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Chris Boyle

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Moving this journal soon, for the last time, to my own domain [Dec. 7th, 2009|05:35 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | geeky]
[Music |Stray - Something for your mind]

The tl;dr important bits

  • If you're reading this on, I'll soon stop posting here. You can friend [info]chris_boyle, which will have the new posts when I move.
  • If you're already reading this on a feed (e.g. shortcipher_ij) or on Facebook, you won't need to do anything.
  • I'll still read and comment on both LiveJournal and InsaneJournal, as shortcipher.
  • I will still not be making friends-locked posts, so there's nothing to miss by using a feed.

Dear InsaneJournal: “it's not you, it's me”

IJ hasn't done anything wrong (and won't lose a subscription from this move; I have a permanent account), but the content and format of what I post has become less suitable for this place. When I started my first attempt at blogging, it was very much a personal journal, whereas if you look at my recent posts, there's some of that, but it's mainly technical discussion, which is what I'm most interested in writing, and probably of more interest to more people than the minutiae of my daily life, even among my friends (although if there are specific things you'd like me to write more about, speak up).

The subject matter doesn't make IJ any worse as a host than any other blog site, but I may sometimes want to do things that no free host will adequately support, such as unusual markup/embedding, AJAX, and analytics. I also want full control of things like comment moderation policy, for example: if you've logged in using an account I've friended on LJ, IJ or Facebook (or Twitter?), or you're on an additional list, then your comments won't be screened. I want the ability to tweak the site style, and integrate with the rest of my website, without faffing about with a baroque LJ-engine-specific language. I hope InsaneJournal survives for a long time yet, but I don't want to depend on their servers or on their ability to provide useful support responses. Most of all, I really don't want the user experience hijacked for enticements to create a local account instead of OpenID, or for enticements to return to the site instead of using feeds, or for advertisements of any kind.

What I'm doing about all this is setting up a blog on my own domain, where I can tweak the implementation and change hosting provider at will without any further disruption for readers. This is what I should have done when I lost patience with LiveJournal, but I didn't have the time. I've yet to determine exactly how I'm doing this; the closest existing software I've found is Zine (and I also like parts of PyBlosxom), but it will be part of my website at, it will be written in Python (I will not run PHP) and it will have at least:

  • full-entry feed
    • does anyone want an additional feed with just first paragraphs?
  • log in (to comment) with OpenID or Facebook
    • does anyone want a Twitter option?
  • threaded commenting
  • optional email notifications of replies to your comments
  • a method for me to easily write posts and moderate comments from Android: I might implement the Wordpress API, as Zine has done
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Puzzles on Android updated [Nov. 22nd, 2009|03:24 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | puzzled]
[Music |Apoptygma Berzerk - Maze]

For those who won't have seen it elsewhere: I've updated my Android port of Simon Tatham's puzzle collection. It now includes:
  • native code instead of NestedVM (smaller, faster, I have rebuilt it, I have the technology)
  • a selective on-screen keyboard for keyboardless devices
  • undo/redo buttons on that keyboard (no more Menu/Undo/Menu/Undo/...)
  • saving and loading on the SD card
  • documentation in the package instead of launching the browser
  • Helge Kreutzmann's German translation of the documentation
  • improved crash reporting
  • a bunch of bug fixes for recently-released Android devices, and other bug fixes
If you're reading this on Android, you can go directly to Android Market.
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What I've been working on for the last long while... [Oct. 20th, 2009|01:45 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | proud]
[Music |Rename - But Now]

It's done! The most visible of my changes in this release is geolocation in TrafficScript and Java. You can now efficiently get the city/region/country/lat-long of an IP address from a supplied data file. Handy if you want to vary your website depending on the client's location, for example.
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Kitties! [Jul. 11th, 2009|01:54 pm]

[Tags|, , ]
[Mood | kitties!]
[Music |The Feeling - Never Be Lonely]

We can has Normality
...anything you can't cope with in the presence of kitties must be srs bsns.

(With apologies to the late Douglas Adams. Normality is our house name if you've not been paying attention at the back.)

