Archive for July, 2005


Saturday, July 30th, 2005

Mechenlen station tannoy is playing the new nin album.

A kid just got rugby tackled by three station staff, after an immense struggle he managed to get away having lost his hoody.


Saturday, July 30th, 2005

In Utrecht Centraal as well as there being a free wireless network network there is also a pay as you go KPN one which instead of just sending you to the “Please pay me lots of money now” page lets you see the NS home page which you can use to check train times.


The Netherlands

Friday, July 29th, 2005

Things you have got to love about The Netherlands:

Where else could you get cheese bacon onion and curry sauce pancakes in a restaurant?

On conference.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005
  • Another day, another 6 inches of conference proceedings.
  • Conferences seem largely to be a waste of time, 90% of people are here not to publish their work to their peers but to gain the recognition of having published their work in a conference.
  • The chore of talking to to these people (who may I add include myself) is not made up for by the free booze and stodgy food.
  • I have found myself giving out advice to people, quite a bit actually, its a bad habit.
  • basically they are series of badly written bullet points which have no relation to one another.
  • wibble

Not in the headlines

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Every second Thursday now officially declared “walk to work” day (or walk home fromwork day).

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

It is my birthday in 10 days (an inauspicious day on which nothing much has ever happened and is not shared with anybody famous as far as i can tell). I will be 26 and strangely this feels neither old or young so I suppose I have the license to exercise both the blind optimism of youth and the jaded pessimism of approaching middle age.

Blind optimism: I really want to sail around the world. While was reading “that bloody book” I spent a couple of hours last night looking at cheap yachts on yachtworld ( where cheap is less than £10,000 ) and found one which is currently moored in the great lakes. Did you know that it is possible to navigate the 500 or so miles of inland waterways to get from any of the great lakes to newfoundland? It would be totally amazing to sail up the Niagara and out into the Atlantic. I’ve always wanted to see the Magdalen islands (famous because more of its early population came from the victims of nearly 400 shipwrecks than from “intentional” settlers).

Jaded pessimism: The boat will probably be full of holes by the time i get there, i don’t really know how to sail, even if i did buy the boat i would have nothing to live off. doesn’t like boats.

remember the rain forests?

Saturday, July 16th, 2005

I always remember being told that an area the size of wales had been deforested in the amazonian basin. Thanks to google maps, i think I’ve found it. (compare with wales at the same scale).

We used to live in Southdown, which is not the nicest part of Bath (next to a big council estate, people trashing cars and bikes around and hoards of kids causing trouble) one of the most attractive features of Southdown is the fact that the kids (who hang around outside the co-op) frequently ask you to buy booze and fags and then shout abuse when you decline. This afternoon I went to the co-op. on Julian Road to buy some ice-cream, outside a couple of teenage girls who can’t have been more than 13 , they did ask me to buy them some booze, but they were so extremely polite about it. “Excuse me, are you going into the co-op?”.. “yes..” ..”umm sorry to bother you, but would you mind buying us some alchohol? We have some money..” (wields five pound note). Now that is breeding for you…

Saturday, July 16th, 2005

Hmm occasionally BBC news 24 runs “World news tonight” from the US ABC network, the fact that its all about the UK this week is a bit weird.

My favourite part was when they interviewed a woman in a hijab who was outside a happy shopper in Leeds, and explaining how muslims in the UK are a bit like hispanics in the US (i suppose without the broad northern accents, and with fewer piñatas ).

Graphics programing

Friday, July 15th, 2005

For some reason when it comes to simple graphics programming most people are reduced to the level of l8mer BASIC programming.

I’m trying to /fix/ a map display applet (why a fucking applet in the first place?) its not a completely trivial problem, as you have to deal with mapping between viewport coordinates, map coordinates and tile coordinates (the map has several levels of detail) but still the original programmer was obviously hit with this problem and instead of sitting down and spending 5 minutes thinking about it (or re-writing the code when they had finished) they just went to it… I count about 5 cases of unnecessary data duplication (like storing all of the coordinates in three different classes…) as well as some complete random abuse of the MVC model too (so zoom level is stored in the Document class, but the coordinates of the nodes to be displayed are stored in the view… oh no thats only their view coordinates they are stored again in map coordinates in the document.

Big sigh


Thursday, July 14th, 2005

Forgot my password for my virgin mobile account and typed in incorrectly too many times, so I rang them up and got them to reset it (cost 10p to speak to a real person). Shortly afterwards logged in to their fairly dire web site and looked at my account balance, The bit which says “Your balance £486.21″ was the bit that was worrying me (my usual monthly bill is £8-£10) , so I phoned them up again (cost 10p) and asked them what was going on, to which they replied “Oh there is something wrong with our whole billing system, lots of the figures are wrong, your actual bill is £4.56″… I asked if i could have my 10p back, to which they said no. I suppose I could write them a letter (cost 29p)…