Sunday, January 30, 2011

Young Blood

Yesterday was the 22nd lan party, and it was a big one. 20 people turned out including some old faces who hadn't turned up for several years.

It was most of the usual games, mostly because a lot of new games need internet access to e played. Next lan we are going to have internet which opens up a new possibility for games. Concepts like Steam and Windows Live are killing the ability to play games offline, in the name of anti piracy, it is such a shame really. However it has forced us to make a change and pay for a phone line and ADSL for the legion. Which in turn means we are going to have to be more organised and host more regular lans. If we can do one about ever two to three months we should cover the cost of the phone line.

We tried out my new local takeaway Enjoy Pizza and Grill, they seemed pretty pleased to get an order for 16 Pizzas, 2 kebabs, 2 burgers and a bag of chips. Personally I preferred them to Pizza La Vita but I do admit thanks to the cold weather they were a little cool by the time we made it back to the legion.

The new server seemed to work OK though not sure anything can cope with people moving 85GB at a time across the network.

Punching in a dream

It has been a busy week have some big decisions to make and the stress has somewhat gotten to me. Fortunately I was able to release some tension on Friday Night as I went for a few drinks with Bruce and Nick.
We headed to the Governors House for a few pints. It was a lot quieter than last time we were there at Christmas eve, fortunately no band either. Bruce was asking Nicks advice after having some issues with the landlord of his Cheltenham flat. She wants Bruce to take time off work so that the flat can have a gas inspection. Additionally, the flat has no phone line and the TV antenna doesn't actually pick up any TV station other than Russia today and Al Jazeera. The landlord doesn't think that she should fix either of these, Nick believes that she should as they are fixed items.

Nick looks like he has managed to sell the house he was working on, which frees him up to get going on his own place. By the sounds of it he has some big plans to remodel it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I went to see Tron:Legacy last night with Bruce and Phil. Initially I had gone round to Bruce's house to get the server ready for the Lan party next weekend. We managed to pool a lot of spare part that we had lying around to make quite a reasonable server, things are looking good.

Tron:Legacy was interesting, it has been many years since I saw the original so much so I barely remembered the plot. Only the light cycle racing stuck out in my memory. Clearly technology has moved on significantly since the first film. Legacy was a 3D, film which meant the entrance price was £9.80 (plus the cost of 3D glasses if you didn't already have them). I am still unconvinced by 3D. It looked spectacular of course, but after several hours I was glad to take the glasses off. I still see 3D as a bit of a gimmick rather than something which really adds to film. Only Avatar has really impressed me with its depth and ability to immerse the viewer in a 3D landscape. 3D did make the Grid look spectacular, but it would still look impressive in 2D.

beware maybe spoilers

The Grid is an imagining of the world inside the computer. The story starts out with Kevin Flynn explaining the story of the first film to his young son sam, before disappearing. Years later Alan designer of Tron spoke receives a page from Flynn apparently sent from a long closed arcade. Young Sam Flynn goes to investigate only to discover his fathers hidden workshop, where he is sucked into the matrix the grid.

He finds a world where his father is an outlaw living in the nether regions resigned not to fight anymore after his own program C.L.U. a digital copy of him turned against him. Kevin has spent years meditating on his failure to create a virtual world with Quorra. Quorra is the last of a digital race which manifested inside the grid, Kevin saw them as a miracle C.L.U. as a perversion of the perfect world and destroyed them in the great purge.

I think had we have gone to the Imax I might have been slightly snow blind by the end of the film with all the strong colours from the grid!

Throughout the film I kept thinking of Inception. Especially they are both films explore the power of the mind to create alternative realities. In Inception the reality are the dreamworlds, Tron has has digital world of the Grid. Both explore the nature of creating a world, and that our own minds can work against us. In Inception Cobs subconscious works against him, whereas Flynn's obsession with creating a "perfect" world ended up causing genocide.

