Kung Fu Panda

Went to see “Kung Fu Panda” at the cinema last night.  Even though it’s a kid’s film, I really enjoyed it; the film was absolutely hilarious and half the time I couldn’t help but laugh out loud (but the rest of the audience did too, so that’s okay).  We were going to see “Wanted” but since I haven’t heard good things about it, I might wait until it comes out on DVD.

Aside from the start, which had a mild overdose of the word “Awesome” (intentionally, we later found out; I would highly recommend this film to anyone regardless of age.

Matt is back

I figured that it’s about time I put some more stuff on here; the poor blog has been stagnating since September, which just isn’t good.  I’ve been telling myself that it’s because work keeps me so busy, but that’s a lie because I always find time to play on Mario Kart.
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bit10 does Alton Towers

I know I mentioned this in an earlier article, but I really thought that it merited its own post.

bit10 arranged to have a “Team Building” day at Alton Towers. Fortunately for me, I started early enough to get a ticket. The plan was to have everybody meet at the front gates by 9.30am, so I managed to arrange to get a lift with fellow developers Craig and Gareth at around 8am. Unfortunately, events conspired against us, and we didn’t make it to the park until about 10.30 (among the conspiratorial events was the failure of Craig’s satnav thingie, so we had to rely upon my directions until we started seeing road signs).
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Dell build quality

I’ve always been a bit of a Dell proponent, but recently I’ve been given several reasons to be dubious of the build quality of Dell systems. During my time at LFRS, I received a great deal of kit from Dell; all of which had to be tested before being recorded in the inventory system. I must have tested at least one hundred PCs during my various stints there, and never once did I find a fault with a new PC. There was one incident where a user plugged in a 95W charger (instead of the usual 65W one), and damaged the laptop, we had a technician arrive at the IT office the very next day to repair it.
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Financial advice site

Money saving expert is a really nifty site offering loads of financial advice for us Brits. It has links to the best current accounts, the best savings accounts, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I spent more than a few hours reading various articles.

I think that this site has something to offer to everyone by way of advice. It would be difficult to have a look through there and not find something pertinent. I’m certainly going to make use of some of the advice on there. Absolutely fantastic.

Job(s)

Well, being a recent graduate, I’ve been job hunting for the past couple of months. I originally applied to Atos Origin, which is a large technology consulting company, and got rejected after a few recruitment rounds, which I was a bit disappointed about. I must admit that I let things lapse for a little bit, but eventually I got back on the search. Making good use of cwjobs.co.uk, I found a few more jobs in the Coventry and Birmingham areas and shot off my CV to them. I got a polite rejection from one, and heard nothing from the others for a fortnight. Fed up of waiting, I applied to about ten more jobs, and heard back from two recruitment agencies in the next few days.
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All a matter of trust

Some clever researchers at UCSC have come up with a handy little algorithm that hilights the most trusted passages in a Wikipedia article based upon the contributor’s “reputation”, which is calculated by the algorithm using the amount of time that said user’s contributions remain on an article.

Not a new idea by any means, in terms of the way it works, although the metric is a good one.  I’d like to see how this copes with a full copy of Wikipedia.  It would be interesting to say the least.

[link]

Accelerometer touting alarm clock

I saw this article pop up on the Engadget feed, and immediately saw the making of a fantastic little novelty item. Sadly, it fell slightly short of what I was thinking.

The proposed design contains an accelerometer, so that when you flick/prod/sledgehammer it, the alarm snoozes for 9 or so minutes. Sadly, someone else got to the comment board before me, pointing out that the duration of the snooze should be directly proportional to the amount of force applied to the offending clock. Must be quicker.

WordPress update

At long last, I’ve finally got around to updating the version of WordPress that I’m running. It turns out that I can easily update it from the DreamHost control panel, but I found a rather nifty little method that uses Subversion to keep everything up to date.

Along with version 2 comes built in support for widgets, so I’ve finally been able to put up a nice little widget containing my Google Reader starred items. Yay!

Socks: updated

As a quick aside, I notice that the aptly named ‘odd sock pile’ appears to have a fixed size, although the actual members of the pile do vary from wash to wash. Clearly, this calls for a proper scientific investigation, perhaps those lazy physicists will be able to get off their bottoms and shed light on this important issue ;)

Digital recycle bins

Reading this article, I really can’t help but think that this is such a cool concept.

Who wouldn’t want this nifty little e-trash receptacle sat on their desk? I really like the way that it shows capacity too. One thing that did strike me, though, was the issue of power: where does it get it’s juice? I think that having to run a power cable to the unit would really ruin the aesthetics – after all, who wants another cable on their desktop? The file transfer can be accomplished easily enough through WiFi, Bluetooth, or maybe even this wireless USB thing that I’ve seen bandied about.

Clearly, a prime case for wireless power. Less of a pipe dream now than previously, but still not quite available to us the unwashed masses yet, unfortunately.

Socks

Following on from the post about our new washing machine, I’ve been steadily making my way through approximately one month’s worth of dirty laundry. Not a particularly painful process, but somewhat time consuming. As I’m coming to an end with it, and (almost) everything is dry, I’ve been sorting everything out into piles so we’ll finally be able to have our dining room back.

While sorting things into piles, though, I noticed that there was a disconcertingly large ‘odd sock’ pile. I know that some of those sets of socks were bought after moving, so I’m really at a loss for where their partners could have disappeared to. I’m guessing that this is one of the immutable properties of socks asserting itself in the household: socks reserve the right to disappear at random.

Washing machines can be such a pain!

Honestly, I really didn’t know until now, but I tried to buy one on the first of August (we’d had a neat little washing arrangement with Rob’s parents until then, since they were visiting every weekend). The first order I tried to make from Comet failed because my billing address wasn’t the same as my delivery address (my credit card provider’s fault, let’s not go there). I tried again with my debit card, and it still got turned down. Fair enough, I won’t use Comet again.

To Curry’s! I selected the washing machine (and a freezer too, since I’m beginning to experience ice cream withdrawal) and checked them out. No problem at all. So, the big delivery day finally arrives, I’ve cleared out the area for the appliances, the delivery men arrive, dump the stuff and leave since they “weren’t allowed” to remove the packaging. So, we unpack the stuff, take the shipping bolts out of the back, plumb it in, plug it in and switch it on. It made a few noises before some lights started blinking on the front. Consulting the instruction book, it’s motor was broken. Oh well, a call to Curry’s to ask for a return, and they said that the one we had was out of stock, so we could have a more expensive model for no extra charge. Sweet.

So, with Rob being absent, li’l ol’ me has to heft this massive contraption into place. I connect the water inlet pipe to the tap with the bluey green handle (as opposed to the one with the red handle), as I figured that would be the cold water supply. Two washes later, the clothes that are coming out feel unusually warm… and although it’s not a particularly hot day… should they really be steaming? Obviously, the red tap is the cold water supply, and the blue one the hot water.

I’m certain there’s a plumber somewhere who’s just had a good laugh at my expense. I did, however, feel pretty darn manly kneeling there with my spanner and tool kit and playing around with the various twiddly bits on the cold water valve.