Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thank You

Thank You America, thank you for voting for Obama.
Now we have a chance.

You have restored my faith in Democracy.

Reading Obama's victory speach almost made me cry.

Thank You.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Colour Wheel

The Colour Wheel. The opposite colour across the wheel is the complementary colour. A red pigment absorbs green light. A dye that absorbs yellow light appears violet. This diagram shows a circle split into six equal sections which are in turn red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. the wavelengths are given.For my chemistry notes I needed a colour wheel which can be used to work out the colour of a pigment or dye when the wavelengths at which light is absorbed are known or to work out the wavelengths that are absorbed on when the colour is known.

The opposite colour across the wheel is the complementary colour. A red pigment absorbs green light. A dye that absorbs yellow light appears violet.

I coloured in the diagram linked to below using gimp.

The original diagram

This continues my series of educational resources. Google did not find what I was looking for straight away, hopefully now it will.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Electrophilic substitution reactions of benzene and it derivatives

Electrophilic substitution reactions of benzene and it derivatives. This diagram includes the reactions that turn benzene into chlorobenzene, bromobenzene, benzenesulphonic acid, cyclohexane, [alk]ylbenzene, phenyl[alk]anone, nitrobenzene to phenylamine to benzendiazonium chloride.Following up on my organic reactions post here is a diagram of the Electrophilic substitution reactions of benzene and it derivatives
This diagram includes the reactions that turn benzene into chlorobenzene, bromobenzene, benzenesulphonic acid, cyclohexane, [alk]ylbenzene, phenyl[alk]anone, nitrobenzene -> phenylamine -> benzendiazonium chloride.

Files for download
exported: png, pdf, svg
source: odg (open office draw) , chemtool

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Organic reactions

The molecules included in this web include amine, primary and secondary amides, primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols, ester, acyl chloride, carboxylic acid, aldehyde, ketone, alkane, alkene, nitrile and halogenoalkane.As part of my revision I have created a diagram showing all or almost all the organic reactions that link the organic molecules relevant to my course.
The molecules included in this web include amine, primary and secondary amides, primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols, ester, acyl chloride, carboxylic acid, aldehyde, ketone, alkane, alkene, nitrile and halogenoalkane.
This diagram is not perfect or complete and most definitely could be improved.
So I will attach all the source files as well as exported final versions.
exported: png, pdf, svg
source: odg (open office draw) , chemtool

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Linux Ubuntu successfull

I have been using Ubuntu on my laptop for a while now and this post has been a long time in coming. I much prefer it to Windows.
Now which part of Ubuntu's amazingness should I start with...
Perhaps with what came first.
It was free to download the .iso which I burnt to CD.
The live CD checked itself, could check my RAM and booted up with a fully working OS running from the CD. Now I know it is possible to get a version of windows running from a CD using ubcd4win, which is useful for fixing windows. But Linux does it beautifully, you can install programs etc. and apart from the slowness caused by the fact you are running off CD it works perfectly.
After seeing that it worked I installed it so that it dual booted with Windows.
Ubuntu does screenshots better than windows it lets you save them to files much more easily, without having to copy and paste them into paint.
Ubuntu does installing software better than windows the great Add/Remove programs interface actually adds programs which are downloaded from the repositories and so checked to make sure they are safe, the downloads are securely verified. There is also Synaptic Package manager for admin type program managing, and apt-get or aptitude for people who like the CLI.
Of course you don't have to use the repositories you can download .deb or .bin files and install them.
Ubuntu does updating software better than Windows, all software you install from the repositories can be updated through the same interface so no silly background processes like qtask on windows periodically checking to see if there are any updates for one program. Instead one unified secure system, with different user interfaces to suit tastes. And no silly automatically rebooting the computer when you leave it for 5 minutes, I hate that so much in Windows I have lost work from that. instead there is a little icon on the panel that just sits there quietly until you are ready. And it is very rare that you need to reboot anyway.
Ubuntu does file browsing better than windows with easy searching inside the current folder just by starting typing - like with webpages in firefox. nice GUI where am I and navigation which is much easier and useful than just having back and forwards, which it also has. Oh and bookmarks are cool.
There are so many other things that are cool in Ubuntu like the great software it comes with like the Disk usage analyzer and Open office and Firefox and lots of games and a better interface for finding programs than the stupid messy all programs list on Windows.
Ubuntu is just great.
And there is a new version every 6 months each better than the one that went before.

