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April 24, 2015

Lost camera: B9W506260, Black Olympus E–P3

Please contact if found, thanks! :D

November 30, 2011

RINO – Republican in Name Only

Surprised I’ve only just come across such a useful term.

November 13, 2011

Remembrance Sunday

Writing about web page http://www.amnesty.org.uk/detaineeinquiry

On a day for remembering the sacrifices of a generation, we should also remember that we do today define the country and ideals for which so many gave up their lives.


The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture expressed concern about the “limitations that may frustrate the very object” of the inquiry.

Amnesty International has pointed out fundamental flaws in the Detainee Inquiry

  1. It is not transparent. The Government, rather than the inquiry panel, holds the power to decide what documents are published as part of this investigation. Much of the inquiry will take place behind closed doors.
  2. It lacks power. The panel doesn’t have the authority to compel witnesses to testify or to demand evidence from state and non-state parties.
  3. It doesn’t place enough emphasis on the victims of torture and rendition. Meaningful participation by those who have been mistreated and illegally detained is not central to the investigation. The very people whose cases are being investigated cannot challenge evidence given in secret by Government officials.

Those who lay down their lives in the First World War deserve a country much better than this.

November 02, 2011

Hello World from Hayes, London Borough of Hillingdon

It’s been awhile.

May 09, 2009

O2 Huawei E169 USB modem Gentoo GNU/Linux

This post is for anyone having problems getting the O2-provided Huawei E169 USB modem to work under Linux. I’ll assumed you’ve searched elsewhere and have an idea of what is going on.

In my case, I had a Gentoo GNU/Linux desktop without internet access although I did have a Windows XP laptop to help me. The best thing to do is use the USB modem on the laptop, connect up your desktop by ethernet cable and share the Dial-up connection in order to download any packages you may need.

gentoo-sources-2.6.28 is a good enough kernel to get things to work.

emerge usbutils ppp wvdial

cd /usr/src/linux
sudo make menuconfig
(Refer to Gentoo handbook for full details of installing a new kernel.)

Device drivers --->
    Network device support --->
        <M> PPP (point-to-point protocol) support
        <M> PPP support for async serial ports 
    USB support --->
        <M> OHCI HCD support
        <M> USB Mass Storage support (provides usb-storage so it can be unloaded)
        <M> USB Serial Converter support (provides usbserial, very important)
            [*] USB Generic Serial Driver
            <M> USB driver for GSM and CDMA modems (provides 'option' module, v. important)

sudo make -j 3
(Install kernel.)
sudo make modules_install
(Which installs the kernel modules. Restart computer.)

Plug in device when you have a terminal open. /usr/sbin/lsusb
should give

Bus 004 Device 006: ID 12d1:1001 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. E620 USB Modem

(**) <- marker. Read ahead to see why this is here.


should ideally not show ‘usb-storage’

sudo rmmod usb-storage

just in case.

sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0×12d1 product=0×1001


ls /dev/ttyU*

should give
/dev/ttyUSB0 /dev/ttyUSB1 /dev/ttyUSB2
if only /dev/ttyUSB0 is shown, then unload modules ‘usbserial’ and ‘option’, unplug device and try again from the marker (**).

sudo wvdialconf

to get a template /etc/wvdial.conf for editing. Refer to https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DialupModemHowto/Huawei/E220/wvdial.conf and other websites to aid configuration.

APN (Access Point Name) mobile.o2.co.uk
user: o2web
pass: password
Phone number should be *99***1# otherwise try *99#

When you have your /etc/wvdial.conf set up properly, connect with

sudo wvdial

One section I have is

[Dialer internet]
Init5 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","mobile.o2.co.uk" 
Stupid Mode = 1

Carrier Check = no
in your defaults if you get no carrier errors.

Good luck!

October 06, 2007

L. K. Bennett at Bicester Village

My limited experience inside L. K. Bennett at Bicester Village has left me with a very bad impression of the customer service provided by L. K. Bennett.

The failing of L. K. Bennett’s customer care lead to a complaint to the management at Bicester Village, but even they were unable to draw out some token gesture of putting the customer before profit.

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Addition: 01 Jul 2008

Written on 26.05.08

Rating: one star out of five.

