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Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 09:25

Getting involved with Armaleggan and the folk scene in general has re-awakened my need to make music again. Over the last couple of years I've been gradually amassing bits of musical techy bits, MIDI controllers, amps, effects pedals etc. To be fair, I haven't really done much with them other than dust them off every few months, have a quick tinker and them put them back to bed again. This weekend that all changed...

For some reason on Saturday morning I felt inspired to record a song. Given that the performance I did of it at Wallingford Bunkfest went down pretty well, I thought I'd do a cover of Superman's Song by Crash Test Dummies. I've been playing this one for a hell of a long time so I figured it would be an easy one to get back into recording again. It took the majority of the day to get used to Cakewalk Sonar again, but I'm pretty happy with the results. (which you can check out here: ...
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Friday, November 11, 2011 - 16:11

It all began last night when I got a text from an unknown number. At first I ignored it. Then, after the second message, I decided to respond in order to let the person know that they had the wrong number. This seemed entirely reasonable to me as I wouldn't like them to think that they were being ignored by a loved one. The conversation went as follows (all sic):

Yesterday, 17:05 (unknown): Think i no dem not sure x
Today, 08:44 (unknown): Babe miss yu soo much want you wid me now x :(
Today, 13:34 (me): You know what. I really think you've got the wrong number.
Today, 13:34 (unknown): Watt :s
Today, 13:49 (me): Well... who's number do you think this is?
Today, 13:49 (unknown): Dishven x
Today, 13:52 (me): Nope... sorry. You definitely have the wrong number.
Today, 14:03 (unknown): No i dont have da song numba x
Today, 14:53 (me): I assure you that you do.
Today, 15:...
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 15:21
So, what's the first blog going to be about... Ummm... errrr... That is all...
Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 23:15

The first impression you get from Richard Stallman is that of a slightly eccentric grandfather figure. Despite the slightly belated entrance into a room comprised of geeks of all shapes and sizes you can physically feel the palpable excitement associated with the arrival of The Last of the True Hackers. The general hubbub is quieted as he enters the room, removes his shoes and dons a radio mic. All eyes turn to the front of a packed and sweaty lecture theatre, recently vacated by a handful of students and the gathered assemblage awaits the first utterances.

Almost as quickly as he arrived he is gone once again. The audience burst into spontaneous applause coupled with nervous laughter. After a few more minutes he is back at the podium and a brief conversation debating the merits of an introduction takes place between the organisers before Stallman takes matters into his own hands and begins his speech.

What follows is a cutting indictment of pretty much...

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Sunday, October 9, 2011 - 19:22
Only a week to go at the council now, and it concerns me that my todo list is actually getting longer rather than shorter. It amused me once again that I'm apparently someone who doesn't have any specialist skills, yet there was a meeting with eight people in one room trying to figure out how to cover my part time job. I really had hoped to have a little time to create a blogspot module for Drupal before I started my new job so I could hit the floor running, but that doesn't seem likely now with the amount of work I need to do.

Which leads me nicely into the beginning of my second year of study for my BSc in Computing. I've done one module over the summer and that is coming to an end next Wednesday with my final EMA. I must admit that this has been more frustrating and indeed more work that any of the modules I did  last year. The course is M253 Team Working in Distributed...

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Friday, September 23, 2011 - 11:34

So... it's all change once again.

Due to an internal restructure at the County Council my job no longer exists. Well... It's a tad more complicated than that, but the net result is the same: I'm moving on. Happily it was a very short job hunting process. Out of the several jobs I applied for I got offered two roles and decided to go for a job as a PHP Drupal Developer for www.webcurl.co.uk.

 I'm now working out my notice at the council and trying to get the Local Information System as good as it can be before I leave. However I fear for its future given the lack of people available to provide the support that it needs in order to continue. It makes me a bit sad to leave it behind as it's been my main focus at work for the last 3 years and we were just starting to really get somewhere with it. There's tons to do but I'm finding it difficult to maintain the enthusiasm...

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Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 21:26

Yeah... and then some...

So... updates... Still working for the County Council albeit just for now. An internal restructure and gross under estimation of what I do means that I am gazing across the fence to pastures new. Hopefully I'll get something fun and open-sourcy, but it's entirely likely I'll end up in a Microsoft development house somewhere. Out of the two interviews so far I've had one offer, but it didn't seem like a good fit more me so I ended up turning it down.

I've spent a lot of time at folk festivals over the last couple of years and decided it was high time I joined in. So, last weekend, at wallingford bunkfest I took my guitar and joined in, not just with the music, but with the dancing too. Net result being that I'm now a member of a border Morris side. So keep your eye's peeled for my public debut.

Loads more stuff going on in terms of app development and all manner of other stuff, so I'll make a concerted effort to post a bit more...

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Monday, June 14, 2010 - 15:42
To set the scene, I have just tried to book a place for my daughter's summer holiday child care... To say it did not go well is an understatement. Rather annoyed now.

Me: Hi, I'd like to book a space for my daughter on your summer campSOLL program.
Them: I'm afraid you can't book that until the start of July.
Me: Oh, because we were under the impression that you could book up to a year in advance now.
Them: We've never said that...
Me: Oh... Okay.... Never mind then... Thanks.

So I hang up, but it niggles me because I swear they told us we could book in advance. Off I go to the web site and find this: http://www.soll-leisure.co.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=c_news.showArticle&articleID=172

Note about 2/3rds of the way down the page it says: Camp SOLL runs throughout every school holiday...
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 11:28
In my haste to transfer the current version of XDeck to a liveCD and persistent USB installation I inadvertently broke the entire thing with the boot sequence terminating in a kernel panic stating: "kernel panic - not syncing : VFS: unable to mount root FS on
unknown-block(2,0)". After much googling, tweaking and general fidgeting nothing seemed to resolve the issue. I tried rebuilding the kernel; checking device maps, boot scripts, fstabs and all manner of other things to no avail before I eventually decided to give up. A quick dd later and the failed attempt has been backed up to a disk image so I can retrieve any files later on down the line and set about rebuilding the whole damn thing.

So I figured it would be a good idea to document the process here so that I have some kind of record if things go wrong further down the line.

My Aim: To create a distribution of Linux that can be run as either a liveCD or persistent USB...

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Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 11:00
What happened there? I'm sure it was February only yesterday?

March appears to have flashed by in a blur of birthdays, more conferences and endless data.

Creative output has been next to nothing this month, but I've been very busy with work and computing projects. At the start of March I attended a conference on Managing Public Sector Information which had some really interesting talks from the likes of Dr Ian Wilson, former Chief Librarian and Archivist of Canada, and Andrew Stott, Director of Digital Engagement for the Cabinet Office. I had a particularly useful discussion with Steve Brandwood about the...
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