September 11, 2013

Quote: Look well to each step

Posted in Misc at 03:08 by graham

From the epilogue of Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild”:

Still, the last sad memory hovers round, and sometimes drifts across like floating mist, cutting off sunshine and chilling the remembrance of happier times.

There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell; and with these in mind I say: Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime.

Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end

Edward Whymper, Scrambles Amongst the Alps

One of my favorite quotes.

March 5, 2013

Chapter books for a three / four year old

Posted in Misc at 23:32 by graham

Starting in summer 2012, when my son was 3.5, I started reading chapter books to him, a chapter or two a night. Before we started chapter books, it was always easy to find good books to read to them (from board books upwards). Now though, I struggled finding good chapter books for this age group.

I’ve collected a list of the ones we tried, in order, with notes if appropriate. I’m linking all the books to Amazon to be clear which book it was, but we got most from our local library.

Jason’s Quest – A lovely book to start with. A wonderful adventure, which never gets too frightening, or too hard to follow, and the good folks win in a good way.

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Might have been a little too frightening at the beginning, with the mean farmers trying to kill the fox. In retrospect I would have saved it till he was a few months older.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

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February 2, 2012

Miami Vice: Off-duty

Posted in Misc at 05:13 by graham

Someone once told me that interesting stories start like this:

  1. Establish what “normal” looks like in your world. If your story is set in present-day New York, you can do that quickly, during the opening credits. If your story is set in Middle Earth, it takes a lot longer.
  2. Break the routine. Frodo has to leave the shire. This is when the story really starts, and why you’re watching it. Today is different.

The remake of the classic 80s series, Miami Vice (2006), fails at number 2. For the whole film, two undercover vice squad detectives go undercover to bust a vice gang. Sure there’s fast cars, guns, all that, but it could of been so much better.

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June 30, 2011

Kobo eReader Touch on Ubuntu Linux

Posted in Misc, Software at 22:22 by graham

Ten days ago, I received a Kobo eReader Touch for father’s day. It’s a lovely device. Here’s my impressions.

It’s a USB device.

  1. Plug it in to your Ubuntu machine (or probably any modern Linux distro). It shows up as a USB storage device.
  2. Drag and drop books in any supported format onto it.
  3. Unplug, switch on, read books.

It’s that simple. If you had a solid-state MP3 player (before your phone played them), this will feel familiar.

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January 27, 2010

Treating the common cold

Posted in Misc at 07:59 by graham

Will Vitamin C really prevent or cure your cold?

What about Echinacea?

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October 1, 2009

Guy Kawasaki's 10-20-30 presentation rule

Posted in Misc at 18:41 by graham

Funny, practical, and well worth 1 minute 50 seconds of your life:

via the BootUp Labs Blog.

September 17, 2009

I'm on identi.ca and Twitter

Posted in Misc at 17:08 by graham

I am sharing my thoughts, mainly about web technologies, on identi.ca and twitter.

The nature of the medium means those thoughts will be generally raw and truncated, but timely.

July 30, 2009

Quote of the day – monkeys

Posted in Misc at 20:09 by graham

In response to monkeys stealing his coffee beans, an Indian farmer observes: If you start shooting monkeys, you’ll spend the rest of your life shooting monkeys.

via Bruce Eckel

May 27, 2009

Legal 1 Usability 0

Posted in Misc at 19:55 by graham

The cooking instructions for my Tandoori Chicken Breast microwave lunch, are to cook…

…until internal temperature reaches 74C (165F).

How many office kitchens have a cook’s thermometer? Score nothing for usability.

Should you for any reason attempt to sue the manufacturer, it will rapidly become apparent that you didn’t follow the cooking instructions. Score one for legal.

May 21, 2009

OpenTTD: Trains and signals for beginners – a tutorial

Posted in Misc at 08:22 by graham

I have been playing Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe, or OpenTTD on and off for a while, but I confess I only understood train signals very recently. The game gets a lot more fun once you can have complex track layouts, so here’s a tutorial on train track layout and signaling for complete beginners.

Building tracks the wrong way

If you’re anything like I was, all your train layouts probably look like this:

one-to-one

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