Looking at Linux

linux penguinSo early last week i was looking at my blog site, just generally trying to figure what i want to do with this; its not the first time i have contemplated making changes – the fact is i have plenty to say but i like to keep things a bit separate – the kind of stuff i want to say to family doesn’t really apply to friends, and the stuff i want to say to close friends is different again, and then theres a whole level of stuff i want to journal just for myself. I have still been keeping a journal but it hasn’t been practical – i like to keep things together wherever i can.

My first thought was to go for SharePoint or O365 to do exactly what i want –  but it doesn’t really work out to be too cheap, and already at the beginning of the week i was considering moving things again. This is a hosted wordpress.com site – and i originally toyed with the idea of going back to the customised wordpress.org site i had and implementing the security model i had in mind with a little custom php.

Then i was talking to a good friend on Friday which kind of took me a little bit backwards in time, remembering when i tried out XOOPS and Drupal.  To cut a long story short i figured that its probably about time i reassessed those technologies – back when i looked at them in the past everything was a bit clunky.

This weekend i started looking at various Linux distributions again and it felt a bit like coming home after a long trip. Sure they all seem to have gone through significant improvements since the last time i looked at them but still the cores seem to remain the same.

I haven’t made my mind up exactly what i am going to do with all this just yet, For now, i am just seeing whats out there. It will probably be a few weeks before i make any decisions on how/if to start writing custom code again.

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Removing audio hum

I have a Logitech H390 Headset and was suffering from really bad audio hum. This video very quickly demonstrates both the problem and the solution. Enjoy.

Wacom Bamboo medium graphics tablet

I got to play with one of these today and was fairly impressed – Its a mid range tablet but is really good, though having never really used one before it takes some getting used to. I was using it connected into photoshop and was able to do some pretty detailed work with it. I’m actually considering getting one but to be Honest I worry about getting used to having such a thing – going to someone’s pc  when they don’t have one would become a pain after a while. I feel myself turning into a graphic designer sometimes. I would recommend this tablet to anyone though. It seems to be really nice, and doubles as a trackpad should you wish it to.

Tron legacy

Found a really fascinating albeit slightly geeky blog entry on the creation of the special effects in Tron Legacy, from one of the guys that worked on it.  I loved the film, as well as the original. I was delighted to see the original got a bit part in the newer movie and thought it had stunning special effects.
 

Click here to open

 
 

Gowalla to die

So Gowalla has been purchased by Facebook which means the service will be ramped down in January. Gowalla was a multi platform app that enabled you to create places on a map and then check in. You could see when other people had visited a place, read comments, keep track of your friends – I wasn’t much of a user but it was pretty cool, and I admit I liked getting a badge every time I visited a new country. For me the app doesn’t see to run on the iPad anymore so maybe it’s gone already. Gobbled up by the evil empire.

The BBC’s 30th Birthday

So its the 30th birthday of the bbc micro – the BBC ran a story this morning which really warmed my heart. You can see it here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15969065

Ive already blogged about the bbc and the profound impact that it had on me, here:

http://owenrichardson.com/2011/02/05/the-bbc-micro-my-humble-beginnings/

Acorn never was a huge company but the BBC was an awesome product and it deserves some attention. At 400 pounds it wasnt cheap, but i really do owe my career to it – the memory of unpacking it is one that will be with me for the rest of my life.

Funnily enough I was talking about the BBC micro with matt yesterday – Thanks Matt for bringing this to my attention.

 

Cable Service Providers

First song of the day – we belong – pat benetar. I like this one :)

I managed to miss stephen hawkings alien documentary yesterday which apparently was on time travel. Hopefully it will be on during the week. Probably at 3am or something which reminds me I need to sort out my recording capabilities at home. At the moment I am using a scart connector into a phillips DVD/HDD recorder. Which would have been super a few years back but now sucks; especially recording a HD channel. That reminds me I really want to get my cable subscription sorted – I cannot believe some of the tv channels out there. If we want proof of aliens we just need to figure out who watches Silver HD. Comhem are actually a customer; I wonder if there’s a way I can get anything cheap there… Their tv guide often goes offline and I have had enough troubles to consider changing them; they arent really that bad, I remember having hassle with telia too.

I have a tele2 line laid into my appartment (by the council) I thought that would be a cheap service but when I phoned and asked the prices were sky high and they weren’t helpful. Then a guy turns up last week trying to sell a service. I almost felt sorry for him. The company had paid for all that work and got nothing. If they had only let their own customer service know that they were planning to do a special deal because they had hooked up the whole building. If u was that sales guy I would be annoyed.

I’m going to cheat a little with work today. I’m going to spend an hour with a cup of coffee, writing audio notes for myself – and maybe my nr 2. I got to stop calling him that. His name is Matt, glen calls him door matt.

I used to think the world was divided up into shepards and sheep; I was wrong- it’s divided into thinkers, non thinkers and over thinkers I’m probably the latter of the two.

A random American who ive never spoken too marked one of my blogs like a week or so back. Someone I don’t know read and liked my post how cool is that! I think I am mellowing out a bit. A few years back I would consider it an invasion of privacy, but then a few years back it would have been.

Introducing the IBM 701

This is the IBM 701 – IBMs first ever mass produced mainframe, officially launched in May 21st 1952.

Its spec was as follows:

 System performance Electrostatic storage capacity: 20,480 digits.Magnetic drum capacity: 81,920 digits.Magnetic tape capacity: More than 8 million digits without changing tape.Addition and subtraction: More than 16,000 operations per second.Multiplication and division: More than 2,000 operations per second.Tape reading and writing speed: 12,500 digits per second.Drum reading and writing speed: 8,000 digits per second.Printed output: 180 letters or numbers per second.Punched card input: 600 digits per second.Punched card output: 400 digits per second.

….that was 58 years ago; of course IBM were not the first, there were mainframes going all the way back to 1942 but when you compare the size and speed of that thing to my iphone you start to realise that how incredibly fast technology is moving.

Weve only had our calendar for 2000 years, it was the year 1600 that an englishman coined the term electric (it wasnt Benjamin Franklin) – in point of fact it was the greeks that really discovered electricity – banging rocks together. the world moves so fast

Our history spans 5000 years, and the earth is four billion years old. we are just visiting.

Laser Pointer

My new laser pointer is too much fun! The picture is what happens when you shine it into the camera of an iphone 4. Lunch time we were shooting poeple with it, the game was to shoot and not be discovered. becuase the inside of the building is made of glass we could go up to the second or third floor and shoot down at people – this leaves them a little confused. I have to say both myself and matt are impressed with the range we have managed to achieve with this!.

We also discoverd standing in our elevator we could shoot the mirror and bounce the light off 3 walls. It would have been really cool if we could have turned off the lights in the elevator to do that. it also was really good at shooting across the building into conference rooms. I have a new found appreciation of snipers now. was a thoroughly enjoyable lunchtime!!!

New laser pointer / Flashlight

New toy and sometimes it really is the simplest things in life that make us happy.. One button is a flashlight and the other a laser pointer; now I can underline things on my PowerPoint presentations! Ok I am not really excited but it’s kind of
cool! I am kind of tired; i didn’t sleep last night.

Ok I had to remove a few exclamation marks from this post… I totally overkilled using them.

Hey now I think of it my new laser pointer looks like a light saber !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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