04 August 2010

Chanchala on Etsy.com

Chanchi has set up a shop on etsy.com so that she can attempt to sell some of her jewellery.

Posted by Robert Hart

29 November 2006


Every now and then a so-called "meme" catches my eye. The word meme is supposed to mean:
      n : a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior)
          that is passed from one generation to another by
          nongenetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the
          cultrual counterpart of genes"
but in reality tends to take the form of a link to a vaguely amusing web-site, often hosting some kind of quiz or test. The spread of a meme through the blogosphere can often be very rapid. I tend to come across them on planet.debian.org. There is certainly no element of passing from generation to generation!

Some guy is attempting to measure this wildfire phenomena by encouraging people to link to his article on the subject. Join in if you like!

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: Computers

28 November 2006

New York

I've put up some of the pictures from my recent trip to New York. More to come I hope.... I had the most amazing time!

Brooklyn Bridge taken from Manhattan Bridge Brooklyn Bridge taken from Manhattan Bridge

360 on Brooklyn Bridge The reservoir in Central Park ny-viewfromESB2.jpg

View from Empire State Building A building in Manhattan

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link

21 September 2006

OSM wallpaper

Although I haven't blogged about it yet, I've been spending a lot of my free time lately working on the open street map project. This basically consists of wandering around with a GPS device, and then later tagging the recorded trace so that it can be used, for example, as a street map. The map for Bath is coming along well, and I'll probably post some images when it lacks some of the rather obvious holes that it has now (you didn't want to go to Weston did you?).

One thing that has fascinated me though is the little thumbnails the project generates for each trace uploaded to their website. These take various different forms depending on the type of journey being undertaken. I thought it would be fun to make some desktop wallpaper out of them. The standard colour-scheme is black on white but I imagine some people will prefer white on black.

I guess because the images use OSM data they are licensed under a CC BY-SA license.

Let me know what you think. I'm sure a bit more creativity wouldn't go amiss....

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: Computers

Automatical Solitaire playing program

I've been working on an automatic solitaire playing program, that interfaces with Windows Solitaire.

To use it, launch Solitaire (it works with both the W2K and WXP versions of Solitaire, although currently it only does "deal one" and it can't cope with the Astronaut deck (because it doesn't have a black border)). Then press "Step" and it will play a single move, or "Run" and it will play for a maximum of 200 moves, or until it Resigns (after dealing 20 cards in a row with nothing else to do).

When it has finished, it will show a textual version of the game layout, and a log of the moves it made. In the text grid, C, D, H, S, stand for the four suits (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades respectively), R and B stand for unknown red or unknown black, and X, J, Q, and K, for 10, jack, queen, king, and so on. It isn't brilliant at detecting the suit of a card, but it doesn't (yet) use anything other than the colour and rank to work out moves.

Currently it plays using some fairly simple rules, so it will sometimes give up on winnable games. When it does win, it tends to complete the game in around 2 seconds, (Watching it play makes me ill, because the cards flicker around so much) however under the standard scoring scheme, the maximum bonus you can get is to complete in 30s (bonus = 700000/time if time >= 30). This gives a highscore of around 23833 (assuming 500 non-bonus points).

There are plent of bugs. e.g. It doesn't yet notice when it's won.

PlaySol.exe PlaySol.zip (includes runtime dlls) source

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: Computers

19 June 2006

The Marriage of Figaro

We went to see Mozart's Marriage of Figaro on Saturday at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen. This was the first time that either of us had seen an opera, so it was certainly an interesting experience. The production was put on by Opera North. The music and the singing were excellent, and the costumes and sets were sufficient for their purpose.

On the downside, the seating (in the Balcony) was incredibly uncomfortable, primarily due to the negative leg room. The most noticeable differences between Opera and the musicals I have seen, is that none of the songs seem to have stuck in my head, and because I couldn't pick out every word (particularly when multiple characters were singing simultaneously) I was less able to appreciate the passion/emotion, and felt much less moved than with, say, Les Miserables.

Rating: 3/5

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link

19 June 2006

It's only words

The most common question I've had showing my thesis to lay people is: "How many words is it?"

The answer is of course "Depends how you count them", but is something like 48,000. There are (very) approximately 4900 different words, meaning that on average each word comes up just under 10 times. (It's hard to count accurately count unique words because things like equations (and LaTeX markup) throw in a lot of junk that can't really be considered words).

In fact some words come up a lot more often than that:

3829:   the
2149:   of
1324:   a
1274:   and
1160:   to
1038:   is
866:    in
595:    for
453:    fire
391:    be
375:    this
350:    as
316:    mist
306:    with
306:    model
304:    are
295:    by
292:    was
281:    that
255:    on
In other words 25% of my thesis is made up of just eight words, and none of those words are specific to the topic!

The longest (unhyphenated word) is "indistinguishable" (17 letters) followed by "parameterisation" and "destratification" (16 letters). The median length is just 3.9 letters. The distribution of word length is:

1: 1885
2: 7926
3: 8518
4: 6740
5: 4453
6: 3488
7: 3384
8: 3170
9: 2221
10: 1827
11: 1304
12: 638
13: 311
14: 152
15: 40
16: 9
17: 1
(equations boost the 1-letter count considerably)

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: PhD

13 June 2006

Makes it seem worth it

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: PhD

09 June 2006

Looks like my work here is done

A stack of theses all with my name onMy Thesis!After 4 years, 11 months and 7 days it's finally complete (well almost - I still need to burn the CD to go in the back cover). It's fantastic to see it all bound up with the title "Numerical Modelling of Tunnel FIres and Water Mist Suppression" emblazoned in gold across the cover.

For anybody interested here's a pdf (20MB).

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: PhD

06 June 2006

Chupa Chop

Lots of lolly Woo!! Doing a google search for Chupa Chop brings up my web page!!!

This is due to my blog entry about the joy of unrolling the paper stick after sucking the loly.


It's been pointed out that part of the reason for this is that the correct spelling is "Chupa Chup". I guess that answers my original question, and sets me a challenge to make my site interesting enough to be first google hit for a real term. I'm not even top hit for "Robert Hart Phd"

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: Food

06 June 2006


Kedgeree I had a go at cooking the Kedgeree recipe out of the book Sally gave me for my birthday. I used Haddock instead of Salmon fillet, because a) it's slightly cheaper, and b) it has the words "Don't Panic" printed on the cover in friendly letters... Oops! I mean b) it's more authentic to what I think of as Kedgeree.

I think it's the first time I've ever cooked fish (not counting prawns or fish fingers) so I was a bit nervous, but the recipe was surprisingly easy, and the most exotic ingredient was fish stock cubes - which I can cope with because I don't need to think up a way to use the remainder.

Rating: 9/10 (according to Chanch, who is never wrong)

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories:: Food