I am a Geek

I love me some sci-fi, fantasy and super heroes, be that in movie, book, comic or TV form. I play board games, computer games and even sometimes D&D. Trying to pretend I'm not a geek would be silly.

A Fitness Story

During most of university I was in pretty crap shape, but in the second year of my PhD my physical condition got particularly lousy. I caught a bus every morning which left from directly outside my flat and took me directly to the university. I did pretty much no exercise and ate an awful lot of takeaway. A few of my friends remarked that I'd gained weight. "Don't worry," they said "it's fine," in response to my mortified expression, I'm sure "You look well with it". But I knew I looked nothing of the sort. To paraphrase Eddie Izzard: when

Read this post

New (ish) Year, New (ish) Blog

2011 was an interesting year for me. A lot changed. I turned 30. After 10 years of residency I moved away from Edinburgh, a city I love dearly, and took a job in London. With Google. As a result, I no longer work with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for a living. Instead I build web services. Quite the change, I'm sure you'll agree. In the early months of the year I finally completed the corrections to my PhD, and then in the summer: I graduated. It took 6 years (all together) but I am now Dr. Nick Johnson. I also lost

Read this post

Who Likes Short Shorts?

I think I love almost everything about this short film. That being the case, I'll quit my chin wagging and just get on with showing it:

{% include youtube.html video="4drucg1A6Xk" %}

Mucho kudos to Dan Trachtenburg, Danielle Rayne, and everyone else envolved. No get back to it. I want more!

Read this post

Full Nerd II: Nerd Harder

It seems that people really enjoyed my post about the computer history museum. At the time I wrote it, I was worried that it might constitute just a little bit too much nerd, so I held back on my initial impulse to put in more pictures and gush enthusiastically about how awesome it all was.

With hindsight, perhaps I can afford to ignore that particular mental stopcock, at least for a little while. I do not, I regret to tell you, have anymore pictures of the teapot. I do intend to buy myself a Melitta teapot at some point quite

Read this post

A Different Kind of Tourism

If a person were to walk from downtown Mountain View (in so far as Mountain View has a town to be down of) to the Computer History Museum, and then kept going, they might find themselves wandering into Shoreline Business Park. This is where you would find the silicon in this part of the valley.

Of course, there isn't actually a lot of touristing to do in your average industrial park. We're in Silicon Valley here, though, surely there must be something to see? Well... there are signs for reasonably exciting tech companies, with logos and everything... for example:

Here's

Read this post

...In Which I Go Full Nerd

Jet lag is a funny thing. Right now it actually seems to be working in my favour; it's managed to knock a couple of bad habits out of me. Specifically, these happen to be the not entirely unrelated habits of going to bed too late (then making it later by reading for a good long while) and getting up too late. Right now I seem to be fighting to keep my eyes open by around nine, and then being wide awake by seven. Which is more or less the position I found myself in on Sunday. Since day one at

Read this post

There Can be Only... Several...

As I've previously mentioned, my project (Clockwork Aphid) has been bubbling away in the bearded cauldron that is my head for quite some time. As a result, I have quite a bit I want to say about it. I want to blog about the process of building it because I think it might be a good exercise to go through, and also because I think it might help me work the whole thing out. I'm going to talk more about what it actually is quite soon, partly because I want to start talking about implementation and partly because I've been

Read this post

WoW oh WoW

Sooner or later, most people go looking for a bit of escapism every once in a while. There's definitely a spectrum of how far people like to escape. Some can't stand anything which steps outside the bounds of the possible, others practically require spaceships and dragons to co-exist with emotionally retarded vampires. Likewise, some people look to books for their diversions, some theatre, radio, television or cinema. Some people play computer games or one sort of another. No one is saying that everyone, or indeed anyone, has make a specific and binding choice, though. You can watch a movie about

Read this post

Location Location Location

One of the few things I've missed since abandoning the good ship Windows PC for the Mac... er... Zeppelin (why not?) is magazines. I used to really enjoy reading the PC gaming and hardware mags. Oftentimes they were pitched at about the right level for me. I felt neither patronised nor confused. I'm afraid to say that this is not the case with Mac magazines. For the most part they tend to aim a little low, tech wise (no kidding, right?). I did also try Linux magazines, but generally found them to be way too dry and not especially well

Read this post

...And Another Couple Of Things

Something I forgot to mention in my last post was my trying to look at the iPad from a developer's perspective. I talked before about a programming side project that I've had bouncing around in my head for a while. Previously, I mentioned that I wasn't sure if it was a website, an application, or some combination of the two. Then again I could see some use cases in which a laptop might be a bit cumbersome and a smart phone too small and underpowered. In which case neither the application of the website is entirely satisfactory. I'm actually now

Read this post