Filed in "geek"

A tale of three pull requests

After years of earning a living through using free software I’ve finally contributed back to the open-source world. Frustration For the two and a half years I’ve been pushing some personal projects to Github and some of my code I’ve been told has even been helpful for others. While this is certainly open-source none of my efforts have affected existing codebases. Numerous times I’ve scoured the bug trackers of projects I’ve had some sort of interest in, on the lookout for an issue I could investigate, even getting as far as reading through upteen lines of foreign code but ultimately unable to add anything.


Belfast Linux meetings restarted on last Wednesday of month

Johnny has kicked the wheel off and BLUG meetings are starting up again on the last Wednesday of the month, starting this evening at 6pm in The Tap House, Lower Crescent, just off Botanic Avenue, Belfast. Some additional information is available on the BLUG Facebook group and on the Belfast Linux newsgroup. See you there!

BarCamp Belfast 2008 this Saturday

It’s nearly time to get your geek-on… Check out Andy’s blog for the skinny on BarCamp Belfast 2008. I hope to see you all there!

Steven Wilkin, professional coffee drinker extraordinaire

There have been times in my life when my job description could well have been best described as being a professional coffee drinker. These days however I’ve found gainful employment but continue to consume vast quantities of the stuff and even use coffee nomenclature to name my new *nix boxes. During a caffeine-fuelled session with my domain registrar I happened to lookup; it was available, all sense went out the window and my money and myself were swiftly parted.


BarCamp Belfast 2008

I attended BarCamp last year and I heard this morning that details of this year’s un-conference have been confirmed. The fun is happening on Saturday 21st June, 9am - 5pm in the Peter Froggatt Centre at Queens University Belfast. See you there!

command line history - me too

I’ve seen this on a couple of blogs recently so I thought I’d give it a go on the VPS this site is hosted on: steve@decaf:~$ history | awk ‘{a[$2]++} END {for(i in a)print a[i] " " i}’ | sort -rn | head -10 190 ls 80 cd 24 cp 22 sudo 19 rm 14 svn 12 history 11 tar 10 wget 10 vi And as root: 172 ls 59 vi 56 cd 22 apt-get 20 less 20 apache2ctl 17 apt-cache 15 cp 10 pwd 10 ps



For the past week I’ve been using up the annual leave that I’d carried over from last year and hit the road for Fermanagh to spend some time with my family. My Mum and myself went to pay a visit on my Grandmother and while stopping to buy some flowers I spotted this on the dashboard: I couldn’t resist. Wikipedia artical for those not in the know.

Virgin Media customer satisfaction shocker

As I mentioned yesterday, my broadband had been on the blink and this morning I decided to take action as I need to do some work from home this weekend. Just before 9am I phoned tech support and was surprised to not have to wait on hold: my call was answered almost immediately. The support guy was polite and after I explained the situation he tested the line from his end and without any messing around scheduled to have an engineer sent out between 12 and 4pm.


Trigger happy without broadband

For 2 days now the “ready” light on my cable modem has failed to light up and hence I’ve had no internet access at home :( I’ve tried power-cycling the modem, leaving it unplugged overnight and even disconnecting and reconnecting the cable input. No Joy. I checked the Virgin Media service status page and can see that there was maintenance scheduled for Belfast this morning, maybe this will remedy the problem…



I’m currently visiting my family in sunny Fermanagh and typing this from the ASUS Eee PC handed to me by Matt as I left the office yesterday. One word sums up my opinion of this little device: “amazement.” I’m amazed that something of this size and at a price of £220 can run a full Linux distribution, has built-in WiFi and can therefore allow me to perform all my day-to-day tasks.



During my day job at $BIG_MONEY I’m behind a restrictive corporate firewall and as such can’t ssh to anywhere in the outside world. Which makes me sad. Step in AjaxTerm: What you are seeing is a screenshot of my screen session for a project I’m working on. Editing a Perl script with vi in my web browser, I love it!

Windows rage

A Windows 2000 workstation, the bloated Office 2003 suite, web-apps that only work with Internet Explorer…

Carving a niche

The past 4 weeks have been hectic: I’ve been overwhelmed with new information and I’ve developed a dependence on searching old emails, miscellaneous text files and word-of-mouth information. There is a plus side though: our team has a wiki. Free software to the rescue once again! The only problem is that a lot of relevant information is either missing, incomplete or of otherwise poor quality, so I found myself compulsively editing and I’ve set myself the challenge of improving the documentation of the various processes our team is associated with.


BarCamp Cometh

I’m now at BarCamp, hyped up on free coffee and looking forward to the upcoming geekiness. It’s been years since I set foot in a lecture theatre at Queen’s and in fact, I think I used to attend Computer Architecture lectures in the very room I’m in now. The line-up for today includes both technical and non-technical topics. and unsurprisingly, it’s the techy stuff that’s appealing to me more, in particular the planned talks on Zope and Ruby.


BarCamp Belfast

It looks like I’ll be attending BarCamp this Saturday. I had initially ruled it out, what with my hectic schedule, but my employer is sponsoring the event and as such I’ll be able to get Monday off work in exchange for representing the company. Happy Days.