought my machine from Dell. Ordering from Dell is not quite as easy as it could be, but it's streets ahead of anyone else. Once you've decided on the machine you want you can, within bounds, jiggle it about a bit (more or less memory, bigger or smaller battery, bluetooth, that kind of thing). Then, and this is the clincher, they'll actually sell you one right there and then.

Once they've taken your money, you get a nice email with a link to a page showing your order's progress through the build'n'ship process. When your machine ships, they give you a link direct through to the courier's package tracking. My machine went on the lorry in Birmingham at 6:07 this morning. Top!

Unless the other laptop makers buck up pretty seriously, I can't see why I'd ever not use Dell again.

smellygit said Bizarely I've read nothing but bad stuff about Dell recently, particularly laptops and how long it takes to get one! Did you check out their outlet store - you often get quite good bargains on there. Though as you've just bought one maybe you don't want to look at it....

My laptop has gone a bit mad as the power connection has gone flaky and the battery lasts about 30 seconds, so keep us up to date on how it goes... [added 11th Sep 2007]

I placed my order for one of their new Vostro at about 20 past 10 on Thursday evening. It arrived at just gone 12 today, which is pretty good.

First impressions are that it's rather nice - very quiet, pleasant keyboard action, touchpad cunningly offset so you don't brush it when you're typing. It's my first time using Vista too, and it seems very pretty. Pleased.

[added 11th Sep 2007]
On further use turns out I'm wrong about the touchpad - it isn't offset at all. Perhaps I was just looking at the machine on the squint. Still, I haven't yet suddenly found myself expectedly typing elsewhere, so it much be doing something right. [added 12th Sep 2007]

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#[linkfarm] Emacs smooth scrolling
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#[linkfarm] Do You GDFAF? - Going Deaf For A Fortnight was a really stupid project done by Pete Ashton in 2005 and, incredibly, repeated by Russ L in 2006. This year we’re opening it up to everyone.
Rock! On!

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Monday 10 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] ... considering the amount of [stuff] I'm shoving up my head gullet at the moment ...
Chum Paul coins a fantastic phrase. Please immediately add to your personal brain-thesaurii as an alternative for information overload, information pollution and Ewww! Too Much!

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#[linkfarm] What ever happened to Web engineering?
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#[linkfarm] When Good Code Looks Bad
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Friday 07 September, 2007
#Moseley in Bloom To Go National 2008

Nattle arrives hot foot from the Regional Britain in Bloom Awards in Cheltenham:

Moseley In Bloom won Silver Gilt and was the Category Winner in the Urban Communities Category 2007. There were 9 entries in our category and two silver gilts were awarded (no golds). Out of the 55 entries in 11 categories Heart of England is allowed to put forward just four to represent the Region in 2008 and Moseley was one of those chosen. The others are Upton (Village), Bridgnorth (Town) and Solihull (City). This is quite an accolade and really something to be proud of. We are rather stunned but naturally very pleased.


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#[linkfarm] H.P. Lovecraft's Pac-Man - My vile tormentors, however, did not fare so well. In the very same instant of my euphoric epiphany, they all turned a most sickly shade of blue and their malevolent demeanour was replaced by a fearful countenance. Instinctively, I lurched towards the first. Before my very eyes his membranous cloak and corporeal form dissolved into nothingness, leaving only his ghastly eyes which dropped to the ground and scuttled off towards the central antechamber. O, sweet respite! The hunter had become the hunted, the farmer had become the harvest and the chef had become the hors d'oeuvres! I could not say what was the more delicious: the sweet irony of this turnabout in fortune, or the joy I found in snacking on my foes!
Which ever newspaper is currently employing Miles Kington (The Independent?) should immediately fire him and hire my chum Tom in his stead. When it's humour vs comedy, comedy always wins.

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#[linkfarm] Nuclear Bombs Mistakenly Flown Over US - A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week ... [Defense Department press secretary ] said "At no time was the public in danger."
Well, of course not!

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#[linkfarm] Play This Thing - We'll be covering free games available online (whether as Flash, or as a download, or in some other fashion); independently developed computer games; interactive fiction; tabletop games; serious games; "games for change"; and weirdness like alternative reality games and "big urban" games. What we won't be covering are releases from the major commercial publishers; mobile games; and casual games (with rare exceptions--when a casual game is really innovative, or has strong crossover appeal to actual gamers, we'll cover it).
Sister/supplementary site to Manifesto Games. If I suddenly became independently wealthy, I could happily spend all day, every day playing games recommended by Greg Costikyan.

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#[linkfarm] Loop - With Loop, every day is a beautiful spring day, perfect for catching butterflies! Join the eccentric butterfly enthusiast, Ada, on her corralling adventure. Use your mouse to draw loops around the winged creatures. How many can you catch before time runs out?
Lovely!

   * Ken [e] [w] said Another game with colours that make it difficult for me to play! Good clean fun while it lasted though, 365 points and I'm done ;) [added 7th Sep 2007]

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Thursday 06 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] One of Britain's top scientists is joining the likes of Chris Tarrant and Nicole Kidman by putting her name to a new wave of computer games designed to keep the brain fit.
Susan Greenfield says Yes! Ben Goldacre says Hmm!

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#

Heritage Open Days runs over the next few days. Basically lots of buildings which don't normally open open, and lots of buildings which are normally open put on extra events.

In Birmingham, among others, you could with a bit of planning and a following wind visit the cathedral, the Catholic cathedral, Birmingham Central Mosque, a Quaker meeting house, Singers Hill Synagogue, two different Buddhist centres, and the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Handsworth. You'll need to cover your head and pop your shoes off that last one, but they will feed you. You can collect the set by nipping out to visit a Hindu temple in Wolverhampton.

