Monday, March 31, 2008

Lazy links for 31-Mar

A catch-up of goodness after a week mucking around and doing 0, in the fashion of n molesworth's holiday diary. Normal service resumes later.

PowerShell 2.0 feature/how-to round-up:

  1. Writing Cmdlets in PowerShell.
  2. L10n of scripts.
  3. Hashtable and string split and join for inputs.
  4. Background Jobs.
  5. Script Debugging.

From the same place -- Functional style reimplementations for C# language features

  1. Switch object.
  2. Catch object.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


What a difference a week makes

What a difference a week makes

A couple of weeks later than usually expected, finally the first day where you really don't want a jacket when you're out in the garden.

At last, at the very end of a week's doing not a lot, the first day I could actually sensibly do anything in the garden, and then sit out at the picnic table to blog about it.

Later: having not latched the patio door properly, the Tonks got their first unauthorized sneak outdoors, coming as far as the edge of the patio, before I noticed -- at which point they turned tail and ran back to safety.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Anime — Aria the Animation

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

The 24th century; the 4th planet of the solar system is the blue world of Aqua. Mizunashi Akari travels from ManHome, to take up the profession of undine, a gondolier on the canals of Neo-Venezia, a city transplanted onto the shore of a quondam Martian basin.

Nothing much happens, but it does it in a very stylish and relaxing fashion, be it just showing a tourist around the city, practising with trainees from other companies, celebrating the turn of the seasons, or finding glimpses into the past, as Mars was becoming the third blue world in this system. You can tell quite how relaxing, as I first downloaded this 13 episode series at the start of November '06; and, with all the sequels out, I am effectively 40 episodes behind. It's good, but definitely not for marathoning, more for just chilling out with.

The only word of warning is about the cute animal mascots, supposed to be cats, like the white blob in the lower left image that waddles around going "poing~yuu". There has rarely been anything so less feline.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Yuletide

Front garden, Easter Sunday

Front garden, Easter Sunday

Well behind the conditions last year at the same time; two weeks later, at Easter '07, it was like midsummer. Now, apart from the longer hours of daylight, it feels more like midwinter -- indeed December is often milder than this.

More anecdotal cooling evidence.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Orbitus Interruptus

Well, I had been expecting to be at Eastercon right now. But alas...

We had everything organised; ensured we had one of the 3 disabled rooms reserved, got down there at a sensible time yesterday afternoon... And then screw-up city.

The room was having maintenance work done; and the other two were also allocated. While reception were very apologetic and found another ground floor room to park us, it was completely inaccessible -- in that the wheelchair couldn't even get into the bathroom, meaning Karen having to trek down the corridor to the loo.

Then, when we were told the room was available (after the staff had done their best to try and clear the smell of fresh gloss paint), they only provided one card key (after having two for the temporary room). So, one would be sent to the room, I was told.

An hour later, zilch, so stop by reception on the way to dinner, to be told one had been sent to the room. Perhaps the lack of doorbell (another piece of maintenance work seemed to be removing the ones in the door jamb, filling the hole, and the cutting new holes in the wall beside) had confused whichever person had been sent.

Then after dinner, the nightmare. For a disabled room, the bathroom was style (chrome and glass) over substance (usable accessibility), and reeking of retrofit onto a standard design. The toilet bowl was low-slung rather than raised, the grab rails and floor slippery, and only horizontal rails, set too low for leverage were fitted outside the shower. Also the space was barely large enough for chair and carer to fit, let alone providing room for some of the indignities that are involved in the body-servant business.

From waking about 06:15, getting up took about 3 hours, with the same painful drill in the bathroom, trying my best not to put my hip out with the deep crouch and lift required to move Karen from loo to shower chair and back again -- and not helped by Karen running a bit of a temperature, so being more floppity than usual.

So at that point, we decided to call it quits and go home, rather than breakfast and registration. At least the sun was shining, better than the pouring rain yesterday.

