January 2008 Archives

Robocode Logistic planning

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This morning we had a three hour logistic planning meeting for Robocode 08 and XNA 08 and Schoolbots 08 which will take place in Tipperary Institute on March 13th 2008. It is our 5th year running Robocode, our second year running Schoolbots and our first year running XNA. I reckon that if I ever retire from this job I will setup an event management company and specilaise in organising Rock Concerts and Tech conferences :-) I will have to take some people from some of the other depts with me, who help us out every year.

Every year we try to up the ante and introduce something new, this year is no exception. We are looking forward to the arrival of ten secondary schools to compete in School Bots as well as most of the third levels who will take part in either Robocode, XNA or both.

I am looking forward to the event and hopefully all the frantic email and phone calls that are taking place now will make the day an enjoyable experience for all attendees.

Qtrax is getting alot of air time discussion on Irish radio. I was on Tipp fm this morning to explain how mp3 quality is a function of file size and the size of your MP3 player and your broadband speed will determine the size and the quality of your mp3 files.

The key feature that Qtrax is missing is the ability to transfer tracks onto an mp3 player and play them. Qtrax will run on a windows XP or Vista PC and as of March 18th will run on the Mac OS. The Qtrax desktop app will keep track of the number of plays and royalty payments will be partly based on this info. Qtrax also plan to implement an advertising model, details of this are sketchy but will come apparent once Qtrax goes on release on midnight EST

Robocode Schoolbots Tutorials

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I have developed several tutorials for the 2nd robocode schoolbots challenge. Three of these tutorials are in pdf format..

Lesson 1 - How to build a robot
Lesson 2 - How to improve the robots targeting
Lesson 3 - How to improve the robots movement

There are also several youtube clips online that discuss tactics and strategy. They can be found here

The following is one of the clips I developed.

The Carphone Warehouse is a store that sell telphones and associated products. It is no longer possible to obtain the telphone number for their stores from head office.

This may seem crazy, but it is true as of Tue 22nd Jan 2008. If you have a telephone number for a carphone warehouse store, please leave a comment with the associated number for the store branch. I will publish a list of these stores. This action may incur the wrath of the carphone warehouse.

If you received a mobile phone as a christmas gift and it was bought in the carphone warehouse, you have until Jan 31st 2008 to claim up to 20 euros of a trade in voucher.

You will need to bring the receipt the old phone, its charger and its manual. We attempted to do this yesterday and it took over 1 hour for carphone warehouse to carry out this process. The first 55 minutes was spent trying to convince the staff in the Thurles branch and head office that this offer existed.

We knew that we saw the offer in one of their supplements before christmas but the staff in both Thurles and head office knew nothing about it. We eventually tracked down the offer which is on page 13 of the christmas supplement guide. Head office refused to believe the Thurles office as head office did not have this supplement. The Thurles office had to fax the page to head office before head office would issue my wife the 20 euro trade in voucher.

We received no apology.

So please request your trade in voucher as it may remind the carphone warehouse that the customer comes first. You have until Jan 31st 2008.

Why are some mobile operators blocking IMAP?

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IMAP is a very useful protocol for collecting and sending email. It is the defacto standard for corporate email Microsoft Exchange servers. Nokia have released apps for their S60 series phones that can connect to exchange servers via IMAP. For a variety of security reasons corporate entities often choose to have IMAP access only to their email systems.

Therefore It was very annoying to discover that the Irish mobile phone operator three do not allow IMAP access from their handsets. They only allow POP access, why is this the case?

My professional opinion cannot fathom a reason for this short sighted approach.


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2008 has started with an enormous workload between BT young scientist, robocode schoolbots and XNA we are going to be run of our feet in Tipperary Institute in both Thurles and Clonmel. I have already increased by caffeine intake.

I am however looking forward to these events and working with schools, startup companies and research centres.

Why do startup events take place at night?

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This may seem like a silly question if you live in Dublin and the event is on in Dublin. But if you want to get people like me from the country with family commitments to do the 2 hr commute to Dublin or the 2 hr commute to Cork then spare a thought for us !

OpenCoffee is great because it takes place during the day which means we can organise students, faculty members from various educational institutions etc. The spirit of San Jose may be to run everything at night and do business during the day but there is some justification to run an event during a working week during office hours,

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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