And here we go again...

Well, the laptop has decided that it doesn't like power... doesn't like it much at all... appears to be an issue with the socket on the back of the laptop so I get to send it back again... that's always fun :) This time, however, I've moved... so I suspect that I better give them a new address and things when I call this time!

It's currently leaning against the wall with the power plugged in so that it gets enough charge for me to back things up from it tomorrow and send it back, after phoning the nice acer support lot, again... hopefully, though, it should only be gone for 3 days when I send it off :)

This does mean that I have to sit infront of the other machine when I'm at home though... maybe it's time to purchase a cheap laptop for general abuse... or emergencies... or taking places... hmm... the current laptop is more of a desktop replacement type laptop... I could do with one that's more suitable for lugging about. So if anyone knows of cheap, functional laptop with reasonable specs and a >2 hour battery life, I'd be interested :)

Posted: 2006-02-14 22:27 in Life | permalink

What's going on... we're now being scammed on ICQ too...

So, we've all had the e-mails promising us millions... and we all know they're a scam... it appears that now we have ICQ people trying to solicit money...

10:47 <@root> Message from unknown ICQ handle 204857947:
10:47 <@root> Hello, i have a problem, i have a rent debt for apartment where i
              live, and i cant fix it. Im trying to find somebody who will
              understand my situation and will agree to help me with money what i
              need. Maybe you can help ?

(yes, I use bitlbee, yes this is a message from someone that I don't know, yes it just seemed weird to me...)

Posted: 2006-02-11 10:55 in Strange | permalink

Euen Semple...

Savs asserts in "Ironic" that Euen Semple is missing a blog from his web site... well, if you follow the Contact link, you'll find that you get a link to his weblog The Obvious?.

Posted: 2006-02-09 07:44 in Tech | permalink


This week I shall mostly be not drinking caffiene... next week I might add to this with mostly giving up nicotine. Beware those around.

Posted: 2006-01-31 12:34 in Life | permalink


I wonder why Calc appears to decide that good defaults for "importing" a CSV file are to have the seperator set to tab or semicolon, and not comma... Seems odd to me, opening the file in gnumeric did exactly the right thing, without asking me anything... Opening in Calc throws up an import dialogue and expects you to know roughly what the file looks like, and the defaults are 'odd'.

Posted: 2006-01-31 12:31 in Tech | permalink

Bah... I hate blog spammers.

At 23:22 I turned the comments plugin back on on my blog... at 00:42 I'd got 1 real comment and 139 spams. Needless to say, I've turned comments off again :) I'll get round to actually fixing it sometime, until then my e-mail address is reasonably visible on my website :)

Posted: 2006-01-27 01:00 in Tech | permalink


It appears to me that there are several people that take their keys out of their pocket before sitting down, and that they forget their keys more often than, say, people that keep their keys in their pockets all the time. I tend to keep my keys in my pocket because I know that I'm probably likely to need them, at some point, and it's got to the stage where if they aren't in my pocket, I can tell, and I tend to feel lost without them, they're kind of a security blanket. I suppose what I'm trying to figure out is: why do people take their keys out of the safety of a pocket, and, say, place them on the desk, or the sofa, or on a side... and why in different places in the same building?

While I'm on this, why do people do the same thing with wallets? That one I really don't follow, you're going to undoubtedly need the money from it sometime, why not take it with you... why take it out of your pocket and place it on the desk?

What I have noticed, though, is since owning the laptop and using it, I've taken to removing my watch whilst typing... I think origionally this was because after a long period of use of the laptop the strap of the watch started to get irritating, so I've now taken to taking it off when ever I'm sitting in front of a machine for more than 10 minutes, but I do tend to put it back on when ever I'm leaving for more than 10 minutes, because otherwise I feel lost.

Are there any other random things people do that can't be fathomed?

Posted: 2006-01-26 21:54 in Life | permalink

ARGH! No no no no no no no... Please god *NO*.

To: Brett Parker <>
Subject: Disney to Acquire Pixar

What? Nooo! Disney aren't allowed to do that! Disney mostly suck, PIXAR entirely rock, PIXAR under Disney control? That's going to be very broken. I'm not liking this idea at all...

Posted: 2006-01-25 08:15 in Life | permalink

bpgallery 1.0.1 released.

bpgallery is my little bash script that uses the image magic tools to generate a simple static gallery, this release has some documentation fixes (tells you how to make themes!), fixes the annoying find warnings that were happening and fixes an escaping issue with URLs.

Posted: 2006-01-22 09:21 in Tech | permalink


The hair and beard have vanished, this is mostly scary. Pictures at .

Posted: 2006-01-21 23:17 in Life | permalink

Things that I don't expect when the flat doorbell rings...

