Very, very, very Busy

A bit early for this I think, but my opinion is meaningless and, as you can see Christmas lights are up in the St. Stephens shopping centre as well as Cottingham village centre as early as the 1 November.

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last week or so — as is the life of a student I’ve been stupidly busy the last week or so, with coursework, lectures, Exams and odds and ends. Last week we had two exams which count towards our modules, one for Computer Systems (Operating Systems) and one for IT and Professionalism, so I spent a lot of time revising for this — which I think paid off, I got 82.5% in the Operating Systems exam, which I think is a pretty good grade! We’re yet to get our results for IT and Professionalism.

I have also been working on adding in “Artificial Intelligence” into Evil Squash as well as the normal lecture/labs routine. Friday night Jess came up to stay until Sunday and we had a great weekend. On Friday we went to  “Bang Tidy Frid’ys” at the Sanctuary Bar in the Student Union, on Saturday we went to Spiders for their usual alternative music saturday and on Sunday we took advantage of the “Free Pool All Day Sunday” deal on offer at the Sanctuary Bar.

Spiders Nightclub Saturday Night
Spiders Nightclub Saturday Night

Today I’ve been writing up about Logic Gates on modern CPU’s as well as checking over my ACW2 for Quantitative Methods for Computing before I hand it in, hopefully I’ll do quite well in that as well (fingers crossed). Speaking of maths, I’ve also spent a lot of time going through the notes lovingly prepared by Jess which make maths seem so simple — a lot of the problems I was having with the Diagnosys Test were that I’d never heard of the types of equations and thus didn’t know what to do. Now I do, so I plan to (hopefully) go and get myself over 40% tomorrow.

As well as the above we learn about Structures in C# today in our Programming 1 Lecture.

Anyway, Having finished going through my Maths notes in preparation for tomorrow I’m off to sleep, I’ll post again tomorrow!


Live Music

The Specials & Jess Visit

(A Video of the Awesome Specials Introduction at Hull Arena Last Night)

Missed a few days of blogging again, I’ve been rather busy! I’ve had a great weekend up in Cottingham and Hull as Jess came to visit Friday night and stayed till this evening. Friday night I had a programming practical which I had completed the previous night, and then a Tutorial session.  Around 5pm I met Jess at the Hull Interchange and we set off on our way back to Cottingham to do a food shop and get settled in. During the evening we went to Spectrum club in Hull City Centre for their punk night, which was awesome with lots of great music! Below is a picture of a poster showing what sort of stuff they were playing;

Spectrum Pop Club Punk Night
Spectrum Pop Club Punk Night

Saturday night we were torn between doing to Brassik – The University Union Cheap night, or Spiders — a local rockers club, so we opted to do neither and had a great time playing FIFA 12 on the PlayStation 3’s in the Lawns Centre, which is the bar on my Halls Campus.

Sunday night we went to see The Specials, below is a gallery of pictures I took;

As you may be able to tell from the video we were on the front row, right in the centre literally staring straight at Lead Singer Terry Hall. It was the best seat (standing place?!) in the house, we couldn’t have got better! Shown in the picture gallery is our signed set list. Neville Staples picked Jess out of the crowd, handed a security guard a slip of paper to pass on and when Jess opened it up show was delighted to see it was a signed set list! It was a truly amazing gig, especially as it was only 30 mins on a bus from where I live.

After the show we thought it would be a good idea to see how far we could walk back without having to stop and call a cab — we made it the whole way home from the Hull Arena to The Lawns. Below you can see a map of our route (click to zoom out) — its quite a way, but was worth it for the frequent pizza and fried chicken stops. 😉

Today Jess and I went attended my lectures — she assures me she is fascinated by the intricacies of Process queueing at an operating system level and will be continuing her research at home :P. In the evening we attempted to get Jess home on the train — I say attempted because it was a bit of a hardship.

Jess realised once she reached the station she had forgotten her ticket. It was far too late to go back to the flat to retrieve it and so we tried to get her on the train using a ticket reference number, which we would have got by asking someone I trust to go in my room and read it to us. However we were informed by the trains guard (whom we had tracked down) that this would not be possible. He referred us to the trains conductor, who was a very friendly woman who said she would allow Jess to travel all the way to Sheffield without her ticket but could not guarantee she would get any further along her way home due to the fact the other trains she would have needed were operated by other companies. First trains were excellent in their attempts to help us.

