Favourite blogs for Life, the University, and Everything!

Music Centre Blogs » The Splog

April 18, 2008

Radiohead, Am I Behind The Times?

So, Radiohead released “In Rainbows” just after christmas. I waited till I could actually buy the CD and have now listened to it a few (sic) times. And you know what… I don’t think its that good…
I’m currently listening to “Hail To The Thief”, which is absolutely amazing. Of course when it was released I didn’t think it was that good. Well not as good as “Amnesiac”, which I then thourght was absolutely amazing…
I have noticed a pattern.
I am always an album behind…

November 14, 2007

Glassfish on Ubuntu.. howto

EDIT: It has come to my attention that this starts glassfish with root privileges which wouldn’t be good if this wasn’t a test server! A alternative (and better method) can be found at link cheers Jasper.

One of my colleagues has a java based webpage that he is developing and we have been testing different hosting software… finally settling on Glassfish. I was searching the web for an easy howto and there doesn’t seem to be one so I have written my findings here.
  • Next you need to decide where you want to install it… Personally, I like programs to be installed into /usr/local/appname. So you will need to copy the install.jar to /usr/local (the jar will extract files into a glassfish folder).
  • Next you follow the steps on the webpage above… so basically…

sudo -s
java -Xmx256m -jar glassfish-installer-v2-b58g.jar
cd glassfish
chmod -R +x lib/ant/bin
lib/ant/bin/ant -f setup.xml

  • Next you can either start it with the command

/usr/local/glassfish/bin/asadmin start-domain domain1

  • Or better create a init.d file to start and stop it…

gedit /etc/init.d/glassfish

case ”$1” in
${GLASSFISHPATH}/asadmin start-domain domain1
${GLASSFISHPATH}/asadmin stop-domain domain1
${GLASSFISHPATH}/asadmin stop-domain domain1
${GLASSFISHPATH}/asadmin start-domain domain1
echo $”usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}”
exit 1

  • save and exit
  • chmod a+x /etc/init.d/glassfish
  • to have glassfish start during boot (and stop during halt)

ln -s /etc/init.d/glassfish /etc/rc1.d/K99glassfish
ln -s /etc/init.d/glassfish /etc/rc2.d/S99glassfish

Well, its not a great howto but then the install was pretty simple

October 15, 2007

Radio 1 Established 1967

Warning Random!
I have been listing to this album recently and the Girls Aloud track made me laugh! They have tried to be clever by changing all the boy/girl references around in there cover of “Teenage Dirtbag”. Whilst this firstly appears like a clever thing to do…they fail when the do the impression of the girl speaking at then end. In the Wheatus original he puts his voice upwards. The girls do the same (apparently 16-18 year old guys asking a girl to a concert would have higher voices than the girls…. doh.
End of random!

June 15, 2007

CPU Scaling in Ubuntu

I noticed that the cpu scaling was a little slow (well programs were crashing before ubuntu increased the Mz) so tried to use the cpu-freq applet but they somehow the big wigs have decided that this is a bad idea! So to re-enable it use the command
“sudo chmod +s /usr/bin/cpufreq-selector”

June 07, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04 Install Problems

OK, so my laptop has been playing up recently (due to the age of the Ubuntu install and the number of times that it has been upgraded/changed/modified). So I decided to put the old HD in an do an fresh install. However, it seems that the new live disk is more demanding on system resources and I could no get it to install on my P3 850Mhz laptop. So I tried the alternate install and although text based it work a treat. Just took a little longer as there are a lot more chooses to be made. So no more graphical installs for me… we until I manage to save up enough money to get a shiny new laptop anyway.

June 06, 2007

Amazing Lyrics

I thought that I need to keep a list of lyrics that make me smile every time that I hear them. So from now on when ever I hear a good lyric I’m going to add it to this post.

“It’s you that I adore;
you’ll always be my whore..” – Smashing Pumpkins

May 25, 2007

Car problems

My car has started spaffing water everywhere when it is switched off after a long run. Its like as soon as the engine is switched of a big puddle of water appears. Grrr… hoping its just the radiator cap!

