Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Some cool HackSoc mash-up APIs!

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Hello /r/hacksoc,

Recently I have been thinking about some cool ideas for web/phone apps and looking for some cool datasets and APIs to play with.

However, it has come to my attention that there isn’t really a definitive list of things to play with (that I could find anyway). 

So let me present the “Ed George List of Cool HackSoc Playthings”.

Cool Playthings:

Standard Playthings:

This list will be updated as and when I find more, but in the meantime happy hacking!

getAge() {return 21;}

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Happy New Year to all!

I am writing this one day after my 21st birthday which is a strange milestone for me (and everyone else in fact), considering the next milestone will be in 9 years time when I reach 30 and edge ever nearer to that fabled ‘mid-life crisis stage’ of a man’s life. (The word Crisis will no longer be mentioned from this point on-wards after the harrowing events of last night)

It’s scary to think that in 21 years of existence just how far things have come. I am of course talking quite generally here as global politics, human rights and certainly technology have all come a long long way since I was born in 1992. Speaking solely on the technological side of things, there are many things that astound me about just how quick changes are still propagating ~60 years on from the birth of ‘modern’ computing. For example, realistically how many children today, or even 3-4 years ago for that matter, would recognize a VCR? How many families in the UK still own a VCR? Finally, how can it possibly be that in my 21 years of existence I have seen the VCR format die, the DVD format rise and now witness its possible successor Blu-Ray take center stage? I have also seen the tape format nearly erased from existence and replaced by first CDs and then MP3s!

In fact here is a short overview of some of the scariest facts I have comprised about some of the changes that have come about since I came to be!

Since being born:

  • The iPod was invented and has had 24 different models released, of which I owned 3
  • In ’92 Apple’s Classic II had a 16Hz CPU and 2MB RAM
  • 21 years later my MacBook Pro has a 2.4 GHz CPU and 8GB RAM
  • Microsoft released Windows 3.1 in ’92. (I remember using it at a friends house)
  • Microsoft have released 8* main consumer Operating Systems since
  • Apple have released 13*
  • In 1992 the first ever Text Message (SMS) was sent
  • Since 2010 – close to 200,000 text messages are sent every second
  • The Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) standard was introduced in 1992 that allowed multimedia and other file types to become attachments in emails
  • In 1995 (earliest data I could find) Netscape held 80% of the browser market. IE had upwards of 95% global market share around 2002 and now has between 25-30% a mere 10 years later.
  •  Apple created the iPad, a ‘revolutionary’ device that introduced the subsequent ‘tablet revolution’ – Microsoft’s Project Origami had attempted something similar a few years before and was written off due to it’s poor battery life and reliance on stylus usage. (I got to test an early Samsung tablet running Windows XP for Tablets, and it was just awful)
  • The British company ARM in 2013 are responsible for the most popular 32-bit instruction set architecture in the world with a presence in 95% of smartphones, whilst in 1992 the company had only been established for 2 years
  • In 2006 MySpace hit 100 million users, 5 years later around 60% of these users had left
  • In 2008 Facebook traffic surpassed MySpace and 4 years later the site registered it’s 1billionth user
  • In 1992 I didn’t own a computer
  • In 2013 I have ‘owned’ nearly 10

My point is, Moore’s Law clearly has taken it’s toll on the technology I have witnessed since my birth! I can honestly say that I am truly excited to see where my field, Computer Science, is in 21 years time. It is a mind boggling concept to imagine what the world will be like then!

As many people that read this blog are of similar age to me, I hope you have found the facts I have collected to be of some intrest! It would be interesting to hear what shocked you most and how you have noticed things change since you were born. It doesn’t matter if you are older too, I can appreciate that for many people nowadays  punch cards were the only way to learn to program! (Give me Sublime Text 2 any day!)

Let me know what you think in the Comments below!

Til next time,


*My definition is Major releases and does not include Server Versions etc

Quick Update

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

This site will not be as updated as much over the next few months (Uni comes first)!

I will see you all on the other side!

Step 1. Read this post…

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

This made me laugh today. Finally, a comprehensive guide of how to get Spotify and Google Chrome on library machines in Nottingham written in simple steps!

  1. Download it.
  2. Install it.


Edit: Turns out doing this breaches uni regulations anyway (supposedly)!

Try, grooveshark or if you need music :) 

Typesetting with Java

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

As this academic year draws to a close, so begins the time to choose modules for next year!

I have decided that ‘Document Programming‘ will be one of my choices as its an area of interest and it’s taught by Steven Bagley who is not only one of the departments lead figures in the Document Engineering department (alongside Prof. David Brailsford), but an awesome lecturer!

