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Showing posts from 2012

RFID tracking for mapping people moving around a hospital

Last week I was talking to an very interesting individual regarding mapping how people move around in hospitals for the purpose of understanding how infections spread through a?hospital. Although it was just a general conversation, if I remember correctly they wanted to map out the movement into a diagram of nodes and edges. For example the wards could be nodes and the people could be the edges between the wards.? I haven't really thought on the theory of it very much yet but I think it would be a brilliant piece of research to flesh out (I hope they are able to carry on with it).? It just got me thinking about how you would effectively track patients movement through a hospital. Ideally the movement would have to be monitored anonymously so people didn't feel they were being tracked. I wonder if one technique would be to give all people coming into the hospital an RFID tag (perhaps a card) that they can carry around with them. At each entrance to a room / ward / area the RFID

The tape is dead, long live the tape!


Using the C# Interactive Window that comes with Roslyn

via I was just moaning to myself, wishing that C# had the same type of interative window that F# did, just for messing about etc... Well I did a quick search and found at the installing the Roslyn CTP gives you JUST THAT! Brilliant.

Book I am currently reading: Peopleware

via I've started reading this book. I had heard about it from my friend Garry Shutler a couple of years ago but it got lost in my enormous wishlist. Someone mentioned it a #dddnorth on Saturday and I noticed it was extremely cheap for the Kindle version on Amazon. I must say it's proving a reasonably enlightening read. Then again most books that confirm the beliefs you already hold are fairly enjoyable.

Process Explorer - Don't forget it.

via Ugh I had completely forgot about this tool until reminded me today. I have mainly posted it as a reminder to myself not to forget it again. Doing so much straight forward dev work has seen me need any performance monitoring tools for a year or so now so I have gotten a little rusty.

Akimbo Kinect hack

via This is VERY cool.

Joystick Parade Business Cards

via These are pretty cool business cards!

Announcing F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web!

via I've downloaded these. It's great to see F# this accessible. Download it now!

ASEBA and Robots - A low cost robot and development environment

This looks to be an excellent prospect.? [youtube] The development environment looks reasonably good and the cost of the Robot itself is around ?85.00 (converted from Swiss Francs). As mentioned in the IEEE article below, for less than ?1000 you could kit a whole class room out with these devices and the software is free. I am certainly tempted to get one for "my nephew".? via?

Public Science Lecture @ Notts Uni this week 20/09/2012 6pm

This weeks public science lecture at Nottingham Uni is about the history of Chemical warfare and it's relationship with medicine. Should be very interesting!? Hi All We would like to invite you to this month's Public Lecture given by Dr. Rob Stockman from the University of Nottingham's School of Chemistry. The lecture will be held in room B01 of the Math and Physics Building at University Park Campus.? on 20 Sept at 6pm The talk is titled " From Chemical Weapon to Chemotherapy" Abstract From deadly nightshade to eye surgery and truth drugs; from poison gas to pesticides and cancer therapy; from explosives to treatments for heart disease; from poppy fields to pain relief.?The strange relationship between chemical weapons and medicines and agrochemicals will be explored, with a little history on the development of chemical warfare during the two World Wars included. Thanks, Boris This message and any attachment are intended solely for the addressee and may co

Google Listen APK

I was really annoyed to find out that Google had ditched Google Listen. I had not heard the news so when I formatted my phone and went to redownload it from the Marketplace it has?disappeared (this seems to me the curse of having your software library controlled by someone else, at someone elses whim, your software can just go poof!).? The Listen app really suited me as a I am big Google Reader user and have all my podcast RSS feeds in there. To manage your Listen subscriptions, all you need to do is drop the feed into a specific folder in your Google Reader account.? Anyway, XDA Forums to the rescue.... This is the file: And it was from this thread: These guys are the saviours of Android in my eyes.?

A pocket computer with an Xbox Chatpad and Arduino Uno

via This is a brilliant little idea. It reminds of something out of Fallout. I know I already have all the parts to this device. But if he could just make one for me I would be eternally grateful.