So, coffee and chocolate cake for breakfast, and a lazy day dozing in bed instead of spending too much time in the Real Ale bar...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Window of opportunity

Well, yesterday dawned bright and sunny, so I did actually cycle to work. That was nice. Coming home, it was still cold enough to need heavy gloves, and spitting with rain, less so.

During the evening, I sure noticed that the weather hadn't been conducive to cycling into town on recent weekends -- I rather seized up after sitting still for a while.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Total of 24,432 miles, up from 18,592 or 5840 miles in the year. Only 5 miles more than last year, despite the wet summer and now cold winter leading to rather less cycling than I might have done.

This time last year I'd already done 5 days of a week cycling; this year, it won't be until April at the earliest that I cycle even once.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A penny finally drops

I was amused to read this story yesterday on EU Referendum

Struggling with that concept, I have to admit that I have had enough. From tomorrow, I am no longer going to buy a daily newspaper, breaking the habit of a lifetime. But enough is enough. Something has to be done about the media and, if the "customer is king", a customer has spoken.

I came to the same conclusion about 20 years ago, when the idea of a Saturday supplement had ceased to be a figment of the Grauniad's April Fool's machine and became reality, back when the first glimmers of the meeja-celeb culture were starting to show.

It's a pity that the Economist is rather unsound on the EU, and is rather milder than it was back then when I started reading it.

Links for 12-Mar

SOLID rules for OO Design

Calling JavaScript from Silverlight 2 -- and thereby, AJAX...

One application instance at a time -- the .Net 3.5 way 

Hiding System.Object members from Intellisense -- sometimes a useful decluttering

Have you updated your Windows SDK recently? 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The sunrise beating the sunrise alarm; cock pheasants squaring off on the unpaved side-road in Bourn as I drive into work; bright twilight at 6pm.

Were it not for the windy & wet weather, it would be bicycling season now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Links for 10-Mar

Dynamic silverlight parts 2 and 3 

The Maybe monad and fluent coding  via C# 3.0 extension methods

Remoting Powershell V1 -- this tack calls winrs explicitly (it's implicit in 2.0)

Capture-recapture code inspection -- a statistically sound way of getting fault metrics

Patching privacy leaks -- a gentle reminder for web apps

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Film — Mushishi

The film of the anime, done live action, and with surprisingly little of the ham that normally characterises Japanese live action.

It mixes together episodes 3 (Soft Horns), 7 (Here comes the rain, here comes the rainbow), 12 (One-eyed Fish) and 20 (A sea of Ink); telling the origin story in flashback in amongst the the others. As ever, the weakest bits are in the inventions, which are used for tying the episodes together. Otherwise, it is extremely well done.

Interestingly, this too makes the "Call of Cthulhu"-era assumption; the origin story opens as "The turn of the century"; and there is one off-hand remark about the arrival of electric lighting.

[Now playing - Planet Rock]

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Links for 6-Mar

Dynamic Silverlight (part 1) -- developing with the DLR in Silverlight 2 (which at last comes with its own controls)

Resource Refactoring tool for Visual Studio 2005/2008

IE8 -- first developer beta is out ; with improved namespace support (for e.g. SVG, XUL, and MathML)

CrossNet --.Net assembly to ANSI C++ decompiler

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Stranger than fiction

Well. whaddya know. The brass bra brigade were on the right track all along.

Uplifting evidence for Viking lingerie range

THEY came, they saw, they pillaged ... and their women wore bras. Swedish researchers claim Viking women were the first in western civilisation to look for a little support at home while their menfolk were off in their longboats.

In the mud at a former Viking settlement near the capital, archeologists found cloth samples with metal fasteners and circular pieces of metal.

"It was thought these metal discs were shoulder protectors, perhaps for women carrying heavy loads," said Ms Larsson.

But she said researchers comparing them with figurines found at the site realised they seemed to have been worn as a metal bra.