F1 2011

Let me start by saying that I am pretty big F1 fan, as well as being a fan in general of racing games (arcade & sim). I have owned various F1 games, on a variety of consoles. Last weekend I purchased F1 2011 on the PC through Steam (by far the best digital solution for buying games), now that I’ve had a chance to play the game for a bit I thought I’d share my thoughts.

XBMC Issues With XFCE/Compositing

I have just come across an issue that I struggled to diagnose, I couldn’t find this anywhere online, so if only for myself in the future I thought I would write this up here, so hopefully when I google the problem in a year’s time, I’ll find myself writing about it :) I have recently switched to using Xubuntu 11.04 for my media PC installation. XBMC is my choice for controlling all of this (I may write another post sometime explaining my setup in more detail, but for now this is about a specific problem).

Rules for committing to SVN

I just stumbled upon this sitting on our servers at work, although this is written specifically for us, it should be relevant to anyone using SVN. Hopefully someone will find this useful. Golden Rules Golden Rule #1 Golden Rule #2 FAQ How often should I commit? Should I work in the trunk, or in a branch? What should I do with uncommitted changes? Golden Rule #1 The trunk should ALWAYS build and be stable.

Firefox vs Chrome

I have been using Firefox since version 0.9 alpha… it’s been a long and mostly enjoyable journey. However I have been unable to resist the ever-growing hype surrounding Google Chrome.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I switched. To try to see if I could cope with Chrome as my everyday browser. I thought I’d write a short piece on my experiences:

Chrome 5 dev channel vs Firefox 3.6.4b.

Note that this is not a ‘fair’ test, Firefox had many many more installed extensions, this is only my observations so please don’t complain if I wasn’t fair.

Adding a column to a replicated table in SQL Server 2005

A problem that I have come across a number of times, yet seem to forget how to solve, is when you want to add a column to a table that you have set up for replication in SQL Server 2005. SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) modifies a table by simply dropping it, then re-creating it again with the new definition. However, when a table is replicated you’re not allowed to drop it (all kinds of nasty things could happen).

Creating new projects in SVN and Trac

I have finally managed to introduce Trac and Subversion (SVN) at work. For the first few months, only some projects were put into SVN and fewer were put into Trac. This was partly due to people not feeling the need, but more to do with people not knowing/understanding how to create these projects.

Since I was the one who setup and researched SVN and Trac, I was fairly comfortable setting up a new repository or new Trac project, however it was quite daunting for any body else to step in and do, and even more daunting for me to try and explain the process to people.

Now that 2010 (twenty ten?) is upon us, it was decided we would move all active projects (those that we are still supporting) into SVN and create Trac projects.

We have about 50 applications that are still being supported, so even split among 4, I didn’t really want to have to go through the process of creating repositories and Trac projects for all of this, so I started looking into a way of scripting this. Since I’ve really not done much scripting before, it took me slightly longer than planned, but 2 work days (work was snowed off for 3 days this week) later and the script is ‘done’, so I thought I’d share it here, and share the difficulties I had. Maybe someone will find this useful.

Badminton - New Season

So, I know that I haven’t posted an update to this thing since my most read post about google wave (since then I have received an invite, got all excited, then realised its too buggy for everyday use). Anyway, that isn’t what this post is about. I’m going to talk about badminton. The new season has started, and this time round I’m playing in 3 teams. The same 2 from last year, Blackminster B team, should have got into the A team, but my form hasn’t been good enough and Stow’s mixed team, where we are the defending champions.

Google Wave

I just finished watching the Google Wavevideo on YouTube, here. Google have come along with a new technology called Wave. Watch the video to find out more about it (be warned, its a video from the Google I/Odeveloper conference, so its a little techy). Basically they have stepped back from the way we currently communicate with each other (e-mail, IM, SMS) etc and, reinvented it. Its hard to explain, just watch the video(its long though).


I stumbled on this add-on to Firefox today, finally solving an annoyance I’ve had for ages. Ubuntu Jaunty has a great new notification system (not perfect, but certainly a step in the right direction), yet Firefox continued to use its own silly notification in the lower left corner of the screen. With this add-on the Firefox will utilise the notification system that comes with Ubuntu Jaunty: Firefox Download Notification Get the add-on here.

Star Trek

Last Saturday (16th) I saw Star Trek at the IMAX in birmingham. Overall I thought the film was pretty good, one of the best I’ve seen this year, but I have some concerns. This film was one of the rare occasions where I had issue with the quality of the production. Although I’m a bit of a video/audiophile when it comes to quality, I’m usually quite good at getting into a film’s story/action.