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blogonblogoff - side b

'everything is nothing if you've got no one'

Friday, May 30, 2003

Sticky business
I'm finding that because I haven't been blogging quite as often as I would have liked recently that I sometimes lost for words to type when I do have time to write something. Maybe I've lost touch with blogging or because I continually have other things on my mind. You might be saying that those thoughts should be shared here but that would really take a while to explain and although I'm not really too bothered about offending people, I want to be a bit more diplomatic about those issues.

Well it's been warm and horribly humid for the past few days which makes it worst type of weather to be working in. You can't enjoy the nice weather and have to be stuck in a computer room fixing HTML cross platform bugs. IE 6 does have some huge problems with CSS and now I know why there is a lobby out there trying to get Microsoft to make it proper CSS compliant.

Tonight I have enjoyed Melys, Remington Super 60, Log, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Saint Low. Quite a while since I sat down and listened to a lot of music while I worked. My personal project - This Room Of Wonder is coming along nicely. The bulk of the core stuff is there. Just a load of little things to do. It's a deconstruction of the items that make up my room in Bath. Lots of crap musings, animations and little flash gizmos. I've developed all the graphics using a single typeface to construct everything. May sound silly but you'll get it once I finish it.

Posted by Edward @ 11:52 PM GMT
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Thursday, May 29, 2003
People have moved on now, does it matter?
The whole house went out for a curry at a local restaurant this evening as a sort of farewell meal. We have't really been out as a house that many times in the past year. We've all been busy and occupied with our course, especially myself. It was nice to be out together and be a little silly. Curry was really nice and it seemed liked it was a well repected local. It really has gone far too quick. Just when this place feels like a home it's time to move on.
Posted by Edward @ 10:10 PM GMT
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Wednesday, May 28, 2003
You can have the one you don't want
Does that make any sense at all. I guess not without giving you any details. Oh well I'll leave it at that. Sorry no blog entries, to tired to write anything of worth.
Posted by Edward @ 12:48 AM GMT
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Friday, May 23, 2003
Sick, tired and lonely
Designs ripped apart, four hours real sleep, completely uncreative and demoralised at the moment and don't have time to think. But hey Lina From Paris put a smile on my face for a little moment anyway. Needs Flash and Realplayer.
Posted by Edward @ 11:25 AM GMT
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Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Smoking machine
So I'm here waiting for some video footage to be encoded and it's taking forever. The Mac has a 60Gb hard drive and there is only 200mb free making Final Cut Pro huff and puff like it's running a marathon up a very steep hill. Not sure why it's so full. Been another long day, probably good job I cooked enough dinner for two yesterday so I won't have to spend valuable work time cooking something up. Dinners are turning into suppers these days at the times I'm having them.

Posted by Edward @ 07:24 PM GMT
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Long was the year, will you come
You can gather by the infrequencies of the blog entries that my project work is increasing at such a pace that my attempts to keep it at a manageable level involves some new tactics. These include going into University on a Sunday, having less sleeping hours than my Gran and attempts at multi-tasking. Some work some of the time, but the long term effects may not be so good.

Job of the Week
Research Associate in Robot Whisker System Modelling of the Rat Facial Whiskers - Whiskerbot at the University of Western England.

Posted by Edward @ 12:09 AM GMT
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Friday, May 16, 2003
Go back, I can't go back
Although today was hectic in terms of rushing around I feel quite satisfied on a work and personal level. Not something that happens that often. Recently it's been far too much work related thoughts. So much that finding time to read the day's newspaper was difficult. Anyway finally decide on the menu structure for the Museum Of Costume website my group is building and after a lot of hassle it is quite pleasing to get the stylesheet rollovers working in a nice manner.

So I decide to go down to the Bath International Music Festival even though it has been raining all day. The opening procession was really good. A lot of themed schools taking on board a world music theme. Brazilian dancers leading it were especially good. Missed the first band but Manecas Costa from West Africa were brilliant and then followed by the Cuban Duany y su MamboChambo who really got the Spanish students around dancing. The rain even stopped for a duration of the set. Overall a great night, the fireworks finale had some nice moments but a pretty standard affair. It was a real shame that the weather wasn't nice but most people had a good time. Unfortunately the Bath FM links between the bands was absolutely bobbins. They shouldn't even be on tinpot local radio.

Posted by Edward @ 11:37 PM GMT
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Thursday, May 15, 2003
Jeans with lace down the side
The new series of the brilliant Ross Noble Goes Global has started again on BBC Radio 4. His last series was hilarious especially when he went to Singapore. He just goes about being a complete tourist making silly commentary, Ross would be the ideal audio guide but everyone would be laughing too much to really admire the sights. I wish he would do a programme on Bath and take the mick out of it. You can listen to all the past programmes on the Radio 4 site.

So found a nifty way of doing image rollovers without any Javascript. It's actually very clever and supported by most version 5+ browsers. I was impressed by some of the effects that can be achieved. Still we were questioned as to why we would need to use rollovers by our usability tutor. Many a time they add nothing to a users experience and I guess he is right.