April 27, 2007

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn – Initial opinions

So another Ubuntu has been released and so far my opinions have been OK. This release doesn’t feel a big change from edgy. Stability is has been quite good and the new artwork makes it appear more professional.
The upgrade on my laptop (Xubuntu) went flawlessly and even managed to fix Alsa which I had broke recently. It did however, break the 3D direct rendering of my Rage Mobility graphics card, but then this is only important for hardcore gaming and I wouldn’t attempt this with an 8Mb graphics card. Annoying but not worth trying to fix.
I did a complete re-install of my work desktop. I had broke the exchange back-end of evolution, screwed up the Apache install and free-nx was playing up so I decided to cut my losses and install from fresh. The first annoyance was that my graphics card has two outputs; a DVI and a VGA which I am running two LCD monitors off; didn’t work with the live CD. Unplugging the VGA had no effect but unplugging the DVI and it was fine (just meant crawling around under the desk). After this hitch the install went fine. Playing around with my desktop and the desktop effects is kinda cool. They are however very buggy. Windows don’t go back to where they came from on rotation of the cube and somehow have multiple desktop has got confused. Also Matlab (the program I generally use most) doesn’t display when the effect are turned on. This is probably down to some JAVA flaw but it means no fancy effects at work.
My home desktop has an ATI graphics card (booo!!!) instead of a nVidia so the desktop effect wont work without 3D acceleration and installing the drivers fixes this but breaks the composite extensions which the effects need so no wobbly window here either. Bummer!
E’s laptop upgrade (again Xubuntu) went flawlessly, the new version boots without a huge list of errors, the sound card finally works and the wireless card switch now works which means that if someone has turned it off I don’t have to boot into XP to turn it back on! Very well done here.
So, a lot of minor problems have been solved. ATI graphics cards are still a major headache as the main improvement has been the 3D desktop effect which are buggy (which is too be expected as they are still experimental) but as the ATI Linux drivers are so bad don’t allow you to use.

November 22, 2006

NME Quote

This popped into my email in-box and it made me smile…

Muse’s stadium-flattening tour from the future, a show packed with so many lasers that it can be viewed in crystal clarity with your eyes shut, closed in a box, on the moon.
- Alex Miller, NME.

Utter, genius.

October 18, 2006

Winamp Features

Recently, the Winamp team have added a load of new features.

First is a ReplayGain plug-in. Don’t bother, it takes far to long to analyse your music to bother with it. Its a good idea in principle and would be great if it worked in the background slowly analysing your music whilst it played for the first time so on the second time through it played at a sensible volume and storing the information in the Meta data tag. It would also be good if it was hooked up to the shuffle/random button and knew when to change from track normalisation to album normalisation. Or that it had its own button so you don’t have to go traipsing through the preferences. But it doesn’t so forget about it. Also, it takes ages to process your music but once it is processed there is no easy way to see which have been processed, not useful if you cancel halfway through or add extra music to your collection.

Second is Predixis MusicMagic. This has changed its name since being incorporated into Winamp. There is almost no help. And the plug-in doesn’t work with Vorbis… which is my codex of choice so forget it as well. I did download the MusicIP software standalone which works with Vorbis. It is supposed to scan through all your music and then create play list that don’t have style discontinuities but this doesn’t work very well until it has thoroughly analysed your music which takes forever, then it still is crap. Very disappointing. Not even worth wanting Vorbis support adding to the Winamp plug-in.

Finally, Autofill. Winamp is now able to automatically fill your portable media player. It randomly chooses songs from your collection and adds them to your player until it is n% full (with n being a variable you can set – slight sarcasm). It is more likely to pick songs that are played more often or have high recommendation ratings. This is great for making a mix of songs from my laptop. My media player uses .ogg (and you can tell Winamp what files your player supports) which is great for reasonable quality music with small file sizes. As my laptop has a reasonably small hard drive all the music is in q1. This quality is OK for playing through tinny laptop speakers and through the cassette adaptor in my car. And its is small in size which is great for my player as it is only 512Mb. There is also a transcode feature but as Vorbis is not supported this limits me to using the files on my laptop and not from my main music repository which are at q6 which is transparent (lossless to your ears). I have far too much music for a large player and hence knew that I would need to change the music on my player often so didn’t bother with getting a bigger one. I also like quality sounds and hence chose the a Samsung player as they support Vorbis, have long battery lives, are drag-n-droppable in Window & Linux.

So, one of the new-ish features of Winamp are OK but the others are crap…

October 17, 2006


Sarcasm is very useful, but it can sometime be hard to work out if someone is being sarcastic if,
1, You don’t know the person very well.
2, Can’t see their face to interpret their facial and tonal expressions.
3, Both of the above due to them writing a blog.
It’s handy that blogs have sarcasm tags that clearly explain when people are being sarcastic.
Please take note to use them or at least explain that you are being sarcastic.

