c u l8r (and other bad grammar)

The BBC must be running short of ideas. There’s a TV program on about SMS. WHY?!. There’s now an ‘X-Rated’ version where they show all the ‘naughty’ SMS messages that are going round (which look great on a Nokia phone, but if you’re not a sheep and own a non-Nokia they’re totally meaningless).

Aww no! There’s two people who met each other over SMS. *gag* *puke*

I think I’ll buy a bike tomorrow. Walking to work is fine and everything, I just can’t be bothered walking home, and it takes too long (also I can’t spontaneously decide to take another route home and go as fast as I can down a steep hill). Halfords of all places sells one that seems OK (although buying a bike from Halfords feels a little like getting a PC from Dixons. 6 months interest free credit is quite nice though).

Banners be gone!

Just installed The Internet Junkbuster, fetched a blocklist and now my browsing experience is so much better. I can read Dilbert without having to look at 3 large banner ads.

We had our general election. Very boring and organised affair. Nothing interesting happened, we’re stuck with Labour again.

I have now properly finished Uni, I went in on Thursday and gave a talk to our project supervisor, the person who set the project, and an independent person (who’s sole purpose was to keep time). Before this we (as a group) demonstrated our project. It worked! Well, the messageboard we’d created didn’t, so out of desperation we pressed the ‘reset database’ button we’d created and… success!. Went out after for food, there’s a great Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurant on Witworth Street, Manchester (it’s next to an NCP carpark, opposite the casino). I managed to eat three platefuls of pretty good quality food, then a bowl of what was supposedly ‘grass jelly’ but turned out to be normal, boring orange jelly. Coconut agar jelly is a bit weird, it has no flavour and would bounce if dropped on the floor.

I have downloaded my website to my home PC and am editing it there. So far I’ve fixed the filtering controls on the top of this page. I think I’ll re-do my file downloads section next.

I’m going to buy an Asus Geforce2 MX dualhead graphics card and a second monitor. I want two screens! (we have a PC with two at work and it’s just so easier when you can have two full-screen programs running).


Just finished hacking around with our group project again. It’s almost finished, just a few bits to tidy up. It’s midnight and I’m sleepy.

Phoned Planet Talk to have a whinge at them. Was kind of deflated by the poor connection I had. I could hear myself about 1 second after I spoke, and it was louder than the person on the other end of the phone. She said there was no direct debit set up on my account. I said “Yes there is”, she said “oh… oh yes, there it is”. Yesterday the nice collection agency sent me another letter! This time asking for money I’d already paid to PT! PT told me to ignore the letter, so I shall. If the collection agency phone, I’ll tell them the same thing.

I suspect I’ll be phoning them this time next month when it all starts again.

Our kitchen is finished! The floor looks nice. If I had a camera, there’d be a link to a picture of it. That reminds me, my cousin has my webcam and maybe it’s time I reminded him it was mine 🙂

Time to enable power-saving and sleep(25200), with an alarm set for 7am. I don’t own a real alarm (well I do, but It’s not plugged in), instead my PC assaults me with music at a pre-set time using XMMS and the Alarm plugin for it. It’s great, I avoid the shite local radio stations and get to listen to something I like.

Useless Talk

Despite me telling them not to, Planet Talk have set up a Direct Debit on my account! This is amazing! It’s only taken them 8 months, three threatening letters to me from Credit Solutions, and several phonecalls. In the end I wanted to give up and pay with cheque… So maybe I should phone them and say “I want to pay with direct debit”.

Oh well, it’s now Their Fault if they can’t withdraw the 4 I owe them…

I’m at Uni, meeting with the other members of my project group in preparation for The Interrogation on the 6th. I have to spend half an hour justifying my work on the project and why we did it this way (UNIX and Perl) and not some other way (Windows and ASP probably). I wonder how many sneaky digs at Microsoft I can get in in 30 minutes. Place your bets please 🙂

If you laid all the computers in this room end-to-end they’d stretch across one wall. This room is only 4×18 metres long and there are:

  • 14 Intel machines (naff 486s with Minix on, two P166s with Linux, the rest a nasty mix of NT, 98 and 2000)
  • 6 Acorn RISC PC600s (what a weird computer)
  • 7 Sun SparcStation 1s in Pizza-box cases
  • 2 empty tower cases
  • 1 dot matrix printer

This room gets hot…

The kitchen is finished. The Kitchen Man has gone, the Floor Man is now doing his thing with self-levelling floormix and tiles.

