Batman Shopping: It’s A Philosophy

The classic bat shaped batman logo in black with yellow background

Batman Logo

Hello folks, today I thought I’d share some recent thoughts I had on the subject of shopping. You know, that thing you do when the fridge is empty. Sounds riveting doesn’t it? But stick with me. If you’re anything like me you probably hate shopping with a passion. People walking into you, pushing you out of the way, having to fight over the last decent bits of fruit and veg before they’re all gone. It’s just not fun. At least not to me. I don’t understand people who want to wander around shops all day as if it’s a pass time or a sport. It’s not, it just bloody isn’t, get a proper hobby! I guess in this regard I am 100% male. Although I don’t want to draw gender boundaries too firmly because I know plenty of women with no love for shopping either. I think it’s more of a personality thing.

The only time I will concede to enjoying this activity is going to record shops or perhaps music shops. No they’re not the same thing. Record shops are where you buy records, or more likely download mp3’s these days, showing my age there. Music shops are where you go to buy a guitar or a drum kit, or maybe a kazoo, at least in my world. I can spend hours sifting though old vinyl or tinkering with guitars and keyboards quite happily, but don’t ask me to spend hours looking at bloody clothes or other such tat. If you’ve met me you probably realised pretty quickly that I don’t much care for clothes, or at least shopping for them. They are a means to an end, they keep me warm and stop me getting arrested for public nudity. We don’t want a repeat of that incident, it totally ruined my day at Chester Zoo. The penguins have never forgiven me. Anyway, I’m going way off track now, sorry hehehe :) Continue reading

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The Music Of Ignite Liverpool 17

Ignite Liverpool logo

Ignite Liverpool

Hello folks, my last post here was building up to a regular event in Liverpool we like call Ignite. No, it’s nothing to do with setting fires (that joke just never gets old does it?). It’s actually a great night of 5 minute talks about all kinds of interesting topics. They tend to be pretty random but they’re always fun and entertaining. For my part as the resident sound man and techie I like to pick music that I feel matches each talk and play it for the audience. I could look up the list of talk topics beforehand and prepare, know what I’m doing and yada yada yada. Whatever… Continue reading

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Iginite Liverpool – Feb 13th – Igniting Your Imagination

A group of people sat at tables and in theatre rows clapping, laughing and enjoying Ignite.

Some of the revellers at Ignite 14

Today I’d like to talk to you about an upcoming event called Ignite Liverpool. Ignite has been going for around 4 years now and I’ve been involved since the start. It’s one of the my favourite events and a source of great pride. In case you don’t know Ignite events are nothing to do with petrol and matches, sorry. Instead they’re supposed to help people share ideas in a quick format and fire up discussion. Each presenter gets a strict 5 minutes and 20 slides. They prepare the slide deck themselves but slides auto advance every 15 seconds. When the last one is done you’ve had your 5 mins and a long shepherd’s crook comes out from behind a curtain to hook your leg and drag you off stage. Ok, so I might have made up last bit but nevertheless your time is over! You’re outta here! As American baseball referees seem to love to shout. Continue reading

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Jim Zemlin’s TED Talk on Linux

Just a quick post today. I wanted to share an interesting video with you all. It’s a TED talk by the executive director of the Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin. Apparently it’s been out for a while, the YouTube post says 3 or 4 months, but I’d never seen it until a Linux Outlaws listener recently sent it our way. It’s about 16mins long and well worth watching. The talk is titled “What The Tech Industry Has Learned From Linus Torvalds”. Jim’s a great speaker and I think the talk is a good introduction to what Linux is and how it came to be for the novice. He’s a little fuzzy around terms like “free software” at times which I know will anger some people, but I think he deserves a break. Getting into a detailed discussion of the 4 freedoms wouldn’t exactly draw in those who’ve never considered Linux. There isn’t much time in a slot like this either. See what you think and share this with others who might be interested.

Now that you’ve seen this video this also gives me a chance for some gratuitous name dropping. I met Jim Zemlin at the first ever LinuxCon event back in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. He seemed like a really nice guy and while I couldn’t say we’re friends he is close to some respected friends of mine. I’m not surprised he did this talk but I’m glad he did. Incidentally while I’m name dropping I also met Linus Torvalds at the same event. He also seemed like a nice guy, despite his spiky reputation. During our short 5 minute conversation he didn’t call me an idiot or swear once. I can see why he doesn’t like being harassed by fans at events, but he did a good job of fielding questions and much attention from star struck geeks. He’s an engineer, he wants to be in his basement writing code and not on a stage doing PR. I can understand that. Seems Jim has the PR side of things covered anyway.

Hope you enjoyed the video, ciao,

Dan

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Some Random Thoughts

The box art for GTA V

GTA V Artwork

I talked a little while ago about my excitement over the upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto 5. It’s only two tantalizing days away as I write this and I’ve had it on pre-order for about 6 months. It’s fair to say I’m ready, but I almost wasn’t. My old PS3 died after 5 years of honourable service. It didn’t owe me anything but it did leave me with a dilemma. The PS4 isn’t that far away and I didn’t want to spend a load of cash on a new PS3 at this stage. So what to do? Buy a new PS3, borrow one, wait for the imminent arrival of the PS4?

My old PS3 was the bread bin shaped one and these are known to commonly overheat and stop booting after a lot of use. You can fix them by resetting the temperature sensor or repairing the thermal compound on the CPU. I didn’t fancy open console surgery much, I’d done it before unsuccessfully with a friend’s machine. Luckily I’d seen some guides to melting the paste without opening the case using a hair drier and a cardboard box to trap the hot air. I used to watch a bit of MacGuyver and I fancy myself a hacker so I had to give it a go. My first problem was that being a mostly bald man these days I don’t own a hair drier, I realised this after opening the bathroom cupboard and not being able to find one. I managed to borrow a hair drier though and I gave it my best shot. It didn’t work, in hindsight I’m not that surprised. So I searched some electronics exchange stores around town for a decent second hand model. Continue reading

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CampFireManager on FLOSS Weekly

FLOSS Weekly cover art. Tux penguin and BSD logo.I love getting the chance to host FLOSS Weekly and I mentioned in a recent post how many cool projects I’ve discovered through it. This past week though I got to interview an old friend about a project I definitely already knew plenty about. FLOSS Weekly 264 features lead developer Jon Spriggs talking about a project called CampFireManager or CFM for short.

One of the big problems we’ve had in organising OggCamp is making good use of rooms and resources for the barcamp element. We started purely as a barcamp and then in the second year adapted to also include some pre-sheduled sessions. Even so the core of the event is a barcamp, where attendees come and share ideas, give talks, and create the schedule as we go along. That’s great, and having been to many barcamps I can say the format works. There is one problem that crops up though. What happens when you end up with a talk 2 people want to see in a large auditorium and a talk EVERYONE wants to see in a tiny room? What happens is a big empty room with 3 people in it and 200 people trying to cram into a tiny space. Any hacker would have to admit that is suboptimal. Traditionally the “free for all” nature of room booking can create this situation, and often does.

Continue reading

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