archive for the University category

Taking Out The Trash

Me,University Saturday 10th September 2005
Taking Out The Trash

We’ll be moving into out new place in two weeks so the long process of sorting, binning and packing had begun. Today I pulled all the dusty, forgotten boxes out from under the bed. There were three boxes all full of ring-binders which contained my notes from university.

I’m not sure why I’d kept them for so long. After a moments thought I set about ripping all the paper out of them and binning it all. A very liberating experience I tell you. I did keep one binder of Maths 2Y note though, as they “might be useful”.



Gaming,Me,University Sunday 21st November 2004

GameSoc had it’s AGM last week and the new committee is now in full effect. No one else wanted to be the WebMaster so I volunteered to stand again and was duly elected. This year I’m gonna try and put my stamp on the site by stripping out a lot of junk we never use. We never use the forum, the front page needs a re-design and the colour scheme is looking a little dated. On major task would be to make the whole site standards compliant. Not as easy as it sounds, as most of the pages are generated by the back end so it means lots of hacking around in php files. I should really write some kind of numpties guide to the backend aswell as I’m not going to be doing this forever.



Gaming,University Friday 17th September 2004

Had a day off work today and decided to help out at the GameSoc Freshers LAN. There was an ok turnout but surprisingly most people were playing Wario-Ware on the Game Cube instead of playing Quake 3! It’s usually the other way around.



University Thursday 8th July 2004

I am now officially Oliver Jackson Bsc Hons. At frickin’ last! Only took five years! Yesterday seemed like the longest day ever, stuff just kept happening. I woke up far too early as I was all excited and nervous about the day ahead. Kerry and I got all dressed up and then went to Favorit for breakfast, where I could hardly eat anything. Then we met my parents and I went and got robed-up and chatted with my buddies. At about 10:30 we decided we’d better go in to McEwan Hall and take our seats.

There was an organ recital and then they got down to the task at hand. What follows is basically an hour of clapping and shuffling along seats. Getting their degress with us was the Engineering school and they all went before us. When your name is finally read out and you’ve successfully shuffled along to the end of the row you march up to the stage (without tripping) and get hit on the head with a ceremonial hat. You then exit stage left, get your certificate and shuffle back into your seat.

After graduation there was lots of milling around outside while everyone’s Mum cried and the family took photos. We eventually managed to organise a group of us into a photo, not the easiest of tasks. Check out the gallery for the photos. After I’d handed back my hired robes (not cheap!) we went back to Favorit for lunch where they managed to annoy my parents by completely forgetting their orders, pretty dumb if you ask me. They did eventually get served, needless to say the tip was a big fat zero. We now had time to kill before the reception in the afternoon so we mooched along to the Royal Musem where I sat down and spaced-out for half an hour.

The reception in the afternoon was in Surgeons Hall which is pretty impressive on the inside, filled with interesting paintings and rooms. It was a fancy affair with canapes, champagne and little sausages. There were some prizes awarded and we were told to have a good time. At this point we were knackered so we went home for a wee rest and then got changed for dinner at the grainstore at seven. The grainstore was very, very nice. I had smoked haddock and pea risotto to start and then aubergine, courgette and something lasagne with red pepper fondue. Both were fantastic and didn’t leave me room for pudding. Kerry and I then took my parents on a mini pub tour of Deacon Brodies, Whistle Binkies and then finally Beluga. My parents then went off back to the hotel and we went to find the new-graduate gang. There were still at the pear tree where we rapidly formulated a plan to go to Why Not? on George street. After much faffing and two almost bar fights we eventually got taxis there. Quite a few of our number were too pished to get in unfortunately but they’d had enough by then anyway.

Kerry and I were still sober enough to get in (of course) and had a great time with the gang. Kept seeing more and more people from c.s. through the night. Kev and Rab were busting some legendary moves on the dance floor and Ian and Daniel was splashing out on some £50 a pop champagne. We lasted until 3am when we got a taxi back with Kev and collapsed into bed. Only for both of us to get up for work this morning. Ouchy.

graduation gallery


Degree Classification

University Tuesday 15th June 2004

Today I got my degree classification. I got a:




Ahhh, how I will miss the lab geeks

University Tuesday 1st June 2004

Guide To A Successful Project

University Tuesday 1st June 2004

This morning I had my final project presentation at the ungodly hour of 10am. I got a bit toasted by Alexander Voss but on the whole they seemed impressed. One bit didn’t work because I’m a complete muppet and was doing something wrong but I think I blagged it. Now, onto some tips:

