Plug ‘N’ Pray

Looking to change your religion using an easy, clean interface? Try Plug ‘n’ Pray from Holy Corporation.

A site well-worth reading.


Free Parking Jackpot

Am I the only purist here?

I am, of course, referring to Monopoly. Pretty much everybody I know doesn’t play Monopoly by the correct rules, as laid down by Waddingtons. And how many arguments does this cause? It’s unbelievable!

What’s even scarier is the number of people that honestly believe that their particular variation of the rules is actually correct – be it “£400 for landing on Go” to “free parking jackpot” to “capital punishment”… I’ve seen so many of them (and studied many more popular variations)…

…but one thing that is particularly common to these variations is that they usually exist to increase the bias of luck to a game which, ultimately, in my opinion, already has too much luck in it! But why? Are people scared of thinking or something?

Leave a comment: how do you play? What variations do you play by? Or are you a fellow purist?


I’m Still In Aber. Yay.

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

I’m still in Aberystwyth, which I thought was a good thing even before people who don’t have the same benefit complained [Alec complaining, Ruth complaining, Adam complaining] about it. Aberystwyth is great this time of year – it’s still a little too early for the tourists to arrive, but it’s warm and sunny and feels like springtime.

Sadly, I still have heaps of work to do – Simon, my boss, is breathing down my neck… not to mention the fact that I need to pretty-much finish my dissertation over the Easter break. And an assignment. And start my revision. And train for Malawi.

As Claire reported, we went for a picnic up Pen Dinas at the weekend, followed by an evening of board games in Rummers and back at The Flat. The game we played in Rummers, ‘NTropy’, is really particularly good – you have to build unstable structures with sticks such that other players are …

Repost #13118

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

This repost was published in hindsight, on 11 March 2019.

Claire wrote:

Well, the clocks have gone forward and the sun has come out. Something tells me there’ll be no more snow for a while. Yesterday, Dan, Paul, Bryn and I went up Pen Dinas (large hill south of aber with monument atop it) and had a picnic. The food was good, the company better and the sunset… well it was just another sunset really. I’ve realised that i can’t remember ever having seen a sunrise. Maybe one of these days I’ll be up early enough, and up a hill, and I’ll see one. Ah well.

After the picnic we went down the hill to Rummers, where we played silly games, first Cluedo(Paul won), then a game called Ntropy where the aim is to place sticks on a stick structure without any sticks falling off. Sounds simple but it got really tactical during the second game. Two random people joined us that time, so we had six players and only a few sticks each. It was tense, but Bryn won (again). We are goin to have to find a copy of that game so that we can finally beat bryn!

Then the last orders bell rang, and we returned to the flat, where we played Lord Of The Rings: the board game. It’s surprisingly good, given that you play cooperatively against the rules to try to get the ring to Mordor. I was Pippin – impetuous.
Now it’s morning and I have a headache from all the beer and a backache from the rolling down hills head over heels. Nevertheless, it was a good day.

Picnic Time

We’re off on a picnic! Bryn, Claire, Paul and I are making sandwiches and we’re off up Pen Dinas to scoff them and watch the sunset. Which is nice.

It feels like springtime.

All We Need Is A Microsoft-Hating US Judge And…

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

[further fragments of this post were recovered on 12 October 2018]

First, some info for the non-geeks out there, so you can truly appreciate the irony in what’s to come:

Lindows – manufacturer of a distrubution of Linux which is designed to be easy to migrate to for former Windows users – have been in court with Microsoft in the US for some time, who claim that their name infringes upon their trademarked name, Windows. The courts haven’t been friendly to Microsoft extending their tentacles in this way so far, and so Microsoft have mostly been trying to buy time, stalling proceedings, while they bring the case to courts internationally. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxumberg have already caved-in and declared Lindows illegal (interestingly, it’s now being marketed in these countries as Lin—-, pronounced Lindash, which Microsoft also claim they own).

