Monday, 25 January 2010

Researcher language

This (from XKCD) is so accurate, it's scary :-)

Monday, 18 January 2010

Cambridge experience

It's very easy to take for granted living in Cambridge. But then something happens and you realize how lucky you are.

On Saturday I took the girls to Evensong at Kings College Chapel. It was a special Evensong to honour Sir David Willcocks' 90th birthday. Sir David himself conducted, including some of his own compositions. It was a beautiful occasion with three choirs (Mateja was singing in the CUMS choir).

The girls found it a little long, so I distracted them by getting them to look at the dragons and dogs carved on the walls. Of course, the interior of the chapel is one of the greatest interiors in the world! Sitting there, listening to some wonderful music, in the magnificent surroundings of the chapel, made me think how lucky we were.

On Sunday evening, we went to the light show which formed the finale for the University's celebrations for its 800th Anniversary. It was quite stunning:

Appropriately for a finale, the light show focused on current work taking place at the University.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Form vs function

Here's an interesting mobile phone form factor from Motorola.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


The family breakfast is the one meal I worry about (although only a little). We're always very tight on time, especially as Mateja and I need espresso coffee to wake us up. The girls are keen on cereal, but I recently watched a documentary on breakfast cereals which revealed that they are pumped full of salt, sugar, and generally don't have the health benefits that some advertise.

The breakfast du jour is porridge. Everyone's talking about it - I noticed last night that even M&S carry porridge pots, where you just add boiling water... Unfortunately the girls are not that keen on it. I have been wondering whether I've been making it correctly, so I was interested to read this in today's paper. [Even though it's one of Satnam's favourite, I may well skip the nip of whisky!]

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New year, new phone!

Happy New Year!

I have celebrated the new year by upgrading my mobile phone. I confess to agonizing over my choice, and I apologize to my colleagues who I have bored silly with my research into phone size, processor specs, and endless review comparisons. My previous phone, an HTC Touch, has served me very well, but I really wanted to get a new contract with a decent data component so I could fit the "3 screens and a cloud" model that everyone's talking about.

Of course, I could have followed half the planet and gone with an iPhone. But there were three things against it: (i) the contracts are expensive; (2) its Outlook support is not quite rich enough for me; and (iii) it actually doesn't work that well as a phone. (All my friends with one, comment that it frequently drops calls and reroutes calls straight to voicemail.)

These three constraints are quite hard to solve :-) In the end, I am essentially stuck with needing another Windows Mobile phone. Luckily HTC have been working hard to make WinMo a more sexy proposition. So, I have gone for the HTC HD2. It's a very nice phone - HTC have re-skinned WinMo 6.5, making it much more finger friendly. Moreover, the HD2 has an amazing 4.3", 800*480, capacitive screen. Yes, that's right: multi-touch on a WinMo phone!

So far, it's been a nice experience. The only downside I've noticed is that the 3G coverage for Vodafone is a little patchy. There are a few bugs that I've tripped over, but I'm looking forward to version 2 of the ROM, which has been leaked here; it looks great.

[I have treated mine a bit better than this guy!]