"Quote from a young man."

I dug out one of the DVDs I made of my boy from 3 years ago, when he was coming up to 1. He loves watching himself on TV, so we all settled down to watch… TV shows toddler banging a fridge magnet on the washing machine. You used to spend hours banging away like that – do you remember? No. TV shows toddler attempting to walk. Do you remember when you couldn’t walk? No. TV shows toddler sitting in high chair being fed carefully and lovingly prepared beef stew, processed to be suitable for young person who still needs […]

"The power of algorithms"

I had a bit of a tricky thing to solve over the summer. I had to perform 100,000,000 calculations, each of which took nearly a second, and I didn’t have 1,150 days spare, unfortunately. No problem – throw it on a big beasty computer cluster (60 CPUs), do some multi-threading magic, and realise that actually the solutions are symmetrical so there’s ‘only’ 50,000,000 to do – there you are, job done in about 10 days (including faff time). I was quite pleased with this. However it turns out that there’s a much better way to do it. Tweak the algorithm […]

"New Job"

Yay – I’ve got a new job! It starts on the 2nd Jan, and the company are based about 5 minutes cycle away from my house. It’s along a similar vein to my current job, i.e. software development in a GIS context, so mapping and routing, that kind of thing. The company seem amazing – in fact I’ve been a little bit spooked because the whole thing seems too good to be true. In my experience, things that seem too good to be true often are often exactly that (i.e. not true), but I’ve decided to take the chance that […]

"Christmas Cake"

One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is time, or more specifically pace of life. British life seems to be so pressured and hectic, and I find it really easy to be drawn in to charging from activity to activity. So when the train is 10 minutes late to see those 10 minutes as “wasted” somehow. The most notable exception to this in my life is Christmas Cake. For the last six years I have made a Christmas cake, and this year is no exception. It’s a very slow process. Everything about it is slow. You have to […]


Well, I had my first proper encounter with Voice over IP today. I’m on Skype, of course, but people really mean SIP/IAX and RTP when they speak about VoIP… I have to say I am absolutely stunned. At 11 ‘o’ clock this morning I had never knowingly made a VoIP call, and had no immediate plans to. At 4.30 I had a software PABX with two softphone extensions (but they could have been real phones if I’d had the hardware), both of which rang in response to someone dialling my new 0845 number, and either could pick up the call […]

"Facebook experiment"

The thing about blogging is that you can go for months without putting anything in, then you do one post and suddenly think of 101 other things to write about. Anyway, I thought I’d do a little experiment on Facebook to see how various people responded to a random question I posted. Just for fun! Because I don’t really know how long stuff stays on FB, I thought that I’d record it here for posterity (and that’s the second time today I’ve used that word!). Although I have taken the liberty of changing the grammar in places. Should I stay […]

"New CCD design"

dpreview is in general a fab site, and my first stop for almost any information photographic. Anyway, they’ve posted an item about a new design of sensor for digicams that genuinely records RGB in a single chip: www.dpreview.com/news/0708/07080901nikonimagesensor.asp They’ve got a link to the US Patent Office with the full details, and this includes a short explanation of why a single sensor doing true RGB is a good thing!

"It’s all over"

That’s it. The end of the Harry Potter series. Just finished Deathly Hallows. Now I know whether Snape was Ever-So-Evil, or double-agent extraordinaire. I know whether Harry, Hermione, and Ron survive. Come to that I know whether ‘ol Voldy makes it, or is beaten. It’s probably no spoiler to say that at least one of these four names is no more by the end of the book. I also know who (else) dies along the way. And it would be brutally unfair to say anymore, especially as there’s no clue in the title of this post. Suffice to say I […]

"Oh you’ll never get to Heaven…"

I thought I’d share my extemporaneous sing-along from this evening’s bath: … with Captain Jack… ‘cos Captain Jack… keeps coming back … with Dr Who… ‘cos Dr Who… got other things to do … in a small blue box… ‘cos a small blue box.. can’t work the locks The first one is definitely the best. Still working on one for Rose Tyler and/or Martha Jones. And I don’t know the name of Kylie’s character yet.

"Doctor Who"

Wow – what a finish! I am seriously in awe of Russell T Davies and the writers of Dr Who. To have planted so much so early on (like at the start of the new Series 1). Makes me wonder what other unresolved bits and pieces are waiting to pounce on us. And The Face of Bo. What can I say? I defy anyone to have seen that coming (although, in retrospect, I kinda think I could have). In that way, it’s a bit like Harry Potter. All the clues are there, and it’s kinda obvious after the event… but […]

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