April 16, 2007

Warwick has won the University Challenge, 2007

In case that you missed this, Warwick has beaten Manchester to win the University Challenge in 2007.

It was really close in the last few minutes. I was worried that Manchester would catch up. Thank god we buzzed the decisive question and got it right.

Manchester was the winner in the last year, and for 2007, “we are the champions”.

Well done, Warwick!

December 10, 2005

Clive Owen

Clive Owen is a coventrian!

Biography from Wikipedia

Owen was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, the fourth of five brothers. At the age of three, he was abandoned by his father, a country and western singer. He was raised by his mother and step-father. Initially opposed to drama school, he changed his mind in 1984, after a long and fruitless period of searching for work. He graduated from RADA in 1987 in a class including Ralph Fiennes and Jane Horrocks. After graduation, he won a spot at the Young Vic, performing in several Shakespeare plays. In an incident he later described as "very schmaltzy", he met his future wife Sarah Jane Fenton while they were performing the title roles of Romeo and Juliet. They married in 1995, and have two daughters, Hannah and Eve. They currently live in London.

The 1990s saw him become a regular on stage and television in the UK, notably his lead role in the TV series Chancer and in the West End and Broadway hit play Closer, by Patrick Marber. Owen won critical acclaim for his performance in the 1997 Mike Hodges film Croupier, where he played the title role of a struggling writer who takes a job in a London casino as inspiration for his work, only to get caught up in a robbery scheme. He became well known to North American audiences after starring as The Driver in the BMW films.

Despite public denials, Owen had long been rumoured to be a possible successor to Pierce Brosnan in the role of James Bond. Rumours intensified following Brosnan's admissal that he would not play the part again, but in October of 2005 it was announced that British actor Daniel Craig would take Brosnan's place. Unconfirmed sources stated that Owen had turned down the role to avoid typecasting.


November 17, 2005

Aerial view of campus

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/aerial/

Can you find your department on this aerial view of campus?


Note: this map is not up to date, so do not worry too much if you cannot find your place

November 02, 2005

TV Licensing

My neighbour next door in Claycroft received a letter from TV Licensing people, and they said he should purchase TV licence now because the Claycroft hall is unlicensed.

Another point was his Claycroft address has been added into a national enforcement team database, and investigations would take place soon.

The letter was actually sent to "The present occupant".

He was puzzled as there was an invisible man watching an invisible TV in his room. (or ghosts , maybe?)

October 14, 2005

Firefox Tips & Tricks


If you use Firefox and you have not tried these settings yet.

October 11, 2005

One simple way to speed up web browsing speed (especially for those on campus)

The Residences Network (WarwickPiazza) could be very slow when accessing some web sites, like those in the US and China. Sometimes the progress bar could be frozen for a very looooooooong time and then say "timeout" or other nonsense messages. So "refresh" to make another attempt, and it could still be the same thing. Meanwhile, believe or not, it is possible to download a very laaaaaaaaarge file from warwick.ac.uk within few minutes (or seconds!). If you use your computer and have the same experience, please read below.

A Simple Way to Speed Up Web Browsing Speed

Here is how to setup, try it, and you will see the difference.

For those using Internet Explorer

1. Follow these menu actions:

View -> Internet Options -> (under Connection tab) LAN Settings

Now you will see LAN Settings dialogue
[Picture pending]

2. Untick all the boxes first (if there was any tick)

3. Tick the box in front of Use automatic configuration script, then in the blank field provided, put


4. Click the "OK" button and "OK" again.

5. Start surfing as usual, but it will be probably quicker from now on(ok, at least the same speed).

For those using Mozilla Firefox

The similar setting dialogue is in

Tools -> Options -> "Connection settings"

[Picture pending]

Choose automatic proxy configuration script url, type


That's it. Start surfing as usual, but it will be probably quicker from now on(ok, at least the same speed).

What is going on behind the scene

The idea is to use a proxy server to direct network traffic. The formal definition is caching. In other words, your laptop does not connect directly to the Internet, which could take a very looooooooong time. Instead, IE (or Firefox) connects to a ultra-fast machine located somewhere in the University, and that ultra-fast machine deliveries these web resources to your door.

