Some basic details about myself.

Amos is not my real name.

I’m a Maths Teacher in Manchester, UK.

I got married last summer to Karen.

We had a baby boy (Connor) at the start of February, here’s a picture:

I’m currently studying part-time for a degree in Computing from the University Of Bolton.

Music playing: Tank by Asian Dub Foundation

Computing Book: Professional C++ by Nicholas Solter & Scott Kleper

Non-fiction Book: Rifles by Mark Urban

Fiction Book: The Confusion by Neal Stephenson



Downloading MinGW

Well I’ve just been looking around on the net to see if I can find a decent IDE and I’m in the process of downloading the MinGW Developer Studio (23 Meg over dialup so a bit of a wait in store) which looks alright but I’ll have to wait and see. Am very tired, K’s at School still, its their Open Evening so she’ll be gone for a good while yet, its my turn next Thursday.

At work yesterday I had yet another set-back in trying to get the “Classroom in a box” working with Maths Alive, our ICT technician supplied me with the user name and password to access the site but it refused to work. So we’re still waiting 6 months after they arrived to use the laptops with a class. If I can get them working before next week, then I’ll have some out with the kids during Open Evening. But if there’s nothing to run on them then there’s no point. They did however come and measure my room in preparation for installing the Interactive Whiteboard and Projector.

I think I’ll have a play with C++ again later to get my eye in before I start at the Institute next week, and to have a go at this MinGW DS thing to see if its any good. I went to PC World on the way home tonight, they’re selling MS Visual C++.NET 2003 version for £99.99, but if you buy the Deluxe Learning Edition (advertised as containing the full version of Visual C++.NET) which is sold with a book, it’ll only cost you £86.95, bizarre or what.

Its my busy day tomorrow, I teach all day, and finish off with 8S, who so far don’t seem too bad. If I remember right I’m doing constructions with them so that’ll be fun, and I’ve threatened to keep behind any of them who don’t come properly equipped.

Anyway I’m going now as its time for me to sort out my tea.

Playing with Dasher

I went to the Institute last night for my induction. The first session of the evening was good as I finally got some details about the Modules I’m doing. The first one’s called Computer Environments, which seems to be a basic course about computers, and how they work. Whilst the second is called Programming and Design I, which seems to be a basic course in C++. Next semester I’m going to be doing the second part of the Programming and Design course along with one on Information Systems.

I spoke to a couple of the other blokes who are doing the same modules as me, they seemed pleasant enough though it’s early days yet. They gave us a couple of handouts to do with the course, which gives a list of Indicative Reading for each module, but the books listed may be out of date. Anyway the modules begin properly on Tuesday evening, next week so I’ll have more of an idea once we’re actually underway. After the initial Departmental Induction it was time for a visit to the library and resource centre where we all got logon details for the network and email addresses.

Finally we had a presentation by the Dean of Students which was alright but nothing I hadn’t heard before, basically she talked about all of the things which it might be useful to know as a new student in Bolton. The most relevant fact to me was probably the fact that the Institute is going to be renamed in the next few months as the University of Bolton unsurprisingly enough.

Most of the text for this entry was entered using Dasher, a bizarrely addictive text entry system, if you haven’t tried it yet give it a go, I’m trying to work out if there’s some way of using it in conjunction with the Interactive Whiteboard I’m due to get in my room at work, but I’m not sure how useful it’ll be.

I’m going to stop playing with C#, in the very near future I think, even though I really quite like it so that I can concentrate on C++, which is probably going to end up being my language of choice. Now I just need to find a non-M$ development environment to use on Windows and I’ll be laughing. At least if its as good as KDevelop or #Develop in terms of code completion etc.

Twenty Week Scan

Music currently playing: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus.

Well, it’s been a while since I actually added anything to this page. I make it seven months to be exact. What have I been doing in the meantime?

I’ve gotten married, we’re having a baby in January/February next year, I’m due to start part-time at the Institute, doing a degree in Computing tomorrow, and we spent a month in New Zealand for our honeymoon. So nothing major then.

On Friday night I went for a few drinks round at Dave’s, and I don’t remember anything past about 9.30pm, until I woke up in my own bed on Saturday morning. Then we had to go shopping at the Trafford Centre at about 10am, which was not fun. Although I did end up buying the new Nick Cave album, the Grateful Dead: Working Man’s Dead and a couple of computer magazines. Then it was off to Middlebrook to spend some of the money we got as Wedding Presents. We ended up getting a new washing machine, tumble dryer, widescreen TV and Sofa. So not much spending there.

Today after getting up, we went and did the weeks shopping, then met K’s Mum and Dad, and went for Sunday Lunch at the Wilton Arms. They’d been to a Rock and Roll Night last night in Manchester and were stopping off on the way back.

Since we got back from the Pub I’ve basically spent a couple of hours working and am about to have a play with C# again on the laptop.

Here’s the scan K had done a few weeks ago at the Hospital:

Through the Grinder

I’m shattered, it was back to work after Half Term today, and I’m absolutely knackered, got up about 6.15am after a not very good night’s sleep, and arrived bleary eyed at work by about 7.30am. Taught all morning until 12.30pm, and was on duty for both breaks, so effectively I did 4 hours straight through without any sort of rest. This happens regularly on a Monday, I’m on duty then I end up on cover for the first half of period 4, by the end of it, all I’m fit for is to sit in the staffroom and eat my dinner.