  • It to be someone for me

  • There to be a 4 foot wave hit me

  • People to be looking for "Spanish Speaking People"

One of these just happened... quite why two people in suits were looking for spanish speaking people I really don't know. I think I shall boggle about this for a bit.

Posted: 2006-01-21 11:10 in Life | permalink

Why oh why...

Why does Oracle complete an import with... "Import terminated successfully with warnings." when what it actually means is... "I ran out of table space mid import, but I'm only going to tell you that in an obscure way in the log, and otherwise make you think that it was alllll OK"? Surely in this day and age it could just say "Import terminated unsuccessfully: ran the hell out of table space", wouldn't that be nice?

Posted: 2006-01-20 08:26 in Work | permalink


Mid import of a large database was thwarted by cron cheerfully having a job that I was unaware of shutdown the database server! Bah! Oh well, maybe now I should actually head home, because this could "take some time".

Posted: 2006-01-19 21:57 in Work | permalink

Where's the Sun Gone?!

It would appear that this week has been entirely grey, I can not remember seeing the sun in the last week... I want sunshine dammit. I did see reflection of sunshine on the sea earlier this week, not entirely sure how that works when there's no sun, but that was pretty.

I think I'm going to actually start going to bed at reasonable hours and getting up early, not sure yet... will have to sleep on it :)

Posted: 2006-01-19 08:29 in Life | permalink

GNU date...

Hmmm, MJ Ray asks about date and locales...

I think (though without grabbing the source I can't confirm) that the default date format of "date" is the legacy format that it's always been... if you want to get a shiny locale based date format from it use, +"%c". Here's the output from my laptop:

brettp@pitr:~$ locale
brettp@pitr:~$ date
Wed Jan 18 08:34:52 GMT 2006
brettp@pitr:~$ date +"%c"
Wed 18 Jan 2006 08:34:55 GMT

I wonder why date doesn't use "%c" by default... weird.

Posted: 2006-01-18 08:31 in Tech | permalink

New Django Packages

I've just finished uploading new django packages to my repository, the python-django packages are now 0.91, so if you're using 0.90 beware! There are backward incompatable changes, it's probably worth reading and then follow the links for the 5 backwards incompatable changes and fix your apps to the new system.

I've also updated the python-django-magic-removal packages to the latest svn (or it was the latest svn when I built them ;).

Oh, and a symlink has been added to both packages to link in to the admin-media nicely (OK - so I got bored of editing the python each release to point to the /usr/share location, and this works nicely and simply, I hope. Thanks for the pointer James! :)

Oh, one other thing, there's a patch in the debian 0.91 version that means that the startproject part actually generates a with the "right" timezone and language. I haven't patched the magic removal branch with this (hey, if you're using that, I'm sure you can edit the and catch those yourself ;)

Play, have fun, report bugs at me! (or something)

Posted: 2006-01-14 14:26 in Tech | permalink


We have a new django release, 0.91... I'll package it RSN... but here's some forewarning for those of you out there using the python-django packages... there's some backwards incompatible changes from 0.90 to 0.91, it's probably worth reading if you are using django.

The next real little boy^W^Wrelease will have the magic-removal branch merged in, so that'll be another set of backwards incompatible changes (if you want to stay ahead of the game though, as I said in my previous blog entry, there are some packages for that branch too ;)

Fun fun fun fun fun!

Posted: 2006-01-11 19:10 in Tech | permalink

Some Shiny New Packages!

I've just packaged the django magic removal branch (well, kinda, it's more or less the same build system as the other django packages I made, so these aren't quite right, but they're good enough for the time being). They're in the same place as the other django debs, and compiled for sarge and sid... for those without the previous URL...

deb stable django
deb-src stable django


deb unstable django
deb-src unstable django

The package for the 0.90 release is called python-django, for the magic removal branch it's called (unsuprisingly) python-django-magic-removal. The magic-removal packages conflict with the other packages because they plonk their files in the same place, so if you're trying to 'upgrade' between the 2, you'll probably need to use some magic (or apt-get install python-django-magic-removal python-django-).

I'll try to update these reasonably often (like whenever I get a spare moment or 2 to build them).

That should cover it for now.

Posted: 2006-01-10 23:13 in Tech | permalink

And back to normality...

Fred Dibnah truly was a god.

Posted: 2006-01-07 21:44 in Life | permalink

And while I'm on a random whine streak...

Why is it that people use PHP?! Why do people entrust data to this nasty language? Why run mediawiki, for example? MoinMoin is much nicer. PHP is a nasty language, it's non-thread-safe, it's got awful syntax, it's OO design is awful, and debugging it is a small nightmare.

I suggest to the world that python is a much nicer language.

Posted: 2006-01-07 21:40 in Tech | permalink

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