Keybinding For Cygwin

When I moved up to Newcastle and had Outlook inflicted on me for a while, I moved to using a trackball. I’ve found that they are much, much easier on the wrist for mouse-heavy applications. The experience has generally been good. However, logitech insist of supplying mouse drivers which attempt to be clever, and do the right thing all the time. One of these things, was to screw up cutting and pasting into a cygwin window. Finally, I have found the solution: bind '"\C-y":paste-from-clipboard' Emacs keybindings in cygwin: what more could you want? Originally published on my old blog site.


I’ve been totally obsessed recently with Pandora; basically, they have defined a feature set for music, attributed this set to a library of music and there you have it: theme-based, personalised internet radio. I’ve discovered some many new musicians this way. Ani DiFranco is playing at the moment (who I knew before). But Melisa Ferrick and Erin McKeown I’d never heard of before. Jess Klein, I am probably going to see at the Cluny this week. At times, you think that talent is a rare thing, but, then, there are so many people in the world, there is a continual stream of excellent, surprising and exciting music and art being produced. The traditional media has limited us massively; we get to hear so little of what is available. It’s not really a surprise that the v…

Tofu and Noodles

Tried a new technique last night; basically, I just slow, shallow fried large lumbs of tofu. After a while, once they had sealed, I threw in some cayenne, garlic and, then, some Udon noodles with a bit of stock to let them cook. Worked pretty well, as it happens. Took ages, as you’d expect from a bit lump of tofu, but required little effort. Originally published on my old blog site.

Soothing an irritation

This morning I got up early and came in for a session on module design, as part of the PCAP course. I was irritated to find out that it actually wasn’t on at all, and that I had completely wasted my time in coming in early (which, if I was being uncharitable, I might think would have been what happened anyway). But all is not lost. I found the solution to a problem that has been bugging me for ages. Once upon a time, I managed to type my email address as, by mistake, into firefox. It’s been offering me this as a completion for the last year. I have finally found the solution on a blog — select the option, press shift and delete, and it magically disappears. Originally published on my old blog site.

Learning to Teach

Have spent the last three days doing a teaching and learning course. I wouldn’t mind doing this course but, like most academics, I’m fairly overloaded and would be more interested in doing my own research, rather than listening to others talk about research that I am not that interested in. Still, there have been sections of the course that was quite interesting. I’m a bit distressed to find that I found the section of resource allocation — that is, how the finance system of the university system works, and where the cash goes — has been by far the most interesting section. What am I turning into? Originally published on my old blog site.


One of the things that annoys my about politics is the tendancy to massively over-interpret information. The recent spat over the education of Ruth Kelly’s son is an example. She’s decided to send him to a private school, as it would appear to be more appropriate for him. As far as I can see, the conclusions that you can draw from this, is that for one child, with one set of learning difficulties, in one area, one private school appears to be better than state provided options. Interpretation made in the press is that this means that any child, in any area, with any learning difficulty would be better off in private education. It would be a shock, indeed, if you could find no child, anywhere, who was not going to better off in a private school. Originally published on my old…

To the Manor Born

Today, I am at a research away-day at Slaley Hall. This is a De Vere hotel, which I am sure is the name of Peter Bowles’ character. The whole place has a wildly expensive feel to it. Internet access is 15 quid for a 24 hour period, which is probably about a markup up of about four orders of magnitude. When I was younger, I thought that the difference between an expensive hotel and a cheap one would be the basic quality of the experience; better beds, nicer food and so on. It’s not really true though. Expensive hotels have exactly the same problems as cheap ones: soft beds, bad food, light pollution from the corridor, noisy mini-bar and air con and, worst, people having sex upstairs. The difference is that the add-ons, that you don’t use anyway, are better. The free bis…


Been trying out Zudeo. Basically, it’s Azuerus with a nice front end. It doesn’t take too much to get behind the front though: strange messages about NATs, UPnP devices and port numbers pop up with regularity. They need to think more if they really want to sell this to the mass market. The basic idea of a high quality version of YouTube is fine, but it takes too long at the moment for the download. Originally published on my old blog site.

Christmas Offerings

Perhaps it’s a bit daft of me, expecting too much, but I’d hoped for some quality entertainment over the Christmas break. I have to say, I was most disappointed by the general quality of the TV. I was looking forward to the Ruby in the Smoke, which the BBC dramatised; I’m a great fan of the books. Somewhat inevitably, Sally Lockhart was played by Billy Piper, who appears to have become the BBC standard feisty hero. She was okay although, perhaps, a bit old (Sally is 14 in the book). Julie Walters was excellent as always. In general, the film I think lacked over the book. They cut out too many of the incidental details which provides the books it’s richness. The sense of the Sally fighting against society was lost. One thing they left in, was the death of Mrs Holl…

Christmas Spirit

On the metro this morning (my bike is in dry-dock), there was a women with two young kids (2 years old say), who was encouraging them to sing Jingle Bells and other such seasonal favourites. Actually, encouraging them! I mean, did she not know, that everyone else listening to an out of tune, kiddy-drivvel version of Jungle Bells just wanted both of the cute small kids to be quiet? Or die. Horribly. Climbing the stairs to the way out, I was greeted with "Bing, Bing, Bong, The Metro would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas". What’s the point of a recorded service announcement about this! Am I suposed to think that a piece of tape is showing sincerity? Canned, automated, templated Christmas greets are a scourge. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Originally publishe…