James Ogley

My Blog

27 Feb 2007, 09:10: Pete madness continued...

Further information about last night's Pete-related fun.

The reason I was looking for Googlewhacks was that Amanda and I were watching Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure on TV.

Now, just before the two Petes discovered that they both knew me, the Barman at the pub had asked how the whole Pete Collective thing had got started. Pete Bellamy then started telling him about Dave Gorman and his Googlewhacking exploits, while I was watching it!

It's things like this that make you realise how Dave Gorman ends up in San Diego talking to an 81 year old creationist.

Sitting in the living room looking for Googlewhacks (thanks entirely to Dave Gorman) when my mobile phone rang. I picked it up and the caller ID reported that it was a certain Mr Pete Bellamy. Now, Pete's a mate but he doesn't call me often, so intrigued I flipped it open ...

Me: Mr Bellamy!
Pete: Mr Ogley
The conversation continued and I discovered that I had just come up in a conversation he was engaged in. Not that surprising you might think, given that we were members of the same church in Watford and have roughly the same circle of friends in that part of the world.

Not that surprising until it turns out that Pete is not with people from church. He's not even in Watford. Oh no, he's in London at a meeting of the Pete Collective. The meeting in question is happening at the Jerusalem Tavern and he's talking to another Pete who, it turns out also knows me.

Pete's odd, but not so odd as to ask total strangers who happen to share his forename if they know random people he knows so how did he and this other Pete discover their mutual acquaintance? Well, Pete B mentioned Soul Survivor and the other Pete started racking his brain as to where he's heard that term before. Then it dawned on him. Someone who had previously worked at the same company as him had a connection there and so, Pete Prior asked Pete Bellamy if he knew me and the answer, of course, was yes.

I want to know what the odds of this are? It's pretty mad and a huge coincidence to say the least. It's also brought a smile to my face.

[Pete photo]
Pete is on the left (and another Pete is on the right)

26 Feb 2007, 10:51: Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie...

Newly landed in my home repo, packages of Gimmie, the rethought panel for GNOME by Alex. Don't worry if you find yourself torn between the glorious beauty that is Gimmie and the rock-solid stability of the existing GNOME panel though as you can use it as a panel applet.

Packages for i586 and x86_64 are available for 10.2 and Factory already and are building for 10.1 at the moment. 10.0 and 9.3 may follow if it'll build on them.a

23 Feb 2007, 11:26: Kulow v2.0

Congrats to Stephan on his new project. Great screenshot although the interface is still clearly in development.

I worked on a similar project over the last year or so and we came out of beta and released last month. Expect to spend August and September doing a lot of bug fixing.

20 Feb 2007, 22:27: Main Menu

Thanks to Stephan, Miguel and Marco for recent posts about the GNOME Main Menu. Thanks in particular to Marco for his mockups of essentially what I said last month should happen with the menu. I think I'd want to add a couple more comments:

  • The menu takes too long to appear the first time you click it. On my notebook (Core Solo CPU, 512M RAM) it takes about a second from my click to the menu appearing - it should be basically instantaneous.
  • It occasionally starts consuming lots and lots of memory as does the application-browser although the a-b issue would be knocked on the head were Marco's mockups to be implemented.

19 Feb 2007, 18:04: We the undersigned ...

... petition the Prime Minister to Stand charged at the International Criminal Court with War Crimes commited in the illegal war on Iraq. (sic)

Sign it.

10 Feb 2007, 16:23: Best spam Subject ever...

A mail with this Subject header avoided SpamAssassin this morning. It made me laugh out loud.

Anchovie Crisis (sic)
Any ideas as to what crisis could be?

W00t! Welcome back to Planet SUSE, Robert! The users of Blogger/BlogSpot/Blogorama/Whatever else they call themselves are now syndicated correctly.

09 Feb 2007, 16:48: Planet SUSE work continues

Well, having made some design tweaks to Planet SUSE, I've now done some back-end tidying. Specifically, I upgraded to Planet 2.0 so that Blogger Atom feeds now work correctly again. I also removed some dead blogs. They're just commented out so that I can easily restore them if they become live again. What it means is that you can now be sure that if a blog is listed on Planet SUSE, it's live (even if it's not updated very often).

