Older blog entries for MikeCamel (starting at number 33)

Pedantry
dwmw2 - the very suggestion that I, a pedant myself, would mix up license and licence. Ridiculous. Please reread my post and pay a little more attention this time.

Lovely Advogato
Advogato is lovely, isn't it? There's the trust metric, the diaries, the articles, and the community aspect, too. My particular favourite in terms of features is the "Edit" function on diary entries...

Office Christmas do
Off in a few minutes. 578 people going. Catherine's made it abundantly clear that if it's cold (it's not risen above freezing today) she is not going to be at all happy. Heigh-ho.

14 Dec 2001 (updated 14 Dec 2001 at 16:23 UTC) »
daniels: I was told today (over lunch) that UK licenses [sic] are just pieces of paper with no photo ID - true? If so, htf do you stop underage drinking?

Contrary to popular belief, the main purpose of driving licences is not to provide proof of identity or age, but to prove that you are entitled to drive (hence the name "driving licence"). In fact, the new UK licences do have photos on, but I believe that you're allowed to decide not to put your date of birth on it. So - how do we control underage drinking? The first way is to have a sensible age limit: 18 for spirits, 16 for beer, wine or lager with a meal. In some parts of the country (particularly larger towns and cities), there are schemes whereby the landlords won't serve people who look young and who don't have a special proof-of-age card. All explained, now? (-8

I've been running websites since 1994, which makes me one of the oldsters (userfriendly). Before 1.0 came out, which makes me feel old. One of the

great questions was "do we really need multi-threaded web servers?". I think we answered that question - or the rise of the dreaded Netscape did, anyway.

GET / HTTP/1.0

Life is good - Catherine's back tomorrow, and my Dad's here tonight. I wish Catherine were here today. I miss her.

It's good to have friends. And whether you like it or not, that's what you folks are. Well done: we're a community now. If we weren't, we wouldn't celebrate births and marriages. And we do.

dyork - congratulations. I hope that Lori has a better time of it as things continue. Engagement announcements, babies - what next on Advogato? A new Operating System? (-8
ianmacd - your life is truly over. However, there is one useful thing you can do. Get the Xb*x to generate a GSOD (it allegedly that it errors to green, rather than blue), and then get in touch with the maintainer of xscreensaver and get him a screenshot so that it can be added to the next release. You will then be forgiven. Of course, if you can get Linux running on it, you get extra marks. (-8

Today's a day for talking to people.

CryoBob - if you're talking to me (and you are, 'cos you're answering an email I sent you in your diary entry), then out with it, boy! Anyway - quit complaining: you've made it to Journeyer already, so that's cool. Also, you Jtrix folks need to stop posting at the same time - do you all have a deadline, or something?

I'm pleased that it's going well, and congrats on starting off. I have to say that it gave me a warm feeling to have suggested someone for a job which they actually got - that's two now (Mr Plant, if you need to know, CryoBob, the g*t with the Elise...).

Waldo - congratulations to you, too, you superstar, you!

Mulad - maybe Sarah likes spending time with you. Relax into it. The best relationships work because people like spending time with each other. It sounds like you've got some chemistry there from time to time, even if it's not the sort of chemistry you might like - yet, but maybe not ever. You're empathising with her about her job, chatting - sometimes you don't need to have something to say. People like being empathised with - guys and gals.

Phoon - nope, you're not a genius: that's the ephedra pills talk^H^H^H^Hsweating. (-8

Life
Spending money time. I got a new car today, and Catherine (who's away in Portugal at the moment, so I'm all on my lonesome) gets a new one just before Christmas. What's more, we're in the process of buying a new house - next door, which we intend to knock through, assuming that we can get listed buildings consent (this is like getting planning permission if you live in a listed building, which we do). This is good because (again, given that we can knock through), we'll have a larger kitchen (more money, as we'll need to refit it), and I'll have my own server room. Whoops - sorry, that should be "office". My own room, my own machine (which won't need to be dual-booting, as Catherine won't be using it), my own desk, my own armchair, my own bookcases. Bliss. I'm looking forward to it so much, and I've been speccing the box for weeks - it's destined to have woody on it, as I've been meaning to play with Debian for ages.

Not much about the new car there, so here's a bit: it's a Renault Megane Coupe, metallic black, and I'm currently running it in. Happy me.

PhD
Need to rewrite my proposal after some serious talks with one of my supervisors. Spoke to the other one today (this one is in the Computer Lab, the other is SPS - Social & Political Sciences), and they both seem positive. The problem now is getting a faculty to accept me part-time - a new thing for Cambridge. I'm hopeful. Once again, if anyone's interested, get in touch via p2ptrust.org. Rob - I'll get back to you!

27 Nov 2001 (updated 27 Nov 2001 at 15:44 UTC) »
gbowland - congratulations. You need to update your webpage - it still reads "girlfriend", and that sort of thing can get you in trouble!
Books
Finished Ross Anderson's "Security Engineering, A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems" - a must-read. Covers everything from crypto protocols to "How to Hack a Smart-card", "How to Steal a Picasso", military systems, banking, telecoms security and nuclear command and control systems. As he points out, if you deal with one part of a security system (or design it), you really need to understand how all the other parts work, too, as they'll be interacting with your bits. Heartily recommend this book - you'll find a slightly longer review of this, and some others I've been reading, at www.p2ptrust.org.

Music
Barenaked Ladies are excellent. Just got Maroon, the last album that I didn't have, and I'm listening to it at the moment (whoo - "Tonight is the night I fell asleep at the wheel" is wierd!). After that, it's Bill Jones' Panchpuran - I loved her first one, and this has got excellent reviews, too.

Phd
We're getting there - I've got two supervisors, and one referee for definite (I need to decide who to approach to be the second). I'm looking into the issues of funding, and getting accepted to do it part-time, which is more difficult than you might expect. Went Cambridge University Library yesterday to find out about getting a card again. It was strange being back there after so long, but great, too. Booked a time next week to get a card, and I'm seeing one of my supervisors on Wednesday to discuss the PhD proposal. Once it's a bit more refined, I'll post it on www.p2ptrust.org.

Work
I was in Paris for some of this week at a trade show. A complete wash-out - though got to meet a couple of interesting sets of people. My boss and I left early. The poor organiser had such a cr*p time (two laptops got stolen, to just help things along) that I ended up buying her flowers. Seemed to go down well - a little later, one of my females colleagues came round to mention how bad a day she was having, and didn't she deserve flowers, too? No, but (-8.

Life
Catherine's away for a week and a half in Portugal from next Wednesday, but as I've got MBA work to do, and my sister and her husband (Polly and Lee) are likely to be coming to stay, I'll probably have enought to do anyway.

Had contact with a long-lost friend (sort of an ex-) from about 12 years ago. She had better memories of our time than I might have expected, which was nice, as I was very fond of her, and felt that things had been somewhat unresolved. Catherine was amused by some of the comments about me "confident and cultured" in particular. Heigh-ho - she (Catherine) was the one who described her first impression of me as "an arrogant b*st*rd", but then again I thought she was "prim and proper", so at least one of us was wrong. And she did marry me.

Something for you to read
A report by renster on OS projects which looks at how issues such as number of developers and administrators relate to factors such as age and maturity makes very interesting reading. I'm credited (thanks, Renster!), but despite this, this is seriously important work - we need to understand how OS projects work and succeed, and what the factors are. Read, mark and inwardly digest...

Me
A quiet weekend after a frustrating week, hopefully. There's rugby on the TV, and there'll be a fire in the grate and I'll have Catherine asleep next to me on the sofa. Bliss.

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