Jul 20

We’ve just replaced a load of the shonkiest lab chairs with new models – and the world did rejoice! [1]

The new, beefier Linuxproj will be going live on the 2nd of August. [2]

On a side note, some people may be happy to discover we’re almost ready to get some of the lab Macs back into service; vague stirrings of Jobsian life should start tomorrow… [3]

[1] Or at least found it more comfortable to sleep at lab machines…
[2] Back up your databases! Or not. We’ll be deleting them all in any case.
[3] Please do not start queuing at 8AM, this is not the Apple Store(tm).

UPDATE 22/07/2011

Two 27″ iMacs are now available in the breakout zone for testing purposes – looking good so far! Please note that they have a limited set of mostly desktop-y programs installed (no dev tools etc. until we’re sure they’re working properly). Please do not kiss the Macs.

Mar 16

Apologies for the lack of updates for the past year. How time doth fly!

As you are probably aware, JD left some time ago for the less breathable atmosphere of the nation’s capital, leaving me (the ranty one known as Toby) to fend for myself. With two people in the Helpdesk/STACS office there was always plenty to do – with only one person all non-essential projects had to be put on hold. Alas, this blog was deemed (perhaps incorrectly) non-essential.

In any case, we’re now back!

I would like to extend a warm and lightly custard-coated welcome to my new collegue, Andy Newton, often denoted Biscuits for reasons that shall not become immediately apparent.

More posts shall be forthcoming. Watch this space! Or not. Your choice.

Mar 15

herb is right more often than you’d think

herb is right more often than you'd think

Mar 13

The deadline for designs is now 9pm this coming Tuesday.

Mar 9

WIN £10 for Almost No Effort

Boredcam’s “Evad Bean Mash To Hutler Candy” machine has a problem: Herb the Hoove has misplaced the design plans for the Fleen Rotivator (note that this is a Rotivator, not a garden Rotavator!) and so development has stalled. We need you to provide us with a design for this vital missing element.

The purpose of the Rotivator processing stage is to accept the damp balls of candy as they leave the supraformer, and to cause them to dry and set ahead of the buffing stage. As the name implies, this involves a rotary element.

The design needs to fulfil the following criteria:
– 480px x 360px PNG
– Input top left, Output bottom left (see boardcam)
– Must use only Blue, Purple, Orange, Red and Green
– Should be possible to reproduce using only dry-wipe board markers
– Should use broad enough strokes that it will be visible and intelligible (relatively speaking) on Boardcam

If a really top class design turns up by the end of the week, we’ll use it and Herb will pay £10 for it. If not, we’ll make something better ourselves and he can give us the money. This competition is open to anyone in Southampton UK, and friends and relatives thereof (cos we’re not posting the money!).

We’ll publish all of the SFW answers for general consumption.

Entries to: helpdesk+compo@ecs.soton… etc.

NB: For those of you confused, yes this is a fictional item, so there’s no right answer.
Unleash your creativity.

Mar 2

If this was the cost of democracy, herb reckoned he would gladly burn someone's bra for the right not to have to vote.

Feb 28

So it’s that time of year again, it seems. We’re being bombarded with slogans on the concourse, and the area near the union looks like there was an explosion in a launderette, with acres of dangling scruffy fabric all over the place.

Such is the price of Student Politics, so they tell us.

If you’re eligible to vote, do so, it’s very easy: vote.susu.org. In the spirit of impartiality, we’re not going to tell you who to vote for or name any names. If you’re an ECS student, you’ll be perfectly capable of working out whether there are any of your fellow ECS students (who allegedly may have your best interests at heart) standing for election. Hint: there are.

Have fun and play nicely.

Feb 23
Herb's short attention span and tendency to daydream meant that he was more suited to some jobs than others.

Herb's short attention span and tendency to daydream meant that he was
more suited to some jobs than others.

Feb 12

You’ve heard us say it many times over, but here it is again: thanks to everyone who took part in the recruitment exercise. It was very difficult narrowing things down, but in the end the skillset we’ve ended up with is—we hope—what we’re after on this occasion. SAs begin next week (15th Feb).

In other news, you’ll have noticed that we’ve been a bit lax on the challenges recently, so we’ll pick that up again in the next week or two.

By way of a concession, we’ve decided to try putting v0.1 (alpha) of Boardcam up early. It’s bound to be rubbish and break frequently in its first revision, and we’re really waiting for a better camera to turn up, but for now you can have a sneak preview of the sheer stupidity that is the Helpdesk Whiteboard. The stuff on there is suitable for nobody, represents the views of no-one, least of all the School, and should never be taken seriously. Nevertheless, it’s there. Check the link at the top for the world’s least dynamic webcam (refreshing at a fibre-shattering 0.1fps—and no it really is, hitting refresh on your browser achieves nothing…).

Have many funs.

Feb 9

Gosh this has been a gruelling process, but it looks like we may not need a significant number of second-round interviews, if any.

After long and painful deliberations, we’ve used everyone’s CVs, interview performances and—importantly—their chosen specialist subject areas, to assemble three teams:

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