Niall’s virtual diary archives – Sunday 27th September 2009

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Sunday 27th September 2009: 12pm. Heh, what can I write about this entry which is any different from the last entry? A good question to be sure! I've accomplished a few small things: the first is that I have finally, finally, finally finished converting my CV into XML and it is available online here. I have wanted to get that done for oh about five years now because maintaining the Word edition was becoming increasingly annoying over time: any time you applied for a job you'd have to manually cut & paste the bits relevant to the job, and the Gantt chart had to be separately maintained from the main listings. What I really needed was a programmatically controllable CV and that really means a custom XML format with a parametrised XSL transformation to make it present itself as you need for some given purpose. The output also has hResume microformatting so technically speaking the search engines should be able to pick it up.

I wasted a fair few hours trying to get that CV to work right on Internet Explorer - unlike Safari or Chrome, IE actually does spit out "the right thing" but unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to make jQuery accept XHTML in a way which worked (on IE) which oddly enough was an identical problem with my MBS BIS final project. Anyway in the end I gave up - all browsers will happily translate the XML into XHTML, it's just only Opera and Firefox will let the user mess around with the conversion settings. And in the end it is currently only Firefox with the support for CSS3 rotated text, so Firefox alone works perfectly which is a bit sad though all too common.

The other major thing that I have been doing during the last month is a contract with Applied Research Associates for work on my memory allocator nedmalloc which now is pretty much complete and is worth a good few bob to my company which is great as it's seriously in debt - as indeed am I. The RoIP contract came through too which will no doubt occupy much of next week, and I have also been working on a critical pedagogy for numerate social science subjects which currently looks like this:

First Page of Critical Pedagogy Second Page of Critical Pedagogy Third Page of Critical Pedagogy

The theory goes that students completing the above would be much better placed to not repeat the mistakes made during the recent credit crunch and indeed before that, the Enron and other accounting/consulting related lapses in morality. My hope is that we might be able to collaboratively develop this into something serious though of course it would be highly unlikely to go anywhere without a serious bandwagon effect. Anyway, we'll see.

The plan still holds to make a start on that "synopses of Nobel prize winning papers" book after the RoIP contract is done using all my work on to good effect, and then after that to start my PhD thesis. Meanwhile Megan has begun her OU Masters in Education course, and she has her next driving test this coming Friday. I also must start getting more exercise - I have exceeded eleven stone and I am definitely becoming fat which needs to be fixed, not least that fluid keeps building in my lungs due to lack of breathing fresh air - however, after these two contracts and hopefully the imminent payout of welfare after oh, like four months now, we should be financially secure until 2010 so I can finally relax. Be happy!

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