A new phase emerging

[ from the doing-more-normal-stuff dept. ]

Photographs (from left to right): Philippe and Justin on the emDebian stand at Linux Expo Olympia 2004, Wookey cleaning up after the second day of the show, a walk along the River Cherwell in Oxford, a walk around London.

I have not updated this blog in a couple of weeks, and a few things have happened since the last update, so here we go. As I write this, I am in Birmingham with Hannah and Joe Wrigley, about to eat supper after a nice walk through a park in Selly Oak. I have been trying to get more regular exercise by taking longer walks whenever possible – either for the sake of a walk, or in place of a bus or taxi whenever.

I went to the Linux Expo Olympia 2004, and met what I would imagine was between 100-200 people that I know through some means or other. The show was interesting because of the sheer number of interesting conversations and people, and I enjoyed hanging out on the emDebian stand to talk to people about Embedded Linux. Various companies had offerings on show and the BBC especially were interesting because of their Open Source video and audio codec and interoperability software stack.

After the show ended on the Tuesday, we went to a dinner at Pizza Express (I am not as fond of them as I was, because I now prefer Zizzi), where I talked to Wookey, John Southern, and a few others. On the Wednesday evening there was a Debian pub meet, followed by a meeting of printk people (sladen managed to wonder off with a few people and was later to be heard on LUG Radio commenting about his plans, along with various revelations concerning the nature of products on sale on the Debian stand). I met Jono Bacon and some of the LUG Radio people again as well.

My column this month covers some general recent developments and touches upon GPL issues with embedded systems. I produced a piece on LIRC interfacing using a Sky Digital remote, and also finally got the CeBIT 2004 writeup in to a digital form which could actually be printed :-) . Also did a bit of hacking on some block device code and spent a lot of time brushing up on my calculus, and getting up to speed with my understanding of NMR theory. I roughly understand how systems are built now, and how things like gradients work to add spacial information for determining the position of parts of an image or the movement of molecules within a sample for sizing.

Last weekend, we had a family outing along the River Cherwell in Oxford. We were going to hire a punt, but the queue was more than an hour long. I have recently made a number of trips along the Thames and wish to explore more of the Oxford area in general. On the Friday beforehand, I had located the Botanic Gardens and heard of a pub called “The Head Of The River” where I can apparently hire a punt for the Thames also. photos.jonmasters.org contains many more photos from these random events in the Random section.

This week, I had a driving test on Monday lunchtime. I managed to fail this first test because I performed a Parallel Park which resulted in the car being positioned too far from the curb, and subsequently decided that I had failed, so was not bothered when I picked up a couple of other faults on the way back to the test centre. The DSA waiting list in Oxford is currently absolutley ludicrous – September 2004. The surrounding areas are not much improved upon that and I have had to settle for a June test in Reading. This means I have to ask my instructor to drive from Oxford however.

I decided to follow the test with a little walk along the Thames, and then travelled from the Trout Inn back in to Oxford. I went in to London and walked around Regents Park, before meeting sladen and walking around bits of central London for a few hours. We saw some people setting up rigging in Trafalgar Square for Freedom Day and had some good Chinese food when we actually arrived in Leicester Square. I spent some time tracking down hardwareisms over the rest of the week and then went for a trip to Coventry.

Yesterday afternoon featured a visit to Warwick to see an old friend. Aftering eating some Pizza at Pizza Express we saw Kill Bill 2 at the Showcase Cinema. This morning, I walked in to Coventry and took a train to Birmingham in order to visit Hannah and Joe Wrigley. We went for a walk and I did a little reading on random Wave type physics.

I am hopefully speaking at the UKUUG Summer Conference 2004 and am spending much of my time learning stuff. Yesterday, I visited a bookshop next to the Rootes Social facility in Warwick, and saw a copy of the Embedded System Design book. This book definately requires a reservation on my bookshelf – there were a few others which I might need to add to my wishlist.

I recently saw a fantastic piece being performed on Classic FM TV, and I discovered the track on a compilation album in Borders on an evening of this week. Ludovico Einaudi performed Le Onde in a truly beautiful performace which had to be heard. I located a CD by the artist in preference to purchasing an entire compilation disc for a single track I wanted. Perhaps worth noting is that the Borders previewing system had incorrect details which resulted in the wrong previews being played for these tracks. Go buy his CD.


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