Last night was the Welsh Release party for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope. 6 people turned up in total, which isn’t bad in my oppinion for a team that only formed a few months ago.
Attending was Nrrd, Suave, Ianto, a chap called Nathan who isn’t on IRC, Brace (?) and myself. It’s always interesting to meet new people, and these are probably the first group of Ubuntu people I’ve met since I bought my Eee PC from Popey
Everyone seemed to arrive at the Central Bar in Cardiff, skipping Starbucks (that may be a lesson for next time) and we sat, had a few drinks and nattered away quite happily. An enjoyable time was had by all it seemed.
Since I was paying for a train ticket into Cardiff, I thought I’d have a wander with my Camera too. The pictures I took over the whole day I was there are in the flash slide show below. Enjoy
Recently I’ve been fighting off depression and it’s made me take stock of what I do quite a lot. Sometimes it’s necessary for me to stop what I’m doing and often it’s because I’ve looked at what I’m doing and become a bit confused. When ever I do this I end up looking at what I’m doing and asking “How is this me?”. It seems like a silly question sometimes, but life is consistantly changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, so it’s necessary now and again to stop and define what things really mean.
Who am I? I think it’s safe to sat that what you do and how you act defines you, so I shall pick a few things on what I do and how I act to try and define myself.
How is this me? I’ve always felt that everything has a reason that can be understood. When told that the universe has been created I always ponder if this was true, how was it created? What where it’s initial ingredients? How can you set off a system with a few simple rules to create such a complex system? What are these rules and can they be replicated. I’ve always felt that this is part of me, and the more I understand of how the world we live in works, the more I see that it’s important to find a place in it.
I always want to understand why something has happened, how something has gone wrong. These in some ways drive me to do things. As I’ve struggled recently with the depression I feel that I’ve been losing this drive a bit and become too accepting of facts and not questioning things enough. This is me.
Linux and OSS
How is this me? While the idea of financial gain is nice, it somehow seems unnerving. In the land of software, it sometimes seems as if it has got to a point of being all about financial gain, and not what can be done.
Linux and OSS are not just about freedom, they are about being able to push what you can do and do it faster, more intelligently to save effort. A lot of proprietry software seems to think that the software is the important factor, but it’s what the user can do with it that’s more important. If a piece of software can’t do something I need to do, then why shouldn’t I be able to add that functionality? If I needed that functionality chances are someone else will do someday to, so I can give that back to the people who originally made the software. While this doesn’t make me monetarily better off, somewhere it will make someones life easier. This is a net saving in frustration and seems to be worth far more than a few pounds extra at the end of the month.
Linux is also about a community, and more of life should be about this. I have found that the UK Ubuntu community is made up of some of the nice, most helpful people I’ve talked too. Some of whome I have started to regard as friends, and hope to make that so once Uni has finished by taking part more and giving more back to those who have given me so much. Much of the philosophy of this I try and take forward to other parts of my life, not just software.
How is this me? It’s one of the things that makes me stop and look at the world. Sometimes days can get so busy with repetitive, thoughtless tasks that I don’t stop, look or think. When I’m out with a camera I’m always looking, at the way the grass bends with the wind, the way the sun shines across the waves in the bay, the orange glow of the sun rising behind Port Talbot. Small things that seem to be more interesting when you think about what they are, how they happen and what it all really means. Somehow being behind a camera really makes me look enough to appreciate these things the way they should be.
Friends, past and present
Life is incredibly short on cosmological timescales. People come and go, but everyone you meet leaves a mark on you somehow. People I used to be close to have slowly moved away, some people I haven’t seen in a long time. Some friendships are worth more to me than others, but all are individually valuable. These people in a way have formed who am I, what I believe is rightor wrong and what I feel is important in the world. In many ways, bits of everyone I have met are me.
My future wife
In many ways she has shaped the current me more than a lot of other factors, and that isn’t a bad thing. I have known people I would give up a lot to help, but she is the one person I would give up everything for. She is the reason I look forward to a settled married life. There’s no need for piles of money in that future, just enough to get by and her by my side. In a way she is the little piece of the world I have been looking for, and feel like I’ve almost found somewhere I want to be.
There are many other things that are me, but these few I currently feel are the most prominant. So now, people of the interweb, I challenge you to find out just who are you?
