2007 Current Affairs Imported From Epistula


Bilawal Lawalib, the Oxford alias of the new political leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has a facebook profile. On the day his mother was assassinated, he updated it.

To his favourite quotes, he added one from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich:

Well behaved women rarely make history

It will be interesting to watch what happens next. I hope he gets a chance to make a major difference.

Imported From Epistula Personal

So this was christmas

Another family christmas comes and wanders off into the sunset. I’m heading back to London tomorrow.

My parents’ current policy of not buying a “big” present unless we chose one doesn’t fit with my desire to be suprised, and I have a horrible feeling that, once again, it’s going to end up being combined with my birthday present at the end of the month, and be something for my new flat. Last time this was a tumble dryer, and it was all so domestic I wanted to hide under the duvet until I was five again and got a puppet theatre for christmas.

I can see the puppet theatre from here, actually. I’m in my middle brother’s bedroom – since he’s moved to Thailand to teach English as a Foreign Language for a while, which is suitable since he pretty much speaks English as a foreign language… – which used to be my room until I moved out (for the final time, to go to live in Cambridge with WingedKami & Ccooke. I’m wondering if I can put the theatre in my new flat somewhere. Depends on the flat, I suppose.

My attempts to short-circuit my flat-hunting by arranging viewings this week for next week have themselves been curtailed by estate agents having the work ethic of a retired dead battery, and not working at all this week. Not a single one of the agents with flats I’m interested in has been open all week.

For christmas I got: Chocolate (gone), Jelly Beans (gone), other sweets (gone), Kendal Mint Cake (freaky. Don’t ask why), A USB Coffee Lukewarmity Maintainace Pad and associated Coffee Mug, Sonic & Mario’s at the Olympics for Wii, A Bathrobe and a Radio Duck Which You Turn On By Exorcisting Its Head Which Is Faintly Freaky.

Oh, and bath stuff.

And, of course, socks.

My dad has introduced me to the fantasy books of Steven Erikson, which are Fantasy books of the deep/complicated/multiplotlined type. I’ve attempted to introduce my mum to Animal Crossing (My mum has a DS, Nintendo’s Blue Ocean thing in action) and I managed to distract my (9/10 & 12 Year old) cousins with Wii Sports for almost ten minutes at a time…

Oh, and I redesigned Epistula’s view system, started the new statistics package, cleaned up the comment posting and did a metric fuckton of work on Piracy Inc., not least working out what motivates monkeys.

aqcom epistula Imported From Epistula

Damn Lies

Popular Statistics state that I start too many journal entries with the word “So”.

Also, Google’s fairly new charts API suffers from lack of debugging information. The bit where the canvas area has to be less than 300,000 pixels keeps catching me out, and “Your client has issued a malformed or illegal request.” may be true, but is less than helpful…

(Existence of “Im” and “Ive” in the above linked page is related to the statistics system, not my abuse of the English punctuation system. Mostly).

Also, going back though the archives, this is historically the week I add features to the site. It disturbs me that I’m this predictable.

2007 aqcom Design Imported From Epistula

Redesign Aq15

Stripped back, back to blues, purples and (for reasons best known to the bits of my brain that aren’t talking to me) orangey-salmon-pink.

Epistula’s implementation – finally – of a views system means I can have different templates for the front page and the rest of the site, which is handy, so the front page becomes all about the latest article and a more traditional weblog down the left hand side, a host of things I’ve favourited on Youtube, added to, star’d in Google Reader, Deviantart, taken photos of and added to flickr or – hopefully – liked at all. That’s being merged together by Venus, Sam Ruby’s fork of Planet.

Coming up: Indicators on the Otherwhere panels to show where it came from and when, a return of the AqCom sections and Recent Comments bits, a redesign of the Comments field and the implementation of the old banners into the new banner area for areas where specific banners apply.

Plus, it’s not pink.

Imported From Epistula Mobile Ubuntu

Import ant

I have had it with Windows Mobile Devices.

My main phone has been a HTC Wizard, sold by O2 as the XDA Mini. I bought it because it has a nice screen, a built-in keyboard, and will run PuTTY, which is handy when I’m pretending to be a sysadmin. It’s useful, in that it’s a pretty good Internet Device – though one of the new Nokia tablets would be better – but it fails massivly on several important criteria. Like:

  • It’s too big. It’s not a device you can slip into your pocket and forget about, and it has an exposed screen so you have to remember not to put it where your keys or anything sharp is.
  • The touch-screen is too stupid, and occasional resets the time while in your pocket.
  • The battery life is annoying.
  • You can’t lock the display when the media-player is on.
  • The headphone jack is 2.5mm. Why? What is stopping them from using a standard jack?
  • Windows.
  • Mobile.
  • Sucks
  • Donkey
  • Balls.
  • Yes, that did need to be five or six points.

