all the world's a stage...

I studied Computer Science at the University of Reading. I am a geek. Programming is my passion and I am working towards becoming a brilliant coder.


I like music, movies, photography, reading and if I can ever get around to it, writing. Also a fan of horror, sci-fi and fantasy so there's plenty of re/blogging on those areas.


I write gig/event reviews at From The Pit



Elsewhere on the web:

Flavors.me
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Or Ask Me Anything


Many tweaks to this and web presence in general in the pipeline... when I get around to it.


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Will get round to finishing this game when I have the time but in the meantime I’ve got the soundtrack on repeat, especially this track, and now I’m out of plays on Spotify. To Grooveshark!

I still haven’t seen it and I was wondering if I was missing anything…

crisiscookie:

He’s right. That movie was baaaad D:

(via spellbound-masquerade)

Right, I haven’t blogged in months but I am still alive. I’ve just been more active in other places, like Twitter.

In terms of content, I’ll soon be posting up new articles on a (hopefully) regular basis - but more on that in a moment.

Anyway, how is everyone? I’ve been doing alright. I’ve been keeping quite busy actually. In the past few months I’ve been getting stuck in with student media at Reading University.

Junction11 logoRUON TV logo

As of March I’ve been working on the radio station Junction11’s twice-weekly news show and for the past two shows I’ve even been able to read some of it. You can listen to Junction11 online on their website. And as of last month I’m one of the two new editors for the Science & Technology section of our Spark* newspaper - I finished editing our section yesterday for the next issue, out this Friday. It’s also likely that I’m also going to be the new Spark* Web Editor too because right now all we’ve got right now is the twitter account @SparkNewspaper - someone needs to get the Spark* website back up and running and keep it that way. It had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong. ;). 

And hopefully I can get more involved with RUON TV, our TV station… going to production meeting tomorrow to see what comes up.

But anyway, on to content. Whenever I write an article for Spark*, I’ll also post it on my blog :)

Nokia ringtone during concert of classical music: How to react when a mobile goes off and interrupts your performance

(Found this via BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16688007)

Calm down dear, it’s only Javascript!

Adj_keep_calm

As you’ll discover, if you didn’t know already, Wikipedia is staging a 24 hour blackout which began 0500 UTC today.

So much has been made of the Wikipedia blackout… but what if you really need to use it? In case you don’t know how to get Wikipedia back because you didn’t follow the link to “Learn more" then basically you should know that it’s not the end of the world if you urgently need access to Wikipedia today. The pages are all still there, they just appear with an overlay on top of them thanks to Javascript.

So fear not, because Wikipedia have made it very simple to get the normal site back because the SOPA blackout works by Javascript so you can get Wikipedia back by disabling Javascript or adding this line to AdBlock:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:BannerLoader&banner=blackout*

Most if not all of the sites participating in the blackout are probably doing it with Javascript (e.g. I know that the http://sopastrike.com/ blackout is), so disabling it will also bring back those sites.

I think this has been a great idea. It’s like the Internet’s equivalent of peaceful protest versus the more hands on hacktivism of Anonymous (akin those who protest by smashing windows and burning cars, etc.). Having said that, I’m half expecting to hear about various cyber attacks in the next few days against organisations supporting SOPA/PIPA. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is for another post/debate.

I still haven’t seen the Series 2 finale of Sherlock. I think maybe subconsciously I’m trying to shorten the time I have to wait for Series 3. If I left it long enough then the previous two episodes would no longer be fresh in my mind so I’d have to watch Series 2 right from the beginning.

But if I did that then I may as well start right from the beginning from 1x01 and have a Sherlock Marathon! Oh woe is me! >:p

And while I’m at it, I’ll probably want to go back and rewatch Luther too.

<Mini-rant incoming…>

Speaking of a Sherlock marathon, the Sherlock - Series 1 and 2 Box Set is available to pre-order on Amazon… but I think I’ll wait for the Series 1, 2 and 3 Box Set.

Is it just me or does anyone else find it just a little annoying how for a second series and series thereafter they’ll release a standalone series box set (like Sherlock - Series 2 on DVD, also available to pre-order) and also a combined box set of all the series to date? It makes me want to wait until the show has stopped running and then get a combined all-series box set because it’s cheaper that way.


(via heckyadoctorwho)

foobar2000: A better audio player

Yesterday I switched to foobar2000 and found it to be my favourite audio player. It has everything I want from an audio player: it’s light on system resources, can scrobble to Last.fm and supports media keys so I can easily play/pause/skip without needing to activate foobar2000. The UI is easy to customise to your preferences and there are various components that you can add for extra functionality. One of the components I’ve added is the lyrics component. I’ve changed the layout so that the lyrics window is docked into the main window rather floating separately.

