Cyberpunk, Spirituality and Technology - The Voidspace Blogspot

The strange and deluded ramblings of a rather odd person. Hello Dude - It's Me

Please Fasten Your Seatbelts

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These pages are all my own work. Unfortunately that may be a terrible admission. In these pages are various writings of mine, from the first part of my life story, to poems, to mad ramblings without excuse. Below the links to the articles is my blog. Not to be confused with the Techie Blog, this is random ramblings from life.

Rambling Rumination

Diving or Drowning Part I. The first part of my Autohagiography... up to the point where I first take ecstacy. The tale of how a polite, well mannered middle-class child became such a ruffian.....

Diving or Drowning Part II. The second part of my life story - the further fall....

Life in Romania. An article about living in Romania. This follows two visits in 2004 and 2005 to visit my wifes parents. Life is very different in Romania than it is here in Britain.

A Random Assortment. A short collection of my poetry. There's one or two gems buried in here.

HumanOS v1.3. Subtitled baby crocodiles, computers and the human personality. This is an article that compares the human mind to a computer operating system. It touches on artifical intelligence and the ages old Nature versus Nurture debate.

Christian Meditation. A short piece on Christian meditation - exploring living Spirituality with God.

Imagine Paradise. No its not about a large network of computers, its actually about Christian Community..... and why we bother.

The first is an article on the spiritual power of symbols and sacraments. The second one, is on what sort of truth we can expect to find in the bible - with a brief section providing one possible reconciliation between modern science and Genesis. They should both be understandable by 'beginners' to the subjects.

Quick 'n' Dirty HTML. Need to get a webpage up quick and never done any HTML before ? This article will get you up to speed with the basics, using a TABLE for layout. Not for those who want nice, standards compliant, XHTML and CSS...

Voidspace Story. My cyberpunk short story. Lovely imagery but very short *sigh*. Come and play in the Void !

Beginners Guide to Atlantis. My beginners guide for new players of Atlantis - the computer 'Play-by-eMail' game. Very useful if you`ve just started to play.

Scifi and Technology

emoticon:drive Well... two of the subjects covered by this blog are supposed to be technology and sci-fi, but my last two pieces of penmanship on these subjects actually ended up on my Techie Blog. Kind fellow that I am, I thought I would give you a quick pointer to them:

I tend to avoid tech heavy entries in this blog these days, that after all is what my tech blog exists for. I'm also a 'little busy' and don't do much reading at the moment, which is probably a bad thing. I'd far rather be creating than consuming though. Wink

What I should be blogging about is the other supposed topic of this blog, Spirituality. I have some amazing experiences of God at times (really - nothing compares), and get all inspired to write. Usually the urge has evaporated by the time I get home though...

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-06-19 16:56:38 | |
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It's Been a While, but I've Got My Excuses

emoticon:bugs Hello folks. It's been a while since I've posted here, far too long. This is of course the traditional opening to blog entries on unloved blogs all across the intarwebs. Oh that it should come to this, my blog joining the ranks of the deceased or terminally ill livejournal homepages. Sad

Of course I have my excuses (which is no excuse), and I could always promise to turn over a new leaf and not leave it so long again. Alas, I suspect you may have heard all this before. Razz

Of course if you're that interested in what I have to say then you can visit my Techie Blog, which is thriving. This may say more than I would like about my priorities at the moment. The nub of the matter you see, dear reader, is that I am writing a book. A real live book, with a real live publisher and a real live advance and everyfink. This was the very dream of my younger pretentious self, but alack [1] it is a technical book - which hardly counts as a grand literary work.

I have now been employed with Resolver for almost a year, developing an application with a semi-obscure dialect (IronPython) of a semi-obscure programming language (Python). IronPython is actually the creation of the behemoth Microsoft, and thusly is attracting a lot of interest, and we folks at Resolver are pretty much the first people to develop a whole application with it. The book is (well... will be) called IronPython in Action, and is being published by Manning Publications.

I'm now onto chapter five and still enjoying the process of writing, especially having my work professionally edited and learning to stick to the subject. It is absorbing far too much of my time though, and is likely to continue to do so for the next few months. Perhaps when I find another few minutes I'll tell you about it...

[1]I have already used 'alas' this entry, and thought that its less multiplous sibling 'alack' could do with an airing.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-03-31 00:42:52 | |
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New RSS Feeds

emoticon:firedrop2 Thanks to work by Davy Mitchell on Firedrop2, this blog now has separate RSS feeds for each category. Very Happy

RSS Feeds by Category

I have also setup Planet Firedrop. This is an aggregator showing posts from blogs powered by Firedrop2.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-05-30 01:08:40 | |
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Planet Voidspace

emoticon:exclaim There are several new pages at Voidspace. The first of these is :

Planet Voidspace

At long last I've got it together to use an RSS aggregator to collect all the blogs I read.

These are mainly a collection of techie and Cyberpunk blogs, but you are welcome to browse. As well as various Python and Programming luminaries, it includes the blogs of :

It updates every hour and has its own RSS 1.0 and RSS 2.0 feeds.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-05-06 22:35:04 | |
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#90

Unsuccessful Blog

emoticon:noise This blog is unsuccessful. That's not a complaint, merely an observation. It breaks two of the cardinal rules of blogging.