I said I would pay for Jess to buy another ticket after we found that her ticket that she had forgotten would no longer be valid anyway due to the fact she turned the Sheffield train offer down. At this point I realised I had no money on my debit card so would need to make a bank transfer from one of my other accounts… then both our phones refused to connect to the internet even though that had previously. You can see how this quickly became a nightmare. In the end I stormed into a 3 store and just started using one of their PCs without asking, when question I explained the situation and said hows Jess’s 3 phone wasn’t connecting so we’d be using their PCs. The woman in the 3 shop in Hull was a fantastic help :).

Eventually I transferred enough money to myself to withdraw £30 from my card to pay for Jess’s train ticket and so we commenced the mad dash to the train, which was unnecessary — we still by some miracle had 10 minutes to spare. I saw Jess off, came home (whilst listening to the Specials on the bus ofcouse) got some food, cleaned my room and now I’m writing this.

And that finishes a great weekend 🙂

Thanks for Reading,

Tech Reviews University

Spiders, Sunday & Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Review


Last night as I mentioned in my previous post I went to spiders with the Rock Society of the Hull University Union and Jess. It was totally different to any club or venue I’ve been to before. Its essentially a big house and garden in the middle of an industrial estate with 3 rooms, each dedicated to a different genre of rock, our favourite of which was the 60’s-80’s room which played classic bands such as Madness, The Selecter and The Ramones. We were also happy with the great variety of cheap drinks available — notably a special called The JUGular — a 6 drink jug containing two shots of your choice, two liquors and loads of soft drink — in our case Coke! It was so tasty, but also incredibly alcoholic! Yum.


Today I spent most of my time in Cottingham and Hull City Centre — with Jess — finding a reasonably priced place we could both eat which with her being vegetarian that was somewhat difficult. Eventually we settled on a small pub which offered a Sunday Roast Carvery for me and a Veggie burger for her. After that we spent a lot of time enjoying the compact, yet full city centre in hull which offers many shops, resturants and facilities. After only being here a week I can safely say Hull doesn’t deserve the reputation it gets, its an enjoyable place to live with great night life, friendly locals and a buzzing atmosphere. Unfortunately Jess also left tonight at 6:30 after a fun filled weekend of clubbing and student life! Fortunately ill be able to see her soon when she comes back to see the amazing Specials in just under two weeks!

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango running on the HTC 7 Mozart

As I posted yesterday I bought a HTC 7 Mozart, originally running Windows Phone 7, on O2 as part of a 24 month contract. Since then I have upgraded the phone to Windows Phone 7.5 using the slightly hacky method documented on WinRumours. The update has bought a lot of functionality that was missing from the original 7.0 release of the OS. Most notably custom ringtone support and multi-tasking, all of which are very well explained and reviewed on Ars Technica, so I wont delve into those so much — however I would like to bring to peoples attention some of the lesser of the 500 updates which I feel have a great impact!

Messaging Improvements

The first thing I noticed when changing from 7.0 to 7.5 was perhaps one of the smallest changes to the OS — Emotions in text messages, whereas before the operating literally showed a string of symbols such as “:-)” if you selected a smiley face from the emotions keyboard it now shows some cool, single colour mango styled faces or icons depending on what you typed. Here is a collation of all the emotions produced by 1800PocketPC;

Windows Phone 7 Mango Text Emotions
Windows Phone 7 Mango Text Emotions

Another small but notable improvement was the fact that the phone now uses two different tones of your accent colour to differentiate between incoming and outgoing messages, rather than just using left and right. This is excellent UI design and makes reading texts a much more enjoyable experiance.

Other Aesthetic Changes

Another small aesthetic change is the improvement of the XBOX Live logo, which is now a lot more suited to the Metro Design the OS uses, before it felt ugly and out of place, but now it feels like a 1st rate application on the device. Yet another UI design change I like is the fact that Internet Explorers UI is now all at the bottom of the screen, rather than the top — this allows for a larger viewing area and in my opinion looks better. (IE also went from being based off of IE6/7 to IE9, a massive HTML5 powered difference 😉

Overall Feeling

Windows Phone 7.5 feels complete. In a nutshell it is what 7.0 should have been and is easily my favourite Phone OS due to its simple yet pretty look, mass of features and future potential (due to hopefully an influx of customers when Nokia release their device, and therefore an Influx of money hungry developers). I would definately recommend this OS to anyone — from tech savvy to totally technophobic — because it is simple enough for normal use (internet browsing, sending texts, making calls) but also extremely flexible for those who want a little more from their mobile device.

Thanks for Reading