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Articles with the category: Miscellaneous

Lowmanio is now floating in the atmosphere

Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:28AM

I apologise for it being absolutely ages since I have last blogged. During this time I have moved flat into my first mortgaged property and also planned more weddingy things. I have also painted the walls of said flat brightly coloured, as opposed to the (boring!) off-white magnolia colour the previous occupants thought would suit every single wall.

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Growing chillies

Sun, 31 Jul 2011 02:30PM

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At work we are having a competition to see who could grow the biggest chilli plant from seeds - although I think only two of us have actually managed to grow anything. It is surprisingly easy to grow chilli plants, and this is coming from a person who has managed to kill cacti and aloe vera, possibly the easiest plants in the world to look after (..although I blame Nybble for the aloe, he managed to eat half of it before I noticed).

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Webscavator stats

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 09:56PM

Work has begun on making Webscavator more community open-source based, so the code has been put into github and the issues and bugs that need fixing will shortly go in there or some other free bug tracking tool. Also I will set up a mailing list for those who want updates. Since I haven't yet put Webscavator on my Google Analytic's panel (d'oh!) I have to make do with parsing out my Apache logs. Unfortunately because it's on a virtual machine all the IP addresses in the Apache logs are from the OS that is hosting the VM rather than from the requesters to the site (double d'oh!). Once I got rid of all the lines from bots and those not to the homepage, I came up with a 320 visitors to Webscavator since January 2011. Since I've not really been advertising it, I think that's a fair amount!

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"Phone" "hacking"

Wed, 13 Jul 2011 08:57PM

I'm sure everyone in the UK is aware of the News of the World phone hacking stories, but hardly any of the coverage has been on the actual "hacking" and how they did it. It is in fact very trivial, and is not really hacking at all. The word "hacking" has many meanings, with Wikipedia even having an article on all the different definitions, but I doubt this particular hacking comes close to any of those. It isn't even "phone" hacking either; the reports managed to get hold of voicemails. 

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I'm back!

Mon, 20 Dec 2010 04:58PM

The last 2 months have been very hectic - I moved flat from Marchmont to the West End of Edinburgh. Gone is studentville and a flat with a ratio of 3 computers per person and a complicated internet system! Welcome to the West End where the internet works by just clicking in the cat5 to the router! Hooray for thermostat controlled heating! The new flat is wonderful - wooden floors, original working window shutters, own front door, private garden with BBQ, garden furniture and shed, huge rooms with stylish furniture, fantastic fully-fitted kitchen. I'm sure all this is perfectly mundane to most but a total dream having come from student accommodation! I have also finished my probation at work and am now a fully fledged employee, so thus the transition from student to young professional is complete! I have even filled in my pension plan. Hoorah!

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Happy Birthday Lowmanio.co.uk

Wed, 27 Oct 2010 07:45PM

Last week Lowmanio.co.uk celebrated it's 9th birthday. It's hard to believe I've had this website for over 9 years, and have been hosting it myself for the last three years. It's changed quite a lot - to start with it was a Due South fan site, then a Savage Garden fan site, then a site where I posted lots of random links, and finally to this current blog.

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Train Etiquette

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 08:49PM

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Throughout my masters degree Aileen and I would rant about how awful the people on ScotRail trains are and how they do not follow simple train etiquette manners. Similarly in my new job, my colleague Sarah and I have started complaining about the awfulness of people on trains. What is it with some people who cannot obey the simple rules of train etiquette?!

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Subscribe to New Scientist: get Junk Mail for free!

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 04:49PM

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Whilst filling in the form to get a yearly subscription of New Scientist, I did something I don't normally do: I read the small print. This is what it said:

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Readability of your Word documents

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 06:25PM

Recently I discovered that Word can show you readability statistics about your documents. In Word 2007 onwards, go to the top left home button, and click on 'Word Options' like in Screenshot 1. Then go to the 'Proofing' option and check the box labelled 'Show readability statistics', like in Screenshot 2. You'll then need to do a full spell-check on your document. At the end of the spell-check some statistics on your document will appear, similar to those in Screenshot 3.

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Tips to make a good CV

Mon, 10 May 2010 02:50PM

I've been asked six times now to help people out in making their CVs better or helping them produce their first CV since leaving university. I quite enjoy doing it and hope my suggestions help people get further in the interview process.

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Vote for policies, not personalities!

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 10:35AM

Reference Management Software

Tue, 09 Feb 2010 10:53PM

In preparation for writing a master thesis we have to write a 3000 word dissertation plan, with at least 8 relevant papers for the literature review. My 4th your honours project didn't really involve much of a literature review, so the prospect of organising papers and knowing which bits are important is a bit of a daunting task. I spent a long time going through Wikipedia's list of reference managament software hoping to find something useful. Most of them are either not free, for Linux or Mac only or are rather shoddy.  A couple looked promising but ended up just being a sort of address book for PDFs where you had to manually enter in all the data. I was all ready to give up - until I found Mendeley.

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Mosaic

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 11:22AM

I was watching a TV show yesterday evening called History of Now - The Story of the Noughties (BBC2 10pm) which mentioned a piece of software called Mosaic invented in the 2000s. Mosaic is a product from Experian that classifies the entire country into 11 main groups of people, with 61 subgroups, and is based primarily on where people live (i.e postcodes). The system helps the media, politicians and shops target certain products/messages at certain groups of people. During elections, for example, it’s vital to know where the undecided voters live and what category they fall into so politicians can target campaigns effectively. Online retailers need to know the best postcode areas to send their catalogues to get maximum profit and supermarkets need to know whether to sell more bumper family packs or microwave meals for 1.

