Monday, April 30, 2007

Its a dirty job....

...but someones got to do it. Yes, I will admit that being a software engineer is not as sexy as they made out in careers class, but it is not without its perks.

Tonight I am writing from the Hilton in Boca Raton, Florida. That's the sexy bit, the no-so-sexy bit is that today I spent a total of about 10 hours in 2 planes, and 6 hours in 3 airports travelling just over 4000 miles. Work has sent me to have some meetings, so thats what I'll be spending Tuesday-Friday doing.

However, as I only do this once in a blue moon, I'm not going to complain. (I may complain on the way home on Saturday...)

The travel all went well, arrived in good time, and in one piece. And the Hilton is just fab.

Friday, April 20, 2007

On yer bike!

It seems logical to me, as people get older they get wiser. My Dad, in his wisdom has decided to purchase a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Tonight we travelled to Larne, where the bike was waiting to be picked up, and Dad rode it home while I followed behind.

It's a noisy beast, all part of the character if you ask me. When we got home we went for a spin down the road, and it was great. That was the first time I ever rode pillion in my life, and I can safely relate that it is a scary experience.

The bite of the 2-cylinder engine is fantastic on that drag bike, which has a very high first gear. The torque even in 5th gear is amazing.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Command interface : Tab completion in perl

For a project I'm working on just now, and because I'm very lazy, I wanted to have tab completion of the many variable commands entered. Finding a module was easy : Term::ReadLine - finding a simple example was difficult, but in the end I got it.

It is not complete by any means, but it will get you started!

use strict;
use warnings;
use Term::ReadLine;
my $term = new Term::ReadLine 'Simple Perl calc';
my $prompt = "cmd >> ";

my $attribs = $term->Attribs;
$attribs->{completion_function} = sub {
my ($text, $line, $start) = @_;
return qw(a list of candidates to complete);

my $OUT = $term->OUT \*STDOUT;
while ( defined ($_ = $term->readline($prompt)) ) {
my $res = eval($_);
warn $@ if $@;
print $OUT $res, "\n" unless $@;
$term->addhistory($_) if /\S/;


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Board building continues...

The varnishing, drilling and hammering continue....

The board is coming on well, but it'll be a day or two before I get out on it. That's ok, it'll be a day or two before I'm ready to venture out!

Glenveagh National Park

Today we decided to venture into international travel, and pop across the border to Co Donegal. We had it on good authority that Glenveagh National Park was well worth a visit, and it definitely was. The kids had a fantastic time, and the adults all enjoyed the spectacular scenery. A grand day out.

Monday, April 09, 2007


As anyone who knows me will know the only stars I am interested in are those in the sky. I liked a definition I read somewhere for what being famous meant: "A person who is well known for being well known," - a valuable trait I am sure.

Today in a visit to Morellis in Portstewart after all 12 of us had ordered, we discovered we had nowhere to sit. So we stood around looking gormless, and these nice people took pity on us and got up to go, leaving us their tables.

Turns out the centre of the party was a man called Jimmy Nesbitt, who is indeed "famous." Isn't that great? We saw someone in the flesh, who we know of, but don't really know. But what makes him special is that lots of other people don't really know him too!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kitesurfing : Day 3

The perfect, steady wind continues, and so we made our way to the beach once again, at Castlerock this time. The wind was fairly steady, and relatively strong, so I decided to go with the 8m again, and I think that was a good decision.

The kite flew reasonably well, but I think the wind wasn't really strong enough to lift it too high. This was fine, as I am still in the process of becoming comfortable with the kite. If we go out again in a similar wind I might try the 12m one to see how it flies.

I had some trouble raising it above 45 degrees in the window, and again, I'm not really sure if I am doing something incorrectly, or if there simply wasn't enough wind. Perhaps I am just too timid. Better timid than injured, that can be my new motto.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

DIY Kiteboard

Although we managed to find budget for some second hand kites, and picked up some other cheap stuff, the cost of a board is prohibitively expensive.

Kiteboards are available second hand from about £150, sometimes £250 plus - well beyond the available empty budget!

Many keen DIY kiters have decided to make their own boards, so I decided that would be a good route to persue. Some are very professional, made of fibreglass and finished with great detail. However, the way to begin seems to be plywood. So I got a sheet of 1/2 inch birch plywood, and tonight Dad and I spent some time cutting it to shape.

Next step is some more rounding (the ends aren't quite symmetrical), then getting the foot straps attached, and painting.