Bram Cohen

by Simon Email

Link: http://bitconjurer.org/index.html

Another interesting programmer!

He's invented BitTorrent (http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/) - which is a kind of P2P file sharing network for distributing very large files.

Similar to work I did for a company called PushTV - except that was a centralised model.

He seems to be good at inventing things - including a source control system (even though he also uses CVS!)

He uses mainly Python, and talks about Extreme programming.

The Interrogator's War

by Simon Email

Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0719566193/026-5149977-6515642

I bought this book attracted by the subtitle "Inside the Secret War against Al Qaeda".

Unfortunately it turned out to be a very long, and sometimes turgid confessional of the author's time in Afghanistan as an army interrogator.

I ended up speed-reading the book, as there were some interesting passages buried amongst the other stuff.

Thoughts:

i) once again Americans come across as rather buffoonish - they have a very formal "rule book" for interrogations and a huge training facility - but seem to achieve few results

ii) several times "American" values seem to come down to Coca-Cola, Popcorn and Hollywood action films. That seems very, very sad

iii) perhaps there's a "Mash" successor lurking in here - the interaction between the staff members (there'd need to be more women, though), and the "action" itself in the interrogation room

Arthur A. van Hoff

by Simon Email

Link: http://www.strangeberry.com/about/avh-resume.html

What a genius! This guy's resume is like a dream!

Yalding organic gardens

by Simon Email

Link: http://www.hdra.org.uk/gardens/yalding.htm

For an allotment lover like me - this is an interesting place.

They are very serious about growing things organically - no chemicals, and hardly any watering.

If I had the space, I would also grow comfrey and make my own liquid fertilizer!

Some photos:

Lettuce - very tasty when served in the cafe!

Grapes in their fruit cage

Noisy Evesham!

by Simon Email

Our new Evesham server turned out to have a very noisy fan. Searching on the internet revealed others complaining of this also.

I contacted Evesham and was told it was "necessary" as the CPU needed to be kept cool.

The fan was *very* noisy - almost unbearable.

Fortunately a friend had had a similar problem and pointed me to "Fan Volume Controls" made by Maplin (http://www.maplin.co.uk)

I installed one of the range (http://www.maplin.co.uk/products/module.asp?CartID=040729111739788&moduleno=36422&Products=1) and was able to turn all the fans right down.

The controller has a temperature gauge, and the CPU seemed no cooler with the fans on maximum thank on minimum!

The new server is now the quietest computer in the room, and I'm thinking of installing one of these in every other one.

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