Your jimmies are mine


Computer Laboratory: Baking Pi - Operating Systems Development

Saw this via This looks like a nice introduction into building the basics of an OS as well as writing assembly for the ARM processor. This is definitely something I am going to look at later this evening. Very exciting! I am really enjoying all the free materials universities keep putting out there at the moment. It's a real boon for me (who most certainly can not afford to go back to uni after the price hikes).

My current favourite gifs

There's nothing new here. But they are my current faves. 

ECMAScript 5 Properties (Javascript)

I went to the Nottingham Geekup last night. The talk was by @firagabeatsrock . A good talk with some important points to watch out for about Javascript.  I am blessed with being fairly au fait with Javascript so was familiar with the subject to a fairly in depth level. I made a couple of good notes however. One was to look at the Javascript performannce tool . As an uber geek I love performance tools. I like nothing more than obsessing over fiendery such as this.  On the subject of performance, he pointed out that when using a for loop, don't refer directly to the length in the loop as javascript checks it every time. There is more to add to this story however. You can make life even worse by reffering to the length of a jquery collection in a for loop. I believe that is particularly slow and I now have the performance tool above to prove it :-) The other thing I picked up on was a little reminder to look into the ECMAScript5 stuff. Now I have done a little ex

Freedom Engine - game changing technology on Vimeo

[vimeo w=500&h=283] via This looks like an interesting project. I'll keep an eye out when this is available to the public . I am always dubious about solutions that offer the ability to work across all of the browsers as I have never seen that working well, I am also interested in how they plan on monetising this for themselves (there's no mention of it). But one must remain optimistic!

What Killed the Linux Desktop - Miguel de Icaza

Someone had retweeted this blog post from Miguel on Twitter. There's some interesting points made. I still use Linux on several machines but one thing I can't stand is Ubuntu's Unity. I am currently holding out using just the command line and the Gnome desktop. As said though, the arrogance put into Linux is just such a pain in the arse. I don't think it's going anywhere as a server OS but unless there is some sort of Steam breakthrough, the desktop usage will continue to contract. It's worth reading the comments on this post as well as there's some good points made both for and against Miguels opinion.

Messing about with WCF Test Client

Hopefully this will come in handy if you are just messing about with some WCF services and you want to test them (and you aren't able to just run them through Visual Studio using the defaults for whatever reason). Don't forget that when you run it through Visual Studio, all it's really doing is adding the WCF Test Client as a command line arg to your program.? You can confim this by going to your project properties, debug tab and looking at the command line args.? You can run this program yourself. The easiest way I find is to open a Visual Studio command prompt and run WcfTestClient.exe. You can then add services by adding the wsdl location of the service you want to test.? Again, this may be obvious to some but I hadn't thought of doing this before :-)


Just messing about with a bit of sketch up. This is the start of a modular building design for apartments. These two modules A and B can be replicated and stacked. I'll add some detail when I get a little more time and post again :-) I seem to have lost some of my Sketchup prowess after having not really used it on a daily basis for a couple of years.?

Synthesia, Piano for Everyone

[youtube] This looks like an excellent tool. I am very tempted to get a keyboard with a USB port on. Ah by the gods themselves! How can I continue this existence without one!? Combining this program with a cheap keyboard like this  would make me very happy. I may have to hint to Leanne what my 30th birthday present should be....

How to toggle multi line comments in Notepad++

I always do this in Visual Studio and had been using ctrl+k+c in notepad++ but never knew the opposite command.? Turns out I was wrong anyway but it just so happened to work. The actual commands are:? Comment ctrl+k Toggle Comment ctrl+q The ctrl+q command is the most useful of the two really. It just so happens that as I am so used to doing the VS key strokes the ctrl+k variation works out well for me as well.? Hope that helps :-)

Star Wars Command Prompt

via Found this whilst looking into a completely different problem. Thought it was worth sharing. The whole of Star Wars A New Hope in Ascii. Nice! Found via....