Both are good films, and both have exception sound tracks. Trons was privider by Daft Punk who arranged an exceptional score. Han Zimmer made the haunting Inception sound track, which added so much to the film. Overall I think inception was a little smarter and more slickly put together. Inception also wins points for being more original, rather than another rehashing of an 80's era film. Tron:Legacy is a very entertaining spectacle film, which managed to have a little more depth than the average action film.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Word Problems

I had my parents round for dinner last night. I tried my hand at making a Mexican style meal, Burritos. I thought they were pretty tasty alternative to the Fajita we normally have. I didn't manage to find enchilada sauce but I did use fresh chilli rather than powder.

I wouldn't recommend Sainsbury's Tex mex dip selection though. I served it with Tortillas and found the dips pretty bland and unappealing.

It has come as a bit of a surprise to me that I actually enjoy cooking. Before I moved out of my parents I hardly made anything, and I was pretty worried about what I would eat. Fortunately I have managed to find a lot of things to make and I prepare an awful lot of my own food. I'm pretty proud of myself for not living off takeaways and ready meals.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bone House

I just want to assure the world that I am not Judge John D. Cooke. I did not preside over the Microsoft Antitrust case. Nor am I a member of the American Criminology Society and much as your publication The Criminologist make for riveting reading I really could do without all your email.

So pretty please Judge make sure you give people the correct email address in future, okay?


All Terrain-Ice Cream Transport

All Terrain-Ice Cream Transport
Originally uploaded by Louis K.

Want an ice cream?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fish Fight

Just watched Gordon Ramsey Shark bait. It quite upset me, sharks are amazing creatures so it was shocking to see the industry behind shark fin soup.
I remember diving and seeing sharks was incredible. The fact that they could be driven to extinction in the next few decades, and the manor in which the fins are extracted, cut off the live animal which is then thrown back into the water was harrowing to watch.
Personally I have never eaten shark fin soup and after seeing that video I would never. Anyone wanting to know more take a look at the shark trust and Channel Four big fish fight.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tricks with Chmod

Found a helpful blog post with some tips on using chmod.

Just saved me ages in scripting time, excellent!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sort Classes C#

I had a problem in C# where I needed to sort an array of classes based on one of the properties. It posed several issues, firstly the class definition came from a web service I wasn't in control of I couldn't implement IComparable which would have allowed me to use the sort routine. I suppose I could have made my own structure that implemented IComparable but given this was a quick fix I used a simple bubble sort. Not very efficient but simple and robust and given the datasets are usually less then 10 elements (and never more than 26) should be efficient enough. NB this is a cut down version that runs as a console application.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace BubbleSort_2
class Program
/// Simple Structure to represent insight

public class insight
public Name_match_indicator nameMatchIndicator { get; set; }
/// Name Match Indicator, this is from the Equifax Project

public enum Name_match_indicator
A = 0,
B = 1,
C = 2,
D = 3,
E = 4,
F = 5,
G = 6,
H = 7,
I = 8,
J = 9,
K = 10,
L = 11,
M = 12,
N = 13,
P = 14,
Q = 15,
R = 16,
S = 17,
T = 18,
U = 19,
V = 20,
W = 21,
X = 22,
Y = 23,
Z = 24,

static void Main(string[] args)
Random random = new Random();
string tmp;
// array to hold values
insight[] a = new insight[10];
for (int i1 = 0; i1 < a.Length; i1++) { //Generate a random character tmp = Convert.ToChar(Convert.ToInt32(Math.Floor(26 * random.NextDouble() + 65))).ToString(); a[i1] = new insight(); //convert random char into Enumerated type a[i1].nameMatchIndicator = (Name_match_indicator)Enum.Parse(typeof(Name_match_indicator), tmp); } // number of elements in array int x = a.Length; int i; int j; insight temp = new insight(); for (i = (x - 1); i >= 0; i--)
for (j = 1; j <= i; j++) { //Make the Comparison if (a[j - 1].nameMatchIndicator.CompareTo(a[j].nameMatchIndicator) > 0)
// if they arnt comparable switch them.
temp = a[j - 1];
a[j - 1] = a[j];
a[j] = temp;

for (int k = 0; k < x; k++) { Console.WriteLine("{0}. {1}", k, a[k].nameMatchIndicator); } Console.Read(); } } }

Fibonacci Series Program using Recursion in C#

According to Wikipedia the Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence:

0,\;1,\;1,\;2,\;3,\;5,\;8,\;13,\;21,\;34,\;55,\;89,\;144,\; \ldots\; (sequence A000045 in OEIS)

By definition, the first two Fibonacci numbers are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two. Some sources omit the initial 0, instead beginning the sequence with two ones.

