Had the final IBM assessment day today… Was very… interesting. Kinda fun, would’ve been nice if it wasn’t so early in the day though. I think I did ok, I’m certainly more interested in working for them than I was before, having met some IBM employees – Very nice people. Will blog some more later in the week, too busy and tired to do so now… Regretting not taking the day off work.



I’m far too lazy a person to handle the amount of work I have on my plate at the moment. Yesterday I worked all day at The Hobbit (the pub where I work) – Live bands were playing all day, so it was a lot more fun than usual, but also very *very* busy :/ A couple of pics: Which leads me onto more relevant information: I bought a new phone! A Sony Ericsson T630, in fact. Before this phone however, I tried the Philips 755, which I must say, was a huge disappointment. The style and design of the phone was nice, the hardware seemed capable, but it was let down by the most shoddy software I’ve ever had the displeasure of using… Primary usability problems with it included a 2-second delay when pressing the shift key (or any other key that altered the keymap) on the on-screen keyboard, not being able to add words to the T9 dictionary, and the worst laid out menus ever conceived (‘Settings’ is the selected option when you enter the main menu, for example). How this phone ever passed any kind of quality test, I’ll never know… If *I* had written the software šŸ˜‰ The Sony Ericsson T630, however, is the nicest phone I’ve owned to date. Everything about it is perfectly thought out – You can tell a lot of money was spent on quality assurance. Menu layout, shortcuts, automation, everything is just about right, for the price-range, and it has an excellent organiser to boot. An advantage of owning a more common phone is the desktop support under non-Windows platforms. This phone is now acting as my synchronisation conduit between uni and home (where I use a Mac and a PC running Linux, respectively) via bluetooth, as well as providing me access to all my appointments, contacts, etc. on the move. The only fault I could level with this phone is its slight lack of memory (2 megs accessible, compared to the 7 megs of the Philips 755), but it’s just about adequate, and easily offset by the quality of the other features of the phone. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a cheap-ish phone with camera and organiser abilities. IBM have invited me back for further assessment, however, I’m almost certain that I’ll take the job at OpenedHand instead (that is if they’ll still have me) – As great as the IBM Hursley campus is, and as extensive their facilities are, the whole place just felt… boring. Not to mention that the projects that I’d be working on didn’t sound particularly interesting either, I think I’d find it hard to motivate myself enough to give them my best performance, and that wouldn’t be doing anyone any favours… I’d like to discuss this with my tutor, but once again he seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth and isn’t replying to e-mails. Never mind.


Too much work

My schedule for this week: Monday:
Revise for Theory of Computing test on Tuesday
2pm-4pm: Software Engineering Group project meeting
9pm-2am: Work Tuesday:
9.55am-5.30pm: Lectures (1.5 hours break) + test Wednesday:
9.15am: IBM Extreme Blue recruitment day Thursday:
4pm: Distributed Computing coursework due Friday:
Lectures and SEG project meeting likely Not to mention work I need to catch up on, coursework due in next week, etc. I haven’t started that coursework, so that’ll be a lot of fun, and to top it all off: I seem to be getting ill. Great! Enough self-pity and onto grovelling: Keen observers may have noticed a donations button creep into the side-bar. All donations will be spent towards forwarding development of Linux-based palmtop environments (e.g. Buying new hardware, cables, accessories, books, etc.). I don’t expect anything, but if ever an eccentric millionaire visited my site and wanted to help me out, I’ve made it easy for him/her.



This post contains information about software I’ve written, and is updated as often as need be (whoops, kind of breaking away from the whole ‘blog’ idea with this!). Anyway, what follows is a summary of some of my past and present works. Unless otherwise stated, these works are under a ‘contact-me-if-you-want-to-do-anything-with-them‘ license – i.e. If you want to redistribute, modify, sell, etc. any of this (which is highly doubtful, but still..), you need to contact me first and see what I say. I’d like to think I’m a reasonable guy, so most likely my answer will be ‘sure, do whatever you want, guy!’, but all the same. Contact me. Contacting me can be done via the comments of this post (oh, the wonders of blogs!). Where possible, I’ve included source (if it isn’t included, likelihood is I’ve since lost it). Right, anyway, the software:
gxine-enhanced I wrote a big patch for gxine that vastly improves the interface. This was mostly for my PDA, but it works great on the desktop too. This is, of course, under the GPL. Here’s a quick before and after: Before:
Link to Sourceforge bug, with attached patch
Link to .deb for Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary)
Operating Systems coursework 1, 2004 We were given a simple operating system and the task was to add structure and design/implement an API. This was a group coursework, which I worked on with Luke Jennings. We added memory management, generic device and file management, some simple API calls and Unicode in the form of UTF-8 encoding support.

You will almost certainly need a recent Bochs to get this working, and I’ve not tried it under anything but Linux (obviously, that should make no difference, but all the same).

DecaDrop 2Ā© (alpha)

The sequel to DecaDropĀ©. This was really going somewhere (check out the great graphics, by my lovely girlfriend :)), but I didn’t have the time to finish it. I do plan on re-programming it from scratch some time in the near future. Unfortunately, I also used Python to code this, so it runs pretty slowly. Unfortunately again, I didn’t really get object-oriented programming at the time, so the code’s pretty all-over-the-place too. Oh well, nevermind – still fun! This requires python (>=2.2 I think), pygame, and optionally psyco. If you don’t have psyco, you might have to edit the code and take out the first three lines of code (ignore lines that start with ‘#’). Arrows keys, a, z and space are the controls – They’re obvious when you use them in the game.

DecaDropĀ©: Christmas Edition One of the larger projects I’ve worked on that I actually finished (or semi-finished). This is the gameboy advance version of my puzzle game DecaDropĀ©. It runs on the hardware and, as such, all good emulators.
DecaDropĀ© (alpha) The original first version of DecaDropĀ©, my beloved puzzle game. You make vertical lines of 4 or more consecutive coloured blocks by shifting rows left and right and rotating the grid. Simple, but fun to play, even if I do say so myself. This version requires Windows.
WinPost-It Something I made when I was bored one day – Stick post-it notes on your screen (if you run Windows). On first run it creates a config file in its directory, fiddle around with it to customise it (it has strict formatting, so don’t be surprised if you start up and it crashes/doesn’t appear/works wrongly).
Paddle Wars Just something I whipped up in a few hours ages ago because I fancied coding something. Nothing special – requires Windows, uses the mouse for control (I think).