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If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...


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At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:


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More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Friday July 30 2004 at 03:38 GMT

Things are still very busy here, so posts are being kept to a minimum. Here's some fun for Friday:

Some new tasty blogs I'm reading:

Thursday July 29 2004 at 21:21 GMT [via mobile]

When I was getting my lunch today I spotted this \'meal alternative nutrition 
bar\'.  Apparently it is \'great tasting\'.  I\'ll let you know once I\'ve built up enough energy to eat 
something that is only going to give me 2 carbs back!  Don\'t get concerned that I\'ve moved over to 
some wack diet, though.  Hearty food consumption is my mainstay.  :-)

When I was getting my lunch today I spotted this 'meal alternative nutrition bar'. Apparently it is 'great tasting'. I'll let you know once I've built up enough energy to eat something that is only going to give me 2 carbs back! Don't get concerned that I've moved over to some wack diet, though. Hearty food consumption is my mainstay. :-)

Thursday July 29 2004 at 15:26 GMT [A Big Brother 5 special by Fiona]

Last week saw the surprise eviction of Jungle Cat Victor, which was a shame as they really needed to keep a character in the house for the last two weeks. This week there have been no nominations and instead all of the housemates are up for eviction!! Needless to say my phone has been on re-dial for Michelle to get the boot, who is now the favourite to go!

This weeks mini task has seen the remaining six, chained together. The pairs being;

Dan and Nadia (aka Lurch and Margarita Pracatan) Jason and Michelle (aka Victor Meldrew and Glenn Close) Shell and Stu (aka Smashy and Nicey)

Upon successful completion of the task (there's a first time for everything!) Big Brother rewarded everyone with a message from home. Happiness was soon shattered for Michelle as Stu's message saw his "Team Handsome" friends suggesting that there may be a mystery woman waiting for him outside..........(sleep with one eye open Stu!)

Next week should see things getting a little more exciting as there could be an evil eviction after all. So with only 8 days left of BB5 who's going to be taking home the ever decreasing prize fund?

Tuesday July 27 2004 at 19:05 GMT

Tuesday July 27 2004 at 07:37 GMT

Tonight I went into San Francisco to attempt to go bowling and meet a friend. I knew the address of the bowling alley, on Moraga and Montgomery, but seeing as I had no number, GPS was no use (major note to GPS software makers: seeing as 95% of US addresses are given as on the corner of X and Y, surely your software should be able to take that kind of input, instead of forcing number entry!).

Using a paper(!) map(!!), I made my way around the city, to the Presidio with no problems. But then to find Moraga Street ... no joy. Finally, I decided to turn to NeverLost (GPS) and ask it. 5.9 miles away, it told me. Strange, but it should know SF better than me, so I followed it, to a residential street. I drove a few blocks, only to find more houses. In desperation, I tried calling, only to hear these magical words: "there's more than one Moraga Street and Montgomery Street in San Francisco".

So, I headed back over, to the same spot I'd left not so long ago. After a bit more busking, and a lucky visual spot, I made it to the bowling alley, only to find my friend was long gone. Ah well.

After making a quick call (to said friend), I hopped back in the car, ready to head home. A police car was drawing around the parking lot (some of you will already be seeing where this one is going...), and seemed to be slowing beside me and another car (nice Mercedes E230 Kompressor, blacked out windows, super-shiny alloy wheels, three young guys inside). The cop seemed to be waiting for some kind of action from the other boys, and I reversed out and was about to leave when the cop shone his torch at me and yelled at me to stop.

For a moment, I could see my next blog entry titled "Being Deported from the USA". The cop said "give me the beer".
Me: huh, what beer?
Cop: you're saying you weren't just drinking a bottle of beer when you were on the phone a minute ago?
Me: uh, yes, that's what I'm saying
Cop: you sure? I saw you, you know!
Me: I'm 100% sure I have not just been drinking beer, that there is absolutely no beer in this car and that I have not been drinking at all tonight. However, if you keep mentioning beer, which is what I'd really like at this time having been driving around San Francisco unsuccessfully looking for a bowling alley, then I'll be parking my car here and stepping inside presently. Good day to you, sir!

