Send an Instant Message Using the latest in computer technology since 1993! blogchalk:Martin/Male/26-30. Lives in United Kingdom/Edinburgh/Morningside and speaks English. Spends 80% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection.
Playing in my house right now...

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Glad I've got everything updated before New Year. Now it's time to make sure my house is clean and tidy afore Ne'er Day. I'll be somewhere around Princes Street, hoping not to get exploded, which would definitely put a downer on 2003.

On reflection, 2002 has been a pretty rubbish year - I don't feel I've moved forward much or done anything great. Alarmingly, I only left Scotland three times this year: once to go to Berwick (just over the English border), once to go to Barcelona for a stag weekend and once to visit Iain and Amanda. Contrasted with 2001 when I was out the country more than I was in it... If I am sitting here this time next year, saying the same thing, then PLEASE come round and drag me away!

Over the last few days, I've had some really nice comments about my site from people all over the place. It never ceases to amaze me, so thank you!

On a positive note, have a great night and a fun-filled and prosperous 2003.


I was talking to Pro about women today, and he had this great quote from As Good As It Gets:

Secretary- 'How do you write women so well?'
Melvin Udall- 'I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability.'


Full Rundown
This is most likely to be my last update for this year, so I'm going to wrap up what's been going on!

Going right back to our work Christmas party on the 20th, lots has happened. The lunch at the Flaming Red Dining Room was OK - typical Christmas fare and Secret Santa made his yearly appearance. Some pictures are here. After lunch, we went to Teuchters then to the Traverse. I then ended up going back to Teuchters and drinking Harvey Wallbangers.

The next day Kirsty, a good friend from University days arrived with her rabbit, Tuppenny. He's an indoor rabbit and SO soft. We finally managed to head out at 10pm to get some food, then went to Oloroso for a few drinks and to meet Deek and Birte, up from London. From there we somehow ended up going to the Venue (by rickshaw) until 4am, back to a friend's house then back to Jams' house, finally arriving home at 8.30am. It was a strange and unexpected night, but a lot of fun with several strange conversations. That's what happens when Deek arrives in town...

Kirsty made me get up at 2pm, to go shopping and to buy a Christmas tree. It is VERY nice ... but we've only just now got lights for it! Pictures of Kirsty and her rabbit are here.

On Monday, a group of us were out for a few beers - some pictures of Deek, Birte and Jams are here. It was another cool night - Deek and Birte are really cool people.

Tuesday the 24th was World Sousveillance Day, so I did my bit and got two pictures of instore security cameras. I then went back to my parents house for Christmas, which was great. I did a LOT of eating fantastic food. I got a cat (mechanatronic) from my sister and the latest version of Trivial Pursuit from my brother, which we had a good few games on. My Grandma made it up for Christmas, which was cool.

Since I've been back, I've been out for a superb dinner at David Bann and a good lunch at Rogue as well as plenty of time in various pubs.

Last night I met James and Kev, friends from Uni, for a few beers. We ended up in a two bizarre situations during the time we were getting hot food. Hmmm.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Happy Christmas to everyone! I decided not to take my computer home to my parents house with me and decided to take a few days off anyway.

Had quite a mental time in the run-up to Christmas in a completely unplanned way (yeah, that's going to shock some people!).

Anyway, hope you are all having a good time. Full update soon...

Friday, December 20, 2002

Christmas Night Out
Out with Mahyad and Simon, having the best time in AGES. You guys rock.


Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Miss Saigon
Tonight I forwent tickets I won to se Idlewild and went to se Miss Saigon with my parents (thanks to my brother). I went in with absolutely no idea of what to expect (well - plenty of singing and dancing, but nothing more than that). The first half was pretty good, but I kind of felt a bit sleepy just before the interval. The second half was great though - really good stuff, and the helicopter scene was very well done indeed. Maybe I just needed that pint at the interval.

Overall, it was a nice experience - I found the story moving but not as emotional as a lot of the other audience members did. I'd recommend seeing it though - the set was great and the singing fantastic.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Gingerbread PC
A nice Christmas link.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Enron Christmas Fun
Cheeky MPEG is here. Size is 2MB, and it's coming from my home server, so please be patient. Suitable for the work environment!

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Man, this site is pretty harsh to Americans, but quite amusing, too.

Well, it seems like those crazy kids at Google have been beavering away, bringing out new ideas, not just Froogle. They've got:

- a slideshow of your search results
- quotes from other sites about your search results
- the year in review, by popular search order (very cool)

Friday, December 13, 2002

Wireless in BusinessWorld
Not to be outdone, BusinessWeek have two articles on the subject.

