Archive for July, 2012


I don’t really change my wallpaper – mostly because if I’m preparing stuff for lectures or labs I think the wallpaper should be as generic as possible. This means students aren’t distracted, and that as long as the content is still appropriate the same material can be used year on year without becoming too dated.

However I still have found a definite decision, and it’s more to do with my computer setup than anything else. A few years ago I got dual monitors at work. At the time I saw it as a bit of an indulgence, but they really changed the way I work and it soon became obvious that I had to have two monitors at home too. It’s just so much easier to have one document for reference (reading) and one for writing at the same time, or have your code in one monitor and the output in the other.

Given my dual monitor setup this is my gaming wallpaper of choice:

Portal Wallpaper – perfect for dual display

I’m not really bothered about the wallpaper, but if you’ve not discovered the joys of a dual display I highly recommend it. If you can’t do that, or you have a widescreen monitor then Windows & allows you do dock a window in half of the screen for a similar effect. Two monitors still wins out though because if you have two monitors you can dock a document into one half of both screens by holding the windows key down and pressing the cursor keys to dock the currently selected window.

Try it out – but be warned – sooner or later you’ll be shelling out for another display!

Last night I watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics. It was quite a spectacle and told a brief history of Great Britain in three broad parts. First we had a British country scene – depicting village greens, maypoles and cricket. That quickly gave way to a Great British scene of engineering and industry during which British engineering great Isambard Kingdom Brunell looked proudly on as the Olympic rings were forged in the shadows of great chimney stacks.

The Olympic Rings – forged in Great Britain’s industrial 1800’s rain down into Wembley Stadium

The final phase depicted a ubiquitous, connected community highlighting the impact of mobile technology accompanied by a selection of British music from the last forty or so years. This section featured Tim Berners Lee – the British man hailed as the inventor of the world wide web. From a computer at the centre of Wembley Arena he sent a tweet which was displayed across the stadium “This Is For Everyone”.

Tim Berner’s Lee send possibly the most famous tweet of all time.

Tim Berners Lee published the first ever webpage in the early nineties. Since then the internet has become an indispensable part the lives of almost everyone on the planet. I wonder if anyone has ever seen their work have such an immense impact upon the world within their own life time.

Olympic Mascots

It would be hard for anyone in the UK recently to have escaped the fact that London will be hosting the Olympic Games this year. The Olympic Mascots are the two – erm, characters that you see below. Apparently they were created out of the last drops of steel left over from the last steel support beam forged to build the Olympic Stadium.

Olympic Mascots Mandeville and Wenlock

I’ve heard people compare these two to the two aliens, Kodos and Kang from The Simpsons, but they remind me more of another duo of comedy characters:

Portal 2’s Atlas and P-Body!