Archive for September, 2007

Blogroll updates

Saturday, September 29th, 2007 | Life

I’ve finally made some changes to my blogroll. With Raby getting his blog started I decided it was finally time to make some changes. So I took a few blogs off that I either don’t read any more or people simply weren’t posting on them anymore which annoys me as the way I read blogs is to go to my blog roll, hold ctrl and click every link. I’ve also added a few more blogs.

In the face of adversity

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Humanism

The A-Soc intro meeting having been a mixed result, I couldn’t really help thinking about the poor turnout. Sure we had an amazing conversation rate and now have enough members to constitute a society as well as a bit cash too but it was a struggle to even get what we did. I put my faith in a better turnout for the lunch time talk on Thursday, after all, people will have gone home by 8pm whereas they can spare an hour of their day.

Turns out, they can’t.

We got 5 people, including myself and Norm. Maybe there was a lack of promotion. Though it did go out to the mailing list, was mentioned at the intro events, put it on LUU Online and handed two dozen flyers out (that really isn’t that much to be fair). Maybe people had lectures – Sarann and Jack both spoke to me later saying they couldn’t come because of lectures and several people gave the same reason on Facebook.

The fact could well be though, that nobody cares. Atheism is a magnet for apathy. Maybe it’s time to finally accept Jesus Christ as our lord and saviour.

Peripherals shopping

Friday, September 28th, 2007 | Tech

My mouse having given up on my recently I’ve ordered a new set of peripherals. It started with my getting sick and tired of not being able to play WoW in the dark so I was umming and arring (what, those are real verbs!) over getting a backlit keyboard. I narrowed it down to the Logitech G15 or the Microsoft Razer Reclusa.

So when my house packed up on me I decided I might as well get a decent one and replace my keyboard while I was at it. In the end I went with the Reclusa as although the G15 has the cool LCD screen and better macro programming, the Reclusa is a bit more comfortable and better suited to non-gaming applications. Add to that the Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000 and I have a nicely branded package :D. I’m interested to see if the 4-way scrolling feature is any use. Probably not but I don’t feel that detracts from it’s coolness.

Finally, I also threw in a Logitech 2.4Ghz Cordpress Presenter for when I am giving speeches and presentations (which with A-Soc’s timetable this year is a lot!).

Sometimes you just want to cry

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 | Humanism

Hmm, I need to blog more about this (and life in general) in length. 1:30am when I need to be up at a reasonable time for uni is not the time to it. But I wish share my preliminary thoughts with you.

Tonight was the A-Soc launch meeting for this academic year. Basically, nobody turned up.

That’s not really true. But turnout was poor. At the Film Making Soc intro meeting last year we got like 100 people. You can put the A-Soc turn out down to the fact the meeting wasn’t until 8pm, the fact that we were only in the Riley Smith Hall for one day plugging the society or the fact that nobody wants to be part of A-Soc, any way you look at it, I was ready to cry at 8:15 when only a handful of people had turned up.

We ended up with a little over a dozen people at the meeting, a far cry from what I was expecting and indeed what most other societies get. Never the less the talk was delivered in full. And people signed up. We got an amazing conversation rate. Something like 86% of the non-members at the meeting signed up to become paid members. Given the turnout that isn’t that many members but it is amazing conversation rate – given normally you would expect sometime like 10-20% at best.

We ended up in the pub with the usual suspects and a few new members as well. Hopefully we will pick some more up on Thursday and a few more in the coming weeks too. Hopefully we will pick up enough to actually make it worth the effort that goes in.

Playing with Vista

Friday, September 21st, 2007 | Tech

My sister has just got a new computer so trying to get a few things up and running on it for her I got playing around with Vista.

It’s an interesting experience. I realise that a lot of the problems caused are just due to the fact that I’ve never used Vista before – for example trying to find my way around the computer settings would take equally as long if I was using any version of Windows for the first time. Also, we are a species, generally don’t like change. So I tried to bare these in mind when complaining.

First of all, Windows prompts you for everything. It’s not enough to say that you want to manage the user accounts on the system. Once you’ve tried to go to that screen you then have to tell Windows you give it permission to show you that screen. While I’m sure this has security advances, I think the fact I have just clicked “manage user accounts” indicates I would like to manage user accounts.

Secondly, when saving a file from the internet you are given what is basically a small web browser rather than the standard Windows file save dialog. You get an address bar with the C:\Wherever as you would expect. You do not however get any kind of folder navigation and if you click the drop down arrow to find the other locations on your computer you will in fact find it is actually just a web address bar and will be presented with your most recent URLs. How quite you save a file to I don’t know but that appears to be what Windows is suggesting. It then moans if you try it and you need to switch to the folder browsing mode instead.

