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March 20, 2007

Its been a long time since I blogged…

... and without good reason. I look at planet compsoc and the top 4 entries are all by Tim, and very HURD orientated. Consequently I have to blog. A lot has happened sicne I last blogged too much that is compsoc related really. Holidays used to be a nice break and a time to reflect over the term, but that isn’t the case as a full time PhD student. Nonetheless a few thoughts spring to mind:

1. Subpixel Smoothing on font looks really good on TFTs.
2. RHEL 5 is out now – DCS have no excuse not to upgrade over the summer, which would allow me to use TomBoy and sync my notes up to home. Goodbye paper. Tomboy is a simply note taking program that allows you to do awesome things. Like embed Latex in your notes, or link them up like a desktop wiki.
3. Reseearch is progressing, albeit at a slower pace than I had hoped. I have discovered the wonders of machine checked theorem proving. I mean if you are doing anything maths related thats expressible in HOL/Isabelle – why not? The only problem is that I really want to fork someone else’s theorem and expand upon it, but its just not polite. And unlike a noted Venkman developer I can’t simply tell people to ‘rant and rave in ignorance’, because I’m not dealing with ignorant people.

This has been a boring blog post, but don’t worry, I’ll be back – and it’ll be more fun.


August 30, 2006

Greenpeace and Purchasing decisions

Writing about web page

Greenpeace have released a survey of how environmentally friendly different technology companies are. It uses nice, bold colours such as green and red and certainly makes it easy to comprehend the conclusions that greenpeace have come to – even if you have the IQ of a goldfish. I wonder if people will really take note of this when making their purchasing decisions.

But there are question marks for me about the whole thing. For example when comparing the HP and Apple we find that HP scores well and apple badly on takeback policy, but when reading the web page that greenpeace cite as evidence for this the situation is a lot more confusing. Neither Apple nor HP provide takeback for all products in all regions, but in HP's case this is described as:

"Voluntary takeback – not for all products and not in every region of the world"

But in Apple's:

"No voluntary takeback for every country where Apple has sales of its products and not for every type of product"

The reason that I chose these two is because Apple was heavily criticised for the use of PVC in its Monitors. Now I own an HP 2335 which uses the same display panel (manufactured by LG–Philips) as the 23" Apple Cinema display. Why is HP excused from the criticism, but Apple is focussed upon? Both of them are using the same underlying product in this instance, and neither of them have found solutions to the use of PVC within their display technology, despite both of them having programs in place to attempt this.

So I'm really unsure as to how HP scores better than Apple in many categories. The whole thing seemed a little arbitrary – despite them listing their criterion. Still I hope they clear up things like this, since they idea of providing independant judgements on the environmental suitability of purchases is very helpful from a consumer point of view.

May 08, 2006

Comedic Brilliance

I've found a great website comedy wise. Full of stories about silicon valley fokelore. He's a brilliant tale about the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field:


And here's one about how growing a moustache can get you promoted:


Even if you are not a geek these are amusing stories, though you may not appreciate them quite as much. Also congratulations to Dan for getting into the Leamington Changelog

Goodbye Jhutti's (apostrophe or no – it barely makes any sense here) you shall be missed. But not by me.

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