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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in alisdairo's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
3:29 pm
Netbeans
Bloody hell. I've been playing with the probably soon-to-be-defunct NetBeans. A Java IDE that's actually entirely sane, and works the way I'd expect it to. With SVN integration AND profiling that doesn't require you to install a user-hating plugin.

Clearly there must be something wrong with it, I'm just yet to discover it.
Friday, March 13th, 2009
1:34 pm
...
I have no words. Genuinely awful/hilarious writing.

http://vandonovan.livejournal.com/1088311.html?page=1
Saturday, April 19th, 2008
10:21 am
For those keeping up with the US elections...
A really fantastic video of a fox news reporter getting crushed on the Jeremiah Wright issue.
Friday, April 11th, 2008
11:48 am
Curse you, Play!
Almost without fail, every time Play have a sale, I end up buying DVDs. Their Easter sale is unique, in that it has caught me out twice, now.

It is truly amazing how cheap some of the films are, mind.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
11:15 am
On meningitis
"Not being racist or anything, but you need to stay away from those darkies. You don't know what they've brought over".

Not being racist indeed, random bus stop man. As ever, my mild assertion that I was pretty sure that meningitis has always been here left me a touch frustrated at its unheroic reserved Englishness...
Thursday, February 28th, 2008
10:49 am
Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
8:13 am
blargh
I am ill. I have a really sore throat, my nose is streaming, and I feel crap. My voice is croaky as hell, and I didn't get much sleep. I also have the viva for my 9 month report tomorrow. Argh.

Nick, I hope you'll enjoy my comments on "the bery exciting fielb ob trible stores" ;)
Friday, October 12th, 2007
11:22 am
A better day.
A vastly better day, in fact. Plumber came, muttered something like 'bloody hell, that's been leaking a long time' when he saw the floorboards, and fixed the leak! Chattered to him about a very strange noise the heating had been making, and he twiddled a knob, mentioned that someone had been a bit stupid, and appears to have fixed that, too. Which is good, since it was loud and deeply disturbing sounding. He assured me that there were plenty of failsafes, but it had a distinct 'this is about to blow the hell up' quality about it. Also it kept waking me up, so, good.

After this, I checked my mail, and lo and behold, the Revenoo have sent me the tax rebate I claimed. For a year where I only worked 7 or 8 months, plus a bonus of about £250 from the previous year that I'd completely forgotten about. Which would mean that until I pay for the honeymoon, I am briefly feeling the shining happiness of lots of money in the pocket. Rah. I should quit work more often.
Wednesday, October 10th, 2007
10:47 am
Argh.
I am fast growing to loathe the previous occupants of this house. I know it's not nice to think ill of the dead, but they, or whoever did their repair work for them, were useless gits. This house has been full of lovely, lovely plumbing-related surprises. Early on, we learned that we had a blocked drain (no big deal), and that the leaky shower is irreparable, thanks to it being at least 30 years old and seized up inside. This was swiftly followed by the discovery that it was impossible to turn the water off in the house (fortunately, this was discovered by the plumber when he tried to switch it off, not when there was an emergency.). After this, we discovered that one of the radiators had a slow leak at the point where the pipe joined it. There was even a lovely, tiny little mouldy patch under where it was. There was a little bit of tape around the bit that was leaking, which apparently had given up the ghost. Cue another call to the plumber, who replaced the part, thus meaning that the problem would be fixed, and not left to gradually deteriorate. Still, no massive harm done, cost a bit of money, but the carpet was getting replaced soon anyway.

And so, a couple of months pass, and I'm finally allowing myself to believe that we've discovered all the little problems that were left for us. In recent days, I've even gone so far as to tell others that I believe this to be the case. This, it seems, was a clear mistake.

So, I was moving boxes out of the third bedroom (the one that will eventually become my study), in preparation for decorating it while Clare is away. As I reach underneath a box next to the airing cupboard, I feel dampness. 'Oh no!' i think, in a delicious instant of self deception, 'something in the box has burst open!' I quickly check the carpet hasn't been stained, and note with relief that whatever has burst, it's uncoloured. And somewhat akin in feel to water. A look inside the box confirms my sinking suspicion that it's unlikely that Clare's shredder and speakers have brought forth a torrent of liquid. It's damp all around where the airing cupboard is. Finally giving way to the obvious, I check inside the airing cupboard, where I discover that the small section of old carpet in there is completely and utterly sodden.

