Saturday, November 6, 2010

Midway, Work, Work & Robots

I find it difficult to believe, but I’m already halfway through my term of lectures. Week six is now behind me, which leaves six more ahead of me. A handful of deadlines are out of the way, but there’ll be a handful more over the next week or so. Time certainly flies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bright Green Helix

Deep into the college year. The work keeps coming but it's nothing I can't handle yet. Still keeping up the gym too. I look forward to the day when it doesn't take quite so much out of me. This weekend was a relaxing weekend at home. Nothing much happened, but it's been a while since I've been home and a while since I've spent a weekend doing altogether very little. The weekend before, however, was Eirtakon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Locked Out

I went back to the gym again today. It was surprisingly easy to get back in after a week off. I forgot to book an intro session so I'll need to get on that tomorrow. There was a problem though. When I came back from my shower wrapped in nothing but a towel. Luckily, a nice chap fetched a man to open up my locker for me. Crisis averted.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Diocletian's Imperial House of Cats

Last week, Takako and I went on a holiday to Croatia. Four days on the Adriatic coast. It was great, and full of pleasant surprises. Of course, we nearly didn't make the flight to begin with. I lingered too long over an ice cream in Burger King, and arrived at the gate just as they were closing. The staff were in the process of sending us away when some more breathless passengers dashed up behind us, so they reluctantly allowed us through. So began a great journey.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Running for One Hundred

Halfway through my first week back. Lots of interesting lectures, and I've joined the gym. The lecturers all seem very interesting, The content seems like it should be pretty straightforward for the most part. Though cryptography still looks tough, as does compiler construction. The optional modules seem to be a lot more doable than the compulsory modules.

Monday, September 27, 2010

To the Grindstone

Back to work! Only back a day and lectures start tomorrow. Straight into Security Protocols, first thing tomorrow morning. I also need to finish my registration for my modules. I've got a couple of hours free over lunch so I'll have to take care of it then. I still haven't fully decided what modules I want, but I guess I can change that after I get a good feel for what's available.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

I'm back. And this time, it's serious business all round. Lugging my bags to Schipol and across Dublin was a pain, but I had a good flight. I turned my phone on when I touched down, and the internet came flooding back into it. It had been quiet since I left but it's been chirping incessantly since I arrived. A couple of relaxing bus trips and I was home. It's good to be back.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Job Done

Today was my last day of work. That's it, I'm finished. There was lots of lovely cake served to say goodbye to me, and I was given a lovely Irdeto branded notepad, flash drive and pen. The notepad is great. Another person was leaving today too, a woman who started the same day as me. So there was lots more cake in the afternoon. Then we spend the long evening drinking and chilling out in the company bar. I got a couple of games of pool in to prove how bad I am.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finishing up

Just two days left for me here in the Netherlands. I really should get around to packing my bags or something. Tomorrow I'll be needing to take a trip to city hall to let them know I'm leaving the country. I tried to do it today but I forgot that nobody will talk to me if I'm not carrying my passport. A little annoying but if the alternative is some kind of identity theft then I'll put up with that minor inconvenience.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Homeward Bound

Into my last week here in Irdeto. We had a sprint planning meeting and all I did in it was take up space. I asked to leave as it didn't involve me at all, but they had me stick around. Not that I had any work to be doing regardless. Listening to what the guys are going to be doing, it sounds like they'll have a nice easy couple of weeks to start them hard, before they launch into some nice frustrating test cases. Part of me is glad to be going.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lazier Days

After a night out in the XO in Haarlem on Friday night, with two of the most hipsterish DJs I've ever seen spinning out lots of Techno, I've spent half the weekend in bed. I can't recall the last time I was this tired. Tired to the point where even getting up to go to the shops is a massive effort. I don't know what it is but I hope I shake it soon, back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Forever Delayed

Registration still isn't open today. I did some more research into the choices and I'm almost back to square one in terms of picking what I want to do. On further investigation, Operations Research is not about problem solving, decision making, game theory and management skills. It is instead about very hard, nasty maths. So where I had it down as a sure thing, I now might reconsider. If I can find something else worth taking.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scritch Scratch

