Archive for January, 2007

Loads of signups

Jazz and Blues society are going to be huge is the word from the committee! Basically we took close to 100 sign-ups over the course of the last two days at the re-freshers fair and by normal freshers fair standards the turnouts were rather poor. This means that come September when we will have a massive turnout at the fair we may well have a big society by LUU standards.

We are all looking forward to our first social which will be at Hi-Fi club on Sunday for lunch. Considering the number of people who might go I’m going to have to make sure I call up the club and let them know we are coming!

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Exam results afoot

I’ve found out that our exam results are to be released on Monday from our tutors so I’m now waiting with somewhat baited breath to see how I’ve done. Its that annoying time when its been long enough since the exams to have forgotten how you thought you did and not close enough to results day to allow you to decide if you are optimistic or pessimistic about the outcome. Still hopefully all will be well and I can get on with enjoying work for the second semester modules.

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New camera

On Sunday I finally did it – I bought myself an amazing digital SLR camera, the Cannon EOS 400D to be precise. You can read a review here. Put simply it is amazing. The freedom it gives compared to a conventional digital camera (or at least my old one anyway) is akin to releasing a caged animal into an area the size of which cannot physically be covered by the creature.

While I haven’t been able to explore all the features and indeed I’m still not entirely sure what some of them do, I have been able to practice with the different settings by taking pictures in and around the house and noting the flexibility and versatility of the options available. I can definitely see myself being able to take some superb pictures with this piece of kit.

The ability to change the ISO settings and manually focus are just two functions which make me excitied. While a film camera will allow you to focus to your hearts content its not something available on conventional digital cameras and changing the ISO with a normal SLR was reserved for film change time, and then you had to take a whole 24 or 36 shots at that ISO. Now I can chop and change at will and its fantastic – great for those low light level shots. I have high hopes for my sunset pictures in the future.

I hope to get out and about with the camera this weekend and if I get any good shots I will be sure to post them up here for all to see.

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Old bar gathering

It really felt like social events had got started for the term when we all met up for an evening of drinking, fun and merriment at the Old Bar on Saturday night. Apart from the fact that the band at the far end were quite possibly the most awful I’d ever heard (hence why we were as far away from them as possible) and George was working behind the bar instead of sitting with the group it was really good fun. We caught up on group goings on and were soon knocking back the drinks. A load of random people joined us who a fraction of the group appeared to know but the rest of us just continued as if they hadn’t arrived, lol I left just before the others, but I didn’t miss hardly anything and it was great to see everyone in the one place. Long may these type of social gatherings continue!

In other news it was also a momentous night for Sarann, who after months of saying she wasn’t a geek and being flatly told she was, finally was awarded a reprieve to the status of non-geek. The reason was quite simply that she didn’t know who Tux was. If you don’t know who Tux is, you’re not a geek either, or certainly not enough of one to merit geek status at any rate. I must say I found it remarkable that any computing student wouldn’t know about Tux, but then I am rather fanatical in the field of Linux 😉

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Coursework prize

Today I recieved a prize, donated by Microsoft, to the tune of £50 for my efforts in the analysis and programming coursework in my SE20 module work last semester. Third place it might have been, and £50 may not be much but out of the whole year taking the module its still something to be rather proud of.

I will be meeting a representative from Microsoft in a few weeks time along with the other two winners (congratulations to Matt and Mai – especially Matt for such an outstanding set of marks) so it should be interesting to get their views on modern software development and the rise of the open source movement, in particular my own open source project work over on RouterTech. If anyone has anything they think I should be discussing with a representative from Microsoft then feel free to contact me and I’ll try and make sure it gets mentioned in the course of my meeting with them, time permitting of course.

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Jazz and Blues society a step closer

Yesterday myself, Simeon and Andy had a meeting with Megan at LUU to finalise some bits and pieces for the Jazz and Blues society here in Leeds and I’m pleased to say it all went very well and things are looking up for us. We have a stall at freshers fair on Monday & Tuesday so we should be able to get a fair few members signed up. I’m in the process of frantically getting the website finished so that we can proudly display the URL and pop it on our fliers, and in addition trying to get some events organised so we can do well from the off. If we can make this work Jazz and Blues in Leeds University and indeed around Leeds in general is going to get a lot better.

On Monday night a group of us are going the be seeing Capri play live at a students union funk night which should be really good fun. If you want to join us, get in touch 🙂

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Salted steps

In recent ice that we’ve had Heather unfortunately fell down the steps outside the front of my house on her way back home. In response I have elected to put salt (ordinary table salt this is, nothing fancy) down on them in the evenings and amazingly it has been very effective, Matt in fact passed comment on how useful it was when coming home late from a night out. So there you have it folks; salt your front steps to avoid unexpected sitting sessions on the floor nursing bruised limbs!

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Sunday joint at Hi-Fi

On Sunday night I took a trip down to hi-fi club for their Sunday Joint – a jazz based club night. It was for me the last true night of freedom before the new term began after exams and marked both the beginning of one and the end of another period of hard work. Danny Gough’s band nu York State were playing and it was a fantastic night, the crowd was superb. I got a call from Danny the other night and he said it was one of the most amazing nights he had ever had and I’d definitely agree. You literally had to be there to believe how much the crowd loved the music.

Gaz is now a nu York State convert and really loves their funky style – I think they can count on his support whenever he can get to the gig! I’m meeting up with Danny next week for a drink hopefully so I shall be passing on all compliments I’ve gotten wind of. it certainly looks like they are doing well and thats a great thing.

More generally though its made me want to go back to hi-fi for the Sunday Joint. Its a vibrant atmosphere for anyone in need of some good jazz and a last blast before the start of the week. I’d recommend it to anyone.

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Well done Paul

I just read on Paul’s blog that he has been running his web business for a year and is doing very well. This is brilliant news and I just wanted to take the opportunity to say congratulations for pulling it off. Its not an easy road to get started on and I’m glad its working out well. As for asking for help etc. I’m always happy to assist and I’m glad you’ve found it useful – feel free to ask anytime. Best of luck for the future mate, you deserve every success.

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New disk space

Well Lara may have been up for over 100 days but its finally time to take her offline for a little time. Not because she needs a restart or there are problems but that her hard drive array is full and needs to be expanded. There is currently a 300Gb Raid 1 array installed and this is soon to be dramatically increased with an additional 400Gb Raid 1 array brining total availabe disk space on the server to a whopping 700Gb with about 120Gb still available on a non-raid drive for the OS, programs and other bits and pieces.

Lets hope this new space doesn’t fill up as quickly as the 300Gb did and that I can once again regain my high position on the uptime scale. Got to love Linux 🙂

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