Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Holidays at last

general, personal, pie menus & university 2 min read

Well, it’s finally the Easter break, and I no longer have any deadlines ahead of me. Incredible. Here’s what’s been going on with me lately.

The most important thing is that my project is now complete, and duly handed in. I also demonstrated the pie menus system to my reader, Dr. Helen Purchase, on Friday afternoon, and it went really well. Now I just have the presentation to do (probably at sometime during the week of the 11th of April), then the project is completely over.

Looking slightly further head, I have a summer placement lined up: I once again have a scholarship to work in the department, this time for Phil and Ray on the DECS project. Those of you with long memories might recall that this was the same project that Chris and Iain worked on last summer, and also was Neil’s individual project this year, so I’m clearly in good company. And to think that I almost turned down my own summer scholarship last year, and entirely missed meeting a certain Lauren Dempster. Then the timeline would have skewed into an alternate 2005, and I wouldn’t even be writing this post (yep, Lauren and I watched Back to the Future parts 1 and 2 last night).

Talking of Lauren, I drove her to IBM just outside Greenock (a hell-hole of a town) yesterday morning for an interview, regarding a possible summer placement. Once we’d driven into the car-park, our exit was blocked by an electronic barrier, with a machine which accepted either an ID card or a coin of some sort. When Lauren came back out from the interview, she had with her a suitable coin to trigger the gate; here’s a picture of it. “Freedom” indeed.

Lauren returned home to Dumfries for the holidays this afternoon, and I’m missing her like hell already. I’ll be going down there on Saturday to stay for the weekend (and see the first episode of the new Doctor Who series - yes!), so it’s not too bad. In a week and a half or so she’s going to Tunisia for a week with her family, which should be great. I’ll be right here studying (by which I mean studying a bit and messing around on the net or playing videogames quite a bit more).

I recently read The Da Vinci Code, and enjoyed it thoroughly, though finding some of the cliffhangers rather forced. In any case, I bought a copy of Deception Point yesterday and I’m similarly enjoying it so far.

This is actually the first time I’ve had my new PowerBook online, and I’ve noticing once again that web sites somehow just look better on a Mac. Not entirely sure whether it’s the brightness and lush colour of the LCD display, or Safari’s beautiful anti-aliasing, or some other thing. It’s true, though. Chris agrees too.

On the music front, I’ve not had much time to listen to music lately, though I can heartily recommend the Sky Captain soundtrack, for some rousing (and in my case, dangerously ego-fueling) aerial orchestrations.

That’ll do for now. Hope everyone is well, and do say hi on MSN/AIM/iChat if you get the chance; I should be on a fair bit through til Saturday morning, and then very frequently from Tuesday onwards. Keep it Sheercore.