I've gotten my third year results. At long last. I was concerned that I was going to fail one of my modules, Object Orientated Analysis and Design. Though at the end of it all I came out with 66, a good mark. Everything turned out better than expected. It brings my total mark for the year to a 2.2. Which isn't the best I could have gotten but I'm glad regardless. All that's left for me to do is to submit my INTRA report, which I should be able to wrap up this weekend.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hop to it

Tomorrow I'll have to start on my INTRA report. It's due in a few weeks time but I'll have to crank out a good 2,000 words on Irdeto. I'm not sure what I'll write but I need to get it done before I leave so my boss can review it for things I can and cannot say. Shouldn't take too long to do. 2,000 words isn't exactly a lot.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mean Streets

So on Friday, we all went into Amsterdam for drinks. We had a good time, such a lively city at night. I still don't understand why every night out turns into a pub crawl though. Several times we were settled into a pub and having a grand time, when suddenly it was time to wander a few streets and find a new one. It's something I'll never understand.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Potentially Useful

The new interns have been here almost two weeks. In that time they've been in constant training. I can count the amount of minutes training I've received since starting on one hand without using my fingers. Some of the stuff they're learning seems to be quite useful and would have helped me a lot when I was still fumbling around the system back in July. Guess there's not much point investing time in training me now as I'll be out the door before the month is gone.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Living in the Future

Sometimes technology scares me. Or rather, the pace of advance. Today I received delivery of a replacement memory card for my phone. It was a 16GB Micro SDHC card. Now I know these have been kicking about for a couple of years now, but this was my first time handling one myself. These things are smaller than my thumbnail but can hold a pretty large amount of music or photos. Or if I felt like it, a few full HD movies.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Stop That.

I'm going to take a step here, and risk cutting off my own toes with this. If there's one thing on the internet that annoys me more than most things, and there are a lot of annoying things on the internet, it would have to be the winging. The constant winging and whining. Yes, even more than the sense of self righteous entitlement that everyone seems to have.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I really need to find out something to do with myself. Ever since I got back I've been spinning in my chair wondering what to do with myself. I'm just about fed up of it at this point. I should probably try to finish my Java book, I'm only halfway through. But I was hoping for something more fun and relaxing. I guess it'll get fun once I get into the swing of it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Super Positive!

One thing I've learned today. Well, I've learned a few things, but the biggest thing I learned today. It's that The Go! Team are great. Like, really great. Super positive and super funky. They kind of remind me of Alphabeat, only less poppy and much funkier. There's so much energy, some of the tracks just make me want to jump about. "Thunder, Lightning, Strike" is a great album.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Electric Glossy

This has been a pretty slow week, though not the slowest since I got here. Though next week will hopefully be a bit more involved. I've finally been given a proper task to do again. It's a little vague and a bit tricky but should keep me busy for a few days at least.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I've been listening to some new music recently. A couple of Canadian bands from the Arts and Crafts labels that I was recommended amongst others. In particular I'm enjoying Stars album 'Set Yourself on Fire' and Broken Social Scenes 'You Forgot it in People.' Very good albums both of them. I enjoyed them both.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


It was pointed out today that my blog is more than a little boring, and not really worth reading. This didn't really bother me as I suspected as much myself. I don't really have a problem if people find reading my thoughts boring, because I'm not writing to entertain. I'm just recording my thoughts on things, and in some cases my experience.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Tall Cold One

A friend of mine started working with me today. He was in training all day, I only saw him briefly at lunch time. He should be finished training in a few days. I wonder is there enough work to keep us all busy. I'm sure they'll find something.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back in the Netherlands

Well, that was a little embarrassing. Six days in Ireland and I by the end of it I'd ended up dropping my push-ups, my sit-ups and my blog. I'm fairly sure it was down to nestling back into my old comfort zone more than any kind of lack of time or busyness. I intend to get back on top of them all this week, but if this is the way it's going to be, I'm going to have to join a gym or something when I get back permanently.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Good Movie

Scott Pilgrim, good movie. That's what I thought of it. Clever, funny, and entertaining throughout. Well worth seeing. Also a fun trip out with friends. I got hustled in pool and lost in a test of strength. It was a fun night out overall, fun back in Ireland.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Phoning Home