As Susan just said, if all goes according to plan we'll have these two living with us from next weekend. :-) Currently the one on the left is called Biscuit and on the right is Thomaslina. We'll be changing at least the latter. Any ideas? So far I like Susan's suggestion of Brownie.

Update: They are now (from left) Heisenberg, because she tends to run around such that we can't tell how fast she's going, and Schrödinger, because she tends to hide such that we can't tell whether she's there.

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Sponsored singing this weekend [Apr. 17th, 2009|11:15 am]

[Tags|, , ]
[Mood | musical]
[Music |Gilbert & Sullivan - When a Felon's Not Engaged in His Employment]

This weekend, I'll be taking part in Cambridge University Gilbert & Sullivan Society's sponsored 24-hour sing-through of all 13 G&S operettas. The event is part of Cambridge RAG; here's the list of charities.

If you'd like to sponsor me, just email me with an amount and stating whether it's a total or an amount per operetta completed (I've no idea how many I'll manage; it could be anywhere between 3 and 13). I'll email the sponsors with the results on Monday.
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It LIVES! [Oct. 21st, 2008|02:28 am]

[Tags|, , , ]
[Mood | giddy]
[Music |XP8 - Waiting]

Simon Tatham's puzzles on Android. I has released it. Before any Android devices were released (sort of). Happy now. :-)
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Coming soon: Simon Tatham's puzzles for Android/G1 [Oct. 4th, 2008|10:06 pm]

[Tags|, , ]
[Mood | pleased]
[Music |Assemblage 23 - King of Insects]

Once upon a time, [info]simont wrote some very nice portable puzzles. Then I bought a Palm, and noticed someone had done a Palm port, and distraction ensued for many a happy hour. I'll soon be buying a T-Mobile G1, and want it to run these puzzles, so I'm porting them.

Android applications are Java-based, so I'm very grateful to Michael Schierl and the NestedVM project for previous work to make the puzzles run as Java applets, meaning all I have to do is change J2SE applet bits to their Android equivalents. Still to do: erm, rather a lot actually. I currently only have the bare minimum required to produce what you see to your left (drawing callbacks and not much else; no interaction yet).
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BiCon [Aug. 28th, 2008|11:47 am]

[Mood | rushed]
[Music |VNV Nation - The Farthest Star]

I seem to be going to my first BiCon (despite being a Kinsey zero). Lots of friends are going; it looks vaguely fun. I'll be reachable on 07786 888749 as usual, if anyone wants to find me. Hopefully going there this evening.

Edit: Fail. Make that first thing tomorrow. :-) um... first thing Saturday? Maybe?
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BBQ, today & tonight [Jul. 27th, 2008|08:50 am]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | awake]
[Music |Assemblage 23 - Opened]

For anyone reading this whom I haven't invited by some means or other (or who has forgotten), there's a BBQ at my place all day and all evening today (we may be slightly interrupted by the weather). Everyone and anyone welcome. Turn up whenever. Bring friends, food, drink and anything else you fancy :p Contact us for exact address.
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Picnic meme, last call [Jun. 21st, 2008|01:09 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | hopeful]
[Music |Shriekback - Nemesis]

This is a picnic meme. There will be a picnic on Jesus Green, Cambridge, UK, tomorrow (Sunday the 22nd of June), from around 2pm. We'll meet toward the town end of Jesus Green, by Lower Park Street. Nobody is organising this; it'll just happen. Please turn up, be sensible, bring food and drink, meet new people, have fun.
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My mobile might not be reachable at the moment [Jun. 17th, 2008|01:28 am]

[Mood | sleepy]
[Music |Colony 5 - Plastic World]

For the next few days, my mobile phone is not to be relied upon (and might temporarily appear to be a non-existent number and suchlike). After that, it will be reachable on the same number. Please use one of the other ways to contact me if you can't get through to my phone. Edit: This has now completed; the only remaining issue is I no longer have SMS receipts by default (Treo's carrier DB doesn't even give me the option, grrrr).
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Picnic meme reminder: Sun 22nd June [Jun. 13th, 2008|09:23 am]

[Tags|, , , ]
[Mood | cheerful]
[Music |Colony 5 - Avalanches]

