October 16, 2015

Interesting people

Who are your interesting people? The internet has done wonders for opinions, since everyone (including fools like me), can write and publish. Not every piece is going to be scientifically sound or as rigourously peer reviewed as academia, but it is unparalleled as a source of inspiration. Since everything is public, this means that the numbers of people echoing back is vast and, on average, good people rise to the top. ... Read more

October 9, 2015

Here's something you already know

There is a difference between assuming nothing and hammering things home well past the time the point has been made. I had a conversation recently where I was asked why I ask people to do things they’re already doing. During a staff update this week, I made an explicit request in response to an email that had gone out that was not explicit; once again I was informed that everyone knew that. ... Read more

February 25, 2010

Forum Building

From time to time, as we all do, I get into a new subject or hobby. So into it, infact, that I want to get involved; especially when it’s a community run offering or a relatively unknown hobby. ‘Involvement’ for me means more than just playing the game, running the software or optimising the rules - it means sharing what I know with others and spreading the word impartially. If it’s a good product, I like to vote with my mouth as well as my money, and often the fastest way of getting this kind of involvement is getting into the community and steeping myself in the product. ... Read more

October 28, 2009

New job pt 3: deal or no deal?

For those joining us this late in the game, allow me to recap: Two companies, both alike in dignity (and their desire to get their hands on me). Two phone interviews. Two face to face interviews. Two offers. One very long day. Imagine: It’s now Wednesday 21st October, and at this point the first company have been waiting since Monday. The defence contractor has only just sorted their offer out, so I’ve got both of them sitting in front of me. ... Read more

October 26, 2009

New job pt 2: the art of handwaving

Having beaten the first couple of levels, now things get intense. Casual mode is yesterday’s news, now we’re in to Hardcore territory, and coming up to the first real boss. No raid to support you through the actual fight, this is a single player game. The phone interview Phone interviews are wonderful entry points to new companies, since they can’t spring exam-style technical tests on you or put you on the spot by asking awkward knowledge-based questions. ... Read more

October 26, 2009

New job pt 1: foot in the door

Every journey begins with a single step, and for jobs, that’s getting your CV to someone who cares. I’ve been very lucky to have had some excellent advice regarding my CV: I’ve queried several employers who’ve had me for interview if there was anything they’d change on it, and universally the answer seems to be ‘it’s absolutely fine’. After some early false starts, I’m confident at this point that I look good on paper, so it’s just a matter of getting the paper into the right places. ... Read more

October 2, 2009

A refrain

Success. The demon has been banished from my hardware and I am finally able to reliably record at 48KHz 16bit (native resolution for a SB Audigy2 Platinum). Having two bootable Linux installs meant there were a lot of variants to work through. The final result was to boot up in my usual install (not Ubuntu Studio, amazingly) and ditch X. A blog reverse nod to Richard for putting me on to the fact that the nVidia drivers play merry havok with recording latency. ... Read more

September 24, 2009

A musical interlude

Being a natural born tinkerer isn’t a good attribute when what you really want to do is finish something. The past few weeks I’ve been working fairly hard on music and trying to get some recording done. So far I’ve managed 3 minutes. That’s about a minute a week, or 0.0099% of one week. Fair enough, I do multitrack recordings, so my actual play time is song time * tracks, but even if I had 15 tracks, that’s still only 15 minutes a week. ... Read more

September 1, 2009

Normal service to resume

While the hob is still laying outside in pieces, I am at least back up and running with my PC. Most importantly, with all my data still intact, just where I left it. So what had happened? I’m still guessing as to the exact cause of the failure, but the problem was a blank partition table on the disk, and a corrupted MBR. Under a hexdump, the ascii in the boot loader looked really wrong, and more like a snippet of my Xorg start up log than lilo, but the real killer was the fact that where the partition table should have been was just a lot of zeros, meaning I couldn’t mount any of the partitions to rerun lilo to fix the bootloader. ... Read more

July 21, 2009


What started out as killing time at work has actually gone past the “That’s cool” barrier and into something practical. To start at the end first, the template you’re now looking at is in a Git repository that’s linked to my local development version. Two clicks and I can have what I’m actually working on synchronised and deployed to this shared host without trying to remember what files have been changed and what I can skip uploading again. ... Read more

Creative Commons License rational human by Pieter Sartain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.