  • It is only updated intermittently
  • It is unfocussed

My Techie blog, which focusses on just Python Programming, gets hundreds of readers. To the best of my knowledge this one has little more than a handful. It does get visitors direct to the front page, but few people who subscribe to it.

This is mainly because the subjects it covers are too diverse. It has entries on The Voidspace Website, My Personal Life, Cyberpunk and Spirituality. There can't possibly be more than two or three people in the world who are interested in all these subjects [1]. Laughing

One possible way round this would be to provide RSS feeds on the separate categories. This would allow people to just subscribe to the subjects they are interested in.

Whilst we're on the subject, the Void-Shockz Mailing List seems terminally quiet as well. I've blogged before on the difficulties of creating community, but that doesn't mean it's not a shame.

[1]Venturer being half of them.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-01-07 11:04:44 | |
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#77

Best of the Blog

emoticon:noise I've just added a new page - Best of the Blog.

It contains links to the better (or longer) posts that I've made on this blog. As you might imagine, it's quite short ! Wink

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-11-25 12:05:16 | |
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#70

The Further Adventures of Ping!

emoticon:exclaim I've found a useful online pinging service.

Pingomatic.com will ping lot's of different services and directories when you update your blog. That's jolly nice of them. Laughing

This means that whenever I make a new post these services will update me in various directories. As a side effect it provides quite a list of blog directories - so I'll make sure my blogs are listed in all of them. sigh I think I'm getting the hang of this.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-10-17 14:46:37 | |
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#68

For and Against Journalism

emoticon:newspaper In my last entry I explored some of the technology and frippery associated with blogging.

I've got my blog listed in a few directories, I've got the right meta data in my html, and so on. Hopefully more people will now find my blog, and when they do it will be easier for them to read [1].

However, the only way to really build up an audience [2] is to write quality material. The whole point of my blog is as a medium of expression - a way to explore the issues I'm interested in and develop my ability to communicate in a relevant way. It's not merely a way to explore blog technology.

This leaves me with a choice - what type of content should I put in my blog. There are two different models I'd like to mention :

  • The journal style of blogging.

    This of course is the real root of the world journalism.

    It means keeping a journal - an online diary. This is how many (most) people see weblogs. They're a place to keep people up to date with personal news and opinions.

    A lot of my blog entries are like this - however it's possibly the least interesting aspect of blogging. It can only appeal to the immediate circle of people your are in involved with (whether in the real or the virtual world). That is unless your life is really that much more interesting than everyone else's. Smile

    There's nothing wrong with using a writing style that allows people to get to know you. In fact there's a lot right with that. But that should be in the context of having something to say.

    The golden rule of blogging (which I'll work towards someday...) is - only blog about things which you either have particular expertise or particular passion. Preferably both of course. Very Happy

  • The article style of blogging.

    This is a much rarer style. It could also be called the only say something, when you have something worth saying style of blogging.

    My hero of this kind of writing is a programmer called Joel Spolsky. He doesn't post personal entries (other than occasional news about his company or it's software) - but posts complete articles.

    He has an interesting and informative style. Whilst neither his opinions, nor his style, suit everyone - he is a very good writer... with lots of readers.

    Because he mainly posts longer, well thought out, articles [3] he also posts more infrequently.

As this blog also carries news about the website, I don't think I can move away from the journal style altogether. I would like to find the synthesis of the two styles.

In some ways these last two entries are a bit closer to the article style. I've taken a specific issue and explored it. I'd like to do more of this in the blog in future.

[1]Although currently my feed only has a summary of each entry not the whole entry. This means people have to come to my website to read my blog.
[2]Or even better - build a community of active participants.
[3]Which some people say isn't a blog at all.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-10-15 10:56:24 | |
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#67

Exploring the Blogosphere

emoticon:globepage I knew the blogosphere [1] was big... in fact I knew it was probably huge... it's just that I always had this sneaking suspicion that the number of people writing was bigger than the number of people reading. Razz

I guess I should have known better. My Techie blog is mainly about Python programming. It's included (is this the right place to say aggregated ?) in a feed [2] called Planet Python which is kind of a microcosm of the blogosphere for Python programmers. Every time I do a new blog entry it appears there - and I get up to a few hundred people reading my blog posts from it. (Including some people who subscribe directly).

Python is a small community as special interests go (hey - I wonder if there's a cyberpunk blogosphere - I guess I've never managed to find it), and there are many many bigger communities out there. So if an amateur like me can get a few hundred readers - I guess there must be blog circles with tens of thousands of readers [3].

Yesterday I decided to poke my nose further into the blogosphere. Maybe by using a few standard blog tools I can get more traffic to my blogs with no extra work. Wink

Note

Actually I'm a great believer in content. I've never placed a great deal of value on things like SEO and that malarkey. I reckon if you have quality content, even if it takes a while, people will find you.

