David Reynolds

Welcome to boredom

IE Under Wine

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Something I’ve been trying to do for some time is to get Internet Explorer running under Debian using Wine. I figured I’d have a proper go at doing it today and joy of joy, I managed it (with a the help from a cunning script). Here’s how:

Before we start, I am running Debian Stable.

Firstly you need to install the latest version of Wine which I got from: Wine HQ - instructions on how to get it are there too. Having the latest version of Wine appears to be a prerequisite of running Internet Explorer it seems, although it has been for quite some time, so surely the ‘latest’ version of Wine I would have installed 6 months ago would be the standard version now? Anyway, get the latest.

Whilst Googling around on how to go about installing IE, I found this: http://sidenet.ddo.jp/winetips/config.html

Download, unzip, run, answer questions, boggle as Internet Explorer runs and the lovely little script creates you My Computer' and ‘Internet Explorer’ icons on your desktop.

Cop out, me?

Anyway, now I can run IE (very useful for webdev debugging) on my Linux PC and not have to worry about Remote Desktop-ing into the slow-arse Windows machine to use it. Yay!

Weird Blog Routines

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I’ve noticed I go through weird routines of posting things in this blog. Like: I’ll not post anything for ages, then I’ll suddenly post about 5 things in a row, and so on and so on.

This week at work has been quite interesting. Had my first experiences of being an interviewer rather than interviewee. Feels very odd, especially given that I was job seeking for quite a while and was in the scary interviewee position for a while. I kinda feel sorry for the people I’ve been “interviewing” as I kinda know how it feels to be in that hideous position. I say “interview” because my main contribution to the process was to drop into each interview at the end for 10 minutes and ask the candidates some random questions to try and glean what knowledge they had of PHP / MySQL / Linux.

I finally got round to booking a couple of days off next week which should be good. Not quite sure what we’re going to be doing yet, but it’ll be nice to not have the routine of going to work for a couple of days.

Wales Pt. 3

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..so where did Becca leave off?

Ah yes the pub. We went to visit Sam and Chris' “local” pub which is at least 2 miles from either of their places. Here we met up with all of the other people who we hadn’t already met, namely: Lee, Jade, Marcus and Dean. Lee, I’ve known from IRC for a while, Jade is his girlfriend, Marcus is a friend of Chris' family and Dean is Chris' sisters boyfriend.

We sat down on some very low tables outside the pub as it was heaving indoors. Chatted a bit with Lee and Jade before Marcus, Dean and Beth went to watch the football in another pub (I can’t remember which team where playing, Liverpool perhaps?) We drank and chatted for a bit having to compete with a Trad Jazz band who were playing outside the pub, under a marquee type thing. The football deserters eventually rejoined us and I eventually got talking with Marcus. From first glance, Marcus looks like a bit of a thug: bald head, big boots, denim and t-shirt. On talking to him you find out he’s actually a very religious guy with strong family and spiritual beliefs. Very nice guy and one for the don’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover column. We eventually got a table indoors, upstairs (everyone else upstairs cleared out not long after we got up there) and had more drinks and chatting. Most of the evening was similar. Notable events included Lee hiding Jade’s stitch toy, trying to whisper to me about it and her overhearing everything he said and the vodka snorting.

You think vodka snorting sounds disgusting? It looks it too, and looks rather painful. Lee did it first as his party trick, by tipping some onto the top of a smallish glass and snorting it. Marcus had a go after that in a similar fashion. Dean decided he was gonna have a go at snorting vodka out of a shot glass and proceeded to spill it all over himself and the table.

We carried on drinking and chatting until well past closing time and then got a lift home with Chris' dad back to Sam’s house where we fell into bed.


We woke up quite early feeling not TOO hungover and spent a while deciding what to do with the half a day we had before driving home. Beth was feeling a little bit ill so Becca and I decided to go visit Lee and Jade in Cardigan. We picked up Chris along the way and got tasty baguettes from Big Bite. We then went to visit Lee and Jade, where I showed off my spanky powerbook. After a cuppa tea we made our way back to Chris' said our goodbyes, found our way back to Sam’s and set about leaving…..

Seven or so hours later, we got back to Norwich and collapsed into bed, my foot somewhat the worse for wear having been sat in the same position for 300 miles (more on that another time).

Wales by Becca

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Its TIVO TUESDAY! But enough about that… Dave is having a broken brain day so he wants me to write about Friday…..

Friday After laying in for a while after a latish night down at the pub (Becca late that is ;) ) we got up, got dressed and wandered downstairs to be greeted by an already up Sam and Beth! Beth put the kettle on and we sat around the table to discuss our plans for the day!!

Sam made us sausage sammidges too keep us going till lunch (the promise of fish and chips in New Quay was too good to resist) we decided to go and pick Chris up and go to the seaside!!!! Yay!! We squished into Sam’s car, went and got Chris, after a brief musical interlude (i.e. Sam made noises on the drums and Chris stunned us all with his guitar genius!) After detouring to Sam’s house to swap cars off we went…..

We arrived, parked up and wandered down toward the coast, please note the down there are lots of hills in Wales and after walking down.. we had to walk up!

So anyway, we wandered around, along the beach and up to the pub. And had a bit more of a chat, more getting to know you type stuff!!

After preparing for our meal by pilfering some ketchup and went back up toward the other end of town. I got very tired and breathy and uncomfortable going up the hill… in fact. i thought i was going to die.

We got our chips and various accompaniments and sat and tried not to share them with the seagulls!! And then got into the car after another hill and went to what can only be described as a fecking mountain!!!

Apparently the views are marvellous but i had to look the other way and wait about halfway down scared like a big girly. But twas fun, mostly!!

