#11 To The OU, With Love…



Dear Ms. Mott,


To pre-empt disappointment on my part, based on the decision made by the Sub-Committee to refuse my request to resit my examination may well be apt but doesn’t begin to describe the level of dissatisfaction and outright befuddlement I feel towards said adjudication.


First, allow me to raise issue with the opinion of the Sub-Committee that I simply could have approached the Reception at the Hilton regarding this matter. Please elaborate on how this would have helped me under the circumstances with which I was met. I was unaware that I was eligible for entry to the exam up to half an hour after the initial start time. My pondering this case with the staff at the hotel would have been met with – I assume – blank faces and expressions of regret for their not being able to assist in my queries. Unless I’m missing something; do the Hilton staff double up as OU volunteers? Are they briefed on such eventualities and process according to strict criteria imposed by the OU? My assumption would be, no, they are not. They would have pointed me in the direction of the room where the examination was being sat and as expressed in my original correspondence, this was information of which I was well aware. The exam however, was already in progress and there was nothing, nor anyone, in the direct proximity that even alluded to the availability of my being able to enter after the designated time.


The aforementioned point leads me nicely to my second point of contention. If such eventualities are catered for, may I ask again, this time with the explicit request for confirmation, why said exceptions are only declared in writing in the back of the course guide? Why are such notices not left visible to precisely those that may benefit from them, on entry, either to the room where the examination is being hosted or the waiting area that held those that were not delayed by traffic or other such uncontrollable circumstances? I’ve attended such exams previously and I know there not to be a lack of administrative ‘bods’ present. Might I suggest that one of them remain at the waiting area for the allotted 30 minute grace period, to assist those that might find themselves in the same, frankly nauseating, situation as I?


Finally and genuinely the point I have most difficulty understanding; why am I not eligible to sit the exam at a deferred point in time, after having not first seen the paper, when, if, as I’ve passed the assignment assessed element of the module, I would have been permitted should I have attended the exam and failed? Is it just I that see the idiocy in such a policy?


Your hopes that the decision of the Sub-Committee would deter me from continuing studies with the OU will be sadly dashed. However incredulous my opinion of them might be. The expectation that someone would pay (again) to take a module that they’ve already worked through (and passed half of, might I add), simply due to the inflexibility of your establishment is laughable.


My time with the OU was short, and I spent around £1200. Had I not been hindered by this bureaucratic charade, you could have hoped to see more business from me over the course of the next four years. Now, unless a sudden seeing of reason and logic should pre-vail over your Sub-Committee, THOSE hopes shall also be dashed.


Yours sincerely,



Charlie Hill

Pissed Off Student

#10 New fangled things and an apology

Jesus Christ, I’m so sorry…

I mostly say sorry to myself as it’s seemingly only me that reads this but ‘sorry’ nonetheless. I promised myself that when I started linuxnewb, it would be a little corner of the web that I’d keep current, honest and most importantly, regularly updated! #sadface.

So much has happened since the last update but now I sit trying to remember it all, I draw a blank. I’m getting married on Monday which is mental but at the same time, incredibly awesome. Followed very closely (the day after) by my birthday, which I’ll be bringing in, for the first time in like 6 years, at work. The day after my (official) wedding and also my birthday and I’ll be working… #slantyface.

After more than a year, I thought I’d have more to say but given that it’s gone eleven on a school night, I have an excuse. Right?

This was also an excuse to try out the WordPress app for the iPad – it’s good. Intuitive, if a little fiddly.


oooo iWordpress

Like most things iThough, I’ll get used to it. Providing I use it enough of course #winkyface

Ooo, lastly, Kat and I got a dog. His name’s dude and he’s effing amazing:



#hashtagfacespurelyfortheimacuntofit :-)


#9 Pee, engagement and the big apple.

Study and generally not liking to do things that I feel obliged to do have stopped me from blogging over the last [however many days it’s been]. But alas I feel I should write, if for no other reason than so I can look back in years to come and be pleased that I kept some sort of record of things. A record that can be given in more than 140 words and isn’t surrounded by the Zuckerberg blue that we’re all so familiar with.

I should really start by allaying fears that there might be something wrong with me. Piss test passed – I was just peeing a lot because I was drinking a lot. 25 years old and I need to be told that(?).

…also, I’m engaged! It happened while I was in NYC.


5th Ave.

