Wells Bombardier Burning Gold

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Pours a clear honey colour with a thin white head. Aroma is lager like with little aroma hops. Light watery body. Taste is toasted malt, caramel hints, bready and light hop bitterness. After taste has long bitterness. Quite refreshing. 4.7% strength.

Rating: Okay, had better.
As you can see am a professional at rating beer
Overall: Wells has better beers to offer.

Abbot Ale

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Pours a amber colour with a thin white head. Aroma of sweet toasted malt, mild aroma hops, hay and light fruit. Medium body. Taste is pleasantly unique. Toasted malt, a slight butterscotch whisky hint and a little fruit. After taste has a dry bitter feel. Matured characteristics. 5% strength.

Rating: Great.
As you can see am a professional at rating beer
Overall: A classic English ale.

Morrissey Fox blonde ale

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Featured on the tv show (forgot the name) on channel four. Its supposed to be a cross between lager and ale.

Pours a light colour with a dissipating head. Aroma is of pine notes. Possibly cascade hops. Generous use of aroma hops. Light body similar to a lager. Ordinary mouth feel. Taste is slightly dominated by hops and of biscuit malt. After taste has a dry light bitterness. Quite balanced. 4.2% strength.

The taste reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is a great cascade hop beer, but generally compared this a less superior brew.

Rating: Okay.
As you can see am a professional at rating beer
Overall: Decent light hoppy ale.


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PekWM on Ubuntu

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PekWM is a lightweight window manager. Suitable for older machines and users looking for performance.

From linux dumps
Screenshot of PekWM, bmpanel, eterm and irrsi. Verdant PekWM theme.

I found it to be highly customizable just like fluxbox but noticeably faster. Its behaviour is completely different from anything I'm use to. So I changed a lot of stuff in ~/.pekwm. There is well written documentation on the project website to help you out.

There is a slightly old build in the repository under the package name pekwm.
sudo apt-get install pekwm

If you like it and want to fully commit there is a guide at the ubuntu forums with a deb source and building information for newer builds.

x11 Touchpad Speed

When I use Fluxbox or PekWM on ubuntu I find that, unlike my default desktop xfce4, the touchpad mouse configuration is terrible. I had to run my finger across the pad twice to reach either side of the screen.

The fix I found works by editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf. For peace of mind (even though its only editing mouse speed) you may want to backup your xorg.conf! Copy it with root powers cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf-backup.

Open xorg.conf. Find the mouse and touchpad settings like below.
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "CorePointer"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad"
Driver "synaptics"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "0"

Under the Identifier Synaptics Touchpad (your touchpad device name maybe slightly different) and before EndSection add these three lines:
Option "MinSpeed" "0.45"
Option "MaxSpeed" "0.75"
Option "AccelFactor" "0.020"

Restart x. Log back in and try it out. You may want to try out different configurations to your liking. Note: these settings will effect your desktop environment (xfce, gnome and kde ect).


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When I first started using linux based operating systems there was no GUI video editing tools. However, today the situation is improving with projects like Cinelerra and Kino. For simple editing though Avidemux on Ubuntu is great.

Avidemux can be used for simple editing and converting videos. With a user-friendly interface it supports AVI, DVD compatible MPEG, MP4, FLV and ASF.

I tested it with a ripped mp4 encoded youtube movie and converted it into an avi format. The setup was simple, the process didn't take long and the final result was perfect. I can see this being useful if you convert videos daily and like to make basic cuts.

You can install it by sudo apt-get install avidemux. Other packages include a qt version for KDE users avidemux-qt. A Command line version is available too avidemux-cli.

For other builds and tutorials see fixounet.free.fr/avidemux.


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Heaviest snow fall in Britain for years and all I got is this.

There was no point in taking a walk with the camera. Quite disappointed. With all the hype I was hoping for a 1990's (my childhood) foot of snow like some other areas.

Its going to snow tonight so I might be able to take good photos in the morning.

My Favourite Books

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Reading is good. You know? Its cool. It beats the TV and film most of the time. I must have read about 40 novels last year so I thought I would make an incoherent list of favourites.

Nineteen Eighty-Four
Probably George Orwell's most famous book. Once you read it you see how much an influence it has on culture. Concepts like Room 101 and Big Brother are well known. Its a dystopian novel set in a totalitarian regime, which its protagonist Winston Smith seems to drag on living in. The first part is a little dull till the more likeable and rebellious character Julia is introduced.

Homage to Catalonia
George Orwell's experiences and observations in the Spanish Civil War. He writes about warfare in the Spanish mountains/countryside, being shot in the neck, revolutionised Barcelona, street fighting and the major political movements. Its probably the best account of the war.

On the Road
Jack Kerouac's travels around America with Neal Cassady. Some find it outdated. This maybe true by language and racial attitude yet it does have a tale of passionate friendship and a search for something. This novel inspired Bob Dylan and the lizard king himself Jim Morrison.

Fifteen short stories depicting middle class life in Dublin at the start of the 20th century. Written by James Joyce it is his most accessible work. My favourites stories are 'A Little Cloud' and 'The Boarding House'.

Small Gods
The deepest philosophical novel of the Discworld series. Terry Pratchett uses themes of religious satire and greek philosophy. Its set a few hundred years before most of the Discworld novels. I found it a little harder to read than others in the series and yet more rewarding.

Henry David Thoreau's account of two years spent living at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts in a log cabin. He writes about his day-to-day life, self-sufficient philosophy and observations. Quite complex and not easy reading.

A Terry Pratchett non-discworld novel set on an tsunami swept island called Nation. Only Mau, a young man who is an original inhabitant, and Daphne, a shipwrecked British girl, remain marooned. Humorous situations while Pratchett takes on themes such as imperialism, gender and race.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Written by Douglas Adams, a talented writer, died in 2001. What started life as a radio show became six books following Arthur Dent across the galaxy. The first book is the strongest of the original five. Extremely funny light hearted science fiction. Its very English too. When I read it I strangely want to wear a bathrobe, wear slippers and drink tea. The movie doesn't do the book justice.