Okay, now you non-geeks are up-to-speed:

Just announced – Lindows are taking …


Windows XP Box

This is scary. This guy’s managed to build a mini-ITX Windows XP box… inside a Windows XP box (by which I mean one of those boxes in which they ship copies of Windows XP). It’s a full working computer (well, it runs Windows, but you know what I mean) inside the box that originally contained the copy of Windows which is installed upon it.

Click here to see pictures and a how-to guide, in case you want to do it yourself.

Dissertation Poster Session Two

The second poster session for my dissertation is today. This will involve me standing in front of a board in the Llandinam concourse with some pretty pictures and explaining them to people.

This also brings home the realisation that my dissertation needs to be handed in in just a month’s time. Still got many, many thousand words to write. Gonna be a busy Easter.

Hooray! I’m Sexy! Official!

Just got a text message from Liz:

Stay sexy! Lx

Not sure if that’s supposed to be for me or not… hmm……

Update (20 March 2012) – Crosslink: Not long after I originally wrote this post, Liz wrote about sending these texts out.

Update (23 March 2019): To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the “Stay sexy!” text, I sent some out myself! But because (a) I’m more of a coward than Liz and (b) we’re all a decade and a half more grown-up now, allegedly, I pre-empted everybody’s inevitable concern by setting up a sort-of-explanatory page about it in advance.


A (1) nightmare and a (2) just-plain-freaky dream last night. My brain’s playing up:

1. Claire and I, older, are in a train. She has a heart attack; I try to get and then, failing that, provide, help, but fail to and she dies. Then I woke up.

2. Strange semi-futuristic post-apocalyptic world, reminiscent of The Postman or Dark Future (anybody else ever play that?). I, among with many others, are slaves of a desert-dwelling tribe, having been kidnapped by them. We are beaten and mistreated to keep us under control. Don’t remember much more than that.

Liz had a nightmare last night, too. Maybe it’s something in the water?


Dan, A Vamp Babe, And A Tarantula

This picture just appeared on the new May Ball site.

Yes; it’s me, tied to a wooden board by a vampire babe, stripped of my tux, and being scampered around on by a tarantula.

[picture removed]


Terribly geeky I know, but I find it awfully exciting: PHP 5 Release Candidate 1 was released today. PHP 5 can now be considered feature-complete, and mostly stable. If only the program I’m writing with it could be considered the same…

A Week Less Busy

Phew. Survived running the tech. support side of the Student Skills Competition. Winners were mostly what I’d have expected. The technical side all went pretty much to plan, albeit with a lot of stress, mostly caused by teams bring in presentations on CDs etc. at the last miunute, and expecting me to be able to make them work before they needed them and run the rest of the backstage bits as well. Couldn’t have done it without Kit and Claire helping.

It was a lot of fun. Plus, we got to raid the judges buffet lunch and eat delicious pastry-and-cheese things.

The letting agency are complaining that the rent hasn’t been paid yet. I wish my bank would sort themselves out, allowing me to pay the buggers. Ah well; everything’s sweet so far.

Paedophile-Luring And Artificial Intelligence Ethics

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

[further fragments of this post were recovered on 12 October 2018]

Fun in the sun.

Kit and I had an idea for something like this a while back, and we were wondering if it constituted entrapment: after all, under UK law, it’s illegal for a human to attempt to trick another human into committing a crime, as it cannot be determined whether that person would have committed the crime of their own volition… but here’s the catch – is it legitimate for a machine, working on behalf of a human, to do the same thing?

That’s what’s likely to be the crucial issue if this scheme to trick ‘net paedophiles into giving information to computerised children [BBC] provides evidence in court (not just leads, as is the case so far) towards convicting people who are ‘grooming’ children on the internet.

Personally, I’d argue that – in this case – the machine is a tool of the human, just like chat room software is a tool of humans. I don’t see the difference between me using chat room software, pretending to be a kid, luring paedophiles, and providing tips to the police, and me writing a program to do the same for me. It’s …