Archive for June, 2006

Congratulations James

This is just a quick posting to give my warm congratulations to James Goodhead who recieved his final results today and has achieved a First degree clasification in Economics from the University of York. A spectacular grade and one richly deserved considering all the hard work I know he put in. We certainly will have something to celebrate now at North Sea Jazz πŸ™‚

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First for Python

I was delighted to check the school of computing online marks system late yesterday and discover that my project in Python had gained me a first (78%) in the module. It’s certainly inspired me to continue the development of TIM just as soon as I have time, and to bring it up to release candidate standard πŸ™‚

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BBC plan web advertisments

In the Guardian today I read an article on the BBC’s plans to include advertising on it’s website network. While the BBC has stressed that the advertising would be low-key and not include animation or banner ads, I really do think that this is a worrying step in the wrong direction.

Quite frankly I don’t feel the BBC have the right to place adverts on any of its services, simply because I feel one of the primary reasons for funding the BBC with tax payers money is so we can recieve information be it news, finance, education or anything else without commercial influence and without interuption from the purpose for which sit through a TV program or read a website. We don’t do either of those things to be sold products, and while in some situations it is the being sold products to that funds what we consume, the BBC isn’t supposed to work like that. On a more serious note who wants to be reading about a famine crisis and then have an advert in the middle of the article for ice cream? Sounds extreme but I’ve seen it done on other sites.

I use the BBC because I trust them. I still read their articles with the same level of scepticism as any other source of information on a topic I am as yet unfamiliar with, however I trust the way in which it is delivered. I firmly believe that their main reason for providing the information to me is because taxes have been payed to them for that very purpose. Introducing a commercial element into this information delivery puts a slur on this transparency. Not only are we left to question the sources of the news which is provided to us (as one should do with any news), but we are also left to question if any part of an article has been written in a certain way or placed in a certain location to better enhance the advertising which is interspersed with it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the proposed level of advertising spells the doom and gloom for the quality of the BBC to the levels that I have detailed so far, but I do feel it opens the gate just that little bit more to the amount of advertising increasing at a later date to levels in which they could have an extremely negative impact.

I urge everyone who uses the BBC as a regular source of news and information online, on radio and on television to write to them about your concerns. I will always choose BBC television and radio over any other simply because of the lack of adverts, and only then choose between the channels and stations to find content I want. I think the BBC need to be made aware that it is support like this they are spitting in the face of if they sell out on any of their information mediums.

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Websites and drinks

Not a combination that one would expect to work particularly well, but last night it was a great mix. I went over to Claire’s place to speak with her about a website to showcase her artwork and when I had gone over the requirements and made a few sketches a few other people came over and we set about drinking a fair quantity of wine and enjoying a variety of nibbles and snacks.

It was nice to get together with a few people because it has got rather quiet lately, and I love a good discussion. I have been very privillaged to meet people during my time at Leeds so far who enjoy sitting around drinking and chatting as much as going out on the town. While there is nothing wrong with going out a lot, its nice to know that like me, there are others who see the benefits of a good night in. Getting hopelessly drunk and discussing each others escapades of weeks gone by is, after all, always entertaining, especially when you can’t remember what you did yourself πŸ˜‰

On the subject of meeting people generally, I have been forced to revise my negative opinion of Clarence Dock with respect to social life. It would appear that it was only my flat/block that was devoid of large amounts of social interaction as the flat I am in now, albeit for a mere week while I wait to be able to move into my house, is a great social centre. People actually speak to each other more than just the odd hi, and despite the fact I’ve only been here a few days we all talk loads and get along well, its great. Kitchens are not just for cooking in, but sitting in with your food and conversing with others. This is a concept while not alien to me seemed to be so for my other flatmates. All the luck of the draw I guess. As a note to all students yet to go into halls who read this; make sure your flat/house is the sociable one, not the ghetto of human interaction. It makes your life so much more fun to be in a lively place πŸ™‚

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Back to RouterTech

After a long time away from the frontline of maintainance and modification to the core code of RouterTech, I’m back on the case in earnest. A fair few jobs have racked up during my time in the university library revising for exams, and while individually the items of work needed are quite small, in total there are a fair few things to get through. Thanks to Neo for doing signficantly more than holding the fort while I was spending time elsewhere, you’re a star.

