Archive for October, 2007

Halloween

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 | Tech

Does anyone remember when Google used to have web results?

Google web search results for "Halloween"

Coursework

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Life

I’m starting to feel the strain from coursework a little more than expected. Having done quite a few late nights this week I was hoping I would have somewhat of an easy week this week. That said I didn’t do much coursework last week but I still feel I have loads to do – I have loads of SY to do, I still have some GI to do, there is a fresh let of labs I need to complete on top of that and in the background there is always my FYP plus I have a fresh set of PD tasks to do from yesterday too.

Birthday stuff

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Life

Time failed to stop again. As of last Friday I am officially 21.

After having been for lunch at the Eldon I went to Tiger Tiger in the evening with my parents. You don’t realise just how crap pub food is until you go to a proper restaurant and it hits you, “ah, this is how steak is actually supposed to taste.” Needless to say I enjoyed the meal, especially given my parents picked up the bill.

Then yesterday so I could do some quote unquote celebrating with my friends a few of us headed down to Nando’s for a meal. That was another interesting experience, I didn’t realise it was such a cheap fast-food style restaurant (you have to go to the bar to place your order and get your own cutlery) but never the less the food was good. We ended the evening in The Old Bar where I suspiciously wiped the floor with John at pool (he used to be a right shark, I’m sure he was letting me win) and grabbed a few drinks with the small selection of people that had made it down for the traditional Monday nights in The Old Bar.

Windows Server 2003

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Tech, Thoughts

I finally figured out what was wrong with one of the computers I am currently troubleshooting. The motherboard wasn’t getting enough power. It wasn’t that I had forgot to connect something, it was that my PSU didn’t actually have a 12v power cable. So I ran down to Maplin to get one of these and finally got the machine up and running.

Having managed to install Windows Server 2003 I booted up to find that it defaults to the classic Windows 9x look still (as does Windows Server 2008 I believe). It’s quite minimalist when you start it up, there is a security configuration help file on your desktop and the recycle bin in the bottom right corner. Also the system tray is empty – completely. There are quite a few other querks too such as it still ships with Internet Explorer 6 and it won’t let you change the security levels.

I’ve yet to fully play around with it as a server though so the fun is yet to come.

SY33

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Life

Our SY33 lectures have recently been taken over by Paul Townend which has been an interesting experience. While Karim’s lectures were good lectures, I’m really enoying our currently lectures. This is probably mostly attributable to the subject matter as we have now moved on to talking about web services which really interests me.

It’s been interesting to see other people’s opinions though. One fact that does seem to be becoming apparent is that we are all really getting into our own areas. I have had a lot of people tell me about how boring SY is at the moment. Meanwhile if I was to go off on a rant on how boring some other modules are they would defend them.

Either way it’s quite a nice change to actually be enjoying a lecture or two.

House Party round-up

Sunday, October 28th, 2007 | Life, Religion & Politics

As I previously mentioned, I went down to the Christian Union’s House Party this weekend. It was at Quinta Hall in Shropshire by the Welsh border. Having been out for my birthday on Friday I got up at the far too early time of 6am so that we could head down Saturday morning. We made it about 11:30 just in time to miss the morning meeting and get straight on with lunch.

We got there and walked into the hall to try and find someone. Wandering through a few corridors it really reminded me of the mansion in Resident Evil. Nobody around, classic old stylings and so quiet your footsteps were the only sound you could hear. Spooky. Luckily we eventually found someone who informed us C.U. were in a different building.

That afternoon was seminars, I choose to go to “Science vs. The Bible (Or not…)” which was delivered by Anna and Luke. I’ll talk more about that later but it was pretty interesting. Afterwards me and Michelle walked into the village of Quinta which contains a shop and a pub (and not much else!). So we bought some stuff and had a few drinks in the pub. Finally that evening there was a Christianity Explorered talk on the holy spirit by Carl Gibson.

The previously mentioned seminar brought up some interesting opinions. Naturally it turned to evolution where Anna tried to encompass all views so not to exclude anybody but the problem is, that some people just have really stupid views. How can you believe in microevolution and not macroevolution? They are the same thing! Perhaps we just need better education, maybe they think they are actually different.

Sunday consisted of a main meeting in the morning which was the concluding series of talks on the book of Jonah by Morris who was the weekend’s guest speaker as it were. There was prayer and worship also. It was interesting as with all the evangelism and debating I see through my official capacity, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the C.U. just spend some quality time worshipping King Jesus (heh, some of the lyrics were so cheesy I had to stop myself from laughing).

All in all it was a decent weekend. It was a bit of a drive but through some beautiful countryside, there were some interesting talks, I got to spend some time with Michelle and meet some new people. Cool stuff.

House party

Saturday, October 27th, 2007 | Life

I’ll be away at the Christian Union’s house party so I may be out of contact this weekend. I’m hoping I can get phone signal and connect my laptop up via the bluetooth modem but none the less, responses will be a little delayed until next week.

Union referendum

Saturday, October 27th, 2007 | Religion & Politics

It’s referendum time again. Last year was great. The first round of referendum’s gave us freedom of speech. The second round banned it. So what’s on the plate this year…

  • Should the union stock more 99p sandwiches? Exciting!
  • Increasing representation – basically, they want more people to vote. What happens if this gets rejected? Will only certain people be allowed to cast their ballot?
  • Should Jack Straw’s life membership be reinstated? Who cares? How is it life membership if it only lasted so long?
  • Plastic bags, not paper bags – I’ll give them this one, this is actually a useful motion.

Exciting so far huh? But this time we actually have one interesting motion. Hard to believe I know, but true (depending on your outlook).

The item of interest is motion 4 “Nestle Boycott.” Basically, the Nestle Boycott needs to be renewed or the union will once again begin stocking Nestle products. Huzzah! It’s important we stop boycotting Nestle. Why? Because we’re not children. I’m a third year undergraduate at a Russell group university. I am quite capable of making up my own mind as to whether I would like to boycott Nestle or whether I would in fact like to buy their products.

We don’t even stock Nestle baby milk! It’s not even like we are boycotting the product that is (claimed to be) causing problems in the third world, they are completely different arms of the company we are dealing with here. At the moment it’s not even explained why we are boycotting Nestle. Granted the motion resolves to put up posters telling students why there is a boycott but I’m sure the last motion to boycott Nestle did too and where are those posters? Why not put the posters up and still stock Nestle products? We’re all educated adults, we can make up our own minds.

QI

Saturday, October 27th, 2007 | Distractions, Thoughts

Having seen a recent episode is the new series of QI I was hugely disappointed. It just wasn’t QI. It was jazzed up, garish and just generally not up to the usual standard. That said having just seen another episode, perhaps it was a one off. Not that the standard hasn’t dropped because I still believe it has but there is at least some hope for it yet.

Microsoft PFE recruitment

Saturday, October 27th, 2007 | Events

Thursday saw Microsoft’s Premiere Field Engineering section come in to the School of Computing to try and grab some recruits. It started out with a lecture in the morning at which I picked up two t-shirts and a USB stick (as well as several pens though none of them actually worked lol). This was followed by some technical demos, which despite suffering technical problems at every turn was quite interesting.

Finally we hit The Faversham where the conservatory had been reserved along with a bar tap of £400. Disappointingly it took us about two hours to drink our way through it, though not by lack of effort on my part.