Friday, January 10, 2014

Music Time: Ice Machine

Going back to the original of Ice Machine, it's a lovely gloomy bleepfest very much of the earliest Depeche Mode. But few people know it. Hence a frisson of joy to find this Royksopp cover which turns up the epic...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Musings on the new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS codename

Words are important, codenames doubly so. So when Mr Shuttleworth announced "Trusty Tahr" the codename for Ubuntu 14.04 in this post I thought I'd go look up the creature in Wikipedia ( and see how it fares.

Remembering that Mr Shuttleworth has been big on the convergence theme, even going so far as to claim Apple were following Canonical's lead in nailing an identical operating system in every device (they aren't but thats a different story) and that 14.04 is pencilled in as the big convergence... Well, picking the Tahr as the mascot has a little ironic issue. Lets go to Wikipedia...

 Until recently the three species were believed to be closely related and were placed in a single genus, Hemitragus. 

Good, thats good... very converged and....

Genetic studies have proved that the three tahrs are not as closely related as thought earlier. Now they are considered as members of three separate monotypic genera; Hemitragus is now reserved for the Himalayan Tahr, Nilgiritragus for the Nilgiri Tahr, and Arabitragus for the Arabian Tahr.

The technical term for this is "a bit of a bugger".

Still, Mr Shuttleworth does recount his exposure to the creature

"A small tourist tahr population lived on my favourite Table Mountain, and while they’ve made way for indigenous animals, for a long time they symbolised hardiness and fearlessness, perched as they were against the cliffs."

That's quite delightful. Tell us more Wikipedia....

There is also a population on Table Mountain in South Africa, descended from a pair of tahrs which escaped from a zoo in the 1930s, but most of these have been culled.

Ah, somewhat unfortunate for them and not really "making way for indigenous species". Still, the other Tahr's are doing fine...

While the Arabian Tahr of Oman and the Nilgiri Tahr of South India both have small ranges and are considered endangered...

Now stop that Wikipedia... How about the Himalayan ones?

 ...the Himalayan Tahr remains relatively widespread in the Himalayas, and has been introduced to the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

Ah, excellent, good to see the populat...

 It is hunted recreationally.

Oh come on! That's unfair, unless its really delicious...

The meat, in New Zealand, is considered to be of an acceptable standard.

Well, thats not setting the bar high. Why the hunting Wikipedia?

Tahr are considered a challenging species to hunt in New Zealand due to the high altitude they live at and the steep, bluffy terrain they frequent

They hide in the mountains and are hard to get to. Still, at least they are energetic beast with all that climbing and... OH WHAT IS IT WIKIPEDIA?

A daily routine of feeding up during the morning followed by a long rest period then feed down again at evening constitutes the tahr's daily routine.

I think I'd better leave it there. Good luck with the 14.04. I'd be getting a team on working out what to do for the letter U well in advance though.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music time - Zero Zero

Did you know that Mike "Wombles" Batt made a sci-fi musical back in 1982? I remember it... and when I had a search earlier I found someone else had too and put the complete Zero Zero up on YouTube.

"I was born number 17, Romeo Delta 59, System 605, Unit 61... But you can call me Ralph."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's a Tubular Miracle

Some weeks back, I went out on the Tube. Somewhere around Tooting Broadway, I lost my Fitbit. To be honest I assumed it was gone and after pondering, ordered a replacement. But for a laugh, I put in a lost property query with London Transport.

Today they got back to me. They found it! They identified it based on the journey I'd given. And its waiting for me to give the £4 restoration fee to them at Baker Street where it will be returned to me.

Thats rather splendid.

If you lose something you'll want to go to the online Lost Property Office where you can put in your query.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

As I went looking for some music...

There's a BBC trailer for "What Remains" with a version of "You're Not Alone". It wasn't Olive so I went looking. It's Arlissa and there's a copy of it up on Soundcloud. Enjoy it here.

Codescaling, behind the scenes

In the background on Codescaling, I've been refining the way I write stories. I've gone for the simple route of writing the core text in Markdown in Sublime Text (and Editorial on the iPad soon) and then converting to HTML and pasting into for topping-and-tailing. It seems to be the easiest way to embed links and formatting without being in's dashboard. I've dropped making links open a new window, an old habit from The H, and gone for in place link opening.

The thing that worries me is there's so few following on social media... six on @codescaling on Twitter and three on the codescaling Google+ page. Maybe I need more cat pictures or a "Cat on the coding keyboard" video... "Make them System.exit(1) coding cat!"

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A little bit of music....

Still loving this track and wondering how to make a short film using it...

...though Person of Interest may have beaten me to it...

... yet it has to lose a potent line of the song to do it. Did you spot it?

A small revamp...

I've brought all the old codepapacy content onto this blog and from now on, this old mess will continue to be my personal blog. I just couldn't rationalise having two rather similar blogs now that is a go. Apologies for any hassles in advance.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 kicks off....

And now the new project...

It's news about code at different scales, from embedded to clouds.