Category Archives: General

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 :)

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.

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

Star Wars’ R2-D2 to collect post

“Postboxes across the US are to be dressed up as Star Wars robot R2-D2 to celebrate 30 years since the release of the sci-fi series’ first outing.

I like it. I want one. And that is exactly why all these will have been stolen within a week. Anything starwars at all is collectable, and I predict these will be collected.

Full story at the BBC.

Five things

I’ve been tagged by Dean Wilson, so here are five things you might not know about me.

  1. When I was younger I wanted to be be a dustman so I could operate the jaws on the back of a rubbish lorry. Later I wanted to be a robot.
  2. I only started to like cheese about two years ago (when I was 26).
  3. I start a new job at 29degrees on Monday.
  4. The first computer I had was an Acorn Electron, the first language I programmed in was BBC Basic.
  5. My favourite food is not Curry, that is second. My favourite food is Italian.

Damn you Dean, this will teach me to read your blog ;)

I am a meme-whore so I pass this on to Andrew Disley, Paul Robinson, Dan Morris, Dave Verwer and Deb Bassett.

Management speak, translated!

Management speak: ‘Informal Catchup Meeting

Rest of the world: ‘Talk

This wouldn’t be so bad if the person who uttered this phrase had actually arranged to meet the only other ‘meeting’ attendee in an informal setting to catch up on whatever needed to be caught up on, but this phrase was actually used to refer to two people bumping into each other in the canteen and having a chat. Brilliant.

If anyone actually reads this and has any other good examples of management speak please add them in the comments.

This had to be deliberate

According to Alan Gibson, (Acpo‘s lead on cannabis cultivation) “Cannabis cultivation is an increasing problem which must be nipped in the bud

You can’t make this stuff up