This is a picnic meme. There will be a picnic on Jesus Green, Cambridge, UK on Sunday the 22nd of June, from around 2pm. We'll meet toward the town end of Jesus Green, by Lower Park Street. Nobody is organising this; it'll just happen. Please turn up, be sensible, bring food and drink, meet new people, have fun.
LinkLeave a comment

Birthday meal (or, once more with organisation and tickyboxes) [Jun. 3rd, 2008|10:42 am]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | optimistic]
[Music |Syrian - Supernova]

Having failed to actually organise any birthday celebrations until the last minute, I shall retry. :-) On Wednesday 11th June at about 8pm, you are all invited to join me for dinner at The Fleur (menu PDF), accessible from Elizabeth Way (opposite Texaco) or Humberstone Road (where they have a car park). Also available on Facebook.
Poll #1870
Open to: All, results viewable to: All


View Answers

2 (40.0%)

Maybe (please bug me closer to the time)
2 (40.0%)

1 (20.0%)

Edit: Booked! Feel free to turn up even if you haven't replied; they'll probably be able to accommodate you.
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Birthday celebrations [May. 30th, 2008|07:58 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | celebratory]
[Music |Ayria - Red Shift]

In which shortcipher realises his birthday is on Monday and posts a very vague invitation )
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Iron Man tomorrow evening [May. 9th, 2008|07:42 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | hopeful]
[Music |Apoptygma Berzerk - Friendly Fire]

Anyone want to come with me? Vue 20:00 or 21:00 / Cineworld 19:45 or 20:50
LinkLeave a comment

Picnic meme! [May. 9th, 2008|08:06 am]

[Tags|, , , ]
[Mood | happy]
[Music |Echo Image - Come Back]

This is a picnic meme. There will be a picnic on Jesus Green, Cambridge, UK on Sunday the 22nd of June, from around 2pm. We'll meet toward the town end of Jesus Green, by Lower Park Street. Nobody is organising this; it'll just happen. Please turn up, be sensible, bring food and drink, meet new people, have fun.
LinkLeave a comment

Miscellany [May. 2nd, 2008|10:36 am]

[Tags|, , , ]
[Mood | relaxed]
[Music |De/Vision - Flavour of the Week]

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Housewarming this weekend (18th-20th) [Apr. 14th, 2008|11:40 am]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | hopeful]
[Music |Mind.In.A.Box - The place]

Over seven months in the making, it's… *drumroll*… the official Normality Housewarming! One Three Nights Only! Contact me (or [info]numberland) if you don't know the location. (Annoyingly, my mobile phone operator has just gone out of business and is moving me to Vodafone, so I expect I might be temporarily unreachable at some point for some unknown length of time.)
  • Friday 18th evening & Saturday 19th: party!
  • Saturday 19th evening: Emilie Autumn concert in London; you will need to book tickets (you can listen to some of her music at
  • Sunday 20th: party, of a slightly more relaxed variety, board games etc.
I hope to see lots of you there! (Edit: there is also a Facebook event)
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LieJournal: [sic] and tired of all of this [Mar. 15th, 2008|09:46 am]

[Tags|, , , ]
[Mood | discontent]
[Music |Wir sind Helden - Guten Tag (Die Reklamation)]

This is a copy of my final post to LJ. Geekier post about migration coming soon.

To the management and owners of LiveJournal,   ← (can anyone suggest the best place to send this?)

Summary: paid user leaving LiveJournal because of issues of culture and communication

An open letter )

Last one out, lock the door.
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Going Insane [Mar. 14th, 2008|09:20 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | restless]
[Music |Edge of Dawn - Losing Ground]

So, er… hi. As you might notice from looking at my journal, I've moved. There is now hopefully nothing of mine of which LiveJournal holds the only copy. This makes me happy. :-) Reasons will be explained in a final post to LJ shortly. I've just friended a whole bunch of you whom I think I know from LJ. If any of you have filters you'd like me to be on, then as always, I'm happy to read anything you're happy for me to read.

Posts earlier than this point were migrated from LiveJournal; they have a few problems (such as no comments, usernames refer to IJ, no link to original entry, polls should be copied in static form, etc.) I will fix these at some point, using data I have already downloaded, in my copious free time.

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