If you're more conspiracy minded, there are at least three Masonic Temples opening (that they tell you about). Pete's favourite Curzon Street Station is open (see the cat), but I suspect he'll be off to the Newman Brother's Coffin Fittings Factory.

Here's the whole list of heritagey goings-on in Birmingham, the West Midlands and, indeed, the nation.

Me? I have "a prior" and will be bobbing back and forth to PyConUK. No, it isn't about snakes.


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Wednesday 05 September, 2007
#[Arabica] Updated the August release build report.
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#[linkfarm] Saxon: Anatomy of an XSLT processor
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#[Arabica]Arabica: What's going on next? Progress

  1. All Arabica header files will have .hpp rather than .h extensions..
  2. Anything in a directory called Util is liable to be renamed to something more descriptive.
  3. The SAX and DOM namespaces will be moved into the Arabica namespace.
  4. Those template classes which are only parameterised on string type will be extended to take a string adaptor class as well.
  5. Template classes named basic_Something will be renamed Something. This primarily effects SAX classes. (Stream classes excepted here, for consistency with Standard Library.)
  6. Typedef of templates on particular string classes will be removed. Again, this primarily effects SAX classes. (Again, stream classes excepted.)
  7. (Anything else along these lines that occurs to me.)


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#[linkfarm] Edsgar Dijkstra: Answers to questions from students of Software Engineering - Gadgets are not necessarily an improvement
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#[Arabica]Arabica: What's going on next?

It's not that often I have definite plans for Arabica, but I have one at the moment. The next Arabica release will be "tidying up".

Because Arabica's grown rather organically over the past several years, it's not especially consistent about all kinds of things. Some of those things aren't especially important, but some are and some are just niggling me a bit.

In relative short order, I intend to do the following

  1. All Arabica header files will have .hpp rather than .h extensions. (Already committed - did it last night while watching the telly).
  2. Anything in a directory called Util is liable to be renamed to something more descriptive.
  3. The SAX and DOM namespaces will be moved into the Arabica namespace.
  4. Those template classes which are only parameterised on string type will be extended to take a string adaptor class as well.
  5. Template classes named basic_Something will be renamed Something. This primarily effects SAX classes.
  6. Typedef of templates on particular string classes will be removed. Again, this primarily effects SAX classes.
  7. (Anything else along these lines that occurs to me.)

This is the first time I've knowingly made changes to Arabica which break existing code. Hopefully those these changes should be relatively easy to deal with.

There will no changes to any functionality or the addition of any new code until this is done. I don't want it to drag on, so I'm aiming to get this done in the next few weeks (work/children/dog/other commitments allowing).

After that, it's back on XSLT, which will also bring in some DOM Level 3 additions. After that, whenever that is, dunno. We'll see.


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#[linkfarm] Eddie Campbell is selling the artwork for The Black Diamond Detective Agency
That cheap piece marked "SOLD" at the bottom there, that was me.

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Tuesday 04 September, 2007
#[linkfarm] Ticket To Ride - Swiss Map Expansion - Designed specifically for 2 or 3 players, this expansion forces you to reconsider all your Ticket to Ride playing strategies.
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#[linkfarm] Llamasoft Goodies

   * Ken [e] [w] said I've just ordered the Llamasoft thong for the wife. D'you think she'll be impressed? [added 4th Sep 2007]

What makes you think I'd know? :) [added 4th Sep 2007]

Ordered myself a t-shirt, btw. Thong would be overly cosy on me. [added 4th Sep 2007]

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#[Arabica]

The end of August is clearly the big time for C++/XML related fun -


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#[code] New WheresKal release. Adds new procrastination breaker module.
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Monday 03 September, 2007
#

Still chipping away at my CV, although have made strides thanks to the input of several chums who hire'n'fire. Still undecided about "outside interests".

Should one list hobbies and things in that list half-inch at the bottom? While I don't have any complete no-no interests like, say, golf, I'm a little worried that those interest that I do have tend to the bit programmer-stereotype. Plus, I'm interested in just about everything, so I'm broad and shallow rather than deep and focussed.

So then, Jez, what might fall under the broad category of "hobbies" then?

Well, I cook, I go swimming and while I'm not the quickest I have a pretty decent shape, I like to walk the dog, I'm interested in comics, beer, what today's young people might call rock, post-rock, hardcore, or punk music, I like boardgaming and I'd role play if I had the time and a group to play with, I read a fair spread of novels although I confess to a natural inclination toward science fiction, I like a bit of folk and I might even be able to sing you a song or too (although it's rather pot luck as to whether I can hold a tune on any given day), I'm a very casual hockey player, I like to watch rugby on the telly but I'd have no idea what the league standings are, I go and see a cricket match or two a year, and I've recently, through the agency of my firstborn, got into model railways and some of the more technical aspects of gymnastics and tumbling, I've been on the winning team of the local festival general knowledge quiz three of the four years it's run, if you invited me to some thing or event I'd not done before I'd probably say "yes" rather than "no".

I'm nearly 40. Can you tell?

Ken [e] [w] said 40 going on 65 more like ;))

Hobbies on a CV, eh? Always a bit of an imponderable, and the answer clearly lies with the personal tastes of the CV recipient.

On balance I think it better to include something as long as it's not 'eating out, going to movies and walks in the country'. I have small experience of hiring, and found the content of the hobbies section a useful insight - just the inclusion (or non-inclusion) says something about the candidate *but* only when weighed in with reading the character during the interview.

So, on balance, I'd put the URL to this very blog entry down under 'hobbies'!! [added 4th Sep 2007]


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