Monday, October 18, 2004

Climbing Up The Walls

My first post in a good few days. Apologies for the absence: I didn't feel like talking for a while. Pain is not for public display. The main topic of the last two posts crashed and burned last Friday, so I am once again looking for the one.

I've just spent the weekend in Glasgow, due to it being Stephen's birthday, and me having just finished my first module on the new course.

SilverStream: For my last assessment I had to build a site with some form of business transaction, for my chosen type of business. To help make things interesting for myself I put a bit of thought into the possible applications I could do, and came up with a movie stream rental service. There's a couple of these around at the moment, but none making much money since connection speeds need to be pretty high to view a stream.

Basically, I thought there was the chance to capitalise on the fact that DVDs come with many sound types (like Dolby Digital and Surround Sound), and audio/subtitled languages and commentaries. But who listens to every track? Anyway, I thought making a site where users could choose the combination of audio, subtitles and sound quality they wanted for a film, then just sit back and watch.

The bad news was that I couldn't put a Shopping Basket in to the system, because it didn't make sense to buy 5 streams at once if a) you can only watch one at a time, b) each stream expires after 48 hours, and c) you have to be connected to the net to watch each one anyway. But I made up for it with a nice advanced search feature, allowing users to search for actors, directors, plot words or film titles, and to limit searches to films offered in particular languages.

Friday: A quick bus journey after my handin and I was in Glasgow. Met my sister in town to get keys for her flat, went back there, had the worst cheeseburger supper of my life in about 5 minutes, then charged out again to meet all the kids in Waxy's.

It was good to catch up with everyone (and to see the faces on those that didn't know I was coming). We drank and talked away for a few hours, and were joined by a man who tried to convince us of his plan to crack the safe in the room next to where we stood (a room I'm almost certain he'd used as a toilet not long before).

For reasons best known to himself, Chris decided not to join in the good times on Friday. If this happens again, it will be treated as dereliction of duty, Mr Miller.

After Waxy's there was a bit of a downturn as people left and we spent a good half hour deciding where to go next. The Shack (of all places) eventually won out so we joined the surprisingly short queue there and entered (Stephen carrying a Bikini Girls calendar and two bottles of ale).

The Shack really isn't my choice of venue for a night out, but I'm happy to go where the party travels. It was quite odd seeing a dance floor with about 200 bodies on it, all essentially standing still for 2 hours. Not so much a cattle market as a butcher's window.

Saturday was a bit quieter. I spent 2 hours looking in clothes shops for a new jacket, which I eventually got as well as a blister from walking so long in new trainers. Shopping at the weekend has recently become necessary since my weekdays are quite busy, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. Listening to my iPod is almost enough to make the sloth of the hoarding masses bearable.

It was yet another chance for me to write off a few shops as not being likely to stock anything I'd like in the next few years, and to become annoyed with the amount of clothing on the racks that looks like it's been made by a home economics class. Why is the current fashion to buy clothes that look so completely knackered? Added to the current obbsession with mo-hawks and it could look to the casual observer that early 90's metal and punk was the current style of choice.

Back to Saturday, and I spent the evening having a couple of drinks and watching Shark Tale with Rachel and Craig. Nice company, shame about the film. It was funny in places, but didn't really pull me in at all, and I think most of the jokes would have totally bypassed the bairns in the cinema.

Sunday: And now for something completely different. On Sunday I went wall climbing with Julie, Iain McGinniss, Irene, Iain McNaught and Alisdair. My first time climbing a wall (I've abseiled before, but going up's always easier than going down, or so I thought), and it was great fun. It's a pretty enjoyable thing where there's not really any competition and it's all about what you want to do yourself and how difficult you want to make the climb. My next plan is to find a climbing centre in Aberdeen and go for a training session.

The Day (Monday): Back to uni. Being taught how to write XHTML. Fun.


Blogger Chris said...

Sorry about Friday chief, was totally knackered and really needed a good night in bed, and I had. Shame though, the celebrations looked very exciting, maybe next time.

Also, you are attending a masters degree and they are teaching you XHML! Good god.

8:02 pm  
Blogger Iain Simpson said...

I was one of the folks that didn't expect to see you on friday, and it was indeed a nice surprise. Glad to see that you've posted on your blog again - I've been checking it religiously several times a day (as I do with everyones blogs, for want of anything better to do with my time..).

I've head about that climbing stuff, it involves physical exertion, yeah? Doesn't sound like the sort of thing you can do in a swivelly office chair...

Good luck with that XHTML stuff, can't imagine that ever being useful. Talk about obscure.. ;)

12:08 am  

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