'Oh look!', I think. The carpet has gone really mouldy. I put a large container under the now obvious drip, on one of the connections going into the hot water tank. Which, of course, has a bit of tape around it.

Mould.

Shit.

The carpet outside the cupboard might go mouldy too. Who knows how long it's been wet for?

MY nice new carpet.

Cue a furious drying operation, and a call to the parents for advice. I've now taken up the carpet, removed as useless the mouldy carpet from the cupboard, and measured the drip rate at about 150ml per hour. Which is quite a lot, really, when you consider that it could have been like this for yonks. There's a wooden ridge between the airing cupboard and the carpet outside, so the wetness has happened through the floorboards getting soaked, and passing it along. I'm currently drying it all out, hoping vaguely that the hot water tank doesn't come crashing down through the floor or anything.

And this is why I hate bodgers.
Monday, August 13th, 2007
12:41 pm
So, for the first time in many moons, I have chosen to grace these shores with an entry. A great deal has happened since I last updated. Clare and I have finally moved into our new house, being the particular biggy. It's a three bedroom terrace, and a month and a half ago it had some truly hideous decor, an overgrown garden, getting BT to suck less, and various other issues. We have spent this time working really damn hard, and the worst of the work is over now. New carpets, some new wallpaper, much repainting, and a lot of hacked down grass. It's a good feeling both the fact that the worst of it is nearly over, and the house being as we would like it. There's a good deal of happiness to be found in simply waking up in the morning, and looking out over our garden as I get breakfast together.

Part way through all this, we had a couple of days in the Isle of Wight. We went to a bit of the Island that was super-quiet, and had nothing at all to do. Exactly what we needed. I recommend IoW as a relaxing holiday destination.

I'm really struck by how kind everyone has been. Setting up house for the first time seems to be something people remember or envision as hard work, and it seems to inspire generosity in everyone. The people selling the house left a bunch of useful stuff (kitchen table/chairs, microwave, garden bench, etc), Clare and my parents have given us a truly stunning amount of necessary things like lawn mowers, hoovers, etc, as well as a lot of their time and expertise to help with decorating. We've even been given a TV (Thanks Pudi :) ). Thanks to everyone who lent a hand, or offered to!

We had our house warming on Saturday, which also seemed to go extremely well. Thanks to everyone for coming! There were a lot of people, but it never seemed to get too big, and I really enjoyed seeing so many of my friends at one time. Also, I now have an astonishing quantity of meat left over. Excellent. Rich and Sarah, I am REALLY sorry I forgot to invite you. My only excuse is that I am a tard, and that facebook is not a panacea for all my organisational problems ;). I shall, however, attempt to arrange some kind of smaller gettogether sometime soon, which it would be awesome if you could make it to. Regardless, it's about time we met up again.

Finally, on Sunday had a bit of a relax with Matty, Babs, and SuperJames in Staunton park. It was rather nice, and they had some live music on. Found a group called God Send ( http://www.myspace.com/godsendmusic ) particularly notable. I really enjoyed the song Paint The Walls. Afterwards, we went kite flying up a great big hill. Awesome fun.

I think I'm all waffled out. Basically, life is good.
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
4:27 pm
Nice
My lovely fiance decided to take me out last night, and a rather excellent experience it was too. I'm settling in nicely into having no money and sponging off her for everything, so it's a doubly good experience to have her wanting to treat me as well :).

We went to the Blue Keys hotel, which I had never heard of before. It is on a road off the Avenue just past the Cowherds in Southampton. There was a fantastic set of live entertainment on, with a group of singers performing show tunes, and some absolutely fantastic food - they do the best chocolate torte IN THE WORLD. Added to which, the atmosphere was really pleasant, and the service was very friendly. I'd recommend it exstremely highly.

And, in the afternoon beforehand, I'd spent a couple of hours karting! How good a Wednesday is that?
Friday, April 27th, 2007
10:36 am
sigh...
Way to crack down on the responsible people who actually teach their kids to drink responsibly, in the home, before letting them loose on the streets. Fortunately, I doubt it would ever actually be put into law.
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
8:53 am
Another meme!
It's a veritable vacuousness overload!

