Friday, 28 January 2011

One Problem, One Solution

Note: I'm in no way attempting to make light of the disturbances currently sweeping Egypt but i thought this was too funny a juxtaposition to ignore.

The BBC has apparently finally woken up to the fact that the world is running out of IP addresses -- this is actually a serious problem. There is a long term fix which is to move from IPv4 to IPv6 but this is quite a technical challenge.

The BBC then published another news article detailing how Egypt had quit the net in an attempt to disrupt protests planned for today. Removing such a large country from the Internet would certainly give us more time to move to IPv6 although not too long.

Anyway while both stories are interesting it was the juxtaposition of the stories on the BBC News technology page that I found amusing.

Maybe it's just my warped sense of humour!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Lister Lets One Slip

In 2009 the UK TV channel Dave commissioned a 3 part Red Dwarf special called Back To Earth. At the time it got mixed reviews -- I really enjoyed it. Apparently it was successful enough (probably DVD sales as well as TV audience) that Dave have now commissioned a new full 6 part series!

Apparently it was all meant to be kept quite but Craig Charles, a.k.a. Dave Lister, accidentally let it slip during a recent radio interview and Robert Llewellyn, a.k.a. Kryten, has confirmed the news on his blog. Shooting is scheduled for the end of the year though so we still have quite a wait before series IX hits our screens. Personally I can't wait!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Washing Instructions

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A Sense Of Scale

I assumed that of the three edible star foods I blogged about, the cupcakes would excite the most interest. Apparently I was wrong. From comments, both on and off the blog, it seems that the cookie Christmas tree was the most interesting, so I thought I'd elaborate a little on it's construction, especially as the photo I posted didn't really give any sense of scale.

We used the Wilton Christmas Cookie Tree Kit to cut out stars of ten different sizes. We actually used two of most of the sizes to build the tree (we only used one of the biggest and some of the smaller stars to make the tree tapper to a point quicker). We also used the cookie dough recipe which came with the kit. Unfortunately the recipe was written in cups and I think I got the conversion wrong as it was so wet we had to keep adding flour for what seemed like ages. Also the cooking times given for the different cookie sizes didn't really match up with reality. Fortunately even with all those problems the cookies turned out to be more than edible!

So here is a photo of a single layer -- in fact the largest star. It measures a whopping 22cm across and weighs just over 12oz! Fortunately cookies, if stored properly, last a while and I'm thinking it's going to take us quite a few sittings to eat our way through this one star.

If you happen to want to add the forensic science touch to your photos then I printed out the measuring corner you can see in the photo from a PDF produced by Steve at Destinys Agent. The PDF is published under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial, share alike licence so feel free to have fun with them.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Exponential Growth

Yesterday I copied all the photos we had taken over Christmas and New Year off the camera and onto the computer. Given the way I store the photos this meant that I created a new folder for 2011 and started to think about finishing the archiving of the 2010 photos onto DVD.

We bought our first digital camera back in June 2005 and since then have taken an awful lot of photos. For the first few years it was easy to archive the photos by simply burning them onto a single DVD, but given the growth in the number of photos we take archiving to DVD is becoming a time consuming process. So I decided to see just how many photos we have actually been taking over the years.

As we only bought the camera in June of 2005 I've had to extrapolate a little to get a number for the first year on the graph (we took 769 photos in 7 months which suggests 1318 photos in a year), but it is quite clear that we have taken a lot of photos and the growth in the number taken each year shows no sign of slowing down. The red trend line is the most worrying thing -- it's an exponential growth curve!

I suppose the growth can't continue on at this rate forever (there becomes a point where the time needed for the camera to actual take and record each photo becomes a limiting factor) but it won't be too long before the archiving becomes exceptionally time consuming -- it already requires 5 DVDs to archive the 2010 photos.

Of course as well as the archiving, sorting these photos is now becoming more difficult. Whilst I keep trips together in sensibly named folders there can still be hundreds of photos to sort through to find the one I remember taking. Ah well, I suppose I shouldn't be complaining at least I don't have to pay for film development -- just printing all the photos I took last year would cost me around £500 without the cost of the film and processing on top!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Edible Stars

If the moon is made of cheese then, going on the food we ate at Christmas, stars are made from ready-to-roll icing!
There was a cookie Christmas tree, Christmas cupcakes and then a star burst on the Christmas cake. All were good fun to make and exceptionally enjoyable to eat.

The cookies were made using a basic recipe and my Mum made the Christmas cake, but you can find the recipe for the cupcakes in the cookbook.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Déjà View

Yep you guessed it, it's snowing, again!

Now don't get me wrong snow makes the countryside look wonderful, but it does make travelling around a real pain. Hopefully it won't cause too many problems this time but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone reading this (and those that don't as well).

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while but it's been a busy Christmas period and I've suffered from an unhappy computer that has required a complete re-install. Hopefully I'll get back to blogging more frequently this year.