I worked at this store – the brent cross branch to be precise, and honestly the way the managers treat staff is unacceptable. My contract did not state we had to clean toilets and yet we were made to, the managers treated you like you were worthless and we didn’t have a say in anything in case we ‘over shadowed’ the managers judgement, both the assistant manager pataniya and the manager herself caroline were the worst to work with!! Some of my colleagues and myself also became quite ill as the shop floor was air conditioned and we had to keep going back and forth into a hot stuffy room to get shoes, etc!! Worst company to work with also, the prices charged for the beautiful shoes are no way near their true worth!!

= = = = =

By Susan – written on 09.05.08

Rating: four stars out of five (bad attitude in London – go to Paris instead).

I have to agree with that review about the treatment that staff receive in certain branches as I have witnessed it , having wor(k)ed in London for quite a while myself. There is actually a general bad attitude from senior staff who regard the sales assistants as “disposable” and easily replacable. I have to say it is sufficient to see how the company’s owner herself looks at them (the sales assistants). I was shocked the first day I saw her as she greeted her in the store She looked at me from head to toe and just blanked me totally as if I was nothing else but a piece of furniture. That set the whole work atmosphere , doesn’t it!
Thankfully, I have met some fantastic people there who were great to work with like the Paris staff who are just adorable and very diffferent from my co-workers.

= = = = =

By anne lowry – written on 06.03.08

Rating: one star out of five

Please Be Warned, I purchased a pair of all leather ankle boots with a slightly pointed toe. After wearing them to work for a couple of days I noticed the leather had scuffed off the toe area revealing a blue backing underneath – the leather was so thin there was nothing to polish! I went back to the shop twice to see the manager and rather than apologise for the inconvenience, she accused me of walking on my tip toes – kicking my desk – using escalators and driving in my boots! I would love to be so agile! I requested they were sent off to their quality department but was left waiting 3 weeks – after several calls chasing a response,I was told they were not going to do anything about it! disgraceful way to deal with legitimate complaints and an appalling way to deal with customers.

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Addition: 20 Jan 2008

Came across interesting posts on dooyou.co.uk

In case they become inaccessible from the links given, copies of the reviews are provided below.


Name: jess in harrogate
Product: L K Bennett
Date: 11.06.07 (64 review reads)
Rating: one star out of five

Advantages: some nice shoes and accessories
Disadvantages: extremely rude staff and a hopeless customer service helpline.

I have visited LK Bennett on many occasions, and have usually received good customer service. However, when buying a pair of shoes there recently i did ask specifically if i could receive a refund if the shoes did not match my dress. I was told that “of course i would receive a full refund,” and that it wouldn’t be a problem. The shoes did not match the dress and so i returned to the store to receive the refund i gad been promised. The manager told me that as this was not their policy to give refunds to unworn+unfaulty goods, i could not possibly have been told otherwise. Basically, she said i was lying. I now have a £168 credit note for a store i never want to set foot in again, any takers?


= = = = =

LK Bennett – not worth the pain and awful credit note mentality

Name: Ice Princess
Product: L K Bennett
Date: 23.10.06 (390 review reads)
Rating: two stars out of five

Advantages: gorgeous shoes
Disadvantages: sales assistant who got me to buy size lower, awful exchange/credit note policy

I have to say, I agree with other reviewers, gorgeous shoes but high prices. Having said that, I have 1 pair of cream pointy toed high heeled shoes (never worn) and 1 pointy flat pair of blue shoes which when i wear them i have to be careful as they give me awful blisters.

Then there was the time i wanted a pair of beige strappy suede sandals and was persuaded to buy a size smaller which fitted in store but when i got home found they were far too tight (prob because i tried on late afternoon when feet were swollen). tried to take them back and got credit note, useless dratted credit note.

for that reason i tend now to avoid this shop, pointy shoes are not comfy if they give me blisters (i do have a gorgeous almond/pointy shaped pair of flat shoes from Accessorize that didn’t give me blisters…!) and if i can’t return (the shoes) unworn because they hurt me for full refund then sorry i will not buy from here again. You can get round this by buying from an LK Bennett concession in dept store like Selfridges who give 30 day refund/exchange no problem (i checked!).

If LK Bennett has changed her policy like Karen Millen has then I’d be more than happy to try and buy again.

Summary: not for me

= = = = =

Something similar and very recent at reviewcentre.com it seems.

