Archive for December, 2005

Powerbook Upgrade

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

I just received confirmation of my order for a shiny new Apple Powerbook from the folks at Terra Soft Solutions, who were obviously working New Year’s Eve to get these orders processed. Thanks guys.

With this purchase, I will now need to get a bunch of hardware up and running, including chipsets we know don’t work. I guess I’ll start out with USB wifi and take it from there – but I’d be greatful of emails about ongoing projects to get other bits ‘n’ pieces working.

Note that’s POWERbook, with the word POWER at the beginning, not WINTEL. I don’t want an Intelbook from Apple, so luckily the option to upgrade my existing 15″ model came along just in time. Otherwise, I’d have had to deal with inferior Linux support for x86 Wintelbooks. I doubt benh will even care enough to do a port for those things.


2005 – The year of the Rooster

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

As the last few minutes of the year are upon us, now is the time to reflect upon the year that was 2005 and to consider how many of those new year’s resolutions need some adjustment. 2005 was an interesting time for me, it was the first year where I began to feel happy about my longer term plans and to set some specific goals. I entered the year as I leave it, still quite the singleton but on reflection am not as bothered by this as I might have been a year ago. Over the past year, I’ve realised that I enjoy flying around the world and that there is a wealth of knowledge and adventure out there. I would never have considered myself interested in climbing this time last year, nor would I have found myself deleting cheesy pop music from my ipod.

So, in 2005:

  • I visited the US and Canada a few times, visiting 11 US States and one district, as well as spending several months in Canada (across 6 Provinces) and deciding that I will emigrate to Canada when that becomes practical (Project Canada).
  • I wrote approximately 100 pages of articles for several magazines, spoke at several conferences, co-organised other events, and signed a book contract.
  • I changed my day job once and got more into the kernel than I had been previously – I published a few small patches too for things like 64-bit MTD, floppy and block fixes as well as doing a lot more PS work behind the scenes.
  • I took up climbing, went camping in Quebec in the winter and made some great new friends.
  • Lots of other stuff.
  • Overall, I enjoyed 2005. There are always ups and downs in life, but that’s a universal. My primary new year’s resolutions are actually pretty straightforward:

    • Lose some weight, exercise and climb more.
    • Save and apply for Canadian immigration in 2006/2007.
    • A few other more private ambitions.

    I hope you all have a good holiday. See you in 2006.


    Travel Itinerary

    Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

    Ok. I’ve made some bookings. The following is more for my use than anyone else’s, but if you need to know where I’m going to be, it might be useful.

    Thursday - 2005/12/15 (London->New York)

    • UA9230 LHR (2005/12/15 11:05) -> MUC (2005/12/15 13:50)
    • UA8871 MUC (2005/12/15 15:15) -> JFK (2005/12/15 18:25)
    • New York City Days Hotel Broadway - 215 West 94th Street & Broadway

    Friday - 2005/12/16 (New York)

    • New York/New Jersey
    • New York City Days Hotel Broadway - 215 West 94th Street & Broadway

    Saturday - 2005/12/17 (New York < -> Washington, DC)

    • 79 Carolinian - New York, NY Penn Station (07:15) -> Washington, DC Union Station (10:30)
    • 66 Regional - Washington, DC Union Station (22:00) -> New York, NY Penn Station (01:53)
    • New York City Days Hotel Broadway - 215 West 94th Street & Broadway

    Sunday - 2005/12/18 (New York)

    • Possibly going to Philly
    • New York City Days Hotel Broadway - 215 West 94th Street & Broadway

    Monday - 2005/12/19 (Los Angeles)

    • UA21 JFK (2005/12/19 08:00) -> SFO (2005/12/19 11:21)
    • UA886 SFO (2005/12/19 12:11) -> LAX (2005/12/19 13:30)
    • Visiting Daniel

    Tuesday - 2005/12/20 -> Saturday - 2005/12/24 (San Francisco)

    • UA304 LAX (2005/12/20 13:45) -> SFO (2005/12/20 15:06)
    • Visiting Bill

    Saturday - 2005/12/24 -> Monday - 2005/12/26 (San Francisco -> Montreal)

    • UA830 SFO (2005/12/24 10:55) -> ORD (2005/12/24 17:10)
    • UA7690 ORD (2005/12/24 17:45) -> YUL (2005/12/24 20:54)
    • Staying with a friend in Montreal

    Monday - 2005/12/26 -> Wednesday - 2005/12/28 (Ottawa)

    • VIA33 Montreal (2005/12/26 10:00) -> Ottawa (2005/12/26 11:39)
    • Staying at the Rideau Inn

    Wednesday - 2005/12/28 (Ottawa->Toronto)

    • VIA43 Ottawa (2005/12/28 08:40) -> Toronto (2005/12/28 13:00)
    • Need to book a place in Toronto

    Thursday - 2005/12/29 (Toronto->New York->London)

    • AC706 YYZ (2005/12/29 10:15) -> LGA (2005/12/29 11:40)
    • UA8840 JFK (2005/12/29 16:05) -> FRA (2005/12/30 05:30)
    • UA8809 FRA (2005/12/30 07:25) -> LHR (2005/12/30 08:05)


    On Documentaries

    Monday, December 5th, 2005

    Did you know that the Star Spangled Banner is a song about how the Americans thwarted the evil British empire on September 3 1814?

    Their national anthem is based upon a poem originally written during the battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. It’s set to the music of an english drinking song (apparently), which is all the more ironic since it is basically a song about how the evil British were thwarted that day. “And the rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air” are British rockets and bombs being lobbed at the Americans in some fit of desperation trying to convince them to accept assimilation and rejoin the evil empire. “Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?” refers to the fact that the Americans had erected the largest flag in their history in Baltimore so that the British could clearly see it from their boats. It also inspired Francis Scott Key in his lyrics and caused at least one of the British sailors to note its grandeur in his journal.

    I know all this because I watched a documentary on the History Channel tonight. I’ve been fascinated by documentaries for years but have recently elected to continue to pay for Sky (that’s our primary incumbent digital satellite television service in the UK) simply because I find Discovery and National Geographic so thoroughly interesting (as opposed to the more than 10 “God” related television channels we now receive – which I frankly find both alarming and increadibly amusing quite simultaneously – which seem to believe I should donate money to them so they can spread the word of God via TV rather than me giving that money to worthy charities instead, how sickening). I’m adding the History Channel to the list of cool channels to while away a Sunday afternoon after lunch. That documentary had all the ingredients of a good edutainment show – light on frilly pointlessness and heavy enough on useful historical fact. I also watch far too much “Seconds From Disaster” these days (National Geographic) but they haven’t quite got the message about silly pointlessness.

    There’s no real point to this post, except perhaps “watch documentaries”. Oh and I’ll have to swing by Philly now during my trip because I want to see the original articles of the Constitution.


    Random factoid. Incidentally, the War of 1812 – also known as the “forgotten war” – was the one where the British burned the Whitehouse to the ground after they (the US) had burned the Canadian Parliament (but that wasn’t the last fire they had). Rather than being a forgotten war, I think it’s actually got a lot of relevence to the makeup of the modern world. Incidentally, the British also burned the Library of Congress in the process of torching Washington – something that I can’t possibly think served any useful purpose whatsoever but possibly destroyed historical documents that we might otherwise have today. The British were so frightfully evil.