  • Self-Propose. Doing something you want to do, rather than something that some lecturer wants doing is overall much more satisifying. You also don’t end with something that you are proud of but its not quite what your supervisor wanted.
  • Pick your supervisor wisely. Your supervisor has to be interested in your project and keen enough to want to help. I know lots of people whos supervisor was always away or busy and offered no help at all.
  • Log your work. I should have been doing this from the start. Some kind of log is very, very useful. Written or online, it doesn’t matter just record everything you do. This is immensely useful when writing up the implementation and saying why you did something that way you did.
  • Comment your code. I know we have it drummed into us from first year but it really is very useful. If you’re using something like javadoc do the comments in the correct style. It will save time later, time which you won’t have.
  • Be honest. Don’t try and blag anything with smoke and mirrors. Three people who are most likely cleverer than you are going to look at your project. If you try some shenanigans they will ask you to show them X in your presentation. Then you’re boned…

It is done

University Friday 28th May 2004

It is done, my dissertation is handed in. Three shiny copies all bound up with Edinburgh uni covers. We all went and played rounders in the meadow on Wednesday afternoon which was a lot of fun. Glorious weather for it aswell. We went out that night and got rather lubricated aswell, I think the gang ended up in the Cavendish but I wussed out before then.


Dissertation Status : 99.9% Finished

University Tuesday 25th May 2004

The final version is now with my supervisor! Hes giving it the once over tonight and then its handin-orama tomorrow. I think I’ll lie in for about a week after that. Final word count: 13,319.


Hold together baby….

University Friday 21st May 2004

It’s almost done, I’m pushing 9k words at the moment. It needs to be around 10k with a few more tweaks to the code, shouldn’t be impossible….

Sorry for the lack of updates, the current programme will return to normal when I got this silly dissertation out of the way (1st of June).


Online Collaborative Document Management Framework…

University Wednesday 12th May 2004

…is the overly elaborate title of my final year project and hence what my dissertation is about. Not many updates recently as it is due in on the 26th. Yikes!


I Could Kiss You

University Wednesday 5th May 2004

This project has saved my final year project from a lot of complications. This Richard Bergmair chap has taken wordnet from its normal storage method and converted it all into mysql/postgres compatible stuff. Now, I simply create a new tables, download the data and wham. Instant lexical/semantic database. I’ve a feeling I’m killing the university database server though, queries are getting very slow. But, I guess they will be on tables with ~140,000 rows :).


All Done!!

University Tuesday 27th April 2004

Yes! Woo-hoo! Yeehaaaa!! Thats Computer Graphics thoroughly ninja-ed. Two pints later in the Pear Tree and I was feeling quite sloshed. Went with Kerry whilst she got her piercings put back in (ouch) and then went and got my hair cut! ye gods! my powers! My head does feel quite lighter now…and cooler.


One Left!

University Friday 23rd April 2004

Yep, had my Visualisation exam this morning. It was so-so, not great and kinda hard to tell how I actually did. Again, it was a very wordy, waffly one. Just one exam left now, Computer Graphics which is most definetly not going to be waffley. Its going to be bl**dy hard!


Two To Go

University Wednesday 21st April 2004

I had more exam shenanigans this morning. Computer Networking was on the menu for 10am. I felt pretty confident for this one, I had remembered loads of useless stuff that I’ll never, ever need again. The lecturer though, had other ideas. He obviously read my mind just before the exam and all the questions were on things that I hadn’t revised. Marvellous! Plus, all the questions were waffley tat, which normally I love, but for this I had actually learnt the details. But he didn’t want them! Arg! Oh well, I wasn’t going to get a first anyway…


Two Down, Three To Go

University Thursday 15th April 2004

ahhhhh, Computer Security out of the way. It wasn’t great, but then it wasn’t disasterously bad either. Lots of people seem to be kicking up a fuss about the difficulty of one question though.


One Down, Four To Go

University Wednesday 14th April 2004

I had my first exam yesterday, these are my final degree exams so they’re pretty scary. It was probably my easiest module though and went pretty well, atleast 60% I would say. The exam is one of the ‘choose 2 of the following 3’ types and I bricked it when I saw the first question, I didn’t have a clue. Thankfully questions two and three were much nicer and I hardly stopped writing for the hour and a half


My view the last few days

University Monday 5th April 2004



Dead Mouse Found In Printer

University Monday 5th April 2004

I kid you not, working in Appleton Tower this afternoon. Someone discovered a dead mouse on the top of the laser printer, in the paper output tray. I suspect it went through the rollers.


la la la

University Thursday 18th March 2004

Term 2 was over last Friday. Thankfully we don’t have lectures in term 3, but exams in April and my dissertation to finish 🙁 I’ve now got four weeks off for ‘easter’. Edinburgh’s definition of easter always makes me laugh, bearing absolutely no relation to the actual holiday.

