Work and Play

I know I’ve been doing things worth writing about because I’ve not had chance to write about them for a while!


I seemed to recover from glandular fever the day after being diagnosed, I have no idea why. The throat infection has gone but I still feel tired all the time.

A-Level Results and Uni (A little late I know)

A Computing
A DT: Product Design
B General Studies
E Maths

I am of course thrilled with the two As, couldn’t care less about General Studies and I’m gutted by my maths result. I needed a B to get into Nottingham University to do Computer Science, I was hoping for a C, I was expecting a D and I got an E.

I was the wrong side of the Irish sea on a camp site the day my results came through sitting on the end of a mobile phone with extremely expensive call charges back to England and a borrowed dialup internet connection from the owners of the camp site who were very accommodating. After being sent my results by text message and boggling over the UCAS web site I rang Nottingham just in case. Upon hearing my results they weren’t in the least bit interested, they didn’t even ask for my name or application number. They weren’t interested in what I was doing in my gap year, my “personal statement”, my plans for the future, nothing.

I did badly in my maths exams, therefore I wouldn’t be suitable for an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. I can’t help but find that very narrow minded and I’m confident I could have more than coped with the course, but I suppose they have to differentiate between people somehow. It makes me angry and disappointed.

Computer Science at Nottingham was my firm offer and the same course at UEA was my insurance. That means I’m currently lined up to do Computer Science in Norwich in a years time. I rang up UEA to confirm and they said everything was fine. The admissions tutor asked me what I’m doing in my gap year. I told her that I have a job as an ICT Technician at a community college for 30 hours a week and the rest of the time I’ll be doing Freelance Computer Support and the odd bit of web development. Her responce was “It doesn’t sound like you need an undergraduate degree!”. I won’t tell you what I thought when she said that. I also asked her if it would be possible to switch to Computer Systems Engineering before I start, which I’ve been thinking about for a long while. She said there should be no problem with that with my academic record.

djkoa ended up in clearing poor guy. His firm offer rang him up a couple of days before his results came out to tell him they’d cancelled his course!! In a few days he will start at UEA doing Computer Systems Engineering. That means that two of my friends will have started the same course as me at the same university but before me, one of them (mchicago)has just finished it. That feels a little weird. If I sign the letter UCAS is sending me soon then I can not re-apply for University next year through UCAS and I’m just not sure in a years time if I’m going to regret signing it.

Driving Test

My brother and I were due to take our driving tests last Thursday. On Wednesday night we had a phone call telling us our tests were cancelled because the examiner was sick. My brother’s test was rescheduled for September 9th and mine for September 13th. This means I’m screwed because I can’t get to work at my new job for two weeks, that’s assuming I pass my test first time (I have no driving lessons for that extra two weeks so that means I’ll be out of practice in my instructor’s car). I hate relying on lifts from other people and I hate having to pay double the petrol money as well! To make it worse my grandad who is giving me lifts when lauperr can’t because she’s working is moving to Peterborough any day so won’t be able to take me any more.

I rang up the DSA to explain my situation and asked if it was standard practice to cancel tests the night before and would I be compensated for it? They said that the examiner was ill and they couldn’t get cover and they only cancel tests as a last resort. I could be compensated for half a days unpaid leave from work. That hardly makes up for all the extra petrol being used, the inconvenience of taking a day off work when I’m not really allowed to, two extra weeks of lessons I should really be taking to keep up to scratch but can’t afford to, all the potential on site Computer Support work I’m missing out on because I can’t get anywhere!


I’ve now done two weeks of work (overtime) at the college, we’ve been setting up all the computers on the network over the summer holidays. I must have helped set up about 150 Apple Macs (22 of them single handedly). It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve learnt loads about Macs and built several PCs, shifted around a lot of kit, argued over a skip with builders and been treated to a pub lunch!

Tomorrow I start for real though when all the teaching staff start, then on Thursday the year 7s start then on Friday the rest of the college. So far it’s just been me, Adam (Network Manager), Gary (IT Technician) and a couple of guys who came in to help out (James and Tom). As of tomorrow I’ll be working mainly with completely different people and the job’s going to be very different when the college is actually full of students!

On top of the “day job” I’ve been doing bits of Computer Support work and I’ve got two web development projects running at the moment. With all that and the money I’m owed from the Royal Albert Hall job two months ago, my bank balance may see a sharp rise at the end of September before a sharp fall when I pay back about £700 I owe people!


The first real life Lincolnshire Linux User Group meeting is on September 11th, more info here. I’m giving a talk at the meeting, very scary.


See the photos here

A week ago I returned from two weeks touring the Ring of Keri in Southern Ireland with the family in our VW Camper. Camping isn’t much fun when it rains every single day of the holiday, but it wasn’t all bad.

The whole story