Nottingham and Birmingham trips

[ from the travelling-around-the-country dept. ]

xmms is now playing: Scooter – Weekend

I returned from Birmingham last night having spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning in Nottignham and then visiting Hannah and Joe with the rest of my family who had arranged to be in Birmingham. Today I am writing up my review of pGina using a VMware installation. I notice that VMware blocks horribly on floppy IO if the floppy is in some way faulty or screwed. I am also completing my wonderful Tax Return.

I now mix a three day work week as an Embedded Linux Systems Engineer with some consulting and travelling which will soon include a PhD. I have some more news on the PhD idea I am wanting to go with and having spoken to a couple of people in Nottingham think I should persue that soon. Usually I work quite long hours on a Monday-Wednesday except this past week I was also in on Thursday so I delayed the Nottingham trip until Friday.

On Friday morning I travelled via Birmingham to Nottingham. Once again I met a few interesting people on the train, including an Oxford English graduate and a woman who had a Masters in variously interesting Chemistry concerned with viruses such as AIDs – though she now has several young children which I am sure is equally as challenging work in a different kind of way. I arrived in Nottingham during the middle of the afternoon and went to CSiT to grab a coffee with a few friends before I met up with jok for dinner at Wagamama. Beckie and Robin Allen joined us and looked every bit the lovely newly weds that they had at and after their wedding. (mental note to get a potted plant from Crocus for their new house). We bought some laser pointers in Maplin for 5 too. After dinner we spent a while in a J D Weatherspoon pub called the Roebuck Inn – which is where some NotLUG meetings happen – where I tried with great amusement to bring up the cinema film information on the Zaurus via my mobile. We saw Pirates Of The Carribean and I was actually quite impressed at how the cheese did not totally ruin the film.

Turns out CSiT upgraded all of the workstations to Microsoft Windows XP as per the expectation that they would do so and they now appear to be a little more responsive in some ways. There are still only three generally accessible Redhat machines in there however. Apparently numbers are down this year too – which is really great. Hopefully overall standards can be raised a little in response to the fall in number of students who are there due to the dotcom era and do not care.

I bought a Buffalo CompactFlash Wifi card and have kismet running on the Zaurus now. I like to leave it running when out and about – over the weekend discovered BTOpenzone available from a number of payphones in Reading and Nottingham as well as a Wifi network on a First Great Western Train called “1st2thefuture” which was interesting. In Nottingham we saw 27 wireless networks in the City with less than 50% advertising WEP.

In Birmingham my family were drinking tea and coffee in the Costa in Waterstones when I met them yesterday. Had yet another bunch of Marks and Spencer grapes before going back to Selly Oak and finding Hannah and Joe have a very cosy house now.

Over the next few weeks and months I will be at the Linux Expo, in Paris, in Brussells, Belfast, and Edinburgh as well as Oxford, Reading, Birmingham, Nottingham, Cambridge, and London. I have driving lessons to do, people to see and places to go. I need to find out whether the Nuclear Bunker Party is happening again.

Back to work now…


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