Saturday 5 November 2011

ICZN Website Redesign



Quite a change, even on the surface. Now to unify the thematics of, ZooBank and the ICZN PodCast blog (more about this shortly)....

Friday 30 September 2011

Thursday 29 September 2011

Monday 19 September 2011

Thursday 15 September 2011

Parent/child spreadsheet from Drupal taxonomy

So I don't forget:

[EDIT] This doesn't get the root term of a classification (one with no parent) - see comments for a way that does.

Monday 12 September 2011

Processing and USB ports /dev/ttyACM0, /dev/ttyACM1, ....

Processing doesn't like reading Linux USB devices like /dev/ttyACM0 or /dev/ttyACM1.

The solution is easy, just symlink the devices  like this...

ln -s /dev/ttyACM[x] /dev/ttyS8[x]

You can put any number after the ttyS, although it is possible that ttyS0 and other low numbers are defined, numbers in the eighties are (almost) guaranteed to work.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Pub Quiz Worries

Pub Quiz Worries by edwbaker
Pub Quiz Worries, a photo by edwbaker on Flickr.

People of Burnham, can you not use English?

Tuesday 23 August 2011

If you sleep in at my house, you are "Doom"ed.

"My son decided that he wanted to sleep in till 9:30AM. When I asked him to get out of bed he told me, "no." No one tells me "no" especially when they are four years old."

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Friday 17 June 2011

A Flowchart for Fixers

From thereifixed: A Flowchart for Fixers

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Thursday 12 May 2011

Lego Machines

The Antikythera Mechanism in Lego from Small Mammal on Vimeo.

Read more about the machine: Watch an Apple Engineer Recreate a 2,000-Year-Old Computer Using Legos

Although I'm pretty sure the plural of Lego is Lego. Legos sounds bad to my ear.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Bill Bailey's Bunker

First of a series - this one features conspiracy theories and the Royal Wedding. Slightly surreal. Very good.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Augmented Reality for Geology (a Drupal approach)

Yesterday in a discussion with Jeremy Young we thought about the concept of having an augmented reality app that would point out a few major points of interest in Lyme Regis (we'll be down for the Fossil Festival again this year). The discussion came from playing with the Layar app, for which it is possible to provide custom data layers.

As there will be a few of us around at the festival this year (many of us living in an iPhone augmented world) I thought the idea was worth investigating a little bit more. The first challenge was to provide some kind of editing environment where we could collaboratively provide the relevant co-ordinates, altitude, text and image. Thanks to the Layar module for Drupal this was achieved pretty easily - adding items to the augmented reality layer becomes just as simple as filling out a form.

I created a handful of Points of Interest (including The Whole Hog - perhaps the world's best sandwich shop) and then submitted the necessary details to the Layar team (the layer is currently still awaiting approval).

The next issue was how we could add points (including photographs) while roaming around the town and seashore. The obvious answer was the ubiquitous iPhone (other smartphones are available), but mobile Safari doesn't allow uploads to websites.

The solution was Flickr (I use it to manage almost all my photographs). The Flickr app is easy to use and can upload photographs complete with titles, descriptions, location data and tags. Importing data from Flickr was achieved using a version of the FlickrSync module I had previously hacked to import geolocation data. The system can be set to only import photographs with specific tags - an easy way to only get the data I want. Individual users of the site will be able to associate their Flickr account and specify what tags they want to use to label items for inclusion in the layer.

I have also made an overview map that shows the points of geological interest around Lyme Regis that have been collected so far.

All in an evening (and a half)'s work.....

Friday 25 February 2011

Space Shuttle Comedians

Shuttle Carrier Aircraft are used to ferry around Space Shuttles (see picture below). Nothing particularly humorous about that you would think.

However the NASA engineers have found a way to add some humour. The photograph below shows one of the mounting points to attach the orbiters to the specially-adapted 747....

Sunday 20 February 2011

Speechless at Skull Face

What would I possibly have to say about this? I think we might need something more than the Big Society to solves problems....

Sunday 9 January 2011

Stephen Fry and Meetings

Yes, I have been quoting stuff from Stephen Fry's second autobiography, The Fry Chronicles, over on In Defence of Reason too (Stephen Fry on the Bible), but here is some more gold.

"I loathed committee meetings then and I loathe them now. My whole life has been a fight to avoid them as much as possible. A losing fight. I would so much rather do things than talk about doing them.Those who sit in committee rooms rule the world, of course, which is lovely if that is what you want to do, but those who rule the world get so little opportunity to run about and laugh and play in it."
It seems that Mr Fry has been the victim, as so many are, of having to go to meetings for the sake of going to meetings. Which reminds me of this poster:

Sunday 2 January 2011

Quake 2 on Ubuntu

In case, like I just did, you wake up and think about playing one of 1997's best games on your Linux machine then here you go (you will need the original Quake2 CD).

Download and install the quake2-data package from any of these mirrors: quake2-data deb.

You will then need to insert the CD, and run the following command at the console:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure quake2-data

You will need to insert the CD mount point, on Ubuntu this is probably /media/Quake2

If you opt to install the point release update then you will also have to specify where to download the file to. /home will work fine.

Once this is done you will need to download a Linux compatible Quake2 engine - I used yamagi (download the yamagi quake2 deb).

Then just run yamagiq2 from the terminal, and enjoy.

Nonsense Advertising

The Harvester restaurant chain now runs its Earlybird offer all day. That's right, you get cheap food as long as you come in before we close and after we open.

This is just nonsense. What they really are offering is 'cheap food'.


I have been "reliably" informed by a sales assistant in the Orange shop in Windsor this afternoon that 500MB of data a month is enough for using a Samsung Galaxy S due to the fact 'the data is compressed because it has a small processor'.