OK, the last sentence is a very slight exageration, but you get the picture. The cop nodded vaguely in my direction, then drove off. I drove home, carefully. Boy oh boy, what have I done???
[Note: absolutely no alcohol had/has passed my lips tonight. This driving thing can be a tough business!]

Monday July 26 2004 at 06:11 GMT

This morning I was up early, before 7am, to head into the city for a run I'd found. All was going well, and I was on time, when the GPS in the car gave me a very late call on a junction and I headed off across the Bay Bridge, adding at least 15 minutes, not to mention USD 3, to the journey.

When I found the park, I parked outside at the end of 38th Avenue or so, and expected to walk into the park to see a bunch of runners. Then I discovered the actual start was a quick run/sprint away inside the park; I arrived about four minutes before the start. I'd had a warm-up, though. We started from a car park, just to rub it in, too.

My good decision for the day thus far was to wear my City of Edinburgh running vest, which broke the ice with plenty of people. The run was with the San Francisco Dolphin South End Runners, and the run was right through Golden Gate Park. At 4.5 miles it was a nice distance after yesterday. Here's the GPS map of my route, completed in 32m 32s. No records today, either.

After that, I took a drive through the city with the aim of food in the Mission, but ended up parking a bit further away then I had wanted. The Folsom Street Fair -- Up Your Alley was in full swing, which was interesting. Even my shoes weren't leather, so I decided not to risk the wrath of the leather dudes, and headed to my favourite noodle place on Union Square, only to find it has gone. Three years is a long time, I guess...

Remembering Louis Diner, I headed there. Good food. Then I headed back to the hotel, got changed and went out to meet Des, Lisa and some other friends having a barbecue. Sitting by a pool, with beers and a barbecue ... is the life!

Tonight I dined at Windy City Pizza, but due to hamburgerage was unable to finish it ... so I brought it home. Ideal for my midnight snack.

Sunday July 25 2004 at 07:35 GMT

On Saturday I took an ~11km run down the Bay Trail from Bayfront Park to Coyote Point (beware, 600k PDF). The weather was beautiful, and it was really nice to be out exercising. My Camelbak kept me nice and hydrated, but not shielded from the sun, so I'm a slight shade of pink right now.

Here's the route I took (well worth a look!). On the way out, I wore the watch on the underside of my wrist, and the tracking is all over the place. On the way back, it's really accurate. As ever, thanks to GPSVisualizer.com for the maps.

Cessna View from plane In the afternoon, Martin Lorch took me out flying. I drove us down to Reid Hillview Airport and, after signing for the plane, we hopped in, did the checks and were away -- absolutely nothing like 'normal' flying.

My camera was at the ready, so here's a few pictures. I also GPS'd the entire flight on my watch, so you can see the route we took, as well as the altitude. The dip in the middle is where we did a quick landing and take-off at another airfield.

Big thanks to ML for letting me come along, and being brave enough to let me have a shot at the controls, too!

Sunday July 25 2004 at 07:04 GMT

Things have been very busy here. My first day in the office on Thursday kicked off with a few meetings and then next thing I knew it was the end of the day (OK, 5pm) and I'd not read my mails. Ended up with a very late night, crawled into bed, then made it back into the office for 7am (really ... well, OK, just after. Friday was a hard day too, but it's good work, so time is flying by. There is also a seemingly endless availability of food in the office, which keeps me happy!

Last night, Friday, a few of us met up in San Francisco. Mahyad and I headed in by car, but ended up having to park near enough the other end of the city! We started off at Shanghai Kelly's, which did have a great jukebox, before food at Pancho's (on Polk Street) which I really enjoyed. Edinburgh just doesn't do Mexican food...

