Sunday, January 19, 2014

New model building season begins

As the Winter hasn't been that cold yet i've started the 2014 model building season a little earlier than originally planned. My first project of the year, Project #052, is for the Eskalon railway and is a goods shed.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

20 years of web

Unfortunately the exact date is now lost, never mind any physical or virtual remains, but I started writing my first web page in early 1994. I can't remember much about my first involvement with HTML except that it was purely text based. My computer at the time was a 386sx-33 powered PC and I connected to the internet via dial up at a roasting 2400 baud. I used Lynx to look at my first web pages and hence my first home page.

Little did I know at the time that HTML and the web would be my career and shape my life in such a fundamental way over the next couple of decades.

The first graphical web pages I looked at where probably in OS/2's web browser (my parents bought me a RAM upgrade for my PC and OS/2 Warp as a graduation present - a RAM upgrade up to 8MB that is, but it was fine!) My first job in November 1995 was as a web developer, I got this job with the brief to built web sites that could sell stuff despite the fact I had not seen an actual web page on the web, apart from text based pages in Lynx and the odd locally hosted experiment, before. However by late December I had built the prototype of what would become of the UK's first ecommerce websites and it was demonstrated to an assembled audience of UK computer industry chiefs in a swanky London hotel. Not bad going considering I hasn't even heard of Perl and CGI programming before I got the job. I had to learn while building the site of course, budgets were tight and the development (and indeed the simulation) ran on a web server running on my work PC (OS/2 again, natch). I even had to go into Waterstones one lunch time to look up how to do something in Perl as online resources were pretty basic back then.

Crazy days, everything was so new and I had to make most stuff up as I went along. I've never been a good programmer but I am good at solving problems. Nowadays I am an e-Learning developer (new job, only my third though) and it's all Flash based but we'll be soon switching to a new system which is HTML5 based and the circle keeps on turning...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A new project... a novel?

Now my Masters is finished and out the way (at least i hope so anyway!) i can now think about what the next project will be to fill up my time. For a long time i have wanted to wrote a novel, in fact when i was younger i did manage to handwrite a science fiction story over the course of about 120 sides of A4. There was one problem with this opus though, it was rubbish.

Once years ago i did submit a short story to a science fiction magazine though it got rejected as badly written space opera, which it was of course. I have continued to write, this blog is an example of course.

Maybe now is the time to seriously think about writing something, i can always self-publish it as an e-novel after all.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A826 w/c 30/12/13 - Finish!

As mentioned in an earlier blog post i posted my dissertation out on Monday (or rather Staples did for me). All i needed was to get the clearance from my tutor for the research diary and then i could collect it all together and post it to the OU.

So i did today. And that should end A826 and academic for me, for now anyway! I think the result will be known in April or May. Its been fun but i am glad for a break from study now!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Watery Worcester

To Worcester then (for my new job) and with all the rain we've been having lately the Severn is already looking rather full. The racecourse which is beside the river is a lake, swans were swimming along the home straight! Maybe they can race sea horses instead?

There is more rain to come overnight, we really could do with some dry weather...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Into 2014

Well 2013 has gone and now we are into 2014, which so far has consisted of rain and wind. It was clear at midnight though and there was plenty of fireworks to see over Erdington. More impressive though was at about 12:04 when the clouds suddenly clear and i had a view of Orion clearer than i've seen for years. I don't know if its because the new street lights we are getting in the city are less light polluting or was just the skies being clearer than usual but i was able to see the "sword" of Orion for the first time since i was a boy. Perhaps that is some kind of omen?