End of week 1, term 2, year 2. Finished my assignment on time, so yay, and also managed to visit...

posted 13 January 2002
End of week 1, term 2, year 2. Finished my assignment on time, so yay, and also managed to visit London for a January sales shopping spree, double yay! TopShop (and most of Oxford street) continues to disappoint, while Camden Market and Old Compton Street excelled themselves. I love Camden market, the clothes are plentiful and varied, the prices are good, and they give you discounts in January because only nutters go shopping at an outdoor market in the middle of winter, so sales are slow :-)
  • One of my lecturers has apparently produced this EDSAC simulator. A long-running transatlantic argument continues over who really invented -- or who built -- the first real computer. Most people agree, however, that EDSAC -- the first stored-program computer -- is a contender. Now you too can get output from this great machine on simulated rolls of paper tape! Joy. I like this more than I care to admit.
  • The suitably random Brainsluice brought forth the joys of FireHydrant.Org. This is more proof of my theory that for every noun in the world, there is someone with a fetish for it. If you can think of a disproof, I'm open to suggestions.
  • I went looking for a map of the world (to prove that Pakistan wouldn't really be in trouble from fallout if it decided to nuke India, if you must know; only if it was dumb enough to bomb Northern India) and found a few good sites for maps.
  • I was doing some web stuff using the evil-but-useful MSDN developer's library. It's got basically everything you need to know to get DHTML etc. to work in IE, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
  • Of course, I was also doing my assignment, so I have a slew of links to various Prolog resources. Prolog is an SML-type, turn-your-brain-inside-out-before-starting language, but it does produce pleasingly tiny programs (like, 10 lines) which do surprisingly complicated things (like navigate a graph).
  • Having often wondered myself, I found an amusing list of suggestions for what the "XP" stands for in Windows XP. I found "eXtra Payment" particularly convincing. (Microsoft says it stands for eXPerience; who do they think they're kidding?)
  • I remembered about, searched for (and obviously found, thanks Google!) the utterly fantastic iBrator. If Apple insists on producing iProducts, this will only get more amusing. Incidentally, how sexy is the new iMac? Why don't PC makers come out with stuff that looks this pretty?
  • Further random browsing revealed that, yes, there is a Castle Transylvania, in Transylvania, complete with blood and bats motif and run by a Count. Of course, it's a tourist resort now... or so they say.
  • Look everyone, it's plastic surgery hour! Meanwhile, further disturbing photos of the king of pop led me to find the weird picture archive (human section) which gets a very firm PG-13 rating, not to mention a "gross" rating, but also a "horrifying fascination" rating.
  • I've been spending a lot of time on eBay.co.uk looking for one of these, or one very like it. I'll let you know if I win any auctions :-)
  • Also, I finally found a decent guide to UNIX for all those commands I still don't know how to do.
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