December 17, 2007
The Reckless Cycle of Consumerism Trundles On

Bah - my shiny new PS3 won't work with my (admittedly antediluvian) TV. The TV just can't see the PS3 at all. Once you start upgrading...

Rant time. My TV probably could see the PS3 if I were able to fiddle with the settings, but since the remote died, 90% of the functionality has become unavailable to me. I know we live in a throw-away society, but not being able to use a TV 'cos the remote has died - what's that all about?

Hitherto that hadn't really been a big problem; I could turn it on and off, and turn the sound up and down, and that was all that I needed. Everything else was done via the DVD player or Digital TV tuner. But now...

Then again, perhaps it is time for a new TV. I say I can turn my current one on and off - in fact, the switch is broken, and I can only put it on standby. I'd been struggling with this for a while. On the one hand, leaving a TV in standby mode is a terrible waste of energy, but on the other, so is buying a new TV. Where does the balance lie there?

But now the Gordian Knot has been cut - I need a new telly. Tom recommends this. I don't watch a lot of TV, so I don't want anything too big or too expensive. Think I'll look for one of these in the new year.

Posted to Toys and games by Simon Brunning at 01:32 PM
December 13, 2007
The Magic Goes Away

Oh no! What's going to happen to Quicksilver? I'm not sure I can do without it now, so I hope someone picks it up and supports it.

Still, thanks to Nicholas Jitkoff for all his work thus far. Quicksilver is a thing of beauty.

Posted to Mac by Simon Brunning at 01:58 PM

Revision 40,000 went into our repository yesterday. Surely that's enough? We can stop now, can't we?

Posted to Agile by Simon Brunning at 01:58 PM
Something Rotten in the State of Facebook

Nasty stuff on Facebook. I'm really going off it, I must say.

Posted to The Internet by Simon Brunning at 01:31 PM
A New Toy

I won a shiny new 60GB PS3 at the ThoughtWorks Christmas party last night. Class - well worth the hangover. Whether it's worth the memory of all that nerd-dancing, well, I'm not so sure.

Anyway, not really being much of a gamer, I need some advice. Which games should I get, and which should I avoid? I'm into FPSs, strategy games and RPGs, and I'm not into platformers or sport sims.

I've already spent £200 on games and accessories in my head...

Posted to Toys and games by Simon Brunning at 01:29 PM
December 05, 2007

Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky.

The girls and I saw Tales from Earthsea a couple of weeks ago. I was worried that it would be rubbish; there's always that concern when your favourite literature is transferred to another medium. I was relieved to find that it wasn't terrible. It wasn't great, mind you - I'm not sure why they cut 'n' shut two of the books together or why they transferred just about everything to dry land. And why were all the characters so bloody white? But they did seem to get the feel of the piece about right.

It's got me re-reading what will always be the Earthsea trilogy in my heart, though there's actually now five novels and a book and a bit of short stories. Sheer poetry.

Its not that usual for me to like this kind of stuff. Now, this is a big admission for a nerd to make, but with a few exceptions I hate the whole fantasy genre. It tends to be derivative, cliché ridden, populated with 2 dimensional characters, and horribly predictable. Most of it could have been written by a half smart computer program.

The exceptions? Earthsea, The Lord of the Rings, Gormenghast, and His Dark Materials. Oh, and I didn't mind a spot of Midkemia in my youth, not if I didn't want anything to exercise the mind too hard.

Talking of His Dark Materials, I'll be trying to get to The Golden Compass this weekend if I can too. I'll let you know.

Posted to Books and magazines by Simon Brunning at 01:57 PM
Programming is fun again!

You're flying? How? Python.

I so need this as a tee-shirt.

And what timing!

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

This means you're free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). More details.

Posted to Python by Simon Brunning at 09:43 AM
December 04, 2007
A Bang From The Past

Why is this our most read story today?

Posted to Funny by Simon Brunning at 02:03 PM

Bebo seems to be all the rage with the primary school attending demographic all of a sudden. Both my girls are on it, terms of service or no, and were squabbling over the computer all weekend. It's sort of like a Fisher-Price Facebook.

I'm happy enough for them to be on there, so long as I watch over their shoulders to make sure they aren't up to no good. Besides, we've had the whole "The Internet can be a dangerous place, don't trust (or especially meet) strangers" talk, and they are smart girls.

Posted to Family by Simon Brunning at 01:14 PM
Freedom of Speech, anyone?

Glad as I am that Gillian Gibbons has made it back to the UK in one piece, without the medieval fringe getting hold of her, I think much of the coverage has missed the point. It dwells heavily on how she didn't intend to insult Islam. Surely we should aspire to a world in which we can criticize on another's beliefs without being threatened - or indeed being referred to as "hateful"?

Not, you understand, that I'l trying to draw parallels between a bit of closed-mind commenting and genuine threats to life and liberty.

Posted to Atheism by Simon Brunning at 01:14 PM
Beer and Geeks

Busy week - XTC today and London Python tomorrow.

Posted to Beer by Simon Brunning at 09:55 AM
December 03, 2007

Got a treat this evening. ;-)

Posted to Music by Simon Brunning at 10:38 PM