Dark Light


1) If you had a choice of living/working anywhere in the UK, where would that be?

Cambridge. Working in London, probably, but the aim is still to be living in Cambridge again one day. Deciding to leave was unpleasant, and it doesn’t seem to have helped any.

2) “1)”s/uk/world/

World? More difficult. I rather like the idea of dotting around the world (meaning I’d have to have a job where it was possible to work from anywhere) and shifting worlds every couple of months.

3) What do you regard as frequent in changing website overall design (aside from dynamic blog restyling)

Hah 🙂

Okay, For a professional site I’d go for not actually changing the design unless the content exceeded the design specs. This means if the design specs change (A lot are, at the moment, as the gubbermint is due to make accessibility a legal requirement) then the design is probably due to be updated to best serve the new specs.

I’m constantly learning and trying new skills. Aquarionics is a good audience for these things, partly because I’ve got 14000 people a month passing though here and a hard-core of about a hundred-fifty people who will complain if it doesn’t work they way they are viewing the site.

Minor designs happen semi-daily, like the new comments boxes and hover-links today.

4) Who is your favourite non-fiction author?

Non fiction? I don’t tend to read non-fiction as I think of it (Computer books don’t count), and when I do there is not a particular person I’d go for.

Cecil Adam’s Straight Dope stuff is fascinating (I was introduced to it via pTerry) but the closest thing to Non-Fiction I read at the moment is Greek, Roman and Norse mythology, mixed with my current ‘professional obsession’ with Fairy-tales.

5) What is the last book you borrowed from a university/college library?

Interesting. Last actual book was – as I recall – Sun’s dead-tree version of their Java tutorial, which I got, kept, and was fined for and yet have still never written a line of compiling Java in my life.

Cathy Young:

1) Do you have any irrational fears or phobias?
Sadly, no. I’m boring 🙂
2) What one thing would you like to be remembered or recognised for the world over?

Oh crikey. Um.

I’m going to break this down, because I have three things that are important to me, and in an ideal world I want to be a world famous megastar for all of them. The three areas are computing, writing, and performing.

My ultimate aim in computing was to create a widely used standard, or at least father one. Since then, I’ve decided that this is a bad thing and that a standard should be created by a group of people, this is why the ESF thing interests me. I decided to create it, did so in about two hours, published it, and now it’s the thing I’m most known for in the Geekblog circle.
Now, it’s just to be good at whatever I eventually do. I currently do design, web, PHP, content-management, databases, XML and Linux on roughly equal pegging. What I eventually concentrate on (which will be multiples of the above) is going to depend on what I eventually end up being employed doing.

But that’s still not the ultimate thing I want to be known for.

I do not find it easy to write. That is, when I’m writing, the words will flow from brain to prose like a sparkling stream of text – something that began when I found I could touch type. (I found I could. That is that I realised one day whilst typing a blog entry that I was actually doing the thing I spent a year trying to learn with little success. Then I started not being able to anymore. It’s one of those breathing things, you do it naturally right up until you think about it. I’ve made more mistakes in this paragraph than I have in the previous six (I’m not doing the questions in order). I’d better close those brackets now). Douglas Adams didn’t find it easy to write either. What I want to do is to find out exactly what will make me able to write easily.

Actually, what I want to do is to find a place where I can write that has a plug-socket nearby, because the riverbank is perfect right up until I need to type something.

So, what I would like to be remembered as is a writer. It’ll happen one day.

3) If, under pain of pain, you had to pare down your blogroll to leave just one blog which you could read daily (and the rest you could read, say, once per month) which blog would remain?

Deity that’s hard.

I tend to divide my blogroll into sections (Something that will be reflected in the actual blogroll some point soon) of GeekBlog, WriteBlog and UKBlog with a lot of vagueness (Vaughan is WriteBlog and UKBlog, Mark is WriteBlog and GeekBlog, Neil Gaiman is WriteBlog) and on top of everything in the blogroll are the AFP Diary Circle and the various people (like Kamion, Melissa & Andrew who keep diaries rather than weblogs and I use them to stay up to date with them. On top of those are the people like Language Hat, Halley, Shannon, Mike and Mike upon whom I check up with on a month-by-month basis.

So, assuming I can’t create a weblog out of my RSS reader and say “I’ll use that” it’s would probably be – of the blogroll as published – Dive Into Mark for GeekBlog (mostly because via Mark I get a distilled version of everyone else’s thoughts as well), CavLec for WriteBlog and Karen for UKBlogs.

If it was only one weblog from all the list? Probably Rise again, because I’d need an awful lot of tea to get over the lack of new things to read…

4) If you could have your memory of a particular book/film/TV show or episode erased so that you could read or watch again it as if for the first time (not knowing the twists, etc.), which would it be?

Aha. Aha ha ha. Stephen Donaldson, “Mirror of her Dreams” purely so I never have to read the sodding book ever again. Hates it, we do.

I’d quite like to see The Usual Suspects for the first time again, though.

5) Is there a question or area of questioning you hoped someone would hit upon?

Not really, I was just wondering what people would ask 🙂

Stuart Langridge:

1) Why will you vote for who you vote for (or no-one) in the next general election?

No idea. I have a complete lack of faith in the democratic system in this country, and belive that more accountability is needed. I shall probably vote for whoever sounds more convincing when say they’ll do what they want.

2) If you had to distil your philosophy on life down into one paragraph, what would that paragraph be?

“Savour the ups for the downs, and beware the karma police”

3) How’s life going, generally?

It’s failing to get any worse, at least not for two weeks. In a few days I’ll tell the Saga Of The Bank Account, which is Fun.

4) (Damn Cathy and her q5 for getting in first, I was going to ask that). Which question do you want people to not ask?

“Where do you see yourself in two years?”

5) What’s the future for Aquarionics?

I recently posted a huge thing on the technical aspects of this to Blogite, but the mailing list software appears to be constipated, so it didn’t appear. Epistula 3 will be a three part system, and the main server part will generate nothing but XML, which will be turned into a web-page by a client using XSLT. This will enable me to do PDF, RSS, SVG, Flash and WML outputs, as well as the standard HTML4, HTML4+ (Stylesheet based, default) and XHTML outputs.

Content-wise, Aquarionics is about to become less about me and more about what I’m doing, at least until my life gets some more interest. More writings will appear, as well as more technological things. I doubt it’s going to go though another paradigm shift – at least not until next year – but I’m going to try and bias it away from the journal.

Thanks for the questions, all of you. Anyone else who wants to ask things, comment here and they will be replied, unless I refuse to answer them 🙂

Related Posts


Just got back from a meet. Nothing really major happened, as far as I was concerned. Went to…


*Ahem* Here we go… Number one, I shouldn’t have stormed out of #afp without explaining why. I expected…


Sunday you know about. Monday: Aquarion convinces himself to go to work because shit was meant to happen.…