How I became Inspector Gadget.

There are certain points in your life where you can’t help but look back on the preceding years. Officially I have now left college on study leave, until 20 June, which is my last day ever. So how the hell did I end up at this point.

My first exposure to a computer was a windows 3.1 machine in 1995, it was god awful but I was only five and young kids and technology don’t really get on. It was a good few years before I got a computer of my own, I ended up with a Pentium 1 MX running Windows 95, which didn’t last long. I couldn’t play any games on it, and it was stable as a long pole with a plate on it. So inevetably it was upgraded to a machine running Windows 98 Pentium 2, with a decent graphics card and MPEG decoder card.


Its probably at that point that the bug really caught me, from then on in I had a slew of applications and experiments going on the poor computer, which I still have under my desk. Three computers later and I made the big switch to Mac, something which I haven’t regretted, and still manage to keep up with windows excluding Vista which is almost as bad as 3.1. I also managed to pick up Ruby on Rails and a bit of PHP along the way, and ashamed as I am to say it Visual Basic.

People always ask me how I know how computers work. The simple answer is I have been tinkering with them for far too long. Every computer I have owned has been broken replaced upgraded and attacked by me, leading me to come across practically every common error you can get. Its sad to say but I can usually diagnose a hardware fault before the BIOS has finished its self test at boot up, and a software problem by hitting less then 10 commands.

The trend over the last few years is people are using technology every waking moment, but very few know how the stuff works. I love knowing how it works, and couldn’t really care less about using it. I will strip things down take them to bits, rebuild them, and then maybe use them. Because of this I have a collection of gadgets and gizmos that few other people my age can boast. It also means, that college work can sometimes come a distant second to a new gadget or blog post.

I don’t procrastinate as such, I just love technology to distraction. Wait a minute that is technically procrastinating. I don’t know what career I may choose, convergent technologies mean that practically any field is open to me.

Best bit is I know there will never be a boring job, technology is getting more and more exciting the closer we get to the point on the curve we drop off.  

I’m jumping ship – VMware Fusion

VMwareI just installed VMware fusion on my Macbook; Parallels they crept up behind you. Don’t get me wrong I love parallels and its incarnations, but VMware has a smaller feature set and its fast.

I have been running Fedora 7 through VMware, with it emulating to cores thats right you can virtulise stuff on multiple cores. It screams. I had a little trouble getting the resolutions right (this is because Fedora isn’t a supported OS) but a bit of googling (who knew this was now a verb) and I got it going.

I now have a fully operational Death Star, for use with my many future Ruby on Rails Projects. I am really looking forward to seeing what Parallels comes up with in there next version, all it really needs is more performance and I will have a dilemma which to use?

The Code Makes Sense

I have never really considered myself as a programmer, more of a shift and make the code work person. Having done a fair bit VB (gasp a mac user using windows) I am finding that I am picking up coding a lot quicker and also finding it easier to modify things mainly this website.

Whilst the theme itself is great there are things I want my way as such the theme your are looking at is a rapid departure from the original code in places and equally the same in others. I am about a quarter of the way through a book on AJAX and a third of the way through reading the Ruby on Rails books I bought a while back and will probably re-read them because I wasn’t too sure about programming the first time around (and also because I tried to jump in the deep end)

I took me awhile to get the Portfolio image rotator to work properly on my server from the download, but something happened that never has happened before, I understood what the code was doing without reading into how it works in the first place I could see that it called a style-sheet that I didn’t work so I modified it and it worked, it took all of 20 minutes, something that would usually take me a weekend to get my head around.