the science of digital preservation
UPDATE: I’ve reconsided my position on this, and I think I’ve underestimated the issues involved in keeping the bytes safe. I’ll write up some notes here.
I’ve not really had a chance to blog about what I do now, and how it’s different from what I did before. In a nutshell, I help create software for Digital Preservation. This is an interesting field, as it is full of problems that sound like they should have been solved, but haven’t…
~980 double decker buses
For those of you who have trouble imaging how long 980 double decker buses would be, try imagining 1/38440th of the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Alternatively, it’s ~10km. By pure coincidence, this just happens to be the distance that Eilidh ran last Sunday (Photo finish here) raising money for Yorkshire Cancer Centre.
interference from a past life
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you could try downloading a highly exciting readable article called Lattice-switch Monte Carlo for binary hard-sphere crystals. If you don’t have access to that journal, you can download the electronic pre-print here. Although that kind of thing has rather little to do with the work I do now, it was good fun and it’s nice to see the work getting published.
it must be hereditary
After threatening it for a number of years, my Dad has finally set up his own web site. Find out more at Ron Jackson - Now & Then 1939-2006.
six months of weblogs missing in tragic data loss
The Prime Minister just appeared on television to apologise for the loss of the web log entries that should have been posted here. The blogs were eventually found on a roundabout in Exeter, but have since been lost in the post while being posted back to the place they were originally posted from.
So, to make up for the dearth of updates utterly failing to make an impression on this corner of the web, a new plan has been conjured up. The administrative load of looking after this site was burning up all of the time that should have been spent writing stuff, so we’ve cut things right back and made them much simpler. We’ve also resolved to try and post more frequent, if brief, entries, as we know quite a lot of our friends keep in touch with our movements through this site. If you do, you might like to look at our new news page.
visualising prime numbers in binary
For a while now, I’ve wondered what the prime numbers look like in binary, that is, if you paint the ones as white dots, and the zeros as black dots, what does the whole set look like? I finally got around to writing a program to generate the prime numbers and output them as a PNG, and you can see the results below…