Archives for the month of: February, 2005

Well I got back from Oxford at about midday. I had a really great time (it was my cousin Clares 21st). I was shocked at how many friends Clare could muster for the event! 25 I think was the number of people that sat for the meal, which is maddness. They all seemed to be really nice people too, which of course helps matters seeing as I didn’t know any of them.

I even got a room to myself and a bed, thanks to Geri, gold star to her for that, it certainly seemed above and beyond the call of friendship (to Clare not me, I only met her that day) and was very much appreciated.

Tomorrow I’m off to sort out clothing hire for my ski holiday, then I’ve got to go shopping for food, and hopefully I’ll be going to an extra capoeira class that’ll just be for learning to play the musical instruments. That may depend on how the time goes though.

If you’ve got broadband then you really need to check out this video clip. Be warned that the streaming can be a bit dodgy, it froze about five or six times when I was watching it. It’s very worth it though.
I’ve been interested in augmented reality ever since I saw it mentioned on the TV. In that instance it was a portable head-worn system that would sense rectangular shapes, like bill-boards and using a projection system would make it seem that information pertinent to you was printed on it. For example it could tell you that you’ve got email, or the name of someone trying to call you. I suppose there would be nothing to stop it displaying text messages you’ve recieved and things like that.

The possible uses for it are quite exciting, especially in the workplace. I know that airport maintenance crews already have something along the same lines to bring up schematics and the like.
Or for medical use, to be able to see an real-time ultrasound picture like its actually cut into the patient. All very cool stuff!

Fortunately I’ve now ‘grown into’ my new hair style. It still certainly wasn’t worth £40, but at least I don’t have to spend silly amounts of time in front of the mirror trying to get it ‘just so’.
You see, for as long as I can remember my hair styling regime involved three simple steps:

1: Go to bed (and sleep)
2: Get up
3: Don clothes

Sometimes the resultant style is nothing short of miraculous, impressive sweeping barnets that I could never achieve in a month of sundays. Even if I were actually in front of the mirror and putting in both product and effort.
Perhaps at night I become a sleepwalking master hair stylist?
This possiblity is both worrying and interesting. It conjures up images of housemates waking in the night to find me asleep, but with eyes open, blank stare, in front of the bathroom mirror, product in one hand, other hand styling with exaggerated care.

If it happens either my housemates have never seen it or they are too polite to mention anything. Either is possible.

Well I don’t quite know how I managed it, but the recruitment sites I visited seem to have been the right ones!
I am getting two or three calls or emails a day with recruiters telling me of jobs that may be of interest to me. Here is the most recent spec. I’ve recieved:

Job Spec:
Embedded Software Engineer – C, Version Control Systems, Unix, Linux, Electronic/Hardware design – Farnborough, Hampshire. How would you like the opportunity to wo! rk for one of the telecommunications industry leaders on a brand new project for the launch of a pioneering product. My client are looking for 2 software engineers with a background in embedded systems development in C. You will be working on multi-media application and a real advantage would be previous experience of music formats (mp3) or developing in an audio – visual environment as would a knowledge of electronics engineering or interfacing to hardware. Familiarity with version control systems, Unix/Linux would also be advantageous. This is a great opportunity to work for a forward thinking using leading technologies and enjoy fantastic training and benefits. Please call to find out more and don’t wait as these vacancies are live now – located in Farnborough, Hampshire in a state of the art R & D Environment.

To be honest it may be a little out of my league, but I think I’ll still try and find out some more about it. Seeing as it is in Farnborough which isn’t too far away.

Well shortly after being confronted with the life dilemma posed by a job prospect in Oxford, a guy from CBS Butler recuitment called. A guy called Russell, he had a very exciting sounding job prospect in reading.
Fantastic, I wouldn’t have to move, its all to do with mobile communications and embedded systems and the like.
In short, it sounds perfect.
All I’d have to do is bone up a bit on TETRA and GSM and other mobile protocols (which I’ve already started to do) and hopefully impress the boss-man when/if I meet him.

Cake, one, piece of.
Coincidently Russell had actually bothered to check out this website!!! I put it on my CV, but I was still mildly supprised that someone would visit it to find out what it’s all about.
Seems like he wasn’t put off by my spelling problems. They’re getting better at least anyway :)

Having just blogged about getting new housemates and signing contracts on this very evening, guess what comes up.
One of the recruitment companies I contacted has found what sounds like the IDEAL job (see below) the problem? It’s in Oxford.
After a lot of thought I’ve decided to apply, I am not too keen on moving but if I don’t get offered the position I won’t have to worry about it.

