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Saturday, 30 April 2005

One of the couples who viewed on Thursday made a couple of (cheeky) offers today. We rejected them and've got another couple coming round tomorrow.

Jonathan's stag night in London: a nice Chinese in China town followed by the trek to Hammersmith. School Disco would be great if you were a) single and b) able to pull. Fortunately for me (a) doesn't apply, as I'd be royally screwed on (b) ;-/.

Took ages to get home though, but the last train was mildly entertaining with a Dutch girl and her USian boyfriend being very socialable and chatty with everyone. Was somewhat surprised, though, to find that the taxi rank at Basingstoke station was empty because of the demand, not the ungodly hour.

Thursday, 28 April 2005

Well, it must be official we're moving: the house has gone on the market. Two viewings this evening; would be suprised if either resulted in a serious offer, but you never know.

Wednesday, 27 April 2005


"To sum up, the language of resolution 1441 leaves the position unclear and the statements made on adoption of the resolution suggest that there were differences of view within the Council as to the legal effect of the resolution. Arguments can be made on both sides. [...]"
"What I am saying to you is there was never any question of us being able to go to war without the Attorney General's advice being clear. That advice was clear. It was clear throughout and we acted upon it."
"[...] the attorney general came to his view, he offered the view, it was unequivocal - the prime minister was right."
"I have never told a lie. [...] No. I don't intend to go telling lies to people. I did not lie over Iraq."

The last quote was made as Channel 4 News were broadcasting the leaked "unequivocal" advice of the Attorney General. Unbelievable.

Sunday, 24 April 2005

Got an unexpected phonecall on the way back to Basingstoke: Persimmon won't come down as far as we said our maximum would; but they will come down to only £150 more. Not being ones to complain, we took them up on it...

It seems that we may be moving.

Saturday, 23 April 2005

Went back up to Rugby for some more house viewings. Made a final offer on the new one, but doubtful that Persimmon'll accept. Should find out Monday...

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

Whilst discussing the recent problems on, I finally started articulating the thoughts I've been having for a while about a web-based todo service. Discussions online seem to suggest some Very Clever People agree it'd be a good idea, so who am I to argue? In short, it needs:

  • be open source.
  • be categorisable.
  • be installable locally within a company or organisation.
  • ...trackable items at fixed URLs.
  • ...RSS feeds.
  • ...a quick interface for adding new items (even via a bookmarklet).
  • ...the ability for others to suggest items for a todo list.
  • ...comments (and perhaps voting on priority) of items.
  • ...offline sync using something like iCal.
  • ...API for managing it and building tools upon it (WebServices/SOAP, perhaps?)
  • more?

Technically, it'd probably be in PHP (but well-structured and written) to get some momentum and, by default, have a MySQL backend. It'd be nice to have the persistence layer fully abstracted out so that it could be replaced with a flat-file facility (using XML) for quick experimentation/installs without an RDBMS available.

In other words, it's like a cross between a blog, a wiki, BugZilla and The only web-based todo list manager I found was tadalist - which doesn't really seem to meet any of the criteria: it's more or less a web-editable RSS feed.

Something to think some more about, I think.

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

Just launched: Google Maps UK! None of the satellite imagery yet, but still: very cool. It's most useful feature, compared with Multimap is being able to drag the map around to get a better idea of your bearings; but little touches like magnifying junctions on the directions make it stand out.

Already added a quick search for - directions are now only a "gmap rugby to basingstoke" away.

Found out why /tmp keeps filling up on coto and the box was sluggish yesterday: the XMLTV translation via XSLT was pushing the load average up to 32 as a couple of more-popular-than-expected applications downloaded everything. Put a temporary limit on the number of channels which can be downloaded in one go.

New pope elected^Wchosen by "the inspiration of the Holy Spirit"; but no news yet from Persimmon - maybe their sales director was too busy looking for white smoke?

Saturday, 16 April 2005

Got a decision-in-principle from C&G - for more than we hoped for.

Won't talk incessantly about Doctor Who today. Well, okay, a bit: nice to see the side effects of a prolonged absence of the companion; incidental music had hints of Rose coming through; much has already been said elsewhere about the "gas exchange" so no need to dwell on that, except to say that it was still a lot more mature than Dick & Dom.

