Lightweight Repositories

Well, my rant of a few days ago did give rise to a useful discovery which is Nature Proceedings. Lodge your PDF, get back a DOI. Nature are doing great guns on this at the moment, although I think it’s a pity that we tie ourselves to the mast of a publishing house. I will definately consider going this route for next year. Maybe would just ask all authors to just submit here, and send us a DOI. Originally published on my old blog site.

Cafe de Vie

Went to the Cafe de Vie for lunch today. It’s quite nice inside, although would be better without the music. The menu was okay, rather than inspired: it’s basically posh sarnies, italian style, served by the French. The food looked okay on the counter. Their service was interesting: the heated food (toasted sandwiches, sorry panini’s) was very slow to come. When it did come, the waitress described it in French, and seemed genuinely surprised to be answered in English. Everyone else got their food, but mine never appeared. I went and asked; they had forgotten. So, no idea at all what the food is like, but I can say that it did offer a genuine and authentic French experience. Originally published on my old blog site.

Institutional and Subject Archives

I’ve been looking at options for storing papers from bio-ontologies. All I want is a place to lodge PDFs, with some standardised Dublic Core metadata, and get a DOI out. It’s turning out to be surprisingly hard. In the process, I have found that JISC has been funding a repositories programme. If you look at their architecture you see a depressing thing. They have actually got terrible idea that "institutional" and "subject" repositories should be built into their architecture. The point is that institution and subject should be just a part of the data model that are used to store papers; by making it explicit in the architecture, it becomes fixed, unchangable. Why do I care? Well, first as a cross-disciplinary scientist, I am also scared of anything orga…

Paco Pena

I first went to see Paco Pena years ago at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge. I’ve managed to miss him ever since, mostly because there was something else on at the same time; this time it was Bo Diddley who was playing. He has sadly had a stroke and the concert was called off. It’s an ill wind, as it mean that I got to see Paco instead. The last time I saw him solo. Now he has three guitarists, two vocalists, a percussionist and three dancers. Flamenco is arrogant, brash and melodramatic; Paco Pena’s show lived up to this. The music was wonderful though, and the dance astounding. I have to be honest and say that I prefer the music: the stage lights were quite bright (I was sitting at the edge of the stage, directly in the path of from lights from the other side). After …

Google Calendar Fixed Undisaster

As described previously, Google Calendars was broken for me. But, magically and randomly, it appears to have fixed itself today. Thanks heavens for that. Originally published on my old blog site.

Green Festival

Went to the Green Festival in Leazes Park at the weekend. The weather was great — cloudy on day two, but still nice and warm. I like the Green Festival. It’s easy to be cynical — 100s of Geordies saving the environment by swilling beer out of plastic glasses. But it’s got a great feeling to it, relaxed and comfortable. And this year, the music was better than last year. Amusingly, at one point a drunk guy decided to go swimming in the boating lake. Got an enormous crowd. Slightly depressing for the musicians; you spend years learning to play, getting songs and rehearsing and then get upstaged by someone drinking too much beer and cavorting in algae ridden lake. Originally published on my old blog site.


My pension document arrived today. On the 28/02 I have been in paying a pension for 7 years and 43 days. That’s a lot of cash, especially given the chances that it’s worth more than a packet of smarties when I am 70 are small. Originally published on my old blog site.

Simple Kid and Groove Armada

Bit late to be writing this, as both gigs where a while back. I’ve never heard to Simple Kid but Dan suggested the gig, bought the tickets and then found that he couldn’t go. Which was a pity because it was a great gig. Simple Kid looks like a hippie Bjorn Borg. He writes catch songs with driving drums underneath; he’s actually a pretty good guitarist as well, playing some fine solos. The obvious comparison is Beck, but you need to throw in a slice of Glen Tilbrook and Jimmy Page as well. His show is solo, with a laptop playing backing tracks, images, and sometimes lyrics. Strange set up, but it worked well. He has a great sense of humour as well, which really made the night. Groove Armada on the other hand, I’ve written about before. They were great live, excell…


Decided to register for facebook today to see what it’s all about. Did not get off to a good start as it would not accept my name as "legitimate". Ended up registering as "John Smith". Entertaining. Wake up people. Lots of people have lots of different names. Blacklisting on words does not make sense. Originally published on my old blog site.

Enormous rant

I’ve just been engaged in an enormous rant about the Access Grid. This is video conferencing software that I’ve been using for over 5 years now. It’s dreadful. I live for the day that we can dump it, especially now that skype and teamspeak have outdated it. We shall see… Originally published on my old blog site.