Saturday, June 30, 2007

Too Quick To Judge

Marbles, originally uploaded by b3ardman.

So, anyway, about the marbles...
Turns out that the parcel that they tried to deliver on my birthday was a tub (with a sack included) of marbles.
I've not been able to confirm that this was from the offender, but all the clues are there.
So, I retract my accusation, and my thanks go out to the purchaser of the marbles.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Beardy Box: Welcome To Beardy Box

I've started a separate blog for all my nerdy programming stuff. If you want to see it, it's over here: Beardy Box: Welcome To Beardy Box

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Many years ago, a friend, and colleague at the time, promised me a sack of marbles if I did a job for him. The marbles never appeared, despite polite reminders.
I met this friend recently for a drink and chat, and, what with my birthday approaching, he said he had a great idea for a present. He also told me that, if I had a good enough memory, I'd be able to guess what it was. I didn't get it at first, but I soon realised he meant the marbles. He confirmed this, and said he'd seen some good ones.
Anyway, my birthday has been and gone and there are no marbles.
I'm not going to tell you the offender's name, but those who know about this will know who he is. Needless to say, if he offers you a sack of marbles in return for you doing something, don't believe you'll ever get those marbles.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I don't usually an umbrella, because I think they are a complete waste of time. Instead, I'll don my waterproof jacket and over-trousers and face the weather with impunity.
However, because my over trousers have got a bit muddy (the sign of genuine use), I've been using an umbrella for my commute.
There are a number of reasons why this isn't going to happen any more:

  1. On the train, there's nowhere to store a wet umbrella.
    I usually end up having it crushed against me.
  2. Umbrellas only keep your head and shoulders dry.
    Whilst I don't get rain in my face, the rest of me get soaked.
  3. Umbrellas don't protect you from cars, one of which will inevitably drive through a massive puddle you're cautiously passing. Bastards.
  4. Umbrellas have a distinct design flaw in that they don't turn inside out without breaking.
    Usually, and this is anecdotal observation, when there's rain enough to use an umbrella, there's also a strong breeze. All you need is to walk past the end of a building that has been protecting you from the wind, and your umbrella's fucked.
  5. Umbrellas are too easy to forget.
    It rains on the way into work, then it's sunny on the way home, so you forget about your brolly until the next morning when it's raining again, and you're cursing yourself because you left your brolly at work.
So, anyway, that's a brief overview of why I'll be binning the brolly and wearing my wet-weather gear again.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Taking Money

No owning a credit card, I'm often disappointed when web stores accept neither debit cards nor on-line payments (such as PayPal).
I think it's a bloody disgrace, especially as you only usually get to find this out when you've been through the tortures of registering on a site, and you're just about to pay.
Most recently, this experience was with They say the take Switch/Maestro, but not for all purchases. So, when it came to buying flights to Thailand (these cost > £1k for Amy + I), I was disappointed when I got through their procedures, entered passport numbers, set up meal preferences, only to find they didn't want my money.
Anyway, we ended up buying them from someone else.
The point being that if your site doesn't serve your (potential) customers, they will go somewhere else. I know I did.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Shuffling a List in C#

Inspired by this post:

static Random random = new System.Random();
public static IList<T> Shuffle<T> ( IList<T> deck )
  int N = deck.Count;
  for ( int i = 0; i < N; ++i )
     int r = i + (int) ( random.Next( N - i ) );
     T t = deck[r];
     deck[r] = deck[i];
     deck[i] = t;

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lazy Reporting

I was looking at this news story on the BBC's Website (my brother lives in North Tawton). However, the last few lines of the story are some of the laziest reporting I have seen lately (probably because I don't read a local paper):

Another neighbour, who would only give her name as Jo, said: "It is always a tragedy when kids are involved."

So, looking at this, there was some lady who wouldn't give her name who said something really generic, and frankly wrong.

Cambridge Dictionaries define tragedy as
  1. a very sad event or situation, especially one involving death or suffering, or a play or literature about death or suffering.
  2. a play about death or suffering with a sad end, or this type of play generally.
So, it's not always a tragedy when kids are involved, it's a tragedy when someone dies or suffers.
I pay a license fee for this rubbish.