Archive for February, 2007

A Timely Reminder

16 February, 2007

Been a bit of time since I last did this, but hey, thats the way things are. I’ve been busy. I left Costa to work for a small IT company based in Windsor for about £1000 a month, pretty damn sweet I think you’ll agree, but more about that later. I’ve also got some ambitious, but achievable, I hope, plans to go abroad in my Gap Year, not just once but twice. I also have some new projects that I’m planning, while some of the old ones still haven’t be completed.

I work in the software company as a “Support Analyst” doesn’t mean much, essentially I’m part of the 4 strong help desk. I have no advanced qualifications aside from my GCSEs and A Levels, none of which are IT based. I’m very lucky to have this job, because most people my age would be earning around £5.35 an hour, I get £6.70. How did I manage that you ask? Well I join a scheme called Year in Industry and what they do is they market you out as an eager helper to engineering and software companies. After all, the company gets an eager 18 year old willing to learn and they can pay him, what he thinks is a lucrative amount, but to them is peanuts. After all how much would an adult at a help desk earn? about £21k, I earn £12k, it’s very worth it for them. Another advantage is that I could want to come back after uni to join the company, which is great, for me, and for them. It’s a pretty sweet deal. So here I am, learning MySQL, and C# and getting cool free stuff like “broken” 12 port network hubs.

As for traveling, the idea of funding these trips got a whole lot easier. What with £870 a month (post tax) to save/waste/spend. My rather extravagent plans to spend a month in Japan and a Month in California have been cut somewhat drastically. I shall now just be planning to go to California for 2 weeks. However I’m planning to go and visit The Gathering with s25 in April. Luckily my line manager was a native of California before moving to the UK, so I’ve asked her for a list of nice places to see, and I got a whole list of places to go, and sights to see. I’m hoping to drop by at the Maker Faire and see a few other cool geeky sights.

Unfortunately I can be rather hopeless I have many projects that just happen to fall by the way side in my desire to do something new. This I find VERY annoying. I’ve barely got started with the Arduino module, although I have been dissecting some code. Nor am I planning to really incorporate it into any of my projects soon. Nor have I even tried to interface my IR Range finder that I spent so long looking for. This is most disappointing, although I have a feeling it’s broken anyway, I left it on a battery, and it began to short out. I’m not sure how, or why, but it was extremely hot. I’m yet to finish any of my robotic projects.The midi-bot lies in pieces, the Mini-bots still require pieces, my antweights are still scattered. All in all not the best state of affairs. So rather than try and catch up, guess what I’m doing, yep, starting NEW projects! I’ve just bought a GIGANTIC 3300uF 450VDC capacitor. Large, at about 335 Joules, I bloody hope so! Now according to my calculations, thats a lot of current, about 2000A over 700 uSeconds. Of course I want to make it portable, which is problematic, as a 12V needs to be stepped up to supply 450V. I’ve also been looking in to Fon, or La Fonero, and how it can be hacked. I’m still, slowly working on my Server PC, but running into some VPN issues, I can’t seem to get remote access to it, which is a pain considering I don’t want to have to plug a screen, keyboard and mouse into every time I want to use it. I’ve also fucked up my old laptop by deleting the kernal32.dll while trying to upgrade it. So if ANYONE has a linux install that runs off floppies, give me a email!

I had a driving test on the 31st of January, which I JUST failed, 2 serious faults, 9 minors. Your allowed up to 16 minors, but the second you get a serious fault, you’ve failed. I accidentally rolled into the kerb on a 3-point-turn, on a road with one of the steepest cambers ever, after performing two hill starts, perfectly, on roads at inclines of about 60%. My tester was a total bastard. I’ve got a new test booked for 12th March.

As for pyro, I haven’t engaged in anything of a chemical nature for about a year now. Which is very annoying, nor have I actually taken an interest in it. But I soon hope to start again slowly, I need to clear out my table and cupboards in my garage and then sort the remainder into a Lab/ Electronics workshop.