Yesterday, I finally arrived back home in Ireland. I've been away since the end of May, it's great to be back. When I arrived in Dublin Airport, after a long wait in Schiphol and a short flight, the sky was completely blue and the sun was beaming down. The weather was fantastic. A couple of short bus journeys later and I was home.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Preventers

This evening, while getting my things together, I realised one of the major effects the airport's security theatre has on me. Anything more than a toothbrush that I might want to put in a washbag, is not allowed on carry-on luggage. Now, this has never bothered me before, as I've always checked in baggage. But if I plan on travelling for seven days with just a backpack, and not bother paying to check it below, then suddenly airport security is the preventer of personal hygiene.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Yesterday I afternoon, I ordered a new phone. Yesterday evening, my Walkman randomly switched off in the middle of a song. Today, the capacitive controls wouldn't light up, preventing me from stopping the music or changing tracks. In short, my phone is beginning to act up. has this been some act of divine providence or is my phone phone suddenly decided to make my remaining days with it a constant annoyance?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


So I bought a new phone. That phone I've been talking about for the past four months? I bought that one. It's an Android smartphone, a little unique compared to most on the market. Rather than being half a grand worth of Snapdragon processors and SuperAMOLED screens like the Samsung Galaxy, the iPhones or any of HTC offerings, the phone I opted for is a small, light device with a sliding keyboard. Though Sony have heavily customised Android to run nicely on the smaller device, meaning that it's a couple of versions behind the current release.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


So, when I get home in a couple of months, I'm going to need a desk. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of space in my room, having ended up with the box room in Pleasantville. Now before I left, back in May, I took some measurements of my room and all the things that are in it. Big things, like a bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers and a bedside locker. Now there isn't really anywhere to put these things so I have to fit them all into a little over two square metres.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Next Monday, seven days from today, I will be visiting Ireland, for seven days. I'm looking forward to it, I haven't been home since I set off two and a half months ago with just a rucksack of clothes and a laptop in tow. Hopefully I'll be able to have some fun during my brief stay. Arranging a cinema trip just in case.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crystal Clear Sound

So, the other day I wound up in Media Markt again, as I tend to do while waiting for a movie to start. There isn't really a whole lot else to do around Amsterdam Arena. This time I went in to look at TVs and headphones, because you can't see it all. There's just too much. Not that I ever intend to look at their selection of fridge-freezers or curling irons.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Today I went back to the cinema to see Inception again, this time in an IMAX screen. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'd heard that IMAX cinemas were somehow bigger and better than a normal theatre. In the end, It turned out to be just a really big cinema. Like Screen 17 in Cineworld, it was a great big slightly curved screen that nearly filled my entire field of vision. The speakers were louder and more distinct. So it's just a slightly better cinema.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Home Decoration and Video

Today was a good day of work for me. Flashed digibox, programmed the remote and got to work scripting it which kept me busy until just after lunch. Shortly after three, some guy came and took the power adapter from my digibox away. Turns out the adapter was his or something. And that was that, there wasn't another adapter to be found so I was stuck. At this point, my coworker turned and said to me "Well, I guess you're finished work for today." At that point I may as well have gone home, because I didn't get much else accomplished.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I think I was a big generous when allocating my hours for this sprint. I sat down to do what I thought was a 16 hour job this morning and had it finished by lunchtime. I managed to do this while reading the tech news on Google reader, though it was a slow news day. As a result I was left with essentially nothing to do for the rest of the day, as the rest of the jobs on my list involve working with a digibox that hadn't even been unwrapped and flashed yet. Hopefully tomorrows jobs will take a bit longer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I forgot to set my alarm last night, and as a result ended up sleeping in, which wouldn't have been too bad except I had to wait twenty minutes for a bus. I finally get in and nobody seems to care that it's nearly 10. Suddenly I gain a greater appreciation for the relaxed atmosphere in the office.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stacks of Boxes

Set-top boxes, to be precise. Unpacking them, arranging them, stacking them 10 high. Irdeto has a lot of set top boxes. Every version of every box from every operator around the world who uses Irdeto or Cryptoworks. The total amount laid out on the floor was a ridiculous number. I snapped a photo, but I seem to have lost the data cable for my phone. I think I may have left it in the hotel back in June. So the photos may be staying on the phone for a while.