I was planning my exam timetable today and worked out I have at least five days per module, which is fine (I hope). As long as I get started next Monday and don’t stop. After exams its gonna be a squeeze to get my project finished, I’ll do noubt end up doing bits and bobs inbetween revison.


End is in sight

University Thursday 11th March 2004

Had my last lecture (possibly) ever this morning. Double HCI, which was not that fun. The end of my education draws nearer….

updates coming soon



University Monday 1st March 2004

Slept like an absolute log last night, I was shattered. Back at my place now, which was a good plan as we had a HMO inspection that everyone seemed to have forgotten about…..

Look like we need new firedoors or something, and a skylight opening stick. woo

I’ve just realised that there is only a fortnight left of term, and I have three handins due and a 10 page project (dissertation) report due. Time to stop slacking methinks…



University Thursday 5th February 2004

I had a project presentation yesterday at uni. We have to give these from time to time to show “progress” on our dissertation project. It went pretty well, I was using my supervisor’s mac laptop to demo my stuff and the wi-fi kept cutting out. This was quite handy though as I could just explain what should have happened rather than actually showing them (bugs included). I got the comments back from my supervisor and I’m supposedly ahead of schedule! wow!


And so it ends..

University Friday 12th December 2003

Well, term has ended for christmas. Got all my work handed in at the last minute (of course). I’m looking forward to a good xmas at home with food, presents and good company. Tonight I’m out celebrating with the lads but tomorrow I shall xmas shop.



University Tuesday 4th November 2003

Well, university is finally hotting up. Technical report due in on Friday, fancy anti-aliased line drawing practical a week after that and I’ve got to start my major project (dissertation) and get stuck into the practical module I’m doing.


Back To School

University Tuesday 7th October 2003

Started back at university yesterday, finally into fourth year! woo-hoo! Yesterday and today were all introduction lectures where we get a chance to choose which modules to take. At the moment it looks like I’ll be doing:

Term 1

  • Computer Networking
  • Computer Graphics
  • System Level Integration Project

Term 2

  • Computer Security
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Visualisation

…and amongst all that I’ve got to do my dissertation/project !



University Sunday 22nd June 2003

Colleague At Work : What is you do at university again Olly?

Me : Computer Science *sigh*

Colleague : Oh, hrm, I thought you did something more, erm, interesting…

I think that was a compliment…


Exams Are Finito!

University Wednesday 11th June 2003

Well, had my last 3rd year exam today, and it was the worst of the lot. Oh well. By my calculations I’m still above the 4th year threshold, which is nice. Went to the pub immediately and then bought cans and sat out in the sun, which was very pleasant. We’re in the process of going out again tonight, slowly.

Oh and on another note, our group for the System Design Project got 72% which was joint top in the year. Big up the Innovex krew!


Exams : Redux

University Tuesday 10th June 2003

Two to go, one this afternoon and one tomorrow morning. The end is in sight!



University Saturday 7th June 2003

Three left, monday, tuesday and wednedsay morning. I can’t wait.



University Monday 2nd June 2003

Well, it was bad, but not that bad. I am so tired now after getting up at 8am, it’s a shock to my system.



University Monday 2nd June 2003

Warm, very warm. Too warm to sleep even. I’ve got a very nasty exam in about 9 hours that is going to be bad, very bad, my worst one infact. I just want to get it out of the way and not being able to sleep is not helping. gah



University Saturday 31st May 2003


I can’t wait for exams to be over.

But, there is much comedy grafitti on the desks to keep me occupied. Here are some glorious examples of student humour:

“I eat Motherf*ckers for lunch”

and then underneath

“you are what you eat!”

and one from angst central:

“Help! I’m in love with my flatmate!”

this is what keeps me going…



University Monday 26th May 2003

Avoiding revision in the library and reading the uni computers services webpage I came across this in their upcoming projects section:

UN12 SMS Text Messaging Gateway
A project is proposed to implement a pilot centrally-managed gateway to a commercial SMS provider for the purpose of communicating with staff and students using SMS messaging. Services provided could include SMS paging service, email notification and University notices. The project would investigate cost recovery mechanisms and ongoing costs of the service. If approved, this project would be completed by May 2003.

UN13 WAP Interface for Mail
There are requests for additional interfaces to the University staff and student mail systems for mobile access. This project will investigate the suitability of a WAP interface for mail. If approved, this project would be completed by May 2003.

not bad I thought.


I Apologise

University Tuesday 29th April 2003

Very busy with System Design Project at the moment.



