Sunday, March 20, 2005

Order Of The Day

I've had the same small bedroom in Aberdeenshire all my life, and have been happy to stay there, even after my sister moved out, freeing the largest bedroom (we shared this as kids so we were given the most space). This is partly because we have a back room in the house that acts as a second living room (or, more accurately, my living room) with a TV and the computers, so I've always had enough space there.

A few weeks ago I decided that moving rooms might actually be a good idea. This idea was partly spurred by the thought of storing all my CDs in my sister's big bookcase, which I thought would handle my large collection easily. Today, while recovering from the previous night's drinking, I decided to clear and clean the bookcase, and transfer all my CDs to it. This didn't take too long, though I ended up running out of space and having to use two extra Swedish-CD-storage-solution-type-hingmies as well - one lying horizontal on top of the bookcase, the other vertical beside the bookcase and on top of a desk (I do have a photo of this on my phone, but it's poor quality and I've no energy for getting a shot with my dad's camera, so apologies for the wordy explanation).

All looks well, but it's not quite looking as good as it could. Something's wrong and I know exactly what it is: my CDs had originally been stored in 2 towers (for the "In Current Use" stuff) and a small cupboard (for the rest), and the towers had been alphabetically ordered. This makes it easy to for me to find a CD, but difficult to add a new purchase. Anyway, I like my CDs this way, and I've nothing else to spend my afternoon on, so I sorted the whole lot.

Over 600 CDs, in order, spanning 7 rows and half a column of storage. My Mansun to Muse collection (inc Massive Attack, Metallica, etc) takes a single row on its own. It all looks good. I even left a bit of space on each row for future purchases.

Friday, March 18, 2005

You Got A Killer App

It's been very quiet around here, and there's not much to report on, except that this is my first post from Linux. With a bit of help from Joe (well, a lot of help), I got Gentoo installed on my new laptop. This process involved wiping Windows and starting again, and this made me realise that Dell had neglected to send me an XP installation CD, even though it's part of my order.

This was not the first mistake Dell had made with my laptop order, so I phoned them up and complained about this and that I had twice sent complaints to them and not been given a response. I got the CD (plus 3 more I already had) sent out yesterday, and regarding the past complaints only wanted to know why I hadn't heard anything and if complaints submitted online fall into a black hole or actually appear in someone's inbox.

Dell managed to cost themselves a bit of cash by outsourcing their call centre to India: the guy I spoke to didn't understand my request and so I had to explain myself many times. Eventually he offered £50 to make up for the trouble. That was easy! Think I'll phone again next week! Though it's been a couple of days no and no sign of the money yet.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I Can Be Anything I Want To Be, Anything You Hate In Me Multiplied By 23

I have now been 23 for about an hour. My birthday snuck up on me a bit this year, what with my mum having a landmark birthday (that I won't qualify) just 4 days ago.

I've just returned from an enjoyable pub quiz at one of Aberdeen's Hog's Head pubs. Usually this is just Pete, Keith and myself, and usually we finish second last. This week, however, we enlisted the help of Al, Kim, Clay, Clay's wee brother David and his friend Paul. Our boosted numbers seemed to really improve our performance: we finished fourth last.

Anyway, in celebration of my ageing I've got two meals lined up for tomorrow (lunch with the parentals then dinner with Fiona), plus a night out with all that wish to join in on Saturday (venues tbc). The night out was originally going to be thrown open to my Glasgow-based friends, but I figured that gaining accommodation and transport for the weekend would be a lot to ask for a wee night out in Aberdeen. (Of course all Weegies are welcome to come up anytime!) Besides which I'll be back in Glasca on the 26th and hope to catch up with many people that weekend.

On another note, this is my first post on my new laptop. I talked myself into some new kit after a recent potential job offer and many successive Blue Screens Of Death lead me to think that my existing Acer was not up to what I was asking of it. So a bit of net shopping and some advice from Kostas led me to Dell's factory outlet - cheap systems at good specs. After a lot of trouble with the order process (Dell should shortly be receiving a formal complaint about this) I've ended up with a very nice, if quite large, laptop. I finally have enough disk space to house Windows, Linux and my music library, and enough speed to build apps in less than a minute. Very nice.

The laptop was a slightly early birthday present to myself, as was getting my marks for the first half of my masters (all very pleasing and beyond what I expected).

Back in the world of work, my course is still in part enjoyable. The lectures aren't all-enticing, especially since last week we were being taught Information Retrieval (the subject I have spent 2 Summers and my 4th year project working on). Our current assessment is to add recommendation solutions to an existing online shop, which is quite challenging since we are quite constricted in what we can do. At the same time it's a bit too constricting, since a bit more leeway would have allowed me to make far more elaborate and unusual solutions. I suppose that's getting us closer to real world tasks though.

Playlist: "Lullabies To Paralyze" by QOTSA. The soon to be released 4th album that I somehow have managed to hear on many ocassions recently. It is still Queens on top form, despite Nick's departure. Make sure you get it in 3 weeks time.