Posted by Edward @ 11:16 PM GMT
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Monday, May 12, 2003
Rain soaked words
So following a weekend of not getting much done with the back end programming for the Museum of Costume I come into college and find the hard discs of the Linux box suffering from some corruption. Anyway managed to get it all sorted though with a few checks. If it was a Windows machine this would have been a whole days worth of rebuilding. So now even though I want to go home, it's started throwing down outside like it's been meaning to all day. The is so humid. Hopefully the weather will be nice on Thursday and Friday as otherwise it's going to be a mud extravaganza at Victoria Park for the Bath Music Festival.
Posted by Edward @ 07:05 PM GMT
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Sunday, May 11, 2003
It's gone pear shaped, again
I don't think some of us can believe it. All of our home directories on the Linux machine for college work has somehow disappeared. Okay we all have backups of our work, but just recreating directory structures and testing everything will take up time. As far as I can tell the web server is still serving pages and ones that are not cached either so that sounds like users just can't access them. This is another in a long line of frustrations with equipment and configurations. Everyone has got better things to think about than worry about whether a server is up an running. It took a month to get external FTP access to the course server.

The Manchester Move Festival looks promising with plenty of decent bands without the need for camping out. There's The Flaming Lips, Super Furry Animals, Charlatans, Inspiral Carpets, REM, Badly Drawn Boy and a bunch of others. Tickets from WayAhead.

Posted by Edward @ 01:56 PM GMT
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Friday, May 9, 2003
Night the daze away
I'm starting to enjoy putting together small video clips from captured DV footage using Final Cut Pro. Okay so the things I am using it for at the moment is a bit trivial but editing usability tests so that they are presentable will be a great.

The thing about knowing how to program in a group project is that you have to decide how much to program. I've started writing a search engine for the project we are working on but creating dummy pages for the other pages seems a bit pointless. However with a limited amount of time if I was to embark on writing the entire back end, then I would have even less sleep than I do now. I guess it's a compromise especially since we are only meant to be building a proof of concept prototype. The other groups have less of a worry as with a less technical understanding the decision is already made for them.

Laura Cantrell on John Peel has been excellent. I stopped listening to John for a while because I was too distracted by my work but he's had some great session in recently. I missed the Nina Nastasia session from last week but in the next few weeks there is going to be a Mogwai, Undertones and The Fall playing.

Posted by Edward @ 12:04 AM GMT
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Tuesday, May 6, 2003
You couldn't raise your foot that far
Maybe I expect too much but nothing work related has gone right in the past two weeks. Sometimes I'm not sure why bother but I guess I hope things get better in the long run. Not that there is much of a run left as there are less than 6 weeks till the end of term.

Final Cut Pro is an extremely powerful video editing piece of software but I'm finding late night java coding and early morning seminars just don't agree. A whole day spent battling with unstable G4 Macs doesn't help boost confidence. Dreamweaver did some amazingly weird stuff with my groups templates. We are not impressed.

Posted by Edward @ 11:49 PM GMT
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Saturday, May 3, 2003
Divided at an alarming rate
The WFMU record fair is on this weekend in New York City. A brilliant place to get some good bargains in almost any genre. I was there a couple of years back and amazingly resisted spending too much money. However I did remember having to pop out of the hall a few times to go to the cash machine. My travel on the way back was a bit awkward trying not to crush my records. They have most of the radio shows broadcasted from the hall too which is great. I caught Greasy Kid's Stuff and the brilliant Laura Cantrell. Oh it's worth going to get some excellent WFMU T-shirts too.

Currently the new album by The Postal Service - Give Up is a must listen. I'm on my fourth listen so far and it's getting better. It's retro bedroom electronica with great lyrics and beat. Bits of Flaming Lips, Lightning Seeds, Field Mice, Notwist and more. Must not forget the really nice inlay design too, matt cream card with an aged feel, classic red and black.

Posted by Edward @ 08:54 AM GMT
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Punk grease lightening
I know it's late and time for sleep but felt I better write up a quick gig report before I forget. Last night I went to Moles Club for a Purr night to watch The Soledad Brothers, Pink Grease and Mr David Viner. The most packed night at Moles I've been to and far and away the best there. All three bands were on top form.

Pink Grease on first after the Pearlene's drummer got arrested by immigration officiers for outstaying his welcome. A friend described Pink Grease as a cam Spinal Tap and that's a pretty good description. What you need to know is that they do glam rock and punk. The tightest trousers you've ever seen, lipstick, eyeliner and on stage antics with attitude. With four of the band members competing for stage space to jump around it quickly spilled into the audience. Anyway besides from their camp performance the songs were pretty good too and everyone it really got the audience going. For the first act it seemed like they were headlining. So when David Viner came on there was a few problems. Not many people appreciated his solo blues songs with his acoustic guitar. Everyone was hyped up from Pink Grease. He did have a sense of humour telling every to literally "shut the fudge up" every 20 seconds due to the heavy chattering from the back. Despite the constant interruptions the rawness of his songs and powerful vocals made me think about searching for his records in the shops. Very good indeed. Then came The Soledad Brothers from Detroit and they do the blues too but of a garage White Stripes style. Fantastic songs, great drumming, excellent sax and done with a lot of passion. They really do believe in what they do unlike a lot of other bands who never make an effort. A gig night to remember.

So that's it, probably the last night out in Bath I'll have. From now on late nights are reserved for building databases and Flash work for my projects.

Posted by Edward @ 12:39 AM GMT
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