So I’ve started programming again.  Woo!  My current working development directory (with nightly tarballs of each directory automatically created).

Also, I set up a development newsgroup for you to keep track of my development stuffies – mostly so that I can keep my blog clear of such things.  I’d prefer my blog to be as non-technical as possible, because of its demographic (my non-technical friends).  If you are interested in my development doobries, I suggest subscribing to news://

The most intriguing of my new projects is Sophie, who will be an artificial intelligence unit designed for simulated human interaction (Simulated Original Personality for Human Interaction Emulation is what I think the acronym shall be, but it’s a reverse acronym – the name “sophie” comes from the greek for “wisdom”).  The code is GPL’d but has a couple of extra conditions attached at the bottom of the LICENSE file; still should be Free according to the FSF though so don’t go getting your knickers in a twist just yet!

So far, sophie is proving already to be quite frustrating; mostly because I don’t actually know C++ but partly because I don’t actually know C++.  I probably should have stuck to what I know and programmed her in C, but then I’ve never been very good at making life easy for myself.  I find easy life boring though, so it’s all good!

If anybody wants to get involved with the development of Sophie, feel free to email me or post to the news group (which should allow posting by just about anyone, with moderation to be performed on an “innocent-until-proven-spamity” basis).  I’m always open to suggestion and now is a good time to get involved because she’s very young and therefore easy to work with (for now).

Well, that just about wraps it up for today.  I must get back to realigning the personality supersimulators so that the reticulation of the subego doesn’t unbalance the philanthropic stabilisers… taking into account, of course, anti-flux in the positronic consciousness generator.  After all, we wouldn’t want the temporo-spatial anomoliser to decouple inside the self-awareness module…  That would wreak havoc with the decalibration matrices…


So I set up an NNTP server (ie one that serves usenet-style newsgroups) on my host, mostly as an experiment but that doesn’t mean I’ll object if anybody else feels like posting to any of the groups on it (you could even get your own newsgroup on the server if you ask nicely enough!).

For those with a newsreader, here is a news link to the feed.

For those without (which will be most of you), I have setup a web frontend with a funny random headline (currently with about 8000 headline combinations available) at:

Thanking you, that is all for now!  I know, it’s too short; I’ll post again soon don’t worry!


So I went to abergavenny today, my brother went pot-holing or caving or something, I just went to keep dad company for the day as it made little sense for him to go to abergavenny, come back, then almost straight away turn back around and go back out to pick mike up.  So we had a few hours to kill.

First, we walked the dog around a field we had previously walked him around on a camping holiday – it seemed much smaller this time, but perhaps that’s because I’m now used to a large field in which we normally walk our dog (tewkesburians refer to it as “The Ham”, though I’m not sure how local that name is).  Once we’d done that, we put him in the car and walked into town to get a bite to eat.  We decided upon subway and spent a few minutes searching for it, finally finding it at one end of town.  We ordered, ate and had a peaceful discussion about the degradation of society.

Once we had eaten, we drove around for a while looking for somewhere to walk the dog, finally settling on a spot just opposite our previous campsite which was an interesting hillwalk.  It started off quite scrabbly, which I took to with ease (and, surprisingly, my old dad did too!) and took us through a wood eventually opening up onto a wide track which led to the top.  We stopped after a while on the track as it was beginning to go down the side of the hill which was rather deficient in cars belonging to us.  Since a circular track would seem to have necessitated the travelling down the rather busy road at the bottom of the hill, we decided to go back the way we came (which was partly the plan all along, given the fact we had predicted a lack of options in this regard – so much the plan in fact that I had left a marker at one of the only junctions we had come to, as the path we had come up was not the “main” path and therefore we could easily have got lost had it not been for that marker).

After we got back to the car, we still had a few hours to kill so we motored on back into town and sat down in a nice out of the way cafe called… amiglios? it was something italian or spanish, anyhow.  The waitress who took our order was very friendly.  We sat and sipped conversation while having a tea, which was most pleasant.  I personally was beginning to develop a headache so before we returned to the car we picked up some paracetamol.  I took a couple on the way back to the car and then we went to pick up mike, I think.

I missed a few large periods of nothing-happening-ness, as I feel the day was quite boring enough as it was without needing to be endullened (if only language permitted) by said periods.  I did enjoy that walk, though, despite falling over at one point (misjudged just how muddy the ground was – it was a hot day today, so I wasn’t expecting a veritable mini-marshland in the middle of a field) and scratching my hand – not that I noticed I had scratched it until I saw the blood, but that’s just my nature.  Maybe because I was brought up for the most part in the countryside (or what I would describe as fairly rural ground anyway) but more likely a natural predisposition to getting on with it when I’m outside in the fresh air enjoying myself.

So that was my day, pretty interesting for me at the time but probably not so much for anybody who got this far through the story without collapsing in a heap from a mixture of heat exhaustion, boredom and spending WAY too long glued to their screen.


PHP and SQLite

So I whipped up a quick chat script today, nothing fancy but a little more stable than facebook chat so that’s something.  It was a bit of a wrestle getting SQLite to work, but only because Ubuntu decided to ship PHP with SQLite 2 but the gui admin tool is SQLite 3 only (not backwards compatible with SQLite 2).  Ok, so there’s an SQLite 3 library – but I’m not going to recompile PHP for a gui tool which I’m rarely ever going to use.  No, I instead opted to learn SQLite2 (which differs remarkably from MySQL, I can tell you!) and use the command line tool “sqlite”.  Problem solved.  The chat script is slightly prettier (in my humble opinion) than my old chat script, not much more functional (yet) but a lot more expandable and scalable.

