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Friday 15th April 2005

Bread Making

I have been hand making my bread for sandwichs at work in the last month. Bread making is a very intresting process. There are lots of procedures that you can follow and ways of making your bread rise well. I have found that once you find one that works for you, even trivial changes can have very dramatic detrimental effects. This must be why people say that baking bread is hard. I switch from the special packets of yeast to the dried yeast and descovered that it take almost four times longer to rise. The best place I have descovered to rise your bread is in the oven. Set it at 50 C and leave it for 30 mins with fast acting yeast, dried yeast needs much longer but once it starts to rise it works just as well.


Sunday 20th Marth 2005

CONSTANTINE

We watch [Constantine The Movie] today -- it was quite good, it in a one sentance is The Profency plus Omen ;)

Saturday 19th March 2005

Java Bug Id 4211070

[Java should support const parameters (like C++) for code maintainence] has been closed as will never been implemented. One of the comments that amazes me is that it is now too late to implement this feature request. That is only 6 years after it was first was asked for. This is the number 2 requested new feature!

Tuesday 1st March 2005

BabylonFive News

The Babylon5 movie ["The Memory of Shadows" has been cancelled], what a shame.

Sunday 20th Febuary 2005

Shanghai 'New Pearl of Asia'

I am back from a short two weeks in Shanghai. What can I say but it is an amasing city. In some way so similiar to London and in other so different.

http://213.4.130.98/web/b5trek/B5/Escala/Pics/Hyperion.gif+right

Monday 31st January 2005

Maddening Web Services

As a programmer of Distrubuted System using 'old fashion' RPC call become really annoyed by the sloppyness of the developers of so called Web Services. Why oh why can't they make sure that all there links work, I like a lot of people in the UK had to use a very important Web Service in the last week. This system is riddled with bugs, every 6 or so pages it comes back Page Not Found or RPC Call Prodedure Error, I beleive that this product is an implemented using dotNet. Microsoft must be justifidly proud of ... the amount of money they have been payed for it because they can't have spend a lot of money on implementing it.

BabylonFive News

[Quickie from JMS].

SWIII - Revenge of the Sith

Release date for most of the world is 19th May 2005 :)


Tuesday 25th January 2005

Robot soldiers

It looks like we are one step closer to Mechs and all the other Robotic warior technology ["Robot soldiers deployed in Iraq"] also ["Army Prepares 'Robo-Soldier' for Iraq"]. What these little bots are is a mobile gun platform that is remotely operated, very much like the bomb disposal robots that were seen often in North Ireland durring the troubles there. It will be a while before anyone places enough AI in them for them to be totally automimus but we can probly expect that they will grow in size and have GPS linked route planning software in the near future this will be so that the robot can get to it's target without instruction. These are the wests version of the perfect weapon, a system that allows your soldiers to not have to fight. These question I have wondered is if both sides of a conflict have no Mechs left, what then. Is it going to be the case that the side with the best Mechs just wins any conflict, after all how does a standard infantry man fight such a n enemy? Is this the next level of war, proxy battles in which states fight with machines, after the Mech battles does you surrended to leave yourself open to mechanised destruction. I expect we will see sooner rather than later.

Friday 21st January 2005

IBM's New Cell Architecture

The ["Cell Architecture Explained" by Nicholas Blachford]. To me this looks like a course grain [Data Flow Engine], where instead of Atomic instructions that are wires together higher level blocks or modules of code are tied with there data strutures. These Applets sized Objects are then passed around the system in the same way as a Data Flow Atom is. This has several advantages over DF because the main bottleneck in a DFE is the communications bandwidth between Memory Cells. This problem is reduced because you can firewall data elements together to be processed in the most approprate algorithmic way.

Smilies

I have implemented Smilies on the Wiki.
;-) :-) :- :-/ :-(

Tuesday 18th January 2005

Flying Dentists?

I had a tooth filled today. Whilst I was in the chair I got thinking about that I was about to jet to the other side of the world and looking at the dentist's chair I noticed a missed business operunity, well an ammusing idea if nothing else. Some people are scared of flying, other of going to the dentists. Why not have a dentist on a long hall flight. You would then get the people scared of flights going to the dentists to take there minds off it. Also dentist chairs are just like airplane chairs so there is no need for special chairs to be installed.

AngloSaxon Business Pratices

There is a saying "A verbal agreement is not worth the paper it is written on". There was a time when english business was done on verbal agreemnents but more and more it seams until you have the signed paper in your hand then they will change there mind. This leads to a very unhealth and unnatural non-personal level of interaction. I think that some business people have forgotten that "we make more money together" than we do a part. It is a prisoners delema and if you do not deal straight with people, you might win this time but next time people will not trust you and then we move to a "tit for tat" paradigm, in which we alternatly make money and lose it.

Monday 17th January 2005

http://www.vacuumschmelze.de/dynamic/docroot/medialib/images/forschunginnovation/hysteresen_zschleife_182.gif+right

Global Warming and Dimming

[BBC] [Horizon]'s programming on ["Global Dimming"] and an earlier artical in the [Guardian] ["Goodbye sunshine"] have as you would expected restarted my intrest in living in a cleaner planet. I have never been a radical environmentalist but it does on the face of it make sence that we can't continue poluting our communial backyards for ever. Any system has a tipping point which too much of anything is not supstanable, the question is how much is too much? One of the problem is people only react after a problem has happened, it is unlikely that anything will be done before it become so obvious that nothing can be changed. I think that we all chance to CO2 free enery sources now. It could be too late to argue that we should be using natural only energy production. The point is that all big systems tend to have a [hysteresis loop] in there responce. This tends for them to continue doing what they are doing until a critical point when they quickly change to a new balence state. It can the require a larger change the other way for it to flip back to the original state. Hence we really realy don't want to change to a new state because going back will also happen and be just as back.

