Archive for October, 2004

The Pixies can’t save you…

Monday, October 25th, 2004

I got a personalized mini-sermon from the Oxford Circus megaphone evangelist [1] on Friday as I descended into the tube. Based on my Pixies tour shirt he came up with “the Pixies can’t save you…. but Jesus can”. Must try and wear some more interesting t-shirts to see what he can ad lib…

[1] his catchphrase is “be a winner, not a sinner!”, which might help distinguish him from any others you’ll have seen around town.

This is not the embassy you’re looking for…

Friday, October 22nd, 2004

The Columbian embassy was one of the previous tenants of our Great Titchfield Street office. This morning I had to bar entry to two Columbian nuns who tried to follow me through the front door.

Ed Vald IS Poker

Thursday, October 21st, 2004

I finally got around to testing this after it came up in conversation at Jamie’s housewarming - the name of my old friend Ed Vald is a synonym for his favourite game in the Getty Images database. He works on the picture metadata team, where he gets to argue endlessly about the subtle subtexts displayed in the stock photography.

Try it yourself and you should end up with a page full of poker players and cards. If you want to try without following the link, note that it only works if you set the site to use the UK search.

Bongo madness!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2004

My Donkey Konga game has just arrived from Amazon, complete with Bongos.

My Donkey Konga Bongos!

Nick conkers London

Thursday, October 14th, 2004

Today marks the end of Nick and Mara’s five day visit to London, and the end of the most hectic and enjoyable long weekend I’ve had for quite a while. Sarah and I took three days off work to hang around with them while they were in town. Matt and Chris came down on Friday and Saturday to catch a Pitchshifter concert in the Astoria which we all tagged along to, following it up with Tequila and debauchery in the Royal George around the corner from the venue.

Matt shifts his pitch

Nick managed to get the mother of all hangovers following that night out, so our limited plans for Saturday involved piling everyone into my house, cooking some sausages and going across the road [1] to pick up conkers for a tournament. Guy and Rita drove up from Southampton to participate and Rita managed to win with a “thirteener”.

Mara takes a swipe at Matt's chestnut Nick ready to strike.....

In the evening I dragged everyone over to Jamie’s flat warming party, which was so good that his neighbour complained by crapping inside the shared porch before it even started. The only photo I have from that night is Tim trying to get the cat to savage my sleeping brother.

Tim trying to get Ant's face clawed off...

The next few days were spent eating out [2], watching films [3], meeting friends of Nick [4] and doing random touristy stuff in London. Highlight of that was a great guided tour of the Foreign Office building next to Downing Street which we were very kindly given by Nick’s friend Neetika. My favourite quote of the evening was “the library is really very boring, apart from the Anaconda.” Even taken in context - that’s bonkers. The part we saw was formerly the Indian Office, and the opulence, artitecture and decorations are frankly incredible. If we ever find a technology to turn marble statues into effective bureaucrats the English Civil Service will run itself.

Anyway, here are assorted pictures of us arsing around in London:

Ant tries to nostril-wrestle the space lion. Pete tries to look upset Nick kisses Mara's boot

[1] Zombie lovers and Simon Pegg fans may be interested to know that our conker gathering ground is featured on the production diary section of the “Shaun of the Dead” dvd, in the bit where they’re spinning the Jag around on a rig in the middle of the road.

[2] Chowki in Picadilly Circus for fancy Indian food and The Lantern in Whetstone for great Greek meze and kebabs.

[3] Shaun of the Dead, Hero and Battle Royale

[4] Neetika, Viz and Lisa

New multimap feature!

Thursday, October 7th, 2004

They’ve just added a super cool way of overlaying maps on their aerial photography. A small rectangle of streetmap attached to your mouse cursor lets you explore the streets from the air as you mouse around.

So here you go - explore Great Titchfield Street from the air.

Gah! Web surveys taunting me!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Defender-ship.I am a Defender-ship.

I am fiercely protective of my friends and loved ones, and unforgiving of any who would hurt them. Speed and foresight are my strengths, at the cost of a little clumsiness. I’m most comfortable with a few friends, but sometimes particularly enjoy spending time in larger groups. What Video Game Character Are You?

Hah! Doom 3 for Linux

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004

Doom 3 Linux binaries released exactly ten minutes after I got bored of waiting. It was bound to happen.

Video Game Dorkery

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004

I’ve slackened my Free Software ethics a notch or two and installed a Windows 2000 dual boot on my new computer so I can play a few games while my new graphics card is in it’s prime. It would be nice if Dawn of War and Homeworld 2 had Linux clients, but it isn’t going to happen.

Last night I played a little Doom 3 for the first time - it scared the crap out of me just like the original did. It definitely is the same game that I played to death ten years ago, but the spooky lighting manages to bring back the fear and suspense and makes you feel like you’re in Alien. One very nice touch - after dispatching bloodthirsty Zombies you get to laugh at their old emails and office politics on abandoned Palm Pilots.

Since I really don’t trust a Windows installation further than a glorified games console bios the bulk of my disk space is going toward my current linux distro of choice - Ubuntu Linux. It’s a brand new Debian based distribution with up to the minute desktop software, and all of it available compiled for my Athlon 64. Anyone entertained by Linux geekery can laugh at my attempts to get my onboard gigabit ethernet working in Ubuntu Bugzilla.