Feet up! : general

Happy New Year

Happy new decade too, if you're one of those folks who start counting from 1.

Long time, no post, but I've a new job, which somehow grabs more time than before, guess I'd better re-read the four hour work-week...

No predictions here, other than perhaps Apple and Android making some major slip-ups (Symbian's nowhere near as lame or near death as some might suppose). Rui's predictions are no doubt more exact and precise.

Happy New Year!

[Fri, 31 Dec 2010 23:59] | [] | #

Twhirly, too early, whatever...

Sunrise picture

I woke before five, thought I'd get into some interesting coding before heading into the office.

Achievements so far, updated Carbide.c++, fiddled around in the emulator, charged two phones and my netbook, and caught up with dive into Mark. Code written, 0 lines.

But, I've blogged for the first time in ages, that counts, doesn't it? Does it?

[Tue, 06 Jul 2010 06:25] | [] | #

Still breathing

Long time, and little blogging...

So, as my first post for five or so months, there's a bit of stiction to resolve. As for me, I'm well (but busy), just too busy with the day job, the kids and other activities to post anything of consequence here for the time being. However, expect a little more action here in the next few weeks as there's a few posts I've been mulling over that I can't express coherantly in the truncated medium of microblogging.

Talking of microblogging, you can still find me on Twitter and Identi.ca, if you feel the need to check my pulse.

[Tue, 24 Nov 2009 20:52] | [] | #

Rainy days

windsurfing on the Gorell Tank

I'm having a few days off work at home, so what does it do? Rain...

Something like 2 inches (50mm) in four hours this morning, enough for the guy above to go windsurfing on one of local car parks (the Gorell Tank) where there was around 2 feet (60cm) of water. Here are some pics of what it looks like normally. Crazy weather, and it's supposed to be summer!

[Tue, 21 Aug 2007 21:58] | [] | #

Summertime, and the cotton is high

Hot, hot, hot

Just an idle thought, but, does that classic lyric refer to hemlines? It's been a funny old summer in the UK, cool and very damp, but the sun's been out for a few days now and it's looking much better. However, compare and contrast:

Summer temperatures rarely go above 30 °C. The record maximum is 38.5 °C (101 °F) recorded in Kent, in August 2003 - Wikipedia: Climate of the British Isles

According to Whitstable Windsurfing the temperature has exceeded 40 °C on a number of days this August; is their thermometer sitting in the sun?

[Tue, 07 Aug 2007 19:26] | [] | #

Running Man

JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge logo

I'd never normally call myself a runner, but I had a small glimpse into Martin and Arthur's world last Thursday. It's an unusual place, perhaps one I'll visit again, but not in any particular hurry.

I'd got myself talked into ruuning in the second day of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in London, 12,000+ people running, jogging, walking, or shuffling along a 3.5 mile (5.6km) route around Battersea park. As someone who only runs for a train, the whole expectation of the event was a bit much, I don't think I've run that far in my life!

So did I walk? No, despite a complete absence of training I ran the whole way. The temperature was in the early 20s and it was very humid, with thunderstorms threatening, so it was a bit hot and sweaty. Plus, the huge number of participants meant it took nearly 10 minutes to cross the start line, so we had slow traffic in front of us all the way.

However, despite my physical unsuitability for the task in hand (I had "old, fat, and unfit" as medical conditions on the back of my running number), I got around the course in 32 minutes, with 5km dispatched in just under 29 minutes. With a little bit of training, more sympathetic weather, and less traffic I could have been a fair bit faster! I'm not sure I'd beat the guy who won (in 16:13), I suspect I wasn't far into my second kilometre by the time he was broke the tape and started thinking about finding the bar. I was certainly thinking about the bar by then though...

[Thu, 19 Jul 2007 18:00] | [] | #

Off to the races

Whitstable races logo

So we're off to the races on Sunday. Not Ascot, Epsom, nor even Longchamps, but Whitstable here on the sunny Kent coast.

The Whitstable Races are a fund racing event run by the local Rotary club, and should be a hoot, as they feature pantomime horses rather than the usual flighty equines. The best bit is they're taking place on Tankerton Slopes right in front of the Marine hotel, so you can guess where I'll be if it rains!

[Fri, 22 Jun 2007 08:08] | [] | #

Racehorse name of the week

The name is Noble Ox, a nice pun if you're into English slang, and a particularly apt name for a gelding. It seems that the name has been banned though, oh well, or as Mr Lydon would say "never mind"...

