Up, down, up, down

My modem is being silly again. I’m sure it’s psychic… My little 486 IP Masq machine runs diald, so I don’t have to mess around forcing it to dial whenever I want to go online. All I have to do is open a browser and enter the address, wait a while, press reload, and the page appears. There’s a 10 minute timeout so I have chance to read the pages that download… Thing is, I’ll read a page/go to the toilet/get food, come back and *just* as I am about to click on another link… *click* the thing hangs up! Then, because this is BT Internet it takes another 5 tries to connect… If ADSL wasn’t so expensive, windows-orientated (USB is NOT a handy bus for sending network data down, it’s for mice and keyboards and other faffy things, not network cards, hard drives, scanners, or software-only modems), and plain crap (you cannot transfer it if you move house, you have to buy it all over again) I’d have it.

I spent 3 hours last night cleaning our kitchen floor… It took 3 hours because since the floor is new a special stripper needs applying to remove the excess glue and cack that sticks to newly laid floors. This stripper isn’t allowed to dry (not sure why, but they pointed this out twice using bold text, so who am I to argue?) so you do the floor in small parts. The stripper needs leaving for 10 minutes to do its thing, then you wash it off. Our floor split itself into 6 parts…

I don’t know whether it was the fumes from the cleaner, or the fact it was 1am by the time I’d finished, but I decided to have a drink. I’ve now managed to invent the worst tasting drink ever… Take a glass, add an amount of Blackcurrant cordial, add an amount of vodka that’s been sitting in an old wine bottle for a week. Take a sip, try to suppress shuddering reflex, add more cordial, take another sip, throw away very quickly. It tasted worse than the lemon-stuffed green olives I once had.

At work I managed to implement a network protocol that I’d invented. And because I invented it, it worked 🙂 I’m now attempting to code something that encodes data and sends it using my protocol. The spec I am following is confusing and contradicts itself! (in one part it says to use MSB->LSB byte ordering, then in another part it says to use LSB->MSB byte ordering! Little-endian is slightly irritating when you are constructing bytes of data from individual bits. Instead of counting from 0 and going up to 7, you count from 0 and go down to 7 since the MSB comes first when written left-to-right)

OK modem… dial!

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
road).

cat /mnt/University/ANN > /dev/brain

Yes, more revision. Whoopee… Monday’s exam is Artificial Neural Networks. I don’t mind this subject, it’s quite interesting. Unfortunately a large part of it consists of chomping through pages of equations with nothing more than a scientific calculator (and I can’t use my Palm since the examiners wipe any programmable calculators). I’ve got my trusty Casio calculator that survived all of my School, College, and then my sister’s GCSEs. It has no screws holding it together and the screen comes off, but it can still add and tell me what (2/1+e^(-1*net))-1 is.

Had great fun attempting to buy Emily some plane tickets. You think there’d be an easy way of buying tickets for someone who doesn’t live in the same country as you… Expedia wanted to relieve me of £1100, which is just a little expensive. She found a local (to her) travel agent website thing that if she goes via Canada only costs £500 (which is still expensive, but affordable). They faxed me the booking form, I managed to delete it from our fax (it ran out of ink, and wouldn’t stop saying “Cartridge: 1 – new, 2 – old”, despite me pressing ‘1’. In the end I pressed the ‘stop’ button which sorted things out… it even displayed a message to tell me how sorted it was : “fax cancelled” aaargh!. I can program in more languages than I speak, and know which end of a soldering iron gets hot, but confront me with 10 buttons and an LCD screen and I’m lost :), I asked them to resend it and it got lost (you can fax to the US, but they can’t fax to us… very strange). I managed to get into work without setting any alarms off and sent the confirmation fax back at 11pm last night (oh, did I forget to mention I don’t own a faxmachine and haven’t worked out how to stop sendfax sending things 1/4 their original size?)…

Suppose I should get back to revision. Revision is very strange. It’s the process of going through everything you’ve done that year, working out what you know, and frantically re-learning things you don’t.

This will be a good test of my diary too… let’s see if it can handle a long entry 🙂

Weird

Looks like my diary works again now. It wouldn’t let me post messages the last time I tried.

I really should re-write this site, it’s held together with spit and string. Well-written spit-and-string mind you, but this code is over a year old and now have some free time to fiddle. I just wish there was something more interesting than the overused Slashdot-style site layout. Maybe I’ll have a flash of inspiration and invent the Next Big Thing (or, since I can’t create nice looking sites to save my life, probably fail and make something bright red on green 🙂

Oh, and I’ve finished University! I’ve got four exams to do, and that’s it. No more… ever. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! My group project has been written up (it isn’t funny running out of printer paper at 5:30am, nor is it funny having to print your 70 page report out twice because the University want two copies).

If you’re a member of The LBC mailing list hello! I know someone there has looked at this page before 🙂