We completed the night at the cool Tonic bar, before making our way home at a pretty respectable midnight. Being back in San Francisco is just so nice!

Sunday July 25 2004 at 05:36 GMT [via mobile]

This was also taken from my mobile, but I was having too much fun to blog 
it from the air.  This is looking down to Santa Cruz.

This was also taken from my mobile, but I was having too much fun to blog it from the air. This is looking down to Santa Cruz.

Sunday July 25 2004 at 01:07 GMT [via mobile]

Blogging from 3000 feet in a Cessna flown by Martin Lorch. Beautiful!

Blogging from 3000 feet in a Cessna flown by Martin Lorch. Beautiful!

Thursday July 22 2004 at 05:06 GMT [via mobile]

Here\'s my car.  It looks like it\'s a Chevy Classic.  Does the job.  :-D

Here's my car. It looks like it's a Chevy Classic. Does the job. :-D

Thursday July 22 2004 at 02:27 GMT

Flicking back over my last visits to the States, I was still at a loss to find any trouble I'd been in (well, trouble that would get reported, anyway ;-), so even as I entered secondary, I was confident I'd be in and out quickly. Of course, these guys don't so quickly, I thought, as I gave them my documents and was brusquely told to take a seat. The room could not have been better set up by a casting director: there were some Africans, a Japanese couple, a Chinese mother with three kids, several Indians of various religions and a Mexican family. Clearly the position of 'European white man' needed filled, so that was why they'd called me in!

Just then my phone rang. My colleague, who had sailed through, was checking to see how long I'd be. I was almost sent straight back to the UK there and then. Three guys yelled at me "no phones, no phones, turn it off RIGHT NOW". They were not amused. There were no signs saying no phones, but it didn't seem like my place to point out that error to them.

I'm guessing it isn't one of the greatest jobs, and you do sometimes have to deal with some of the less enjoyable cases, but those guys in the room were taking no chances with anyone. The Japanese couple were eventually given a three month visa, even though longer was clearly required, as the letters from the US government department said (we were all given a chance to participate in each 'case' as a kind of silent jury, thanks to the open plan office).

When my name was called, I marched up expecting a "woops, our mistake, welcome to the country". But again I got the silent-screen-stare for a bit, before being asked why I was there, who I worked for, how long I'd be staying ... and then everything was stamped. My limited interrogation skills were useless in getting any information on why I'd actually been stopped...

After that, I got my bag and was heading through to meet my colleague when I was asked to "go over to belt 9". Hmmm, the one opposite from where all the other passengers are going, with lots of officials? Yep, that one. Same questions once again: why was I there, how long for, who did I work for, could I prove it (the guy kept a business card!), why did I have no cash on me (uh, like, credit cards, dude), why did I have such little luggage with me (I had a 29kg(!) suitcase, and a laptop backpack). Then I had to open my suitcase. Imagine how much stuff was in there! The guys had a good rake through and obviously found nothing in there size or style, so told me to pack up and move on. Again, no reason was forthcoming ("it's our job, that's all". Yeah, RIGHT!)

When I finally got to the car hire place, any nerves I might have had about driving were long gone; in fact, I fully expected the car hire to turn me down due to the colour of my hair or something equally ridiculous. Car got quickly sorted though, and I went down and hopped in, keen to miss the rushour traffic on I101 en route to my hotel.

The drive to the office was scenic. ;-) After getting on to the 101, I missed the south turnoff, and ended up heading north to San Francisco. Thankfully some kind soul had already thought I might do this, and knocked up a handy turnoff that took me straight on to the 101 south (Californians don't seem to like on-off junctions like back home, for some reason).

My reservation was only confirmed after I'd left the office, so I had nothing printed, but safely stored on my laptop. Woops, that just ran out of battery. After a quick bit of busking around and inability to use the GPS (it knows this hotel as something different to the name it actually uses), I made it here. Seems like a nice place. Now I'm off for a quick drive to the office to check where it is, and then food. It's been a long and busy day!

