Damn cretins

There I was, blissfully asleep. The first time this week when it was cool enough not to feel like a snowman under attack with a blowtorch, the open window wafting cool air over me and generally making things a whole lot better. Suddenly I hear voices, some loud, some soft, are they in my dream? What are they saying?

As I become more acustomed to the sound, I feel myself waking up; the voices are real, they are right outside my window, loud brash, disturbing my sleep. I become fully awake just in time to hear one say “try and nick some CDs”. That had me up in a flash; throwing on my dressing gown I strode to the window, flung open the curtains, just in time to see some cretin with a big head and no brains on top of the porch above the entrance to my block reaching over towards my window, where my CDs sit on the window ledge inside.

All logical thinking that some idiot like that wouldn’t be able to appreciate the finer points of Miles Davis or Bach went by the wayside and I grabbed the handle of the window as fast as I could and slammed it shut. As the voices became louder, but muffled with it, I realised the significance of my action. Not only had I enraged the cretins by foiling their stupid, pointless but almost successful plan, but I had also opened myself up to steadily rising temperatures with no cooling breeze and also the new option for the cretins to bang on the window.

In my newly establised open-window-less sauna, I started to analyse what could make these fools act this way. Judging by the agility with which more of them climbed onto the porch I figured intoxication couldn’t be an option, clearly they had no aim other than to wake the entire block and be the biggest pain possible. As the noise wasn’t too great at this stage, and they seemed more bothered with getting their friends onto the porch roof I figured I should probably try and go back to sleep before it got too hot to be able to get to sleep at all. Needless to say I was prevented from doing so; every so often there would be a bang on the window, as there was on the poor individual’s window on the first floor on the other side of the porch. I decided I had one last chance to put a stop to this, after all the worst that happened was that I wasn’t going to get any sleep.

Not being in posession of the number to call security, I had to be a little smarter. I donned my dressing gown and went down the hall to the intercom that connects each flat to a button and speakerphone by the main door, right underneath where the cretins were now ensconsed on the porch roof. I lifted the reciever, it was now or never, this had to work, or my sleep wasn’t going to happen. Quite how I did it I don’t know, but after putting on a voice of calm determination rather than the sleep-deprived individual I really was and asserting that security were in fact on their way to remove them from the roof and that it would be far better for them if they scarpered now rather than facing the wrath of a disgruntled security guard at 5am they got off the roof and started away at a fair pace, in fact in the short time it took me to get back from the phone they were all already off the roof. Perhaps they thought I was the subwarden or something.

Finally I could get some sleep, although I didn’t dare open the window for fear of revenge attacks when they possibly realised security were not on their way and had been duped.

Needless to say I can’t wait to get out of halls and into a much more civilised atmosphere where a solid nights sleep free from cretins is a dead cert not a game of chance.

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Bondi

I went to Bondi for the first time last night; the Leeds all you can drink after £10 entrance fee kind of thing with lots of drunken dancing and a whole lot of really cheesy music which ends up being good because you are so drunk and heard it all years before. It was pretty good to be honest. A large crowd of us went along, and apart from the unfortunate event that Matt wasn’t let back in when he went outside to talk on the phone it was just a barrel of laughs. Everyone drunk a fair bit, but Michelle defnitely beat everyone on the drink intake it must be said. I now see what she meant about speed – she can blitz through drinks like there is no tomorrow. While like many people this does end in the inevitable it’s still pretty impressive. I ended up leaving just gone 2 because I was really shattered and needed some kip but a call from Sarann at about 2:30 reminded me that I probably should have explicitely mentioned I was going home and not to the bar or some other place that bit closer, so sorry guys *feels slightly guilty*. Anyhows, it was a great night and given the time, motivation and lack of work I will almost certainly be going again st somepoint 🙂

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The Attic Project

Attic ProjectAs a pre-bondi event last night I went along with some friends to see Matt’s cousin’s band, The Attic Project. As someone who normally frequents the jazz scene and just takes other things on board as and when, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was pleasently surprised. On their website the band describe themselves as punk, rock & reggae and this is definitely the case, this mix in fact enhancing the sound beyond expectation and drawing in the unsuspecting.

