Archive for December, 2008

Blogging on the go

December 30th, 2008 2 comments

This is my first blog from my new netbook whilst sat in the pub! I could definitely get used to this!

I will post a full review of the machine after I have used it for a little while, although first impressions are pretty good. The keyboard is going to take some getting used to though, as it is only about 70% of a normal laptop keyboard, but generally it is an awesome piece of kit. Just need to get myself down to Starbucks now to sit in the window with my tall skinny latte and pretend to write my novel.

I wish I could claim to have come to the pub just to write this post, but it is actually A-Soc’s second social of the Winter break and is once again pretty well attended – as of this post there are seven of us! The hardcore few!

Nobody Loves You When You’re 23

December 29th, 2008 2 comments

Liz is 23 today!

Many happy returns!

New laptop

December 28th, 2008 2 comments

I have just ordered my first ever laptop :)

I decided that with the huge increase in travelling and commuting I am going to have to do with the AHS in the new year that I needed a way of ensuring that I wasn’t wasting the 5 hour round trip train journey from Leeds to King’s Cross (and then back of course).

I went for an ultra-mobile netbook as I felt the power/mobility compromise was the best available. I don’t need a full-specced laptop for emails, document editing and generally staying up to date online so the long battery life and portability of these little machines made sense. I settled on an EeePC 901 after spending a lot of time reading up on the subject. Its 8 hour battery life on light/moderate use is one of the longest on the market (even on moderate/heavy use it holds out for over 5 hours and will easily last for the length of a director’s edition of one of the LOTR DVDs). It also got rave reviews on everything except the keyboard (which wouldn’t matter to me as I don’t touch type at the best of times). I decided on sacrificing the larger hard drive and opted for the Windows XP version as I felt it gave me the most flexibility. I considered getting the linux version (with its 20GB drive) and putting XP on it anyway, but decided that now I have a public image to attend to that using a fully licensed version would be prudent :P

Christmas is over…

December 28th, 2008 1 comment

…and not soon enough if you aks me!

I am not a fan of Christmas. Not only do I dislike the modern festival, complete with three month build up and ridiculous commercialism, but I hate the fact that a “Christian” festival has been nationalised and rammed down our throats to such an extent that every body feels the need to suddenly pretend to be pious and religous! Seriosuly, I know muslims that celebrate Christmas! What the hell is that about?

Christmas is a Christian festival that was created in the 19th centurty when the Catholic Church decreed that the eponymous midwinter festival was now officially a celebration of the birth of Jesus (who almost certainly was not born in December, never mind the 25th!). For most of the rest of that century nobody really gave a monkey, until the Victorians started making something of the festival. The majority of the traditions we now associate with Christmas, the tree, the decorations, the food etc was all started in the latter half of the 1800s by the middle and upper classes of Victorian England and hence the rest of the Empire.

I am not a Christian, so I do not ‘celebrate’ Christmas. I, like many other non-Christians, partake in the festivities surrounding the tradition but I do not hold it sacred in any way and would have no qualms about selecting any arbitrary day to celebrate family, togetherness and peace to all men. These are not Christian ideals, all of these ideas were celebrated for hundreds of years before Christianity and will continue to be celebrated for hundreds of years after Christianity. I just wish everybody would accept that Christmas, as it exists today, has nothing to do with Jesus. We shouldn’t all be forced to take time off work and we should not be subjected to the nationalising of a religious holiday to the point of causing offence to every non-Christian. If I were a Muslim, Sikh, Jew etc I would be similarly outraged.

The fact I am an atheist means I am also outraged at the increasing nationalisation of Eid, Ramadam, Hannukah, Diwahli etc.

New look

December 27th, 2008 2 comments

The new skin and theme have been added, hopefully delivering a more streamlined and sleeker look to the site. I miss the old theme a little though. It is odd how attached you can become to something so mundane!

I have tweaked the original design a little to make it fit the purpose I have in mind, so fingers crossed I haven’t broken anything important, lol. If anyone notices anything untoward then leave a comment on here.

I have also finished the tagging of the archives, which should now mean the site is a little more fluid to use when finding related articles or posts.

There are still some more features that I want to put into place, for example a contact form, a few more pages and possibly an RSS feed page for a few of the other sites I contribute to. I am still undecided as to whether I am going to change the direction of the content on the site, or whether simply to split up the content I already post. I will hopefully come to some sort of decision soon so I can get on with real posts rather than these boring update ones!

Site Update

December 26th, 2008 2 comments

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed a couple of cosmetic changes to emerge from yesterday’s decision to revamp the site.

I have finally gotten round to adding tags to the posts – currently all new posts and the archives up to December 2007 have had them added, will get round to the rest of the archives this week hopefully. this should make things gel a little easier and hopefully add a new dimension to the site.

The other addition is the calendar feature, that currently lists all upcoming events for the next 14 days. the final settings for this feature will be sorted out today ideally. Thanks to Kieran for his plug-in calendar app.

I will be adding some more features in the coming weeks and hope to introduce a few surprises in terms of appearence and usability too.

New Beginnings

December 26th, 2008 3 comments

It has been over three months since my last post, which is too long. You have my fullest and sincerest apologies. I could rattle out the age old excuses like time constraints and not having anything to write about, but neither are entirely true. Having said that, I have been a very busy boy and I have done an awful lot that I should have written about and even more I could have written about :P

I am not going to write an essay catching you up on the latest news, in fact I will probably never manage it. I hope to mention some of the important stuff over the coming weeks, but no promises.

This post’s title is really the issue I want to write about today. I hate the phrase “new beginnings”, especially at this time of year. I tend not to get too fussed about Christmas really – I don’t like the idea of having a specific religious festival nationalised then rammed down my throat until I eventually choke and give in, but I realise other people like it. New Year, on the other hand, is somethign very different! I despise this arbitrary “celebration” and everything it stands for. I hate New Year’s resolutions – why can’t people identify and rectify the problems int heir lives all year round?

New beginnings, however, are sometimes necessary in life and I think that the time has come look at how I can refresh and reinvigorate this site. I am hoping to launch some new content and features in the coming weeks and hopefully this will reinvigorate my own interest in what’s going on here at

If anyone has any ideas about what i can do to spice up our lives a bit then let me know via comment.