Monthly Archives: April 2007

Coffee machine recommendation

I need a recommendation for something that is close to most geeks hearts, which coffee machine should we get for the 29degrees office!

At the moment we are buying coffee from the scowling café trolls downstairs and my two cups a day are starting to eat into my beer fund. Our requirements are:

  1. Takes beans (or at least ground coffee, we could grind the beans ourselves I suppose)
  2. Outputs good tasting coffee
  3. Doesn’t need to be plumbed in
  4. Doesn’t cost more than £1000 (I guess, I don’t know the budget)

Does anyone have any recommendations, specific machines, brands to go for or brands to avoid? Of course this this question makes the vain and probably misguided assumption that anyone will read this, or even care if they do :)

Friday Link-o-Rama

Play ‘War on Terror’

War on Terror

You can now, it’s a boardgame!

Cookie with nutrient information printed on it

Tower Defense

Very very very addictive game.

LED Watch

LED Watch


How to get away with being a terrorist

Apparently the trick is to dress like an American, not a ‘comedy Arab stereotype’.

Jellyfish pool lights

If I had a pool with these floating around I would be too scared to go in it. Luckily I don’t have a pool.

What the year 2000 was going to be like in the year 1900

Moving pavements, personal flying machines and roofed cities.

Chrono shredder

Chrono shredder

Impractical but arty.

How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran

Yay the CIA!


This oracle forum post is way too good not to be a troll. It contains some real gems:



Message was edited by:


Monday Link-o-Rama

Ooops, late again! This time I have several excuses, so that is alright then.

Swat team use too much explosives


History of blogging

Cats mostly.

Eat Shitto

Cutest hitler impersonator ever

747 coming in low

Very very low…

Apparently there are tactics to Paper-Scissors-Stone

And a tournament.

DNA portaits

Fast food vs Reality

I am not sure it looks edible even in the adverts.

The eBay song


Blood puddle pillows

Getting RMagick working on Fedora Core 6

I needed to install rmagick over the weekend as I was playing with the file_column plugin. Rubygems has usually been good to me so I didn’t expect any problems when I issued the command:

#gem install rmagick
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/misc.rb:321:in `get_type_metrics': unable to read font `/usr/share/fonts/default/TrueType/verdana.ttf' (Magick::ImageMagickError)
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/misc.rb:321:in `render'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/misc.rb:696:in `text'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/text.rb:65:in `add_primitives'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/container.rb:72:in `add_primitives'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/container.rb:72:in `each'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/container.rb:72:in `add_primitives'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/rvg.rb:264:in `add_outermost_primitives'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/rvg.rb:264:in `each'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/rvg.rb:264:in `add_outermost_primitives'
from /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rmagick-1.15.5/./lib/rvg/rvg.rb:236:in `draw'
from InitialCoords.rb:22
post-setup.rb: InitialCoords.rb example returned error code 256

Uh-oh. It seems I was missing some windows specific fonts. Well obviously, I am using Linux. With no obvious package with the missing fonts available in yum I went looking and found this windows font rpm.

After installing and linking the font dir to the place rmagick expects them:

ln -s /usr/share/fonts/msttcorefonts /usr/share/fonts/default/TrueType

That done #gem install rmagick works!

Steam powered R2-D2

Someone has build a steam powered R2-D2:

Steam powered R2D2

The first robot that I ever built, was a R2…. out of legos when I was 5 years old. So after building over a dozen steam powered contraptions, when I “grew up”, I knew I had to visit my old friend R2. I love machines with personalities and charm. You can love or hate StarWars, but everyone loves R2. To many of us, R2D2 was our first introduction to robots, he’s a swiss army gadget bot with charm, who always saves the day. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

I disagree. It isn’t possible to hate StarWars (the original three films anyway). Really nice idea though.

Friday Link-o-Rama

Woman falls off balcony, saved by poo

“A woman survived a fall from a sixth floor balcony when a pile of poo broke her fall.”