Today I started the first fact finding mission for my new project. The Mrs and I went for a walk from Langland Bay,long the cliff tops to Mumbles.
This walk was in the end about 3 miles in length. The start was on the route of the number 12 bus from the Quadrant Station in Swansea town center. We got off the bus near Caswell Avenue and walked along the Langland Golf course, avoiding the occasional golf ball and made it down to the bay.
This is quite a nice little place for rockpooling at low tide, and the rock formation on the east side of the beach are very interesting to say the least.
We walked across the bay, wandering through the various rockpools and taking a gander around before heading up the cliffs along the footpath. One thing we really didn’t expect to find was a toy fire engine wedged between two rocks. Wonder if it was a native one or was lost at sea.
The path along this cliff top was edged with gorse, some of which had already started to flower, and the views from the top where amazing. Pick a nice day to go this way and the views will literally knock your socks off. This path splits into two half way along, one goes up along the top, and the other skims along the base of the cliffs. We started on the top one, then half way along that dropped down to the bottom one to watch the coast guard doing exercises.
After this we wandered along the cliff tops to Mumbles, stopping at the cafe near the pier for a mug of hot chocolate and some lunch. Then we pottered along to Verdis for a breathtakingly tasty icecream to munch on while we walked around the Bay to Oystermouth, where we caught the bus back to the bus station.
A nice short walk, with some breathtaking views.
Since I went to the doctor the other day with a dodgy knee and was diagnosed as being unfit, I have decided to start walking again. This is good as I can fit it in with an old hobby and a new one too, by going geocaching and by improving my landscape photography.
Having had a potter around the interwebs, there don’t seem to be many resources for walking routes in the Gower. Since it’s currently on my doorstep, I thought I’d generate a few maps using the open street map, walk them and then publish them for others to use. Initially these are only going to be short walking routes, but I’m hoping to do a couple of long ones over the easter holidays, and maybe do one or two in Berkshire as well.
While on these walks I can take a few photos and go find a few geocaches. My first walk is going to take me from Mumbles Head to Langland Bay along the cliff tops, there’s three caches on the route, and hopefully the weather will be good for some nice piccies. I’ll attempt to use these to illustrate the walks and make them look nice Might need to raid the local library for some history snippets too.
It’s all getting a bit exciting!
So this morning there was heaps of snow around, so out came the camera and we could test the new polariser
The best image I got today was in fact 6 images stitched together using Hugin. Here it is.
Just a shame about the telephone wires blowing in the breeze. Shall have another go somewhere else at some point.
Well, lets look at the targets:
- Be up everyday by 8am – Fail Got up at 9, which is better anyway
- Go for a walk every day – Pass
- Regain my work ethic and concentration by sitting at my desk and working for at least half an hour before a break – Fail, still in the habit of 6 lines and stare at the screen for 45 minutes
- Take a decent photograph every day next week (Mon -> Sun) -Fail, got a picture but not very good, see below.
We shall try this again today, which has certainly started better anyway!
Over the past couple of months I’ve found myself becoming sluggish, and very slow at completing various tasks. This all reached a peak when I found myself unable to sleep a lot of the time so just over a week ago I went to the doctors. Since then I’ve been diagnosed with depression and put on some anti-depressents to try and alleviate things a bit.
The problem I have now is that I have lost my work ethic because of the past few months of lethargicness. I’ve now also found it relativley difficult to actually get out of bed in the mornings. In order to try and rectify this I am giving myself a couple of challenges.
- Be up everyday by 8am
- Go for a walk every day
- Regain my work ethic and concentration by sitting at my desk and working for at least half an hour before a break
- Take a decent photograph every day next week (Mon -> Sun)
As far as I’m concerned, 1 and 3 will be the most difficult, however they’re the most important in that list as it stands. Each day I’ll try and post a progress report, and my photo of the day.
I went wandering this evening after being a bit restless, so decided to try out my new camera (a canon EOS 1000D) on some nice landscapes. Not being very good at photography in general I was quite pleased with the results.
I think in this one the sun was a bit too bright, there maybe someway to filter this out, but I’m unsure.
This one is my favourite. The nice warm glow from the clouds and in the wet sand is amazing. Might have another go if we get another dry evening before christmas