Going Camping. But Without The Mud

I have spent the weekend being something of a geek. Oh sure, I enjoyed the sunshine, (and the best episode of Doctor Who since…well, last week) but I’ve spent most of it tinkering with Camping, _why’s baby-Rails web framework.

And learn Ruby at the same time, obviously.

The result? Well, after working out how the hell ActiveRecord is supposed to work, I think Ruby’s a fun little language that I could use a lot more at work(and with the upcoming Ruby-Cocoa bridge that’s going to be installed as default on MacOS X 10.5 Leopard, it could be useful at home too). Mainly, I have an online exam framework to write sometime over the next few months, and I think it’s going to be written using Camping (building an extensible testing system with multiple reporting options, Ajax functionality, secure student access and easy administration for teachers? I should be paid for this sort of thing! Oh, wait). That and a few other little bits and pieces I’ve got kicking around for the mythical Summer Holiday which should begin sometime after I get back from Canada…

currently playing: Mogwai – 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong


currently playing: Sally Shapiro – Hold me so tight

It's Mac Update Day! (sorry, Christa)

Not only have Apple released new MacBooks today, there’s a whole host of fancy new software available to run on them!

Firstly, an update to Camino, the Mac fork of Mozilla that is a big more Mac-ish than Firefox. Faster and some new features.

NetNewsWire 3.0 - I’ve been using this since version 1, which is a long time ago now (my five-year Mac anniversary this year!). Not quite sure about this one yet; although it’s got a bunch of interesting new features (integration with Growl, Twitter, iCal, faster operation, fewer memory leaks, etc), I am, hilariously, on a tight budget this month. Perhaps later in the year.

MarsEdit 1.2! Formely part of NetNewsWire itself, the weblog editor that I use to update this site also gets a little update today! For me, it only offers bug fixes, but it offers Picasa Web integration if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

And finally, the big one! The MovableType 4 beta opens today. Which will give me an excuse to upgrade, seeing as how I seem to have missed Version 3 completely. A new interface, lots of new features, and a good excuse to delays working on the new site design until it’s out of beta (and GPL’d to boot!).

This has been the geekiest post of several weeks. I feel proud. To fulfil all my buzzwords, though, I installed Ruby on Rails last night…

currently playing: Vashti Bunyan – Diamond Day

The Storm At The Centre of Time

Bit of a split in this house about last night’s Who. I loved it for being old-Who done exactly right (except for the now-pointless-to-mention sound mixing problems); Bonnie just hated it. Jack will be back shortly, though!

currently playing: Honey Cone – The Day I Found Myself

Donkey Bush Country...

Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated "I am the president!" He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country's destiny."

Just got into the part of The Assault on Reason where Al gets angry. Quite impressive. Once again, though, where was this man in 2000?

currently playing: Candie Payne – All I Need To Hear

Book Design: Lost In Translation

The cover of Al Gore’s new book in America (shout-out to Jon Stewart on page 17, people!):

However, if you go to your nearest Blackwells (as Borders and Waterstones didn’t have a copy, but Blackwells did have a very nice shop assistant who participated in a blushing contest with me this afternoon, so it wasn’t a wasted journey. In the back: zip it.), the UK version looks like this:

Not quite as snappy, is it?

currently playing: New Young Pony Club – Ice Cream

The Settlement

I tend to be a touch harsh on this country from time to time, but I wonder: has something like this happened in any other modern democracy? A leader, fresh from victory, perhaps the greatest and most difficult victory the country has ever had, thrown out on his ear just over two months from the celebratory parades?

So, yes, I watched Andrew Marr's Modern History of Britain last night (and I've ordered the book, which from a flip-through in Borders this afternoon, seems to go into things in a little more depth). It's still astonishing just how much the Attlee Government achieved in their six-year term. And how close they came to losing it all. Despite the change, though, things were still handled in a proper British manner: John Maynard Keynes essentially sacrificing his life to buy the country some time in the form of a loan from America, the police reaction to an outbreak of squatting in Central London being to make the squatters a nice cup of tea, and the rather embarrassed way we got rid of the Empire. Just as interesting are the things that the Labour Government left alone - the old boys network was still firmly in place, Britain's nuclear ambitions began, and although it wasn't mentioned in the programme, the secret services flourished even though they thought the Government were a bunch of Soviet spies.

Next week! The end of debutantes! And probably a little thing called Suez…

currently playing: New Young Pony Club – Talking Talking

Happy Birthday (Bicester) Richard!

Welcome to 28 with the rest of us…it’s cold and scary out here…

currently playing: Galaxie 500 – Ceremony

Public / Private B-L-U-R-E-M-I

There sure are a lot of private equity takeovers at the moment, aren’t there?

Also, Panorama in ‘not understanding the inverse square law’ shock!

Perhaps longer posts soon. Heh. Promise.

currently playing: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – New Flame

Bring On Captain Jack!


(although it’s Human Nature next week, thank goodness!)

(The Polyphonic Spree - were we all drinking the Kool-Aid?)

currently playing: The Polyphonic Spree – The Fragile Army