Niall’s virtual diary archives – August 2005

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8th August 2005

Mid summer coding

Monday 8th August 2005: 10.17am. Well I really must apologise - this is the second time ever that I have missed a month in this diary in seven years. Johanna says that it's her fault again as she was also responsible for the first, but I can't remember and couldn't be arsed to look. What I do know is that in my head I thought I had already made a July entry so when Ruth assured me that nothing had been made since June, I wondered if I had simply forgot to upload it. And to my surprise, no I hadn't.

I've also let my "state of the world" emails to everyone lapse, but this is mostly because there are too many recipients to put them in anything other than a full mailing list and since my problems with my last web host provider (during which this site was down for an eternity), I haven't got round to installing and configuring the relevant software. However with the current provider at, who really is good, I can literally download, compile and install any server software I like within reason so I'll get MailMan installed before the end of this summer and whack off my first "state of the world" email in what will be then a whole year.

So what's happened since my last entry? Lots of coding - around 6900 lines added now to the 45,800 I had written in the two years until June, which is around 15% extra. To give you some idea, I have been averaging over 100 new lines of code written & debugged per day despite all the usual interruptions, plus that I stopped entirely while Johanna was here. My typical day consists of coding from 10am till when I get too hungry to continue, then lunch (though it's often 3-4pm by then) and a joint which is about an hour's rest. Then I return to coding until 9 or 10 pm after which I'm usually too shagged mentally to continue productively - at which point I either go do email or do some semi-coding task such as find & replace or reading or writing documentation which doesn't require so much brain power. It's basically a ten hour day of actual coding but easily a twelve hour day of working on the computer.

Johanna did come and visit for nearly two weeks and I had a lot of fun with her - she kept cooking nice things to eat several times a day where I had grown used to eating just once a day again. We were especially blessed with a week of fine weather which let us go for walks, though typically I had to dig in the garden then as I and a friend are relaying the driveway in our house (which I'll finally be finishing today or tomorrow!). Then just recently Ruth turned up - yes that Ruth - and she stayed here a few nights ago during which she told me she has been diagnosed with MS poor girl.

Other than all that, that has been my summer. Coming up soon on the 18th I shall be off to Sweden to visit Johanna, then to London to see everyone over there and back here on the 30th, leaving again for St. Andrews on the 14th September. Basically after this coming week the summer is over in terms of major coding opportunities as I'll be doing mop-up in those two weeks, but at least I sure have made progress - the backend of Tn is more or less done, now I can start on the GUI frontend - who would have guessed it would take more than two years? Anyway y'all be happy, and maybe I'll see some of you soon!

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