Anyway, techie garbage that most readers of this blog care even less than me about (and I don’t care that much for it) out of the way, let’s move on shall we?

So I applied for a job at the DWP about 3 weeks ago, and it was left that they’d get me CRB checked (which takes 3-4 weeks) and I’d be good to start work 3-4 weeks after then.  I’ll post back when I hear anything about that job.

What else have I done… oh yeah, I got a new mail client called Claws, which has more dials and switches than the USS Enterprise.  Just how I like my software, then!  I’m very pleased with it so far, and will later be recommending it to certain members of my family who are still using OS X’s “Mail” program, which to be quite frank is apallingly ill suited to the simple task of sending and receiving email.  Surprising, because Apple are usually pretty good at bundled software.  Still, at least they don’t have the user locked in to using their application (like they who shall not be named do) so it won’t be hard to replace Mail with Claws.

Anyway, I also set up a family email address which I plan to persuade the whole family to regularly check (hopefully you won’t see any mail coming -from- that address though).  Use it to send funny stories or notices which the whole family need to read (like the twitter page you just set up for your cat – and no, I don’t know Jason Scott, I just googled “twitter cat”).

Oh, one last thing – feel free to stop by my brother’s blog; he has fulfilled his pledge and produced his first weekly song!  I personally think it sounds very professional, and shows off his recording skills well.


So I spent a few minutes today fixing some minor mail problems which involved a DNS entry not existing locally and therefore the remote entry (specifically, the one from the SOA – and/or was being used instead – which for my particular application wasn’t favourable.  Well, it’s all sorted now.  But the solution was a bit hacky and reminded me again to (at some point) build and install my own router/server/gateway instead of relying on (frankly) substandard “home networking devices”.

[several rants were removed here; suffice to say I am frustrated by the way electronics manufacturers (and computer hardware/software manufacturers) patronise their userbase]

I also started thinking about considering beginning to work on a first draft of an initial revision of a rough screenplay.  I had a few ideas, the one which stood out was Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Low Budget Edition.  I figure if I make it -purposely- low budget, it could turn out quite comical.  Watch this space for abandonment-of-project notice.

In other news, my micronation has stalled somewhat.  If anybody could help me think of a name, I would very much appreciate it.

Only when it rains can you see a rainbow.

I’ve had a hard day.  Seriously!  I won’t go into detail about certain parts of it because it’s unfair to those involved, but suffice to say it was emotionally draining.  To the point I walked across the ham in shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of an icy rain shower.  That was uncomfortable.  But on the way, I stopped for some reason and looked back, then looked forward and realised that by pure ‘coincidence’ I had stopped EXACTLY where the rain stopped.  I thought it was weird, but the rainbow was pretty.  I kept walking and sat down for a few minutes at the far side – nothing but blue sky in front of me, huge rainclouds behind me.  It was only on the walk -back- that I realised what it meant.  Only when I looked through the rain, when I looked directly -at- what had previously caused me such discomfort could I see something of such magnificent beauty – the rainbow.  Only when it rains can you see a rainbow.

Apart from all that though, let’s go through a bit of my day because it was very interesting for the most part.

I got up at about 6 o’clock having had more or less two hours of sleep and whacked a few golf balls at a men’s breakfast organised by church.  We had breakfast after hitting the golf balls and it was very delicious.  We then heard a powerful testimony from a guy who had been a cocaine addict and quit -cold turkey- from a £500 per week habit thanks to christianity.  I am still quite sceptical about christianity personally, but unlike some sceptics I know when NOT to take something that powerful away from somebody.  To take someone’s faith is to take their life, and that is something I am not prepared ever to do.  Today’s testimony reinforced that viewpoint for me, so even if I choose not to follow Christ I know I’ll never stop anybody else doing so.

I also watched Star Wars episodes III, IV, V and half of VI.  Rekindled an old love of the films, it did.  Grateful for that, I am.  Speaking in OSV, I enjoy.  Stop, I will.  Ok seriously, I will now.  😛

Anyway that about wraps it up, feel free to leave comments (if it’s working yet – I’ve been fiddling…) or email me.

Real Estate Tycoon

I swear, I’m addicted.  My brother introduced me to the application and after I’d earnt him a cool 6 million I decided I should stop working for him and branch out on my own so I added it to my account and have since amassed a fortune of roughly 11 point five million dollars.  Fun stuff.

In other news, I walked the dog today.  Wow, don’t you just hate it when people blog their day to day activities alongside the mildly interesting stuff?  Oh well.  I also procrastinated a lot from the various undertakings I should be… undertaking; and drank copious amounts of tea (as per usual).

I have been informed that people may be unable to post comments on my blog entries.  If you are one of the people experiencing difficulty in this area then please bear with me as I get to the root of the problem and tug at it until the whole blog suddenly gives and I end up flying backwards across my room, problem in hand and large blog-shaped hole in computer… but let’s hope that doesn’t happen, and that I instead simply find and enable the obviously obscure “freedom of speech” option.

In the mean time, you can still send me feedback!