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March 23, 2007

Blogs + Boredom

I’ve decided to use my blog to write small anti-boredom posts whilst at work. Using my PDA and mobile in perfect harmony to bring you into the mind of the Jones…

Summer of Code

Google run a program through the summer called: “Summer of Code”
Basically you get paid to write code for an open source project. I plan to apply to code for Drupal, my favourite CMS, more specifically to add a ‘drawing API’.
This morning I got an email about my first patch going into a contributed project, how ace is that. It’s a really good feeling giving something back.
I use Drupal to run the maths society website, but I really enjoy developing for it. I can be really creative, I just need to work out how I can make a career out of it.

Back to work

After a stuttery start to the holidays I’m back at work proper.

Yes I’m back on the pier, and yes I’m already counting down the days until I finish.

February 19, 2007

Maths Society Website

Writing about web page http://www.mathsoc.warwick.ac.uk/

I reworked the Warwick Mathematics Society wesbite a few months ago, and made it look way better than it did before, and made it much more flexible. I choose Drupal as my content management system, and found it to be very, very powerful.

I'm bored by the current look of the site though, and since content has been separated from presentation I can easily change the theme. A lot of the site works well, but some bits don't work quite how I wanted them to, but that's because they were added on top, instead of being designed in from the start, and the theme turned out to be not particularly extensible.

Apparently people really like the idea that it changes colour, so I might keep that feature whilst making the site 'look better'. I really want to make the top header section smaller, so that more content can fit on the screen. 

Fixed, fluid or elastic? hmmm...

The Union's Website

Writing about web page http://www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/portal/Default.aspx

Is it just me or is the design of the Students' Union website a little crap.

When I'm logged in I count 21 main navigation buttons! Have they ever heard of a sub-menu? 

December 01, 2006

Bringing Me Home

I finally got a new chain for my bike, and it rocks! Just thought I’d say.

November 08, 2006

Fall to Pieces

My housemate, Holly, decided to sow felt patches to her ageing cardy, as depicted below:

Holly in a chair

You can see the end result here:

Holly standing

You’re such an old man Holly.

October 23, 2006

Nothing Better

I spotted in the biscuit aisle of Canley Tesco a new addition: Tesco Value Shortbread.

Actually it was better than expected. The packet promised delicious crumbly shortbread fingers, which in Tesco value, means dust. But there were entire fingers of shortbread! In terms of butter content, we had a surprising 20%, oh Tesco you are really spoiling us.

In any case, they cost me 39 English pence, and were edible.

October 19, 2006

See the World

I was thinking about how many billions (perhaps trillions or more) of letters I’ve seen in my lifetime. Its just incredible the amount of written information in the world contains. I wonder what data structures my brain uses to store all this information, and how it can access most of it very quickly. Further reading on this subject is required.

Obviously when I want to remember something, my brain decides to store it, but what happens next? I would have to assume that some sort of biological change occurs within my brain, are new cells created? is there a bank of ‘free memory’? Writing about this has really sparked my interest, I’m going to have to go the library tomorrow!

Believe Me

Recent events in my life have set me thinking about my faith. I have begun to consider what I believe and why I believe it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really know what I believe, I don’t know enough to make any decisions, so I must learn. I’m going to read The New Testament to begin with, which I’ve never done. I’m going to try understand it, I’m going to ask questions (I’m blessed with many true christian friends, i.e. they don’t mind me rigorously trying to deconstruct their beliefs.)

I don’t feel pressured in any way, and I’m not going to decide to believe in anything that I don’t truly believe in.

October 13, 2006

Blackboard on Ankle

So today, I can say I did something I’d never done before, and would rather never happened again: I dropped a blackboard on the back of my ankle.

If you don’t realise, blackboards, and especially this one, are very, very heavy beasts.

I now have an extra lumpy ankle, go me!

Thou who shalt remain nameless

You know who you are, you know what happened. And yes, it was quite funny, though I’d guess not for you. Just thought I’d remind you, just in case you tried to forget.

October 11, 2006

I'm Tired

I’ve not been getting enough sleep, or eating properly recently, and I knew it was coming: at about noon today, tiredness hit me like a wet badger to the face. Then I fell asleep on the bus. Bugger.

October 05, 2006

The Warwick Mathematics Society

Writing about web page http://www.mathsoc.warwick.ac.uk

From the start of the 2006/7 academic year, the society known as MathSoc, has become The Warwick Mathematics Society.

Under this new name, we hope to continue to do the things we’ve always done, revision guides, the Mathemagacian etc. But we want to do them bigger, better and with more involvement from society members than ever before. We believe that the WMS can become one of the biggest and most active student societies on campus.

I’m sorta responsible for all that jazz!

Don’t forget to visit us at Socs fair on Friday!

September 29, 2006



September 11, 2006

Summer Break

I haven’t written in a while, or at least I haven’t written properly in a while. Well I’m here to change that.
It’s not for a lack of trying I’ve written about 8 posts on my Palm but not got around to actually putting them in WarwickBlogs.

Today I’d like to talk about my summer and the impending resumption of Uni.
The latter point both excites and scares me. I’m getting to the bussiness end of my degree and I’m going to be fored to pick some modules not to do. At the same time I’m really exited because I get to do some really cool modules, especially lots of algebra!

As for my summer here’s a selection of what I got up to:
  • Working
  • Cycling to Kent
  • Redesigning the WMS website
  • Karting
  • Working
  • Getting a tattoo (sometimes I even surprise myself)
  • Working

I might blog later with some more details of other things, but maybe not.

August 11, 2006

More Joshua

Cute Joshua
Joshua in gloves

July 21, 2006


On Monday our family was blessed with a baby boy, Joshua:

Joshua on a blanket

Being my sister’s first born, that makes me an uncle, or “uncle maths” as some have taken to calling me.

Me and Joshua

So far everyone is okay. He feeds and sleeps, and occasionally opens his eyes, though when he does everyone takes lots of photos of him!
He’s so small and so cute, he’s just lovely.

Joshua sitting


July 13, 2006

Cleaning up Democracy

Part of democracy committees job for next year is to clean up whats called the 'web constitution'. This is basically the part of the Union's website under the 'democracy' button. Part of this includes having a copy of the University of Warwick Students Union Constitution. Having read this document many times, I thought I'd sit down and think about what needs to be done. It struck me that the biggest problem about the constitution, and further almost all union output, is that its a word document. Now I think Word is a great program, it does have its uses, and does some things very well. But when it comes to web integration, it really sucks. Its not semantic, uses proprietary styles, and is a pain to search. Also, having to maintain, word files, pdfs and html copies of everything is really lame.

When looking over all the documents a few things are apparent:

  1. Documents are highly repetitive within themselves
  2. There are repetitions across documents
  3. They are hierarchical
  4. Only the content need be stored, not the styling

It seems clear that one format would be perfect for storing the Union's documents, XML.

It would be very easy to output to documents in a variety of formats, especially the web, where we could leverage the power of style sheets. It would be easier to maintain, as the content would be in one place, not three different files (word, pdf, html).

I think it would be great for Warwick to lead the way in this, if it ever happened.

July 07, 2006

Random Photos

Here are some random photos I've taken recently:

Weston at dusk

And some far more random ones:

Abstract 1

Abstract 2