Thursday July 22 2004 at 02:27 GMT

Following a huge amount of planning and re-planning due to riduculous venue requirements, Grant, Maki, Alex and I went to the White Swan, where we hooked up with Eric and Karen (who finally has a blog here). We finally plunked for Diane Schuur was just too ... polished, or something. Overall, I like my jazz sans vocals, and Diane was offering a show, not just an act. We stayed for the second Dick Pearce set, then scurried off and got home about 2.30am.

Maki came through and ordered me to get going at about 4.30am, which I somehow managed. A car from Addison Lee had been ordered, which was an absolute genius way to get to the airport -- so much cheaper than a black cab, with a very reliable service. Unfortunately, I got to London City Airport even earlier than required!

Since then, I've had two good flights from London City to SFO via Amsterdam, with minimal drinking. Then the fun began. The passport guy gave me some funny looks, after silently staring unblinkingly at his computer screen for what seemed like minutes. He called another guy over, who also silently stared unblinkingly at the screen for ages, before finally asking me if I'd ever been in any trouble. "Nothing", I replied. "Even in another state" he enquired. "Nothing" I repeated. From then my card was marked (literally, with a big MI) and I had to go to 'secondary'. To be continued...

Thursday July 22 2004 at 01:08 GMT [via mobile]

Second in a very occasional series when I get up early: this is London City 
Airport at 5.30am this morning.

Second in a very occasional series when I get up early: this is London City Airport at 5.30am this morning.

Thursday July 22 2004 at 01:05 GMT [via mobile]


At Ronnie Scott's hearing some quality jazz. For some reason there is no smoking tonight - possibly due to the main act being a vocalist.

At Ronnie Scott's hearing some quality jazz. For some reason there is no smoking tonight - possibly due to the main act being a vocalist.

Wednesday July 21 2004 at 10:39 GMT [A Big Brother 5 special by Fiona]

It seems the rumours of the evil eviction were just that and last week saw the eviction of Ahmed, which was really no great surprise.

This week there are four people up for eviction Dan, Jason, Nadia and Victor, however, itís really a two horse race between the Jungle Cats

The favourite to go is Jason pulling in odds of 1/10 closely followed by Victor at 5/1

It also seems that Big Brother history was made last night. After weeks of begging, whining, stalking and general bossing about from Michelle the feeble Stu eventually gave in to a late night session under the table. Iím sure their families will be very proud! Letís hope that when they come out thereís a get away car with its engine running and a new identity for Stuart otherwise there will be no escape from the clutches of Michelle!!

Tuesday July 20 2004 at 18:18 GMT

Finally made it to London yesterday morning. Alex and I took a mighty march across town to the Design Museum interupted with a beer and food at a pub on the Thames. Some interesting stuff, although I was surprised how small it was. Worth a visit though, for ZEST FOR LIFE - Fernando + Humberto Campana is definitely worth checking out for some very cool chairs.

After that, we all got together for cocktails at the very smart Detroit bar before dinner at Belgo Centraal. Thanks to a lot of marching, I ate a LOT. Slept well, despite having to share a room with Grant. ;-)

Today has been breakfast at Tony's, march into town, drinks with Scott at The Red Lion (see previous entry), the National Portrait Gallery for some BP portrait viewing (go see) and playing on their computers -- SO many images to searchably view, and print, too. Incredible.

We did pizza and pasta at Soho Pizza for late lunch and now we're home after some more walking around, getting ready for our night out. Destination as yet unknown...

Monday July 19 2004 at 08:16 GMT [via mobile]

This is what Waverley Station in Edinburgh looks like at 6.15am, right after you find out that the 6.10am train is a figment of the Network Rail Web site. Time to find a comfy spot for 45 minutes! Zzzz...

