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Thursday, April 13th, 2006
8:36 pm
Oh no! An admin on Wikipedia thinks I shouldn't be called Slovakia any more :-(


Tuesday, January 24th, 2006
9:21 pm
Hello. Remember me?
I've gone and got myself a Proper Blog, so you may wish to visit matt.west.co.tt and do whatever fancy-schmancy things with RSS you deem appropriate.

I'm planning to use it as a general dumping ground for personal projects rather than a proper journal where I feel guilty about not keeping people updated about trips to Finland that were actually quite fun but for one reason or another didn't motivate me to write long rambling entries about. With any luck, that'll result in it being considerably more active than this one.

Oh, and I'm going on a skiing holiday in the French Alps this weekend.

(5 wibblings | wibble)

Saturday, January 1st, 2005
8:58 pm - Best. Year. Ever.
So. 2004, eh? What a ruddy fantastic year that was. I got to be a rock star for a day, gave a talk in front of a couple of hundred people without screwing up and thus wangled my way into the London new media geek clique, won a demo competition at the world's biggest demo party and got to use the phrase "ph34r my l33t J4v4script sk1llz" in front of an audience of five thousand, and got to Russia and back in one piece.

All of which adds up to about four years' worth of ambitions fulfilled, I reckon. And now I'm stuck wondering how 2005 will possibly be able to top that, in view of the conspicuous void on my "cool things I want to achieve" list. I'm going to have to enter next year's Eurovision Song Contest or something.

(2 wibblings | wibble)

Saturday, September 25th, 2004
11:10 am - things'll be different when I'm in charge
I've figured out the root cause of why the National Health Service is in such a poor state. They're not paying enough attention to updating their website. As a result, when I go down to register with my local clinic (hey, I've only been living here for two years, that's quite good going for me), assured that they're open on Saturday mornings, it turns out that they aren't. Instead, all the needless walking causes my knee to play up again, which was the precise reason I wanted to register with a doctor there in the first place.


Monday, July 12th, 2004
9:23 am - Rathergood.com returns from the dead!
Yay! But whatever you do, don't follow this link or it'll be stuck in your head for hours.


Sunday, June 13th, 2004
10:16 pm - savapoint.com are thieving corrupt scamming bastards
To anyone contemplating handing over any money to savapoint.com (the people who run the monthly 'surfxtra' special offers that come with Tiscali internet) - don't bother, unless you enjoy being ripped off.

Ordered a memory card reader thing on 21 April, hoping to use it for preparing my NotCon talk (which was most successful, by the way... follow that link for photos and stuff). I foolishly assumed that 6 weeks would be enough time to allow for delivery. They promptly and efficiently charged my switch card, and then sat around drinking tea. So, one month later, I emailed their comedically-named "customer service" department asking where it was, and they continued to sit around drinking tea. At this point I threw in the towel and told them to cancel the order, which once again failed to garner a response (except for an autoignore email a day or so later). But then, some action! Rather than following my instructions (which would involve them admitting that they fucked up), they quietly dispatched the order in a last ditch "oh shit, we'd better cover our asses" move. It arrived a couple of days ago. At my billing address, which is several hundred miles away from where it was supposed to go. With no explanation or acknowledgement that it was late, of course.

And now I have their returns procedure to look forward to. Yup, I can see that going 100% smoothly and trouble-free.

(1 wibbling | wibble)

Thursday, June 3rd, 2004
10:08 am - People who shouldn't be allowed on the internet

From: xxxx@aol.com
Subject: Information

I need some information on health inequalities not Museum that kept appearing in the website.
Could you please send me the address to get the information because it is a research.

Thank you in advance


email address: xxxxxxxxx@yahoo.co.uk

At first I thought this was just some weird spam, but on further inspection it seems likely that they got my address from doh.org.uk, since it was sent to the address listed there, this person has a UK email address, and the (real) Department of Health website is the top Google result for 'health inequalities'.

If so, this is pretty dumb even by AOL standards. Tell me, how can somebody visit that page and still come away with the impression that I am in fact the Department of Health, and would therefore be a good person to ask about UK health policy? Do I really need to resort to <blink> tags to get my point across? Sheesh.

(And if anyone can figure out where the reference to a museum comes from, please do share...)


Thursday, May 20th, 2004
11:00 pm - You know the world's gone mad when...
1) ...the most popular TV programme of the moment is about two old ladies who go into people's houses and clean the carpet.

