Autoconf recipes

I found this site the other day: It's an archive of autoconf macro definitions for detecting any number of different languages, libraries, and system features. It's useful for those occasions when you want to detect comething in your autoconf script, but the author of the library didn't write one (and didn't supply a pkg-config .pc file).

magellan v0.3.0

Just 0.2.11, repackaged as a stable release


Download magellan-0.3.0.tar.gz

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Licensed to...?

I've been trying to work out how to get a copy of Windows XP to run in a VM at work – not that I actually want one as such, but it's useful to have for those Word documents that OpenOffice won't open, and for the occasional website that requires IE. The machine I'm using was supplied with Windows, and has an XP license sticker on it, with a license key. This would seem, on the face of it, to be fairly straightforward.

After some digging, I arrive at what seems to be the relevant place on our internal systems services website. We apparently have a site license for Windows and Office for the whole organisation. This is good. The MS Campus Agreement allows me to install Windows and Office on a University PC, which is what I want. So I follow the link for "Installation Instructions"…

magellan v0.2.11

Two new features: sun position, and a loxodrome plugin -- a line of constant heading. Note that loxodromes on the Mercator projection should be straight lines.


Download magellan-0.2.11.tar.gz

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magellan v0.2.9

A new version, with some minor bugfixes, improved documentation, and several new plugin features.


Download magellan-0.2.9.tar.gz

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Foot(er)ing the bill

I've just had an email from a professional firm about some work I want them to do. The email breaks down as follows:

  • 1 line of greeting
  • 5 lines of content
  • 2 lines of sign-off
  • 5 lines of personal signature (position, phone number)
  • 7 lines of company details (address, companies house info)
  • 3 lines of partners names and company phone number
  • 7 lines of legal disclaimer
  • 9 lines explaining how to read the attached PDF document

You know your garden is overgrown when...

… you need to use your strimmer. On the patio.

That is all.


Dear Eclipse,

I've set my preferences on your system to not receive marketing mails. Therefore, it seems strange to get an email from your marketing manager telling me this fact, which I know very well, and telling me that I could get all sorts of marketing mails if I signed up for them.

Sitting up and giving notice

After a few weeks of negotiations, and another couple of agonising weeks of waiting for the paperwork to come through, I've been formally offered a job at Reading University's ACET group, working on a project called VERA. Initially, I'll be doing work on cross-database searching with peer-to-peer software, although there's a big bunch of other things that need doing... 3D visualisation, semantic web, usability, and open-sourcing an established piece of software.

The Big Read meme

I've just seen this on nmg's blog.

Copy the list, bold the ones you're read. Underline the ones you loved. Put the ones you're going to read in italics. Marvel at how far you still have to go. Act all concerned over the fact that the average person has only read 6 of these.