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Showing posts from March, 2011

Underground House

I had this idea about an underground house. Not an original idea I am certain! However I had a small twist on it. It would be cool if the house were built off site!? The plots of land then could be prepared at the same time as the houses themselves were created offsite. Once the ground work was completed the houses could be delivered to site in sections of 2 or 4 and then lowered into the plot. I suppose there would potentially be issues with hooking up the various mains but I am sure this could be worked around. the only thing you would have to get used to is having no real windows. However we could get round the light issue in two ways. You could have light holes that mean daylight is reflected into the house anyway and the other cheeky thing you could do is simulate windows with some sort of mirror trickery. I am sure it would make for a very warm cosy house.

Sketch Designs - Modular Houses

Just a model I have been working on tonight.?

The Rustler

This was my first time ever eating a Rustler burger. My excuse? They were on offer at the local coop. The result? Not as bad as I expected. Will I have one again? I don't think so. I already have enough terrible vices without eating these monsters.


After listening to .Net Rocks with Scott Millett this week I felt a renewed enthusiasm for trying out some BDD. I downloaded Specflow and got straight on with the screen cast they have on their website. The video acts as a good introduction into how to get up and running in Specflow. Interestingly it also gave me a better insight into how bowling works. I have never really thought about it. I normally just wang the balls down the lane until the game is over! Specflow introduces the idea of writing the specification first. It uses a specific language called Gherkin which comes from Ruby land. You will need NUnit installed as well. An example of it is:  [edit: NUnit is what I have used up to now but Specflow is compatible with other testing frameworks aswell. See the comments section below.] Feature : Passwords In order to have a strong password As a new user or existing user changing my password I need to check if my password is alphanumeric and is greater than 6 characters Scenario

The Foot Cake

I went to visit my mum and had to take a picture of this cake she was making for someone. A friend of hers had asked for a cake for this wife. His wife is a?chiropodist?and so he thought it would be amusing to have a rotten foot cake. My mum wasn't over enthused about it especially as she quite likes the recipient. To make up for it she also made her a nice little cake to go along side it as well!

Cab Control

Received another call today from a company interested in my  Cab Control Software . Basically it's taxi management . The software needs a re-write to get it from Windows Forms onto the web. I have great hopes for the software. It really just needs to time and ingenuity pouring into it. I have loads of ideas for it but just have so little time.  It currently has this functionality which I'll need to get across:  Add drivers and Taxis and keep track of their contact details, addresses, licence details, CRB checks and eligibility to work in the UK. Basic account management functions, such as creating a customer account and putting the account on hold.  Add Bookings for drivers and customers Creating reports for customer accounts that could be exported as a CSV file for billing purposes.  Creating reports for drivers to know how many pickups the drivers had made. Query the bookings for enquiries and police check up reports. Provide management tools to check MOT and Service details

Share the darkness.

I recorded Share the darkness by the Sawdoctors on my webcam Microphone. The quality is actually quite good considering. I then got a load of photos I had from parties at my mums house over the years and put them into Windows Movie maker to make a video for it. Most people haven't really changed on the pictures over the years except some of the kids. It's funny because some of the pictures go back to 2000 right up to last year. I think I have the same clothes on! Not surprising as I have had the same clothes since I was a teenager! They're tight as anything now!! I did this about 3 months ago actually but was reluctant to put it up as I don't like my singing voice. But since I am posting at an alarming rate since quitting twitter I thought I may as well.? [youtube]

Arduino Controlled Fan

Just downloaded this video from my camera. It was an example of using an LDR to provide a resistance value based on the amount of light it received. We then took that value and used it to set the speed of the motor on the fan.? [youtube] Obviously this is a really simple little project. It only took a couple of minutes to set up and test. Good fun though.

El Frog - Latest Photosyth

This is my latest photosynth. I love the pointcloud this creates.?Absolutely?wicked.?

Arduino Sunday MkII

I went to the Arduino day at Nottingham Hackspace on Sunday again. Generally it was more of the same although I probably got a little more out of it this time as there was less time spent being confused. It was a chance to give the netbook (Dell Netbook) a good run for its' money and it did pretty well. I am beginning to more and more annoyed with the ubuntu netbook remix however. Its' inability to use the built in 3g model is annoying, there a several weird bugs in it and it occasionally freaked out whilst just trying open a menu. On the plus side, the size of the laptop is such a boon it makes it all worth while. I wouldn't relish having to lug my other laptop (Dell Inspiron 6000) about.? The day was good. I didn't see many new projects from the last time but some brilliant progress has been made on the hackspace itself, with some interesting chairs from a cinema, some good desk spaces and some other additions. One of the founders Dominic (indeed another Dom!), was lo

Motorola MC65

We have a new PDA in town now. As a replacement for the army of MC9000 and MC70s that are in the field and are being discontinued, we now are moving up to the Motorola MC65. I have had the new handheld for about a week now and have been impressed so far. It's a great improvement over the MC70. I have no idea how the numbering system of the Symbol / Motorola devices works. I assume there must be several ranges such as the 50s 60s and 70s.? Anyway the?PDA?has windows mobile 6.5.3, a better touch screen and is faster. Much faster. The skin that has been put on the OS has also applied to our software and I think it makes it look much cooler. We had several problems in adjusting our software so it would work with the new MC65. First was the change in resolution. The MC70 has a much lower resolution than the MC65s and as some of our screens were not using the auto scale settings in the form and some of the buttons on our forms were created at run time rather than design time, this posed

Online Javascript Beautifier

Listening to a .NET rock podcast with? Kent Alstad ?has made me think about the evils of large Javascript files and performance related to this. I have never really thought about minifying Javascript but I suppose it makes sense! ?Obviously I have noted the JQuery librarys do this and looking at source on the Google home page shows the same.? I found what seem like decent minifiers and beautifiers. Minify! ->? Beautify ->? Think this is probably something I need to start considering!


