Monthly Archives: April 2006

Another friend, another blog

As I was idling around Knirirr’s Livejournal, I found a link to something that Tim is getting involved in at my old place of work – CEH Oxford.

The Bergen Mesocosm Experiment sounds very interesting, but looks suspiciously like the ideal cover for a bunch of marine biologists to go rafting. I have no idea how Tim scammed his way onto this as he’s normally found basking in the glow of a monitor, XML reflecting in his eyes.

One of the things Tim will be taking is the office webcam. This was regularly deployed in the office to spy on peoples productivity if you didn’t notice that the camera had moved…

Take a look!

You’ll notice it points to a most excellent ‘Linux is Science’ poster that Tim and I stole from the UKLinux Expo a couple of years ago after IBM told us we couldn’t have one.

The boy in the poster as you can see is sporting a very fetching “Team Laser Explosion” logo. Top right you can see Milo’s flag of St George. The poster hangs above my old desk *sniff*

More work pics!

The final poster image was to get someone in our offices using our machines. Jem is quite photogenic, and conveniently arrived whilst we were looking for a model.

On the left screen (attached to the G5) you can see 4peaks viewing some sequence traces, on the right screen you can see NonLinear Dynamics 2D gel software.

You wouldn’t ever work on both of them simultaneously, but we liked the look of both monitors being in use at once!

Apple cluster

So Simon and I are working on a poster to take to some University event next week where we’re hoping to drum up some new business for the Bionformatics Support Unit. This of course entails pretty pictures so we went to take some of our photogenic Mac OS X “Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics”.

Here be the results (including one of the slightly less photogenic me) (for the full size pics, right-click and “View Image”)

Hooray for digital cameras! Thanks to Simon for wielding the camera.

Breezy badger Sun packages

Hmm chatting with Neil today who seemed to be having some trouble sorting out Java on Kubuntu (everyone sane’s desktop distro of choice). Apparently there are some issues with Breezy Badger and Java, which I hadn’t come across as I always install the JDK from Sun.

I do wish Sun would provide deb’s for Java – it would be so friendly of them, they provide RPM’s after all!

Well what Sun don’t do, someone else does:

Nice, and saves having to use Blackdown packages instead..

Email disclaimers

Just before I left the NERC, we were ‘encouraged’ to start putting on email disclaimers about how they may be released under the FOI act etc. etc. Given that when I arrived on the internet (1991 for the record) it was considered most impolite to have a signature of over 4 lines (something I adhere to with personal email, but find it hard to with work email with 2 offices, 2 phone numbers, a website and a long address) the spate of pointless email disclaimers that seemingly grow ever longer and more imbued with silly legalese is frustrating.

People often forget that email is not secure. Email is transmitted unencrypted and is not ‘point to point’ – it will hit dozens of servers on the way from originator to recipient, any (and all) of which would be capable of intercepting your communication. Trying to claim email is somehow private, is like claiming a postcard is private. What is especially stupid is seeing ‘this message is only intended for the eyes of the authorised recipient’ on a message posted to a mailing list archived online..

So when I saw this tagged onto an email today it made me smile:

Unless expressly stated otherwise, this message is not confidential
and is definitely not privileged. It is intended not only for the
addressee(s), but for anyone who needs the information contained
herein. Access to this E-mail by anyone else is encouraged. If you
are not an addressee, any disclosure or copying of the contents is
authorized. Failure to disclose the contents of this message to those
who could benefit may be unlawful and is punishable by bad karma.
Furthermore, any notice deemed more restrictive than this notice is
hereby superceded by this notice, and all such notices are considered
cultural pollution which is punishable by applicable fines.

Somewhat adhering to the spirit of things – I like it.

Why is this blog so quiet anyway?

I have one word for you..


I’ve only been waiting years for this game (only to find out that my AMD Athlon 2400+, overclocked and unlocked NVIDIA 6800GE and 2GB RAM are pretty much insufficient to run it at anything but the lowest resolution).

However.. you know.. there’s nothing like standing there, grass swaying at your feet, gazing down through a valley at the spires of castle far away, whilst twanging steel arrows into the local wildlife to collect their pelts. To hell with the quests, it’s just like GTA for me – I just like to wander around and do my own stuff, occasionally stopping off to murder someone or something ;)

Amazingly, not too many bugs have surfaced yet. There are some issues with NPC voices getting chopped up, so one minute you’re talking to a beggar woman who in the next sentence sounds *just like* the Countess you stole the jewellery from in the castle not five minutes ago, but I can live with that. The first 10 hours play is straightforward – I’m just starting to feel the difficulty creep up in the 14th hour of play. Always the stage of hte day when I wish my Wood Elf Thief was an Orc Barbarian. There’s just some things where brute force and heavy armour would come in so much handier than a 6x sneak attack damage modifier, and chain mail.

Do I sound sufficiently nerdy yet?

Check out the Serenity RPG Who is going to dust off their D20 first hmm?