Saturday, May 31, 2003

Oh yeah - even bigger change which I completely forgot about.... I`ve swapped the search engine over and put a random quote in the top right corner of each page :-)

I think its nice.... still need to customise the search engine a bit and sort out the sitemap and main index page which don`t use it yet. Oh - and I still have to decide whether to use the english 'radomn' or the American 'random'... and having decided I need to stick to it.
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 31, 2003

Well, I`ve done it... sort of anyway !! A bit of an update... I`ve put some more photos in the the gallery section - every one except the computer art section has got new photos in it !! I`ve got a new gallery nearly ready to roll as well.

I even think I`ve managed to sort out the archives - all of the links work now as far as I can tell.

Last and probably least - check out what happens when online gaming goes wrong. Sounds crazy man - those hackers are dudes !!
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 31, 2003

My goodness, its been a long time since I`ve blogged. Perhaps its a sign that I`ve gone and got a life...... ?? Nah !!

Loads has happened :

I`ve broken my PDA *again* (fool), won`t take long to fix though *sigh*......

My Dutch friend Gijs (yes those letters are in the right order) came over - and we baptised him !! Wow..... Photos will appear soon.....

The Atlantis game came to a halt - Daniel Hadson managed to destroy his computer in the process of upgrading it. He managed to recover the data though and we just went back a turn - with a few weird consequences.

I`ve added a few pages - most remiss of me not to point them out here earlier....... particularly as people have actually been using this website !! (Which I`ll explain more about later....). I`ve put in a 'meditation for busy people page' in the spiritual section - which is quite nice. Put proper links in to all the books - check out the psychology, spiritual and fiction sections to find them.... uhmm.... and I can`t remember any more *pages * I`ve added...........

If you look at the footer at the bottom of the page you`ll see two things...... (well, more than that... but two in particular)

First the search engine provided by Freefind. Its very good and many thanks to the folk at Freefind - but my site has outgrown it... literally. At 1510 pages (plus books) this site is too big for freefind to index it all..... on top of which I`ve found a nice new search engine script by Fluid Dynamics.... It even includes an automatic installation feature.... which is *very* nice. So in the next few days the search engine should change. I might even move it up to the top so it gets used a little more......... especially if I can find a nice scrolling randomn quote feature - which to be fair I`ve been looking for for ages.

Secondly, you might notice the advert in the bottom right hand corner. Well now, I get a very good deal from my hoster - the boys at Blue Iridium - but they never quite got round to providing me with user logs... and my little counter (obligatory on every home-page) only tells me who comes in by the front door. Well - thanks to Hitbox I can now tell how many *different* (unique) visitors I have every day (or hour), what pages they are looking at, how long the yspend on the site and so on......

For example - I can tell that putting on the 'genome' pages in the science section was a waste of time, but a surprising number of you have looked at my personal and family photo page in the gallery section !!

I can also tell, that since I put hitbox on (last Thursday.... about ten days ago I suppose) I`ve had 2093 people visit my site. Considering I`d probably had about 1600 people in the three months before that - thats amazing !! The secret was posting to Usenet newsgroups about the website. Usenet actually existed before the internet... it was the precursor of the internet really - a sort of set of big 'bulletin boards' that anyone could read or post to. They still exist, there are thousands of newsgroups read by tens of thousands of people (I am possibly *under-exagerating* by a whole degree of magnitude here - multiply those figures by ten to get closer to the truth......) - not everyone who uses the internet knows about them though.

I posted to the book groups about the classic books I had for download for example, psychology groups about my article HumanOS, and also to the Terry Pratchett group about my Terry Pratchett page........... oops............ what a bunch of snobs !! I got flamed to heck about that one... but ironically enough the Terry Pratchett page is now one of my most visited pages !! I have also had my articles read by a few people which is nice - but I`ve still got no effective way of getting feedback from people. I might have another trawl around for a guestbook script.

