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Job done.

Very quick post – some server updates have killed I’ll look at getting it back sometime soon, for posterity if nothing else.

Generating useful history logs from Mercurial

I recently decided to keep my software under a proper configuration control system, and for reasons I won’t go into I picked Mercurial.

Something I wanted to do was to make Mercurial produce change history for my projects, but with a “useful” output. That’s to say that the end user of some software won’t care that I fixed a typo in a comment and added some source files while developing a new feature. But these are the sort of messages that get saved by developers when commiting changes.

I’ve seen the same request on several forums, but never found a decent answer, so I did some investigation and came up with a rather simple solution using branches. Read More »


While we were in town today, I popped into the local CEX shop and spotted, while walking past the Nintendo DS stand, Overlord: Minions. As I loved the original Overlord, and am part-way through Overlord 2, I thought I’d give this handheld “sequel” a go. It was only 5 English Quid second-hand, which isn’t too bad.

I’m home now, and notice that Play are selling it for £2.99, delivered and brand new. Typical. Maybe I should have gone for GTA: Chinatown Wars or Trackmania DS after all.

Background downloading to the Belkin N+

Belkin N+

Not so long ago I decided to upgrade my router with a nice shiny new one. I opted for the Belkin N+ (the F5D8635uk4A to be overly specific). It’s a nice router, with a bundle of features that I don’t really intend to use. One feature that’s great tho’ is the built-in USB port, which allows the addition of either Flash Memory or a real USB HDD, which then acts as Network Attached Storage. Fabulous. I just wondered if it was possible to kick off a download directly to the flash drive, via the router, so that I could turn off all of my PCs and keep the download going…

The answer is yes – with a little playing…
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11/2009: Postscripts 19

Postscripts 19 coverI’ve just finished my November 2009 book – only a couple days late. I had chosen the latest edition of this unfortunately irregular anthology. I say “irregular” as since I’ve resubscribed the editions appear to be coming out less often – in fact I think there will only be three this year rather than four. It’s a shame, and I certainly hope it doesn’t go the way that other anthologies appear to – do people not read the printed word these days? Certainly I know a couple people who would prefer that others do the imagining for them in the form of film. Tsk, the youth of today.

Anyway, I digress. “Postscripts #19″ returns to the usual mix of Sci-Fi and Horror, after number 18s focus on just the Horror. There are some good stories in this edition (it seems odd to call it “issue” – it’s far from being a magazine), in amongst those I didn’t… appreciate quite so much – that’s simply the way anthologies go… it’s rare that I’ll thoroughly enjoy every story.

Highlights for me include Daniel Abraham’s “Balfour and Merriwether in The Adventure of the Emperor’s Vengeance”, the characters being of more interest to me than the story. Matthew Hughes provides a decent Luff Imbry story in the form of “Enemey of the Good” – I’d previously read another Luff Imbry story in another Postscripts – while M.K. Hobson’s “The Warlock and the Man of the Word” is an entertaining fantasy-western… Demons and Cowboys, what’s not to like? I also enjoyed David N. Drake’s “A Life Cliched”, which read like a Philip K. Dick or Greg Egan story, where Genre Fiction is used as a means to provide social comment. Plus, at only two pages long it’s ideal for a visit to the smallest room.

My book for December 2009 has been picked – Charles Stross’ “Saturn’s Children”. Not, as some would have us believe, a follow-up to “Singularity Sky” and “Iron Sunrise”, but I hope I enjoy it as much as I did those two.


I’m a slow reader. It’s not a bad thing, but where some people I know can read a novel in a couple days, I will use up my lunchtime reading a ten-page short story. It can take some motivation to decide to read a novel – hence my preference for the short story. A 300-page novel can easily take me a month or more. I need to be rather keen on a 500-page novel to consider reading it… unlike some people, I would pick a shorter book out of two that I was interested in. This can cause something like laziness when it comes to reading.

Then I started my “book-a-month” project.

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