This is what Waverley Station in Edinburgh looks like at 6.15am, right after you find out that the 6.10am train is a figment of the Network Rail Web site. Time to find a comfy spot for 45 minutes! Zzzz...

Friday July 16 2004 at 12:21 GMT [A Big Brother 5 special by Fiona]

Rumours are flying about a twist to tonight's eviction............there is a possibiltiy that whoever is kicked out will have to choose someone elso to leave with them!

How very EVIL! (lifts pinkie to right hand side of mouth)

So if Ahmed goes (and he is the favourite at the moment pulling in more votes that the lovely Lisa from BB4) I have no doubts that he will immediately choose Michelle to leave with him - if this is the case we could see some sparks/plates/fur/hair flying. Just as well they have extra security!

Thursday July 15 2004 at 23:18 GMT

It's been quite a while (man, have I really been blogging for three years???), but I am headed back to the bay area for work, and most likely some play after that.

Here's the skinny. Saturday, things to do. Sunday, welcome new flatmate (more later), go to London, meet up with a whole bunch of people from Grant and Maki's wedding for a kind-of reunion. Method of travel as yet unidentified. Monday and Tuesday, hang out with same people in London. Wednesday, get up at early o'clock, go to SFO.

I'll then have Thursday, Friday and another two weeks of long working in our locations in California, then the plan is for a week of holiday. Seeing as I can now hire a car (I've checked directly with the car hire companies that I won't have the same hiring problems I had here) I'm planning to do some driving.

In my very own style of completely overestimating what can be done in a set amount of time by a factor of 2590, here's the myriad plans. Drive from SF down the Pacific Coast Highway to a location south of SF; drive from SF to Portland and catch up with Lindsay; drive to Yosemite, spend some time running trails, enjoying sunshine and fresh air, GPSing to the max; spend time in SF itself; fly to another location in the USA and visit friends, as per my last visit that rolled out to a month of holiday...

So, I'm looking for thoughts and ideas on the best way to spend eight or nine days in California. My masterplan has me staying at small hotels/guesthouses, doing random things, but at a fairly relaxed pace. Thanks to Russ for the pointer to the Bay Events blog.

It's going to be cool to see the Valley once again, and see what has changed. Mobile tech is slowing dawning, from what I understand, so I'm hoping to catch up with a few people to discuss; maybe even these guys and perhaps a return visit to Haas, at Berkeley (read the bottom of the page). It's nice to see that AT&T are getting ready for my arrival . If you're in SF and fancy meeting up, leave a comment or get in touch otherwise.

Thursday July 15 2004 at 22:52 GMT

This is probably my last update for the current Big Brother (see later post), but I've already put a plan in place to cover the eventuality. Ahmed, Dan, Nadia, Shell, Stuart and Victor are all up for eviction this week following the result of this week's task.

My own week has been very busy so I've not managed to catch much of the action, making this week's prediction slightly more tricky than usual. I'm thinking that Ahmed and Victor are most likely to be notching up the most votes right now, with Ahmed getting the boot this week. He was fun to watch, but now his time has come. Checking what William Hill are saying ... and once again they're agreeing with me. Ahmed is 1.05 to go, with Victor next, at 9.00.

The other odds on the house have changed a bit during the last week, too. The winner's gender is now equal for male and female and Nadia and Michelle are favourites to win, followed by Dan. It's still all to play for.

Thursday July 15 2004 at 00:43 GMT

Mobitopia articleOver on Mobitopia I posted about the expected P910 announcement. Is it a waste of development time, or are Sony Ericsson about to unveil something sweet and my bank balance will be reset to zero? We find out later today (allegedly).

Tuesday July 13 2004 at 14:01 GMT [via mobile]

At lunchtime I dragged Neil & Mahyad along to test the Kodak digital photo 
print machine in Boots.

