Psion 5 - What ever happened?!

So, what ever happened to Psion, and more importantly, the Psion 5. The Psion 5 was an awesome pocket sized machine, it had a full qwerty keyboard that was actually quite nice to type on, it had graphics that were way beyond it's time (640x320) in your pocket. It had a whole desktop suite of applications, including word processing and spreadsheets, and yet, psion died... The most scary bit of this is that mobile phones are getting bigger than the original Psion 5, and yet have sacrificed the keyboard for, well, who the hell knows what - the Psion 5s keyboard was awesome. Mobile phone manufacturers need to take a step back and work out how to get that keyboard on to a new gen phone that's touch only... The psion 5 also had a touch screen (yeah, ok, only single point, not multi finger action), was pocket sized, near indestructable, and hell, if one now existed that could make calls I'd seriously consider it.

Posted: 2015-09-22 00:11 in Life | permalink

Cold Calls and Marketing Morons

Dear cold calling goits, will you please learn that the landline of this house is not the home owners, and that asking for Mr Parker will get you the question of "which". Asking for the one that's the home owner is likely to get you sworn at as that Mr Parker died getting close to 2 years ago.

Now, stop damned well calling me.

(OK - so I normally know on the basis that there is caller id on the landline, but it's still damned annoying!)

Posted: 2014-11-24 16:20 in Life | permalink

Sony Entertainment Networks Insanity

So, I have a SEN account (it's part of the PSN), I have 2 videos with SEN, I have a broken PS3 so I can no deactivate video (you can only do that from the console itself, yes, really)... and the response from SEN has been abysmal, specifically:

As we take the security of SEN accounts very seriously, we are unable to provide support on this matter by e-mail as we will need you to answer some security questions before we can investigate this further. We need you to phone us in order to verify your account details because we're not allowed to verify details via e-mail.

I mean, seriously, they're going to verify my details over the phone better than over e-mail how exactly? All the contact details are tied to my e-mail account, I have logged in to their control panel and renamed the broken PS3 to "Broken PS3", I have given them the serial number of the PS3, and yet they insist that I need to call them, because apparently they're fucking stupid. I'm damned glad that I only ever got 2 videos from SEN, both of which I own on DVD now anyways, this kind of idiotic tie in to a system is badly wrong.

So, you phone the number... and now you get stuck with hold music for ever... oh, yeah, great customer service here guys. I mean, seriously, WTF.

OK - 10 minutes on the phone, and still being told "One of our advisors will be with you shortly". I get the feeling that I'll just be writing off the 2 videos that I no longer have access to.

I'm damned glad that I didn't decide to buy more content from that - at least you can reset the games entitlement once every six months without jumping through all these hoops (you have to reactivate each console that you still want to use, but hey).

Posted: 2014-06-28 16:54 in Life, and Tech | permalink

Moving, Changing Jobs and the Bank Holiday Weekend...

So, in the last couple of weeks I've (mostly) moved out of Brighton, got a new job, and generally the world has gone crazy.

The bank holiday weekend was spent at Debian UK BBQ, and was fantastic fun, including the reading corner on Sunday where we played through various arcs of To Be or Not To Be (small spoiler: PIRATES!).

Since then I've been mostly back and forth from Brighton moving stuff, buying a car, and starting a new job... As mentioned in my new employers blog there was a small stumbling block with my new work laptop that stopped me from getting a sensible operating system on it from the get-go, but it's now running a shiny Debian Wheezy install and alllllllllll is well with the world... well, mostly. I have just removed gnome-keyring because I hate that I can't see a way of relocking it, or infact relocking any of the individual keys that it had.

So, back to ssh-agent I went, and the world is good again. But that means that I haven't got a gpg agent running at the moment, though, unless I'm missing something, I can't see a way of forcing gpg-agent to forget a passphrase either (ARGH, why on earth wouldn't you have an option for that?!).

Posted: 2013-09-11 20:38 in Life, and Tech | permalink

Of weekends and patio laying...

So, this weekend I headed up to Uncle Steve's and assisted in the laying of the flagstones for the patio for the BBQ - there's even at least one bit of photographic evidence of me in a non-supervisory capacity. Was a good weekend, and fun was had by all, even if we couldn't really express it due to Complete Exhaustion by the end of it.

Only another few weekends and it'll be the Debian UK Party 2013 which will, as it is every year, be absolutely awesome. I'll leave the thanks for the beer and food donations until after the party :)

Posted: 2013-07-29 20:37 in Life | permalink

It's been a looong time since the last blog post...

