Does Wilko Dream of Galactic Fleets?

Does Wilko Dream of Galactic Fleets?

In which I get hooked on strategic galactic space battles...

The Game

The original Neptune's Pride took the gaming world by storm 3 years ago. The sequel is now out and if you want to try it out head on over to Iron Helmet Games to start playing now for free!

It's a long-term, epic, space game where your fleets take hours to arrive at distant stars. This grand strategy game is reminiscent of Diplomacy where the gameplay is very simple and a large part of the fun comes from diplomatic relations with other players. In short this game is one of the most refined forms of nerd-crack I have ever encountered. I do love it so.

Building a Better Keyboard

Building a Better Keyboard

In which I order a mechanical keyboard...

I've started noticing a bit of back pain recently and couldn't put my finger on the cause until I received an email talking about proper posture. I duly sorted out my desk so my work laptop is on a pile of books at the correct height. Then I realised I could not use the keyboard effectively any-more :/

The answer was obvious - order a new keyboard!

Site Move in Progress

I've had a lot of headaches recently with WordPress failing on my blog and was already in the process of moving everything into one place on SquareSpace. With the recent complete failure of my WordPress theme (and several back-end issues) I have decided to initiate the transfer immediately. 

As the WordPress import is not perfect some posts will have issues I will be manually fixing in the next few weeks. If there is an issue a quick comment using the new Disqus system will bring it to my attention. Thank you for your patience!

Tom Out!

Arcadia Quest and Reaper's Bones II Unboxing

Arcadia Quest and Reaper's Bones II Unboxing

In which I unbox some  shiny models...

I'm getting back into painting in a big way. What better way that with two Kickstarter's worth of goodies!

Arcadia Quest

I'm painting the minis from Arcadia Quest for a friend. Just look at all the shiny chibi goodness!

Pictures after the jump!

Preparing for Bayesian Mathematics in Python

Preparing for Bayesian Mathematics in Python

In which I run through setting up a Python environment on Windows...

I'm going to preface this post by saying I'm not breaking any new ground here. As is often the case, though, a beginner wanting to set-up an environment to do this will have to go to multiple websites to collect this info so I'm going to distil it into one post.

I am going to talk about Python 2.7 as currently it has the most support for libraries. This method should work equally well for Python 3 but I have not tested this.

The Thirteen Doctors: Before Regeneration

The Thirteen Doctors: Before Regeneration

In which I talk about the actors who played the Doctor in their other roles...

TIME magazine published a video on the other roles of the Doctor. I felt it was too brief however so here is my version:

Owncloud on FreeNAS 9.2

Owncloud on FreeNAS 9.2

In which I set-up a cloud file store on FreeNAS... 

So firstly there is an easy way to do this. You can install the owncloud plugin provided through the FreeNAS GUI. There are a few reasons not to do this:

  • It only supports SQLite
  • The plugin, as usual, is not the most up-to-date version of the software

Fancy Thesis Tables in LaTeX: An Idiots Guide

Fancy Thesis Tables in LaTeX: An Idiots Guide

In which I provide a template for generating fancy, production quality tables for theses...

LaTeX as I've mentioned previously, is a document preparation system well known for its brilliant equations and can also be utilised to make very nice looking diagrams. The tables it generates, however, while neat are a little lacklustre.  This is aimed as a very simple guide to editing tables (regular LaTeX users may find this tutorial very basic).

Tom 3.5 & Life Plan 2014

In which I talk about fitness and the road ahead...

Tom 3.5

So once again I am unhappy with my level of physical fitness having let it slide a lot with work and other stress getting in the way. I need a new ridiculous goal but first I need to get back to my old fitness levels. I'm back on the old horse having started running everyday again and I've rejoined the gym. Expect a longer post in about 2 weeks time about how things are going.

I'm thinking my next "ridiculous challenge" should either be Tough Mudder or an ultra marathon (~40 miles not one of the 100 mile ones).

Why Tom 3.5? Well my last fitness drive was Tom 3.0. This isn't entirely a new leaf it's just me reminding myself to get back to what I was doing and hopefully take it further.

Life Plan (2014)

These are my goals for the next 10 years. I'm going to start posting the one year goals each January instead of having fixed New Year's Resolutions.

This Year:

  • Start learning Guitar (again)
  • Start learning Piano
  • Get a job
  • Finish my PhD
  • Don’t have a fat graduation photo
  • Receive my QSA at Windsor
  • Receive my DofE Gold
  • Write more short stories
  • Enroll on another marathon/Tough Mudder

In 5 Years:

  • Be earning £40k+
  • Be married or almost married
  • Have a published book
  • Have worked towards grades in Piano
  • Grade 5 music theory

In 10 Years:

  • Have children
  • Grade 8 Piano
  • Have several published novels

Procrastination

So I'm in full thesis writing mode at the moment but that doesn't mean I'm constantly writing. I do procrastinate (though usually with other jobs I need to get done) and this brilliant article explains why that's helpful: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-06/17/jorge-cham-phd

State of the Thesis

The thesis is currently 122 pages long with 29,206 words and 154,203 characters.

Tom Out!

20,000 views!

In which I discuss some blog stats...

Firstly thank you everyone who has come to my little corner of the internet to get me to this point. When I started off a little blog about tea 3 years ago I never expected it to be seen by anyone outside my group of friends. Secondly I actually ticked over 20,000 views about a week back but haven't had the time to write this post until now.

Word 2010: Footnotes and Mendeley

Word 2010: Footnotes and Mendeley

In which I discuss getting footnotes and Mendeley references to look nice in Word...

I may not have mentioned it before on this blog but I am a Mendeley advisor and a strong advocate of this free reference manager. In fact I cover the pros and cons of it in this video:

Quick & Easy: Thai Green Curry

In which I make a quick & easy Thai Green Curry...

So after a weekend where I made a nice traditional Thai green curry I was stuck with some leftover ingredients and not much time to make food before going out to a party. I almost made a quick mushroom soup chicken with rice meal but since I had some spare ingredients around I had a go at making a quick curry. It ended up being very tasty!

Data Drudgery, Steampunk Stark & Tepid Tea!

In which I discuss the borishness of data anlaysis, try an interesting new tea and lay out my next Tailor project...

Data? I 'ardly know 'er!

In a break from continuous Thesis writing I have recently been running another imaging experiment. This was, as you could expect, a fairly hectic few weeks with early mornings and late nights. It was, however, much better than the weeks following where I am now stuck with the unenviable task of analysing image after image in ImageJ. Regardless of your research area this is the boring part of a PhD - repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again. Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel though and this will be my final experiment - Great Success!

Now all I have to do is finish writing an 80,000 word thesis...