Running a Family with Food Sensitivities

Gratuitous post time: my wife has been doing a great job dealing with various food sensitivity issues in our family for a while now, and she has her own blog that includes recipes and tips that should be of interest to anyone else in a similar position. Check out Rubik’s Food for more information.


Celebrating the first Apollo Moon Landing

In a matter of days it will be the 40th anniversay of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, a seminal moment for humanity, at least as far as I am concerned. Less than a hundred years since man figured out he could fly, three men travelled to another celestial body and came back to tell…

Who doesn’t take credit/debit cards in 2008? Washington State Licensing, that’s who

Normally I renew my car tabs online with a credit or debit card, but that wasn’t possible this week so I visited an actual License Office. Much to my amazement there was a sign stating “We do not accept Debit or Credit cards”. When my turn came to speak to an employee, I asked why….

My First Program (circa 1980)

I recently discovered my first real program(*): from 1980, it was my attempt at Space Invaders for the RML 380Z. This was the government-subsidized computer for schools, my school (Chatham House Grammar School) was lucky enough to have one. One, yes, for the whole school. The Research Machines 380Z was a Z80 CP/M machine, I…


Time to change some American holidays I think

On July 4th the tradition is to have fireworks. However, as it is July in Seattle, it doesn’t get nearly dark enough until 10pm. Try keeping young kids awake/entertained until then. On October 31st the tradition is to traipse the streets dressed as someting fun in search of candy. However it is October, so it…


BBC America: Why Do You Hate Me So?

I’m sorry but I have to rant about BBC America’s Guide Data that my Tivo uses. My TV enjoyment is determined entirely by how well or otherwise my TiVo works. In my seven years of using TiVo, only once has it not recorded something I wanted. However, in order for it to do its job…

See my early work: X-Debug from 1992

I recently discovered a floppy containing the source to a program I wrote in 1992: X-Debug, a debugger for the Atari ST. Coincidentally I also received an email via this blog from someone asking if I had the source and rights to the Atari version of HiSoft Devpac, which I wrote in the late-80s. I couldn’t…


An Inconvenient Truth: You Must See This Movie

I have literally just returned from watching this, and am compelled to ask everyone I can to go and see this extraordinary movie. If you care about this planet, or you have children who you would like to have a chance of a decent future, you must see this. And afterwards, act on it. For…


Wanted: Power Strip with Switches

It shouldn’t be this hard, but all I want is a power strip with switches on each outlet. In my garage I have no less than six different chargers, and I don’t want or need them to be on all the time. If I still lived in the UK, I could find such a device…


Gas IS Cheap: It’s Official

As a Brit living in the USA I’ve always been amused by Americans complaining about gas (aka petrol) prices: they complained when it hit $2/gal and are complaining again now its $3/gal. The US govt. has a great table that shows the US price compared to Europe, starting a few months after I got here and…