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.


Yes, I know, I’m a bit slow and behind the times, but I have now implemented recaptcha on my website for comments to blog posts. I don’t do it to overly burden you, my loyal readers, but I do like the cause and the technological approach to helping solve it.

It short, and to plagiarise directly, “reCAPTCHA asks commenters to read two words from a book. One of these words proves that they are a human, not a computer. The other word is a word that a computer couldn’t read. Because the user is known to be a human, the reading of that word is probably correct. So you don’t get comment spam, and the world gets books digitized. Everybody wins! For details, visit the reCAPTCHA website“.

So, commenting on this blog is now good for the world – so get commenting 🙂

Portal rocks!

Is what I would say if my install of Valves Portal didn’t crash so often. I managed to get up to level 13 without crashing, but it took me about an hour to get through the first level (as it kept crashing my whole computer). Now every time I boot into level 13 I’m pretty much instantly booted back out in the form of a full system crash.

I’m not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, so my machine ain’t the most powerful, but it should handle this. I think I may need to splash out on some more RAM for my desktop computer (which is really my wifes machine).

So, theoretically, and from my brief experience – Portal rocks.

Calendaring and I

I have recently made a big move into using an online/digital calendar as opposed to the trusty ‘calendar on the wall’ approach of yore. I am now quite happy with what I have set up, so I thought I would quickly type out my approach in case anyone else was wanting to have a good calendar setup that can follow them anywhere.

I am a bit odd, I like software consolidation. I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my email client and RSS feed reader, and thusly have it open all the time. It proves to be a useful distraction when working. I do not however particularly like running lots of programs, so I did not even look any further than Mozilla Thunderbird for my calendar client.

I also like to share my calendar with those who are interested in what I am doing – but I still hide behind a private calendar so it’s an ‘ask and ye shall be possibly told’ kinda situation, not a free-for-all.

With my hosted accounts with Google Apps (I have two main ones), one of the features they offer is access to google calendar. I signed up for this, and proceeded to add in the calendars of people relevant to me, so that I can keep an eye on their plans. I then proceeded to input my plans, and set google to email me an outline each day.

Like I said, I am a bit odd, and I don’t much like web clients for my email/calendar/etc. I much prefer my software to be local and full speed, even if the data is stored in the cloud. This is why Centruflow is designed like this. Therefore, I am not going to keep a web browser open to my email or calendar – that’s just stupid in my opinion (which has no logical founding, by the way).

Fortunately, Thunderbird has the power of plugins (which I’ve long been associated with). Two plugins later (named Thunderbird Lightning and Provider) and Thunderbird has access to my google calendars, and I can also input other peoples calendars as I want (provided I have access of course).

Now I have my calendar details prominently displayed in my email app. Another cool feature is that Google mail will intercept my calendar invitation emails and put them straight into my calendar for me.

On another note, I was about to complain that I still do not have IMAP access in the hosted GMail account, but as is always the case, Google decided the bad news and derision that the masses of readers following this blog would create, just enabled it this morning. So, too my masses of readers, call off your assault, for the good people of Google have obliged – let this be a warning to them however! 😛