Intel Developer Workshop

Currently attending an Intel Developer Workshop at The Genome Analysis Centre in Norwich. Learning lots more about more advanced techniques for optimising code for speed. I already knew a fair bit about parallelization, vectorization and other such things but it’s nice to go into a bit more depth into the various aspects of performance tuning such as avoid cache misses and filling the various processing pipelines.

The Travelodge I am staying at isn’t exactly the nicest place on Earth, but I suppose it’ll do for a couple of nights. Hoping to be able to put more of the things I have learnt into practise when I am back at work, we should be getting licences for the Parallel Studio XE package so I can make use of Vtune and the various performance libraries to speed up the Simcyp Simulator.

Intel Developer Conference

Today I attended an Intel Developer Conference at the Mayfair hotel in London. The presentations covered various aspects of the Intel Parallel Studio XE software suite as well as informing people of the upcoming features of their new processors including the AVX-512 instruction set that will be similar to those in the Xeon Phi co-processors that are already available. These new instruction sets will be very useful for some of the number crunching that we do at Simcyp, just a shame they are a few years away from mainstream use really.

The best bit of the conference though was that they had a raffle at the end I won the main prize with was an Intel powered, Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. Only had a quick look at it but it’s really light and looks to have lots of cool features such as being able to be a laptop or fold on itself to be a tablet. Definitely worth getting up at 5am to travel down to London for!

Also I found out there will be a developer workshop in a weeks time at the The Genome Analysis Centre in Norwich which hopefully I will be able to attend.

My niece Elsie-May

My niece Elsie-May

My niece Elsie-May

Today Donna and I went to visit her sister to see our new niece, Elsie-May. She is the cutest little thing and we are so happy for Mary and Ryan, also we are so thankful for the neonatal intensive care unit that looked after her due to her being born many weeks early, weighing only just 4 pounds!

Hopefully Donna doesn’t get too broody now her sister has had a baby!

Polytunnel Complete

Polytunnel complete

Polytunnel complete

Today we managed to put the cover on the polytunnel with the help of James and David. First I built a bit of supporting framework on the inside out of 100mm x 100mm fence posts, we have three posts going vertically and then two going horizontally with a lap joint in the middle.

The timber will help give the polytunnel more stability in the wind and also will give us something to attach netting to and maybe some hanging baskets.

Next step will be to build some raised beds inside, but that will likely be done in the new year as there isn’t much point doing it now with winter rolling in.


Our money system guarantees inequality



I am a big follower of Positive Money and their article ‘Our money system guarantees that inequality will get worse – Here is the evidence‘ is absolutely spot on.

The problem is that the Government and the Bank of England actually have no power over how much money is created in this country, as outlined in the Bank of Englands paper ‘Money creation in the modern economy‘ and it’s amazing how many members of the public do not know these facts, and even worse how many of our MP’s do not know it!

How are we ever likely to have a fair and equal society when banks can effectively print as much digital money as they think is safe, which as we have already seen they are hardly fit to judge. It just absolutely reeks of corruption and the fact that none of the major political parties are even interested in contesting this absolute riles me, the only party that even remotely touches on this subject is the Green Party.

Still, as is becoming ever more clear the country is not run for the average citizen, it is effectively run by big business, banks and the wealthy elite. The majority of MP’s are but pawns in a complex game of chess where the rules are ever distorted, I’m sure many of them start out with grand ideals but are regularly whipped into shape by their party, this is why I am much more impressed by independent candidates and parties such as the Green Party that don’t believe in a ‘party whip’ which being perfectly honest I think goes against the whole point of democracy!

Allotment veggies



So today we picked a really nice selection of veggies from our allotment, it’s really great to be able to eat all this freshly picked food and it always tastes fantastic in comparison to the stuff you get in the shops.

Today we’ve got various types of peppers, fennel, flat custard squash, crookneck squash, cucumbers, carrots, beetroot and radishes.

Whopper Carrot

Big Carrot

Big Carrot

Been down digging up some veg today and dug up this whopper carrot, one of the bigger ones we’ve managed to grow so far. They don’t seem to have grown as well as the ones we grew last year at our old house, hopefully we will have better luck on the allotment next year.

Personally I think we just planted them a little too close together this time and didn’t thin them out enough, but we shall rectify that next time.

Monster courgettes

Monster Courgette

Monster Courgettes

Today we went to the allotment and the courgettes which only a few days ago were tiny are now monstrously huge. It seems all it needs is a downpour of rain and courgettes can grow to 2kg in the space of a couple of days.

I have a feeling we are going to get very bored of eating courgette at some point!

New job, washing machine repair man

Washing machine in bits

Washing machine in bits

So after many MANY hours of hard work I managed to disassemble our washing machine, replace the bearings and put it all back together again. This made me immensely happy as for £30 and about 6 hours of my time I thought I had brought our washing machine back to life and saved us many pennies.

Unfortunately whilst everything seemed to work fine when it was doing its wash cycle, once it came to doing it’s spin it sounded VERY unhealthy and I ended up unplugging it.

Lesson learned that I am not a washing machine repair man and we ended up buying a new washing machine. On the plus side I found out a friend of my mum’s IS a washing repair man and so he is going to collect it and strip it down for any useful parts and recycle the rest, apparently replacing the bearings on an LG direct drive machine is not generally a DIY job and he was amazed I even attempted it.