A few random updates

[ from the memoirs-of-the-week dept. ]

Photographs (from left to right): A peacock at the Trout Inn, a non-talk by an absent esr (John Pinner’s impromptu talk), Paul Sladen and Jonathan Riddell on a Brompton, Victoria Square in Birmingham, and a homebrew LIRC Receiver.

I have been working on fixing an interesting (debugging printk’s reduce execution to a rate that makes things work type of problem) bug in a Compact Flash driver and had another driving lesson in preparation for the inevitable. Reading a bit more of the maths book and looking at harmonic functions and resonance in more depth. Everything in life is probably a waveform in a cunning disguise. I also have just started looking at the Derome NMR book (“Modern NMR Techniques for Chemistry Research” by Andrew E Derome). I have begun the process of connecting dots between information, in the quest for a higher understanding of what I am doing at the moment.
I like to think that I am gaining something from my exploration of the block layer in Linux and that I can use this to do some fairly positive things fairly soon.

I went to the Trout Inn again, and decided to borrow a GPS from a friend at work in order to try out Geocaching soon. Also I am strongly considering whether to run in the London Marathon next year (if you think that I should the please tell me – certainly I need to decide what to raise funds for if I do run). I spoke to a lock keeper at Godstow lock about narrowboats and got a couple of details, and a brochure for one of the companies who hire boats for a weekend. Currently I am contemplating hiring a boat for a long weekend with whichever friends are interested in the idea. At least one of the companies (Anglo Welsh, according to the lock keeper) have multiple locations where you can pick up and set down boats, rather than return to the journey origin.

On Thursday afternoon I was in Oxford following another driving lesson, and after a trip to a certain coffee house (yes I know but I could stop drinking Starbucks coffee whenever I wanted, honestly), and a trip to the Trout Inn for a juice, I headed to the railway station to catch a train I expected esr to be on board, en route to his planned talk in Birmingham for SBLUG. I met a chap with an ACCU badge and asked him if he knew where esr was, and discovered that Eric basically decided at the last minute to cancel and not give a talk which he first agreed to give around two years ago. Eric Reymond left a large number of people in the lurch in Birmingham and should not be invited to future meetings, in my opinion. It is no longer necessary to meet him in order to understand the views that some hold about him and his actions.

The chap with the ACCU badge turned out to be John Pinner. He had personally paid for esr to travel first class to Birmingham but I ended up having the seat myself. I had brought a pizza, some olives, and ciabatta at Oxford Zizzi and ate these on the way, while John and I had a pleasant conversation. John stood in for esr by giving a different talk for the group and Tim managed the meeting well despite the rudeness of the absent speaker (who was instead having a teleconference with Sun). Fortunately most people were quite understanding of the situation and the talk with panel discussion was as enjoyable as the preceeding buffet.

esr should not be invited to speak again.

I enjoyed meeting up with Paul Sladen, jok and Jonathan Riddell. I also met Jono Bacon of LUG Radio and Linux Format fame. Paul, jok, Jonathan and I were given a lift to the station afterwards by John Pinner. At Birmingham New Street, we bought some drinks (thanks to Robin I have discovered that Oasis Summerfruits drink is a little in need of occasional consumption) and a bottle of wine with no opener. I recalled a situation once in Oxford where many of us spent hours trying to open a wine bottle with a biro. We went to Nottingham, and on Friday I met up with Paul and Jonathan. Note the photos of the pointless number of logos at the railway station – perhaps we are going to end up with renationalisation by the backdoor.

On Friday I walked in to Nottingham and bought some grapes and a smoothie before having a coffee with a biscotti. I read a little and subsequently caught a bus to facilitate venturing on to the Jubilee campus in a quest for meeting Paul and Jonathan and various others who we were going to look for. I took some photos of the campus and the wildlife, and spoke to a few people too. I did find a certain Dave and heard that my tickets for the BCS Lovelace award ceremony should arrive at my home soon (in fact they have). I introduced Paul and then we went to get ready for a train to Birmingham. While I went to town and had another coffee in that certain American establishment, Paul and Jonathan returned to Beeston and got themselves ready – we both caught trains from the two stations and met on the train. It randomly decided to hail as I was waiting for the train to turn up.

Paul, Jonathan and I were discussing various randomness on the train, and I saw the Debian logo being prepared for the Debian stand this week. They changed trains and I continued to Birmingham, where I had food at Cafe Rouge before travelling to Reading on the penultimate departing train. Over the past few days I have been syncing my email and built an LIRC receiver. I upgraded perihelion to kernel 2.6.5 and applied the LIRC patches to add the required Serial Driver Character Devices support to the configuration. Trying to make some progress with the UKUUG Embedded Systems stuff and dealing with another related event.


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