RouterTech has gone from strength to strength so far, and while I won’t go as far as to say it is the most successful community I have ever set up, it certainly has the potential to be πŸ™‚

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Through the viewfinder

My considerably more relaxed attitude towards life of late has led me to blog less and spend a little more time exploring a few things I wouldn’t normally take a look at due to time constraints, however in one of these bouts of exploring, several links away from my normal blogroll, I came accross some really interesting photography that was certainly worth blogging about.

It involves taking a photo through the viewfinder of another camera. You can check out some of the really stunning work on flickr. This kind of interesting and at times breathtaking photography is enough to inspire anyone to blow the dust off the camera and get out there. I especially like the shots of old buildings where the play on light is simply awesome – well worth a look.

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Moving on up

While early morning yesterday saw the release of exam results, immediately aftwards came the task of moving flats. Packing was one of those moments that brought out a huge amount of nostalgia. Stuff from the past year and way before surfacing out of various boxes, so much to muse over. The day before I moved out was mostly spent playing Alexander O’Neal on the hi-fi and leafing though all my bits and bobs from York days. I came accross this hillarious photo of myself at Ikon & Diva pissed with Alannah and other folk from the committee. A copy of which is on Halifax Online. Great stuff πŸ™‚

Packing took somewhat longer than I expected, even with the nostalgia, I simply have far too much stuff after 3 years of student life and really need to clear some of it out at somepoint. Suffice it to say that by 10:30am I was just about packed. I got the key to my temporary room that I’m using till next month when I can move into my house and started moving it all accross. Huge thanks to Matt for the help, couldn’t have done it without him. It took hours, but by 4pm we had moved most stuff to my room and put the rest in Matt’s storage unit. Then of course it was time to hit the Llama for some well deserved refreshment.

The evening didn’t of course stop at the Llama, and we ended up going to a curry house just down the road called 7 spices, which is actually really nice and a great place to go if you are with a group of friends. I will definitely be going back there! Afterwards we headed back to Claire’s house and had a chat for a fair while and polished off a bottole of wine and had a few shots of cassis which is always good.

Slowly but surely though people are leaving Leeds. While there are more people staying in Leeds than ever stayed at York over the holidays, it is thinning out which is sad. Earlier on in the week saw Michelle leave, Chris has gone home (although only to his home on the other side of Leeds), Sarann is going home today and a fair few others have also left. A core group of people do remain, but it remains to be seen where I will feel the social pull the most. I had hoped it would be Leeds because the vibrant music scene is something I from back in St. Albans may prove to be too much of a temptation to resist.

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Great results

Chuffed just isn’t the word! I got my end of year exam results yesterday morning and hadn’t dipped below 70% in any of my semester 2 modules. This means that combined withΒ  the good results from semester 1, I’m well into a first this year. Unfortunately the first year doesn’t count towards the overall degree classification, however it does bode well for my ability to study hard and do well in next years modules which do of course make a good contribution to the overall mark.

These results mean I can spend the summer relaxing and doing some light development on the web front just to keep my eye on the ball (although we all know I’m going to be at the programming hammer and tongs). Thanks to all those who sent me messages saying congratulations, I don’t know how you all knew about it (before this posting), but thanks anyway πŸ™‚

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Amazing desktop

I’m not generally someone to go crazy over a super animated or feature rich desktop, but I spotted this link on the SoC newsgroups and just had to post it up here. If this is the future of tablet PCs, I may well have to consider getting one in the future. It seems to have an accute understanding of my paper filing system!

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I went to the cinema last night to see Da Vinci Code. While this in it’s self wouldn’t normally be something blog-worthy, I feel it is because I literally haven’t been to the cinema in 6 months or so. As someone who really enjoys film and especially cinema, albeit on a superficial level, this really was far too long not to have gone and seen a movie.

It was an enjoyable film too, though it did last for ages. We had popcorn, some laughs at the funny bits and went to subway afterwards. A generally nice and relaxed type of evening, the kind I will not be taking such a long break from again πŸ™‚

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