Visual Studio Solution doesn't rename the folder when renaming a project

This really rustles my jimmies. If you rename a project in a solution. I would like the folder to renamed and the solution to be updated. Instead you have to rename the folder in explorer and then manually change the .sln file.? Annoying.?

Setting multiple start up projects in Visual Studio

For some reason I have never noticed that you can set multiple start up projects in Visual Studio. This is very handy when testing a client and a server at the same time! I am currently?reacquainting?myself with WCF services as I haven't done any in several years. The project itself is essentially a WCF web service with a Silverlight client. Although in general Silverlight has little future, it's still used for Windows Phone 7 development so I am looking forward for a chance to improve in this area.? Anyway, to set multiple start up projects, go to the properties on your solution and select as in the picture.? Nice!

Judge Judy gifs

via If you run out of Judge Judy Gifs, check this out...

Sony shuts Wipeout video game studio in Liverpool

Update Saw this on BBC News. A very sad day for gaming. Who know if the old guard are still working there but in my dreams they are. I suggest they start up making XBLA games / ports of the Pysgnosis games. I suppose most people will now them as the team behind Wipeout. Thanks to Wipeout, gaming became super cool! It's easily one of my favourite racing games. They made some real bad ass games on the Amiga. Lemmings, Armor Geddon and many more. They also made my favourite humdinger of a game - Last Action Hero. I remember being so excited about it and then the shock of how actually poor a game could be. Nevertheless, they'll be missed!

Using Evernote as a testing tool

I have been using Evernote? ??as a testing tool recently. It works out quite well. You can save snippets, pictures of testing, problems, tables of data etc...? It makes it very easy to organise your testing notes by giving you different notebooks (you can seperate projects by notebooks) and then you can tag notes (you could tag these by however you work, ie job number, iteration number, feature). You can also share the notebooks with others so if there's a group of people involved in your testing you can add notes together.? Very useful :-)

Dixon Hill - The Big Goodbye - Star Trek Poster

via How cool is this poster?! There are a series of Dixon Hill posters on this site that I think I could get past my wife without her realising it's massively geeky. Needless to say this will be ordered at some point soon!

BBC News - BT hit by OnLive cloud video games firm's shake-up

via Could have told them for free no one wanted this.



Zoltar - The fortune teller machines

via I can't believe you can get a Zoltar machine for as little as $6000.00 delivered. And here I am wasting time buying mobile phone watches and hidden camera sunglasses. FFS! I need to get saving!!!

Lucene Tutorial Site

I tend to have trouble with Lucene whenever I am doing anything even remotely non trivial. Answers to questions are either sparse, or I don't ask the right questions.? Either way, found this site which looks like it might be helpful...

Video Cam Sunglasses

Plan on recording my cycle to work with these. May also come in handy on the beach....

Mobile phone watch

U mirin my mobile phone watch?

The Global Arms Trade Visualised (Declared) A wicked visualisation of the Global Arms trade. Saw on a website this morning but I can't remember which one. Either way, it's well worth a look. It doesn't make for particularly surprising viewing though... obviously the data isn't all there. There are some big bright lines missing leading out from Russia I think.... I am sure the UK's could be a little more colourful than it lets on too.  I think it could more accurately be called, the (Declared) arms trade.

A nice 360 Field photograph A nice 360 picture courtesy of my friend Jon (click on the link above for the actual 360)

Another rugged device manufacturer goes the way of Android

via Looks like all the Windows Mobile enterprise people better get their Android skills up to scratch. I really wish they'd make the interface builder just that bit easier to work with. At the moment it's no better than silverlight or WPF :-(


I have only just realised you can display your days food diary on the website. I am looking forward to more developments, like the ability to get stats on tge site and maybe some cool visualisations of your food over time. Take a look at my MyFoodCircle diary for Tuesday 31 July 2012 by clicking this link: You can download the MyFoodCircle app yourself from here:

The Internet map

via Pretty cool visualisation of the internet! I was particularly surprised how big stack overflow was!

