Simon’s Backup Weblog


How software begins…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 30, 2004

My favourite bit of Office 2003 is OneNote. It’s a cool application that works just the way I want, and adds more value to my tablet PC than anything else I’ve tried. You could think of it as a self-indexing version of the classic engineer’s log book, but that’s not everything it can do. It’s certainly now my standard way of taking notes in meetings.

And this is how it all began

Only in America…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 27, 2004

Walking in the morning sunshine the two blocks from my hotel to the conference centre (rather than using the shuttle coach) l was accosted by a walking pyramid, which gave me a cinnamon cereal bar.

Peculiar.

Morning panorama (with nuclear aircraft carriers)

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 26, 2004

One thing about the hotel I’m in, here in San Diego, is that I have the most amazing view, looking north over the entrance to the harbour. It’s a view down the channel, with a small fishing port, a large naval base, and large numbers of yachts and other pleasure boats.

So, as the sun rose this morning, I took out my digicam, and took a few photos, which I’ve stitched together into yet another panorama…

Click on the thumbnail to open the larger image (but remember, it’s a 1MB or so download). I’m not entirely happy with the way that Panorama Factory has stitched the images, so I’ll probably remake it when I get back to the UK.

The observant will spot two nuclear carriers across the channel. One, CVN-74, is the Nimitz class carrier USS John C. Stennis. The other is being refitted, so it’s impossible to identify. However, I’ve found a site which indicates that it’s the USS Nimitz. The third carrier in the picture is the USS Midway, and is shortly to become a floating museum.

Live from Terminal 3

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 24, 2004

Well, here I am sat at the gate waiting for yet another flight to Los Angeles. This time it’s to go see Oracle in San Diego.

Normally I’m really excited by travel, but this time I’m feeling really unsure about the trip. In facØ�

Beep beep

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 23, 2004

Apparently Spirit has responded in the most basic fashion to some of the commands sent to it yesterday. Which at least means there hasn’t been a catastrophic power failure…

Do pirates really use auctions?

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 23, 2004

Original Pirates of the Caribbean costumes now on eBay….

(right up your street, !)

Psychological barriers

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 22, 2004

When I’m writing a piece to a set word count, I don’t find the half-way point particularly significant. It’s when I hit two-thirds of the word count that I finally feel that I’ve broken through some sort of a barrier, that it’s down hill all the way…

Just made it past that point in the current piece.

(Which is why I’m posting to LJ rather than procrastinating with Zuma or Feecell…)

It’s interesting that we all seem to have different points at which we meet the wall, in so many different endeavours.

Still. On with the work. I need to get this out tomorrow…

Ah, the nostalgia. Not.

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 22, 2004

I used to run tech for one of the first national ISPs. We were in startup mode for most of the time I was there, so it was string and sellotape that held the thing together. Well, that and me and the pager and a battered old Ford Escort. Many was the night the blasted thing buzzed at 3am, and I had to drive from Bath to Shepton Mallet to fight rebellious mail or news servers.

Tonight reminded me of those nights. The mail server here at the East Putney Museum Of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Comic Art (and Lending Library) was playing silly buggers. Not being the world’s best Exchange admin, it took me a little while to realise that the disk was full.

So I have just spent the last couple of hours moving several gigs of mail and logs from one hard drive to another. Amazingly, the damn thing is still working. But there’s 17GB free on a hard drive that had only 2MB free, and mail is flowing. So I guess that’s good enough…

But, ah, the whole episode brought back memories that I really never really wanted to remember in the first place.

I have this terrible urge for half a pint of jet black coffee from a knackered filter. Even though it would really be a bad idea…

Those nice people at Waitrose…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 21, 2004

…are now selling Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

And they’ve launched an own brand cassoulet. Now, I’m not entirely sure about their choice of puy lentils as an addition to the beans, or the use of chicken breast, but it’s good and tasty and filling. Which is what you need when you haven’t eaten much for the last week and suddenly find that you’ve got an appetite again…

What if everyone thought that Robot Wars involved real robots…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on January 21, 2004

…and tried to send one to Mars.

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