So, does anyone have any clue what's happened, because I'm at a loss. Apparently I didn't blog about the loss of my Dad back in December, he was found in Union Canal on the 13th December 2012, with his dinner in a carrier bag and his bike. The 'official' date of death is the 13th December 2012, but as far as we can work out (and I'm fairly sure on it), he died between 1930 and 2030 on the 12th. I was on the phone to him at 1930, and I was trying to call him back at 2030 on leaving a pub and wandering back in to town, apparently I wasn't the only one trying to call him, but we all put it down to him being out of signal at the time, until I got a call from my brother on the 13th at just gone midday, saying that the police had been round to tell him they'd found Dad in the canal that morning.

The funeral was held on the 22nd January 2013, with a large turnout of friends and family, it was a good send off for the old chap, and we made damned sure that it was an even better wake - The Brewery Tap did a fantastic job for us, and all that turned up (ok, with some exceptions, but we can block them out!) were fantastic. The boy knew more people than we could possibly imagine, and most of them turned up to either the funeral, the wake or both.

Still miss him, don't expect that to change anytime soon, if only because I used to talk to him most evenings after work between the train station and the pub, and I really miss being able to talk shit with him and being able to relate. Next week we should finally have the Certificate of Representation so that we can actually empty his canal boat ready to sell, at which point it's likely to go back down to Wilton Marina to be sold off. It's not a bad little boat, but it was his sanctuary, and none of us feel comfortable keeping it.

In other news, work has been slightly a bit busy since then, and I'm still playing a bit of catchup from missing fair chunks of January (though, I was mostly still working from home when I could!).

I'm sure other stuff must have happened... Oh, yeah, I got older, but obviously no wiser. I went and visited The Brewery Tap for Father's Day (that was a good day, 7 hours trains for 5 hours in the pub, but well worth it).

Coming up: Cambridge Visitations! The August Bank Holiday Debian Party in Cambridge - now, that I am looking forward to!

Posted: 2013-07-09 21:39 in Life | permalink

It's that time of year again..

It's that time of year again, my hair has all gone!

Slightly beardless me

Posted: 2013-02-18 13:45 in Life | permalink

Public Libraries...

OK - so I've just been reading the Gaurdian Article on Terry Deary saying that Libraries are outdated and should be got rid of. I entirely disagree with him, I spent a fair amount of my youth borrowing books from my local library, when I had no income, and so the only alternative to borrowing from the library would have been saving up for second hand books... which he wouldn't have seen a penny from. These days I buy Quite A Few books (OK - so, mostly on the kindle these days, but still), if it hadn't have been for libraries when I was younger and couldn't afford to purchase books, I may never have properly picked up the reading habit.

His claim that they're killing bookshops is also, in my opinion, entirely wrong. Bookshops are closing more because of the ease of ordering books online and getting them delivered to your door, with a huge collection of books available from large warehouses rather than the stock that a book store can sell easily. We've got a vast collection of literature available to us now, and it's only ever going upwards, no book shop or single library is going to be able to cater for the entirely different needs of their customers. Libraries do inter library lending, which means that the collection of rarer, less popular books are still available (potentially with a bit of a wait), and every time the book is lent the author gets some funds. If he seriously thinks that if libraries closed the number of people reading his material would stay the same I think he's mistaken. He also doesn't seem to take in to account at all the second hand book market.

All I have to say is NYARGH.

Posted: 2013-02-13 16:54 in Life, and Books | permalink

The Weirdness of People

OK - so you go to any place that has a social gathering, pub, club, bbq, anything - why is it that what invariably happens is that everyone manages to gather in the places that are most inconvienient?! E.g. in a pub, how is it that everyone gathers around the point that makes getting to the toilet difficult? Or outside? Why is it that at house type parties/bbqs everyone manages to end up in the kitchen?! (OK - I know that I'll probably be guilty of the kitchen thing, but meh!) - There must be something built in to us to end up gathering in the places that everyone is going to need to go sooner or later, are we really that social? Or is this just a need to be recognised? I don't really know... just that it's very annoying trying to get from the bar stool in the pub (where reading a book) to the toilet was a lot harder than it should have been!

Posted: 2012-08-08 23:11 in Life | permalink

Mira Grant - Countdown

I've really got to get a better method down of watching for books than my current periodic searching and checking and hoping, but...

Hoorah - Countdown release date has been done - and it's only just over a week away - YAY!

Posted: 2012-06-24 22:18 in Life, and Books | permalink

Mira Grant - Countdown

Hmm, so, at the end of Deadline, there appears to be the first chunk of the novella Countdown - and a notice "If you enjoyed Blackout look out for Countdown, an ebook only Newflesh novella also by Mira Grant" - it then seems to have the first chunk of that in print, I'm reasonably certain that it's not the full novella (it doesn't end cleanly enough for that). Now, last year (way back when Countdown was originally announced I commented asking when the UK release was going to happen for it (there's a US release, after all) - that was August 2nd 2011 - 10 months later, we've still not got any news on the UK release, and now we've even got a teaser at the end of Blackout. There's also notes that there's going to be some more novella for the series soon - which will be fantastic, if we ever get them in the UK :/

Ah well, hopefully we'll get it soon!