    So, my new solution is for the XDA to live in my bag and be Wifi and GPRS if I can be bothered to swap the sim around, and I have got hold of a Sony Eriksson z310g. One of the few Eriksson’s with the clamshell form factor I prefer, an Eriksson interface (which I prefer to most of the rest) MP3 ringtone support and, and this was no small part of my decision to buy it, support for trutap. If I’m going to work for a mobile application company, it would seem useful if the software works on my phone. (FTR, it installed quickly and easily, its failure to connect to start with was because the phone installed the new Internet settings for WAP but not Java connections, and the MSN IM networking stuff seems to work. I’m pleasantly surprised :-).

    Now the complicated bit. Getting my contacts off my XDA onto the 310 from a clean Windows install (without the supplied XDA drivers). Note: I do not have Office installed.

  • Install Microsoft Active Sync
  • Discover latest Active Sync will not sync to Windows’ built in address book like all previous versions would.
  • Discover that there is no way around this, searching on the internet for a while.
  • Decide to fuck this and try it in Linux. (Ubuntu, Feisty Fawn install)
  • Find a tutorial for this follow it religiously.
  • Everything installs fine, detects fine, all messages fine.
  • Click “Sync”
  • Nothing happens.
  • Tail all relevant logs, track USB connections, unplug USB, reboot, plug in, tracking all logs, viewing all messages, turning up debug.
  • Nothing happens.
  • Search internet for solutions to nothing happening.
  • Nothing continues to happen.
  • Decide to fuck this and go back to Windows
  • Find age-old version of Outlook 2002 that came with an older computer.
  • Install it.
  • Discover that latest version of Active Sync doesn’t support that either.
  • Wonder how Microsoft Internet Explorer is not allowed to be backwardly compatible with itself when ActiveSync is.
  • Wonder how the fuck we expect Microsoft to comply with other people’s data interoperability ideals when their own software is incompatible with itself.
  • Locate shady copy of Outlook 2007.
  • Install shady copy of Outlook 2007. Am surprised when I don’t have to reboot.
  • ActiveSync doesn’t find any copy of Outlook on this computer.
  • Reboot.
  • ActiveSync finds Outlook 2007.
  • The more things change.
  • Sync contacts to Outlook.
  • Install “Sony Ericsson PC Suite”
  • Allow PC Suite to sync with Outlook and Phone.
  • Get contacts on new phone.
  • Jump for joy.
  • Attempt to PURGE all traces of Outlook from my computer
  • Fail.
  • Book complete windows Reinstall for when I get back home from Christmas With Folks.
  • Sigh.
  • Go find Christmas Cake.
  • Yay Christmas Cake
2007 Christmas Imported From Epistula

So here it is

Imported From Epistula weblog

Complete Twit

If you go to the front page of, you will see that my last few twitter updates are included, interspersing the entries between which they came.

If you subscribe to “all.rss”, which is what most people do, you’ll never see them, unless you’re also on the Twitter list. I may take it back further than that, and exclude them from everywhere on this site bar my current twitter status, which is in the about box to your right. Er. Left. Somewhere, anyway. The problem with opening up the CSS of the site is that I’m not entirely sure anymore 🙂

This is why: Twitter status is not something that should be archived, it’s not something you generally want to see all the twitters a person has sent, you just want the latest one. It’s ambient “This is what the people around me are doing” rather than a stream of what they want to talk about. That’s the definition – for me – that divides the tweet from the journal from the Article. Tweets are instant, Journal entries are of their time, Article entries are more timeless (though, obviously, age).

Sam Ruby strips all Tweets from feeds for that reason, and Russel Beattie got a significant backlash when he did it, and I think this is why. Tweets seem to be a more social, rather than publishing, medium; and it’s going to be interesting to see where they eventually fit into the (nrrrrrgh) Blogosphechochamber.

aqcom Imported From Epistula

Edit This Site part II

Current notable versions, and indeed only versions:

* Original
* AqCom redesigned to look like Bent Back Tulips

aqcom epistula events Imported From Epistula Projects

Edit this site

Open source applications. Epistula – the engine that runs this site – has just got its new trac install & SVN repo, as has AqWiki and my other projects. Yay.

So I’ve joined them up, and opened the first public aqwiki instance.

You can now edit the main CSS file on this wiki page over here. Go forth, redesign my site

Christmas Current Affairs Imported From Epistula

God hates the world

So, from the people who brought you “God hates fags” comes their Christmas Single. A rewritten version of “We are the world”

This is God hates the world, which I got – via Tamara – from Warren Ellis, who said:

The following spectacle managed to be both surreal and fleshcrawlingly creepy at the same time. I’m fairly sure all the people on screen are related to each other. If you can stomach it, the last twenty seconds are as close to pure evil as I’ve seen today.

He is correct. Even after the fountain of bile that is the main song, the last half minute is just evil.

And not in a good way.