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Happy New Year

Wed, 06 Jan 2010 03:52PM

Happy New Year! I had my one and only exam for last semester yesterday – Forensic Science Theory 1. It went ok, I definitely think I passed. The exam has very little theory in it compared to previous years surprisingly: no chemical presumptive tests or questions about microscopes or Bayes Theory and likelihood ratios. The questions were also fairly essay-like, i.e. all the marks for answering one question rather than in parts so I really can’t tell if I did alright or very well.

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Merry Christmas

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 01:55PM

This year is my first year spending Christmas the traditional UK way, instead of the Belgian way. In Belgium (or at least in my family) Christmas eve is far more important than Christmas day – which is seen as the more sombre religious day and/or the 8 hour 6-course meal meal with the whole family. I have always opened my presents on Christmas eve at 6pm, followed by a beef fondue and lots of Baileys, port, brandy and whisky.

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Masters Project

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 05:39PM

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I asked one of my lecturers about doing text visualisation as my masters thesis and he said it sounded great, even emailed me a paper to read! I don't have an exact question yet, but it'll be something along the lines of visualising web browser history. I'm quite excited about it weeee! I'll have to find out from actual forensic investigators how they use browser history and what they search for to see what is best visualised. Might be able to extend it to general log files, depends on what I find out! The result would hopefully be to produce a program (probably a web app with fancy ajax) that visualises the output of Pasco/WebHistorian etc effectively.

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Happy St Nicholas!

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 10:12AM

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Ok so it was yesterday, but I only got my parents present in the post today, and OMG my mother is sometimes a genius. She either in this case knows me well, or had a freak moment of buying something truly amazing: behold, the most garish, glittery, pink poodle Christmas decoration in the world!!

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Privacy and the Law

Tue, 01 Dec 2009 08:28PM

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I am currently reading Digital Evidence and Computer Crime by Eoghan Casey and chapter three - "Technology and Law" has some really interesting cases which really make you think about what is 'privacy'. The main act that gives a right to privacy in the US is the Constitution’s 4th Amendment which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. The couple of cases below (from the book) are all based in the US that affected the law and the 4th Amendment. I know this doesn’t apply in the UK but it makes for an interesting debate!

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Week 1 of masters course

Fri, 02 Oct 2009 06:58PM

When I first looked at my timetable I thought I'd be in from 10am to 5pm every day, rarely having breaks other than for lunch.  All my classes were in 2 hour blocks with some labs scheduled for 3 hours. It looked like a tough schedule, with little time for private study and coursework – especially since 4 out of 5 of the courses this term are 100% coursework based.

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Mandatory attendance

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 05:25PM

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Strathclyde have adopted an attendance register for every class and students may get penalised for not attending enough classes. My fellow classmates tell me this also happened in their undergrad universities. Is this normal? Is Edinburgh University weird to allow students completely free choice whether they attend lectures?

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Postgrad Induction Day

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 12:21PM

Number of CSI mentions: 1

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I love Derren Brown

Sun, 13 Sep 2009 12:30PM

I met Derren once at the Spiderman 2 premiere in 2004 where he signed my autograph book. He is the only celebrity who didn't just scribble a random scrawl on the paper, instead asked my name and wrote, "Dear Sarah, best wishes, Derren Brown X". He seemed genuinely touched by people screaming his name all over the place, but maybe his wonderful charm was all just an elaborate illusion. Maybe it's a blank piece of paper in my autograph book and I've been under his hypnotic spell ever since!

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I am a supermarket snob

Wed, 12 Aug 2009 03:31PM

I broke the habit of 3 years by going to Asda today instead of Sainsbury's. Sainsburys and Waitrose are my nearest large stores and I've grown very accustomed to fine goods and well laid out aisles. However Edinburgh has an Asda superstore only 15 minutes further away, and since I wasn't doing anything today I thought I'd pop in and do my shopping there for today. After all, they put crème patisserie in their mille feuilles, not cream.

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New website!

Wed, 29 Jul 2009 05:10PM

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I have redesigned lowmanio.co.uk to be more bloggy, and hopefully I shall actually keep up with my blog this time. I got a little over enthusiastic with blog posts as you can see...I've already blogged 6 times! The topics I will blog about are in the categories to your right. I am starting a masters in Forensics Informatics in September, so will post anything interesting I learn here. I'm also really interested in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and general art and design, and computers in general! Hobbies wise, I own two rabbits called Pixel and Nybble and I love to cook. Both of these will get mentions - hopefully not at the same time (although rabbit meat is delicious). I have also moved my bunny blog which used to live at http://rabbits.lowmanio.co.uk to here.

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New Laptop

Wed, 29 Jul 2009 05:10PM

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Yesterday I bought my first proper laptop. I have had 2 laptops in the past, one I got on eBay for £90 that ran Windows 98, came with 64MB of RAM and weighed 6 kg, for the purposes of playing DOS games when I was travelling on the train to and from London. It was nicknamed the brick or the craptop. That became a pain and so I bought an Ultra-Mobile PC on eBay for £300 (RRP £900) as I didn't need a full scale laptop at the time (2 years ago). This was the size of a netbook, with a 10inch screen and no keyboard ( did come with a tiny USB keyboard though) - just a touchpad display and some buttons at the side. It came in handy when I needed to make some graphics and had some awesome touch screen games. Again this became annoying as it was just too small to do general computing whilst travelling. I sold the brick for £21 last week, and will eventually get round to selling my UMPC.

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