Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Fahrplan

The schedule for the Chaos Communication Congress has been released. 23c3 Fahrplan Looks like it's going to be just as intense as last year. Topics include firmware reverse engineering, RFID jamming, botnet detection, biometrics, side channel fingerprinting, VoIP, encrypted filesystems and electronic voting systems. Everything a young man needs to know in order to survive and thrive in these interesting times.

Heard an amazing group on a Giant Robot podcast called "Dengue Fever". They are a group from LA who play psychedelic Cambodian rock. The lead singer, Chhom Nimol, has a great voice. All the songs are in the Khmer language so I have no idea what the songs are about but it doesn't matter. On the strength of the fragment of "Hold My Hips" included in the podcast, I've ordered one of their albums from Amazon. One of the best groups I've heard for years. Sadly they have a crappy website made in Flash. Degue Fever Music

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

He Refused To Eat

Although my flu is getting better, I took a day off work. My day was spent reading, watching Seinfeld and updating this blog. Please scroll down and look for new entries. I still have over 100 draft blog entries and also a lot (100+?) of blog entries on my website that need to be added.

The 2 GB SanDisk card for my camera arrived. It holds 1050 4-megapixel photos. Way too many.

Richard came over. He refused to eat anything probably because he felt embarrassed. This meant I couldn't eat. It sucked.

Listened to some of the Giant Robot Magazine podcasts.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Thirty-Quid Look

A student mentioned that his laptop had stopped working and that he was sending it to his insurance company so they could replace it. He asked if I could get some files off the hard disk before he sent it. I put the hard disk in another laptop and burnt the files onto CD.

Like almost every computer ever brought in to work by a student, the laptop was full of porn. Quite sad when you consider the student is almost 60 years old. The point of the story though, is not the porn. The student said his son had taken the laptop to a computer shop. The computer shop charged him 30 pounds to look at the laptop. When the son collected the laptop he was told that there was a problem with the motherboard and that it would be uneconomical to repair. When I opened the laptop it was obvious that the computer shop hadn't opened it, they had just turned it on, seen that it wouldn't power up, and then did nothing. Thirty pounds for someone to look at a laptop...

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Sick And The Sickening

Despite being 90% dead, I went to work today. I had very little choice in the matter as two other members of staff are off on business.

I'm almost looking forward to my weekend. Cambridge on Saturday for the East Anglia Social Forum and London on Sunday for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

Ordered a 2 GB SanDisk memory card for my digital camera. Expect lots more photos over the next few months.

Played with Photoshop using a photo of my friend Richard.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Last Day

Met some friends in the city centre for tea and cake. The tea was very bad but the cake was pretty good. We then went to a pub. A dark pub. I had no chips, just orange juice.

Bought a pen.

Is this how I'll spend my last day on Earth?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Shakes At Tootsies

Went to Keiko's house to teach her and Takako English. I am very ill at the moment, so I must have looked quite rough. The lesson went well and Takako and Keiko are making good progress.

After the lesson I ate a late lunch at a bad restaurant with Keiko and her housemate Maria. We argued about the life of Mishima Yukio for three hours. Time well spent.

In the evening Richard and I went to Tootsies, an over-priced burger restaurant. We had expensive milkshakes and a fine old time.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Seinfeld Sickness

I am sick with influenza.

Got a call from my friend Gemma. She wants me to run some web design training in Ipswich. The training should be lots of fun, unlike Ipswich which is a dump.

Purchased supplies at the shit convenience store. I didn't buy enough. Even while I was standing in the shop I knew I wasn't buying enough. It's hard to explain. I was in a shit convenience store, surrounded by crappy products. I knew I had to buy lots of stuff, but it just wasn't possible. If the human race can, one day, comprehend all the causes and consequences of what happened at the shit convenience store, we will be significantly closer to understanding the human condition.

Watched lots of Seinfeld. It's like Friends but less repulsive.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Karamoon Quoted

There's been a big update on Dr Edward Bearskin's blog, The Long Weekends it's worth taking a look, mainly because he quotes me in the entry on Odaiba, an area of Tokyo.

Spent the morning teaching web design and administration to a woman who is interested in doing some courses. I talked for about 3 hours straight. I like talking. Not so keen on listening.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fucked Up, Fixed Up

Discovered I had screwed up an exam booking, costing the company £130. I've never made a serious mistake at work before. Fortunately I was able to sort it out with a phone call.

Read about Seinfeld on Wikipedia. He has 270 million US dollars. I don't.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Seinfeld Sunday

Read the new issue of Giant Robot magazine. It's a constant reminder that I'm going nowhere fast.

Richard came over with a new book, "Programming Linux Hacker Tools Uncovered". Even an 31337 book can become lame in our hands. We watched about 6 episodes of Seinfeld.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Which Type Of Glue Is The Coolest?

I made onion soup for lunch. It was very good. I was not surprised.