Friday, 15 April 2005

Company meeting: some interesting topics and heated-ish discussions.

Saturday, 09 April 2005

An interesting Doctor Who, with the right balance of "kisses" with history; science fiction; drama; characterisation and, most interestingly of all, foreshadowing.

In particular, Gwyneth's girly conversation with Rose turning to concern at cars and planes from Rose's modern world; to full-blown horror at a glimpse of "the big bad wolf". This gets even more interesting when you see on the trailer for the next episode that someone's scrawled on the side of the TARDIS, "BAD WOLF".

Presumably this is part of the Time War arc that is now definitely there. It's the Doctor's (survivor?) guilt that leads him so easily being conned by the Gelth - whose world, like his, was destroyed by the war. It seems that the Doctor's bipolar disorder and the destruction of Gallifrey weren't the only outcomes.

And, of course, Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf ;-)

In other news, saw lots of houses in and around Rugby; continuing coverage of the Pope's funeral yesterday and the heir to the throne marries. One has to have one's priorities right, after all.

Friday, 08 April 2005

Journey into London from Rugby was nice and easy: fast train; plenty of seats; radio available on the seat. Minor delays due to "an earlier train hitting a flock of sheep", but these things are occasional.

Wish the same could be said for the journey back. Once again, the 18:18 was unavailable to those "without seat reservations". However, this time there was an 18:25 for those to Rugby and Crewe. Rather than try and argue the toss, and potentially miss both trains, I thought I'd get on the 18:25. Big mistake: it was the slow train and got into Rugby half an hour later than the 18:18.

I wouldn't have minded paying to get on the 18:18 - after all, that's the train I clicked on on the website and said "I'll have this one please". If there was no chance of me getting on it with the ticket type they offered, why did they offer it? What special juju's needed to get a seat reservation? Following the instructions on the website got me passed around like a common cold.

Monday, 04 April 2005

A fascinating interview with Mark Shuttleworth (the guy bankrolling Ubuntu) on Slashdot. Also, impressively, Drobe are now hosting a Java-based BBC emulator with a variety of disk images, including Imogen, Killer Gorilla and Stock Car! It seems it's JBeeb, which is fairly old but has a version of the applet available, which seems to have a better (and configurable) keyboard mapping although fewer disk images.

It also appears that the BBC have yet again mucked up something in relation to the new Doctor Who. Apparently the fact that Christopher Eccleston would only do one series was known, but supposed to be confidential - which'd made any regeneration at the end of the series more shocking. Natch.

Sunday, 03 April 2005

Well, we made it through a year of marriage :-)

A very romantic day of finishing off yesterday's DIY; which did become somewhat less work-related when we went to the cinema to see Hitch starring Will Smith. It was surprisingly enjoyable, though I guess you'd need to like Will Smith to enjoy it.

Saturday, 02 April 2005

An interesting second episode of Doctor Who: fun use of Soft Cell and Britney Spears; the assistant in trouble with the Doctor having to save her; and (hopefully) the start of a long arc exploring what's happened to the Time Lords and Gallifrey. Unfortunately, the Doctor's long speech about being the last is probably a bit too much spoon-feeding and exposition if it is to be a long story arc (a la Buffy).

It might make some magic technology to extend the Doctor's regenerations tricky though - have they written themselves into a corner? Or will they just cheat and have him "fixed" by the Time Lords before they all die? Hints about a war probably mean something to the hardcore, book-reading fans - or those who remember every trivial aside from 40 years of television.

Friday, 01 April 2005

Played with GarageBand on the Mac to produce a mix of the new Doctor Who theme (by Murray Gold), Orbital's version and the classic Delia Derbyshire/Ron Grainer original. MP3 (7.6MB).

Presumably at some point there'll be a soundtrack to the new series released on CD, which'll feature a full-length version of the Murray Gold theme - but until then this (or some adaptation of it) may have to do. However, it should be clear by now, I'm no musician.

The Today programme's April Fool got me again - Tom Parker-Bowles isn't really going to have a claim to be second-in-line to the throne after all.

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