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Archives for July, 2009

Space cheese

Rejoice! The cheese launched into space has successfully returned to Earth!! Cheese! Cheese! Cheese on the moon! UPDATE: Exciting news! El Reg are going to launch a balsa wood/paper plane into the upper atmosphere! Another weather balloon space flight project by some students at Cambridge. How awesome is this?! I wonder how hard it would […]

Important sock-related developments

For many years people have debated a great question: do socks come in left and right versions or are both socks the same? I have been much maligned for adhering to the heterogeneous sock philosophy. But recently NEW EVIDENCE has come to light! Behold! Conclusive evidence! Sadly the manufacturer feels it necessary to label them […]


Went on an exploratory bike ride to the hitherto uncharted area south east of York. Discovered a village called Elvington. The route I went on had about a mile over a bumpy gravel/mud track which was not fun: my poor bum! Anyway, these are the things a real adventurer must go through when travelling out […]

Nice sunset

It was a really nice evening yesterday. Went up on the hill near my parents’ house to take some pictures. I think they came out quite well!

Linux on a Samsung Q320: Part 7

Argh! Another problem! Over the last couple of days I’ve being trying to figure out why the brightness fn-keys on my laptop don’t seem to work: they either set the brightness to maximum-bright or maximum-dim. (Although they inexplicably sometimes work.) At first I thought it was a problem with my earlier HAL hackery, but this […]

Shutting down and rebooting via HAL

You know how GNOME/KDE have “shutdown” and “reboot” buttons that normal users can use to turn off the computer? Rather than using sudo or making /sbin/shutdown setuid, they use HAL which provides a nice power management interface. Turns out this is pretty easy to call from the command line so you can use it in […]

The Fish

I first became aware of The Fish when I was a small child. At first it terrified me, but now I have come to admire its fishy nature. It is located at the Enterprise Centre in Eastbourne. You should visit it. Here are some photos: And another one showing the fish in full: Also, “modern” […]

Linux on a Samsung Q320: Part 6

I’ve been playing around with powertop trying to reduce power usage. I’m using laptop-mode to spin down the disk when its not needed (it automatically activates when on battery power). I’ve also added these two powertop suggestions to /etc/rc.local # Reduce the frequency of disk flushes echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs   # Turn off the […]

Addictive game

I wasted today playing UFO: Alien Invasion. It’s unusually polished for an open source game. The graphics are very nice, especially in the battle mode. The storyline is also quite engrossing and surprisingly well written – I like the non-linearity of it too. Recommended. Going to stop now and do something useful like add scenery […]

Garden ponds

Some interest has been expressed in the number of ponds we have in our garden. A comprehensive survey has revealed that there are just four. A fifth having been removed to make room for the garden train. Here they are: I hope this answers all your pond-related queries.