By ashopper on 15th Jan 2008

Good Points: None
Bad Points: Returns policy out of order

If you purchase any goods from LK Bennett during the sales and for any reason the item does not quite fit properly, you will need to throw it away as you cannot exchange it nor get a refund. A shame no one tells you that at the point of purchase nor it is printed on your receipt ( which in any event would be rather late to find out).
I purchased two pairs of boots yesterday, one of which I was not sure about and the sales assistant was quite aware of. I was quickly wisked at the till . Today I called the store to find out if I could get a refund on one of the items, as my receipt said nothing other than being attached to a product care leaflet, and was advised I cannot even exchange the item.
I will simply buy nothing from any of their stores in future, this way, I may have wasted £110 this time round but the company will make no money out of me in future.
Shameful policy.

= = = = =

By Princess07724 Rank: Lance Corporal on 21st Dec 2007

Good Points: They have some very nice items.
Bad Points: They are over-priced and badly made.

LK Bennett was once upon a time one of my favorite shops, but after having to deal with their customer services regarding some faulty (£110) shoes, I will never buy anything from this shop again. I have been refused a refund or exchange, and the unfriendly customer service advisor then proceeded to post the shoes back to my home address (non recorded delivery), and now the shoes are missing, and I can not get anyone to respond to my phone calls…not really what I expect from a high end High Street shop.

March 02, 2007


I am a member of staff. Can I use SquirrelMail?

No. Members of Staff are required to use the staff system to ensure legal compliance requirements (???!!!) are met. Staff typically require more functionality from their email system than students. Hence the decision was made to provide a different email service for each group of users.

Note: If required, it is possible to use a different client to access the staff email system, for example via POPS or IMAPS.

February 14, 2007

Shout out to wobbly windows

Beryl is good

Saw some random comments on blog

so thought I’d come back in and have a check. Wonder when my last entry was .. will check later.

Things have been fun here at Warwick. I’m sure there’s loads of blog stuff about the email system and all that jazz with things failing and emergency backups not working quite as well as one would want an emergency backup to work (read again if needed).

Lots of interesting things with echo-spam (TM and patent pending) where the system gives you repeats of the best and worst of all spam for repeated and further enjoyment. If we didn’t know better, we might have thought the spam filters have some sort of reverse function with legitimate emails (both outward and inward) blocked and spam allowed through. This certainly seems to be the case with the listserver (with ‘posts’ rather than emails per se).

July 25, 2006

Center for cell analysis and modelling

Center for cell analysis and modelling – The name is self–explanatory.

Bilnov's page is very interesting in particular. Bilnov's review of 'Rules for Modeling Signal–Transduction Systems' is published in STKE section of Science. Unfortunately I am unable to access the article because university doesn't have subscription to that section.

Bilnov seems to be a dude. They have cell signalling at LANL also.

Molecular mind maps are here . The website is also cool with loads of stuff.

June 18, 2006

Biohazard Question

Who designed the biohazard symbol?

June 17, 2006

University Laptops

Wondering what kind of software the different university departments load onto laptops they issue to people.

I have BioEdit, Cygwin–X, Endnote, Exceed, Maple, Mathematica, Mathtype, MDL ISIS Draw, Microsoft Office, PuTTY, Python, SciFinder Scholar, VMD and probably a few other things I haven't come across yet.

June 16, 2006

Threading a calculation–heavy program

Threading a calculation–heavy program is unlikely to make it run faster/more efficiently. Discuss.

June 14, 2006

Passing objects by value

If a particular class of objects is heavily used, do not pass it by value. Passing such objects by value is guaranteed to slow down your program!


June 08, 2006

Warwick Webmail

Since beginning to use Warwick Webmail as the main place to drop my university emails, I've started receiving a higher quality of spam. The subject lines of the new spam are convincing enough to force a check/read; this is especially bad as Warwick Webmail is so damn slow.

June 06, 2006

A Million Things to Do

If one has a million things to do, where is it best to begin?

So, Science

Does science really have much to tell anyone? All these very many journals with many egos bustling about to improve something they value and that they refer to as their 'reputation'. People building up a big mountain of work that they hope others will carry on when they die and it no longer really matters to them.

February 21, 2006

Another peom I got as a gift

On a Tree Fallen Across the Road

The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not bar
Our passage to our journey's end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are

Insisting always on our own way so.
She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
And make us get down in a foot of snow
Debating what to do without an ax.

And yet she knows obstruction is in vain:
We will not be put off the final goal
We have it hidden in us to attain,
Not though we have to seize earth by the pole

And, tired of aimless circling in one place,
Steer straight off after something into space.

