Update

I just thought an update would be good, so I’ll quickly outline what I’m up to below:

  • I had surgery on my left arm last week. It is now out of the plaster cast and in a splint. I am completely one-handed at the moment, and probably for the next few months. The surgery was a tendon-transfer, i.e. attaching working tendons to parts of my hand that didn’t work due to the nerve damage further up my arm. Now my thumb has a new tendon pulling it up, and all four fingers share a new tendon. Lots of physio is my future.
  • I’m working on the Centruflow 3.1 release, which despite this delay and subsequent slow down, is still on target for a mid-September release. Cliche I know, but this release will be the best ever – and by far the most complete – we’re putting a lot of emphasis on the things surrounding the software, such as documentation, help systems, online customer support systems, improved legal structures, etc. Of course, at the same time the software has come on leaps and bounds since our last 6-monthly release (3.0) in March at CeBIT.
  • Centruflow Ltd purchased me a new top of the line Dell XPS laptop, which took me a while to migrate over to, but has considerably helped in developing Centruflow. The wife happily took ownership of my last laptop, a still-decent Dell Inspiron.

I think that’s the main gist of things.

Inactivity

I’ve been pretty quiet on this site recently, and for that I apologise – I’ve been working full-on on Centruflow leading up to CeBIT in Germany. Well, right now I am in Germany at CeBIT, and Centruflow is getting a lot of interest and positive feedback.

Of course there is always more to do, but CeBIT has really helped clarify what needs doing, and what is most important to customers.

I make no claims at being any kind of photographer, but my photos are available to see no longer available – sorry! They are all a little blurry as I have scaled them down to be web friendly, and to be fair, were mostly taken whilst I was walking. Maybe they may be enjoyable to some people (not least my family).

Anywho, busy few days just been, busy few days ahead, so I’m turning in. Today I met Pete Hodgson (New Zealand’s MP for research and science, among many things), and tomorrow is New Zealand day, so things have been hectic. Time for sleep.

Politically Convenient Timing

Is it just me, or are other people getting sick of the opposition political party (in this case the National party in New Zealand) always questioning the current Governments ‘alternative intentions’ when they pass a law that is ‘conveniently timed to be in election year’? I listen to The Rock radio station, so the political discourse is obviously kept to a minimum, but the frequency with which I hear some National party member questioning the intentions of the Government ‘because it is election year’ is shockingly high.

Elections happen every four years. Should the Government stop creating policy and rolling out new initiatives because it’s election year? I can’t imagine what the opposition wants to happen for the 25% of the time where an election is close to happening. Perhaps they advocate abolishing the Government for the year leading up to elections (except of course they wouldn’t do that if they were in power). I honestly don’t know what they’re saying.

I would think the smarter approach would be to attack the policy, if they are against it, rather than simply attacking the timing of the policy. This happens amazingly less often than I would expect, with the timing of the policy being the real issue raised.

Unless the Government is clearly trying to buy votes, who cares about timing. The issue that pushed me over the edge was Simon Power complaining today that the tagging initiatives proposed by Helen Clark were conveniently timed because it was election year. He didn’t say anything else in the sound bite I heard (but I seriously hope he did say more than that!).

To be clear, I did vote Labour last time round as I was a student and interest-free student loans was a Real Good Thing, but this next election I don’t know who I’m voting for yet, so don’t think I’m bagging National as I have a political aversion to them.

More Surgery

After seeing my surgeon again today it seems almost completely certain that I will be having another surgery next year on my left arm. This surgery will be to take some tendons from my arm and map them to my fingers and thumb. This surgery is imaginatively named a ‘tendon transfer’, and will theoretically provide my fingers with the functionality of being able to lift up, albeit all at once. In addition, my thumb will be given a brand new tendon also, meaning it too can be lifted.

As you can imagine, such a remapping of tendons is likely to severely screw with your brain, as what used to do one thing all of a sudden causes you to do another. This will be an interesting experience no doubt.

I hope the surgery goes well and gives me additional function to my relatively ‘dead’ arm. I’ll keep posting more about it as time progresses.

Thesis Complete

Well, it has taken a year of my life, but my masters thesis is now complete and ready to be reviewed by my supervisor and external reviewers. In hindsight I am very happy I chose to do my masters rather than a PhD – my preference in life is to be more practical rather than theoretical. Right now I’m about to get back into full-time development of Centruflow leading in to CeBIT in March next year – we have some awesome technology in the pipeline!

My thesis is titled ‘Improving Centruflow Using Semantic Web Technologies’. It weighs in at 139 pages or a little under 34,000 words. I start it by quoting Blaise Pascal “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time”. The thesis covers a lot of software development detail but at the heart of it is a decent chunk of maths. This surprised even me, as I am by no means a mathematician.

You may notice my writing style has become severely ‘relaxed’ – too much ‘proper’ writing in my thesis has forced my brain to try to rebel – my sentences now instead flow into each other as a series of hyphens. 🙂

If anyone is interested in checking out the thesis feel free to ask – I’m more than happy to hand send it out. The only reason I don’t provide a link here is that I’d really like to know who is interested.