Welcome to my home page. Although this is a relatively small website, there are one or
two things on here that should be of interest to many people. You can access them by using
the links on the left...
For many years, I have done oil paintings (on canvas and on panel) but in 2015, I needed to produce a
large number of them for the house (and some to go in people's private collections and so on). So, having
worked professionally as Derby's Pavement Artist and even beat the panel in the Thames Television Programme
'What's My Line' back in the 1980's (I still have the certificate), I have produced paintings in a number of
This puts an interesting slant on what can go on the walls because anything can go there: from
non-representational art similar to that of Mondrian and Kandinsky; right through the spectrum to
the work of the Flemish artists Jan Van Eyck, Rogier Van Der Weyden and so on who worked at the
beginning of the Northern Renaissance, around 600 years ago.
So, have a look and if you really want, you can buy a print, a mobile phone case (Samsung, iPhone),
a tee-shirt/sweatshirt or even a mug with the image on it - have a look at the online shop.
HelpDesk. First of all, those of you who read PC Plus magazine
will know that I used to write for the HelpDesk section in the magazine - this I used to do along
with with Wilf Hey until his death in January 2007 (I've actually worked with Wilf,
writing in computer security for over a decade and assisted him with some projects
for his Wilf's Programmer's Workshop in PC Plus as well).
In the HelpDesk section, I cover Windows, Linux, BSDs, UNIX, Internet and hardware.
After six months, the publisher's exclusive right to print the material that I wrote for the PC Plus SuperDVD
expires so that I can do with it what I want (although Future can still publish
it as well). All I do is put the material on this
site so that you can look at it, decide that the magazine suits your needs
perfectly and go and order a subscription or, just have a browse.
The articles published on paper in the magazine are provided on each month's
CoverDisc in pdf format as an archive so you can get old articles from that source. The
SuperDisc contributions are not repeated though, so, you can find the archive of up to
six months ago (that is to say, from issue 204 up to the issue that was published six months ago)
on this site. Of course, looking at this site, you might see an
article that you want to have a hard copy of and if this is the case, you can order
back-issues from Future Publishing's customer services. If you click on the link on the
left, you can access the HelpDesk sections that I have written for the SuperDVD.
Daily UberGogen and UltraGogen
Puzzles. Our local paper just changed hands and in it were some new puzzles.
One of them was a Gogen - a generic find-the-letters-in-the-grid puzzle where you have some words
as clues, giving you sequences of adjacent letters (they could be anything as it is purely logical
- if we counted in base 25, it could easily be numbers but this uses letters as we are already
familiar with more than the required 25 of those)
Just like the Sudoku and Kakuro puzzles, every day, I put brand new, unique, UberGogen and
UltraGogen puzzles on this web site for you to print out and solve and it doesn't cost you a
thing. Also, like the Kakuros puzzles, they get harder as the week goes on.
The UberGogen puzzle uses the standard corner, face-centre and body centre clues but as the
week goes on, the word list includes fewer of them. On the Monday, there can upto one of the
letters missing from the word list - you might find, say, that the letter 'W' isn't included
in the word list and it might be that its position is already defined as one of the declared
letters although it might be that it is not. As the week progresses, the chance of an increasing
number of missing declarations manifests itself until, on a Sunday, there can be as many as seven
missing. The puzzle is still soluble but you have fewer cluse as to where things go.
The UltraGogen displays fewer declared letters as the week progresses, working its way through
a number of patterns, starting at eight declarations and finishing the week declaring just two
letters on a Sunday although in the case of the UltraGogen, all of the letters in the puzzle
are always in the word cluesAgain, these puzzles are produced by my computer, only for this site,
using a computer program that I wrote myself in Perl. The solver part of my program uses logic
only, it does not use brute-force and as a result of this, you will be able to solve them using
Daily Kakuro Puzzles.
In the Puzzler Kakuro book (Issue 2 UPC 9771749405005 02), there is a statement on
page 3 that '... our Japanese colleagues assure me that it isn't possible to make Kakuro
by computer.' To me, this sounded like a challenge. So, I set about writing a program in Perl
that produces Kakuro puzzles automatically every day.
puzzles start off with an easy one on Monday and gradually build up until the one on Sunday is
substantialy more difficult. Each one has an estimate of the amount of time it should take to do,
based on the amount of time I took to do a number of puzzles - the results being put against a
number of factors in the program and put through a linear regresssion.
the program I have written is powerful enough, I have introduced the 'Big-Un'
- a large Kakuro (24x34 cells) that should keep you occupied for a while. I have also put together
a Kakuro tutorial so that people with no experience of Kakuro or Sudoku
can work through an example puzzle, picking up many of the necessary skills.