-Robert Frost

February 17, 2006

Google for Coders

Wired news reports a new search engine for programmers which promises to find and share relevant bits of code for their applications. This can provide a fresh boost to the open-source movement.

The whole report can be accessed here

December 04, 2005

Farmer's drumstick beats drought

I had decided that I will not be writing anything on my blog till the end of this year…...but just came across a link on BBC and couldn't resist putting on my blog.

This link is about drumstick cultivation in drought prone villages of India. Today, when India is booming in virtually all the sectors, agriculture and farmers are still in state of misery. Agriculture in India depends solely on Monsoon and if one looks at the ecomonic progress of country, it is not surprising that maximum benefits have been observed when the rain-god was kind to us…...anyways, what impressed me most was the idea of growning drumsticks. A 32 years old school drop-out farmer thought of this idea and even wrote a book on cultivating drumsticks. He even has a website.
The drumstick cultivation in drought-prone area has not only been successful but he is helping other farmers also to follow the suit.

No wonder, a little thinking, a little awareness and a drive to help others can make a big difference….......most impressive.

November 06, 2005

Apologies for not updating the blog….

OK, I know that the blog has not been updated for quite some time. But I am caught up with so many things in hand (this is hardly an excuse, but this is true). I will start making regular entries again from January,2006.

September 21, 2005

New Academic Year Coming

All change! So many facets to my little life here! Photos all sorted and put away. Readin for the next bit of work. Bits and pieces to prepare. Yayyayyay!

September 16, 2005

AVoCS 2005

"Fifth International Workshop on Automated Verification of Critical Systems" just concluded at
University of Warwick, (12–13 September 2005). The conference was arranged by members of Formal method and Quantum processing group of Department of computer Science. The details can be found here. Don't forget to check the photographs by our in-house researcher cum photographer Nick :-)

I miss the time…..

When gulli-danda and kanche (marbles) were more popular than cricket… When we always had friends to play aais-paais (I Spy), chhoppan-chhuppai and pitthoo anytime …

When we desperately waited for 'Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi'... When chitrahaar, vikram-baitaal, dada daadi ki kahaniyaan were so fulfilling..

When there was just one TV in every five households

When bisleris were not sold in the trains and we were worrying if papas will get back into the train in time or not when they were getting down at stations to fill up the water bottle… When we were going to bed by 9.00pm sharp except for the 'Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi' day…

When Holis, Diwalis and Eids meant mostly hand-made pakwaans and sweets and moms seeking our help while preparing them When Maths teachers were not worried of our mummys and papas while slapping/beating us…

When we were exchanging comics and stamps and chacha-chaudaris and billus were our heroes…When we were in nanihaals every summer and loved flying kites and plucking and eating unripe mangoes and leechis …

When one movie every Sunday evening on television was more than asked for and 'ek do teen chaar' and 'Rajni' inspired us… When left over pages of the last years' notebooks were used for rough work or even fair work in new class…

When 'chelpark' and 'natraaj' were encouraged against 'reynolds and family'...

When the first rain meant getting drenched and playing in water and mud and making 'kaagaj ki kishtis'... When there were no phones to tell friends that we will be at their homes at six in the evening…

When our parents always had 15 paise blue colored 'antardesis' and 5 paise 'machli' wale stamps at home…

When we remembered tens of jokes and were not finding 'ice-cream and papa' type jokes foolish enough to stop us from laughing…

When we were not seeing patakhes on Diwalis and gulaals on Holis as air and noise polluting or allergic agents…

The list can be endless...On the serious note I would like to summarise with...

When we were using our hearts more than our brains, even for scientifically brainy activities like 'thinking' and deciding'..

When we were crying and laughing more often, more openly and more sincerily…

When we were enjoying our present more than worrying about our future…

When being emotional was not synonymous to being weak…

When sharing worries and happinesses didnt mean getting vulnerable to the listener…

When journeys were also important and not just the destinations…When life was a passenger's sleeper giving enough time and opportunity to enjoy the sceneries from its open and transparent glass windows instead of some superfast's second ac with its curtained, closed and dark windows ..

When blacks and whites were the favourite colors instead of greys…

August 09, 2005

A sign of times

I hope that this is not a sign of times. The terrorists win when authorities react like this. Travelling in the subway will not be the same carefree journey anymore. Maybe in 50 years time people will have to give their biodata at the point of entry of each station to be allowed to travel.