Wireless in the NYT
What would you know - the New York Times has a special report on WiFi (free subscription is required).

Google has a new tool called Froogle specifically for locating the best deals for buying things. Give it a go.

I've not done much with wireless lately, although I had hoped that was going to change this week. There was meant to be a WiFi Meetup this week, but not enough people confirmed they wanted to go (I think that may have included me - woops). Hopefully we can get it sorted for next month!

I did discover (again, too late) that there was a WorldWideWardrive at the end of October. We'll need to get kitted out for the next one, whenever it is.


Home Automation from Scienta
Apparently Scienta Technologies are going to announce a home automation system linking together all the various technologies that can and are used for automating at home, such as X10, Bluetooth, IP, Infra Red. Their Web site aludes to nothing, though - in fact it only indicates copyright for 2001 and has one press release for 2002. A really dynamic company, obviously...

Tree Blogging
This woman is blogging from a redwood tree in Northern California, in an effort to save trees. She's been there since March 21st. Respect to feeling that strongly about something!

Thursday, December 12, 2002

The P800 Saga Continues
According to this site, the P800 is now shipping, although as far as I have been able to gather it will be at least January before I can get my hands on one. I have been very good this week, having NOT bought any new tech. My pennies are still safely in the bank until the P800 is available!

I almost forgot about this... I jumped on a bus from Princes Street up to the Cameo. Just after the bus moved away from the stop, I saw a guy walking along the other side of the road and drop his wallet. He bought something from a stall and realised he'd dropped his wallet, so started retracing his steps. Meanwhile, another guy saw the first guy drop his wallet, waited until he was ten feet away, swiped his wallet from the pavement and marched off - right past the guy who dropped his wallet. I then saw him watching the first guy, as he frantically ran back to try and find his wallet.

I was SO angry - partly at myself for not getting off the bus and running to tell the guy what had happened, but more at the second guy. People like that truly just make me SO ... disappointed. What goes around often comes around - that boy will get what he deserves one day... I called the police, to say that if the guy needed a witness, then I saw the whole thing, so I did at least make some attempt to help. Life...

8 Femmes
Today has involved a leisurely lunch, bumping into Sam (he was dying for a mention on my site ;-), some shopping and then seeing 8 Femmes (English site here). Again, it was very different from what Rich and I have seen over previous days, but that is half the fun. It was an entertaining story with plenty of good twists throughout, including one final twist at the end. The actresses were all nice to look at, too!

Quiet American
Tonight's film, The Quiet American, was superb - really well acted and a gripping, involving story. Another definite recommendation! The film is adapted from a Graham Greene book of the same name. The story is quite political, and after the film Rich and I discovered that Greene is much happier with this version (2002), which is much truer to his novel, in comparison to the 1958 version which has a much greater anti-communism focus. Interesting, the 1958 release is on at the Filmhouse next week, so a return visit is probably in order.

I'm actually not a great fan of films, in general, however these last two films have both really inspired me, which is just such a nice feeling. To add to it all, I had a double Smashing Pumpkins experience yesterday and today. Yesterday, before I left for the cinema I finally saw the Simpsons episode with the Pumpkins at 'Homerpalooza', which I'd read and heard about a long time ago. Tonight, after the film, they were playing some Pumpkins in the bar. Happy happy...


Wednesday, December 11, 2002

I'm on holiday at the moment, which is actually really nice. I've got a stack of things to keep me out of too much mischief.

Monday involved a pretty late lie-in, then some movie action with Rich. We saw Die Another Day, the latest James Bond film. Yes, it had all the requisite components of a Bond film - cars, women, guns, stunts - but it seemed to be a touch TOO formulaic. I also just can't get Halle Berry - I don't like her, never have. Luckily Rosamund Pike was also in the film! The advertising was quite ridiculous, which, I guess is why it is called Buy Another Day in marketing circles.

On Tuesday, I had another lie-in, then saw Donnie Darko, which was a WHOLE different kettle of fish. It is a very hard to describe film, very dark, weird plot, but I would HIGHLY recommend it. To be perfectly honest, I'm still not sure what it is all about, and I've had 24 hours to think about it.. Have a look at the Web site to get some idea of how strange it is; you can also see the trailer here. If you've got any thoughts on what it's all about, please do leave a comment...

Today has involved a lot of eating - firstly breakfast at Elephant Sufficiency whilst I was getting the latest version of firmware (R5D 007) put on to my phone (although they messed up on their first attempt having done nothing to it...) and then very, very good value lunch at the French Corner Bistro.