I don’t use iTunes or WMP because all I want is to listen to my music. I don’t need all the extras. There are specific things I dislike about those two but I won’t go into it here.

For a long time, I’ve used Winamp for playing music. However, I started noticing how it was not lightweight and would slow, freeze and/or crash if I left it running. This in turn would slow down my system. This I did not like.

I looked at what I already had installed and started using VLC instead. VLC is one of my favourite programs. No more worrying about having the right codec. Highly recommended and you should try it if you haven’t already.

Anyway, VLC is much lighter than Winamp and does what I need it to do. Only down side is that it doesn’t support the media keys on my keyboard - its global hotkey settings literally will not let me bind the media keys. The only way to get it to kind of work is if I install mk2mp and even then it only works if the VLC window is active- which sort of defeats the point of using the media keys.

I did also look at Media Player Classic, which does support media keys but doesn’t scrobble. Personally, the Last.fm support is more important to me than media keys support, so VLC, it was.

But I have foobar2000 now and I’m not going back.

Screenshot was taken while foobar2000 was in use. I was listening to Tapping the Vein who are one the many bands I adore. Female fronted gothic metal, yay. Go have a listen on Grooveshark or find the band on Amazon.

chronicillnesscat:

[Image: 6-piece blue colored background with a Siamese cat with blue eyes. Text reads: “Top text:Socialize with friends for a few hours Bottom text: In bed in agonizing pain for three days”]

urgh&#8230; gpoy

chronicillnesscat:

[Image: 6-piece blue colored background with a Siamese cat with blue eyes. Text reads: “Top text:Socialize with friends for a few hours Bottom text: In bed in agonizing pain for three days”]

urgh… gpoy

…a large wolf :/

Originally posted on my Facebook but I suspect there may be others who’ve experienced a similar predicament so I’m sharing my story here! :)

Lincrafts Large Wolf

The desire to lie in bed cuddling big cuddly toy increases proportionally to how worn-down I’m feeling.

Lestat de Lioncourt used to curl up with his mastiffs for warmth and comfort but a cuddly toy is going to be the closest I’ll ever get to curling up with a wolf.

My brief search this morning has led me to discover the following:

  1. Wolves are a rarity in the world of cuddly toys. Particularly compared to the obscenely common teddy bear.
  2. In the entire world - or at least, the world as represented by the Internet - there is apparently only one wolf toy (of the larger variety) on sale.
  3. This is the “Lge Lying Wolf by Hansa Toys” from http://www.lincrafts.com/wolf.htm - It is a “truly realistic animal” according its Amazon listing and it’s a whole metre length of Canis lupus plushie.
  4. Cuddly toys can be far more expensive than I could ever have imagined. This one costs £300. Yes, you read correctly: Three Hundred Pounds Sterling.

For the full story behind this, see this.

November-Present

Things have got pretty bad. Towards the end of November I was seeing the GP repeatedly, trying to get him to give me something to stop me being so debilitatingly tired all the time.

The only thing he was willing to offer was to increase my dose of sertraline from 50mg to 100mg- because I found that the 50mg dose seemed to stop me getting headaches as much or as often, so maybe increasing the dose might help in other ways.

I repeat, while it may be an antidepressant I was not taking it because I was depressed, but rather I was taking it because it seemed to help with my headaches- which is one of the symptoms of my ME. Something is better than nothing, I figured, so I agreed to the increased dosage. 

As I went through this new packet, I didn’t find that I was getting any additional improvement from the increased dosage.

So I’d take one pill a day but sometimes I’d miss a day but as I’d still have boosted serotonin levels in my system, I could just top up the next day and carry on as normal. Thus, it would be one tablet a day or at least one every other day. No big deal.

But as my condition seemed to take a turn for the worst, there would be more and days that I’d lose to sleeping because I’d be so tired and that was all I could do. This eventually led me to missing more than one day at time. It was at this point I realised that this was not working. Because on the second day without sertraline, I got the mother of all headaches.

It occurred to me that I was locking myself into a drug that provided minimal benefit which if I ever stopped taking, there would be a small bit of hell to pay. If I was benefiting more substantially, then it would be a different story. I’ve concluded that I would rather risk the occasional headache without sertraline than the guaranteed mega headache if I were on it and discontinued it.

I think I’ll see how things go without sertraline. Going onto 100mg tablets was counter-productive. If occasional headaches become a problem, I’ll consider taking a low dose as a prophylactic but otherwise I think the SSRI angle is a dead end.

Damn.

What I’d really like is for the doctor to let me try something else. Screw the “official guidelines”. Given that there’s no cure for ME/CFS anyway, lets forget about the diagnosis for a moment and focus on alleviating the actual symptoms. What I’d like is to be able to take something to fight off the constant tiredness and need to sleep.