Electronics Design Engineer circa £22k

Graduate/Junior role requiring Hardware/Software knowledge & experience

Solid State Logic has secured an unrivaled reputation as the world’s leader in design, development and manufacture of professional audio production systems for the music, broadcast, video and film industries.

Our products are comprised of high speed multiple processor systems, designed using the latest technology and components.

It is with this in mind that our R & D Department now have a vacancy for a Design Engineer, a role that encompasses both software and hardware design. This challenging brief calls for a methodical and analytical individual with,

· An understanding of the requirements of a real-time system
· Experience of high level embedded software design and implementation
· A good understanding of digital and analog circuit design concepts
· Experience of using CAD tools for schematic capture
· Experience of VHDL design would also be advantageous.

To succeed in this demanding yet exciting post, applicants should be qualified to degree standard, possess excellent problem solving skills, be self motivated and have the ability to complete designs to the highest standard.

So I’ll have to see what comes of it, Oxford is about the same distance from London as Guildford so it’s ok from that point of view.

This always seems to happen to me, two weeks after signing the contract on the house last year I got a call from ARM saying there were now openings.

I’m not sure if I want to crosss my fingers or not, if I got it, massive dilemma. If not, then I’m stuck where I am.
It would mean I’d live in the same city as my cousin when she’s at uni, which can’t be a bad thing.

Mmmm, well I’ll keep you posted, gentle reader.

Wahoo, I’ve now got more posts on my website that Denyerec. It was not that long ago that I noticed I was kinda catching up with his perma-link post id numbering (the number of the post). So I decided that it would be great to beat him.
It this a stupid boyish competition to enter into?
Well yes of course it is, especially if you take into account the fact that Denyer was blissfully ignorant of the contest.

You could say this makes the whole thing pretty unfair. So what, if your still reading then you’ve been enjoying my posts.

So there.

Tomorrow three guys are coming to sign the contract for the next academic year.

Finding housemates this time round seemed to be rediculously easy, Mark (the landlord) showed them round when I was away. They liked, but wanted to meet with me, which makes perfect sense.
So pretty much the only involvement I had in filling the house for next year was going out for a drink with three lads which seem like pretty sound guys.

If only everything in life was like this.
Of course my friends would point out that you need to factor in my ‘Jam factor’*

*For those not in the know: Jam = Luck

A while ago, last year some time, I was having a good chat (listen?) with Jenna (one of my housemates). This was a fairly regular thing at the time, it was during the hoildays and she wasn’t mad busy with her play, as she is now.
Anyway, Jenna was explaining about Jehovah’s witnesses, as she and her Dad follow this belief structure. It was all very interesting with something about angels and the end of the world. All good stuff.
She then went on to say that she felt that she had been ‘sent’ to help me. Before you go leaping at conclusions she wasn’t claiming to be one of these angels or anything, which is good as that would be terribly arrogant. Needless to say I was pretty skeptical at the time, although I didn’t say anything to that effect.
Truth is I think she has helped me a great deal, probably without trying or realising it. She managed this with a single sentance that was a passing comment in another discussion. Seeing as I found it so inspiring, I’ll share it with the world on the off chance that someone else will find it equally helpful.
It will be slightly para-phrased seeing as I can’t remember the exact wording:

In order to feel completely alive you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

Obviously you can take this in whatever way you want, personally I feel that it wasn’t intended to be refering to physical comfort but more to mental comfort.
Don’t find the idea of talking to your boss about a raise comfortable? Thats ok, you need to go out of your comfort zone once in a while.
Can’t think of a good way of approching that beautiful lady?? Leave the comfort of avoidance and give it a go.

Does this leave you open to the possibility of difficult or awkward situations? Yes, yes it does.
Does it make you feel alive? Damn right it does!

Well last night I was incredably pleased with myself as I managed to cook some salmon steaks in the oven with no sauce or anything like that.
Cooked wrapped in foil with lemon, pepper, garlic and some crushed chilli flakes for 25-30 minutes at 200… served on a bed of rice infused with the garden goodness of minted peas and subtly enhanced with chopped red pepper…

Admitedly this isn’t a particularly difficult or complex recipe, but it is the first time ever I’ve tried to cook ‘proper’ fish. By this I mean NOT fish fingers or tuna-from-a-can.

Master chef here I come…
or not

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