Hmmmm..... I wonder if anyone is actually reading this far !! Heres a cool Dilbert cartoon


Other news - my Mum has gone temporarily blind in one eye due to a haemorrage (or however you spell that word) and we might have found a property to start the new TBS depot in. Another big company want the same property though.... so its a bit of a race !! I really hope we get it though - it will be ahuge challenge. Oh, and I haven`t managed to see Matrix 2 yet... but a lot of people are reading the Matrix articles on my site all of a sudden !!

Blogger still haven`t sorted out these dodgy archive links... *sigh* oh and I might *actually* have succeeded in finally starting this Mums and toddlers gorup for the Jesus centre - far out man.

Thats all for now - hopefully it won`t be so long before I post again.
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 31, 2003

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Right..... I`ve managed to upload some books at last..........

Some philosophy, a couple of psychology books, some classic fiction and some christian books.
I haven`t managed to do links yet... but I found a lovely little utility that turns a directory into a page of links... very nice and very small.......... theres a link on the three pages :

Christian Texts
Philosophy Books
Classic Books

The archives are a bit odd... I hope blogger sort it out !! Grrrr.......
posted by Mike Foord on Thursday, May 22, 2003

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I`m trying out a traffic monitor called hitbox. It offers great features...... but puts a horrible advert on every page.... *sigh* - I`ll see how it works before decidign whether to keep it or not. It does offer great information though.........
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I`m supposed to let you know about changes to the website here..... well theres a whole new section called galleries - lots of great pictures....... and various random articles and minor changes. The cyberpunk section is now called fiction for example.... although it still covers cyberpunk as well as other authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I`m really enjoying having a website. I`m not very good at the 'visual design' sort of thing - Justin my friend is very good... I tend to try and cramp too many things in (you should see my desk). I like trying to adjust it to make it easier to use - I keep trying to see it from other peoples point of view - which is a useful thing to do as I`m trying to do the same with my writing. My current goal is to creep it up from a 3 on the google page rank to a 4 !! Oh yeah... and sometime get some feedback..... need to find a guestbook scritp I can actually get to work......
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Phew..... just installed 3 new programs. The latest version of Flashget - the download manager I use, the latest version of Free Agent the program I use to read newsgroups and the latest version of uBook which is the program I use to read e-books on my pocketPC. Ubook is completely brilliant !!

I got a load more pictures to put up in my gallery section, I`ve done some new work on my Human OS article and I`ve slightly changed the look of lots of the index pages on my site.... on top of all that I`ve soem work to do too !! Manic, but good fun keeping all the balls in the air - its when they start dropping the problems happen.... which ironically enough is called a balls-up........

posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Saturday, May 17, 2003

I haven`t blogged for a few days. I read an article recently though saying that blogs that talked about blogging are utterly pointless... kind of like eating your own tail. Hmmm.. so maybe I shouldn`t bother. The same article pointed out that blogging is the enemy of proper writing - a blog is a personal ramble, accidentally stepping on half-truths and feelings. Oh, and it can be short. Proper writing - has a start, middle and end... tries to say something... and if you want to get paid for it - it isn`t short. (Not that I *ever* expect to get paid for writing). So blogging develops all the bad habits you don`t want to see in proper writing :-) Weeeeeeellllll... my writings not proper anyway ! Seriously though, its been nice to be a bit creative in the last few months and get some writing done - something I`ve wanted to do for a long time. Everything I`ve done needs work, but I`ve put some of that work in and its beginning to pay off - Great.
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 17, 2003

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Aaargh... busy at work, things piling up around my ears. I actually prefer it when its busy... so long as I actually do the work.

Ever fancied a job speaking klingon, or more to the point dealing with mentally unstable Klingons ? Sounds terrifying doesn`t it - but apparently there`s a job vacancy for a Klingon speaker. Check out this article to make your application.

Also the 'deepest space photo ever' pictures that only a couple of years ago would have been great photos of our galaxies... but these are from galaxies hundreds of times further away. Very breathtaking - article here.

