Blog Archive for 2014

  • And So Into 2014

    I could tell, as we headed back to our old haunts in our university town and the car stereo decided to play VNV Nation’s “Beloved”, that it was going to be a reminiscent sort of New Year. For the first time in many years, I spent at least part of the day with friends in Southampton—friends we have now known for 10 years, and who defined the time in which I came of age. And although we spent only a few hours—in some cases barely a few minutes—in their company, it was worth a lifetime.

  • By Distant Shores

    We sit and eat lunch by the sea, our cars parked up on the sand, engines running, air-con on. In front of us, waves roll into the shore bearing an ocean’s worth of hydrocarbon flotsam. A nylon rope from a Malaysian yacht, perhaps; a Madagascan trawler’s fishing floats, or a sandwich carton blown into the sea from a cruise ship—it all washes up here, where the wide Indian ocean begins to narrow.

  • The Lego of Tomorrow

    “All I’m doing is building stuff,” Joseph says.
    “That’s what Minecraft is good for, isn’t it?” I reply. “It’s like Lego with infinite pieces.”
    “Yeah,” he says, and turns back to his computer screen; back to the childhood task of creating the new.
    I turn back to the washing up that I was in the middle of, back to my adult role of cleaning and tidying and preserving that which already exists.

  • Cyberpunk

    The early years of the twenty-first century.

  • Raspberry Jammin'

    Last Saturday was the Linux User & Developer Raspberry Jam event at Poole RNLI college. I took the tank, of course, and Joseph too — worrying all the while that he’d be the youngest kid there by about ten years, and he’d get bored within half an hour.

  • State of the Whale Address

    It’s no secret that the current state of my SuccessWhale social network client is not a good one. It currently exists in three forms:

  • Like Father, Like Son

    I knew the day was coming soon, when my son would decide that he wanted to make his computer do something new, something a computer had never done before. I thought that like me when I was a little more than his age, he’d sit down in front of his computer and type his first “hello world” in some child-friendly language.

  • To Those who Fear Immigration

    Last week’s European parliament elections saw big gains for right-wing parties across the continent, many trading on policies opposing immigration and the European Union itself.

  • SuccessWhale 3.0 Released

    It turns out that my previous post about SuccessWhale, bemoaning how it had stagnated and become more trouble than it was worth, was just enough venting to kick me up the arse and get me going again. And so, not long later, I am proud to announce the release of SuccessWhale version 3.

  • Adventures in Emoji

    Yesterday, a friend of mine started me on a quest that was to be filled with despair. It started innocently enough.

  • Ooh arr, Oi be Resolvin' ee's Grammatical Failin's

    Part 1. US Edition

  • On GamerGate

    Dear GamerGate supporters, trolls, flamers and everyone associated:

  • Gathering Dusk

  • Touchdown, Half a Billion Miles Away

    On March 2nd 2004, without great fanfare, an Ariane 5 rocket blasted off into orbit carrying a payload designed by the European Space Agency to investigate a nearby comet. Its name was Rosetta, and it set off on one of the most complex gravitational trick-shots we have ever attempted.

  • All I Want for Christmas

    As December gets into full swing, one of the joyous seasonal activities that must be undertaken is the ritual filling of my Amazon wishlist with a bunch of crap I don’t need. This is all to help those stubborn relatives who can’t bring themselves to believe I’m telling the truth when I say “I don’t want anything”.

  • Faded Dreams in Winter

    Like many, I came of age with a head full of dreams about what my adult life would be like. I thought maybe I’d live in a big old cottage, raise my children in a little village by the sea, have a wood fire burning through the winter and I’d decorate the house for every season. We’d have a garden to grow vegetables and keep hens, we’d have plenty of money and the house would always be tidy, and we’d be together at home each Christmas morning.

  • Another Year Gone By

    Lights flicker and fade, drawing the year to a close. Outside, the weather is warming and slowly burning the frost away; a tiny ripple before the wave of heat to come, before it is summer again.