Archive for October, 2003

The Marriage Of Figaro

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003

[ from the a-dose-of-culture dept. ]

I saw a performance of The Marriage Of Figaro by The Welsh National Opera in the New Theatre which is in Oxford this evening. This began at 19:15 and finished at 22:35 and was most enjoyable indeed. Figaro, Suzanna, and the Count were especially well performed, as was the rest of the cast. The Orchestra was very good indeed.

New Theatre as it is now called was formerly the Apollo and has been done up although they still ran out of soap in several places making an epic trying to wash my hands during the interval before having a drink. Navigating aroung the building is a little interesting. :-) .

Skipped supper again so basically lived on grapes and smoothie and regular coffee though I should probably eat a nice rice or noodle dish later today. Several of us on OxLUG are meeting for a drink tonight perhaps resurrecting the mid-month meetings at some point.

I am continuing with the concept of reading several books at once and have now started reading a pocket sized book on 6502 machine code on the bus. This has the benefit that it requires less effort than the DSP book so at certain times of day that can be a good thing.

I spent some time looking at certain kinds of register alignment issues with particular ethernet configurations in a certain kernel. Tomorrow I will be travelling to Nottingham and probably in Manchester on Friday and possibly Saturday. Meeting people for coffee in London on Thursday morning too.


Nottingham and Cambridge Trips

Sunday, October 19th, 2003

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

We eventually replaced the CPU fan in on Wednesday evening. Afterwards we were too late to go to Wagamama however did end up at a McDonalds where I managed to have a cup of tea and no fatty grease. Now I weight 12.75 stone and I am trying to work on these things. I got home at about 03:00 on Thursday.

I went to Nottingham on Thursday to visit some friends and talk about PhDs at the University. The plan is to get applications going through sometime in next few days and see what happens then although they do not generally do embedded research. I had a good time visiting and we want to Wagamama and I learned the board game called Risk. I did not win obviously against a seasoned player.

Friday was spent in Nottingham and Cambridge and in travelling between these two locations by train. In Cambridge I met up with some of the dasher people to talk about the ways in which the project can make Linux more accessible. I met someone who is in to random embedded boards running Linux and we went to a bit of the Friday Happy Hour where scary people played amazing chess.

I saw Kill Bill earlier on Saturday after staying with some friends who live somewhere outside Cambridge. We went in to the city and had some lunch in a Japanese restaurant called DoJo. This is likely the Cambridge version of a Noodle Bar near Old Street in East London.

I have read quite a lot of the DSP book. Started reading about 3D graphics.


The continuing adventures of and its friends…

Sunday, October 12th, 2003

[ from the magical-pandas dept. ] is currently down since it had a problem between 02:00 and 03:00 last night. We went in to Telehouse in the afternoon and it came back up for an hour or more. Eventually it seems to have stopped responding again.
I may get chance to go in again today and diagnose potential hardware failures or other causes of this but there might be a need for parts. Anyway it was good to see James Mulcahy (who had to go early to get a train) and James Rice with Hussein and jok blah blah. The box possibly has a failed power supply.

We went in to Canary Wharf afterwards for some food in Wagamama in the just opened Jubilee Place. The food was good and the server recognised me instantly since he used to work in the Nottingham restaurant! I go there quite a lot.

We could not get tickets which were suitably priced or place in time for the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday night so went to the Tate Modern instead. After a visit to the cafe we spent time until closing on floor 5 looking at various works including the Sausage Film and those clowns. Paul McCarthy is an interesting artist and also the guy who did the inflatable sculptures outside the Tate Modern. He has produced scenes involving himself naked and covered in tomato ketchup with various meats, or plastering his head and arm in to a wall, and various others besides.

We went for a stroll along the Thames again also and had various tea and coffee in various places. I am really turning in to an Earl Grey drinker now and have found my slippers… I bought the O’reilly Programming C# book second edition yesterday to read up on .NET stuff. There is a third edition of the book now also but I just wanted something reasonably inexpensive to experiment and in particular ascertain portability with Mono. More interesting people yesterday including a bluetooth security guy.


Linux Expo UK 2003

Friday, October 10th, 2003

[ from the another-year-another-expo dept. ]

I have been at the Linux Expo UK 2003 on each of the last two days. Wednesday and Thursday were quite interesting although the Expo is again smaller this year. The .org village was quite reasonable and I met a number of people that I know through various connections. We had a meal out on Wednesday evening with Lonix and then ended up staring that the giant coke sign in Picadilly Circus while several of the guys got out the wifi equipment which they had available. We had fun in the Trocadero on the way to said coke sign and eventually got home late so Thursday started a bit later than planned although it ended with a few of us with Nottingham connections sitting in a Firkin pub behind Olympia for some very reasonable food and drink. Wednesday night was also complemented with good food although the sheer number of people ordering meant that the Indian Resturant called The Spice Of Life was overloaded and there was some significant latency on orders.

I spoke to various people and did the keysigning thing. Met some OpenBSD people who had some embedded boards which looked quite interesting on display. I joined the UKUUG and bought an FSF t-shirt while I also had some rather interesting conversations. I want to help organise an Embedded Systems workshop now.

This entry is really designed to get some information down about the Expo before I think about writing up a more ellaborate description.


Visiting Winchester and some 2600 too…

Saturday, October 4th, 2003

[ from the another-week-another-trip dept. ]

I visted Winchester on Thursday in order to have a late lunch with my gran and find a birthday present for my cousin. The Zaurus is helping me to get a litle more organised so that I nearly send birthday presents on time! We went to Pizza Hut and had a Chicken Supreme with little cheese. Remember to ask them to put less cheese on the Pizza as it is much better for you and tastes great too.

I went to Costa and put on some music on the way back to the railway station and of course left the Zaurus scanning for networks. None are using WEP. Arriving home I decided to fix my mail setup so the old 486 with an unsupported Redhat 6.2 configuration has been deprecated and replaced with – a Debian Woody PII 400 running Exim, Squirrelmail and courier-imap-ssl like Although mail seems functional please do let me know if you mail me and experience some problems. The next step is to get Spam Assassin working properly at home with per user configuration files.

Tonight I went to my first London 2600 meeting and met various people. I was reasonably impressed overall however I had expected to meet more hard core UNIX nerds than the mostly Microsoft Windows cum occasional GNU/Linux and PDA crowd impression I was given though as I say it was interesting. I got a T-shirt and confirmed why it is that I hate smoking in general since the Cyberia bar was very smokey indeed.

I am sorting out application forms for PhDs and various other bits and pieces and tidying up my stuff at home over the next few days. A few of us put in a Thinkgeek order and I have a caffeine stainless steel 16 ounce mug on order to enjoy my morning cup.

I spent a while reading through documentation for a certain ethernet chip this week and thought some more about this Using and Porting PowerPC Linux guide that I am planning at the moment. I figure this could actually be pretty useful and it is bound to encourage some feedback in any case.

The night bus in Reading is still 1 pound if you know about the street machines which sell them. If you do not know about them then you pay twice as much to the driver and it did seem a little unfair that the person arguing over fairs tonight was not told about this option. There was also a drunk guy at the bus stop tonight who could not wait to be old enough to legally get as drunk as he was. I told him the novelty would soon wear off.

I weigh 13 stone now and am planning on another stone or so being worked off over the next few weeks and months. I am going to be at Linux Expo UK 2003 next week and on Friday a few of us will hopefully arrange something. I like the idea of seeing another play and enjoying some more culture.