Archive for March, 2005

MySQL 5!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

MySQL 5.0 almost ready, reports ZDNet. Stored procedures. Triggers. Views. Welcome to the world of real databases, MySQL!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

TRN Magazine reports that researchers from MIT have developed a tool (“Metafor”) for turning English into code.

I am immediately reminded of the aphorism, “Make it possible for programmers to write in English and you will find the programmers cannot write in English.”

Jury duty

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

I got a jury summons. I'm not eligible. Whee!

Movies I have seen recently

Monday, March 28th, 2005

Wimbledon. Not bad. An enjoyable 90 minutes. But a) I don't think that's the way to Brighton from London, and b) nobody runs 10 miles during a tournament, even less so while wearing Converse All Stars!

Clueless. I'm a sucker for teen movies. Plus, it's got Alicia Silverstone in it; need I say more?

Easter weekend

Monday, March 28th, 2005

Easter sort of crept up on me, but what the hell, I don't observe it anyway, and the US doesn't either (no 4-day weekend here)! So it was just a normal weekend, but a pretty good one.

Visited Griffith Park on Saturday, but the zoo was, well, a zoo. Didn't think it was worth queueing up for an hour or so in the sun among screaming kids to see a zoo that probably isn't as good as San Diego. So instead we went across the road to the Gene Autry Museum of the American West, which was great. Fairly newly built, very tranquil and interesting, and not very many people there either. Perfect. So we spent a few hours wandering around, and had a good free guided tour to boot. We also had a tolerable lunch at the Golden Spur cafe and enjoyed the sunshine.

Played a bit of World of Warcraft on Sunday and had lunch at a local Sizzler. We thought we'd try it out once; I can't really recommend it. But the salad bar is nice.

Hypnotic sort of game…

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

The grid game.
Sort of like Conway’s Life: less of a game and more of a fascinating thing to watch, as the patterns die out, then suddenly start to spread again. My best “score” is 813.

How to Destroy the Earth…

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

That is, actually destroy the physical earth, as opposed to merely making it uninhabitable. It turns out to be a) quite a difficult task to achieve in reasonable time, but of course b) a very easy task if you have an awful lot of patience.

My favourite methods:

  • Destroyed by vacuum energy detonation (you will need: a lightbulb)
  • Engulfed in supernova (“…one of the most efficient and spectacular ways to destroy the Earth, so if you have the necessary skills and machinery, then I would recommend this over most other methods.”)

Tiddlywinks no more at Cambridge?

Monday, March 14th, 2005

The Guardian has a story about the impending demise of tiddlywinks. That would be a sad day. Even though I haven’t played in a while because of geographical reasons, I did remember to join ETwA this year.

Robots

Monday, March 14th, 2005

Took my car in for a service on Saturday, and while it was being done I went to see Robots. Good movie! The sort of film I'd like to see again to get all the references I missed first time around. They had fun making this one. Nothing out of the ordinary plotwise, and Ewan McGregor's accent slips now and then, but I really enjoyed it.

Infrared webcam fun

Monday, March 14th, 2005

1. Open up webcam
2. Remove IR filter
3. Insert photo negative material to block visible light
4. Reassemble webcam
5. Play with looking at everyday stuff in the IR spectrum

– navy blue fleece turns white!
– my eyebrows disappear!
– US passport picture page goes blank (except for lettering)!
– UK passport first page has a wide diagonal blank strip!
– surprise your family with video-IM!

Tons of fun.

(where I got the idea)