The machine worked well -- I fired over the pictures I wanted to print from my phone by Bluetooth absolutely seamlessly (not often you hear that about Bluetooth, unfortunately), but there were also card reader slots for six or seven flavours and an IR interface.

It was necessary to make a few small adjustments to have the pictures printed on 4\

At lunchtime I dragged Neil & Mahyad along to test the Kodak digital photo print machine in Boots.

The machine worked well -- I fired over the pictures I wanted to print from my phone by Bluetooth absolutely seamlessly (not often you hear that about Bluetooth, unfortunately), but there were also card reader slots for six or seven flavours and an IR interface.

It was necessary to make a few small adjustments to have the pictures printed on 4" x 6" paper, but nothing too difficult; I'm certain my parents could use it. The final result is decent enough to sit on my desk. Each photo cost 49p, which would make it expensive to do in bulk, but for a few odd pictures to send to relatives without computer access, it's got to be a winner.

Kodak and Boots seem to be missing one killer application though -- postcards! Why don't they let you take a photo with your phone and have it printed on to something slightly stiffer than photographic paper, so that it can be sent to friends around the world. They could even do a roaring trade in stamps too. Overall, I'm impressed with both my phone and the service.

These machines are meant to be in Boots stores up and down the UK. The one I tried was in the Shandwick Place branch in Edinburgh, in case you're desperate to try it now. If it asks for a password, try using 2004. According to the lady at the till, the machine has been doing brisk business since it was installed.

Monday July 12 2004 at 09:35 GMT

About a year ago, Matthew Somerville announced his accessible Odeon site. Even though Web standards have been around for a while, you still find plenty of sites that only work in one browser, normally Internet Explorer. On a scale of 1 - extremely-short-sighted, this rates a 'apply for your guidedog immediately'. (Why Web standards are important is a whole 'nother post, but you can read a concise summary here.)

Whilst Matthew's site clearly stated that the content was the Odeon's and he was merely re-interpreting what they had out there, Odeon have now got upset by it all, and told him to close his site. As a Firefox user, that means the only thing I see when I visit the Odeon site is a background image. C'est tout.

As you can imagine, there are a bunch of pretty annoyed people out there, following the Odeon's action. Once you've read what happened at Matthew's site, you should mail Luke Vetere and let him know your feelings. Here's what I sent:

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2004 13:44:43 +0100
To: LVetere@odeonuk.com
Subject: Accessible Odeon site

Hi Luke

This afternoon I've read about Odeon requesting Matthew Somerville to remove his accessible Odeon site (http://www.dracos.co.uk/odeon/). Whilst I can understand a little of where you are coming from, I largely disagree with your approach. The Odeon site is useless in SO many browsers; viewing in Mozilla Firefox, one of the new breed of standards-compliant and security-tight browsers, the home page shows me a fancy ODEON image. Nothing further is viewable, so your site is completely useless to me and I'm unlikely to visit, based on that. What Matthew did allowed me to get the relevant information and visit your cinemas.

Whilst your site does work in Internet Explorer, I, like many others (http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,116848,00.asp), no longer feel safe using software with such a significant number of security holes. If you had requested Matthew to remove his site as your own was now available across platforms and browsers, that would be fair. Asking him to completely remove it with no replacement is quite simply stupid and incredibly short-sighted.

No doubt you will be receiving a fair number of emails from other annoyed ex-users of Matthew's site. If you're wise, you'll take this as a wake-up call that just 'having a site' which works in one browser is no longer what a Web presence is about, even if that browser is *currently* the most popular. Why not employ Matthew's obviously significant skills to build a decent, working site and earn yourself some positive publicity into the bargain?

Regards
Martin

Apparently the story has been picked up by some of the newspapers who backed Matthew when he put his site up, so we should get a better picture of what prompted the change of heart by the Odeon.

[UPDATE at 9.45am]: Jim is feeling the same way too.

