Archive for March, 2006

Wales March 2006

Wales March 2006

A collection of photos from my trip to North Wales in March 2006. A nice set of artistic shots of waves crashing onto whistling sands beach are in this album

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Off to Wales

I’m about to leave for my short trip to North Wales as mentioned in one of my previous postings. I will be back on the weekend, but until then I am leaving my computer(s) and so my blog behind. I will be sure to take some nice pictures while I’m there though and post them up for all interested :)

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phpBB bear on the way

As many people know I am an avid supporter of the phpBB group and their superb bulletin board project, which I enjoy using and writing mods for on many different websites that I build and maintain.

It was therefore great news when I read that limited edition phpBB Bears were going on sale for the second time (as far as I know, in history). There were a limited number available before a while back, and I missed them, but this time, I managed to get my order off on time, so hopefully in the not too distant future I should be getting my bear in the post! They are going on sale in recognition of the forthcoming release of the next generation of phpBB bulletin board, codenamed Olympus.
If you know all about phpBB then you will recognise the significance of the bear and why I really want to have one, otherwise, just enjoy the bear cuteness in the photo below :)

Berite the bear

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Feeling Rested

I haven’t been blogging for the last few days because I’ve been taking some time off. Its amazing how cumulatively tired you get over the course of a busy term and I have been enjoying some long lie ins and late nights as my sleep pattern gets all messed up, still as a couple of people were telling me today its does you good to unwind and chill out occasionally, and it has been nice to kick back and watch a couple of movies and suchlike.

I’m going to be taking short trip up to Noth Wales on Thursday, coming back on the weekend, which should be a very nice addition to my rest; good sea air for a few days with plenty of walks and a nice pebble beach, after a long term in a city I couldn’t ask for anything more really.

I will try and take some photos while I am up there so I have something to pop up in the gallery. It will be nice to get the cam out again :)

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Late trains

There is something about having a ticket for a late train. Something that makes you get ready really early, then have to kick your heels for ages waiting for the time to come when you can make your way to the station. Not because you don’t have anything to do, but because everything you have to do will take more time than you have available. Ah well.

I’m heading home tonight, but will keep blogging hopefully. I’m going to try and “unplug” for a short while though; its amazing how much I feel myself morphing into a computer sometimes. Its when I find myself thinking about re-organising my file structure rather than cooking myself some food that I start to worry. Will be good to have a little rest at least.

On the music front I’m looking forward to Incognito at the Jazz cafe at the start of April. Matt just e-mailed me mentioning that he couldn’t make it, but as I’d nearly forgotton it came as a nice reminder I had that to look forward to in just a few weeks! :)

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Two days to go…

Its only two days to go till I’m going back to St. Albans for the Easter break. Problem is I can’t really see at this stage how I’m going to get everything done! Theres two pieces of coursework to finish, all the while trying to get little bits finished up I can’t do from home and then I’m trying to get as much python done as possible for the project. Hectic just isn’t the word. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to veging out in front of the TV for a few days once I get home. On the other hand, perhaps a little break is what I need. Wardrobe tonight…. hmmm, I’m sorely tempted.

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Progressing nicely

With a nice progress bar! The number of files that TIM has to chomp through is quickly calculated (a second or so of time), and then this number combined with a piece of code to increment a second value by one every time a file is indexed provides all that is needed for wxPython to produce a progress bar. As screen shots look nice I have posted another one below, illustrating TIM’s progress bar. This is very useful for large numbers of MP3s as the user is given both a physical indication of how much has been done and has left to go (the bar) as well as an accurate “time left to wait” figure. This is dynamically calculated depending on the average time between each operation, and is kept up to date and gets very accurate within a couple of seconds.

Progress bar for TIM indexing process

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BBC spelling blunder

Who was typing the news banners tonight then I wonder?

BBC Spelling Blunder

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French dilute DRM stranglehold

I read in the papers today that the French parliment had voted through a bill to force online music stores operating in France to open up their copy protection technologies to allow any player to play the tunes downloaded. An article of a similar nature on the BBC tells the full story.

Its interesting and encouraging to see someone leading the way on this issue. They are fighting DRM from another angle; rather than saying they don’t want it outright they are saying that users desrve the opertuinity to use their purchases on their player of choice, and also, in purchasing a particular player of choice, shouldn’t have to be restricted to the use of just one player.

This is important because thats been half the argument of DRM. Its like codecs; if you don’t have codec, you mind the fact that a system holding media you want uses a different codec. If everything you want to listen to uses the same codec, or everything it’s possible to watch/listen to the media on has all the codecs, its no longer an issue.

Ultimately what consumers want is their fair use rights, and if the new French laws pave the way to meaning regardless of DRM implementation music and movies with DRM must play on all players and not just a restrictive group of them from one company, its certainly a step in the right direction.

It still doesn’t help the open source community of course. Its all very well sharing DRM between companies but then they can just sign contacts of non-disclosure between themselves and keep the net tight, while cutting users of open source systems, such as Linux, and UMS type players out in the cold. Ah well, still work to be done I guess.

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phpBB v3 around the corner…

If this post on phpBB announcements is anything to go by, we could soon be using a brand new version of phpBB on future forums we create! It’s all exciting stuff, and the feature list published so far is still non-exhaustive and already seems to provide everything you could want from a bulletin board.

As an avid supporter of phpBB, I implore any bulletin board admins to setup a test board and help out with the testing and bug reporting when the time comes. At the moment its still all in the CVS, but if you are experienced you can join in now as the post suggests.

I will be attempting to port all my mods not superceeded by olympus functions to the new version, and am starting work on this in a week or so’s time. At the very least I need to have an idea about how they will work under the new system. Due to the improved features of Olympus, we can hopefully expect some new features on my CMS system as well. Watch this space :)

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