A geeks home…

We are looking for a new home. Not just any home, oh no, but the perfect home. Of course we’re not going to find it (is there such a thing as the perfect home) but we’re looking anyway. Quite apart from the usual things that any family would look for in a home such as large kitchen, en-suite to the master bedroom, off-road parking etc, we have an additional requirement. I say “requirement”, but really it’s just a “want” of mine.

My Very Own Office

I say that in an awe-struck, hushed tone, fully immersed in the vision that fills my mind. Let me share with you this picture of Heaven-on-earth.

Opening the heavy, padded, almost-soundproof door you are greeted by soft light bathing the ceiling in a mix of pastel colours. The walls are a light shade of blue, not cold, instead they remind you of the sky on a warm, still summers day. The rear wall is completely taken up with shelves, floor to ceiling, filled with books, CDs, DVDs, records, small boxes of things, notebooks, magazines and endless odds and ends.

Against the far wall is a small desk with a 15″ computer monitor, a keyboard and mouse on it, and an 88-key music keyboard slung on hooks underneath. The desk also holds a stack of audio equipment; an amp, CD player, tape deck, EQ, with a small mixing desk on top.

At right angles to that, almost cutting the room in half, is a much larger desk with a 19″ and 21″ monitor, two keyboards, two mice, assorted books and CDs, and a steaming mug of fresh black coffee. A large, comfortable armless chair sits in front of the large desk, and you can see how easy it is to reach everything from this one position.

In front of the larger desk, at about the half-way position of the room, is a small but deeply-upholstered sofa, liberally covered in an assortment of blankets and cushions. From the sofa the stack of music gear is easily reachable, as are the wires that connect the whole system together. In front of the sofa lies a soft rug, and positioned about 18″ from the far wall, either side of a large window, are positioned two bookshelf speakers on tall black stands. Between the speakers a radiator has been painted a deep blue colour,. complimenting the walls very well.

Then stepping into the room you see that the wall on your right is decorated with several guitars, all hanging neatly on hooks, ready to be taken down at a moments notice and played. The back of the door also has hooks on it, holding a large yet neat collection of wires and leads of various shapes and sizes. The opposite wall has several posters on a musical theme, all neatly framed.

Lastly you notice the guy sat in the big chair, and as he swivels round you catch your breath and murmer “wow, it’s really you…”. His friendly, yet all-knowing smile puts you perfectly at your ease…


OK, that last paragraph was maybe taking it a bit too far, but the rest of it is pretty much what I want when I think of my own office. Part design studio, part music studio, part geeks hideaway, part hi-fi haven. What I’ll end up with will be a shed that I’ll have to share with six bikes and a lawnmower, but I can still dream, can’t I?

8 hours…

For fans of the Matrix films there couldn’t be a better place to watch them than at the IMAX cinema in Bradford. That’s a five-story high cinema screen with 12,000 watts of cound system. Wow. And when they are playing all three back-to-back then the temptation is hard to resist. This is part of Bradford’s Fantastic Films Weekend, hosted by the National Museum of Film, Photography and Television.

So my only problems are a) how do I get la inamorata to give me permission and b) what do I do with the kids?

* Of course, I’m only going to see it again for the spirituality in it, so don’t think I’m a sad geek or anything.

Gah, databases…

Ever have one of those afternoons? I do, regularly, and this is another one of them. It works at home, it works here – so why doesn’t it work there? Gah again, and thrice gah.


Thanks to the lovely Stylegala.com, I’ve just spent a very pleasent few minutes drooling over this website. The graphics a re lovely, it very nearly has perfect code, and their work seems to be excellent. Not least of which is their fantastic-looking content management system, which does one very clever thing that I’d not thought of before.

When you write the text for an article/page it automatically pulls out the important words and creates a list of keywords using them that search engines can look at (for the technically-minded that’s the META keywords). That’s clever, and a great use of psuedo-artificial intelligence technology* to generate meta content – content describing content.

* OK, bear with me. It’s not as grand or clever as all that, but it’s still a great idea.