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a hint about my brain

Well it's now a real live blog (well might be ;) )

Friday, March 18, 2005

Boring techy stuff and music

Well since I got a ipod I wanted a way of allowing people to browse through what I have.

so here it is. Warning it's on a machine at home so it possible, even likely to crash, be turned off, blow up and take Surrey with it, or all of the above.

Techy boring stuff
So how did I do it? Well iTunes can export to xml so I thought that "ah ha that's a new internet type format that'll just go into some web page or something" Urm well no. After wandering around google for a while I found out that Apple used some non standard xml and I would have to write something. And to be honest I don't think it would have as easy as that anyway

As this was so not going to happen I wandered a bit more and found http://codetriangle.com/products/iTunesXmlParser/ but it required DOM XML extension for php which I couldn't find so got bored with that.

I found this http://mac.softpedia.com/get/HTML-Tools/phptunest.shtml
but couldn't get it to download but it did suggest importing it into MySql. Well seeing as I was playing with MySql in my general learning about Linux and Apache, I wondered if I could do that.

This guy http://www.feedface.com/projects/pod2sql.html had already written something which imports the actual iTunes database into mysql so I thought I would give that a go. But I couldn't get the application that does the importing to install (no doubt my fault). However he had created a database dump which is used to create the tables etc. So I ran that and cut down the tables to what I wanted and wandered around his php, html, css files and cut bits out I didn't think I would need. Then realised that he knew what he was doing and changed it all back (but I did learn a bit a php and css which was nice ;) )

iTunes also lets you export a playlist (or the entire library) as a Tab delimited text file. So I played around with excel (this bugged me as I needed to use Excel for data manipulation 'cause Open Office kept opening it in Writer not Calc, probably down to me not knowing what I'm doing), and made a load of seperate tab delimited files for each table, and then imported them.

No doubt in a few days times someone'll make the whole thing far easier but still ;)

Things I want to do to it.
Sort out the duration issue, in the summary it says I have 15 hours of music, iTunes says 10.9 days, so something is a bit off there.
Work out a way of keeping it up to date without have to go through the whole import etc process again.
Generally make it all nice and lovely.
Put it on something that isn't a computer made from bits from the loft (that has also started making an odd noise)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Shopping with Bill

As a piece of general advice never, every go to the supermarket listening to Bill Hicks.
This generally leads to people looking at you, as you grin like a manic and every now and again laugh out loud.

This has been scientifcally tested and found to be a bad idea.

(But it is very funny)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Learning to ride for the day

Last birthday Ness bought me a day of advanced rider training with RoadRiders. I have finally taken it today. Nearly in time for this years birthday. ;)

Anyway after about 6 hours of riding I'm a lot better than I was this morning but have realized and was told how much I still need to practice and get better at. (Not comfort braking and staying out to the centre of the road on left hand turns)
I'm also completely knackered.

Andy (the instructor) is an ex Police rider/instructor and has about 8 months of training, with at least a years experience of Police riding in between each course. Therefore he definitely knows what's he's talking about. And although he doesn't teach you to go fast (that's a side effect of being confident and knowing what to do) he is very very quick.

The biggest thing I learnt was that you can use both sides of the road when it's safe to do and you can see a damn sight further up the road when you're on the rigth hand side of it.

It was a really great (tiring and slightly cold) day and has given me so much more confidence than I had before I binned the SV let alone after.

If you ride and what to learn more take an advanced course with Road Riders. http://www.road-riders.com/

Very tired, going to eat food and get laid on by the kittens.

have fun

ps and I failed to overtake a VW Van. The overtake just never felt right and safe so there :)
Yes a 102BHP bike couldn't overtake a heap of a VW van.. I'm sorry, I feel like I've let down bikers everywhere