To get myself into the ‘feel’ of DocEng, I visited an interesting page from the CS department at the University of Virginia titled “Typesetting Example in Java”.- that can be found here.

I have implemented the code, watched the video and read the slides!

It seems DocEng is quite complex – Something we take for granted, such as text on an e-book reader, actually has a lot of underlying mathematics behind it!

Check it out

G52AFP Revision!

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I have been advised by a certain tutor (who shall remain nameless) that people may be looking for G52AFP revision/exams etc. 

So here it is!

Good lucks guys.


Friday, May 4th, 2012

Ed George:

Fantastic post! Worth a read.

Originally posted on Antimatroid, The:


Lately I’ve been brushing up on probability, statistics and machine learning and thought I’d play around with writing a Minesweeper agent based solely on these fields. The following is an overview of the game’s mechanics, verification of an implementation, some different approaches to writing the agent and some thoughts on the efficacy of each approach.



Minesweeper was created by Curt Johnson in the late eighties and later ported to Windows by Robert Donner while at Microsoft. With the release of Windows 3.1 in 1992, the game became a staple of the operating system and has since found its way onto multiple platforms and spawned several variants. The game has been shown to be NP-Complete, but in practice, algorithms can be developed to solve a board in a reasonable amount of time for the most common board sizes.


An agent, $latex \mathcal{A}$, is presented a $latex…

View original 3,262 more words

Graham Hutton Bingo

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Graham Hutton Bingo

Because sometimes G52AFP just isn’t fun enough…

(Idea/Image credit to Michael Gale)

A Computer Scientist’s Guide To Procrastinate Effectively

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

A lot can happen in 2 months, 9 days. You can climb Everest, Watch every episode of Futurama every produced and you can slave your behind off doing work for subjects you fear may never interest you again!

I have done two out of the three since my last post.

Procrastination is fun, so what better to talk about after my prolonged period away!

A (quick) Computer Scientist’s Guide To ‘Procrastinate Effectively’

As a 2nd year undergraduate computer scientist, your daily life will consist mostly of one (or more) of the following:

  • Struggling to wake up
  • Struggling to attend lectures
  • Struggling to grasp concept of lectures
  • Struggling to understand accent of lecturers
  • Struggling to attempt coursework
  • Struggling to finish coursework before deadline
  • Struggling to beg lecturer for more time
  • Struggling to tie lead weights to your ankles whilst standing on top of a tall bridge…
Ok, so some of those might not apply to you or even me for that matter but if anything the last month has taught me, there is a brilliant new way of avoiding all of these troubles in your life. PRO-CRAS-TIN-ATE.
If you are working on a piece of code and there’s an error or exception you don’t understand. Then the Java docs are a fantastic source and whilst you’re at it, why not post a Facebook status from your Tamagotchi to make your idiot friends think you are some kind of wizard! If you are waiting for your code to compile or finish a large batch of calculations, then it’s the perfect time to brew a fresh cup of grounded coffee OR alternatively, play each track on the front page of Line Rider! It’s all good old-fashioned procrastination.

There are some certain things a Computer Scientist amid a ‘study-spree’ should attempt to avoid:

  • Special offers on Energy Drinks
  • Auction sites with links to ‘Retro Games - YES I MEAN THIS ONE’
  • Falling ill from food poisoning (Trust me)
  • Blogging unnecessarily

Avoid these like the plague as procrastination will eventually come so naturally to you that you will actually procrastinate on your next batch of procrastination!

This is kind of like the film Inception but with more games of Bejeweled Blitz and AWFUL computer related cat pictures - Seriously, these aren’t funny. I wish people stopped making them. PLEASE STOP MAKING THEM.

You will become a professional procrastinator when you graduate (oh and maybe get a BSc or MSci too if you are decent). I wish it wasn’t true but I’m currently very stressed and despite attending 90%+ lectures I still feel overwhelmed with work!

Hopefully I will have some more tech/programming/fun related posts after I split up on the 16th December! But currently all I can think about is how efficient my washing up technique is in terms of Big-Oh and whether treating it as a Stack or as Queue will make me complete it any quicker than treating it as dirty dishes!

The joys of Computer Science!

Peace and Love,


(Obviously this post is Tongue-in-Cheek and I 110% do not endorse playing Age of Empires II till 4:30 am on a ‘school night’…)

Blackberry WordPress App

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

So I have been made aware that my otherwise despised Blackberry has the ability to post to my blog!

If you are reading this now, then it has been a success and if you are not, congrats for lying.

I have been working on a prototype ‘XML database’ Haskell project that I hope to shed light on soon!

Hold tight!



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