Friday, August 22, 2008


Well, I've submitted my dissertation. "Effects of dark specialty malts on the growth of common brewing bacteria". I'm tired... a couple of beers, then I think I'll go to sleep early. I'm drinking a Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted and eating Ritz crackers... the combination of the two leaves the taste of chineese food in my mouth. Weird!

Anyway, some good beer-drinking tomorrow night then on Monday morning bright and early I begin the trip back to Canada. As much as I like Scotland, I think being away makes me know why I love Canada.

See (some of you) soon!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What happened to my iTunes -> amarok script?

Hm, I've got a couple of comments on a post about a script I made a couple of years ago that converts all of your iTunes data into the Linux amarok db format. Unfortunately I have no idea where it went. I must have accidentally deleted it at some point.

Oh well. I got several emails back in the day telling me people found it useful, but doing a quick google suggests that somebody else has made a much better solution than my quickly hacked together perl script did. Plus I'm sure both have changed their data formats slightly enough to break my script.

Ah, to be breifly fameous to 10 people.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Half Cycle Off

I woke up at 8:00 today. Unfortunately it was the wrong 8:00 and the sun is just heading down. My sleep schedule has been so messed up lately. I lasted until noon today before I had to go to bed, maybe tomorrow I'll last until 2 or 3 pm and wake up even later. Its easy to mess up your sleep schedule when you don't have any place to be at any time.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hatin' on 0844

So, last month the university residence people here (Heriot-Watt) upgraded the phone system to a VOIP carrier with much cheaper rates. However, they neglected one thing: they didn't check to see if international incoming calls worked. I can't receive calls from Canada. Apparently, according to the tech support guy, and some information held on the second page of a googling, not all service providers in all countries allow calls to 0844 numbers in the UK. Carriers of particular to note: ones in Canada and Australia. Hm. Crap.

Now this may seem surprising at first, but this is more common that it seems. No UK service provider I have have had access to seems to allow me to call 1-800/866/etc numbers in North America. Presumably, this is because they can't collect their money for the collect calls. Apparently if I call the international operator I can do the 1-800 calls but at great expense to the receiver. If they accept the call. But what chance is there of that on the computer automated system on my bank. So I make due by paying the cost out of my own pocket the few times I've needed to call.

But back to the 0844 issue... what possible reason is there not to allow a call to such a number? And who's problem is it? Is it my new UK service provider (Freewire)? Or is it my girlfriend's calling-card company and my parents provider (Telus)? Or is it all Canadian carriers? Or is it the UK phone system? Or is it my university's residence manager who decided to change to the cheaper system without proper due diligence? From my perspective, even though my call rate is cheaper, the service provided to me is technically worse.

Every provider I've emailed has either not got back to me, or just said that the problem is with the provider in the other country. Can this seriously be a problem that hasn't been widely considered int he telephone-o-sphere?? Seriously?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


My floor these days

So this is what my floor looks like these days. I've started in again on writing my MSc dissertation again. Its going alright... we finally received a notice from the faculty about what they are expecting, and its not as much as I thought. Its important to be straightforward and concise about the research done and literature review. So the length isn't as important as the fact that you say what you did, give the results, and back it up with prior literature. I had written a lot of the literature review a few months back, and I think I was trying to write too much. Like I don't need to go over all the basics as they are... well, basic. I can assume, for example, that my audience actually knows what barley is; I don't need to tell them!

Anyway, in writing this I am actually procrastinating from writing again. But thats ok. I'm staying up alllll night long tonight and all day tomorrow as I'm trying to break my recent sleep schedule of going to bed at 5 am and waking up at 2 pm.