Monday, August 9, 2010


A new sprint in work from today, for the next month. The planning sessions are filled with all sorts of fun like realising that you have more jobs that need doing, than available man hours to fill. Of course, last months sprint falling apart halfway through and  most of our tasks carrying over to this month doesn't help much. Nor does half the team vanishing for holidays for half the month.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cinema Trip

Took a trip down to the Arena today to see Inception, as I said I would. I really enjoyed the film. Interesting setting, good plot, great pacing. Fantastic characters and excellent acting from all on show. Visually impressive also. All in all a very enjoyable movie.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Today I had a demo/presentation in work about what I've been doing up until now. I was to explain about the virtual machines, show how they worked, the advantages and disadvantages of them. So we all gathered around a very long table in the board room and reclined in big executive chairs. It was a little intimidating, sitting between a long table of scrutinous engineers and a giant TV, but they seemed to like it. In the end, they know more about how to fix the shortcomings with the machines than I did.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Work has been a bit less boring the past few days. As I've said before, I'm scripting actions for a set top box. This is two fold, half of it is scripting user interactions with the box and checking the screen for movement and error codes. The other half is scripting the server to add and remove entitlements to the box's smartcard, and make sure that the TV scrambles and descrambles with it should.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


That's the sound my printer makes when it's working. My table wobbles as the ink cartridges slam backwards and forwards over the paper, rocking the printer from side to side. I've been spoiled by the smooth action of the laser printers in DCU.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just Nod if You Can Hear Me

Today I finally got to debug the code I wrote last week, by running it and troubleshooting the outcome. That sounds like a small thing, but when I'm writing code, unless I can compile it or run it every few modifications to get some kind of tangible feedback, I just feel disconnected from what I'm doing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rack 'Em Up

Spent much of the day today fitting shelves into server racks. Which I can assure you was hours of fun. Camped up on the otherwise completely empty first floor, fitting nuts to the racks so the shelves can be attached. I lost track of time. I finished up about 5:30 but didn't realise until I went back downstairs to get a drink. Still a fun day, it kept me occupied. Next task is putting a digital box into each of the 96 spaces that we've made on the racks. Though I don't know if I'll be doing that tomorrow.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quiet Drink

Now, in the Irdeto headquarters, there is a bar. A general recreational area with a pool table, table football and pinball. Along with beers and soft drinks. This was installed to cater for a coworker get together which was to happen every two weeks. There's a dutch word for it, but I couldn't pronounce or spell it. When I started work, the bar wasn't open yet. It was a new building, and they were still preparing it. Even now, its not finished, one of the pinball machines doesn't work and the dart board hasn't been put up.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


So, throughout this month and last, I spent a lot of time looking at various gadgets that I had my eye on to purchase for one reason or another. Phones, electronic readers, parts for my computer, all sorts of nice, expensive luxury goods like that. I spent time weighing up these products, looking at reviews, checking alternatives and pricing them in various stores. Then I shortlisted them all on my Amazon wish list. The past few days however, I'm suddenly wondering if I even want any of them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

International Food Night

Went to a workmates apartment for an international food night tonight. Was great craic altogether. Had good food, the people there were great fun. Mostly folks from work I hadn't met yet. It's odd when you realise that half the folks in the room are just as nerdy as you and more so. I guess it comes with working in the industry. I think one of the guys cracking a joke about giving the baby a Cisco router to play with to keep him quiet is what tipped me off. That and the living room with board games, the HTPC and the big gaming computer. When I left the few remaining were settling into the couch to watch Youtube videos.