More geek stuff. Computer memory hundreds of times more powerful. Using our old friends the carbon nanotube - article here. And how about the worlds most powerful laser Researchers have a broad array of plans for the petawatt, including using bursts from it to try to kick start a nuclear fusion reaction. - article here. Wow.

Also added a sitemap to the site. Very nice - using a program called SiteXpert. Hopefull soon I`ll integrate itinto the rest of the site. In the meantime you can - view it here.

I could tell you that the guy running our Atlantis game had a hard drive disaster and the game is on temporary hold, that I got into a fight, went for a beautiful walk in a wood full of bluebells and broke my old PDA *again*.... but I haven`t got time......

posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Just been to my 'Jesus Centre' meeting. For once I think I actually sounded quite good, I had quite a lot of research I`d done and vision for the way forward for the projects I`m looking at. Setting a 'community cafe' vision in motion is quite intimidating though. It means finding practical things we can do with the cafe area to turn it into a 'hub' for the community..... hmmm..... lots of ideas, but I need to come up with the practical stuff.

One geeky webpage to suggest - Blue Gene supercomputer. IBMs project to create the worlds fastest supercomputer (again...). Heres some tasty detail though :

a system that can perform one quadrillion calculations per second, or one petaflop......... Blue Gene is a completely oddball, you've-never-seen-anything-like-this-before design," said Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice. "It is not custom everything, (but) it is still very exotic compared to anything you can buy."

IBM has begun building the chips that will be used in the first Blue Gene, a machine dubbed Blue Gene/L that will run Linux and have more than 65,000 computing nodes, said Bill Pulleyblank, director of IBM's Deep Computing Institute and the executive overseeing the project. Each node has a small chip with an unusually large number of functions crammed onto the single slice of silicon: two processors, four accompanying mathematical engines, 4MB of memory and communication systems for five separate networks.


Oh - my Dads in hospital with an infection... ouch. Doesn`t sound too serious but its still worrying. I`m worried about my Mum as well and how shes coping... still she`s a rugged old bird really !!

Website updates :

Human Genome Project in the science section.
A couple of Rogue Trooper pages in the cyberpunk section.
Meet Rogue Trooper
Rogue the Comic

Oh and I`ve finished off Philosophical Investigations in the psychology section.

Thats all for now.
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 10, 2003

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Well, site news (which is all I seem to post these days... sorry) - a useful site I visited from time to time was the Babak Memari computer resource site. Lots of relevant useful links on all computer related subjects (and a few on microbiology). Unfortunately he had problems with his ISP so its now being hosted at Voidspace.

Babak Memari Website .

An interesting project here a DIY cruise missile for under 5 000 dollars. A good one for all you would be terrorists.

And in Atlantis the war has started... the two biggest characters are officially at war. My empire is growing very fast - but this war is a real threat. Exciting stuff.

posted by Mike Foord on Thursday, May 08, 2003

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Well.... I`m at working being distracted... I promised I wouldn`t get distracted... and guess what... it didn`t work. Hmmm.... anyway honestly I`m about to start doing my reports for the Jesus Centre operations meeting on Saturday. Ouch !!

Anyway - at last I`ve put some photos on the site which I`ve been meaning to do for ages. Theres soem photos of me and my family and also some silly pictures. Fractals and so on to follow soon - well maybe.

The Gallery Index Page

And if you go to the voidspace index page (which is this page !! hee hee - oops) there's three new articles. Symbols is new and improved - much easier to read, Imagine Paradise is an article on community and uhmm.. oh yeah - biblical truth is about the sort of truth we can expect to find in the bible... the truth in allegory and spiritual principle basically.....
posted by Mike Foord on Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Right - I`ve made some mad changes to my template to see if it affects (effects or affects ? - I never know) the way my archives appear. This should put the voidspace logo at the bottom of the blog. The reason for this is that the blog archives appear on google...... but with no link back to voidspace... this *might* remedy it !!