October 13, 2006

Rant About The Killers Lyrics

With their new album out people have started again with “the Killers lyrics are soo good”. If one more person says that the Killers lyrics are so good because they are original and no one else could come up with them I am going to have to hit them. OK I’ll give them “I’ve got Soul but I’m not a Soldier”, but the whole of “Mr Brightside” is homage to David Bowie “Queen Bitch”. As proof here are a few of the Bowie Lyrics …

Now she’s leading him on
And she’ll lay him right down
But it could have been me
Yes, it could have been me

David Bowie

And I’m phoning a cab
‘Cause my stomach feels small
There’s a taste in my mouth
And it’s no taste at all

David Bowie

Sound familiar! No-one in music is truly original. It is an art form and hence is built on the things that have gone before. It evolves and changes. Sometimes improving and sometimes not. Please people remember that by listening just to modern music you’ll have no idea if it is good or not! Don’t assume that the piece of music that you are listening to is the best so far… keep listening to music that you haven’t heard both new and old. And I’ll leave you with another of the original “Thin White Duke” quote from Queen Bitch…
“She’s so swishy in her satin and tat, In her brown coat and bipperty-bopperty hat” (which is in no way referenced in Mr Brightside but it is great anyhow).

October 12, 2006

Matlab, Beer(RGB)=BlueMing(BGR)

I was playing around learning Matlab and the suggested .jpg was of a apple… this seems much better. In this I have just swapped the RGB values of the image to give false colour shuffles of the file. Yes… I could have done this in Photoshop… but this is more impressive I think! What is worrying is BlueMing is beer with the colours reversed!


Learning Matlab

I can’t wait for my new computer! At the moment I’m trying to learn enough Matlab for multi-variate analysis of SIFT and E-Nose data on a reduced version of Matlab on my laptop! The version of Matlab has no toolbox’s (handy when PCA and stats toolbox’s are referred to in the literature) and as my laptop only has 256Mb of RAM (Matlab requires a minimum of 512, and prefers a gig!) so my laptop is prone to crashing every time I try something new!
I have managed to make basic bar graphs of some of the data I have been given and am beginning to see the benefits of all variables as matrices but I’m not too keen on the fancy environment that Matlab provides.

October 06, 2006

Update 06/10/06

Well, its been a long time since I blogged and a lot of things have changed. I’ve moved flat. I’m now living in Bedford just of the Embankment which is a nice part of the town overlooking the river. Me and e looked at loads of places in Bedford and many of them were awful.
My MSc thesis has been completed and handed in… I’m just waiting to find out when my viva will be so I can defend it against all the harsh criticisms that are bound to be thrown around.
And, I’ve just started a PhD. It has something to do with computational data analysis of chemistry related machinery looking at biological molecules to try and determine if badgers have TB or not. So this should be interesting … though at the moment its just reading lots of biochemical data analysis papers and learning Matlab. Anyhow, enough time wasted… back to work.

August 30, 2006

Update (V, Poppers, Car, Thesis)

I haven’t blogged for a while (mainly due to manic thesis writing) and to be honest I haven’t got much to say. Having said that I did attend the V festival in Stafford where Radiohead where amazing as expected, We Are Scientists were brilliant (which was a little unexpected seen as they had managed to lose their guitars somehow), Bloc Party were good (but not as good as I had hoped), and Hard–Fi were crap. Groove Armada were great and we were right near to the front but some twat who was stoned off his face pushed forward and behaved like a fucking moron. Can anyone tell me the point of Poppers? Sniff this chemical (that resembles the alcohols in glue if I remember correctly) which will fuck up your nose and make you light headed an woozy just like you have the flu. Pillicks!
I have also bought a new car. To replace the one I bent slightly (well Ok wrote off). It’s a white Citroën Xsara. It’s slightly bigger than the Polo but not as big as a Golf… but yer, its French.
My thesis is due in on Monday, though I had to go and get the forms for submission from Registry my self as they are about a month and a half behind, so my supervisor doesn’t think I should worry too much about meeting the deadline. One question though… I’ve had one year to do this MSc and I’ve had to write a thesis that is half the length of a PhD thesis and I get absolutely no writing up time… Is that fair? I think not… though if you started a PhD this year your writing up time will be a maximum of 6 months due to new research council guidelines (and you will have to apply for it here).
I notice a fad a while ago that made Blog reading much quicker and somehow its faded out… so I want to start it up again… so…
The Stanbury: Not blogged for yonks, went V, bought car, writing thesis.