80% Geek
Monday, April 23rd, 2007
4:13 pm
Thursday, April 12th, 2007
11:09 am
Newsnight weather reports
Paxman resists weather reports on newsnight

Hadn't seen this before. Absolutely hilarious :)
8:45 am
Someone's talking sense...
And, crazily, that man is Arnold Schwarzenegger. The way we behave about climate change, particularly towards the US, is absolutely nuts. Whoever thought that it was a good idea to try purely to guilt people into changing their lifestyle? Sure, you can tell people that what they're doing is bad for the world, but if that's all you do, don't be surprised if they become defensive and tell you to go to hell.

Most of the population of Europe's stance towards the US regarding climate change can basically be summed up as "Haha, we're better than you". Whilst I see the joy in the realisation that finally, finally, we really do have larger penises than them, it's unlikely to actually get us anywhere, vis-a-vis world saving exploits. The US is a country that runs on inspiration. Whatever their flaws, its people generally believe that they are trying to do the right thing. They're the good guys. They were the good guys when they helped us in WW2, they were the good guys when they stopped us from becoming communist sattelite states during the cold war, and they're the good guys now. Only, we keep telling them how awful they are, and that they're killing the Earth, just because they want the good life. Looking at it from their point of view, wouldn't you be defensive too?

What's needed is not a giant ego trip over just how environmentally friendly we are, but a real attempt to market the benefits of acting in a more environmentally friendly way towards the US, and indeed other countries. Instead of telling them how horrible they are, we could tell them how if they bent their fantastic ability to innovate towards solving climate change, if they managed to invent the best mechanisms for producing energy cleanly, they could sell them and make themselves rich. We could tell them that they could save money by simple efficiency measures that also save the earth. We could tell them that they could attain energy independence from the rest of the world, particularly the middle east. We could turn climate change into the next big enemy after hitler, communism, and terrorism, the thing that they need to save both themselves and the world from.

But, as of right now, we just use censure. Which seems a bit of a shame.
Monday, April 2nd, 2007
12:04 pm
On a happier note, I am delighted by the fact that thinkgeek is going to actually make the 8 bit tie :)
12:01 pm
Really, really sad.
When there's so many more terrible things that oculd be fixed, why bully the creator of a chocolate jesus?
Friday, March 30th, 2007
11:06 am
What a fantastic idea - asynchronous net access for villages in India.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6506193.stm
Thursday, March 29th, 2007
3:11 pm
Once more into the breach...
About six or seven years ago, I first tried to install linux. It was a release of SUSE, the very first one featuring a 2.4 kernel. Oooh, exciting. Unfortunately, it was a fairly abortive attempt - the install worked in a sense, but loads of the installed packages had broken dependencies, it was an arse to install new stuff, and I could never, ever get printing to work.

Three or four years after that, the horrific wounds had largely healed into unattractive but vaguely manly scar tissue. I decided to have another go, with that Debian that I'd heard so many nice things about. Figures out package dependencies for you. How cool is that? This was relatively successful - while it was completely broken at first, I managed to fix things with the help of a housemate, until I tried to install drivers for my nforce motherboard. oopsie. Somehow (and I really don't know how), it not only shafted the install completely, but also managed to overwrite the boot loader, completely hosing my PC.

And now. Now I return, a veteran of long linux , mac os pseudo-unix, and solaris use. While lacking in experience of full on administration, I was confident that I would be able to manage just fine. Linux has improved, my skills are infinitely greater, and there is more help available on The Internet that isn't just pages and pages of 'lol read the man page lol'.

I wasn't naive, though. I went for easy mode, trying an ubunto live cd first. booting leaves me with a screen full of crap. Oh dear. Still, that young, immature implementation was clearly just lacking when it came to hardware detection. Another try, with the old stalwart Debian. I really did like the package management system, after all. A brief, surprisingly simple install later, I rejoice in the presence of...

A screen full of crap.

five and a half hours later, I think I may have sorted it. We shall see. Seriously, I love using *nix, but installing it is still a complete nightmare for the inexperienced.
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