Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Feed Changed

Please note that the URL for the RSS (okay - atom) feed has changed.The new link is now:

Other Stuff

A lot of stuff has happened, so here is a quick update:

all the paperwork for my US immigration has now been sent to the US Embassy in London. I have had my medical too. That means all we can do now is wait for an interview date.

We have nad some decorating done in the house. We got the bathroom repapered, and we finally got our bedroom painted. The guy who did our bedroom also painted the doors upstairs. He put right the mess I made of them a couple of years ago. The fumes that night were pretty bad, so we all camped out on the living room floor that night.

Dan has been a busy boy stting up tow blogs - this one about his family, and this one about him, and so far, his go-kart. Still waiting for Macanthony to do something with his slice of web that he got a month ago.

Kim and Balint are coming back to Edinburgh for a week in January. It will be good to see them.


Today is the day of the week when they come and empty the bins. Usually, after Christmas, they are all stuffed full. Well, this year our bin was not. One of the advantages of having a full set of recycling bins right next to where we park our car is that recycling is no bother at all. So, all of our Christmas wrapping paper, and packaging from the kids toys, etc went into the recycling bins.

We put out our wheelie bin last night - half full. We only throw out waste food and disposable nappies. We then discovered this morning that our neighbours had filled our bin up for us. So now it was standing there with its lid up at a jaunty angle - just like everyone else. Now, what was the stuff that was filling our bin? It was black bags full of cardboard and glass bottles - all of which could easily have gone into the recycling bins. All they had to do was walk another ten paces.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Syncing my phone and my coputer

originally uploaded by mr-potter.
After a year of trying on and off to get my phone to talk to my computer, I finally managed it.

I don't think it was anything that I did - more that the software now supports my phone. So, thanks to the synce guys, and thanks to the Ubuntu mob for getting the software packaged.

This pleases me a lot. I listen to podcasts on my phone on the way to and from work. Up until now, I have had to shut down the phone, pull hte card, plug it into a card reader and copy over the files. Now I will not need to do this.

What would be really cool would be to script the file transfer. If I were a programmer, then I would write a GNOME podcatcher that woould do that.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I was reading this, which pointed to this at work. Being partially sighted, I have a CCTV system on my desk. SO, I put something I printed from the colour laser printer underneath and cranked up the magnification.

The system had a hard time finding something to focus on, but eventually would setlle down, and right enough: there are little yellow dots. If I had a UV light, I'm sure they would be much easier to see, but they were viewable.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hoary is dead - long live Breezy!

Ubuntu Linux have recently released their next version - this time nicknamed "Breezy Badger". I have installed it on my laptop and so far I like it a lot. They have a lot of the toys I like, and even some bleeding edge stuff.

Here are a few of my first impressions:

1. I like the inclusion of some zeroconf stuff. Unfortunately this laptop is the only thing that can do it at the moment. I will need to upgrade a couple of other computers to see how well it works. I spose another alternative is to hang around a few Macs and see what happens.

2. Beagle works well - better than I could ever get it to work by just compiling the code. This makes me think that the package maintainer did a lot more than just compile the code. There is also a preference applet to go with it. It seems to be a bit disconnected from beagle - and it does not start beagled for you.

3. My laptop is an IBM Thinkpad. Ubuntu said they had done a lot of work to improve things for laptops. I can see they have - my laptop now hibernates! However, we still have the usual Thinkpad grumbles of PCMCIA screwing things up, and sound not working after waking up. I think that is a hardware thing. On the whole I am pleased.

4. they have included this new toy called the "Deskbar Applet". It sits on your panel and you can type a word or phrase into it. It then presents you with a list of places where it can search for you. It includes beagle, all your search things in Firefox, and more. It then presents the results in the appropriate application. This is my kinda toy.

So, on the whole, I am liking Breezy a lot. There are bound to be some annoyances, so I might post a follow up later.

Monday, September 26, 2005

red leaves in edinburgh?

So, Alex thinks there might be nice red leaves in Edinburgh this year.

If todays windy weather continues, then there won't be many leaves left to turn red :-).

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Finally got around to listening to the most recent Linux Link Tech Show. They were talking with John Buckman of Magnatunes.

Very good show. The conversation before the interview about using music download sites and how it is next to impossible to do it easily with Linux.

So I am listening to a Magnatunes stream now. Some good stuff on it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's all happening at the zoo

originally uploaded by mr-potter.
We got out zoo passes renewed. So, today being a nice day, we made a trip.

The kids were very taken with the penguins. We spent quite some time at the glass watching them swim under water. There are a few more photos over at my flickr page.

Bobbys wedding

Bobbys wedding
Bobbys wedding,
originally uploaded by mr-potter.
Bobby is now an (old) married man.

