Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Movember Madness

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

So over the past couple of years, i’ve known acquaintances to take part in the facial hair male health fundraising social media month long marathon of… growing a moustache. Yes its called “Movemeber” and it its aim is to raise funds and awareness surrounding male health, primarily focussed on prostate and testicular cancer. And each year, I miss the 1st Nov start date, so this year round, here I am fully awake, aware and ready to contribute.

It made more sense for there to be some form of community around this, so I started a team “Reading Geeks” and blasted a note out on twitter for people to join, so.. we have 3 members in our team – (please donate to the team or us individually).

My first day, clean shaven.

My first day, clean shaven.

I think the initiatives are good, and through a sens of fun we can help raise some deeper awareness, I am a little apprehensive about growing a moustache as I’ve never, in all my years on this rock, grown a tash! So this is most definitely a new experience.

I’m planning on recording a still ata least 2-3 times a day in the effort of timelapsing the process. Key question is what kind of tash do you think will work for me , Dali, Western, Handlebars … open to suggestions.

Please leave a  comment or @ me on twitter (@ketan).

Reading Geek Night – Titanium Presentation

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Another great Reading Geek Night, I spoke to a packed Copa bar about Getting up and running with Titanium Studio from Appcelerator

Here is my Slide Deck from the night.

Among the other speakers tonight were: @DrJennyWoods & @marwoodchap

Thanks to @JimAnning as usual for organising the event

Bletchley Park – Enigma

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I finally got to visit the home of the British Codebreakers at Bletchley Park. Part of a joint venture between the Berkshire BCS and Reading Geek Night, where a coach of us travelled up to Milton Keynes on Sunday morning to visit the site.

Entrance to Bletchley Park

I have only ever heard about the place in reputation, through the movie Enigma, and more recently, through the hashtag #bpark on twitter. So to be a visitor and have a tour guide was a real treat.

Not only was this a place where important messages were intercepted and decoded during the war, but it was also pivotal in the development of modern computing. Bletchley Park therefore also the houses the National Museum of Computing.

After some complementary teas, our tour and began and the rich history of the site began to unfold. We were treated to the real actual replica of the Bombe used in the movie as well as a working replica, this was the machine created to decipher intercepted messages. We also  saw a working Colossus computer used to help in breaking cyphers, it was kept under wraps for many years, even after the war.

Working Replica of the Bombe

Working Replica of the Bombe

Much of our tour consisted of the history and development of the technology used in helping break the codes that were intercepted during World War II, and how the centre operated.

Part of the exhibitions houses a memorial slate sculpture of Alan Turing as a reminder of all he contributed to our society. There are video documentaries, historic memorabilia, film clippings enigma machines and so much more.

Slate Sculpture of Alan Turing

Slate Sculpture of Alan Turing

I took a bunch of 3D images whilst there, but am still working through converting them into anaglyph images (that can be seen with red/cyan specs)

3D IMage group picture

Group Picture in 3D Anaglyph

In the mean time I have 50 or so pics from my visit on my flickr site

One of the highlights involved a short journey back in time through the history of computing and real life class rooms of BBC B Microcomputers, a real treat for me as it was the computer I grew up with. All-in-all an amazing day, and so much more to see. I will have to visit again, as there is just too much too see.

A Beeb, with the classic Hello World

Please support Bletchley Park by visiting them, its a superb day out, great for geeks, families and historians. You can find them on twitter @bletchleypark

Vegan French Toast Recipe

Monday, December 27th, 2010

I was let loose in the Kitchen over the xmas holidays. So the two main recipes I tinkered with were:

Vegan French Toast & Marinade Tofu slices (recipe coming soon).

The French toast was more a whim for breakfasts as we stayed over at my mums, and the Tofu slices were to accompany our veggie xmas dinner.

So I did some google searches and then modified  the recipes  that  I came across:

Vegan French Toast

Vegan French Toast cooking on a pan

Creates a vegan (egg free) mixture for 4 pieces of toast, great for a fried breakfast.

  • 2 Heaped tbsp Egg Replacer (or the equivalent of 2 eggs)
  • 1 tbsp of Gram Flour
  • ½ Banana
  • 1 Small Pinch of Salt
  • 4 Pinches Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Soya Milk
  • 4 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 4 Slices of Bread
Preparation & Cooking time:

20 min

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly, make sure the banana is fully mashed. Use a fork or an electric whisk. It should be gloopy, no too thick though.

