Living on a boat, as I do, everything is a bit more complicated. I have running water, but have to fill a tank once a week. My house will never flood, but occasionally I have to turn over the bilge pump. I have power and a phone line, but before my ISP will connect me they need to send a man round. One thing that was easy was signing up for a Vodafone Mobile Broadband contract (with a minim term of 1 month) to last the months before BT Openreach could spare a minute to pop round and connect a cable to a terminal.

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Frist Post!

On a recent job interview (yes I did get the job, thanks for asking) I was asked ‘do you have a blog?’. The answer was no, and I didn’t really have any need for one. Had I not been on best behaviour, I might have said that blogs are exclusively for the inexcusably opinionated or those prone to navel-gazing in public. But now I think of it, I have had two blogs over the years, and they were both fun and neither was completely without merit.

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Guess the Icon!

Microsoft Windows sets the bar high for software developers. Their standards of usability and UI consistency are something that few developers are fully able to attain. With that in mind I present to you… Guess the icon! What’s this Yes, you guessed it, it’s Intel’s Active Management Technology Status. And it’s disabled. Not that you’d know.

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During my time as a student (and during my time as a human) I’ve done a fair bit of lighting design and teching for student theatre. Here is a list of shows I have worked on. 2010 Bent (Lighting Designer; O’Reilly, Oxford) Paradise Lost (Lighting Designer; O’Reilly, Oxford) The Blue Room (Lighting Designer; O’Reilly, Oxford) 2009 Captain Improv ICE Much Ado About Nothing (Lighting Designer; O’Reilly, Oxford) The Tempest (Lighting Designer; Moser, Oxford)

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My Instrument Zoo

I like instruments and have somewhat of a menagerie. Here are some of the less embarrassing inmates. Squeezeboxes Here is a Castagnari Lilly. It’s a small, single-voice D/G melodeon. Because of its size and the fact it has one reed per note, the reeds are mounted directly on the board rather than in a reed-block. It sounds a bit like a concertina. The buttons are much smaller than a normal melodeon so it’s easier to play fiddly things.

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After a brilliant Swanage Folk Festival, I got my box home and, to my horror, heard a slight hissing sound. Nightmare. A few seconds’ listening suggested it was coming from behind the grille. So off it came.   Somehow the wax on the pallets had melted and allowed a valve or two to slip out of place. The wax melts at a very low temperature (a bit _too_ low in my opinion).

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Seriously Diageo?

I’ve got an old email account that I never use. The only email I get is spam (and the occasional old friend). I have managed to unsubscribe from nearly everything, except mailshots from Gordon’s Gin. Don’t ask me why I subscribed originally, it was a long time ago. I get a couple of messages from them every week and I wanted it to stop. So I clicked on the unsubscribe link.

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My third- (or perhaps fourth-) hand Dino Baffetti melodeon has some pretty impressive basses, but the tonics on the chord side (key-note) have slowly started to sound a bit out of tune. Jon Spiers suggested that whilst it might be a problem with the reeds, the shape of the chamber also affects how reeds speak. It was noticeable that the tuning was fine at low volume, but at higher pressure the tone bent up as much as 50 cents.

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Propolis doesn’t come off. At least the proplis that my bees make. Whenever I open the hive I have to slowly ease the boxes apart, slowly prying them as the glue stretches and releases its grip. It’s known as bee glue for a reason. Like honey, it’s a product of its environment, and its stickiness depends on the trees that the bees have access to. Like honey, it’s produced by a chain

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