Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

October 31st, 2002

Today I recieved a joint Halloween card. It’s the first time I think I’ve ever received a Halloween card – it’s just not an event that seems suitable for sending cards about.

In other news I’ve been updating some UML diagrams (I had the arrows the wrong way around!), and also making some changes to my WebLog editing system. It’s an incremental, behind the scenes, type change – but hopefully it’ll be a step in the right direction.

October 27th, 2002

Last night I went to a peculiar event called “The Night Of Dread”. Becky had been last year, and so asked if anyone would like to meet up for it, so I went along. It was fairly pleasant out given the time of year, we had an erratic breeze, but no rain and it was fairly warm. We went to Dufferin Grove Park where it is held as the last light of the evening began to die away.

As we got there we saw two small camp fires, and a larger bonfire surrounded by stakes driven into the ground. Each stake had a piece of card attached to it with a “dread” – for example there was “war”, “taxes”, among others. We sat around for a while on a bench next to one of the camp fires while people were busy milling around and organising things for when the parade got back to the park. The parade had set out prior to our arrival and was travelling around the local neighbour-hood.

When the parade entered the park we went to see it, and were met with a set of superb costumes, stilt walkers, and large puppets (twice the height of a person!). They formed a circle while drums where playing, and then danced around in the circle as they were called out. Each costume represented a dread, although there was no direct symbolism between the dread and the costume.

Once the dance was done we walked back with the puppets to the main bonfire, where a shaman character then picked up each stake in turn, and threw it on the fire. This was followed by a dance of the dead, with a group of people dressed all in white with faces hidden behind masks, dancing around to the music and with people that were watching.

After all this there was then a small parade around the circle of two whole pigs that had been roasted. These were then cut up, and soup was served from over the two smaller fires. I had a couple of cups of soup and one of the legs off the pig – there’s not much meat on pig leg!

October 23rd, 2002

I have recently taken the time to learn how to use GnuCash, and I have to say that it gives a satisfying sense of control over my finances. Of course it doesn’t actually change how much money you have – but it allows you to see what you have in one place. Additionally it handles multiple currencies in a fairly painless way (although it could be better still!), which is extremely useful to me.

In some other news – I’m taking another look at my content manager system and trying to see what I can do to enhance the current system. I’m thinking of a simplified version that defaults all of the options available in the full version, so making it easier to use.

October 12th, 2002

This is the first update on my weblog in a very long time. I think it’s about time I started updating this again, and maybe fix some of the bugs in my home-grown weblog system.

On to the major reason for this posting! I’ve finally managed to upgrade the memory of my home computer. It did have 128MB, and now it has 320. I wanted to add 256MB, but as the following tale will tell,I was unable to get that working.

I started off by getting a new processor (a P3 450) to make my machine feel a little snappier, and to max-out the current motherboard. My next upgrade will be a new machine – at least that’s the plan. As I was adding a new processor, and given how cheap memory is, I thought I’d pickup a 256MB DIMM as well. When I got home I found that the DIMM didn’t work – I got an error from my BIOS during the memory test.

I exchanged the memory for another module of the same type, but on getting home this didn’t work either – so my motherboard is not compatible with this type of memory. The next day I exchanged again, this time for a different brand but otherwise similar spec. This didn’t work either! Today I decided to instead get 2 128MB DIMMS, which means I had to remove a 64MB – but at least I now have a working memory upgrade!

I think that this machine is now as upgraded as it’s going to get. The only thing left is to get a quieter CPU fan, and then I can call it done and move to a new box!

Copyright 2015 Colin Stewart

Email: colin at