Archive for April, 2002


sticky tape

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2002

sum for the day:

two servers + one roll of sticky tape = 1 knackered kirsty + 11194 happy loquats

and like einstein’s telegraphic cat, there is no sticky tape. therefore

two servers + kirsty – all kirsty’s energy = 1 knackered kirsty + 11194 happy loquats

taking the former from the latter gives

one roll of sticky tape – kirsty + all kirsty’s energy = 0

which of course implies that

kirsty = all kirsty’s energy + one roll of sticky tape

i’m energised sellotape and nothing more.

but the server’s are fixed til the next disaster strikes and that’ll do me for tonight.


well but tired

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2002

the state of the net as analysed by the google smackdown:

  • well (90,600,000)
  • happy (16,800,000)
  • poor (12,600,000)
  • rich (11,400,000)
  • ill (6,500,000)
  • sad (4,520,000)
  • tired (4,220,000)
  • awake (1,450,000)

we’re weller than we are ill, and much happier than we are sad; we’re a little poorer than we are rich but a lot more tired than awake.


there is no larry

i spent the weekend wondering (among other things that is) who the larry we can be as happy as was, and why was he so happy. it turns out that the

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2002

though i’m not sure why fog makes a boxing kangaroo happy either.


more easy stuff

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2002

i got enough scheme sussed out with the aid of mike terry’s black belt school of script-fu and tomcat’s batch bitching tutorial to emulate, in the gimp, as much of photoshop’s “create web album” function as i’ve ever used.

  • actualscale.scm scheme to scale images to a given width
  • ratioscale.scm scheme to scale images to a given ratio
  • shell script that uses the two pieces of scheme above to create a thumbnails directory full of images resized to a width of 100 pixels, and an images directory full of images resized to a quarter of their original size.

put the scheme into your ~/.gimp-1.2/scripts directory and run the shell script over a directory full of jpeg files. the next step will be to eliminate the shell script and do it all from within the gimp. and probably also figure out how to make the images look a bit cleaner as the rescaling has made them rather blurry.

therefore, i have new photos, a random selection of my friend linda getting married, the hall where the reception was, my parents’ house, my dad snapping pics of my family in the pub on my birthday and london’s millennium bridge as seen from high up in the tate modern.


the scheme of things

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2002

how to connect a fujifilm 1400 zoom camera to a suse 7.4 linux box in 3 easy steps:

  1. plug usb cable in (an end in the camera and an end in the linux box is probably best)
  2. mount -f vfat /dev/sda1 /cam (optionally preceded by mkdir /cam)
  3. cd /cam and look at pics

easy :-) i will now figure out

  • how to eliminate step two
  • enough scheme to program the gimp in batch mode, i’ve been trying to remember all the lisp i never knew without very much success


no advice taken

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2002

i was perusing the books section of the new york times when the bestseller lists caught my eye. i don’t generally care what anyone else reads so they aren’t the kind of article i look at. but look at the categories: hardback and paperback, fiction and non fiction, yep just as it should be; children’s books listed separately, that makes sense too; advice? this must be some kind of advice for bookbuyers i think and click through to see what pearls of wisdom they have for me – nope, the new york times has separate bestseller categories for advice books! i’m flabbergasted. why did they decide to list these books in a bestseller list by themselves? did they take over the non fiction and had to be expunged or what? who decides when non fiction turns into advice?

the times just have the four basic categories combining fiction and non-fiction with hard and paperbacks.


reading about reading

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2002

virtual marginalia’s bookmarks is an excellent list of reading journals and booklists, including mine of course. i’m still working my way through them all.


crazy plane guy

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2002

the latest question from “answers to technical interview questions” (which i think is really badly named as many, but not all, of these puzzles would make really bad interview questions) concerns 100 people with 100 tickets for the 100 seats on a plane.

unfortunately, the first person in line is crazy, and will ignore the seat number on their ticket, picking a random seat to occupy. all of the other passengers are quite normal, and will go to their proper seat unless it is already occupied. if it is occupied, they will then find a free seat to sit in, at random.

the idea is to suss out how likely it is that the last person to board the plane gets their correct seat but from my experience on planes i think the answer should be that that crazy guy who can’t read seat numbers is always in my seat and that i’m always last to board the plane no matter whether i was the first to arrive at the departure lounge or where my seat is.

this is also true for train reservations and probably any other form of reserved seat transportation. either i’m terribly unlucky or i’m the only person in the world who can read both numbers on tickets and numbers on seats and who says “no it’s ok pushy person, i don’t mind either having my toes trampled or that i’ve been here since dawn and you’ve just breezed in, of course you can go first”.


The Flower Master by Sujata Massey

In books read on April 25, 2002

If you'd have told me that I'd enjoy a mystery with a theme of flower arranging I'd have thought that you were off your head. However Massey weaves another good (and quite un-cozy) plot around the cut throat world of Japanese ikebana.

There was a good bit of timing here for me, this book takes place during the cherry blossom season in Tokyo with everyone running around... ooops no, one doesn't run in Tokyo in a dressy kimono.... walking around to cherry blossom viewing parties. The reason this is good timing is that the cherry and apple blossom trees are in blossom here at the moment and reading the book has made me notice how pretty they are even more than usual.

This series is definitely feeling a lot more Japanese as it goes on. The Japanese-American protagonist Rei Shimura has really come to life for me. This book couldn't have been set anywhere else and still worked. It was also good to see the return of Rei's ex-flatmate Richard in this book; In the first in the series he seemed to be being set up as an interesting sidekick character but he was absent from the second.

So far each book in this series is an improvement on the last and I'm looking forward to the rest.

Purchased on 8th February 2002.

A copy of this book is available on BookMooch.



In Uncategorized on April 24, 2002

apparently it’s international noise awareness day today:

stop. sit still. open your ears. what can you hear?

if you’re in an office like mine, there’ll be several phones ringing (at least one of which will be a mobile abandoned on a desk), the rattle of keyboards, the hum of the air conditioning and the burble of half-heard conversations.

it’s not the burble that bothers me, i’m pretty good at cutting out background noise, though i do wish more people realised that mobile phones are a) mobile and b) silencable. it’s the people who talk at a volume way above the background noise level and don’t seem to realise that everyone within a three mile radius can hear their conversation who bug me, or perhaps they do realise and just think we all want to know what they think.

i find it a worse invasion of personal space than the guy who sits next to you on the train when there are acres of double seats going spare. i need my own personal noise space and i want you to keep within yours.

when is international noise non-awareness day when we can all be unaware of each other’s noise?

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