I especially enjoyed the reggae influences present in the music, and it soon proved to be a sound that was successful at sucking you in. You can always tell a good sound when songs finish a little too soon, and the last song of the set arrives too quickly. In places the sound is clearly rock through and through, but because of the diverse range of influences the music draws on the overall sound is far from generic, in fact positively unique would be a more appropriate description.

While in a few places the performance could have done with a little more polish, the thought that had gone into the music shone through quite clearly. The group certainly have promise and musical style that has potential which will no doubt be realised in the future. Even if you don’t think it will be your thing, give the Attic Project a try – you may be pleasently surprised.

For more information about the group you can visit their website.

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Spam free phpBB

After the success of Akismet for WordPress and the number of comment spams that get stopped, it was great to see that a member of the phpBB mod team is developing a modification that checks posts made to a phpBB forum using Akismet. As far as I am concerned this is a superb step on the road to a more spam free forum system, and one that will have moderators and admins alike feeling like they have a weight off their shoulders; being able to deal with issues involving real people rather than editing/deleting posts made by bots. You can read more about the development of this mod here.

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Write in C song

Sung to the tune of The Beatles, Let it be, these lyrics made me chuckle a fair bit while cracking on with my C coursework.

When I find my code in tons of trouble,
Friends and colleagues come to me,
Speaking words of wisdom:
“Write in C.”

As the deadline fast approaches,
And bugs are all that I can see,
Somewhere, someone whispers:
“Write in C.”

Write in C, Write in C,
Write in C, oh, Write in C.
LOGO’s dead and buried,
Write in C.

I used to write a lot of FORTRAN,
For science it worked flawlessly.
Try using it for graphics!
Write in C.

If you’ve just spent nearly 30 hours
Debugging some assembly,
Soon you will be glad to
Write in C.

Write in C, Write in C,
Write in C, yeah, Write in C.
Only wimps use BASIC.
Write in C.

Write in C, Write in C
Write in C, oh, Write in C.
Pascal won’t quite cut it.
Write in C.

Write in C, Write in C,
Write in C, yeah, Write in C.
Don’t even mention COBOL.
Write in C.

Now if that isn’t a good bit of amusing motivation for your programming in C, I don’t know what is 😉

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By Sarann – honorary blogger

Right now, sitting on my bed are Kieran, Michelle and Chris, it’s 4 am. I thought it would be fun to blog. So far today we went to the park around 4 pm (on celebration of it being sunny) then me and Michelle went to church (it was cool! A lot has changed since my childhood!) then we met them in the Library pub after (because the Llama was closed). After that we got chinese and watched Lemony Snickets. Then the night got interesting. All very dehydrated we have got through 3 hours of weird conversations! http://www.blog.chrisworfolk.com/ So far we talked about:

Who the actors in Lemony Snickets were

The richness (or not) of Kieran’s parents given they own a yacht

Pirate movies

Religion in general

Steps to help Michelle stop squealing like a piggy when drenched with water (not very successful, needs more practise)

Where the universe came from – physics view and religious view

Marriage and sex, aswell as relationships
Potential couples for the next week (before everyone goes home)

The relationships between friends

Then Michelle left and all was finished. Good night!

Love,
Sarann

xx

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Heat wave

I saw in the news that the hot weather we are currently experiencing is an official heatwave. I really am not suprised, its so good to be out in the sun and to have some good weather, but it is VERY hot. I was in my room last night, right next to a wide open window and just couldn’t seem to cool down. Its was still in the 20 degree range and in the middle of the night too. Earlier in the day I consumed a whole bottle of water just walking from Clarence Dock to Hyde Park simply because walking in the heat made me so thirsty. Long may the weather continue though, after all, we were due a spell of great weather after all the rubbish we have been having. Dehydration and sunburn are all risks of this weather though; water and suncream companies must be raking it in.

