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.