[Fri, 09 Mar 2007 18:06] | [] | #

SXSW 2007

So Ewan, Matt and Carlo (and thousands of others) have the joys of SXSW awaiting them, I can't think of a similar cross-discipline event in the UK, perhaps the Edinburgh Festival comes closest. But that misses out on the techie angle, perhaps that's a situation for Ewan to fix!

One of the best parts of SXSW for me every year (as a bystander across the Atlantic) is the collection of mp3 tracks that showcase the music of the bands appearing at SXSW, Erik Smartt points you at the first tranche of tracks - 793 MP3 files. I wonder how many of these bands are going to appear on TPN Rock?

[Thu, 08 Mar 2007 20:58] | [] | #

Lost in the desert?

We recently spent a couple of weeks off on holiday, relaxing, swimming, basking in the sun, and generally mellowing out.

We were down in the depths of Andalucia, 20 minutes from the Med, in the bowl of hills that surround Lake Vinuela.

Plenty warm enough, mid to high 30s (and early 40s) for most of our stay, and plenty of local activities in the forms of various fieras in the surrounding villages.

In the meantime the folks on the Orange Project were playing with inflatable shapes down on the shores of the reservoir. Fun stuff, and bits of which you can see in Orange’s current tv campaign in the UK.

Bizarrely, the folks on the Orange Project claim to be in a desert, in the middle of nowhere, where it’s not rained for years. Sorry, but they’re not close with any of those claims. For starters where did they think the reservoir’s water came from? Maybe this reflects Orange’s disconnect from reality with their surreal animal-based tariff structure.

[Wed, 27 Sep 2006 12:57] | [] | #

The Fringe-Cast hits The Stage

Kudos to Ewan the kilt-meister for another great year’s coverage of the Edinburgh Fringe, including pulling off another monster first for podcasting, with The Stage backing the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast.

Many big media operations roll their own podcasts to cover big events, with frequently indifferent results and the major disadvantage of not having an established audience to kick-start the listening figures. The Stage however took the smart approach of hitching their bandwagon to Ewan’s BAFTA nominated Edinburgh Festival Fringe Podcast, good news all around. Getting the podcast featured on iTunes, and becoming a core part of the Festival Media Network means even more exposure too.

What’s the next trick up Ewan’s sleeve? Kerrang sponsoring TPN Rock?

[Mon, 28 Aug 2006 09:23] | [] | #

Crateman's Small World

crateman Mick (SplaTT) Stanic has been posting pics of crateman, a figure made from milk crates perched on a wall near East Richmond station (Victoria, Australia). An Aussie colleague (coincidentally named Cameron) was at first amused, then said “hang on, I used to live just up the road from there!”

Sure enough looking at the Melways map his house was only 3–4 roads away, and Cam's brother still lives there, so watch out for even more pics.

One thing this brings home is just how badly Australia needs decent online mapping, the ninemsn map Mick linked to is classic fugly Web 0.9 fare, and the Melway based one I used isn’t much better and features a very broken search engine. Where’s the Aussie version of Projectx and Zoomin?

[Wed, 29 Mar 2006 14:42] | [] | #

Four Things

Better never than late, or something like that anyway...

Frank tagged me ages ago, and I never got around to responding at the time, this response has been sitting half written for a few weeks, but I’ve finally completed it.

Four jobs I’ve had

Four movies I can watch over and over

Four places I’ve lived

Four TV shows I love(d)

Four places I’ve holidayed

Four of my favorite dishes

Four sites I visit daily

Four places I would rather be right now

Four bloggers I’m tagging

Weirdly 4 things are tricky to find, 1 or 2 would be easy, as would 6 or 7, but 4 is an odd number to collate, it's an amusing challenge though.

[Sat, 04 Mar 2006 22:00] | [] | #

Watching the skies

Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer

We’re eagerly watching the cool overcast skies this afternoon, Steve Fossett’s Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer is due to be passing over in the next couple of hours, and being only 20 miles from Kent International Airport (nee Manston) and smack bang on the likely approach we ought to get a decent view. I suppose the big question is whether it’ll be passing us under power or gliding the final approach?

If it all goes pear-shaped I guess we’ve got a grandstand seat…

[Sat, 11 Feb 2006 15:09] | [] | #

Ewan's up for a BAFTA!