Went to the cinema to watch the new James Bond film, Casino Royale. A bunch of us went: Richard, Emily, Penny, Edward Pacman and Guillaume. I enjoyed the film, but I don't consider it to be Bond film. It was far more violent and grim than older Bond films and was spoiled to some extent by stupid product placement for Sony mobile phones and laptops. Judi Dench is miscast as M, the head of MI6. Contrary to popular belief, Dench is not a good actor.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I had no breakfast this morning. No breakfast, no hope, no reason.

English lesson with Keiko and Takako. Took lots of photos of the two cats at Keiko's house. After the lesson we took lunch at an organic cafe near the telephone exchange.(Do you know where your local exchange is?) Takako and I had soup, Keiko ate a baguette. Silly Keiko.

At the cafe I read an article in the Guardian newspaper on passport security. The article was written by a Guardian journalist who had spent some time with Adam Laurie and Phil Booth. Laurie runs a secure hosting company called The Bunker, Booth is the national coordinator of the campaign against ID cards. I met Laurie at DefCon in 2004. One day I'll be somebody who people meet. Maybe.

I walked home listening to MP3's on my watch. Whatever next! Monkey tennis?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Lecture To Kill Birds By

Keiko came over for tea and biscuits. We attended lecture on Buddhist deities with Maria, Takako and Koji. The lecture was dire. The lectures are always dire. I don't know how the speakers can sleep at night. It's pathetic.

We went for dinner at the Thai Dragon where we were joined by my friend Anwar. Anwar didn't eat, instead he looked into people's hearts. Hiding things from him is useless. Some people can see deeper than others.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Eat Brownies In The Street, Look Neat

Walked to work listening to MP3's. "Animal Nitrate" by Suede, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult, "Waking Up To Us" by Belle And Sebastian, "Goodbye Horses" by Q Lazzarus, "My Sharona" by The Knack, "Your Computer Master" by Red Martian, "Fake French" by Le Tigre, "I Wanna Be Adored" by The Stone Roses, "Twenty Years" by Placebo and much more besides.

Met my friend Anwar in the city centre on the way home. He gave me some brownies. People don't usually give me things, and I don't usually give much to others. I will give more in future.

Gemma and Rebecca came over. They were both in a slightly odd mood. We drank herbal tea and discussed living and killing.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Teaching Takako

Met my friend Takako in the library for an English lesson. It was wonderful to be teaching English seriously again. I remembered how exciting language learning and teaching is. When I was in Japan I was teaching English while studying Japanese which allowed me to have a much deeper understanding of language acquisition mechanisms than I would have had otherwise. I'm lucky that Takako really wants to learn which makes her a joy to teach.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Elite Frontier

Read some assembly tutorials online.

Spent most of the day reading about the games Elite and Frontier. Frontier was one of my favourite games on the Amiga. Like many Amiga games I used to play, it has had a profound impact on my psyche.

Downloaded some MP3's at work, mainly stuff by Belle And Sebastian and Hot Chip.

Met Richard on the way home from work. We stood in the street, reading a book on C++ together. People looked at us and wondered what it would take to be able to join our club.

Watched all 4 episodes of Chad Vader on Youtube. Quite funny.

Some day my blog entries will consist of more than just a list of stuff I did. There will be insight, wisdom, humorous observations and photos. I might get some friends too. And be able to code properly.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Read Phrack all day at work. Didn't get much work done but I did learn a lot about network security.

Here's a photo of Richard at my place of work.

Note that although he is meant to be studying, he is in fact reading a

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Shadow Over Long Island

Listened to a radio play called "Shadow Over Long Island" written by Eric Corley, better known as Emmanuel Goldstein, editor of the 2600 hacker magazine. The play was recorded in 1985 and was about an accident at a fictional nuclear powerstation on Long Island. At the time the play was written, a nuclear power station was being built on Long Island, but it was never used. The play was quite good, mainly because it was set at the radio station. Every 20 minutes or so Eric Corley interrupted the play to tell listeners that it wasn't real. It's really worth listening to, you can download the play as 3 MP3 files from

Might quit my job tomorrow.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Chinese Linux Install Day With Added Vow

Installed Red Hat 7 Linux this morning on an old PC. Played around with it quite a bit.

Bought lots of Chinese takeaway. Ate most of it. Vowed never to buy crappy fake Chinese food again. My vows mean nothing.

Watched Spygame.

Studied assembly for a bit.

Installed Debian over the Red Hat install.

What a day.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Blagged Tea

Met my friends Keiko and Takako in the morning at an expensive cafe. They want an English lesson once a week from me. The cake was good but the tea was mediocre.

Had lunch with Keiko at her house. We cooked a simple pasta dish. Keiko, as usual, tried to fuck it up. Watched "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me". A very poor film. Watching it reminded me of why I don't watch crap films.

Very tempted to quit my job on Monday. Not sure I'll even turn up to work.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Struggling to stay at work today. Almost left without returning. When I did return my boss asked me what was wrong. I just said I was feeling unwell.