Running multiple VMware instances eats RAM. Fortunately, RAM is cheap (not quite as cheap as you think, since it’s fully buffered MacPro modules, but nevertheless)

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(no, not the Integrated Woz Machine of Apple fame, but: ) the Imperial War Museum.

Which I visited with Paul, and is a grand collection of tanks, guns, mines, chunks of aircraft and the like, from 1914 onwards. It’s not as interesting (for me) as Duxford, where they keep the big aircraft, but it’s free and worth a look.

As I observed to Paul, when looking at a Churchill tank or similar, my immediate feeling is that the Games Workshop designers were fairly lazy when designing all the vehicles for Warhammer 40K – most of the gear in the museum just needs a Blood Angels logo and some paint, and it’d be good to serve the Emperor.

The other observation, based on the historical section covering British military action in every conflict since WWII – Suez, Aden, Korea, The Falklands, Northern Ireland, and so on, is that in general, military intervention in foreign territories has not been, well, entirely a success story. Not that the people on the ground have done a bad job, or been less than courageous – just that when viewed with hindsight, it mostly seems the net outcome, within five or ten years, has been zilch.

Oh, and some WWII tanks are painted bright, lovely sky blue. If you are doing art direction on Command&MedalOfHeroesStein episode eighteen, take note. There are other colours besides brown and grey.

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Three men, one boat (and a dog)

I finally finished Jerome K Jerome’s (I’d kill to be called that) often referenced tale of a Victorian lark up the Thames. Plenty of parts are laugh-out-loud funny, at least by my low standards, and the period nature of the book (seen from current times) merely adds to the humour. There’s factual references to things which now quaint, but the whole writing style is so tounge-in-cheeck, they don’t stand out.

Incidentally, I was reading the Gutenberg e-text, via Jamie’s excellent Eucalyptus.

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Time-wasting Flash game of the day

This one is really bad. In a glorious 8-bit way.

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New definition of ‘teenage’

Picture 1A somewhat novel definition of teenage, on the BBC news website.

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Notes from Denmark

Assorted things I learned from a few days in Denmark.

  • Despite what some people may claim, Martini Rosso is never a good thing to drink.
  • Danish looks like mix of German and English (but not in the same way as Dutch). This should not fool (novice) German-speakers into thinking they can pronounce Danish words, they will make an idiot of themselves in shops, at the train station information desk, and so on.
  • The Viking Ship museum at Roskilde is great (and is perfectly walkable from the train station, if you’re not American). By far the best part is going for a sail on the fijord in a replica boat, complete with obligatory rowing and shouted instructions (in Danish) from a large bearded man.
  • The palm house in Copenhagen is a pretty typical Victorian affair, complete with cast iron columns. Unlike any other I’ve visited, however, the top balcony is open to the public up the original spiral staircases. The balcony is narrow, and the heat and humidity makes it somewhat oppressive, but apparently in Denmark that’s the for the visitor to cope with, no terrified excuse about health-and-safety here.
  • Herring can be delicious, even with raw onions, but cooking is a big factor here. Holland, I’m looking at you.
  • Despite what some people may claim, schnaps is never a good thing to drink
  • ‘Talking Norwegian’ in Denmark is a euphemism for speaking on the great porcelain telephone. This may be particularly relevant for people who failed to observe the first point on this list.
  • Copenhagen has a five-storey building height code, which is mostly adhered too, and plenty of of nice straight, wide streets. As a result, the large, oddly shaped building visible past the end of the street, which appears to be moving, may in fact be moving. 
  • People (well, tourists) are stupid enough to fall for a find-the-lady con on the main pedestrian drag (Strøget) despite all the nearby shop windows have large red posters in the windows explaining how the con works.
  • Pétanque is great fun. But unsurprisingly, I am very bad at it.
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Driving North

There were two photo-worthy spectacles from the drive up the M1/A1 yesterday – the first I couldn’t easily stop to capture, but consisted of very thin but dense layer of fog around Durham – not even as thick as the tree-tops, just sitting on the ground in the hollows. A really great, eerie sight.

The second spectacle was this:

Nuclear Light

I’ve always thought the Torness building rather elegant (in a Bauhaus kind of way) and quite restrained looking – no chimneys or cooling towers, just the kind of sky blue normally found in childrens’ nurseries. And of course, nothing like it will ever be built again.

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The rebuilt (mostly, work still on-going) Camden Market seems pretty good to me, post-fire. Fewer places selling ‘I love London’ tat, and more selling interesting clothes and stuff – as well as some trendy boutiques for those who wish to spend sixty pounds on a t-shirt. It still has the rabbit-warren feeling, but not in quite such a scary way – the cobbles, intersections and brickwork have been cleaned up, there’s fewer broken drainpipes or cables draped from hooks, and the place seems marginally more navigable. On the food side, there’s better seating areas, and less grease (or so it appeared). Opinions will no doubt vary, but I’d say it’s a good trade-off between making the area safer and friendlier and retaining its character.

The new Cyberdog store is huge, nestling in a giant underground bunker, and heaving with tourists, most of them wilting under the UV and high-volume dance music. Sadly it’s not the week for me to buy overpriced clubbing gear – and it would only get destroyed at Global Gathering in a few weeks anyway.

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Language FAIL

The joke langauge madness continues, on Flickr: flick-hi

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Beltane was pretty damn good.

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