C#.NET Tutorial, C#.NET Basics - Fibonacci Series Program using Recursion in C#: "Fibonacci Series Program using Recursion Code"

The security gadget that UK bankers want squelched

The security gadget that UK bankers want squelched.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


It was Andy's leaving do last night. We went to the Deaf Institute on Grosvenor Street.

I was a good evening lots of people turned out to wish him the best. I had a good chat with Ian, about the perils of long distance relationships and many others things. Dave and Claire were there, digging into some pita bread as I arrived. Its the first time I have met them since they got engaged.

I asked Andy if he had managed to learn any Chinese, he told me the only thing he learned so far was the word for dog, so that he could check that is not what he is eating! I think its more Korea that you have to worry about eating dog, though the Chinese do appear to eat pretty much anything.

Danny arrived later on with a wonderful hat. I haven't seen him for ages, and he appeared to be in a very good mood.

I cannot remember a huge amount about the evening, probably to do with the large amount of alcohol I imbibed. I caught a cab home with Ian, after a quick kebab in Abduls. Which actually turned out to be the biggest kebab I have had for a long time, I couldn't even finish it.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Show Solution in Visual Studio 2008

I recently converted all our projects to use Visual Studio 2008 (a bit behind I realise!) I needed to add another project to a solution however for some reason Microsoft have defaulted Visual Studio not to display a solution if there is only one project. Fortunately this can be redressed following the advice here

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Your Protector

Yesterday we went round to my parents for dinner for dinner. My parents made us a beef and yorkshire pudding dinner. It was really very tasty, we both enjoyed it very much. I love my parents house at this time of year, sitting in the living room warm by the fire.

We felt very lazy today, we stayed up last night watching bad movies on TV. So I made a nice spoiling breakfast of bacon and eggs then we played a bit of Super Mario Bros Wii. I have never really been into it but started playing it with Kath.

Andy G came round to pick up his data. I have been recovering it from Emily's old PC. The copy took a couple of hours, while we played Wii Sports. Kath surprised us both beating us at bowling, while Archery expert proved difficult for us all.

I just made dinner, tonight we had a stir fry and a bottle of White wine. Then we had some of Kath's amazing carrot cake with ice cream, heaven! Kath even took pity on me and did the washing up what an amazing girlfriend :)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Night Terror

Last year I spent New Years Eve in Poland. This year I struggled to decide how to spend it. In the end decided to stay in and invite a few people round. Kath and I went out to Stockport to buy some nibbles ad alcohol. It was very busy people going crazy for the offers, 10 cans for £7.

We got back from Stockport and rearranged the furniture and put the nibbles out on the table. With just enough time for a quick sit down and a cuddle before anyone arrived.

Joe and Holly arrived first. Jo was driving as they planned to leave in time to celebrate midnight with Holly's mothers.

I tried to get the Wii on the go unfortunately Jo thrashed me at bowling and I managed to whack Kath with the remote. The Wiimote jacket stopped it hurting her but the sound of the impact was quite loud.

Phil and Caroline arrived next, ladened with Alpha, Archers and Cheesecake. Later in the evening after we had been snacking for a while Phil picked up a can of Beer and exclaimed "there is cheesecake in my beer!". It amused me so much that I made it my Facebook status!

At the stroke of midnight we headed out into the Garden to enjoy the fireworks. The firework display scared Cocoa. She had spent the evening being the centre of attention, with everyone using the mouse on a string toy to torment her. She seemed happy to have lots of play and to get lots of strokes and attention.

We toasted New Year with the Champagne that Martin and Charlotte gave me as a moving in present. The sky was full of Chinese lanterns and fireworks.

I tried to get Phil and Caroline a taxi home but the firs three numbers I called were busy and the final firm the guy actually laughed when I asked for a taxi, customer service Fail! Fortunately the distance to Phil's house is not much further than my parents so it should not have taken much more than an hour to get home. Plus the weather has improved finally with positive temperatures.