University Thursday 20th March 2003

The deadlines are over!
After one all nighter and endless supplies of pizza, curry and caffeine they are “finished”. Now we’ve just got to start/finish our Individual Practical over the easter break, and do some revision for exams in June. What fun. Our “easter” break, now there is a comedy holiday, we have four weeks off (quite a lot) but then we actually go back before easter. Then when we get back, we have the monday and the friday off, madness.


Too much work…

University Wednesday 12th March 2003

Normal service will resume on Wednesday, next week.
When there will be much rejoicing.


Another one bites the dust…

University Monday 3rd March 2003

Wandered into the kitchen tonight to make some coffee for late night working. Matthew peers in the door after me:

“Ooo, caught another mouse then…”

I’d walked straight past one of the little tikes, stuck in a trap. This one had got a quick death though, the trap had snapped down on its little head. Ah well, such is the great circle of life. Which segways gloriously into one of the jokes in Disney’s Lion King:

(Pumba, to Simba) “What’s eating you?”
(Timone) “Nothing, hes at the top of the food chain!”

welcome to the world of my mind.


Guess what?

University Monday 24th February 2003

Yet another extension! This one is not really needed though, and will probably just add to the insane deadline build-up that is happening at the end of term.


Go-Go Extending Deadline

University Thursday 20th February 2003

Yes, yet another deadline extension. This one was mainly because of hardware falling over under load, but we heard echos of “this happened last year and they said they’d fix it“.



‘Yay’ and ‘Oh No’

University Thursday 6th February 2003

Well, I’m not sure last nights efforts accomplished much, it still didn’t completley work. I mean, it compiled and ran, but would bork at the end of the first line. Oh yeah and to top it off, 1 1/2 hours after the deadline they extend the deadline…..just ….words escape me.

But I did get some coursework back and found I got an A for Operating Systems, so its not all bad.



University Thursday 6th February 2003

just got in from labs…


Oh man….

University Wednesday 5th February 2003

I’m still in the labs, working on teh EVIL compiling techniques.
Oh dear, oh dear…



University Wednesday 15th January 2003

I went to yet another pointless tutorial, where the guy had prepared nothing and didn’t really have a clue.


One Last Thing….

University Sunday 5th January 2003

uni starts again tomorrow…




Edinburgh,Me,University Saturday 14th December 2002

Ok, just got in from celebratory-end-of-term drinkage with Pete, Neil and Doug.
We headed off to Doctors first, which was ok, if a little quiet.

Then off to Frankensteins which was packed (as usual) where the AI/CS department was having a ‘wake’ in aid of the recent fire at South Bridge.

Then we jumped across the street to Bar Kohl, which is just the best EVAR! We got a pitcher of some gin-vodka thing which was very, very dry. Noticed they had 79.9% proof vodka, left in a hurry before we had any ideas.

Next stop Finnegans Wake where there was the usual irish live music hi-jinks. good atmosphere, nice and busy. Ate a packet of crisps. Noticed big group of Japanese peeps with nice digi-cams.

Then headed down the scorched cowgate to Opium, Edinburgh’s ‘alternative’ club. Somehow managed to bump into Adam. Then the cs4 possee stormed in (on there end of term night out) and we proceeded to hurl insults at Sandy and Tim.
Something about Sandys Mum…
Oh yeah, I swear that group of Japanese folk followed us…

We then stopped for chips and spring rolls and clambered back up to our flat. Much Gamecube action proceeded, along with loud music. Then, bed. Which is where I am now headed.

Olly Out.
Currently Listening : as heard on radio soulwax pt. 2


Another one down

University Thursday 28th November 2002

Another deadline down! only two more before xmas now!

/me is happy



University Friday 22nd November 2002

Ok, one piece of work down.
The other one got an extension due to the fire strikes. I now have no will to do any work. Off to the pub!




Me,University Friday 15th November 2002

Hmm, well, 3rd year is “fun”.
You know, there were times last year when I was like “Oh, I can’t wait to get back to uni!”.
ha ha ha
How naive I was. Now I’ve got three deadlines on the same weekend and I’m not exactly loving it. Some of it is interesting, some is not. I can’t really complain though, its uni, you have work to do, you get deadlines. Although all my firends who have either graduated or dropped out have a good chuckle at my moaning.

Anyhoo, onto other things.

Lord Of The Rings : Special Edition


this is just the best dvd EVAR!
there is like six and a half hours of extras and then the film is 3 and a half hours with 4 commentaries. Madness, but good 🙂



Start of Term

University Monday 7th October 2002

Ok, so tomorrow is the start of my 3rd year doing Computer Science. This has taken me three years to get into (thats one repeat year).
Urk, I’m scared!