Posts Tagged ‘procrastination’

555.5 gigabytes, approximately

Feb 25th, 2010

Collection of storage media


The Twenty Twelve Photography project is still underway, and can be followed on flickr. The uploaded files are lagging behind a bit, but so far I have only forgotten a day, and even then I remembered only 53 minutes too late.

The photo here is fairly atypical, with the collection being of more interest than the photo itself. I’ve tried to gather together as much storage as I could, although stopped short of sticking an entire spindle or two of DVDs on the desk. Similarly the total storage capacity is based on advertised capacity, and thus ignores issues such as formatted capacity and differences between kilobytes and kibibytes. The floppy disk is there more for show than anything else, I don’t even own a floppy drive. While the diversity of formats and capacities is interesting in its way, what is more surprising is how many of them are redundant. The iamakey performs the role previously taken by a hoard of floppy discs, and even the blank CDs and DVDs rarely get used on a day to day basis. Indeed, formats and devices has become the determining factor in how many bits of storage media we’ll need, far more than capacity.

Meanwhile, in other news the thesis progresses, albeit slower than I may like. One of the most disheartening aspects of the thesis is seeing the flaws in your data, especially when you weren’t aware of them before hand. It is an unfortunate element of the PhD, that by the time you’ve learnt one of its lessons, it is often too late to do anything about it. Despite promising myself that I’m never doing another — A promise distinctly easier to keep than most — part of me still feels that if I did do it again, I could do a vastly better job. Of course, this ignores all the critical health troubles brought on by the further stress this would impose.

As well as the photography, I’ve also been giving consideration to this site. In the past I have bemoaned how the organic evolution of this place has caused a lot of the earlier content to have lost its context. This is becoming increasingly important when I realize that I shall be entering the job market shortly, and while I don’t intend to put my url on my CV, I can’t pretend that an employer wont Google me. When they do, I’d prefer that it is obvious what was written when I was sixteen, and what was written yesterday. Even the name of the website dates back to my early days on the internet; I haven’t gone by Jasp for a long time.

There is also the evolution of the web. CSS3 now has decent support in most of the web browsers, and HTML5 is close to being finalized. My online identity is spread across the worlds of flickr, twitter, facebook and several online forums. While pages like my lifestream help bring some of these elements together, I still see room for a greater fusion of these elements under a dynamic, exciting and modern looking website. Unfortunately seeing that this needs to be done is easier than doing it. I’ve tried several abortive designs, and all of them have ended up looking more bland than the current template. As a personal website this place provides no obvious theme to latch on to, and trying to represent ‘myself’ in design terms is challenging for someone who isn’t a professional designer. However, I hope to have a new design of this site up within the next few months, possibly with a new domain name to follow shortly.

The E3 News You Haven’t Heard

Jun 1st, 2009

As the gaming media turns all eyes towards L.A. for E3 2009, many blogs and news sites go into overdrive. While I’m not at E3 myself, and have absolutely no way of finding out information that isn’t already published elsewhere, I thought I’d still do my best to produce stories that I can guarantee you haven’t heard elsewhere!

Sinclair to Return to the Market

In a surprise announcement, Sinclair Research, manufactures of a number of classic 1980’s personal computers including the ZX81 and the ZX Spectrum, revealed that they were to return to the home computing market.
Founder of the company, Sir Clive Sinclair, revealed that the company had decided that the current market provided an excellent opportunity for the company to introduce its new product. “In the 1980s, Sinclair revolutionised the home computing market, and provided access to affordable computing technology to thousands of homes. It was Sinclair which sat at the centre of the early British computer games development scene, and gave birth to many of today’s prominent developers. In 2009, Sinclair hopes to release a new system, and encourage many of these leading developers to return home.”
Sinclair seemed initially coy when asked about system specifications, but began to reveal more information when he caught representatives from Sony and Microsoft sniggering at the back. “Obviously times have changed significantly since Sinclair last released a system, and the company has not stood still. The new system, the Sinclair ZX Millennium, will have a top of the range eight,” he paused, “Megahertz processor, and a whopping 512Kb RAM, that’s half a megabyte!” Sinclair looked unimpressed with the lack-lustre response from the crowd, and sighed before continuing, “These improvements have allowed us to take full advantage in improvements in display screen technology, delivering a full 576i resolution in a stunning 32 colours, all via your SCART lead for the crispest image reproduction. With the ZX Millennium your games will look just like cartoons, and thanks to the efforts of our engineers, we have been able to completely eliminate the problem of attribute clash.” Sinclair beamed, and looked around the audience for a reaction, clearly expecting this to be a bombshell, “That means that Dizzy can stand in front of a bush, and still look white,” he clarified, before collapsing forlornly after he was met with cold silence.
Karen Farley, of Modern Videogamer (US) asked whether the ZX Millennium would still rely on the cassette tapes used with previous systems. “Of course not,” responded Sinclair, “Our engineers initially toyed with the possibility of distributing games on compact disc, as the ability to skip tracks would allow a user to easily choose which game or piece of software to load, the media also had an improved shelf life when compared to cassette tapes. However we realised that this would show no appreciable improvement in loading times, as games would still be delivered as audio streams. Instead we decided to make the microdrive standard for the ZX Millenium.”
The ZX Millenium will be available from November 2009, priced at £175.