Overall a good night with fun people, I'll be sure to be at the next one too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tracking and Tracing

Recently, I've started keeping track of the traffic coming to the site. Not for any reason in particular, mostly just because Blogger have started offering the feature. It's been interesting to see. I've been most surprised by just how many hits my blog has gotten since they started monitoring it in early July, though I also noticed that close to a quarter of them were coming from a Chrome user in the Netherlands. Yours truly. So clearly while the figures seem high, they're really not.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lazy Days

I still haven't recovered from Friday. That late night was a shock to the system after I've become accustomed to going to bed and getting up early. One all nighter and three days later I'm still falling asleep at my keyboard.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bags of Fun

The Hague was fun. Crashed on by boss' living room floor and got a very early train home. It says a lot that I was able to wander aimlessly to a local train station at 7 in the morning, go to a platform and see an intercity train was headed to Haarlem, swipe my card and get on. Public transport here really is fantastic. All you need is a travel card and a bicycle.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mafia in The Hague

Grand night out. Good food, good drink. The Hague is quite nice and a little intriguing. Some fellow across the bar pulled out an iPad. I barely saw it, but it amazed me. Tablets are the future, I want one.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

To The Hague

Tomorrow night is another meeting for the Irish Mafia. Which is what they say here in Irdeto when all the Irish workers get together and head for food and drink. It's a semi-regular thing, most of the Irish workers being managers and directors who spend every other week flying to odd corners of the world makes organising these things difficult I guess. Even tomorrow, one fellow has already pulled out because he suddenly had to fly to Australia.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The Android book I've had my eye on was published today, though it's still not available through Amazon. Which isn't an entirely bad thing I guess. While I've worked my way through my small intro book, I'm only getting started on Head First Java, which is a lot bigger and a lot denser. I may be at it a while. When I'm a bit further into it, I guess I might buy the other books I have my eye on, Hello Android and Head First C#. It'll be another while before Head First Python gets a release.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Electronic Ink?

So, ereaders and ebooks. People have been asking me why I would consider some gimmicky electronic alternative than tried and tested paper and ink. Well, actually, that's a lie, nobody's asked me. But I have been thinking about this for a while. Partially due to not having a lot to do with my time but mostly because I like gadgets.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Something I realised today. Lately, I've found myself wanting for lots of things. Books, gadgets, electronics, furniture, bags, and so on. Only today I found myself pricing up e-readers and checking some backpacks online. I've even started maintaining a number of wishlists on

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Not the weather, the sky blue day today was fantastic. Just in terms of news. I had intended to see Inception yesterday, the new Christopher Nolan film, though I decided against wasting too much money the wrong side of pay day. So I'll probably take a look at it next week.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I don't know if you noticed, but yesterday, I missed an update. I didn't even realise until this morning. Probably distracted due to the week of things not being entirely peachy. From my bus card not breaking to my saddle getting stolen, not to mention the curse of the fatal death which struck some of my virtual machines in work.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


So, while I've been away, Cian has been using my bike. I told him he could, since he cycles to work every day and he got a puncture in his the night before I left. He hasn't been able to fix the puncture, the hub gears on his citybike makes it a little bit difficult to remove the back wheel.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I finally got my books today. Not seeing them in my mailbox, I emailed the people in charge of post in Irdeto to ask if they'd gotten anything. Sure enough, they had, and asked me to come up and sign for it. Up I went, got my package, and signed for it. Only then did I notice that the package had been marked received by them last Friday. I could have been reading my books all weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Today, my bus card didn't work. I have no idea why. I stepped onto the bus, swiped it and nothing happened. So I swiped it again. Nothing happened. The bus driver was looking at me impatient, so I got off and went to the ticket machines. Swiped the card, card registered, €18.36 credit. Back to the bus, swipe card, nothing happens.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Celebrations

Spain won the World Cup. Well done to them. Holland did not. I'm going to miss those World Cup Cakes they gave out while Netherlands were playing.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Today I saw Toy Story 3. The ending made me cry like a little girl. The most fun I've had in the movies since Up! Though I've only seen a small handful of films since I saw Up! I saw it in a great cinema out by Amsterdam Arena run by Pathé. Though it was a bit expensive, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I did have to sit around for a few hours to wait for the English version. Luckily there was a massive electronics store right outside.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I like gadgets. For me they're like cool toys. New phones, mp3 players, cameras etc. I love playing with them, exploring functionality, examining the build quality. I especially like gadgets that are useful. It's one of the main reasons I enjoy visiting electronics stores. When I'm there I get a chance to get a look at gadgets I wouldn't otherwise see.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


This has nothing to do with rugby. I had a crash course in project management today. Specifically the style of project management used here in the office. Scrum, which is not an acronym, is a project management system designed for agile programming and development.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Super Store