(That last paragraph was a sneaky test of this diary’s Update function 🙂

It’s a bank holiday

…which means “rain like hell!”. It was sunny and warm all week, right up until Friday. Then it started raining. It still is.

Since I managed to get the TV-Out on my Asus V3800 working I installed Quake 3 again. I then downloaded GTKRadiant and began mapping. It’s fun, and so much easier now I have a proper map editor
and a slightly faster computer (I used to edit Quake maps on a P166MMX and it was a bit slow). The lighting takes forever though.

Still raining 🙂 It doesn’t flood up here, we have a large floodplain that it runs into, you might have heard of it, it’s called The South Of England.

There’s too many politicians on telly doing weird things with babies and spouting complete rubbish. I think there should be a ‘None of the above’ box on every voting form and people be made to vote.

Watched the riot in Oldham on the morning news yesterday. Quite weird seeing places you know on the TV (Oldham is about 3 miles down the

init(void (*pParam)(char *, void *),void *ppParam)

I’m at work writing code. I’m having a great time working out how to write Windows programs using MS Visual C++. Networking is so simple in UNIX. In VC++ it is really weird, you don’t just create sockets, bind them to ports and send data down them, you have to create a connection class that inherits from AsyncSocket, then define callbacks for OnAccept and OnReceive.

Decided using function pointers would make the code I was writing more general (and not specific to this particular program I’m writing). It does, but the code is all weird now with pointers to pointers and pointers to functions that accept pointers… I think I’ll write some documentation just to make sure it is sane.

On with the fun 🙂

rsync –preserve -avz ftp.slackware.com::/slackware/slackware-current

I thought I’d give my unmetered net access a workout by syncing my local copy of slackware-current with the real one. So far I’ve been downloading every night for three days (not 3 days solid, I have to turn my PCs off during the day because of the kitchen man) and I’m up to the n1 diskset. I cheated and downloaded the x1 and xap1 sets at work over ISDN.

I might give GRUB a go. The idea of not having to re-run Lilo every time I change the kernel sounds nice (There’s nothing worse than seeing ‘LI’ on your screen… “Where’s that bootdisk? Oh, I never made one… oops”)

Our kitchen looks nice. It’s got an oven with all sorts of dials and LCD displays on it, and we have cupboards on the walls.

My ongoing ‘fun’ with Planet Talk continues. They have this wonderful policy of referring you to a collection agency if you don’t pay them. They seem to have real problems making direct debits work with my account, so I keep getting interesting letters from collection people. I phoned them and asked for my bills to be paid by cheque. “Sure, I’ll see it is done”. This month’s bill arrived and written on the bottom was:

By being a direct debit customer, the blah blah blah

AAAARGH! I shall phone them tomorrow. It’ll make a nice change to telling telesales people to go away (they’re so rude “What’s your fax number?”. No introduction or anything. I’ve now armed myself
with a caller ID phone and an answering machine. I think for fun I might say “we don’t have a fax machine” to see what they say 🙂

mmmmm! Ramen… (well, UK 11p equivalent)

We’re in the process of having our kitchen replaced. In there now is:

  • A sink
  • A fridge/freezer
  • Lots of mess

There’s no worksurfaces, table, plaster on the walls, or proper flooring.

I have my last exam today at 2pm. Software Engineering Measurement.

Read the Coffee mini howto, and some of the links in it. I’m going to build a fan controller for my PC. It’ll let me (through some sort of GNOME interface – been meaning to learn GNOME programming for ages) turn on/off all the noisy fans in my PC’s case. I’ll somehow make it monitor lm_sensors and turn off if the temperature of my PC goes low, or somehow work out when the computer has gone to sleep and turn them all off then.

This is where having a ‘sacrificial’ PC lying around is useful. The device will link to my printerport, and I don’t want to melt the one in my Celeron.

I’d best shut my PCs down, the kitchen man might chop a wire or want to wire up those plug-sockets he left hanging out the walls. It’s about to go very quiet in this room and all the lights in Manchester will get brighter 🙂