…I knew it was going to happen and a bunch of family and friends knew it was going to happen, but Kat didn’t know it was going to happen:



I did it in a fairly geeky, if not typically geeky way and left a message for her on her netbook while I went and showered – “if (answer == yes) {minimize me}” to find the Tiffany website open on the engagement page. Of course, I probably should have considered an ‘else’ statement somewhere in there (chortle) but my arrogance apparently paid off :-)

We headed straight off to Tiffany to make the choice(s (I got a ring too – ‘bitch aint havin’ all the fun’)) and squeezed in a couple of photo opportunities:


T & Co.

…she really was more excited than she looks. honest.



hmm… my excited face isn’t too brilliant either. I was excited though. honest.


little blue bag

my bag might look dead soppy and girly, but it had a double-hard, titanium, man-ring in it!


Other than that, NYC was pretty uneventful. We eat at Bubba Gump’s a fair bit and I got tonsillitis,  which it turns out is an expensive infection!


Other things to report… hmm, I got an HTC Desire HD a couple of days ago. I’m happy enough with it, in spite of it being pre-loaded with a bunch of Vodafone bloatware and being a bitch to root. Ooo, and its shitty, shitty, suck, suck battery life. But I feel this may be a post of its own, better suited to ‘Opinion’ perhaps. Or I’ll just forget about linuxnewb.co.uk for a month again, until I want to indulge in how bling-tastic my life is and show off what wicked-fresh holidays I’ve been on.

I won’t be doing that, I’m poor now. and I will be forever.


#8 o’ Baywatch


some people stand in the darkness

Little worried now that I might be turning into a bit of a Baywatch fan boy! I’ve consumed nearly three season since Christmas, one of those seasons in the last 3 days. I can’t get enough of it. I’ve watched old Ben die and come back to life over the course of season one, shared in the blossoming love and eventual marriage of Eddie and Shawnie and most recently the inexplicable, yet totally lucid development of Summer’s boobies:





in other news:

I got some bitching new sennheiser headphones


otherwise known as sex

I did take a picture of me in them, but my face is mega fat right now, on account of all the nyoms I’ve been stuffing it with! Not to worry though, a few cheek presses and lip curls and it’ll be svelte enough to adorn your screens again.


I have a wicked-bad peeing problem right now, so must make an appointment to go to the doctors and get it sorted. Lots of peeing in such little time.

Laters P’taters!

#7 more ramblings?

Not even an assignment week and no posts? dun, dun, DUN! Here’s hoping this isn’t a mark of things to come!?


However, this has been another busy week for me – manning the team alone this week ’cause Dan and Jane are at training at the new LONPR which I hope’s going well for them. They’re there until Thursday of this week, so a potentially less busy week for me, but a busy start at least.!

my gorgeous girlfriend went to costco this week and had the amazing foresight of getting me:



mmm jerky

…not to mention a massive vat of sourdough pretzels!


mmm pretzels

…the thing’s bigger than me. okay, maybe not bigger than me, but it’s huge!

the time at the end of the week.

This weekend I’ve mostly been drinking Guiness, watching doc martin, eating sloppy guiseppe and today… watching BAYWATCH.


mmm eleniak.

and tonight, #sundayroast!


#6 real quick!

It’s been assignment week hence no updates which pains me. a lot.

Summary (starting last Saturday):

Ross cooked immense potato breakfast


like this, only Ross' was better

I got on with my own thing while guy dicked around with skirting board and broke the electrics, subsequently ruining an epic nap that I was having on the ‘sofa’!

Stuff happened in the evening, ‘spag bol’ was cooked, beer was drunk, gorgeous girlfriend was seen.


…bad stuff happened. We were taking a trip to Maplins when the ‘old bill’ (cockney vernacular) pulled us over :( Guy subsequently had his pants pulled down over a defective indicator and other such traffic violations…



…resulting in a long walk home and some consoling of an understandably disappointed G.

the week…

…has been tough. I’m not sure there’s a great deal of it that I remember other than lots of head rubbing and sore fingers (that sounds more dubious than it should).

pasta salad. bananas. toast (Philadelphia and jam).


the week was capped off by the celebration of a lady loving, booze drinking, Scottish word smith

robert burns

robert burns


#5 Secure…?

