exo : blah


Tue, 24 Dec 2002

xmas tv

The two big differences to an Australian Christmas have thus far been the weather and the TV. I suspect these are related in as much as the weather here does not restrict you to indoor activities. Or at least incline you to them. As a result much less of a fuss is made of the TV selections available over the festive period. This may well be a good thing.

Xmas with the sunshine is not right though.

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Thu, 10 Oct 2002


Things I have learned about packing:

  • You can never have too much time
  • you can never have too many boxes
  • never use parcel force's call me service
  • Get written confirmation from your airline of how to pack odd things (say bikes) as then when they change their mind you can wave the letter at them

Still, in 24 hours I'll be on a plane to Sydney and I won't have to care about all this. Or rather any remaining issues with packing will be moot.

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Wed, 02 Oct 2002

Consumer Lust

It's been a long time since I've read about something and really wanted to own it but the Specialized Epic has done that. It's a mountain bike BTW.

Fortunately I don't have the money to spare for one at the moment.

Caveat: that link will take you to an intermediate page due to odd decisions the Specialized people have made. Select an option and you get to the right place.

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Tue, 24 Sep 2002

Not what I expected

The local evening news had a piece on last night about Iain Sinclair's new book including an interview with him. It was one of those moments when what a person looks like and what you expected really don't tie up at all. He looked, well, normal. Not at all like you'd expect from his writing which is not at all normal.

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Tue, 10 Sep 2002

Not a Blog

Like I care what this is labeled but some people do. They may have a point.

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Fri, 06 Sep 2002

I Quit

Handed in my notice at work last week to go spend a year or so in Australia.

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Fri, 06 Sep 2002

Empty Office

Due to a combination of holidays, illness, lunch and various other things I am the only one in our office right now. It's very odd.

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Mon, 12 Aug 2002

Recently Derelict

Went for a wander along by the Thames path the other day which passes through the North Greenwich Peninsula and it's actually quite cool round there. All the things built for the dome are now slowly going to ruin but it's all new enough to have the feel of one of those 70's sci fi plague films. Big empty expanses of car park and paths with weeds poking up through the tarmac. It's not really what the government had in mind for the area but I rather like it. And it's nice and quit which makes a change in London.

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Thu, 18 Jul 2002


Please someone explain to me exactly why introducing an HIV positive muppet into Sesame Street in the US would be a bad thing? And why is it even acceptable to object to it?

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Thu, 11 Jul 2002

Flaming Lip

After seeing the Flaming Lips last night several things occur:

  • Who would thing Dido is suitable music to play before the Flaming Lips come on stage?
  • What was it with the half dozen or so people I saw that upon leaving the gig went straight into the sex shop next door?
  • Bands dressed up as animals is the way forward.

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Wed, 10 Jul 2002

Proper Thumbnails

Finally got off my arse and re-did the photo thumbnail generation using Image Magick which isn't limited to 256 colours. Hence they look nice.

Now I just need to make the admin interface a bit more useable.

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Fri, 05 Jul 2002

4th July

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Thu, 04 Jul 2002


When I got in today our leased line and external phone lines where down due to a BT fault somewhere. That took till lunchtime to fix and when it was fixed it set off the fire alarm (it's connected to the phones). So we waited outside and played football in the street until the fire brigade turned up and confirmed there was no fire. On top of that the RAID on our Exchange server failed and the mirroring failed so backup is in progress and we're without mail till $later. Technology is shit.

I did at least confirm that I am still shit at football so not an altogether wasted day.

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Wed, 26 Jun 2002

Web Standards considered good

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Wed, 26 Jun 2002

Capitalism sucks

First Enron and now Worldcom. If you add in the long term rumblings about various other companies (e.g. Microsoft) who cook their books in more subtle ways then it doesn't lead to a lot of faith in the whole system.

And then there's the whole KPN Quest debacle as well. I'm more bitter about that as we host(ed) with them at work so made my working life hell for a few weeks.

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Tue, 11 Jun 2002

WorldCup eq Bad

Last time the World Cup was on I quite enjoyed it. Working for a sports related internet company has put paid to that. Dealing with live events really is no fun at all.

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Tue, 11 Jun 2002

Photos again

Finally got the photo thing working to my satisfaction. Need to tweak the navigation a bit but have got the CSS working as it should. Always put units in CSS width declarations :(.

