First Tooth! (by )

As of last night Mary has a tooth 🙂

Exhibition In Braille Sneak-Peek (by )

Tomorrow Saturday 24th September 2011 sees the Exhibition in Braille a touchy feely art attraction set up by Centre Arts to raise money for the Gloucester County Association for the Blind. Tickets cost £5 and are avaliable at the doors which are open 12-7pm.

There are some really cool things there for you to touch and feel and an interactive braille table to boot!

Here are a few sneak peaks but you can not know the majesty of these pieces without actually going and feeling them!

Statue Exhibition in Braille Stone Mask Exhibition in Braille 3D painting Exhibition in Braille 3D texture paintings Exhibition in Braille Movable Blocks Exhibition in Braille

The exhibition has been put together with the blind and visually impaired in mind and as such bright vibrant and therefore easier to see colours have been used in some of the pieces and there is also a bueatiful light sculpture.

Light Sculpture Exhibition in Braille

Then we come to my piece - the giant coral I have been working on for what seems like forever!

Giant Coral Exhibition in Braille Giant Coral being set up Exhibition in Braille

Which I set up last night 🙂 Complete with beads for the molecular sand! There are also MP3s of some of my poems that I felt where a good counter point to the visual/textural piece there to listen too 🙂

Beaver Jeany (by )

Wednesday Jean made her promise at the picnic tree in Cranham Woods and became a Beaver Scout - this is something she has been going on and on about ever since she was 3 yrs old!

Beaver Jean

She did very well and the District Commissioner already knew who she was because she had been so 'helpful' during the rest of the meet!

The DC also had Alaric's camp permit and Scouts came up with a plan of an off road mobility scooter so I can come back and be Skip :/

Pass The Conch (by )

In The Lord of the Flies, the children (marooned on an island and working out how to organise themselves to survive) develop a technique for managing debate: they use a conch shell as a token to represent who currently holds the floor. Without the conch, you can't talk; you have to wait your turn.

Cut to the Real World of Commerce and Industry: in various places I've worked, there's been a number of shared resources which can only be used by one person or agent at a time. Mainly, these have been testing servers - if you are doing performance analyses, or looking for timing-related bugs, you can't have anyone else running jobs on the same server as you, or they'll compete for resources and interfere with your results. Or perhaps there's only one "data area" of some kind, and two attempts to use it at once will lead to catastrophe.

This is usually handed by asking around the office or in IRC: "Is anyone using X?", hoping that anybody who is is still around (as opposed to too busy doing something to notice the request, or leaving a job going while out to lunch). Because of the unreliability of this system, and the inability to integrate it with automatic systems that need to claim resources (such as automatic test systems), I have often wished for a software tool to manage it. Which would, naturally, be called "conch".

Here's my feature wishlist:

  • Network-based. A central conch server tracks a set of conches, accessed via a Web interface or a direct protocol. The direct protocol should have a command-line client for scripting, and be trivial to write native client libraries for in programming languages.

  • Authenticated. No need for super security, but we want to keep out casual mischief-makers, so require authentication to use the server; to enable easy integration with other workflow apps, support htaccess files, "trust the upstream proxy" (eg, accept HTTP auth usernames and ignore any passwords sent), or running an arbitrary shell command to validate a username/password pair. It might be used across the public Internet, so allow for SSL wrapping the connection. The command line client should, by default, use the username and password from ~/.conch or prompt for them (and save them in ~/.conch) if not specified.

  • The ability to create or delete resources, to claim a currently-free resource, to release a resource you hold, or to "force" the release of a resource that somebody else holds (if they forget and go home, etc).

  • The ability to list the status of a resource, to list the resources held by a specific user, to list the resources held by yourself, to list all users with resources held, and to list all resources.

  • Fine-grained access control (per-user rights limitation) might be handy, but probably not useful for the first draft.

  • An IRC bot might be cool - at least for logging resource claims/releases and commands to list current state; maybe for resource claims/releases as well, if users are either trusted by nick or authenticate via a private message.

If this doesn't already exist, it should be easy to build (something could be knocked up with awful and sql-de-lite in a day or two, I bet!)...

One Year of Guitar Playing… (by )

So it is a year since I decided to actually learn the guitar properlly and to practice each day rather than having a guitar sitting there gathering dust with like three strings on it - on which I could pluck (when it had all the strings obviously) the intro to Nothing Else Matters and play one Tori Amos song very slowly and very badly.

I was going to upload several videos but then Alaric pointed out that I might as well just up load the only one of my songs I have guitar stuff worked out for - it is the one I played at the open mike earlier this year.

I'm afraid the singing (and indeed in many places the guitar playing) is a little iffy, and no doubt the song will have song writers rolling their eyes. But I'm proud of having written this song and having guitar music for it 🙂

I also happen to have a small seven month old person trying to rip my boot off whilst I am playing!

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