So, a few people have told me about this German electronic superstore called Media Markt. It's supposedly a massive multi-level building, with different electronics on every floor. Their slogan is "I'm not stupid." It sounds worth having a poke around, I do like electronic store after all. I think I'll take a bus down to Amsterdam and take a poke about it on Saturday. I'm really not much of a tourist, am I?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


In case you missed it, Netherlands are through to the World Cup Final. I was watching it of course. But even if I wasn't, I couldn't have missed the cheers and the vuvuzelas sounding all over town. There's going to be a lot of celebration here if they can put up a show and beat the German juggernaut. Lets face it, it's going to be Germany in the final with them.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Moving Pictures

I love the cinema. Not as some kind of fan of arthouse exploration or big old buildings, but as an excursion and an event. I've seen a lot of films in cinemas, and one thing I've always found is that the experience is always better. The films are more engrossing and more enjoyable, purely by being bigger. The sensory deprivation provided by settling into an armchair in a large dark room also helps.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Throw Away Your Television

TV is over. At least, for me it is. Every TV show I've followed is now finished. That chunk of my Sunday afternoon I usually spend watching TV shows is now empty. This week I spent a while wondering what to do with it. Then I realised that there's not much news at the weekends, so I went back to programming.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Turn, Turn, Turn

Windmills. If I had to name my favourite energy generating spinning machine, it would have to be a windmill. I can't get enough of them. Though I was able to see plenty of them on the train to Amsterdam this morning. The train even passed reasonably close of a couple. Fantastic machines, big, white, spinning. They're fantastic. Windmills!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Night Heat

It's 26 degrees outside. Humidity is at 56% and I don't have any kind of fan or air conditioner. Not wind to speak of, the air is hot, sticky and not moving. I find this difficult to tolerate. I wonder if I could ever survive a Japanese summer if I can't take this. It's nearly worse here than it was in the office, and we didn't have air conditioning there either.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

No Cameras

Went for a video conference today, though it turned into a conference phone call at the last minute. I was a little relieved. The camera kept spinning around and surveying the room while the system was supposedly off. It was a little creepy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

High Hopes

I am now a fan of Amazon. Well, strictly speaking I've been a fan of Amazon for some time. On-line shopping near perfected. I started a wish-list, as I find myself wanting things but lacking a means of income to support the purchasing of these things. Only when I had finished compiling it did I realise that of the seven items on my wish-list, one is a duplicate, two are yet to be released and four of them are textbooks on programming and development. What happened to me? When did textbooks become my number one item of yearning?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Third

I didn't realise yesterday, but I've now been living and working here in Holland for a month. Wow. Only two thirds left to go. That certainly flew by. At this rate I'll be home before I've finished settling in. Though, I think it would be a little difficult to get any more settled into this little room than I already am. I'm not looking forward to the box room in Pleasantville after this palace. Let me tell you, until you've had a shower in your bedroom you have not lived.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Boxcar Racer

So, I finally did what I promised and nabbed a shot of that boxcar racer that fellow comes to work in. It's purple, as you can plainly see. The pictures are in my gallery so you can take a good look at the slightly scarred beast. I'm finding it hard to cope in this humid sticky weather. I get up, shower, change into fresh clothes and by the time I get down the street I feel like I could do with another shower.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Towering Inferno

Well, it's not quite that bad. Though it is unbearably warm these days. I wonder if I'd be able to survive down closer to the equator. On sky blue days like this it does occur to me how vibrant and beautiful the neighbourhood I'm living in is. The houses don't have much garden themselves, though all round are canals, greens and great big trees. The impression given is nearly one of living in parkland. I should bring a camera next time I go walking.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I didn't think that was a word. Google says it is; Google's been wrong before. The weather is fabulously sunny, warm and humid. The last bit is not enjoyable. Now I like sunny weather, however I don't like being too warm. This becomes a problem on sunny days. I'm not a big fan of jaunting about in a t-shirt. I like my hoodys and jackets; they give me more pockets to store things. Though, I guess this is why I bring a messenger bag with me wherever I go. Slightly more casual than a backpack.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Super Ergonomical