2) ...every mobile phone ringtone you hear is the song "Yeah" by Usher, a piece of music which prominently features a phone ringing for the entire duration of the song.

(2 wibblings | wibble)

Sunday, May 9th, 2004
7:50 pm - Dirigibles and zeppelins and LIGHTBULBS!
Yay for photogenic things happening when I've got my camera handy.

[Some hot air balloons. And some trees.] [A close up hot air balloon from underneath. And a drainpipe.] [Three hot air balloons in formation, with flames and stuff.]


Wednesday, April 28th, 2004
11:57 pm
This evening I 'ave been mostly melting things.

a very neatly soldered circuit

Having a go at this little mod for my Spectrum, and it's turned out to be a very neat job considering it's the first time I've picked up a soldering iron in years. Haven't tested it yet, but at this stage it will merely be a nice bonus if it actually works.

Damn you, Mr Schottky, for your diodes with leads that don't fit into the holes in stripboard.


Sunday, April 18th, 2004
5:20 pm
I appear to have volunteered to do a presentation about recent Spectrum developments for NotCon 04. How careless of me.

(1 wibbling | wibble)

Monday, April 5th, 2004
8:00 pm - zillion to one coincidences
Out in London today for a client meeting. On the tube on the way back, moments after stepping off a Northern Line train, I bumped into my brother, about to get on a Northern Line train.

*spooky music*


Saturday, April 3rd, 2004
7:00 pm - The long-awaited concert report
So, I finally got around to finishing my writeup of the AY Riders concert from last month. It's probably going to be included in soon-to-be-published issues of ZXF and Adventurer, but you can read it here first.
The reportCollapse )


6:00 pm - half a meme, half a meme, half a meme onward
I usually ignore LJ memes on grounds of extreme pointlessness, but this one (nicked from orinoco77) seemed to be quite interesting at first. But then it got a bit crap half way through, so I've decided to answer half of it.

the questions, such as they areCollapse )


Monday, March 29th, 2004
12:00 pm
Using a bug tracking utility is very much like playing the arcade game Tapper. You're assigned a set of bars (projects) that you have to keep under control, while hordes of angry customers (clients) constantly arriving and demanding beer (reporting bugs). Inevitably, while you're serving one customer (fixing a bug) a dozen more come along, forcing you to hop frantically between bars (projects).

Eventually, after continuing this for a few minutes (weeks), you get a brief moment when there are no remaining customers to be served (bugs to be fixed), and you do a little dance.

/me dances

current mood: chipper

(2 wibblings | wibble)

Sunday, March 28th, 2004
9:20 pm
Ooh, haven't listened to this album in bloody ages. It never occurred to me exactly how much Evanescence were inspired by the Divine Comedy, but they clearly were. No, really.


Sunday, March 14th, 2004
5:39 pm
A report on the local news, about someone who has broken the European record for memorising pi, reciting it to over 22,000 decimal places.

The reporter had this helpful bit of information for us: "Daniel had to memorise all the digits in the right order."

In other news, the European record for stating the obvious was broken today.


Monday, March 8th, 2004
11:55 pm - mauve is in the air
Reading all about the Grey Album and the Jay-Z Construction Set has almost tempted me to have a go at a mix of the Black Album and They Might Be Giants' Pink Album, to be titled The Mauve Album. (I had to check with the colour picker from Gimp, but half way between pink and black is indeed a sort of murky shade of mauve.)

On the subject of mauve, what on earth were eBay thinking when they bought this sponsored link? They must think the world is full of people going "ooh, let's all go to eBay and order lots of... mauve."


Sunday, March 7th, 2004
4:30 pm - question for music geeks
two dotted minims next to each other, beamed together like demisemiquavers What the feck do those notes on the bass staff mean? My guess is that it's a grace-note type thing, meaning 'play this as a chord sustained for the full length of the bar, but play the bottom B[1] first and play the higher B[1] very quickly afterwards', but I thought I'd better get a second opinion.

1 Well, it's a B flat if you really need to know

(4 wibblings | wibble)

Saturday, March 6th, 2004
9:00 pm - beer, borscht and rock'n'roll
So, the concert. If playing to a packed house of over 200 enthusiastic revellers bopping away to minimalist electronic music and staring in amazement at pixillated video art is any measure, then yep, it was a success.

I've been roped in to doing a proper report for a magazine, so I'm saving any in-depth ramblings for that. So, for the moment you'll have to be content with a shedload of photos.

(7 wibblings | wibble)

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