Olympic ban on wireless access points BT to the rescue

via Wireless access points seem to be banned at all Olympic venues. Boo! But don't worry, BT is to the rescue, for just the lollington price of ?5.99 for 90mins you can get that laptop back on the web! I don't understand this ban, it doesn't ban mobiles, so you can access the web via 3g directly from a phone.... It doesn't ban laptops, so if you have a 3g sim in your laptop, you can use that.... you just can't put them both together... why????????

Cool Site for Fonts

Had this site recommended for utilising fonts on your site. If you want to use your own specific font in CSS3 (you can probably do this before 3 too) you just decalre a font in the CSS @font-face { font-family: DomsNewFont; src: url('myfont.woff'); }

Dauphin DTR1

I saw this Dauphin tablet computer in the Engadget Distro magazine. I'd love to get my hands on one of these. Really enjoying reading the magazine. Its nice to not be tempted to read the idiotic Engadget comments.

Star Trek FIRST LOOK: IDW's Wednesday Trek Titles

via Star Trek and Dr Who together! haha. Insane. Of course.... I am going to buy this!

Greco-Roman Wrestling / Freestyle

I was looking for somewhere in Notts that did?Greco-Roman Wrestling / Freestyle wrestling and found the place below from the? British Wrestling Association .? At some point in the future I would definitely like to go down and give this a go!? Nottingham Sikh Temple Wrestling Club Training Venue: ?YMCA Aspley Centre, Melbourne Rd, Melbourne Park, NOTTINGHAM, NG8 5HL Classes: ?Mixed 8+ Wednesday 1900-2030hrs Sunday 1330-1530hrs Contact: ?Kundan Boyal Email: ? Telephone: ?07773 330041 They train on a Sunday which is ideal... anyway! I don't have time at the moment but I think later this year I will definitely be tempted.? ?

Microsoft Office 2013 preview

via With the news that Office 2013 will be bundled with Windows RT and the look and feel of this new version of seems possible we might be onto a winner. The big thing for me is a decent version of Excel. I need it. Google Apps spreadsheets and the other jokertron spreadsheet apps just don't do it for me. Not long now till I get to try it all out on the Windows 8 tablet.

RISCOScode : About RISC OS and RISCOScode

via Heard about this on the main Raspberry Pi twitter account. Seems like a cool idea. I used to absoloutely love RiscOs in school.

Telemedicine market to reach $2.5B by 2018 | Healthcare IT News

LONDON ? The thriving telemedicine market hasn't shown signs of abating any time soon, according to a new report by Companies & Markets. The report shows that in 2011, the global telemedicine monitoring market reached a value of $736 million and, according to officials, is poised to increase to $2.5 billion by 2018. This significant growth in the global market can be attributed to numerous factors as telemedicine monitoring provides ways to improve clinical care delivery to patients while also reducing the need for hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room. [See also: Telemedicine burgeoning in BRIC countries .] Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical healthcare at a distance. It helps to eliminate barriers and improve access to medical services that would often not be readily available in rural communities. The technology can also be utilized in critical care and emergency environments

Baby robot learns first words from human teacher


Arnie with a giant gun

Saw this picture of Arnie on Facebook and had to post it here. It's an excellent picture! hahaha

Using Parallel.ForEach in .NET

Just watching a Pluralsight video about VB.NET and the CLR and I came across the System.Threading.Tasks namespaces Parallel static class.  It seems a nice tidy way of multi threading when iterating over things. I think I have been missing a trick! :-) Essentially you just pass the collection as the first parameter and a delegate as the next. See the example or just Google it.  You can also whip the .AsParallel(); extension method on the end of your Linq queries for similar parallel joy.  It's possible I knew about this before but the rediscovery is very pleasing indeed.     