  I was walking home and came across this graffiti. The music changed to something spooky immediately after passing. That's when I realised this was no ordinary sign. I pity the soul that disregards it.

XML Literals in VB.NET

I noticed this video by Beth Massi on the video tutorials page. It's a great peek at xml literals in visual basic. If you are committed to VB.NET then this is a most excellent boon. One concern I may have is that if I am looking at changing over to C# in the future then dealing with a load of xml literals is going to make like that little bit harder. But if/by the time it comes round to that there may be a bigger and better way of lording it up over xml anyway. Worth a watch. -> xml literals in VB.Net  I would have embedded the video but silverlight didn't seem to work correctly on Posterous so you will have to just follow the link.     

Possible Components Resource, especially for schools.

Good source of Electronic Components for Schools? ?and larger children as well! After an unsuccessful trip to Maplins yesterday I found this site which seems to primarily cater for schools. However I think they will deliver to anyone. Seems like a good resource if you are looking for bits and bobs...

Keeping the design process sweet

This video is from a company called Rusty Monkey about their design process. I think it makes a great example of how too many cooks made the food taste like feet. [vimeo w=400&h=300] Manage design projects the Rusty Monkey way. from Rusty Monkey on Vimeo .

Pex for fun

Found this interesting site to help you practice solving algorithms.? Comes out of Microsoft Labs. You can also get an add in for visual studio which is pretty cool.? Only problem is I found most of the questions on it really hard which probably says something about my programming skillz! On the plus side it's a great idea for me to practice them then!

Javascript JQuery

One other quick thing whilst I am thinking about it. The blog also pointed me towards this Paul Irish article . 10 things I learned from the JQuery source. Interestingly my boss had actually pointed me towards this site last week but I hadn't taken a proper look and had just saved the page for later. Thought I would post it on here so I didn't forget to watch the video later. [vimeo 12529436 w=400 h=225] Paul Irish : 10 Things I Learned from the jQuery Source from yayQuery on Vimeo .

Douglas Crockford, Javascript Videos

I heard about a series of videos by Douglas Crockford whilst listening to a Scott Hanselman podcast yesterday on Javascript () I have read this book but I don't think it soaked in nearly enough. Interestingly the book was my first ever Kindle purchase. I must say I have mixed feelings about reading it on the Kindle. I was hoping for a better experience :-( Anyway the link to the videos is below: Well worth a watch in my opinion.  Peace.


An article on LifeHacker gave this widget which highlights code in your google chrome browser. Ace!   Ah but hold on, it requires the following permissions: Your data on all websites I am sure it needs to do this for a genuine reason but I just don't like this message. Notepad++ carries out syntax highlighting without going off to a server somewhere I would hope it could be done in a Chrome extension. Anyway, don't like the message. I think I will avoid for now.    

Processing Language ported to Javascript

After pointing a colleague to the Processing language (which I had begun to look at after reading about it in the book - Making Things Talk) they in turn pointed me towards this site -> Very impressive job! On another note, reading the Making Things Talk book I really really can not recommend it enough. Excellent book for all electronics enthusiasts and tinkerers.  Making Things Talk: Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects

Nottingham Arduino Day

Looking forward to going to the Nottingham Arduino Day. I went to the last one and saw some very interesting projects there! My actual projects amounted to little more than sensory projects such as measuring light. Really that was all I was after though so I was pleased. Looking forward to another day of it. I think I will get down to Maplins on the Saturday first to get some new components to toy with.? Above is the link in case you are interested in attending.?

World History in Video

History of the world, via Wikipedia Saw this on Gizmodo, not sure if the information is just taken from the English speaking Wikipedia or not. Goes to show how little involvement Africa seems to have had on in terms of creating Wikipedia articles though! [vimeo 19088241 w=400 h=200] A History of the World in 100 Seconds from Gareth Lloyd on Vimeo .  

Tshirt Ideas - Star Trek Themed

I want to get a load of tshirts made up for work. These are some of my ideas so far.? Star Trek themed!

An interesting SPAM story.

Got this great email today:? Greetings, It is indeed my pleasure to write you this letter, which I believe will be a surprise to you as we have never met before, and I am deeply sorry if I have in any manner disturbed your privacy. Please forgive this unusualmanner of contacting you, but this particular letter is of exceptional and very private nature. There is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many individuals have taken possession of the Internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition. There is no way for me to know whether I will be properly understood, but it is my duty to write and reach out to you. My name is Mrs.Vivian Salem, wife of late Salem Nasim in Iraq, some years ago, I lost my husband Nasim and three children Husam, 15 years old,Wasim, 12 years old and Merna, 6years