Topic: General Rubik's Cube revisited

12:47pm, Monday 4 January 2016

I was given a Void Cube for Christmas. It's like a Rubik's Cube with holes through the middle, and looks like it should fall apart. The missing/unmarked centre pieces do still matter, and in fact make the puzzle harder, because it's possible to (try to) solve the cube around the "wrong" centre pieces - which is impossible in some positionings.

In the notation from my earlier cube notes, the sequence to put this right - by swapping the front-top and right-top edges - is:
ram to ram ta rom ta rom ti ram ta

Topic: Books Books

11:34am, Friday 4 March 2011

(only a day late for World Book Day...)

The books I am reading: The Master Pipers by George Sand, and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

The book I love most: Nope, too hard to choose. Probably one of: Neuromancer by William Gibson, Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope.

The last book I received as a gift: Village Buildings of Britain by Matthew Rice. My Mum gave it to me for Christmas.

The last book I gave as a gift: How I Escaped My Certain Fate by Stewart Lee, to my brother James for his birthday.

The nearest book: Computer Network Time Synchronization - The Network Time Protocol by David L. Mills.

Topic: General Orange or lemon cake

9:26pm, Tuesday 13 July 2010

100g margarine
150g sugar
1 lemon, grated and juiced (or an orange)
1 egg, beaten
100g SR flour
7" tin, greased and lined (or save effort with a silicone tin)

(also works well with everything doubled, in a bigger tin)

Melt the margarine in a saucepan and mix with the sugar. Take it off the heat and mix in the lemon rind, then the beaten egg. Fold in the flour and put the mixture into the tin. Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes. In the same saucepan (to save washing up) heat the lemon juice and "some" sugar. Stab the cake all over with a fork and pour the syrupy mess over the cake. Try hard not to take it out of the tin until it's cooled.

Topic: Computers Weather forecast in the Gnome panel, revisited

11:18pm, Friday 9 July 2010

About a year ago I threw together a hacky mess of Perl and gnome-swallow-applet to display the BBC's 3-day weather forecast in the Gnome panel. I recently rewrote it to use Perl's Gnome2::PanelApplet which seems to have had the relevant bug(s) fixed since I last tried.

There are still some rather rough edges: you'll still need to change the feed location from the coded-in one for Cambridge to something suitable for your location; and don't look at the code dealing with the use of a web proxy. Still, the embarrassing match-happy regexp error which meant that Sunday was always displayed as being sunny is gone...

It needs a bunch of Perl modules, including Gnome2::PanelApplet (from CPAN, or Debian packaged for i386 by me here). Drop this script in /usr/local/bin and this applet description file in /usr/lib/bonobo/servers and you should be able to do the usual right-click/add to panel.

Have fun. If you fix any FIXMEs please let me know.

Topic: General Response to DCSF's "Home Education - registration and monitoring proposals"

1:08am, Friday 16 October 2009

The Department for Children, Schools and Families is consulting on proposed changes to registration and monitoring of home-educated children.

This is my response, which was allocated number 2284. Many thanks to friends and others (including the Family Education Trust) for suggestions and ideas for points to include. Please feel free to borrow from it if you want - if it encourages you to reply to the consultation, so much the better! [more...]


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Dave Holland <>
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