Posted: 2012-06-12 12:33 in Life, and Books | permalink

Newsflesh Trilogy

So, on Thursday the final part of the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant came out, I'd only been waiting on it for a year. The series is fantastic, and the last book answers the over hanging questions from the second nicely - there's some twists along the way, and it's a Damned Good read. I didn't pick up Blackout (the last book) until Saturday night, as I was re-reading Feed and Deadline first - I'd finished Feed on Wednesday but didn't finish Deadline until Saturday. I picked up Blackout Saturday night at ~ 2200 and didn't go to sleep until ~ 0200 - then, waking up on Sunday, other than doing a few bits of work from 1100 till about 2100 I read the rest of Blackout, it's kinda addictive. It ends a bit abruptly, but well.

If you've not read this series - pick up Feed - if you like it, you'll love the series... also, if you don't cry at at least 2 points in Feed, you're obviously a heartless bastard!

Posted: 2012-06-11 09:50 in Life, and Books | permalink

Mira Grant - Newsflesh Trilogy

OK - so I read, a couple years back, the first book in the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant, before getting my Kindle - it was fantastic, and I wanted more, ... so, diligently I waited and then after getting my Kindle, I spotted that the second in the series was available for pre-order (yay!), so noting when it was due out, I made sure that a couple of days before the release of Deadline, I could read Feed again - having already owned it in paperback, I also diligently bought it a second time for the Kindle (knowing that I would be reading something else just before starting the voyage through Feed and then Deadline, and travelling with lots of paperbacks in my bag was just getting annoying...).

In a few months time, the final part of the Newsflesh Trilogy comes out - and I await it with baited breath. I also note, that, currently it is only available for pre-orders in paperback - NOOOOOO! So, with that in mind, can everyone please go to the Amazon page for the paperback and click on the magic link that says you want to read it on the Kindle!

Also, if someone can work out why the novellas are only available in audiobook format, and somehow makes them available in a nice printed format (well, kindle), that would be great!

(One day I'll get round to re-enabling comments on here... one day... yes, one day!)

Posted: 2012-01-16 22:20 in Life, and Books | permalink

Holy Crap - another set of books to re-read when the last comes out.

ARGH! Have just finished "The Wise Man's Fear" - fantastic book, but still the middle of a trilogy, without the last book in sight... If you've not read "The Name of the Wind" and "The Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss, I seriously suggest going and picking them up (at least if you read some fantasy, even if you don't they're worth a read I reckon).

Posted: 2011-11-23 00:45 in Life, and Books | permalink

Life, the Universe, and Everything (or something)

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned... or at least, not blogged for a looooong time. I've been reasonably busy, stopped working for Runtime Collective and started contracting for a small company in Portsmouth, it's been somewhat hectic, and the commute isn't brilliant, but it has given me a lot of time for reading...

Really, mostly a lot of my time during the week is commuting, working, reading and sleeping, haven't had much time for anything else, and have mostly been knackered... I'm getting in to the habit now, though, so am getting a bit more time for getting on with other things. I have, however, gained a lot more fiction books in the last few months, and am averaging 2 or 3 books a week at the moment. Most enjoyed the first 2 books of the Demon Trilogy by Peter V Brett - have to wait till 2012 to get the last book, though - which is a loooong time! Actually, I seem to have made a habit of ending up starting trilogys recently where not all of the books are published, in the case of Feed by Mira Grant I managed to really screw up - not even the second book is due out until next year - but the first is really quite good. I've also got the first book of Mark C Newton's Legend of the Red Sun books, really enjoyed that, but am waiting for the second in paperback, as they're much easier to carry around and use on the tube.

Have read the Millennium trilogy, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The first film, although a reasonable adaptation of the book, misses some good parts of the book, and doesn't leave you feeling as if you know the characters as much.

Am also planning on working through all the Laundry books by Charles Stross, I picked up The Fuller Memorandum on a whim (OK, it was on a 2 for 1 in Waterstones...) and really enjoyed it, so am going to get the rest (when I start getting low on books again - I've currently got another 5 queued up, so it might not be for a couple of weeks).

So, other than that, what have I been up to? Well, played the last bits of DLC for Assassins Creed 2 on the PS3, and thoroughly looking forward to the release of AC3, played most of the way through Lego Harry Potter, wandered about and saw people... you know, the usual things!