Oh - and I found a funky picture used for advertising PDAs... handheld PCs. Actually PDA is one of my favourite acronyms standing for Public Displays of Affection AND Personal Digital Assistant...... how cool is that.

(wow - that nearly worked first time that archive thingy... one more tweak and it ought to work fine...)
I`m still trying to find a way to get feedback... to get you folk to talk to me *sigh*..... hee hee - I actually discovered my freefind (the little free search thingy I use on the bottom of this site) report I get every month helps though... it tells me what people are searching for on the site. I don`t get proper site stats - so that sort of information is dead nice. Ooh... and I got my Nominet document through - telling me that I am the owner of "" - I own property me...... only for two years though. That flashing PDA picture gives me a headache after looking at it for too long... I hope none of you are epileptic !
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 03, 2003

Geek news extraordinaire here.........

Check out this funky bit of tech - Actuality Systems - Volumetric 3d Display.

Offering "100 million voxels, 360 degree view, no goggles " - a crystal ball type display showing 3d objects.......... another step towards holographic projection !! Click here to view image.

Have you ever heard of nanotubes ? If you have then it`ll be hard to escape the geek label that is descending upon you....... These amazing bits of 'stuff' are tubes of material (often carbon) with an amazingly strong atomic structure - enabling them to be only a few atoms thick. Recently they looked at ways of making htem conduct so they can embed them into microchips to form wiring and now they`re looking at ways of getting them to emit light to replace fibre optics. Cool. Read about it here.

Oh and while we`re on the subject of news - I`m in the process of building a

Home Page for Luke and Monique

Its pretty rough at the moment but I`m working on it... and its powered by blogger so they can easily add news and stuff without having to learn HTML........

posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 03, 2003

Some geek news. SCO who own the copyright to UNIX say that LINUX has chunks of the code from UNIX copied straight into it. Linux is the open source operating system that is the only viable alternative to Microsoft and is already a succes as the operating system of choice for people running webservers and routers etc. It has long been feared that the only thing that will stop Linux is a legal challenge and that could be exactly what is on the way....... SCO refuse to publish exactly which bits of UNIX they claim have been 'stolen' - saying if they did that then the code would remarkably have changed by the time it got to court....... Possibly a fair point - but it would be a severe loss to the computing world if Linux ground to a halt, another victim of the litigation addiction of the western world...... A more significant driving force behind SCOs decision to sue is likely to be the amount of ground that UNIX is losing to LINUX........

Read the CNET article here.

Theres another interesting article here. This one on how the record industries have extracted thousands of dollars compensation from students who ran a music search engine on their college network. The compensation is to be paid over a few years.... ouch !
posted by Mike Foord on Saturday, May 03, 2003

Friday, May 02, 2003

Hello Luke.......
Today I added some photos for a friend of mine called Luke. The best one is a friend of his gorgeous wife (pregnant !! not fat !! - oops I hope she doesn`t see this !!) and her daughter Marieke. Marieke learned English - from nothing to almost fluent in three months... WOW

Anyway - check out the picture Monique and Marieke.
posted by Mike Foord on Friday, May 02, 2003

Spam anyone ?? I doubt anyone actuallyappreciates the wretched stuff.... but to be honest I read more about it than I ever actually see of it. Long may it stay that way too... I don`t have a problem with spam. However this article about the history of spam is still interesting - including the first cases of spam when all there was of the internet was arpanet owned by the government and then usenet..... apparently the first person to spam usenet was hounded out of business by those who received the advert !!!
posted by Mike Foord on Friday, May 02, 2003

Spinning platters of protein providing packed pieces of uhmmm.... run out of p's but anyway *ahem* in this article you can read about how they`re using the protein that binds iron blood to make hard drives hold one hundred times as much data...... cool......
posted by Mike Foord on Friday, May 02, 2003

Nothing serious to blog today (you`ll be pleased to hear). Check out the mad sculpture race though. Some people have more time than sense.....
posted by Mike Foord on Friday, May 02, 2003