Recently, I've come across something which I suppose is inevitable for people who use computers as much as I do.  Wrist and arm pains. Now, I don't know if this is from using a computer too much, something I've been doing for years; though I feel it has a lot more to do with using a laptop, and in particular, using it on a kitchen table. Which is just too high, very un-ergonomical. Knowing a few lecturers and post-grads how have been afflicted with dreaded carpel tunnel has spurred me into looking at ways to fix this.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Adventure Time

I figure, this Saturday or Sunday, I may finally visit Amsterdam. I've been in Holland nearly a month and I haven't gotten around to taking a train in yet. I've only a few errands to run this weekend, so I figure I'll use the extra time to catch a train in and have a look about. I don't know what I expect to find, I don't exactly have a lot of spending money, though I do like browsing high streets and electronics stores.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Slow Ride

I have to say, I'm kind of enjoying my job. I'm getting used to the hands off atmosphere. For a while I honestly thought I'd been forgotten about until I realised I was just being left to my own devices. It's a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, and I'm getting work done. The food is also great, which is a big plus.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Always in the Sun

Yesterday was the longest day of the year. I didn't even notice. Though with the longest day of the year comes the shortening of days. Though there's still plenty of summer left, long may it last. The chap downstairs has moved back in since the apartment has been re-floored. He unfortunately finds himself without internet. I gave it a look though the problem seems to be somewhere between him and the router. I guess the cabling was damaged when the new floor was being laid. I'm sure the landlord will sort him out somehow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Substantial?

Sandwiches are the order of the day. I've gotten fed up of pasta entirely for the time being, so I grabbed some bread and other ingredients necessary to make a sandwich. Dutch bread leaves me longing for home, but the sandwich wasn't bad. No doubt a result of my uncanny ability to make sandwiches. Next time I buy bread I'll try something different to the store baked pan.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Spent the entire Sunday doing altogether nothing at all. It's great to have a day like this every once in a while, though I always end up feeling like a lazy layabout at the end of it all. At least I got some shopping done. Guess I'll find out how the local supermarkets fresh baked bread is tomorrow. Coming soon: Week 4 of Irdeto. This week I get to learn Powershell. Fun times indeed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

To Market To Market

Today, I took a quick bus ride to Haarlem. I had heard that there was a market there on Saturdays, and having  gotten lost there last night coming from Tierney's Irish Pub, I felt that I should go and have a look around. Being able to successfully navigate from the city centre to the bus station in the dead of night however, didn't preclude the possibility of getting lost again.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Drinks and football with the Irish of the company in an Irish pub in Haarlem. Great craic altogether. Most of then seem to be managers, directors and the like. Got lost in the city for a while looking for a bus home. Found the train station just as the last bus prepared to leave. Excellent.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just like Yesterday

It surprises me how this has all become normal to me. Life in the Netherlands, that is. Get up every morning, grab a bus to work and home again in the evening. Working eight hours a day makes you adapt quicker, I guess. Though I find myself constantly tired. Rising at six thirty is something that I'm taking longer to become accustomed to. I'll have to try and get more sleep some way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Straight from the Microwave

My ingenious cooking plan was an enormous success. Gone are the mediocre meals of pasta and sauce. In are the mediocre meals of pasta and sauce! Followed by a microwaved meal of the same pasta and sauce which is mediocre in an entirely different way. Culinary genius, right here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Live from Los Angeles

E3 is in full swing this week. As I mentioned before, Microsoft showed their stuff last night. Today was Nintendo and Sony's turn. Nintendo shows us some nice games and a new DS which I could care less about, really. The games look nice, I'd consider getting one if I owned a Wii. Sony showed off some very impressive technology and some nice games through their Move and 3D systems. Though the presentation ran for two hours and had enough content for one. I'd definitely consider getting some of their stuff where money no object. Seeing Gabe Newell from Valve make an appearance was also nice.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Two Weeks

Time flies. Like, really flies. I've only turned around and I'm here two weeks. In the blink of an eye, two weeks in the Netherlands. Two weeks in Irdeto. Two weeks of blogging. I wasn't expecting that to go by so quickly, though that is life, I guess.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Television Man

