Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Do people really have over 200 friends?

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We at last count I had 22 friends on Facebook, some are real friends I have known for years, some are acquaintances I've made from my dog agility hobby.

I was looking at some profiles of "People you may know" and noticed one person had 223 friends! While I can expect some "celebrities" to have a few thousand, can someone really have over 200 friends? How often can they communicate? Is it just a case of people trying to get a big number for their own esteem?

A quick google of blogs found people boasting of 1000s of friends!

My first observation was made all the more funny as I would have seriously expected the person in question to be able to count his friends on the fingers of one hand!
evil grin

Brain fade at my interview

My first proper office

Today I had my first job interview for the best part of 20 years, previously have slid between positions due to insider knowledge and social connections.

Well to be honest I think I made a complete hash of it, I suffered a bit of nerves and had brain fade when asked some fairly simple questions about C++. Shame really as the set up was very similar to the place where I first started working, a couple of guys in an office (some old pictures attached). I am sure if I get/got my feet under the table I will/would have got back up to speed. The project looked interesting too.

My first proper office

I think the main problem I suffer is that I have used C++, but it was a self taught progression from C, no proper training or education just a copy of Teach Yourself C++ in 24 hours or something as useless while trying to complete the next project. So I have an "understanding" of the principals but when it comes to trying to use the proper terminology I struggle.

I really need to sharpen (C#en?) my skills and get out the books and do a bit of coding at home.

Must re-read this!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Number Withheld

As part of my job hunting quest I have uploaded my updated CV to a number of job sites, Monster, TotalJobs, CWJobs etc.

Now I am being inundated by job-agencies offering me positions (most of them out of the area and unsuitable) but what I am find annoying and surprising is many of them withhold their telephone numbers, so you get PRIVATE or ANONYMOUS appearing in the caller display.

I have always thought it is impolite to withhold your number and never saw the justification, if you want someone to answer the phone and wish to talk to someone then let them know who you are!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Bletchley Park - It's neglect is a national disgrace




The BBC are reporting about the neglect of Bletchley Park and the response of the UK's computer scientists.

More than 100 academics have signed a letter saying the code-cracking centre and crucible of the UK computer industry deserves better treatment.

The letter says Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire, should be put on a secure financial basis like other "great museums".

"We cannot allow this crucial and unique piece of both British and World heritage to be neglected in this way," the letter to The Times said.
Bletchley Park — code-named Station X to keep its location from the Germans — and its outstations were responsible for intercepting German radio signals intended for broadcast to the army, navy and air force, and decoding them into meaningful messages. The job was thought to be next to impossible: German encryption was so secure that the chances of decoding it with random guesses were 150 quintillion to one.

Nine thousand staff worked around the clock at the Buckinghamshire site to break the German codes, eventually gleaning enough information to head off critical enemy manoeuvres.

Historians have postulated that, without Bletchley Park, the Allies may never have won the war.

No history of computers is complete without the mention of Station X and in particular the work of Alan Turing. Station X was also responsible for Colossus, one of the earliest digital electronic computers.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Bonekickers - an excellent review!



Watched the third episode of the BBC's Bonekickers program, and to be honest I am amazed at how bad it is, but reading this review of last nights episode on the Guardian website I had to laugh at the last line!
Bonekickers (BBC1) is, it has been noticed, only a syllable short of bonkers. Hugh Bonneville, a decent actor tragically seduced by the temptation of a Harrison Ford hat, plays Professor "Dolly" Parton. Based, he says, on the archaeological adviser for the series, who "literally froths at the mouth". Frankly, I'd hesitate to share a table in an all-night cafe with any one of them.

This episode, The Eternal Fire, was about the forbidden love of Boudicca and a susceptible Roman called Marcus Quintanus. Their affair was conducted, apparently, in the catacombs under the Roman baths at Bath, where the feretting archaeologists discover Boudicca herself. Crystallised, of course. There is some elementary Latin ("Regina mea!") and contemporary Italian ("So! You call me because the fire in your loins is lit once more!") and, as the catacomb fills with gas, a lot of coughing as if we were in for another adaptation of the Bront√ęs. To be fair, the whole thing obviously cost about as much as Harrison Ford's hat.

Personally, I think it would be much improved by the addition of a lovable, if cowardly, great dane.


Monday, 21 July 2008

Back in the jobs market

Well back in January I decided to take a career break for a number of reasons, now feeling refreshed and increasingly hammered by the state of the economy and my growing credit card bill (primarily caused by repairs and increased insurance for our cars, for which I was somewhat to blame) I am now beginning the process of getting back into work.

I have been down the jobcentre (now a plus version) and have started 'signing on' - this morning I had to go prove that I had been looking (and applying) for work over the past fortnight. Not sure why but I felt like a criminal or some sort of second class citizen, maybe it was the attitude of my interviewer (it was 9:3oam on a Monday morning)

I have dusted down and refreshed the CV, and over the past couple of weeks I have registered for a number of job search websites, have had numerous contacts from agencies and applied for a number of jobs, as yet I have had little feedback (apparently this wasn't quite good enough for the jobcentre commandant, but I was let off for being a newbie). Maybe they'll have me cleaning graffiti soon!

Whist doing some more job related research I found this article on netshare.com The article mentions the use of an online presence (blogs, social networking etc) to make us oldies (40+) look more employable! (perhaps I need to do something on myspace.com? perhaps not!)

But I did like the little picture that accompanied the story.
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Sunday, 13 July 2008

PicLens

PicLens 3D Wall

Well what happened to the last month or so of blogging my loyal blog readers may be asking.. well it has been an emotional roller-coaster ride which I will post about soon, but in the mean time I must post this excellent add-on for firefox (vista/xp only)

Piclens is a brilliant way to transform your browser into a visually stunning experience for finding and viewing online photos and videos. The "3D Wall" lets you effortlessly search and zoom your way around thousands of images, videos, news feeds, sports feeds, and more. Makes flickr a whole new experience.

If you want to see some of my photos, pop along here.