Gaming

Last [Thursdays] Game.

Friday 7th January 2005

What do you believe without proof?

["WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?"] raised an intesting question. The first one I came up with is that other people are probly real. About the only thing you can really know is that you are a stream of continious thoughts, if you are to believe in the system theory that we much have inputs which measure the external environment and these are translated by our minds to represent the external state of the surround space then you must go on trust that this model is correct in itself. Which of course we have no way to independantly verify. We basically must believe that it is so or everything inculding what we think of as our bodies and sences could also be illusion. This is the argument behind the Budhist phyisofical veiw of the world. Hence if we can't trust our senses, we can't trust what other object that are translated by out senses, hence the only thing we each can know for truth is "I think there for I am". Well that got us no where fast. So given that I can't prove anything I am going to have to say that unforcantly for me all the madness out there I am just going to have to believe even if some of it does streatch credability at times.

Thursday 6th January 2005

Graphics Cards

As I found this today [Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide] I thought it might be nice to see a comparision of the Cards I have bought over the years.

 Name,                    Arch, Manuf,       Speed,   FillRate?,  Bus,  Bandwidth,  3D Mark 2001

 Voodoo 2 (8-12MB),       NA,   0.35 Micron,  90 MHz,  180 MT/s,  64b,       NA,    0.9k

 Ge Force 2 MX400,        NV11, 0.18 Micron, 200 MHz,  800 MT/s, 128b,  2.66 GB/s,  2.9k

 Ge Force 4 Ti4200 128MB, NV25, 0.15 Micron, 250 MHz, 2000 MT/s, 128b,  7.10 GB/s, 12.0k

 Ge Force FX 5900,        NV35, 0.13 Micron, 400 MHz, 3200 MT/s, 256b, 27.20 GB/s, 16.0k

You can see a steady progression as you would expect, of course 3D Mark 2001 does not tell you a lot about the performance improvement of the cards but it is a starting point.

Wednesday 5th January 2005

"To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work."

by Sister Mary Lauretta

I got this quote over Christmas from one of those motivational websites. It is true that if you are 100% intrested in developing a new system then it is simpler to overcome the hinderences, when you are not intrested then there are large and difficult problems that get in the way.

Cold, Flu and Chills

Looking around on the Web it just goes to show how little really known about how to solve the common cold and flu. There is strong evedence to suggest that in none of the 'cures' that people take attually make any diffence and can infact make think worse.

http://www.asthma.org.uk/about/an059.php

Complex Software

There is an intresting trend in applications design. Applications get more and more complex (feature creep) and harder and harder to setup as time goes on. But the designer gets more and more convinced that the system is not too complex for the mythical average user and all the features are required. This is one of those gordant knot problems. At some stage the designer must stop thinking that user is too stupid or too lazy to read the instruction manual. There was an attempt if not invented by Microsoft but definatly put in to the main stream by them called Wizard Setups. These where roundly hated by almost all users, developers and adinistrators of complex software. There must be a better way, they stop you configuring your system in the way you need to. If you look at all PC software all the useful stuff comes as a single installer program and sets itself up in some for of default simple mode. Extra features you have to hand setup after. I think that this must be extentable to complex distrubuted systems as well and would solve the problem. IE the system comes with a limitied but useful initial setting, after that you modify it yourself. Not the here is a set of tools to build your system with 200 pages of instructions of how to do it.

Tuesday 4th January 2005

Rule Changes?

I have been thinking about modifying the rules for the StandardAdventures games I am running. Specifically these changes BuyTheNumbers and MidThreeD20. The PlayerOnlyRolls modification I have been using for the last three sessions and I think it is working well. I got PlayerOnlyRolls from PhilippeK but have been using it ever since in the DnD? game I have run. Ithink that it works well but you have to prepared as a referee to run a less secret game. If an encounter is a possible supprise, the question was if the character are supprised not if the the players are. In a movie normally before the Heros are supprised the storyteller signals the supprise with a noise in the dark. I think that there is no reason that as a referee you can't also do this.

Cold, Flu and Chills

I get them all the time. I always have for as long as I can remeber. It just is one of those things, normally about Chrismas or New Year one just hits me. Regular as clock work, they taken me months sometime to get over. I had them even before I was diagniosed with Ashma, when I was first suffuring from Ashma my old doctor sent me away saying it was just a cold. What I don't understand is why specifically me and why does it take me so long to get over it. I was going to the dentists tommorrow to contine with a large filling but I have had to cancel. No point in sneasing and coughing all over the dentist and I am not sure I could keep my mouth open for that long anyway. I have never been exactlty sure what the diffence is between all these names. I know I had a Chill as my temprature was 1C lower than normal and it has taken 4 or 5 days for it to get better. I still have the snot but not the saw troat. Why is there not a medical charity which is working towards a better method of protect for this meta-family of virus?

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