Sci-Fi Book Recommendation - Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination

It has easily been the best book I have read this year. That's really a good enough recommendation though as I have read some fairly poor / true pulp this year. I brought this book to Cyprus with me and I found I could not put it down Cool technology and a wicked story left me dying for more at the end. I would say that any fan of Sci-Fi should definitely have this on their wish list. My next book I am reading (another from the SF Masterworks collection) is The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson. I am a couple of chapters in and am gripped so far. A couple of good books are really what I need to get my passion back.?

North 51 Xcelerator as a personal development tool I have been using our product called Xcelerator at work for personal development for a couple of months now and I have found the process excellent. Essentially the process is: You rate yourself in a number of areas (such as technical skills, customer focus, commercial?? acumen ?for example) and provide some back up text on why you think you are at that level.? Your manager(s) read your ratings and the justification and then complete their own part of it.? You meet and discuss / compare You set goals on how you can improve you current level You start the process again. Each area has x amount of levels and each level has a detailed explanation of what you are required to do to achieve this level. Obviously these details are set per company but I feel ours are very clear and make it easier to try and attain.? Once you have completed the process once you and your managers can then add evidence that ca

Upgrading to Windows 8 Will Only Cost You 26 Quid | Gizmodo UK

via This is an excellent deal. I did a similar thing when Windows 7 came out too!

Calculating Columns in Word

Most people use Excel, some don't for their own reasons. Either way, the time will come when you need to do some calcs in Word.? Fear not, it's not particularly hard.? Whilst having the cursor on the cell in your table that you want the calculated number to go in, click Layout from Table Tools . In the Layout ribbon, click the Formula icon. This will bring up a small formula window. The formula you enter will be entered into your selected cell. Depending where your cell is, it may have done a calculation for you. If not, you can enter it. A common function is SUM(). You need to use your imagination a little and imagine the table is a spreadsheet. Columns are letters, rows are numbers. See the picture for an example. Hope that helps.?

Adafruit's Pi Cobbler breakout kit puts Raspberry Pi's pins to work -- Engadget

via Check out the source on Engadget. This looks good. Especially for about ?6!

Bling Cylon

via Love this Bling Cylon. I can't recall Gold ones in the series (although I'm sure there were but I haven't seen it for a long long time). This dude looks like a Cylon pimp.

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | PragPub May 2012 | What Makes an Awesome Command-line Application?

via I thought this was a great article. It hit a chord with me as I have had to tackle some foolish command line apps recently where the devs have just dreamt up new commands and ways of working for themselves instead of just using the normal heuristics. Very annoying. Something that I have just found and annoys me is setting up command line programs for schedules tasks. If you don't do this right, you end up with a complete mess! Like a list of emailers for different programs and clients: - Emailer_01 - Emailer - Emailer_New - emailer_March2012 This is just annoying. I know you can still tell what the programs are if you look into them or work it out from the other columns but it's still a pain. - The arguments the scheduled tasks take should be documented. - The scheduled task itself should log to the event log. - The error messages logged to the event log should be sensible (for example - give a list of the possible params if an incorrect one was given

Small Basic

Check out this website I found at Just remembered about this little project called Small Basic. Thought it was pretty cool for getting people into coding as provides excellent instand feedback with colours and images (a little like the old turtle logo stuff). Anyway this is really more of a note to myself so I don't forget it again.

Google Android ADK

via This is wicked! Wish I could get my hands on this (and also some time to mess with it!)

Coding Horror: The PHP Singularity

via A good take on the ghoulery of PHP. It's a fairly extreme viewpoint as there are plenty of people making good products from PHP and that's what the real result should be, not just good quality code bases (although the two depend on each other after a couple of iterations of development). The real problem is people. You could invent a new programming language, one to rule them all... but there will always be crap programmers. People who don't care that much about it, just do a bit on the side, work for themselves and just lay little bad eggs for multiple customers and move on. There are still people I have spoken to *very* recently that were arguing against design patters / OO programming and other fundamentals. You won't escape that. The answer is to chill out about it. The more crap programmers, the better you will look and the more it will keep you in work sorting out their mess. So really what I am saying is "Thank you crap program