So I've finally started to digest the jargon a bit, and jump on board the blogging bandwagon [4]. As a result of my exploration I've stumbled across the following people and places :

  • Technorati - Yes I've finally succumbed. Smile
  • Britblog - directory of British Bloggers, up the Brits.
  • Blogs4God - Directory of Christian Blogs.
  • Blogshares - virtual trading in blog values for goodness sake.
  • Haloscan - I was already using Haloscan for my comments, but I'm including it here for completeness
  • Feedburner - I'm still considering this, I don't know how useful it is.

I have also sorted out the rss links in the html head - all gnarly stuff. (And even added the proper XML icon to the feed link).

A buzzword I haven't mentioned yet is tagging - which is something Technorati make a lot of. My blog tool has fixed categories (this post is in Blog on Blogging) - but doesn't allow arbitrary tags. Hmmm.. maybe I'll have to add it [5]. Confused

The next buzzwords to cope with are pings and trackbacks. These are how you tell people you've updated your blog, or linked to their blog entry. Because I do my blogging on my PC (client side) and then upload, I ought to do this from my PC. But I don't have unrestricted internet - so it looks like I'll have to code or find a compatible server side solution. It seems like pinging might be fairly important in terms of letting some services know you've made a new entry (although some don't require it).

You never know - I might get some more traffic from all of this (as I sort out the details). A better way of saying this is that I might have improved my findability. By making it easier to subscribe to my blog(s) - more people might read it.

Of course what I really need to do is increase the amount of quality, relevant, posts. That's always the best solution - and in the long run, the only way to attract new readers.

Hmm.. by the way - according to Technorati :

The Pew Internet study estimates that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers. A new weblog is created every 7.4 seconds, which means there are about 12,000 new blogs a day. Bloggers - people who write weblogs - update their weblogs regularly; there are about 275,000 posts daily, or about 10,800 blog updates an hour.

Blimey...

Now you might ask why any of this matters ? Why indeed.... Well it looks like web feeds are more and more becoming the way to deliver news and information. I still tend to read them through a web interface - but aggregators are the programs that let you subscribe to feeds and view updated items as they happen.

Some people think that these tools will replace browsers. Now that's definitely overhype [6] - but they'll certainly become more common. I've just started playing with Google reader, another unsung google tool. If you're really unlucky I might even let you know how I get on with it. You'll have to subscribe to my feed to find out of course - hey I'm getting better with this jargon. Wink


[1]The blogosphere is kind of the social circle (dare I say community...) created by people who blog.
[2]Can you tell I'm struggling with the jargon here ? Laughing
[3]Blogads run a network of advertising for bloggers. They're only interested in blogs that get a thousand or more visitors a day - so somebody somewhere is reading blogs.
[4]Of course, by the time you see a bandwagon... it's too late.
[5]Tagging is interesting because it breaks away from the strict hierarchical way of categorising things. It can be more useful to apply several categories to something. I'm adding support for tags in rest2web (which builds my website). I'll consider how best to add them to Firedrop, maybe through a plugin...
[6]I think browsers will also develop to become better at delivering web applications - not just information. Browsers will become more of an interface for doing thing.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-10-14 15:22:11 | |
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#47

Let's Get Personal

emoticon:noise Ok, it does happen occasionally; I've made a decision Laughing .

My Techie Blog looks very dry compared to some. All my personal stuff I keep over on the Voidspace Blogspot. This means my non techie friends, I do have some Wink , don't have to wade through incomprehensible jargon. It also means some of my friends have to subscribe to both. Unfortunately a side effect is that those who only subscribe to my Techie blog might think I have no life at all Surprised .

From now on I'm going to include my personal stuff in the Techie blog as well. The Techie blog is going to grow much faster than my personal one - but while I only do personal blogs once a week, or every few days, it shouldn't be a problem.

Update

After some feedback suggesting this is a bad decision, I'm reconsidering.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-08-08 10:17:59 | |
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#39

All Quiet on the Western Front

emoticon:dove Sorry about being so quiet... it's not going to change for a week or so either. On Saturday we fly out to Romania for a week. I haven't manage to learn much of the language I'm ashamed to say Embarassed - so although they look after me very well, I still won't be able to communicate very easily with the mother in law Very Happy .

I've also changed host, the last guys stiffed me - but they were ultra cheap. I've got a three month free trial with a new host. They are also very cheap, but look quite reliable. Unfortunately their control panel is custom built, and so doesn't have all the functions of some. Their support for Python is also a bit limited, hmmm... Changing web host is such a hassle.

Because of the move I've had a few teething problems - all the books from the cyberpunk section were missing for a few days ! Justin has done me a new CSS design which I'm also tinkering with. I'm hoping to convert more of the site over to the new style soon....

Cyberpunk News

Cool Two pieces of slightly cyberpunk news.

  1. Justin's site fuchsiashockz.co.uk has had a major revamp. Well worth checking out.
  2. I've just started using the enigmail plugin for the Thunderbird email program. It provides military grade encryption and digital signing for emails, using openPGP [1]. Very nice Cool . I've started using it because a guy called Nicola Larosa is working on a coding project with me - and he wants my emails signed Confused - so there you go.
[1]It's actually a bit easier to use on windoze with the GnuPT client.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-07-06 10:10:22 | |
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