Like the Sudokus, every single one of these has been compiled especially for this web site by my
computer program so you know that you have never seen them anywhere else before. You can see
archives for the puzzles and a list is at the bottom of the page. Some will seem more difficult
than others and I'm sure that if you visit the site seven days each week, you will have a lot of
Puzzles. I've added a daily sudoku
puzzle to this site so that you can do a fresh one every day. Every single one of these
has been compiled especially for this web site so you know that you have never seen them
anywhere else before. You can see archives for the puzzles and a list is at the bottom of
the page. Some will seem more difficult than others and I'm sure that if you visit the site
seven days each week, you will have a lot of fun.
thing that can make Sudoku easier is familiarity with the symbols used to populate the cells.
So, to make things insteresting, I also put on the website, a version of the puzzle that
uses Gurmukhi numbers like that on the left. This makes it very intersting. You can find
the Gurmukhi Sudoku puzzles by
clicking first on either 'Daily Sudoku' or, on Gurmukhi Fridge Magnets - this takes you
to the same page (you can also see the last
four puzzles on one page as well).
summer of 2007, Implicit
Software Solutions contacted me about producing Kakuro problems for Windows Mobile. The result
is iSS Kakuro with over a million puzzles to do, different sizes and graded in terms of difficulty.
The problem is NP complete so it produce an interesting problem regarding the user having a new
puzzle within a certain time but this was solved (no, before you start worrying about public key
cryptography, we didn't come up with a solution for NP complete problems). The difficulty is
graded in terms of the strategies you need to solve any particular puzzle, not its size (at all).
So, if you have a machine that runs 'Windows Mobile', can't keep away from my Kakuro puzzles but
don't have an internet connection everywhere you go, you can get them from iSS.
Recipes. I've put
some of my recipes on this site so that once you are here, you don't have to go to my other sites
to see them. This is all good quality, reliable food that caters for the lazy chef as well as those
willing to put a little more effort into cooking.
Fridge Magnets. You can now download images (for personal, non-commercial use)
of Gurmukhi Fridge Magnets like those on the right. Also here is a page for Gurmukhi
Pangrams and, if that wasn't enough for you, there are also Gurmukhi Sudoku puzzles. So, whether you are learning Punjabi, Gurmukhi or want something
a little more challenging in the logic department, I've got it here for you.
This web site will leach you how to read and write Gurmukhi. There are plenty of resources on the site
including animated graphics showing you how to draw the characters, PDF files for various purposes and
some really good ray-traced wallpapers. If you are learining Punjabi or just want to learn how to read
and write Gurmukhi for some reason, this is the site to go to.
the Devil Wear Black. You
can buy a copy of James F Linden's book, 'Let the Devil Wear Black' 140,000 words either: as a real, hard copy from amazon.co.uk (click on the image of the book on the right); or, for kindle or any free ebook reader.
All over the world, British justice is seen as the best. That is, until you start scratching away at the surface.
Set in the Manchester of John Major and Tony Blair's 1990s, this is a true story of what happens when a company decides to act in an unorthodox manner towards one of its employees when he finds out too much about them.
Deliberate releases of toxic gases? Connections with South Africa's government during the twilight years of the apartheid regime? Safety devices or something else? Something worse? Something that involves everybody?
Following a tip-off from someone inside the personnel department, Alan Rush decides to take the unique step of bugging his own disciplinary hearing - something that the company is totally unprepared for.
Subsequently, surrounding a disastrous Industrial Tribunal hearing where the company loses control of virtually every aspect of the case, there are suspicious deaths, telephone tapping, fraud and so on.
This book is a must for anybody doing a law degree or for anybody who is thinking of taking a company to an
industrial tribual themselves. The original evidence that was used to write the book has been used by the author in lectures in
University degree courses for Law and for Forensic Science.
It shows you the sort of thing that you can expect to see (looking at the
other cases that were being tried at the same time, at least some of what happens in the case in the book is
seen in most cases - a company goes there to win, not to accept defeat) and hopefully,
this book will give you enough of an insight to stop this from happening to you.
Revenge is, of course, a dish that is best eaten cold and this book has enough to fatten anybody.
Pitcher Plant. Download software to make spammers life a misery. With this and a
home broadband connection, you can poison spammer's address lists, lock up their botnets and make
them waste their time trying to hack into non-existent mailboxes. See how it is done on this site.
Rocket Index. This site of mine had been around for many years and many sites
linked to it in its old location on the CompuServe server - unfortunately that server is no longer up - and now, it is on this server.
Discover how to make your own water rocket and launcher. Also, download my computer model for free.
There are plenty of other resources on there are well such as how to make a parafoil parachute.
In 2007, I was contacted by the company that produced the special effects for the Sky One program
Crash Test Dummies and I ended up doing the computer modelling for the sequence in the last program
where they are launched over a fence using two fire-extinguisher water rockets (which, as you can see
from the program, was a success).
Contact. Write to me if you
have any comments.
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