Then this afternoon I had fun playing games with Year 8s so it was a mildly satisfying day. Tomorrow is the first of my two back to back solid days, both of which finish with bottom 10s, they’re a nightmare on a Tuesday, and only marginally better on a Wednesday. Again by the end of them I’m virtually on my knees. Fed up with my job at the minute, the room definitely doesn’t help, but the whole set up just feels designed to grind me into the ground. At least Stuart’s decided he’s had enough and resigned from his place, I’m staying for at least this year and prbably 10 more to come (at least).

I’ve gotten fed up with my laptop seeming to seize up, and have concluded that since I upgraded KDE to 3.2 last Tuesday, that its not happy with just the 128M of memory. It seems to freeze whilst writing to disk which I can only assume is the swap being over used. Have ordered 512M from these people, for £81 (incl VAT) it should be here soon. Must get around to doing some kernel compile benchmarks to see what difference just memory makes.

I’m going now, I have to cut my hair before tomorrow, or put up with more comments from the kids about my new “afro”, I suppose some of the older ones are only used to seeing me with hair thats a couple of mm long.

Night, night.


Felt dreadful all of yesterday, so was up for very little. Basically, we went drinking all day on Thursday, from about 1pm, and didn’t get home until about 10.30pm. We spent most of the day in Ye Old Man and Scythe, and drank numerous beers. Then we trawled up to The Howcroft, (where the Beer Festival happens every year) and had one in there. (Saw Oliver, he looked old!)

Then at about 8 or 9 we headed back up to Dave and Rachel’s, stopping off at the Co-op for more beers, and Syd’s for Chicken Kebabs. Had one beer and then came home.

We went shopping during the day on Friday first off to a place called Winfields in Haslingden where I bought a new Regatta Jacket called a Reed 3 in 1 for £39. Then we went into Bolton so that Karen could replace her mobile since she’d managed to leave it in her jeans pocket when she washed them. She ended up with a Nokia 6100 which seems good so far.

Then on Friday night Stuart came over and me and him headed up to Dave’s again, for more beers. They seemed to get on quite well, but we got horrendously drunk and finally wandered home about 2am. Had to get up on Saturday fairly early and head off to the Trafford Centre so that we could initially order the suits for the wedding. Unfortunately, they couldn’t see us straight away so we ended up spending about 2 hours wandering round the Trafford Centre, feeling worse and worse. But that’s sorted, and we’ve decided that the weekend of the 27th and 28th of May is going to be my Stag Do in Liverpool, Stuart’s going to phone up The Feathers and try to book us in.

Didn’t do very much more yesterday, except watch “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” on DVD, which was a bit disappointing. Only about 3 stars I’d say.

Then today I’ve been off to Middlebrook to get a new phone and to see if my car was working properly. Anyway I upgraded to a Nokia 6610, which seems alright, and my car was fine.

There’s A Pint Of Guinness With My Name On It In Town!

We’re just getting ready to go out drinking now, we’ve arranged to meet, Paula, Dave and Rachel at Ye Old Man and Scythe for afternoon drinkies. Alex was originally supposed to be coming, but as per usual he’s unobtainable at the moment when we need to reach him.

We went to see Touching The Void last night, what an awesome film, Karen was wincing at various points but overall we left with a sense of “Wow, how did he manage to survive?”. A full five stars I think. Then it was off to Frankie and Benny’s for a slap up tea.

I managed to start looking at QT last night before we went out, and in theory it was making perfect sense, but when it starts to get complicated thats when i’ll be struggling. Having said that I have ordered a book called C++ GUI Programming with QT3″ or some such, but I’m still waiting for it to arrive.

Anyway time for me to go, there’s a pint of Guinness in town with my name on it.

Improved Look To Site

Hope this looks better, as I’ve been playing with html this afternoon.

Karen should be setting off to come home quite soon so hopefully it won’t be too long before we can go to the pictures. We’re going to see Touching The Void, and then for a meal at Frankie and Benny’s.

Tomorrow we’re supposed to be going out in the afternoon drinking with Paula and possibly Alex, I think the Man and Scythe might be getting a visit. Anyway, time to get on with coding the rest of the site.

My First Ever Blog Post

Hi this is my first attempt at a ‘blog, I’m trying to think of a reasonable title for it, something like “A Special type of Aimlessness!”. This is being done to a soundtrack of “The Specials: Free Nelson Mandella”.

Things I’ve done today:

Bought shaving stuff.
Watched the end of Donnie Darko.
Woke up with a hangover.
Went to Dave and Rachel’s.
Listened to lots of ‘Dave’, excellent on the whole.
Ate Chicken Kievs, Waffles & Baked Beans.

I miss KAREN! I’m sat here getting drunker and drunker, playing on the internet.

Things to do this week:

Start learning to program in QT!
Do lots of walking.
Empty the flat.
Book suits.
Phone Florist.
Book car in for a service.