Sunday July 11 2004 at 13:21 GMT

Rich

Today is Rich's birthday. I could leave it at that, but who the hell is Rich to you? Here's ten things about Rich:
  1. I met Rich on our first day at Heriot-Watt University; he stayed just along the corridor in halls and we made friends immediately -- he was doing a similar course, liked hi-fi and didn't mind continually listening to R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People. We shared accomodation for the next three years.
  2. my first ever pint in a pub was with Rich and John (Robinson) in Kays Bar, at the end of first term in 1993. My choice? An Deuchars IPA.
  3. Rich was the first person I knew to buy a computer. We went to see the guys who would make it in their garage. Now they've got a big shop. The computer cost a LOT of money ... and it was a 486. It had a 14.4k modem in it, and we spent hours downloading random bits of software in an attempt to do crazy things with it. In the end, we managed to fax a weekly project report to our university lecturer after we decided we wouldn't make the 9.15am lecture next day. The fax was held up the following morning in the lecture...
  4. we 'found' a copy of Windows 95 on a server in Finland, and decided to download it and try to install it. At that time, I may have said "Just type a:\setup. It'll be alright.". We got to disk 24 out of 25, when we found it was corrupt. Things were not really alright.
  5. he taught me all I know about Micro Machines on the Sega, which was kind of him ... but I should have been studying!
  6. the fastest I've ever gone in a car was with Rich. I'm not saying where, how or when. ;-)
  7. when we went to John and Maggie's wedding (1998?) in Bam-ford, we left our phones at the hotel, a mere mile away from the reception. On our way home, following an evening of merriment, Rich beating the barstaff at pool and then ordering cocktails for everyone (with my money, I seem to remember) we stopped at the 24 hour garage to get food. On my way to the bin to dispose of my junk, I somehow got very lost, and spent the next several hours crossing fields, streams and travelling through a forest in an attempt to find the hotel. When I finally found a road, and a phonebox, I got no response from Rich. After another age walking along the road in the rain (in my suit, tie and previously-shiny shoes), I discovered I'd been walking the wrong way. A kind man gave me a lift back to the hotel, where I was working out how to wake Rich ... only to find that he'd been locked out the hotel too, shivering in a bus stop and public toilet all night in his kilt, cursing me for being tucked up in bed. We finally got into the hotel when the cook turned up, and got about one hour of sleep before getting up for a train journey home. For this, I fully blame Rich.
  8. Rich has had more broken fingers due to football than anyone I know. He seems to enjoy this ritual on a yearly basis, but has opted for knee injury for 2004.
  9. between him and Jams, they know how to through a good party, ensuring it's light outside before anyone feels the need to leave.
  10. much of the random craziness in my life over the last 11 years has been due to Rich

Now he's grown up a bit, and has a real job doing hardcore wireless-type-stuff. You can see what he does here on page 11 (beware, it's a PDF!).

Tonight I think we're going to head for some food and then possibly a quick beer at the 'Roso.

Saturday July 10 2004 at 20:05 GMT

It's been a while since there was just a load of links to drop, so here we go...

Friday July 9 2004 at 12:10 GMT

Yesterday was a good family day. We started off by having our photos taken, then their was the ceremony, followed by a drinks reception at Viv's department, a great dinner at Blonde and then a march up Arthur's Seat.

Viv, Allan and I finished it off with a quick drink at Montpeliers, which didn't really assist in me being awake and on-the-ball when I got a call from work at 6.30 this morning. Congratulations once again to my sis for making it through. Amongst my siblings we now have a MA, an LLB and a BEng(hons). Not a bad selection, eh?

Thursday July 8 2004 at 21:06 GMT [via mobile]

I dragged my family to the top of Arthur\'s Seat. Windy!

I dragged my family to the top of Arthur's Seat. Windy!

Thursday July 8 2004 at 13:59 GMT [via mobile]

My sister has just collected her degree (woohoo!) and now J. K. Rowling is getting an honourary degree. My sister\'s pics were all taken with my IXUS for zoom purposes.