Tonight is about to involve MORE film viewing - I'm about to see The Quiet American. Review to come...

Monday, December 09, 2002

World Sousveillance Day
Wired has an interesting story on World Sousveillance Day, encouraging people to take pictures of surveillance and security cameras on December 24th. The point is to make people aware of how monitored they are nowadays. I'm up for doing it, although may need someone to come with me, in case large men in black coats come and try to take me away. Any volunteers?

Need to go to from 0-227mph? Still like to have that 'wind in your face' feeling? Then this is for you. Apparently it can be used on the 'super highways of Europe'. Handy.

Star Dudes
I'm not really a big fan of Star Wars and I've never really followed the entire story. However, after 15 minutes watching Star Dudes I understand the whole thing - brilliant. You'll need flash to watch them: Dude Studios.

Something Less Serious
Somewhere I came across this link. Some pretty random stuff on there, but mostly amusing. Good for a lunchtime work browse. ;-)

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Buy Nothing Day
In many ways I adore Christmas - I love the fact that it encourages so many people to get back together and have a drink, chat and laugh, or even just a talk. It's all about families and friends. Indeed, Christmas is the only time I see some of my friends from back home. I also enjoy the activies that go on at this time of year. It's also a nice time to think of others...

I respect the Christian celebrations at this time of year - I used to be much more involved, but opinions, ideas and understandings change over time. What I really don't like is the huge consumerism drive that goes on. Yes, it is a time for giving. However giving for the sake of giving is just stupid and thoughtless, not thoughtful! Shops go into overdrive - my local Safeway had tinsel up in mid-November! They will probably be open on Christmas Day, too. Don't get me wrong - I am no Scrooge, but sometimes I think the whole thing goes way past excess, and it's we as a society who do this to ourselves, putting ourselves under more pressure. As an example, the number of people sitting in the street on my route home at night begging for money easily triples during November & December...

I was catching up on some emails today, and read this story on Buy Nothing Day. I missed it, but it's likely I bought nothing that day, apart from food and beer (so I'm only slightly hypocritical).

Buy Nothing Day

I would have supported it if I'd read the story ahead of time...

Edinburgh's Burning
Unfortunately, this is true - part of the city centre is on fire - and has been since 8pm on Saturday evening. Read the BBC report here.

Saturday Night and We're Not Alright
I've got a blooming painful throat infection - not dissimilar to tonsillitis. Great. So, I'm at home on the Saturday night ahead of my week off...

I thought I'd stay in and do something constructive, so I'm rebuilding a computer for my brother and one for my sister as well as clearing out some old mails from mailing lists.

I wrote quite a while ago on the subject of having a chip implanted in you, containing personal data. Well, it seems that, thanks to some well worded FDA applications, you can now have a small chip implanted. Read more here.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Happy Land
I am moving to Guatemala forthwith.

The reason I've hardly been updating my site is work - I've literally been too busy to even update my blog, on top of fixing computers at home and for friends...

Phone Java
I really can't wait to have a P800 with Java on it, so that I can write some small apps - really excited. There is a new effort to put together a Java standard for mobile phones. I'm not convinced this is the right way to go, with phones and PDAs combining their functionality, but some phones do need a lighter version to run at anything like useful speed, with useful functionality. Roll on January 2003.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Another Canadian Link
I got this link in a mail. It is well worth a quick visit, and you can then sign up to be a weapons inspector in the USA. :->

Canadians Tell It Like It Is

I've finally got a load of pictures I've had in my camera online. This one is from the Richard Ashcroft concert I went to last week - unfortunately, I discovered I really don't find his music that inspiring, but the lighting was great. When he spoke between songs, it was literally impossible to understand what he was saying - everyone was looking around, bemused.

The other galleries I've put online are:
- Allan's birthday
- Tania's Six Degrees club night
- the Christmas Procession in Edinburgh today


Castlehill Lights
On *Saturday*, the Castlehill lights were turned on by Gavin Hastings. There were approximately 2500 people on the Esplanade for the event and everything went without a hitch. I've posted some pictures here so that you can see what it looks like. If you are in Edinburgh during December, you simply must see it.

After the event, we were talking to the manager of the Witchery, the man largely responsible for the project. He was over the moon with the lighting and also with the response from the public - mighty congratulations to Jams! Today's Ecosse section of the Sunday Times has a picture of Jams installing the lights - more good style. I can't find a link to that picture and caption just now, unfortunately...

I managed to do a short Webcast via Yahoo! of the switch-on (tech quotient).

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