After dropping Chris off we went back to Sam’s house to pretty-fy ourselves for our pub trip…..

to be continued………

VDR:0 Tivo: 1

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So, I gave up on building my own PVR, having tried vdr and mythtv both of which look like fantastic projects, if you have the right hardware and a lot of time to fiddle with it.

I’d been wanting a Tivo for ages but they’d always been £200+ on EBay and not available from shops anymore in this country. A while back, I noticed them still being sold on Ebay for about half the price they used to be, so I bid on one and won it. After a few issues, I finally got it and then after a few more issues, I’ve finally this weekend got it working and it’s FANTASTIC.

For those who are unaware, a Tivo is a PVR that is quite popular in America but never really took off over here. You can use it as a hard disk recorder without a subscription, but when you subscribe (at £10 a month or £199 for lifetime), it really comes into it’s own.

The ability to search for programmes by Genre, Title, etc is very useful. Season pass is a godsend. One quite cool (but I’m not sure how useful) function is the Tivo Suggestions function, whereby the Tivo will watch what you watch and try and record things that it thinks you’ll like. For example, before going to Huntingdon on Saturday, I was playing with the Tivo and testing it’s live recording function. I happened to record 2 minutes of Motor racing. Whilst we were in Huntingdon, Tivo had gone off and recorded all sorts of other Motor Racing programmes. Which was kind of it. Luckily, it remembers what you’ve watched and has a scoring system for programmes to try and get your preferences.

I look forward to watching programmes that I normally sleep through or are on during the day.

Becca made a good suggestion yesterday that Tuesday evening should become Tivo Evening, because there’s never anything good on Televisions on Tuesdays.

This post sees the end of the VDR category on my blog, which will be unceremoniously renamed to Tivo :D

Wales, Pt. 1.5

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I’ve just noticed I’ve only written up one day of our Wales trip. I shall rectify this soon, before the events are lost from my brain forever.


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Damn, I’m tired. Went to bed late on Thursday having been to the pub for Brett’s leaving evening at the Fat Cat. It was quite a good evening, met some people I’ve not met before and others I’ve not seen for a long time, had a few beers, got home played with TiVo for ages before falling into bed at about 1:30am

On Thursday we arranged for J and Kaz to come over the following evening for a fun evening of Cranium. They arrived and we proceeded to eat pizza, drink a few drinks before cracking on with the game. It was the most challenging game of Cranium we’ve had for a while for a few reasons:

  1. We finally followed the rules correctly, thanks to J reading them.
  2. J and Kaz have better general knowledge than us.
  3. J kept on choosing difficult questions for us ;)

Despite these set backs (and not knowing what Tower Bridge was) we still managed to win (just). We then sat around chatting for the rest of the evening. After Kaz and J had gone, Becca decided to email a guy we met in Wales and see if he wanted to go to a gig with us in December. We finally fell into bed about 2:30am.

We woke up about 8am on Saturday expecting Brett to turn up ‘plausibly before 9am’ to drop some stuff off before his move to Brighton. He didn’t turn up till 1:30pm in the end. After Brett had gone, we went off to visit Becca’s Parents in Huntingdon. Had a pleasant evening, with tasty Chinese food, expecting to get an early night, but all of a sudden, it was 1am!

I’ve forgotten the point of this post now, mainly because brain work not good today. yawn


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Konfabulator, the free version of Apple’s Dashboard thingy is now free!


Edit: for those that run Linux, it’s always been free….



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Becca and I spent Thursday -> Saturday in Wales visiting some friends of mine from IRC who I’ve known for about 6 years and never met.

Thursday Got up normal work type time, had shower, packed car, got petrol and got on our way. The journey there seems quite short, for some reason. We stopped about 100 miles along the way to get a cuppa tea and sausage roll and then carried on, making our way through the seven CDs of music Becca had prepared for the journey. We got onto the M6 and missed our turn off (just spotted it as we drove past, annoyingly) and drove for a few miles in the wrong direction resulting in us having to pay a toll, to come off of the motorway, for some reason. We finally got back onto the right bit of the M6 and made our way slowly to Shrewsbury and then to Welshpool where we met up with Sam and Beth in a small pub car park. We said our hello’s before running into the pub and using their toilets. We then proceeded on towards Aberystwyth.

We travelled along very windy, hilly roads which were surrounded by beautiful hilly scenery. Very different compared to Norfolk where everything is completely flat. As we went through various small towns, I noticed that each town we drove through seemed to be backdropped by hills, again a huge departure from scenery of these parts.

We finally arrived in Aberystwyth and got out of the car to take a look around. The instant we got out of the car, it poured down with rain. Not fine rain, but really heavy, hard rain. We found our way to a WetherSpoons where we sat steaming and drying off and decided to have some dinner there. We had our dinner, got to know each other a bit, before wondering down to the beach and being shown the sites by Sam, such as: Pier Pressure, the night club on the pier and the ruins of Aberystwyth castle.

We then wondered back through the town to the cars and set off back towards Sam’s house in Blaencelyn. This bit of the journey was quite short compared to the rest of it, although it was beginning to get dark. As we got closer to Sam’s house in the dark, we realised it was lucky Sam had come to meet us, as we’d never have found Sam’s house by ourselves, in the dark.

We got in, met Sam’s parents, unpacked our stuff and sat down for a cuppa tea. We then decided to go to the pub for a couple of pints to meet up with Chris, so we did. The pub was The Ship in Llangrannog which was very close to the beach and a very nice pub. We met up with Chris, had a few pints and a chat, and then got a lift home with Sam’s mum back to Sam’s before heading off to bed.