July 25, 2006

Quiz thingy magig bout Majors

You scored as Mathematics. You should be a Math major! Like Pythagoras, you are analytical, rational, and when are always ready to tackle the problem head-on!





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com

I guess this means that I should have done something that involves Maths and Engineering and the main bulk but ask (and usually solves) all the big questions about the world asked by Philosophers… hay wait… thats PHYSICS!!!!

Soya? Is it bad for you?

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/food/Story/0,,1828158,00.html?gusrc=rss

Apparently, if you feed Soya beans to Canaries it kills them, or a least makes them infertile. Soya contains plant oestrogens which heavily disrupt the hormone balance of the birds. Yet Soya is used heavily in all processed food. Soya is also seen as a healthy replacement to milk. The arguments for it contain references to the health of the orientals who include it in their diet. But traditional Soya is fermented for approximately 18 months to release the proteins and remove the anti–nutrients and the only reference to raw Soya consumption comes from the monks who used it to remove the libido. So Soya could just be another health fad gone wrong!

July 19, 2006

Window Live Messenger

Ok, I’ve been putting off upgrading to Windows Live Messenger for a while. Mainly because they ruined my Hotmail account with Windows Live Mail (could only log in from IE not Firefox). But now that is up and running smoothly I thought i might as well upgrade messenger so that it checks my emails (as the old version of MSN messenger doesn’t like Windows Live Mail but it seems to be only me that this has happen to).
So clicked on the link from the Live people about upgrading and 30 sec later was installed and signing in. Then crash!
Grrr, not a good start!
So after reboot its signing in again….................................. goes to make cup of coffee…........ has a sandwich and then finally it signs in to a total of 1 contact! What where have my contacts gone?
So I sign out and sign in using the original Windows Messenger and few all 39 contacts are still ok.
So trying Live again…. oh 13 contacts… better but hay wait 6 of them are E-mail only so that only leaves 7?
So after 20 minutes of Google searching in the depths of some sort of slightly official windows live blog I find that they are having trouble with people timing out and hence if you are using a wireless network for you might not be able to see all your contacts all of the time. Cheers for the warning guys!

July 14, 2006

Project (RED) Bandwagon – Personal attack on myself

I'm not a big fan of Bono methods of pushing aid schemes onto the western world however I have just received a Motorola Red phone. As you can guess this has caused a bit of a personal debate. Have I just jumped onto a corporate bandwagon that is nothing more than a scheme to sell more mobiles? I decided that the arguments for and against needed to be raised so that I could form a justified opinion (as long it was for the phone so be warned this is probably highly bias).

Getting a RED mobile is just jumping on the bandwagon. My first justification was that I am getting a new phone anyway and I didn't like the Nokia's that the phone company was offering, but I did like the SLVR. So I had the choice between a standard SLVR and the RED SLVR. So where choosing the RED was jumping on the bandwagon, not choosing the RED would say that I am not willing to give the tuppence to RED which just seemed tight!

But Motorola are a huge Chinese company so I am effectively funding part of the Chinese industrial revolution that is going to see the production of a coal powered power station a week for the next ten years. I justified this with “but at least 1p in every £1 goes on improving peoples health. But it could be worse. I could be donating nothing.”

OK so the correct thing might have been to give all the money for the phone to charity and remove Motorola from the picture but as this was a free upgrade this isn't an option. And if I do that the extra money that the phone company will give to RED whilst I'm using the phone they will get to keep.

Bono, when asked if he was being used as an advertising stunt just pleaded ignorance and claimed that if millions of pounds are raised for AIDS, TB and Malaria who cares if it has come from the man (well he actually said that if it is the case “I'm not a cheap date” which the press assumed he meant that it will cost the man). And so far this is the best argument that I've heard. OK the phone companies might be bad but even if I help just a tiny bit I have done something slightly useful.

Sorry, about the rambling style of my entry but I needed a platform to craft my arguments when I get asked about the phone. I didn't want to look a complete fool when someone comes up with a negative argument about the phone and just say “well it looks nice” follow shortly after by a damming thought that, yet again, I'm a huge 'pillick'.