Archive for the ‘Sundry’ Category

The Sleeper Awakens

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

This will be my first blog post in a very long time. Life has been busy and, in my day job, productive. Unfortunately this has meant that activities outside of work have been somewhat curtailed. But today I am ‘bunking off’ early as it is the monthly PHP NW meeting in Manchester so I am on a train heading across the country to it. This is giving me a chance to write this! (more…)


Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

My public web server is actually on a machine under my desk at home. I have a business ADSL line to my home and last weekend I was LLUed (Local Loop Unbundled). The good news was that the line was upgraded to ADSL 2+. The bad news was that the ADSL PCI card in the gateway PC is too old and another modem was required. That arrived Tuesday. After much fiddling outgoing internet was restored by yesterday evening. Finally today incoming routing was restored to servers. The outage was inconvenient (and having no internet for a few days made me shakey) but the current figures suggest that there’s a five fold increase in upstream bandwidth which will make things appear far zippier.

Being Sinister

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Since breaking my wrist I’ve learnt something about prejudice. I’m already well aware of prejudice for various reasons that I’d rather not write about here. But I’ve learnt about a new one. That of the pro right handed individual prejudice.

There has always been a prejudice against left handed behavior. In the past there has been religious and social persecution. Left handed people were referred to as sinister or evil. Children who were left handed were punished for for using their left hand and aversion therapies used to teach them to use their right. In Christian mythology Jesus sits on the right hand of God. Some cultures still have defined rules regarding the left and right hands. In Islam the left hand is used for cleaning oneself after toilet and the right is used for eating. Again this associates dirt and sin with the left hand.

My wrist is in a cast and my thumb is in it too so I can’t actually touch the end of my thumb and forefinger. This makes using the right hand problematic. Luckily I’m fairly ambidextrous. I already use my left hand for tasks that right handers typically do with their rights, such as driving the mouse or trackpad, catching things, and so on. I can even write legibly, if not neatly, with it. So switching to using the left was not too onerous.

However I am now discovering how nearly everything is set up for right handed people. For example my microwave has the controls on the right and the door opens to the left. This assumes you will open it with you left hand whilst carrying what ever you will be cooking with the right before programming it, again with the right. Since I can’t take any weight with my right hand right now this is difficult since I have to cross my arms. After realizing this I looked around and my dishwasher, washing machine, hob and oven all have their controls on the right. My TV has controls on the right. Even computer keyboards have the action keys such as return, arrow keys, insert and delete on the right.

We write from left to right. That favours the right handed. Left handed people who used quill pens would smudge the ink with their hands as they write. We even drive on the left because of right handedness. It became convention for knights to pass left of each other so that their sword arm, i.e. their right arm, was nearest the person they were passing. That became true for horse drawn vehicles and so when cars finally were invented they followed the same convention.

Its possible that left handed people do not notice the issues like I have. Mainly because they’ve always suffered them. I have to admit I’ve never asked anyone. But because I am right handed and I’m now having to use my left I can see the problems. Its like institutionalized misogyny. Women are programmed to behave in certain ways because we’ve adjusted to the environment and social frameworks in which we live.

I should get my cast off next week but it has been a learning exercise.

Now its time for the gallery

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

I have installed Coppermine and started uploading my photographs. Over time I will install and write scripts to integrate my blog with the gallery. For the time being you can find the gallery at:

This blog is rated M for Mother…

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Since my Mother reads this to find out what I’ve been up to nothing to naughty or controversial will ever appear here. I have LiveJournal blog which is friends only and I will leave finding it as an exercise for the reader!

First post

Friday, September 26th, 2008

I'm not slacking off, my code's compiling!

It about sums it up really (from the great xkcd web comic). I’m sitting here waiting for a big build to get to the place where I want it to purposefully break, so that I can extract some files, and so I decided to finally get my blog back in to use again. So here’s the first post. What’s the purpose of the blog? Well mainly general ramblings; a way that my family and friends can keep up with my activities as I jet around the world; and talk about private projects.

So there you are!