Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Not in seattle, and mostly due to coughs, colds and other child-afflicting issues. The FSM has a lot to answer for, if you ask me, all these goddamn sub lifeforms replicating in my offspring.

Maybe next year we'll be rid of coughs and colds and be able to get some bleedin' sleep!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


    Keeping track of one's digital history is becoming distinctly non-trivial (in programmer terms, this means a challenge that you're not going to do in a day, or a week, and may not actually be a solvable problem).

    I've got a PC with a selection of very large drives in, each containing backups of archives of backups of previous drives going back to the last century in some cases. I've made various attempts over the years to clear this up (or down, whatever you prefer) but there's still many gigabytes of files that may or may not be interesting to me in the future.

    I've also got a whole host of other devices (Amigas, phones, tablets, laptops) that may or may not have content I'm interested in. In 2014, one can comfortably expect this to be video and photos, but historically I've also created text files, music, programs, models - in fact, while the quality may be terrible I've made most types of media at some point.

    What should I keep? What should I throw away? More importantly, how does one find the time to examine and categorise one's digital history?

    When I get (even) older, will I regret pruning and purging content I've created? What kind of emotional response will those WoW screenshots I just deleted have evoked?

    I took a look at some screenshots from my Lady Aerlinthe quest, one of my first (and at the time, pivotal) MMO experiences. I can barely remember the event while looking at the pictures, it doesn't really mesh with my brain-stored memories. I always find this surprising, for some reason.

    When I'm 64 and I've accrued another couple of terabytes of history - will I ever go back and look at it? Will anyone else?

    I have very vague memories of, as a child, watching my father work a slide projector, showing off his holiday travel photos that he'd had processed into little boxes of slides - a box as long as your arm and as wide as your hand could hold nearly 100 pictures. Now I have a box under my stairs that's smaller which holds nearly every important picture or video I've taken in the last decade, and we're talking about tens of thousands of images and thousands of videos. I can just imagine the looks on my boy's faces were I to sit them down and begin and the beginning!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New shoes

Isaac has his first pair of shoes. He's running around the house like a small, pink orang-utan, arms held up in the air for balance. He's so gorram cute. Definitely different in temperament to Gabe. I think they're going to be good friends ;)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Second birthday

This weekend, it would have been Elijah's second birthday. This is just a quick note to say, while we appreciate people want to send cards (and we love the fact others recognise he was, and still is, a hugely important part of our lives) ... sending a "happy second birthday" card isn't really the way to go. It's not a happy day. It's something we commemorate, but I think the idea of celebrating it is pretty strange for us.

If you do want to make Nic super happy, a "thinking of you" card would be hugely appreciated. As for me, it's obviously massively important to me but I'm not a flowers or cards kind of guy - maybe buy me a beer ;)

A huge amount has happened over the last two years, not least awesome little Isaac. We've both gained a little distance from the most disruptive and disgusting event in our lives. It's touched us all, mostly in negative ways but we do try and take positives from it where we can.

Hopefully we're making some progress with the GMC investigation into the consultant's actions on the day. More info on that to follow.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Technology socks

    Somewhere between rocks and sucks, my recent Sonos purchase has been driving me mad today. When it works it's fantastically transparent. A combination of Spotify premium and every compute device in my house acting as a remote means I've been listening to a hell of a lot more music this past two months than probably the whole of last year - oddly enough not a much wider variety, simply the same tracks many more times.

    I'm truly loving it, when it works. When it doesn't (like today, when I'm unable to authenticate my Spotify account via Sonos, for some unfathomable reason, or like last week when my wireless network acted as though my friends has brought an EMP generator into the house) it makes me realise just how frustrating it is when things don't "just work".

    My Neato Signature Pro, purchased at about the same time, has so far simply "just worked". I plop it down, it vacuums the room, I empty the dust box, rinse and repeat. Fantastic technology. I'm certain that if it had usability or reliability issues, I'd be slagging it off but it hasn't demonstrated any problems yet, so in my books it's perfect.

    Technology is hitting many targets now that even recently I would have considered science fiction. I'm confident that we'll hit a few more benchmark points over the course of this decade; Consumer VR for entertainment and (more importantly) teleconferencing / teleparticipation. Automated vehicles (although this is likely to bleed into the next decade before it becomes predominant for private transport). Home automation devices that require motion of the unit (robot vacuums that deal with stairs, decorating robots, cleaning robots able to deal with showers and baths, that sort of thing).

    The main thing that will stop any general public acceptance isn't the feature set - there's a certain minimum bar in all the above examples that will be good enough. No, the thing that will stop general public acceptance is if these devices don't "just work". If the technology hovers between rock and suck, most people simply won't deal with the foibles and down time, they'll steer clear.