History of spy watches

Spy Watch

Wow, if I hadn’t been told it was a camera I would have never known!

Really inappropriate adverts

From the ‘1929 Johnson Smith Catalogue’ apparently, including such products as a book of ‘Hebrew jokes’, ‘Darkey in a watermelon’, Guns and handcuffs. Wholesome fun for all the family then…

KITT for sale

“one of only 4 surviving T-top cars from the series. None of the 10 series cars have ever been offered for public sale.”

“This car has been restored to it’s original season 1 condition Original dash with 2 operational TV’s. One connected to a camera in front of the car, the other connected to a DVD player with the audio speakers hidden under the nose. Original interior fabric (very rare and not available in reproduction.) Receivers welded to the frame for towing and shooting close up shots”



Donkey kong made out of post-its

Donkey Kong

This is only cool because it’s Donkey Kong.

Bookcase with in-built seat

Cave bookcase

Nice idea.

Good Ideas I Have Had In The Past Year

  • Kobe tuna – fish raised in a tank of dilute beer and massaged on the hour
  • Moon-dried tomatoes
  • Downloadable car alarm ring tones

And more.

Things Computers Can Do in Movies

12. People typing on a computer can safely turn it off without saving the data.
13. A hacker is always able to break into the most sensitive computer in the world by guessing the secret password in two tries.
14. You may bypass “PERMISSION DENIED�? message by using the “OVERRIDE�? function. (See “Demolition Man�?.)
15. Computers only take 2 seconds to boot up instead of the average minutes for desktop PCs and 30 minutes or more for larger systems that can run 24 hours, 365 days a year without a reset.

Hampster powered shredder

This has ‘Messy accident’ written all over it.

Ass advert

An advert for a job-site or something, but that is mostly irrelevant. The fact is that people are being forced to walk through a giant arse, and that is about as funny as it gets.

Life in computers

Someone has posted their life in computers. Some good quotes:

After dropping out of college and spending two years flying airplanes and helicopters (while managing a pizza place), I got a bee in my bonnet to buy a computer. I walked into a store that sold Macintosh computers and walked out $5,000 poorer with an Apple Mac IIvx. It was a pretty big deal because it was the first Mac built to house an internal CD-ROM drive, and the first time I had even seen one.


Oh yeah…it was also the first machine I had seen Internet porn on…in glorious 256 colors!!!

My life in computers:

  1. Acorn electron when I was about five.
  2. BBC micro when I was about twelve becoming two BBC micros by the time I was fourteen.
  3. An Amiga 1200 when I was about fourteen/fifteen. I had lusted after a couple of friend’s Amiga 500s for ages but the 1200 was well worth the wait.
  4. My dad got a 486 DX2 66 with a whopping 8MB RAM when I was about sixteen.
  5. From then until today I have had an immemorable series of home-made beige boxes, most of them free second-hand rejects full of spare parts.
  6. A 15″ MacBook Pro with 2GB RAM. Yeah right, maybe one-day :)

Tricks of the Trade

Interesting article:

…I recently asked readers for their “tricks of the trade,” and was amazed by the response. It seems every profession is rich with clever little occupational secrets.

Here is one:


With any routine under seven minutes (which is almost all of them), you only really need one thing: a good closer. And there are only two things you really need to know about a great closer. First, it needs to be impressive. That sounds obvious, but most beginning jugglers think “difficult” and “impressive” are synonymous. Your closer must look hard, but there’s no real reason it has to be hard. Secondly, you should intentionally blow your closer on the first two tries. If you get it on the first try it looks too easy, but if you “miss” it a few times it looks harder and builds tension.

8 bit ties

Apparently’s 8 bit ties were a popular enough April-fools joke that they are actually going to become real:

“Hey! You! Quit emailing us to make this for REAL already ;) We promise, we’ll make it. In fact we are already working on it. You’ve just forced our hand! Click the ’email me when available’ link above to get notified! Thanks! I guess the joke is on us this year :p”

Yay! If I ever wore a tie this would be the tie I wore.

8 bit tie