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quidity (1296)

quidity
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http://the.earth.li/~alex/
Jabber: quidity@jabber.earth.li

A relapsing reformed physicist.

Journal of quidity (1296)

Wednesday June 01, 2005
07:57 PM

New Toys

Journal transitioning to http://the.earth.li/~alex/halley/halley.rss

I've still not found a place to lay my head, hang my hat or lie in of a Sunday. I think I'm still missing rooms by a fine margin, and may have to wait until the last minute before one sorts itself out (the fantastic distance and near certainty of intercepting rush hours somewhere along the way isn't helping).

But, I'm not in the least bit bothered, because I've been shopping....

First off, I've got a shiny new kite (Ozone Samurai) which should be general purpose enough to fly in most sane conditions. So far the wind has been taunting me. First there's none, then there's too much, then there's none, then I'm busy, then... well, there's been enough to get the lines on and see it in the sky a bit before stalling back to the green earth.

Then there's electronic magicalness. An IDE to USB converter lets me use great, stonking, huge and cheap internal hard drives as removeable media. I'm let down slightly by hateful software, there being nothing but Windows to write NTFS, and no decent UFS/ext3 drivers for Windows. I'm sticking for the moment with NTFS, as at least I can read that on the FreeBSD box, and write to it elsewhere.

To this I've added (in a moment of not reading the specs properly) an mp3 player that can't actually play mp3s. It's one of these Sony network walkman thingies, and it only wants to play music that it's been given by Sony's own software. It mainly deals in ATRAC format, which doesn't deserve much more discussion as I really can't be bothered re-ripping all my CDs just to put them on this. It can do mp3, but only after it's mangled them. Thankfully the mangling seems to be fairly rubbish, so I might have a crack at doing it myself, so gaining the ability to fill the player with music from FreeBSD and, in fact, anywhere else with Perl and USB drivers installed. Oh, and it's a lovely pink colour, which is mostly (if not entirely) really why I got it.

And finally there's the duct tape (not a toy, but a toy-enabler), a stash of rechargable batteries, two pairs of fresh glasses and a nuclear mug to replace the one I left in San Diego.

This purchasing frenzy is probably ended for the time being, as I've still little idea about what I should take with me, what might be there already, what will break, what will last, and what I'll take but ignore the whole time. People who've been before should be a great help in sorting those sorts of questions out, and I've still plenty of time before my bags need to be packed.

Saturday May 28, 2005
08:30 PM

Back to Square One

Journal transitioning to http://the.earth.li/~alex/halley/halley.rss

Oh well, spent much of Friday off work heading to Cambridge in the crushing heat of my never cool Clio. I'm not fond of the A40, not fond of the M40, not fond of the M25, not fond of the M11 and not fond of Cambridge's repulsive ring roads. Worse, the radio's broken leaving me with only three CDs to time my baking in endless queues. Driving, I suspect, I shall not miss. I am not fond of driving.

At the end of my trail, the house I'd hoped for wasn't any of the houses I saw. I shall keep looking for something, a decent place is bound to turn up eventually. In a few days I could be back on the roads but will pack more music and wear a pair of shorts.

Cheltenham on a sunny day I will miss, windy winding walks covering Cleve Common. Packing in views of the Malverns, Cheltenham, the Severn Valley, sheep, (lunatic) golfers, burial mounds and Winchcombe. Finished off with lunch at the Rising Sun with views to the Black Mountains.

Thursday May 26, 2005
08:28 PM

Househunting & books

Journal transitioning to: http://the.earth.li/~alex/halley/halley.rss

The first major part of my journey (aside from fun form filling) is a few months in Cambridge where I'll learn about the systems deployed at Halley, get to know the people I'll be working with (both in England and at Halley), while remaining a little excited about the whole thing.

Cambridge is, though, not a good commute from Cheltenham, so living there is essential. To that end, I'm hunting houses (ssssh!). I might have found one that seems reasonable, and I'll be off to look at it on Friday. Hopefully it will turn out to be right, and my poorly car can be saved any more trips across the country. Houses are houses, though, and prone to confuse and confound, so the first part of this saga might go on for longer than really necessary.

I'm something of an avid reader, and for the time being I'm avoiding books about the polar regions, its explorers and its history as I expect I'll have both plenty of time, and plenty of books, available once I get myself there. I'm being a bit bad, though, and rereading my HP Lovecraft, scaring myself silly in the process. Any lapse into an archaic style should be excused, modern service will probably resume shortly...

Thursday April 28, 2005
06:27 PM

Got a job

Going to Antarctica to be a geek at large (er, Data Manager) sometime in November. So far have filled in many forms and been poked and prodded by members of the various branches of medical science.

Quite excited, too.

Saturday April 23, 2005
08:34 AM

Angry

NO, FIREFOX, I DON'T WANT TO INSTALL FLASH AND I DON'T WANT YOU TO REMIND ME EVERY TIME I LOAD A PAGE.

[ OK ] [ CANCEL ]

Sunday April 03, 2005
07:52 PM

Working Holiday

I went to Fountains Abbey where I planted snowdrops (on the left of that stream), cleared some woods and built a path by an octagonal tower. There were twelve of us and a good time was had by all. I've done these before, so I knew it would be good, but if you've not, then working holidays with the National Trust are well worth it.

Friday March 04, 2005
04:44 PM

As you are commanded

so you shall OBEY.

Monday January 24, 2005
06:52 PM

See sharp formula translations.

I'm doing a thing at the moment that needs a bit of C sharp (for the stealing of programmer effort wrapped in a COM object then given over to hot web services action). I'm coming to see the point of it, now, and had much fun reading through its specification this afternoon, which leads me to an important conclusion:

I like C#, if only because of its key words. Like calling a son David or Adam, any language reserving implicit for itself shows a proper regard for its distant heritage.

Sunday January 16, 2005
04:40 PM

Carnage

Well, that was fun. It rained when it looked like it wouldn't, and the river (Upper Dart and Loop) was up, as was the carnage...

Where 1 swim == 3 points, 1 rescue == 2 points and 1 roll == 1 point, a trip with only 18 people on it managed a very respectable 64 points in one day. In a slightly connected incident, I now have a large bruise on the front of my face and will greatly enjoy generating false histories for it when queried at work tomorrow.

Can also highly recommend the Forest Inn at Hexworthy, they've got a pretty good bunkhouse, very friendly staff, decent beer and tasty, good valued food. Also a very small fat dog.

Sunday December 12, 2004
01:02 PM

lpw slides

Running Away to C - London Perl Workshop slides on C, Perl and XS (also Powerpoint). (Motivational rather than educational.)

The rest of the workshop was much better, in particular the talks on obfuscation and utf8. One for entertainment value, the other for a couple of useful things that were mentioned. Thanks to the organisers, and Imperial for having us.