I don't watch television. If you know me, you'll know I make that statement a lot. Certainly, there's a TV in my room here I've never switched on, as well as a TV in my hotel room I didn't turn on during my stay. In the house back in Dublin, there's no TV, and while the idea of a large high definition flatscreen appeals to my gadget loving side, I have no intention to get one. As I like to say, I don't watch television. This statement however, isn't quite true.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Back in the Sun

Second weekend here in Holland. I had intended to go into Amsterdam today; However I have only enough funds left on my travelcard for two bus journeys. So I think I'll leave it until next weekend. Instead, I went back into Heemstede today, to see what the town looked like on a busy day. It was surprisingly busy considering how dead it was every other time I've passed through. Puppets and human statues were attracting crowds of onlookers. I was nearly run over by a bicycle, during a lapse where I checked for oncoming traffic in the wrong direction.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Oh So Quiet

I'm told those are the words used to summon Bjork, though they're quiet accurate for this situation. I just had a stroll into town to see could I get some food. It's a Friday evening, I've gotten off work, time for some takeout. So I went to the only chipper I've found in town. It's a good one, great food and low prices. I should have realised, strolling by the houses, and into the deserted town that today wasn't going to be my luckiest day. The chipper was closed, and so was just about everywhere else. Seems they close at around eight, must not be much  late business in this small town.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cash is King (Again)

I've finally found the means to top up my travelcard. While I still don't have access to a bank account or an e-wallet, I have found the means to top up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All of a Sudden, Coca Cola Scares Me.

Getting up at 06:30 and working 08:00 to 16:30 isn't something I'm used to. So the past few days I've been rather tired sitting at my desk. The humidity of the office not being particularly helpful. After nearly nodding off during a presentation, I decided that it was time to find some way of keeping myself alert. Now I don't drink tea or coffee, but they provide free bottled soft drinks here in the office. So I grabbed a coke, took the cap off and went back to my desk. Not long after, I was sharp and alert, whereas before I'd almost been struggling to stay awake. Suddenly I appreciate why coffee is so popular.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Swipe on, Swipe off

I finally got myself a OV travel card. A coworker picked up an anonymous smart card while he was passing through the train station and gave it to me. Of course it had no money, and the charge machines don't take Maestro, so I had to ask him nicely to charge it up for me too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Work, work, work

Finally getting to do stuff at work. I've got myself a task list and everything. I am now officially productive. I'm told there was drinks in the office after I went home last Friday. Apparently it happens every couple of weeks, but someone forgot to mention it to me. Oh well, at least I got invited to the next Irish worker meetup.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Day in Heemstede

Though not too rainy. Settling into the new room nicely. I'm sure I'll enjoy my stay. Got the bus again today, and once again it only cost me €4, I should really find out why that bus driver from the other day sold me two tickets. Still, €4 ain't cheap.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Very Own Hovel

Moved into my room today. The room where I sill stay for the next three months. It's difficult to describe, and not the best room I've ever stayed in, but it will do for the three months I'm here. I'll take a few photos tomorrow.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Shrewd Businessman I am Not

Met a nice Irish fellow in Irdeto, who had a contact with a property to rent on a good bus route. Currently living in a hotel, I was naturally interested. So earlier today we piled into his flashy BMW and fnipped down the motorway to take a look. Now, a few days ago, a Portuguese fellow had told me that Dutch apartments were odd. He wasn't far wrong.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sun is Shining in the Sky

I don't think anyone could have hoped for better weather than we've been getting the past few days here in Holland. Sure it started with the most impressively thunderous rainstorm I've seen in years, but since then we've had nothing but cloudless sky blue days, blistering sun and cool breezes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

That Dutch Accent

The Dutch accent is a little strange. It reminds me of the Jagers from Girl Genius in a way, everyone stressing the leading H in a word, even words that don't have a leading H.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Irdeto Start

Today was my first day at work... and I slept in. Fantastic. Was due to start at 08:30, so set my alarm for 06:30 and went to bed, wasn't able to sleep for several hours. Woke up about 10:00 to find my phone had switched itself off again. It seems to be doing that more and more often recently. Wasn't a complete loss. When I did get in, they didn't really know what to do with me, so after introductions and a less than formal run through of my job I was sent home early.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Two Days in The Netherlands

Or should that be Day Two in The Netherlands. Day two in Hoofddorp, which I today learned in pronounced Hoff-dorp.