Ongoing work in Forum over Summer

June 30, 2015

This is a repost of an email sent to if-people by Dave Hamilton. The original can be found at (only accessible to list members).

Dear Forum Occupants,

Attached are the drawings showing where the hoarding will be going up on the 3 levels that will be affected by work over the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Note that if you are on level 2 the route you may need to take to your office may have to be adjusted and likewise for some occupants on level 4 when that level begins around 13th Jul.

In the event of an emergency all usual evacuation routes will be available (i.e. you may head through the construction area corridor if necessary. A clear route will always be maintained).

Please refrain from entering the construction area at all other times.

Rough schedule is;

  • Level 2 now to 13th Jul.
  • Level 4 13th Jul to 3rd Aug.
  • Level 5 3rd Aug to 24th Aug


Dave David Hamilton

Superintendent, School of Informatics

Level 2 hoarding

Level 2 hoarding

Level 4 hoarding

Level 4 hoarding

Level 5 Hoarding

Level 5 hoarding

iPhone 4s home button fix

April 5, 2015

My daughters iPhone 4s home button stopped working. No problem I thought, replacements are only a few quid from your favourite auction site, so I ordered one.

Went through the guide, which is quite some going, the screws are tiny, and you virtually have to dismantle the entire phone to get to the button. Anyway, got it all back together, powered up the phone, button still didn’t work! Now it could have been a duff button, or I could have knackered it during the replacement. Got another button, tried the same, still no joy!

With my multi-meter I did some buzzing out of the tiny home button and ribbon cable, and the dock connector ribbon cable, all seemed reasonable. I even got a new dock connector ribbon cable just in case, still the home button refused to work. So I reckoned I was now out of my depth, a motherboard problem, or some weird software issue (we had factory reset it in case that was the issue, it wasn’t).

Finally when reassembling the dock ribbon cable for the last time, I noticed the motherboard around the connector looked a bit of a mess. This was a second-hand iPhone, and its obvious that someone else has been inside it before me. It looked like there was some corrosion on some of the components just below the connector.

I went searching the interweb for a close up of what the connector should look like, and found one on Comparing that to mine, it did look like two possible bits of something shorting pins/components. So I very carefully picked those away with a sliver of paper edge on. Reassembled it. Et voila! The home button works again.

Below is a close up of the connector from an image on, and the best I could get of our connector. The two lumps of stuff that I dislodged are circled.

iPhone 4s motherboard dock connector

Close up of iPhone 4s motherboard dock connector – new and mine

Fingers crossed that’s all it was.

SL7 Desktop bits

February 9, 2015

Just a place for me to note things as I start to use the early access SL7 DICE Desktop. Though I’ve since discovered

Where’s fvwm – Compiled the Fedora 22 srpm and its no mostly working. Startup scripts not working fully. Sort of by .fvwm/config
.brc not used – symlink .bashrc
Has yum search replaced whererpms ?
Can I find our SL7 RPMs on a file system path?
xcal missing
pidgin cert error
firefox doesn’t trust EdUni CA sites.
svn on SL7 newer than SL6, interopability issues?
rfe doesn’t find maps

Gnome-classic stuff
Terminal black on white, subsequent xterms are my white on black. Possibly because XAPPLRESDIR isn’t defined soon enough. That seemed to be it, can be set in ~/.profile

Workspace switcher in bottom right, Windows+PgUp/Dwn or CTRL+ALT+UP/DOWN to switch

After Sensible

January 20, 2015

This is a post after the apacheconf sensible settings were applied.

Before Sensible

January 20, 2015

Testing iFriend post before apache sensible header.

Protected: Access Test Two

July 28, 2014

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Solutions to problems

February 12, 2014

It’s been a while since I posted something, so here’s a couple of thoughts to solve our nations problems.

To solve the problem of deaths from illegal drugs, and unfit, drug addicted, parents. Why not legalise drugs when bought from state approved suppliers, but they would have a contraceptive drug added to them. You can get high, but you can’t breed.

For people worried about immigrants flooding the country and putting strain on jobs, schools, hospitals, etc. Why not create jobs by building and staffing schools, hospitals, homes, etc.

There, job done. This is easy. Next?

Plugin reminder

July 8, 2013

This is really just a reminder that we’ve added a couple of plugins to blog.inf. Comment control and anti-spam. And that we need to do a proper blog post on the systems pages to tell people about them.


This is a test post from my iFriend account

February 19, 2013

iFriends can’t create new blogs, but they can be given permission to existing blogs.

Comments renabled, with anti-spam plugin also enabled.

The Scalzer or Tweepel

May 28, 2012

Ow! Now it's just annoying.

Having picked up another annoying skelf (splinter) in my finger at the weekend, what I really need to dig it out is a cross between a pair of tweezers and a scalpel. So I hereby invent the Tweepel. Unless it already exists, but a quick Google didn’t throw anything up.

So the problem is I can see the end of the skelf just below the skin, normally I’d hack away at it with the end of a needle until there’s enough sticking out to grab with a blunt pair of tweezers.

What I really need is the Tweepel.


Imagine a fine pair of tweezers, but the ends are small scalpel blades. Now I can slice through the out layers of my epidermis and then grab the end of the splinter in one easy action. What could go wrong!