Oh, and of course, August bank holiday weekend (28-30) were spent with good peoples at the ever fantastic Debian UK BBQ where much Nero was imbibed, many people spoken to, and some gpg signing done - as always many thanks to Steve McIntyre for a fantastic weekend, to Collabora and Mythic Beasts for the beer, and to antibodyMX and Coding Craft Ltd for the food (Oi, Pashley , stop being crap and sort out your company website...).

Posted: 2010-09-07 21:30 in Life | permalink


So, I just went to register for a SeeSaw invite, I entered my usual e-mail address, which is, and got told it was not a valid e-mail address... erm, yes it is, I use it rather a lot, dammit! So, I changed the localpart from iDunno to one of my less used aliases, and that it accepted... this means that they're checking the localpart and rejecting things with a localpart of idunno, I don't know what other localparts they're rejecting, but that seemed a little harsh...

Ah well, now I'll wait for the invite then I can test :)

Update: Apparently if you put the e-mail address in all lowercase it accepts it fine. sigh.

Posted: 2010-02-02 10:38 in Life | permalink

Of TV shows and them being cancelled...

So, I've (only just) got round to watching most of Tru Calling, I'm nearly at the end of season one, and then I looked at the number of DVDs left and went "erm, err, what happened with season two, then?"... This appears to happen rather often with anything shown by Fox... The other show that I really liked but didn't see till a long time after they'd cancelled it was Firefly. Why do Fox do this?! Annoying gits! Of course, the other show that I'm waiting for on DVD/Blu-Ray is Dollhouse Season 2, after which we get no more of that either (go Fox!) - I've also just finished The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2... which I believe has also been cancelled...

Mutter - it just all mostly sucks. With that and the stupid schedule that Disney PIXAR are releasing things, I'm sure that the entertainment industry is just out to piss me off, there's no way that they needed so many months between the US premier of Up and it coming to the UK (OK, so when it did come out here, I didn't go and see it in the cinema, but that's mostly cos I was still pissed off with the release scheduling, and that I'll have it on DVD/Blu-ray as soon as it's released here on that... I own the rest of the Disney PIXAR movies, so meh).

Posted: 2010-01-23 16:09 in Life | permalink

Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles - Season 1

So, I mostly missed Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles when it was shown on TV, so I bought the first season on blu-ray to watch... I'm about half way through now, and I'm really quite enjoying it. Might have to see if I can find season 2... Appears that the series has had the usual Fox treatment though... "Oh, people like it, we'll ditch it!" sigh.

Posted: 2009-06-06 15:11 in Life | permalink

Of pro-life and pro-choice

So, this blog entry is purely about my life experience and my gut feelings... but, basically, here's the rub - pro-choice are all about being able to kill a child up to 24 weeks old, my nephew wasn't far past that, and he's a fucking fantastic child, he's now 8 - and absolutely fucking brilliant - so yeah - pro-choice - I'm not going to fuck up my life, but I'm going to mince a child that might or might not have feelings because I can... argh - for fuck sake - given that most abortions are through consensual sex - for fuck sake - either take the choice that you're going to be pregnant and live with that or don't have sex - it's not a hard choice - and that is what I see as pro-choice - you have the choice to have sex, or not. If it wasn't a consensual agreement, take the damn after morning pill, not a hell of a lot is going to survive that, and you're within a week, barely noticeable.

What pisses me off is the "pro-choice" vs "pro-life" battle - you're both wrong, anything after 2 weeks and I'm with the pro-lifers, any thing before that, yeah - the pro-choicers are fine...

Another thing that pisses me off is people deciding that they know best about how the government should go - what they haven't yet realised is that the entire government is there to tax us so that the pro-life and pro-choicers can have their bitter dispute, no matter who is in power. Shortly followed by screwing over either students or workers, depending on who's in power. It doesn't really matter - whoever is in power, some one is going to get screwed.

Posted: 2009-06-06 00:27 in Life | permalink

Another day, another fab evening!

So, was supposed to end up in Hector's House playing pool with various people that I know, but all of 'em were out last night (erm, half of 'em with me) and didn't quite manage to make it... So after an hour of waiting for people to turn up I gave up and considered going back to my "local" (the hop poles) to have a swift beer or three... instead, it being a wednesday, and knowing that Band Aids was on at the Pav Tav, I wandered there... managed to get there before the first band played - they were Vier and were absolutely bloody fantastic. Stayed and watched/danced to the other 3 bands and all was well with the world.

Now it's time for the sleep and the getting everything else ready for the big move on Friday (yay for working Good Friday... or something!)

Posted: 2009-04-09 00:15 in Life, and Work | permalink

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