Archive for August, 2007

A night at the theatre

Thursday, August 30th, 2007 | Life, Reviews

While a night in front of the idiot box watching Lost or Prison Break may provide sufficient intellectual stimulation for people like Mr. O’Shea or Miss Le Breton, I personally have a slightly higher cultural taste. With that in mind I headed off to the Grand Theatre this evening to see a stage show of the hit BBC Radio 4 show “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue” of which I am a big fan.

The show featured most of the long running members of the radio show with Humphrey Lyttelton taking on his role as the chairman, Colin Sell at the piano and Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer making up the original contestants with Jeremy Hardy taking the place of the now late Willie Rushton.

The Grand was rennovated a year or two ago adding in air conditioning and better seats as well as restoring it’s fabulous beauty. Once you add to that a very funny show and you have a winning night out. Most of the best rounds from the show appeared including one song to the tune of another, sound charades and of course, Mornington Crescent.

All in all, an enjoyable night out.

Lack of information

Monday, August 27th, 2007 | Life

Is it really so hard to publish current information on a website?

Having just got off the phone from Argos who have lost my order (not the order contents but actually any record of the order ever being made) I headed off to Tesco’s website to find out when they are open as today is a bank holiday. But they have actually taken the information off! Last time I was on there I could find out all about the holiday opening hours but it’s not available anymore. They’ve done away with the “when is Tesco open this week” section and replaced it with standard static opening times text.

This was something I was thinking about earlier with regards to the union. Would it be so hard for them to have a page listing what is open when? They occasionally publish the term time and non-term time opening hours on each page for the shop or bar but it’s never in any kind of easily accessible fashion. Nor is it usually that accurate.

Things like when the union closes for the day. This never appears on the website. They have a sign on the front door saying “closed.” The website still claims The Old Bar is open. Still claims The Terrace is open till 12:30. Has no information on Extras out of term time opening hours. It has no information on when The ARC is open, when the cash office is open, hell, when the union building itself is open.

Is it really so much to ask for a bit of current information?

It’s nearly September

Monday, August 27th, 2007 | Life

It’s August 27th! In 5 days it will be September. Where did summer go?

I still have loads of unsolved items on my to do list. My room is still a tip (not that it will be a major issue once I move out as it will all move out with me and I can sort it then). My server still isn’t working. The network in the house still isn’t setup properly.

I don’t know what the situation is really. Will I have more time during term time? I work 50-60 hour weeks at the moment. When term time starts again I’ll go back up to anywhere from 60-80 hour weeks so will I really have more time to solve things?

What’s it all worth?

Saturday, August 25th, 2007 | Life

Do you know how much money I got in my last pay cheque? £370! 12 out of the 14 days of that pay period I worked and all I came away with was £370. I think I must have been raped by tax because I was on over £400 pre-tax before my last shift.

All in all I’m realising how much of a bad shape my overdraft is in. Once my credit cards are paid off it’s going to take 4 or 5 weeks to clear it on full time pay and I have about 3 weeks left. While I still have my student loan to come in, I have rent going out and I got hit by a massive phone bill from when I was sorting out our BT line and internet for the house.

Still hopefully I should be able to generate some kind of decent pay cheque next time. At the moment I need to pick up some more shifts to fill my days off but I made a good start today – I clocked into work at 05:45 in the morning and I’ve just got home now. Open closes for the win.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 | Tech

Doing a random search I suddenly stumbled upon the fact that was available for registration. Confirming that it was indeed available (I didn’t want to get my hopes up as someone has been sat on it for a while) I snapped it up with great pleasure. It’s currently just redirecting to but at least now it’s under my control.

Unfortunately there are still squatters sat on the .com and .net. v3

Monday, August 20th, 2007 | News

The beta version of v3 is now available for your viewing pleasure. It’s a lot clearer than the current site and easier to read and it uses a nicer URLs. There are a few issues with it at the moment, mainly that it has only been tested in Firefox so far and suffers from some issues when displaying in Internet Explorer.

Server problems

Saturday, August 18th, 2007 | Life

Currently my VPS is going down every 10-15 minutes! Neither me nor my host can work out what is going on.

The end result is, after continued problems with my VPS I’ve ordered a new one with ServInt. I am going to be migrating a lot of my important sites over to that and then those remain will ever stay on my current VPS or will me migrated over to a new VPS with PowerVPS and the old one cancelled depending on whether I can stabilise it or not.

All my fonts have disappeared

Friday, August 17th, 2007 | Tech

I think I’ve finally found the reason why all my dialog boxes and default fonts on my laptop have started to look strange – I have 8 fonts left on my computer.

I thought it a little wierd when I went into PowerPoint today and I only had a very small choice of fonts. Then when opening up the source files for some posters I had done I was informed the fonts were missing by a different application. I checked the system folder which contains fonts and it looked fine. But when I tried to copy them to my desktop I got an error and all but 8 of them disappeared. Weird.

To be honest, I never thought I would really use the backups I made of my font files. OCD for the win.

Scottish independence

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 | Religion & Politics

The Scottish National Party have recently outlined plans or a referendum on independence. You can read the news report on BBC News.

Alex Salmond talked about the Scottish people needing to work out what kind of a country they want to be. But of course – they aren’t a country! You’re not. You’re a region of the UK. Just like England.

To be honest, I don’t see what the case is for breaking up the UK, which is what we are talking about here. Maybe there is a good case, if so please outline it to me. But at the moment it just seems we have nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

It’s not like the UK is the biggest country in the world. Making it a little bit smaller isn’t going to help that. How about things like the United Nations? Presumably we would have seperate representation then and presumably the U.K. would remain on the U.N. Security Council whereas Scotland would not. How would things like advertising work if Scotland changed their VAT rate? How will border control work? Policing? These are mostly small problems. But there would be millions of them to solve.

I’d be interested to see what everyone else thinks of such plans.

iPod video first impressions

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 | Reviews, Tech

I finally got round to replacing my MP3 player on Saturday getting an 80GB iPod video. As I have previously mentioned, I installed Rockbox on the device so I didn’t have to use iTunes and spent most of Saturday loading as much of my music collection onto it as I could fit.

So far it’s pretty good. It’s easy enough to use once I get used to it although I end up struggling to decide what to listen to :D. The interface is a bit small given the size of the screen and I haven’t worked out how to make it bigger yet (if indeed it is possible). Battery life is awful as expected, I have to charge it up every few days (or every day if in heavy yse) but I wasn’t expecting anything better from a rechargeable battery.