Things generally seem to take a bit longer. I can’t just hit control alt delete and access my task manager. I’m then taken to a sub-menu where it thinks I want to log off where I then have to select task manager. The start menu no longer appears nicely spaced out across the screen, it’s now all stuffed into a corner with an expanding tree still menu.

That said there are some nice touches to it. When alt tab’ing through the windows the desktop is now included in the list so you can easily hide all your programs to get access to your desktop icons. Also if you hover over anything on your task bar it will show you a thumbnail of the window.

Mysterious mailboxes

Friday, September 21st, 2007 | Tech

What address was this email sent to?

It sounds like a simple question but one I can’t find the answer to. If someone knows how then please let me know.

I have an email sitting in my inbox which I myself sent out from the A-Soc email account an hour ago. It’s To: address is sent back to the A-Soc email account and all the addresses are done via blank carbon copy. Therefore there is no record in the headers as to which address the email is sent.

So later on my mail client goes and checks all my mailboxes, downloads the email and puts them into my inbox. But doesn’t say which account it got the email from. It simply expects that information to be obtained from the email headers. Thunderbird and Outlook Express are both guilty of it. You would think in the days of such frequent phishing scams that much up emails to mail boxes would be a pretty standard feature. Apparently not.

Hellos and goodbyes

Thursday, September 20th, 2007 | Life

No more Mental Mondays? You have to being joking! This is so much more of an injustice than the Iraq war! We should be out on the streets protesting this, it’s an outrage. I loved that night, it was never a bad atmosphere, everyone left peacefully, what was the problem?

Still while it’s goodbye to Mental Mondays, it is hello to a healthier looking bank balance. Having got paid today I checked my statement to find I was actually in credit! By around £4 but I don’t think that is too bad. I have my credit card to come out of what which is quite a bit but less than half my student loan which has taken the balance of my other account over £1,000. While it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to move £1,000 to my savings account as hoped I should still have some funds free to put away.

Fresher’s week

Thursday, September 20th, 2007 | Life

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged – 6 days to be exact. I really haven’t felt up to blogging and while I’m not really crazy about it still I feel I probably should before fresher’s week fades into a distant memory.

It’s been a pretty disappointing week really, not feeling up to it I haven’t really been out all week. A-Soc was at the societies fair on Tuesday but all of our other fresher’s week plans fell apart due to me taking my finger of the pulse for the week previous. We signed up a few new members but no where near enough, all in all it wasn’t the most successful day.

Yesterday I headed into uni to attend a talk by David Robertson addresses the issues he finds with Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. In the evening I had a meeting with Carl in The Old Bar.

Generally, I’ve just spent the week trying to catch up on a lot of things I should have been doing last week such as replying to emails, chasing people up (because most people are this slack all of the time) and ticking things off my to-do list. I have a School of Computing meeting later today then I’m going home tomorrow. I’ll be glad when this week is over.

The faces we let others see

Friday, September 14th, 2007 | Life

I headed to uni today for the international fresher’s fair. I met loads of people I haven’t seen for ages, people off my course, A-Soc people, union people. I got there and met more people. Every conversation was the same. “Hows it going?” “Not bad.”

I fully understand it’s like an automatic response to just say you’re fine. But you would think you eventually reach some distance from fine where you stop just telling people that you’re “not too bad.” Apparently not. Still, when you have a society to run and it’s literally days before the new term starts, braver faces are in order.

Let’s catch up

Monday, September 10th, 2007 | Life

Quite a few of us have blogs now. It’s great to see people blogging, uni involes far too much face to face contact for my liking. I don’t want to have to leave my room to find out what you did today. Blogs are the solution. I feel we’re slightly under utilising them though. We could be pinging each other like crazy.

For instance, I could make a quick comment on the fact that George has auctioned himself off as a human pet when only two months ago when I offered to purchase him in a deal for his liver, he declined my offer.

So in the spirit of cross-circle blog linkage, tell me what you are up to in the final week or so before the start of the new academic year. How do you feel about coming back to uni, what are you planning to do this year, etc, etc.

Personally, I don’t really know where I’m at. I didn’t really think about it for most of summer, then I didn’t really want the new term to arrive. Then I started to. Now I don’t really know how I feel. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the work and the general hecticness that uni brings. With work I can generally go home and stop worrying about it (to an extent at least) whereas at uni it’s never really off your mind as you always have something to think about.

I still haven’t really set a plan in stone as what I’m doing yet. I’m going to start moving my gear in any day now but I can’t really be bothered to be honest. It’s just more upheaval and stress and to be honest, I have other things on my mind. Indeed, other things on my mind than university as a whole.