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Wed, 29 May 2002


There's nothing like working late to turn the simplest of tasks into an epic struggle.

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Thu, 23 May 2002

More Photos

As ever it's the display that's the problem. If I was less commited to using only css for the layout it might be easier. I think my code needs to be cleverer than it is at the layout stage, or I need to rethink the layout.

As a minor iritation the version of GD on the server is a few versions older than on my laptop and a lot worse at doing the thumbnails. Maybe I'll need to do that locally and then push to the server.

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Thu, 23 May 2002

Just your favourite DJ Saviour

Saw DJ Shadow the other night. Inconceivably good. 4 turntables (2 of which were CD ones interestingly) and a sampler seemed to be about it and the most fantastic noises. Best gig in an age.

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Tue, 21 May 2002


So, I've been hacking away in the odd spare evening that I have in the last week at a nice database backed photo display system. It's such a difference to hack on your own stuff as there's no time pressure and you can build it how you want without having to work round silly design decisions someone else made. For me though the best part is that the admin interface can look as kludgy as hell as it's only me that has to use it. Building those things is my least favourite task.

All I need to do is make upload the database structure, scan enough photos in to make it worth having and then watch the bandwidth usage go up.

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Fri, 10 May 2002

Things not to do when drunk

Set up computer equipment.
Set mousetraps. It hurts.

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Mon, 06 May 2002


Almost everytime I listen to something by either the Frank and Walters or Teenage Fanclub I wonder why it is that people seem so unaware of them. Both of them make the kind of music that can't help but make you happy even if the subject matter isn't always. "Beauty becomes more than life" by the Frank and Walters is probably the most overlooked great album of the last five years.

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Tue, 30 Apr 2002


So, it's mayday tommorrow and there's the annual anti-globalisation protests in London. I've been on it on a few previous years and it's been interesting to compare the actuality with the news coverage. It's always been a lot less violent than you'd think from the news and had a very friendly atmosphere. Or at least untill the riot police start to turn up in force. It's amazing how disturbing a line of riot police marching towards you is. It certainly turns the atmosphere a lot more hostile.

Not that I'm going due to not being able to get off work (and I am aware of the irony of that) but I'll be doing the Critical Mass in the morning.

Amd for a quick guide to the hype in previous years see this Guardian Article

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Tue, 30 Apr 2002

ITV Digital and Football

With the demise of ITV Digital here largely due to not being able to pay for football TV rights I wonder when people are going to start asking the questions about how much longer football can sustain it's cost base. Or in fact sport in general given that there's a lot of grief in Australia over Australian Rules Football and how the smaller teams can pay the ever increasing player wage bill. And it's the player's wages that always seem to be the problem.

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Mon, 29 Apr 2002


I run a few mailings lists with Mailman and in general it's been fine. Only thing is the hosting company upgraded the server and since then I've not been able to get the web admin thing to work. This means that any admin things that come up I have to do using the command line stuff and it's not nice. At least not if you want to do anything more than subscribe or unsubscribe a user. It involves interactive Python things. Not at all friendly.

Should really devote some time to making the web interface work but it's one of those no useful error messages situattions. (And it's not the standard mailman wrong GID thing before you start :).

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Sun, 28 Apr 2002


Went to see Plaid, Coil and Mouse on Mars at the Barbican last night. Coil were the worst gig experience I've ever had. It's the first time I've ever left a gig. Was all fine for the first 15 minutes as they were just amusingly bad. Then they dedicated a song to "all the prisoners in the world" accompanied by a video from "the former Soviet Union, Kasikstan I think". Then to top the fact that he can't actually remember where the video was shot the song is just offensively trite.

The other two bands were great though.

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Fri, 26 Apr 2002

Critical Mass

Well, as expected, having decided to do the Critical Mass thing today it's wet. It seems like this happens every time I decide to do this. Not that it's going to stop me. I'll just get wet.

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Thu, 25 Apr 2002


So, having attempted to do the whole use perl journal thing and failed due to insufficient fully geek content I'm doing one here.

Mostly I've started after finding blosxom which did what I want and made it easy. Now I just need some content.

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all the usual copyright stuff... [ copyright struan donald 2002 - present ], plus license