It is like a scenario in a shop. You buy newspaper, food and drinks from the shop, but you do not need to worry about how the shop transports these products (by car, van, lorry or helicopter maybe?) from distributors.

If you are really interested in how proxy works, see this article:


Why use this setting (or this script)

1. IT services only provides a proxy config script for off campus use

2. This setting only affect unsecured web pages, i.e. those without a lock and the web address starting from "http://...". Secure connections will not be directed.

3. If the ultra-fast machine is broken, it would not affect your browsing except the speed may be slower.

4. It is very quick and easy to set up.

5. It can be updated regularly to fix bugs (if any) or improve performance.

6. The actual setting file is less than 0.3 kB.

7. The most important point: You get Enhanced Web Surfing Experience

Note: there is also a script to use when off campus, and it is located here:


Please let me know your comments and suggestions.

October 07, 2005

Fire! Fire! Fire!

The fire alarm in Claycroft 1 was triggered on few minutes ago. It is agreed that the alarm is the worst sound wave possible. We all had to run away from the mad hall.

I am sure it is not our kitchen as most of us are out at the moment.
Well, let us wait and see.

October 05, 2005

Philosophy for Programmers

Writing about web page http://www.dcs.warwick.ac.uk/people/academic/Steve.Matthews/seminar/compsoc.pdf

I just recalled one seminar given by Steve Matthews, and it is still quite amusing. If you are a fresh CS student, this may interest you.

More Steve Matthews's speeches can be found from here:


And more CS fun stuffs are here (you need to be a CS student to appreciate these):


October 04, 2005

From RedHat 9 to Fedora Core 4

OK, for some reasons, I decided to switch to Fedora Core 4 from RedHat 9. Do not ask me why, maybe the day was very very rainy. :)

If you are about to do the same thing, i.e. upgrade from RedHat 9 to Fedora Core 4, I hope the following points are helpful:

1. The recommended way to upgrade/install

Please go to Fedora's mirror site in the UK, www.mirror.ac.uk/mirror/fedora.redhat.com, download iso files into your hard drive (and remember where they are, so that you know which "hda" and its path). You can also burn them into CDs, at least burn the first ISO file as I found it is quite useful to keep a rescue CD (you can also use the rescue CD iso…).

2. yum & yum.conf

You may have heard that you can use yum to upgrade from RedHat 9 to Fedora Core 4 by modifying etc/yum.conf, so you do not need to download the huge ISO files. However, DO NOT FOLLOW THIS. First of all, there are a lot of RPMs to download and install, compared with time used in Q1 above, it took longer to finish. Secondly, only follow this yum way if you are confident to debug and fix Linux. You could be in a position to fix everything (I did). Finally, you would also need to clean and clear for a while to optimise the box. If these points are ok with you, do not forget to use a mirror instead of *.us or *.redhat.com.

3. A Dual-Boot System

The main advtange of a Dual-Boot system (i.e. two OS like Windows XP and Linux installed in a computer) is increased reliability. If one fails, you can turn to the other. I had been keeping a single Windows system for quite a few years until XP crashed due to a strange bug created by someone @ microsoft (and I was in middle of my undergraduate dissertation). While upgrading from RedHat 9 to Fedora Core 4, I cannot switch on the network interface. So I used the other OS, XP, to access Internet for downloading and information.

4. Warwick FTP service

If you are on campus, you may want to visit Warwick FTP site. There are some linux resources and files required to build a linux box.


May 19, 2005


*Lost a library book somewhere few days ago, it could be GBP 100.00+

*Almost lost my mobile phone

btw, the weather is changing too. Hope it will be fine tomorrow.

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  • Hehe, actually, I tried hard to figure out which univ had won, but no definite answers. by on this entry
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  • I'd heard rumours that Warwick had won this year. Nice one, Daisy and co. by on this entry
  • I also have received a copy, and then we decided to make some paper planes. by on this entry
  • If he doesn't have a TV (or similar) then he has nothing to worry about. If he does then he needs th… by on this entry

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