FIFA 1660

EA Sports today announced the release of FIFA 1660. Talking about the game, and EA spokesman said, “Electronic Arts have been developing soccer video-games since 1993, and rapidly made itself one of the foremost names in the genre. Since the release of FIFA International Soccer in 1993, EA Sports have released over fifteen titles on twenty-six different systems. This doesn’t include countless spin-offs and other variations. During this time, EA Sports has constantly tried to innovate and move the game forward, keeping up with the fast-paced game of football itself. Each year we have strived not only to introduce great new features, but also to ensure that the game reflects of the latest changes to teams, players and league tables. However, this led us to consider, what if we looked back.
In FIFA 1660 we take soccer back to its roots. Set before the rules of football were fully finalised, FIFA 1660 sees you enjoying the earlier, less codified game. With no referee or linesmen, players find themselves less restricted by the rules, and thus the new reaction-touch fight system allows for punches and kicks to be thrown at nearby players. The same system is also used to fend off those attempting to enforce the law, and disrupt the game.
Authentic historical research has attempted to ensure that the game-play accurately reflects the game as it was played at that time, and historical records have been used to provide names for the player database. Thus, when you play, you can be sure that your team are made up of genuine 17th Century players!”
FIFA 1660 will be released in Spring 2010 on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PC.

On procrastination and the smoking ban

Mar 25th, 2006

I really need to post here more often. All to often I get a vague idea when I’m out and about, only to never post, whether due to laziness, second thoughts, or forgetfulness. Usually a combination of all three. For example, recent ditched blog topics:

  • A comment on an article discussing the general perceptions of scientists
  • A review contrasting Psychonauts and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
  • A discussion of the importance of preserving media
  • Thoughts on the restrictions DRM places on genuine consumers
  • Various discussions of scientific concepts and ideas
  • An ode to the SanDisk Cruzer Micro

And with the amount of procrastination I’ve been doing in other fields you’d think things like this would flow naturally. Of course it doesn’t help that my readership is probably at zero, but then again who can I blame for not checking out a blog which is updated less than once a month and largely full of the author complaining that he hasn’t updated. It’s exactly the self obsessed inane waffling that give blogs a bad name. (For good examples of blogs please check my blogroll on the left hand side.)
But enough of that. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the smoking ban in Scotland. Of course, it’ll probably take a while before its truly in place, and I’m sure there will be the odd few places that risk the fines, but essentially over the next few weeks the majority of pubs will become smoke free. Now for me this is wonderful news. I don’t smoke and will greatly welcome the fact that a night out will no longer mean coming home smelling of cigarette smoke; Febreeze must hate moves like this. But it will also avoid the irritated eyes and sick feeling that I get in really smoky atmospheres (While some may ascribe the latter to the alcohol it occurs even when I haven’t been drinking.).
In other news I’ve just finished another section of my Masters course, and have already arranged my return to that lab for the PhD proper. This means that for the next few years this place will be full of vague mumblings about Yeast.

I’m aware I’ve been poor

Jan 26th, 2006

I don’t realy have much of an excuse for not blogging since new year, especialy when I’ve had a few things which I can write about, although mainly opinion posts than journal articles. However when it actualy come to write these things all the plans I’ve had in my head disappear. That and I get distracted by the internet as a whole. (Oh, and catching up with the rest of Lost)

More recently I’ve been ocupied producing a presentation as part of the small ‘taught’ componenet of my Masters. Of course, much of this was spent figuring out how I can do neat new things in powerpoint, and checking my E-mail, and being distracted by the internet… But all is finished now and ready to be presented tomorrow, at which point incompatibility issues will replace all my deltas with little blank boxes.

In other news I have just purhased a HiFi system. I had a few requirements that I wanted, mainly DAB, CD, Auxillary in, reasonable sound quality and in the micro format. MP3 CD would be nice if I could get it. Well looking arround I found about three systems in my price range with the fatures I wanted, and managed to let two offers slip through my grasp due to procrastination. It seems Amazon occasionaly have items on sale for one day only. In the end I chose the Sanyo DC-DAB03, which was once more on offer on Amazon, which I decided to check last minute before heading off to Dixions to spend an extra £50 on the Hitachi AXM130.

I’ll try and get something interesting written soon.