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1234567890 – Happy Epoch


Happy epoch to all fellow Unix geeks.

Anyone Want a Free 1Password Licence?

1Password logo

UPDATE: I’ve given them all out now – no more left. Sorry!

Thanks to Agile Web Solutions‘ American Thanksgiving giveaway, I have two one free licences for 1Password to give away.

If you want one, comment here, leaving the email address you want on the licence as the email field (not in the comment body) and the name you want on the licence. First come, first served, and this ends on the 30th November.

Snow in October

So yesterday and the evening before that we had a little bit of snow here in Reading. It’s very unusual to get snow here in October, so quite a novelty.

This is a photo I took with my phone from outside the window of my room here in Bridges Hall, on the university’s Whiteknights campus.

Snow at Bridges Hall



Enter a URL, and it will be displayed, with FAIL written on top. Simple, and, may I say, quite brilliant. It made me laugh anyway.


Some old iMacs

I got an opportunity recently to play around with some old iMac DVs (late 1999 or early 2000 by the looks of things) that had been lying around unused for a while at college.

Three iMacs

So now, instead of lying around with no system software loaded on them, they are being put to use. Two are running OS X 10.1 and the other one that is up and running is running OS 8.6.

iMac running OS X

It’s always good to play with older stuff, and it’s nice now that they can be put to use (which I imagine will involve reinstalling Mac OS lots of times as part of the Operating Systems unit).


I was pleasantly surprised to read that The Times Magazine for the 9th February includes a section on the latest internet meme of FAIL (page 12, left hand box if you’re interested).

I was not so pleasantly surprised to notice that half way down, you are invited to “Visit for an epic shipment of fail”.

Why? Well, in my opinion, FAIL is subject to special grammar requirements. It should have been “a shipment of epic fail”, not “an epic shipment of fail”.

The lack of capitalisation also concerns me, but it might be a little harsh to be critical on that point as well – and the capitalisation of the word isn’t necessarily a set-in-stone rule, either.

You can read the article that appears in print over on their site.

iPod Touch 1.1.3 apps

Yeah, they cost too much, but they are awesome. So here are my completely unrefined first impressions.

Mail is by far the best mobile email client I’ve ever used. To be fair, I haven’t really used that many, but it beats going to the Gmail web interface hands down. On a full-sized computer, Gmail webmail is pretty workable, but is sluggish on a device like the iPod.

Here, the richness of a local app improves the experience significantly, especially on slower and unreliable dodgy wi-fi connections. And I can have as many POP/IMAP accounts as I want loaded in and synced up. The best part of Mail for me is that it caches email you’ve downloaded (even on IMAP), so you can look at email again even when you don’t have a connection to remind yourself of a detail or something. I actually love Mail on the iPod Touch. 😀

Maps is pretty cool – haven’t had much real use for it yet, considering I only got the apps this afternoon. It’s less useful than on the iPhone as you’ll have to find an open connection to use it, rather than using the cell network. Still, it’s an impressive maps experience considering the portability of the device you’re running it on.

Weather’s useful, and as far as I can tell, also caches data so you can still see something when you’re not connected.

Notes is a genuinely useful app and should in my opinion have shipped with the iPod in the first place. Shame about the lack of syncing, but it’s useful for quickly jotting something down without finding a pen and paper.

I don’t really care much for Stocks, not at the moment anyway. 😛

The customisable home screen and web clips are a nice touch too, although I’m not sure about the wobbling icons. It sort of distracts you from what you’re doing – I think something a little more subtle might have been better to let you know that you’re in editing mode.

Overall – they’re worth getting, but I am still quite annoyed at the fact that it isn’t a free update. Roll on the SDK. 🙂

Roasting GeForce

Out of curiosity, I wanted to know exactly how hot the Geforce 6600 GT in my desktop PC here was. Turns out, it idles about 52 Celsius (125 F).

Then, again, out of curiosity, I put it under some load, by running glxgears at full screen – 1600×1200. Turns out the GPU positively roasts at such a temperature.

NVIDIA card X configuration screen

83 C ~= 181 F.

Pretty hot.

MacBook contents backed up and frozen, awaiting Leopard

So I’m officially ready for Leopard.

The entire Macintosh HD volume has been backed up (60 GB of sparseimage!) and frozen (I’m not touching it in terms of saving anything important) and I’m ready for my shiny Leopard disc to arrive to do an erase & install and then copy selectively the good stuff back.

Now we just hope UPS decide to deliver it tomorrow morning not evening (or worse, later than tomorrow!). Go on UPS, make me happy.

Because everyone loves a little database humour