I wanted to take this opportunity to briefly thank webreference™ for a great article they’ve written on keeping WordPress safe from attack. Nothing’s ever completely secure on the web or internet (come to think of it) but hopefully thanks to the link above I’ve done most of what I can to keep my little space attack free… Next on to Kat’s but I think that can wait until tomorrow. I only have to send out another outage communication and then I can hit the sack, for a few hours at least.


When I’ve not been studying or listening to Jeff Buckley today I’ve been watching documentaries on 4od. My god, some of the titles of those things – here’s just a small selection:

Diary of a Teenage Nudist

Britain’s Fattest Man

Head Over Heels in Rats

Teen Undertaker

Britain’s Whitest Family

:( I think I actually feel dumber for having watched them, yet I get some sort of perverse satisfaction from seeing these oddities and unusual tales.

4od – The Modern Day Freak Show

Britain's Fattest Man

Roll up, roll up...

tired. n’night!

#4 “My opinion is, all the speechifying, store keeping and prayer meeting don’t amount to a spit in the river!”

First things first, I guess. I do believe I promised some pictures of the new flooring in Guy’s living room… Well I haven’t completely failed; I have a photo of the floor being laid:


guy and joe laying the floor

However, I really don’t want to take any more pictures with the Zi8 (wow that’s come down in price since I bought it) because as you can see from the example above, it’s woefully inadequate. I’m hoping Matt Lock will come round with his super-duper camera to take pictures a little later in the week when the hall and Bailey‘s bedroom are done too.

the pirie’s

other than watch Guy and Joe lay floor and eat eggs (me not them (scrambled)) the only other thing of any worth that I did yesterday was go round to Davey and Jonny’s :)

Ve’h nice.

#3 A day in.


Got a lot done today (eesh that’s a dubious way to start a blog post, plus it’s a bit of a lie; a lot has been done in the house, about 20% of which I’ve done). Guy’s laid a fair amount of flooring in the living and dining rooms  and I’ve hung some perspex in my room…

similar but not mine...

not.mine. - http://www.uncrate.com/men/gear/office/framed-frosted-glass/

…I’ve gone for the same principle as the snap but on a budget. I’d have posted a shot of mine but shit keeps reflecting off it :(*


(…have I done it, not why does shit keep reflecting off it(?)) I find it tricky remembering things that I’m learning, especially if I’m learning the concept for the first time. I find while reading and answering questions, I don’t want to leaf through a book or make notes on screen (especially if I want to refer frequently), so I figured this would be a good solution – write the key ideas on the board and then just look up when I need, for clarification.


On the remote off-chance that anyone decides to adopt the same idea, be warned, drill little holes in the perspex first and then drill larger through those; corner of the plastic broke off on me when I didn’t and now I have a corner sleeved in electrical tape. bugger.

I’ll post photos of the floor once Guy’s done – ‘t’will look awesome!



I managed to get an all right shot of the board I’ve hung:




…in more ways than one. So, not only is this blog post number 2 since having started to use wordpress but it seems to have sprung my google rating up to 2 too :D!

google rating


In the past, I’d have had to have typed linuxnewb lorry or something equally as obscure in order to find my site on the first page and now all I need to do is type linuxnewb! Stoked.


I was kept fully up to date with CES by the guys at TWiT (mostly) and engadget this year but understand some people let it pass them by… Truthfully, I can’t blame them. I haven’t been blown away. From what I can gather it was mostly awash with tablets and 3D with the odd SuperPhone [sic.] thrown in.

A range of tabs were showcased, some sporting the new (much anticipated) honeycomb operating system by google but most with the older, mobile platform android. Presumably this is due to its openness, offering a cost edge over Windows 7 which most critics cite as being too fiddly for a true, comfortable tablet experience. Lenovo however, much like the Swiss, sat somewhere in the middle with their U1 which sports a Windows 7 “laptop” and detachable  android tablet… I think you’ll have to see it to believe it >>!

On the 3D front, I’ve paid little attention as I couldn’t care any less about the technology. In my mind it’s an experience that should be had at a cinema and not one I’m concerned about having as common-place, in my living room. I see myself getting frustrated by having to wear glasses and from what I saw from the CES coverage, there isn’t enough, good, glassess…less(?) technology out there for the television without being sat in the sweet spot – I don’t want to watch films on my own.


The two items from CES I’d like are:

The blackberry playbook


…screw it. I don’t think there was anything else. I’m not sure I even want the BB playbook that much because without some serious buy-in from other consumers, the app market will be poor (can’t port from the BB) and there’s been some speculation about its battery life…