Yesterday saw the ultimate in geeky behaviour; C in the park. Yes, we really did do it, although it seems the estimated quantity of code was slightly too high. I had visions of half the project being completed, when in fact a basic couple of functions were about the sum-total of results for the effort. Worth a try though, and it was rather cool having a bunch of computing students out in the park with laptops making a half hearted attempt at doing some work 😉

After draining Matt’s massive power pack just trying to keep up Chris’ laptop for a megre hour, drinking a fair bit, having another BBQ, lounging in the sun and discussing a variety of things including a rather odd debate about what was the lesser of two evils; necrophilia or bestiality, we headed off to our favorite haunt, the quilted llama. A comfy leather sofa, air conditioning and a drink or two is just what you need after a hot day in the park.

Michelle offered to cook food so not wanting to turn down free food when it was already half nine, Chris, Sophie and myself headed back to Michelles in Lupton. I’d never been to Lupton before, but in many ways it was not dissimilar to Clarence dock, only that little bit closer to uni. We caught the bus, but it was easily within walking distance. Apparently I’m being “turned over to the dark side” as that was the second bus I have caught since arrving in Leeds 😉 Because it was so hot we decided to eat outside and chat. It was kinda cool tripping over random bits of conversation and we were out there till gone midnight, before finally going in and continueing inside. I always enjoy conversation that just seems to naturally flow and never get boring. It transpired and both Sophie’s and Michelle’s family have boats, so it was kind of cool to find out all about that. Michelle eventually wanted to go to bed (can’t blame her it was close to 1am!) and Sophie had an early start at work the next morning so we left.

Walking Sophie back to Hyde Park (we both needed to head in that direction) we started talking about the employability of graduates and how she has been struggling to get her career off the ground due to a demand from employers to have large amounts of experience and because they seemingly misinterpret the true nature and complexity of her degree. Seems harsh really to be left in a sort of limbo after graduation; really wanting to get started on the career ladder but being unable to because of lack of experience, almost a catch 22 situation. It just shows you that there is far from certainty of a good job at the other end of a degree and as many students have problems and those who have success, if not more, and yet you only seem to hear about the successes. It certainly gave me some food for thought; I really need to get myself out there at an early stage and continue to build on my experience. I hope Sophie finds the kind of job she is after soon too 🙂

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C in the park

Today is yet another fantastic day of sunshine, so of course that means there is an other oportunity to spend some time in the park, have a few beers, a BBQ and some laughs, after all in the UK it’s not everyday you get weather like this and so maximising your enjoyment of it is always a priority. Problem is we have a programming assignment to do.

What better solution then but to take our laptops and bring the C code from the lab to the park! Its the best of both worlds, good times, nice weather and the work gets done. If only this could be the case more often 🙂

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No job at Accenture

After months of being unsure if there was an employment oppertunity at Accenture (Leeds) for a summer placement, I have been informed with certainty today that there will not be. This is a shame as I have waited for a while to hear about it all, and it would have been a great place to get some hands on business IT experience and work in a proper business environment. Still, it would appear that the problem of not being able to take on new staff is not unique to Accenture; several other places I have been looking at are giving out the same signals – “we’d employ you if we could”.

So in terms of employment, in the strictest sense of the word anyway, it looks like I will not have any this summer. While on the one hand this is a disappointment, it means I will be able to devote a lot of time to some of my projects which are in dire need of some further devlopment and some TLC in general, that and they are fun and look good on the CV. I will also be able to execute my plans for business expansion with a great degree of precision, and hopefully land some good clients in the process.

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End of C/C++ lectures

Today marked the last of the C/C++ lectures on the two week course. Apart from the fact we now have coursework and a small exam to do to prove we have learnt something, it has been a really good course. The speed of learning was much more my style; not being overly detailed in the lecture, but covering complex subjects requiring experimentation and solid learning in your own time which always seems to be the way I get to grips with things best – I hate being spoon fed. I’m liking C much more than Java, I think mainly because I’m not a massive fan of object orientation, and it also allows you to manage memory more directly and without the bloat of the JVM. It’s certainly confirmed that I really do love programming though, after all who else would have given up completely free time to do another (albeit short) course? 😉

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