Dip a piece of bread into the mixture, one at a time then turn over, let it soak on each side for about 30-40 seconds, then place in another bowl propped up by a fork to let the excess mixture drip away. I usually cook one piece whilst another piece is soaking and ready for cooking.

Fry each dipped slice of bread on each side until golden all over ina frying pan. I use 1 tbsp oil for each piece of bread, serve with maple syrup or whatever you like!

t5k – 5000 tweets and counting

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

So I’ve been on twitter for 3+ years and i’ve just hit my 5000th tweet.

Twitter works for me, I prefer its immediacy and make lots of contacts and discover new and wonderful facts and events in the world around me through it. The people I follow and communicate with inspire me, make me laugh and educate, its very much an integral part of my life right now.

For every new “real” follower I get  over the next 48hours I will donate £1 to Parkinson’s Disease Society (if you already follow me please retweet & perhaps sponsor something yourself – I will @ reply and big you up if you do)

I will add more details on where you can do this this eve. Probably will setup a just giving account for it.

Radio Free Albemuth – Philip K Dick

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

I just posted a tweet about this movie on twitter:

Its true, I was lucky enough to see a preview of this movie earlier this year at Sci-Fi-London, and it is my most favourite PKD treatment to date. Every PKD fan should see this film.

I’ve read Valis, but not the original RFA or the follow ups to Valis, but that won’t stop you getting immersed in this movie. If you like all things PKD, you will love this.

When I heard that Radio Free Albemuth was being screened at SFL – it was at the top of my “to see” list. I wasn’t disappointed. And am very appreciative of the whole team bringing this personal PKD script to the world. I had meant to blog about it, but never got round to it.

Here are some links of interest:

Radio-Free-Albemuth on Facebook

Digital Economy Bill – Insane Law

Friday, April 9th, 2010

There has been a huge surge and outcry at the pushing through of the Digital Economy Bill through parliament which was today made law!

This insane practice by the UK government, from pressure via Music Industry lobbyists has shown how corrupt the current government and inept the Conservaties and Liberal Democrats are.

This week the term #debill has been trending on twitter globally as technology savvy individuals have seen through the wash up process and have tried to contact MPs in a plea, not to ignore that the digital infrastructure in britain needs attention, but that if you’re going to pass law on the digital world, then understand it, scrutinise it and listen to the people. None of this has happenned.

Protecting music Industry copyright has been the main driving force behind the bill’s passage and all the other issues around it will be collateral damage in making the bill a reality. It seems that even the MPs who’s stand directly behind it are ignorant to the technicalities of the internet itself.

Here are some links for you to see the absurdity for yourself :

Debilitated Internet Mashup – showing the stats / outcome of the Debacle

Christian Payne on BBC5 LIVE yesterday (start playing the show 1:06)

And read the / follow the hashtag #debill on twitter

I think the only solution here is for all labour and conservative voters to swing and vote for Lib Dems – I support the Green Party so if you want vote for them, but definitely do not vote for Labour or Conservative.

2010 – starting out in the new year

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I had intended to draft a post over Christmas, but as usual the inevitable drama of visits and unwinding from a very hectic 2009 accelerated time.

As I type this, a lot has happenned and it makes me wonder about the pace of development we have all set ourselves, that and perception of time. What are we expecting in society and how much are we compelled to innovate.

The iPad was announced, Haiti sufferred a horrendous earthquake and pretty much the while of January has been spent developing and working on an intense project.

I’m currently travelling to London, building this post using an iPhone. The smartphone I resisted, but secretly desired, has been in my hands for little over 2 months now. It’s changed my whole mobile digital life. For all of its faults it remains an over used piece of digital communication and entertainment and for all its faults excels in usability and usefulness.

Key of all is that it syncs with all my Mac contacts and emails with little effort on my part, and has a whole host of useful and well designed applications that keep me plugged into the social media and my digital workflow. Apps for Basecamp, Podcasting, Blogging, Gaming, Music, Searching . The screen size and intuitiveness, plus its UI make it a hard device to top.

It was either the iPhone or an N900, but for usability and headache relief, I opted finally for the iPhone.