08 Feb 2007, 22:34: Thursday

So much to talk about today. Firstly, the snow. Or rather, the lack thereof. Nottingham seems to have got off relatively lightly in terms of snowfall. In spite of that, I was still astounded by the general inability of the driving population of this country to remember how to drive in snow from one winter to the next.

Next up is the statement Abu Bakr, one of the men arrested in the Birmingham 'beheading plot'[1] that the UK is a police state for Muslims. It's hard to see how that statement is anything but accurate. It seems that the police now have carte blanche to harass Muslims and arrest them without good reason. What seems like racial and religious profiling has real potential, in my view, to lead to an even more worrying scenario: the harassment and unnecessary arrests of those who speak out against the racist policies of the Blairite government.

Linked to this is yesterday's visit to the Houses of Parliament by Shilpa Shetty. This cynical move by Blair and that exemplar of good government, Keith Vaz was a desperate attempt to hide the fact that the mother of a serviceman killed in the illegal, racist war in Iraq was denied an audience with the PM[2] while giving Blair a chance to appear to stand against racism. The irony of this is painful more than it is amusing.

[1] See also comments by Roger.
[2] Sorry, I couldn't find a link to this story, but it was all over the radio yesterday.

Joe announced the release of Beagle 0.2.16 earlier today. A very hefty load of bug fixes and well worth an upgrade I fancy.

What he didn't announce (silly Joe) is that we now have a dedicated Beagle repository on the Build Service. At the moment there are channels for [open]SUSE 10.1, 10.2 and Factory but in the future, other distros (including non-SUSE ones) will probably be added.

Hopefully it could be a one-stop-shop for Beagle packages in the long term and a real resource to the community (as is the case generally with the BS).

06 Feb 2007, 11:37: BBC Radio on Banshee (4)

Banshee now supports user-defined stations correctly and so you can add the BBC feeds without the fear that they may get nuked by refreshing from the Banshee server. You can either add them manually one-by-one or download a full BBC radio playlist. One amendment to make this work with the new version: Save the bbc.xspf file to ~/.gnome2/banshee/plugins/stations/user and you should be good to go.

06 Feb 2007, 11:30: PEBCAK

Many thanks again to Roger Light for helping me trace the source of my problem with li on Planet SUSE. Turned out it was a classic PEBCAK scenario and I feel really dumb now. Serves as a reminder that I need to do a serious tidy up on PS at some point. Thankfully it works as intended now.

05 Feb 2007, 22:22: Monday

Bishops' Inspectors are in college this week so I have to be cheerful and nice for five whole days. I don't know how I'm going to manage it.

Thanks to Roger Light for getting in touch regarding my CSS query. Perhaps I should post the code I'm using:

li {
list-style-image: url('/icon-10x10.png');
I'm pretty sure this should work. Any thoughts as to why it doesn't gratefully received.

Callum: Colic [:(] New photos [:)]

03 Feb 2007, 21:24: Saturday

Made some minor design changes to Planet SUSE that I'd been planning for a while this afternoon. Links to the feeds of blogs that are syndicated are now indicated by [FEED]. To match, I've used [*] next to each link in the links section. I'd intended to use that same icon as the bullets where there are unordered lists (ul) but couldn't work out why. If anyone can drop me a line with a hint as to the CSS-Fu required, I'd be very grateful.

Had the misfortune to catch the tail-end of When Will I Be Famous on BBC1 this evening. The viewing public voted a woman dancing with a dog as the winner which goes to prove that however little taste you think the public has, they manage to demonstrate that they have even less.

02 Feb 2007, 15:09: suse.co.uk

Good to hear that suse.co.uk has been reclaimed by Novell. I have very happy memories of that domain, of being the primary tech contact for it and of the special feeling of first getting an @suse.co.uk email address when I joined the company.

Of course, the domain ought to point at UK-specific information on the Novell site, such as UK contact information.

01 Feb 2007, 20:04: home.rubberturnip.org.uk

home.rubberturnip.org.uk is currently unavailable because I'm doing an OS upgrade on it, if you send any mail to Amanda or me in the meantime it will be queued but we may not respond as quickly as you may like.

Update: Upgrade finished, normal service should now be resumed.