Ewan Spence BAFTA nominee

Ewan’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast on The Podcast Network was great listening over the summer, 19 shows over a manic three week period. A vital guide to the best shows if you were at the Fringe, and a lovely way to feel connected if you couldn’t get to Edinburgh. Reviews, interviews and ad-hoc lunacy encapsulated the whole event on your iPod.

The fact that the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast eclipsed nearly all other Fringe coverage on Google probably indicates just how highly Ewan and the TPN team were appreciated and loved by other netizens.

A nomination for this year’s Scottish BAFTA awards in the Best Interactive Media category is really the icing on the cake. Where next? An award for discovering great new bands on the TPN Rock Show?

[Wed, 02 Nov 2005 12:53] | [] | #

Galveston, Rita and backups

So Rita has landed and as I write this she's making quite a mess of Galveston, my hosting provider is Texas based, so if this blog goes off the air you'll know what's happened.

I've got plenty of backups in part down to Gustaf's shell script to backup to Gmail which works nicely for blosxom, pyblosxom and even my wiki, in fact any file based cms (that's not vast) can use this backup approach.

As they always say you can never have too many backups, and off-site storage can be essential, you never know what might happen to your PCs...

[Sat, 24 Sep 2005 09:27] | [] | #

London, Kentucky? What?!!

More evidence of Ben's missing clause today. First off, the FEEDSTER Top 500 "a ranking of the most interesting and important blogs in the US". Ok, they are using the clause, except they really don't appear to understand it. A casual perusal of the list spits out an historical London diarist, a Japanese VC, an English BBC technologist, a Surrey based Podcaster, the British Broadcasting Corporation's Backstage project, and a plethora of Canadian sites. Surely some mistake?

And then the clause twists around and bites itself on the arse again from the other side. Amazon's A9 search project does a little more Google-aping with the beta release of their A9 Maps project, I assume they attempt to do a little IP sleuthing when the site starts up, because it tries to open the initial map based on where it thinks you are. The trouble is that this sleuthing is on the stupid side of broken, opening the site from a London, UK based computer returns a map centred on London, Kentucky!

Nice work lads, if you work for A9 here's a couple of hints. London, UK: Population 7.4 million 20th biggest City in the world, bigger than every US city other than the septic sprawl of New York City. London, KY: Population 5.4 thousand, small enough to be considered a village in the real world, a tenth of the size of the small town I live in, barely big enough to appear on the map. Which one would you choose if someone said "I'm in London"?

Maybe these people think that Paris, Texas is the haute couture capital of the world...

Update: Thanks to Scott (Johnson) and Scott (Rafer) of Feedster for pointing out that the "US" terminology was merely a mistake, what they really meant was the list was mainly Anglophone. As an Englishman I could happily say it was an English list and the ambiguity of whether I meant English language or English nationality would cover my arse, there's no similar fudge room for the Feedster guys. Thanks for the comments guys, if anyone has comments on the Feedster 500, the feedback paths suggested by Scott Rafer are the best route.

Rui's spotted some A9 maps oddities too, let's hope they fix it soon.

[Tue, 16 Aug 2005 20:49] | [] | #

Fringe-casting - Edinburgh Fringe Podcast preview show

Something I forgot to mention about Ewan's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast yesterday was that the first show is already up on The Podcast Network ready to download: The Edinburgh Fringe Podcast 2005 - #001.

Good stuff, it's a preview show giving you a taste of how next week is going to pan out, especially interesting to me was the interview with Tommy Sheppard of Edinburgh comedy club The Stand, with mind boggling numbers about how his club has grown over the years and great details on how to take part.

Martin makes a few interesting points in his post about the Fringe-Cast, and mentions two good spots for free wifi in central Edinburgh, I suspect Ewan's going to be setting up camp in the Jolly Judge for the festival period, so if you spot him (he's hardly inconspicuous) buy him a pint!

[Tue, 02 Aug 2005 13:14] | [] | #

Fringe-casting? More Ewan watching

The Edinburgh Fringe starts next week, four weeks of culture, comedy, and lunacy. The World's biggest arts festival. It's nice to see that Ewan is adding his own twist to the mix with the Edinburgh Fringe Show providing daily coverage of the Fringe.

It really is festival season!

[Mon, 01 Aug 2005 13:25] | [] | #

Week 5 of Lard-Watch

Plus ça change, etc...

Another flat(ish) week, teetering around a half kilo loss, but given that's only a pint of water that's hardly here or there. Then again given the number of pints in the last week, I'm quite happy to stay level.

[Thu, 28 Jul 2005 22:53] | [/Lard-Watch] | #

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