Archive for October, 2006

Jazz and coursework

Finally I struck upon a way to enjoy live jazz and make good progress with my coursework at the same time. All I needed to do was choose my venue for the SE20 coursework as the Wardrobe. That way I could go along and enjoy a bit of live music, and as long as I paid attention to what was going on at the bars and with the staff and such it would be productive too.

I went along last night to do the first stage of my fieldwork and have pretty much covered all the angles asked for in the coursework spec, even asking a friend questions to form the customer interview. Seeing as I go so often I should be able to check my diagrams quite easily too. Jazz and coursework seem to play very nicely together, I could get used to this!

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Queues in Essentials

Over the summer the Leeds student union main shop had a few changes made to it, mainly where shelves were positioned and where this tills were. The problem is that this shift around has caused vast increases in the length of queues in the shop. At peak time at lunch it can now take nearly 15 minutes between joining the queue to pay and leaving the shop. The length of the queue is so severe that it prevents you getting to some of the shelves because the queue is snaking between them. Annoyingly the most frequent set of shelves to be encroached on by the queue are the sandwich shelves and this causes a huge bottleneck.

I miss the days when getting a sandwich and a newspaper in the union was a quick 5 minute job and I’m sure many other students feel the same. Bring back the old design!

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Radio show

Last night I was in York to present the first airing of Jazz Blues Fusion for the new academic year in York. It was really great to be back in the presenters chair again and with such a great selection of music along with and superb listener interaction in the form of e-mails to the studio. I was pleased to hear that the jazz and blues society in York has had over 250 members sign up which gives me great hope that the soon to exist Leeds counterpart society can do equally as well.

Special thanks also to my friends in Leeds, many of whom took the effort to tune into the show and listen live 🙂

If you missed the show you can download and listen to it direct from lara

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Housing decision

Its insane I know but we got a letter from our letting agent yesterday telling us that if we want to stay in our house next year we need to let them know by December. This has thrown us into somewhat of a turmoil because although that is a month and a half away it means we are already trying to work out what we want to do in a year from now, and as we all know a lot can happen in that time.

I’ve started to talk to people in the group about what they might want to do to get an idea of the playing field, but its all very up in the air at the moment. My only prerequesits for next year I think are; a bigger room, computing folk in the house and no couples. Should be simple to achieve, but as ever with these things, its not always as easy as stating your preferences in list form, especially when the views and preferences of your friends are just as important as your own.

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No uptime

Found this hillarious site about web hosting horrors. Anyone who has a site or indeed is a webhost themselves will enjoy having a chuckle at this one. Link

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Xilo forum downtime

This is just a quick rant really. Normally sites have more uptime than downtime, especially small ones with not much traffic. Why is it then that the Xilo forum is almost always not available for one reason or another? In the last 2 months it has literally had almost 2/3 downtime. Thankfully their actual customer servers are superb on uptime, but not having the forum for most of the time is really starting to get on my nerves.

VBulletin is one of the best paid for forum systems out there. Why do they have so many problems with it? I’d have less problems with an out of date phpbb install on a home server with all its ports open and some trojans on board. Sort it out folks.

Update: The Xilo forums are now up 99.9% of the time so it seems like these issues were just teething troubles. A good community of helpful people has now built up on the forums so they are well worth a look.

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The SoC is blogging!

Aside from the launch of SoC Gossip (which is going rather well actually), I have been pleased with the number of people in the School of Computing who have been getting started in the world of blogging. WordPress has been employed in nearly all instances and even on some of the youngest blogs some interesting posts have been made that have been well worth debating. A fair few are now syndicating the odd post onto SoC Gossip which is great stuff.

It has also given me a chance to expand my blogroll quite significantly, so I encourage you all to have a browse over it. At best you’ll find the content interesting, and at the very least these newcomers to the blogging world can get the page views they deserve 🙂

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Cheese soc ripoff

Matt has already blogged about this and pretty much said everything I wanted to say on the subject, but if you haven’t read the post yet, pop on over and read about it now 😉

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Halo Effect

In my LUBS module lecture today we discussed a rather interesting social phenomena called the Halo Effect. This is essentially where we make a judgement of people and then no matter what they do or say subsiquently we allow our minds to bend that action so that it still conforms to pigeon-hole we placed the person in when we first made our judgement.

I found this interesting because I see this around me all the time and it goes a long way to explain why friends stick up for one another even when they can be rather nasty to each other on occasion. Its also rather worrying in the sense that by forming a positive opinion and judgement on someone we almost automatically and subconciously allow then to carry out any action in the future and it will immediately be alright by us, or at very least it will immediately be forgivable by us.

Why this is so interesting in a group of friends context is because quite frequently a group of friends will look at the actions of an outsider to the group that they don’t know and condemn it, and yet if they took one look at their own actions to others or even each other, they might surprisingly find that their judgment techniques need a swift review. Certainly food for thought anyway.

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Farewell Paul Hunter

It was with great sadness that I heard the news of the death of Paul Hunter after an 18 month battle with cancer. He was a superb snooker player, on his way to the top of the world rankings, he exhibited superb sportsmanship in all tournaments and was very well respected by fellow players and snooker fans alike.

Something that will always stick in my mind was the way he decided to take part in the championships despite being in the middle of chemotherapy. There he was on the world snooker stage, playing his best, wowing his audience and yet the whole time had so very much to deal with besides his game.

I feel we can all take something from the determination and commitment shown by Paul in that championship; to never give up, and to always do your best against all odds. Farewell Paul, you will be greatly missed.

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