My sister has just collected her degree (woohoo!) and now J. K. Rowling is getting an honourary degree. My sister's pics were all taken with my IXUS for zoom purposes.

Thursday July 8 2004 at 00:44 GMT

This morning I had to IM my boss to let him know I'd be late in to work this morning, as my alarm hadn't gone off. Why had my alarm failed? Well, my phone had crashed overnight, and my alarm is on my phone...

To be fair, I think this is the first time my phone has crashed without me doing something bad to it. I've been playing with some new applications over the last few days, and I'm sure it was one of those that had upset my otherwise-trusty P900.

Wednesday July 7 2004 at 19:34 GMT

For almost a year, Bloglines has been my aggregator of choice. As I said back then:

The two pain points I found were that feeds are only updated once an hour, and the top frame which says Bloglines is MASSIVE, taking up way too much screen real estate. I dropped them a note, and Mark Fletcher assured me it was one of their priorities to change, and that it should be visible in the next week or so. I'm going to see what they say about the hourly gathering. Perhaps after some time regularly updated feeds can be identified and updated more often.

Unfortunately, the huge, space-wasting top frame has remained with us until today! The all nwe Bloglines has been rolled out -- check it out! They've even added a blogging tool. My test blog is here.

Tuesday July 6 2004 at 23:25 GMT

Last week I hoped Marco would be voted out the BB house ... and he did. This week he's been pitching up on Big Brother's Little Brother, with his laugh and cringeworthy behaviour.

So, we roll on to another week, and another round of nominations. This week Ahmed and Becki have been nominated. It's a trickier call this week, but I think Becki will get the boot. Sometimes she's kind of scary-looking, and her jokes are wearing thin on all. Meanwhile, Ahmed is turning into a real character in the house.

The odds are with me, too. Becki is 1.36 to go, whilst Ahmed is 3.00. More interestingly, Nadia is the bookies favourite to win outright. Is Victor getting secret information?

Saturday July 3 2004 at 16:22 GMT [via mobile]

Subway are pushing out of town! Bruntsfield is to be the next location...

Subway are pushing out of town! Bruntsfield is to be the next location...

Friday July 2 2004 at 01:31 GMT

Bloglines birthday

Bloglines, the aggregator of champions, is one today and they've got a surprise in store for us. If they've finally got rid of all the wasted space at the top of the main page, I'll personally make and send Mark Fletcher and his team a large birthday cake. All we can do is hope now!

Friday July 2 2004 at 01:02 GMT

Oh, Canada!

Another year has flown by, and it was Canada Day yesterday (UK time), but it still IS Canada Day in Canada, so I'm actually on time with my regards. I'm guessing that the Canadian Architect will be out partying, as will the Canadian Accordion Guy. Have a beer for me, but be sure to make it a proper beer as opposed to a watery domestic. ;-)

Friday July 2 2004 at 00:56 GMT

Mobitopia article Earlier today I spied that Orange had announce they will open their 3G network for data usage on the 19th of July, which is great news indeed. At the moment, I'm trialling the 3G data card and connectivity, but I'm not allowed to talk about the details...

Over on Mobitopia I posted my thoughts about the launch. Engadget picked up the story and I made the front page. Imagine a very happy me. :-D

Jim posted as well today, marking the 13th birthday of GSM and Business2.0 linked him. It's always nice to get a little reward for the effort that goes into a post, and believe me it does take effort. Fun effort, but effort all the same.

Further out in the Mobitopian universe, Matt is playing with a different snake on his phone, Matthew gets his Foo Camp Europe invite (how do I get one of those?) and Russ is playing with new phones and getting nice invites. All is good.

Thursday July 1 2004 at 00:31 GMT

The Web at work: new Mountain Dew videos in a Spy vs Spy stylee via Ned Batchelder via Jim Hughes on the Mobitopia IRC links feed.

Bonus links:

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