Surname Musings

As part of my job as a systems manager, I’m often looking at long lists of names of people who are on the network. When I originally set the network up, I decided to put half the 1300+ users on one server, and half on the other, to reduce the load and stuff. My criteria on how the split was to be done was by surname.

And so it came to pass that surnames A-M are on one server, and surnames M-Z are on the other.

When it was first set up this way, I realised that it wasn’t a true 50-50 split. In fact, it was more like 60-40 in favour of A-M. If I’d have sat down and actually counted, I’d have known that, but it didn’t really matter. Of course, you can see why this is the case, as not so many people have surnames starting with letters like U, X and Z. However, the sheer number of Smiths have some sort of balancing factor, so 60-40 isn’t all that bad, and so I kept the system with this split.

That was almost five years ago. In that time, 95% of the users have left, and so compared to then, virtually all of the users have “replaced”. And here’s the odd thing – the split is still in favour of the A-M users, but bizarrely it’s more like 80-20. Not only that, but we now have twice as many Smiths as we had five years ago, and fewer Browns. I’m at a loss as to how to explain it.

Blogger Beta: So what’s new?

Well, I finally upgraded to Blogger Beta today, which will affect parts of this site. In fact, I hope it won’t affect parts of the site, as Blogger seemed to suggest it would be OK. I’m slightly concerned about my custom template breaking things though.

My main reason for jumping to the beta was I wanted to use tags for my posts. Actually, Blogger calls them “labels”, probably due to having already defined “tags” as things you stick in your template code. Either way, I’m hoping to be able to sort out my Gaming Diary a bit with them, and it’ll also help arrange this blog too.

Aside from that addition, most of the changes seem to be mainly cosmetic alterations to the Blogger dashboard. I haven’t tried logging in with my phone yet though, so I hope that’ll still work…

Apple and Toshiba merger shock!


This appeared on my desk today. Aww, bless.

Let the Tony Hawk worship begin!

Tony Hawk’s Project 8 for the Xbox 360 is here! I go months and months without a Hawk fix (since I’ve completed every other Tony Hawk game), and then I get Downhill Jam for the DS last week, and now this.

It always amuses me when I get 360 games from Play Asia, as you never know which region you’re going to get. This one is Australian!

Write a book? Six words allowed!

Stumbled across this today, which is quite entertaining. Sort of. Wired have got a load of writers to write some books that are just six words long.

I particularly liked:

Mind of its own. Damn lawnmower.
– David Brin

Very Short Stories

Viva Pinata: Giving children nightmares

If you’ve been reading my gaming diary, you’ll know I got a copy of Viva Pinata for the Xbox 360 this week. It’s the same sort of game as Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, and is written by Rare. It’s also very cute. There’s a TV cartoon series to match too, so it’s clearly mainly aimed at kids. Which is why I bought it, obviously, since I am a child. Or not.

Anyway. It’s very child-friendly for the most part. I played for a few hours, having my hand held by on-screen helper Leafos (a strange woman with a green mask thing), and soon my garden was in bloom with all sorts of cute pinata animals. I had some Whirlms (worms), a few Sparrowmints (sparrows) and some assorted moths and flies and stuff. Then I spotted some Bunnycombs (rabbits). Which are very cute, and clearly I needed to have some. I laid out carrots for them, and soon one became a resident in the garden. Hurrah!

And then, a short while later, it was VICIOUSLY KILLED AND EATEN by a wild fox-like Pretztail. I really actually cried real actual tears*. Horrific! Children who play this game will need months of councelling to get over that! Evil, evil Rare.

It doesn’t even get any better, as soon even your own pinatas start turning on each other, smashing each other’s brains out, making them explode, and eating the sweets they contain. It’s awful to watch.

* May not be actually true.

What you need to train as a MCDST

Whilst browsing the Home Learning College website, looking for training courses, I found one for a “Microsoft¬¨?Ü Certified Desktop Support Technician”. OK, so it’s not what I’m looking for, but the thing that struck me about the course was the machine the guy in the picture was using.

It’s a MacBook.

Certified Desktop Support Technician Course

Shiny new phone gadget thing!

It’s a phone! It’s a PDA! It’s a portable web browser! It’s a bluetooth modem! It doesn’t actually work! Yet!

It seems I need to wait a while (up to 24 hours) before it’ll actually connect with T-Mobile. Or something. But it is very shiny, no?