Congratulations to Bobby, and his new wife Jenny.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

We got the next set of forms for my visa/residency application to The States.

Compared to getting my wife into the UK, this is like beauracracy on drugs.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Make Poverty History March Photos

There are loads of them on Flickr. The event finished a few hours ago - and there are currently 798 with that tag. I'm sure that number will rise.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Google satellite imagery

Well, Google Maps did one better than I hoped and released satellite imagery of the whole world. I wasted an entire evening cruising around looking at stuff.

I must admit that the resolution of most of it isn't all the great - but it's free - and it's far more than what we had a month ago.

Aye - the nights are fair drawing in!

summer sunset 5
summer sunset 5,
originally uploaded by mr-potter.
Red sky at night - yes the weather has been a delight. This was taken after the summer solstive - so the ttitle is kinda correct.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Flickr Fun

originally uploaded by mr-potter.
So, after seeing and hearing a lot about Flickr, I thought I would sign up and have a play. This is one of the three photos I have uploaded so far. It was taken when we were on holiday. You can see all of my photos here.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Just checked my yahoo mail box and it now says it has 1Gb of storage. Nice.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

I regularly check out the Bismarck Tribune website to see what is happening there. One of the things that intrigues me is that they have this bit where people blog, called Tri-blog.

So, they have this blog site going which is running Wordpress - so all the usual stuff you would expect from that software. The main news site itself has no RSS at all. Why?

It seems like in some way they get it, and yet in another way they don't. Anyway, I would love them to have and RSS feed for their news - then I would follow them every day.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Google Maps the UK

I've just come across Google Maps for the UK. Looks pretty good. Hopefully soon we will have the satellite photos too.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

three colds in three weeks. I am feeling very annoyed and very under the weather.

I got over the last cold and then two days later I have a new one.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Simple Versus Neat

At work, one of the things we are doing is preparing to replace a server with a more powerful one. As with all these things, there are always issues to talk through. One of the things I have noticed is that there are some people whose decisions are always different from what I would like them to choose.

After some thinking about this, I am coming to the conclusion that when it comes to such decisions, they choose the simple answer, when I would choose the neat answer.

so, for example, this server is multinetted, which means lots of static routing. It does not need to be like that, but currently it is. I would choose changing it so that the server is on only one network - it reduces complexity in the long run. My decision makers would chose the status quo - probably because it is the easy answer.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

At work, this morning, I was going to get a coffee - as I usually do. To get to the canteen, I must walk through the lobby. Very often the lobby has stands with the latest thing that they are promoting is being pushed - I usually ignore these things.

Well, today, it was a bunch of people who were getting anonymous input on how well the organisation is communicating, and seeking ideas on how it could be done better. A whole stream of stuff went through my head: Cluetrain, RSS, all sorts of stuff. The thing is, I could not think of anything practical that did not make me sound like Mr Miagi from Karate Kid.

One of the things I noticed straight away was the fact that all the idea that were on the ideas board were top down ideas. I was hoping to see more bottom up stuff. The prospect excited me, but I was unable to provide anything that I felt would not be dismissed.

So, tonight, I am washing the dishes and listening to Lawrence Lessig. He talks about the innovation commons and the creative commons. He gives a description of the internet as an "end to end network" which is reminiscent of the "World of Ends". But it got me thinking again.

Should the principle of the end to end network apply to corporate networks too? Is it fair to say that the act of limiting what people can do on their corporate desktops through security policies, etc, restricting their ability to innovate? Lots of questions floating around my head.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tip Trip

We have just come back from the tip.

I dumped a load of old computers. If they had worked, then the combined computing power of them all would have been less than my 1GHz laptop. The monitor from my first ever PC was dumped too.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


According to the BBC, " Sir Paul vows 'no Janet' repeat".

It's just a shame the Paul McCartney is too nice a guy to have not given a smart answer to the journalist who asked him that question in the first place.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

beagle extra

I left my laptop with Beagle running for a few hours. When I cam e back, beagled had gobbled up all the memory it could possibly find. The machine ran like a dog.

So, as an experiment, I have edited the shell script that starts the daemon off, and taken out the --debug option. Best seems to run a lot faster now too. Lets see if it continues to eat up resources.


I really like beagle - Beagle is cool.

It takes a bit to install - you really need to go through the steps outlined in the wiki. But it does work quite well. It still is a bit ropey, and it can miss things out, but it is shaping up to be a very exciting product.

There are features I have not enabled yet, like the g-streaner stuff, and the network awareness (I think it will go and search Google for you). So far it can see my evolution stuff, and my aggregated news/blogs in liferia, my gaim chat logs, and my ordinary files. Somehow, it won't search my xchat logs, which is a real shame. Once I get the epiphany extensions compiled, then my browsing history and my bookmarks will be included too. I think it will soon be a really nice and useful desktop search tool.