Now I was going to write this: 19/12/06, so I have been using Ubuntu for almost a year.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The teaching of English

Recently while writing a letter I came to the realization that I had not actually been taught much English at school, despite having studied it to GCSE.
For instance we still had not been taught how to write proper english, or what a sentence is or a lot of grammar. We had mainly just practiced not studied english as an academic subject nor as a vocational one and thus my command of the english language is not as great as it should be, so I will have to get a book and teach myself which is annoying.
I should have written this nearer to the time, I had a great many more ideas and much stronger feelings about it then.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This is what one year of plastic looks like

Over the last year because there is no plastic recycling in Inverness we have collected all our plastic, and because there is no milkman that is a lot of plastic bottles, now our attic has a whole years worth, it is quite impressive.
Attention Highland Council, please could we have plastic recycling in Inverness Invergordon is too far away for it to be sensible to take plastic there.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0

09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0

just one more data point, perhaps the most popular 16 digit number on the internet


Thursday, April 26, 2007

It seems our nation crumbles

It seems our nation crumbles
the rock on which we stand
slowly chipped away
by those who should protect it.
Screaming in frustration
as another rock falls
from a wall build over ages
built with bones
and sealed with blood.
And broken by fools
with little pieces of paper
by cameras in dark corners
by whispers in the street
for in the dark halls of power
fools are undoing
what took wise men years.
clinging to power
by destroying democracy,
with a war on terror
not seeing
that if you know no fear
you are not afraid
if you are not terrified
you are not terrorised
if you stand for truth
you cannot tell lies
If you stand for justice
you cannot see injustice done
if you come in peace
you cannot leave in war
If you live for greed
you will die with nothing
and your legacy
Tony Blair

I fear the coming of the night

I fear the coming of the night
Who will light the sun when morning comes?
I fear the coming of the night
fear the last flames will die
who then will light the sun when
the morning comes?
I fear the flickering of the flames
as the fire dies, the embers
grow cold.
Fear the cold and icy water,
eroding the rocks on which it stands.
Fear it slipping sliding downwards.
For, from flames like these
the sun is lit
when morning comes.

Who will bear the fire
in their heart
through the darkness of the night.
Who will hold it deep inside
never let it go out.
Who will let their bones be the rocks
from which to build
another stronghold of the light.
Who will use their blood as mortar
to bind the bones tight.
And who will fight
to hold this rock
to save this place.
Built from the bones of so many
sealed with the blood of ages
who will feed the fire with
their words.
Who will fight the cold
fast waters.
Who will warm themselves
by this fire,
built so long ago
and carry the torch onwards
building new fires
on distant shores
hold the day and save us from
the night.

One life
one chance to change the world
one chance to hold the fire
and pass it on
don't let it falter
don't let it go out.
Hold back the water
stop breaking the ground

You have not yet passed
the fire to me.
And yet you let the
ground crumble
the fire die
and my hands cannot hold it alone.
You must give it to others also
and carry it yourselves
until it falls
from your old dying hands
into the hands of those
who will come after me.
Only together can we
hold back the night
the cold dark waters

hold the fort
we have not yet truly arrived.
We are ready to take our place
to bear the fire
to man the walls
to give of ourselves
to hold this place.
For the sake of those
who went before
and those who will come after
and for ourselves.

We have yet to receive our sword.
But we are ready
we will fight for our lives
but you must hold back the night
we must hold back the waters.
Maintain the fire
even thought the night falls elsewhere
here it must be day
or who will light the sun
when the morning comes?
But you must give us our sword
and teach us to use it
to use our vote
to save our democracy
words are not enough.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

This is a very good article.
"From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all"
It made me very sad to see how a once great nation has fallen so low, and made me fear as I see my own country follow on behind.
Long live Democracy. Let its fire burn through the darkest night. For a fear on this evening as darkness falls that this may indeed be a dark night and it may be a long time until the dawn, and if the fire does not burn all the night through who will light the sun in the morning?
The eternal darkness of a broken world...

Keeping yourself safe online

If you spot any personally identifiable information in this please report this so I can delete this, this is converted from an internal publication and should have had all personally or corporate identifiable information removed before online publication. According to my own rules.

I am going to start from the bottom and work upwards.

First, if you can use your own computer, only then can you know it is safe without keyloggers or spyware hidden on them.

Second, if you can stand the hassle (I can't) use a BIOS password[3] if you forget this you are stuffed but without one anyone can with physical access to your computer access any of your files change your password etc. without knowing anything about your computer.

Third if you can don't use Windows , unfortunately with the some networks that means you have to use mac (which is expensive) or use Windows (which is slightly less so) and the more secure Linux is not allowed the internet :-( Things are looking up here linux can get internet now. [4]

Fourth, if you must use Windows using anything before XP on the internet should be a criminal offence within, minutes it will be turned into a spam bot. Only use a fully patched XP computer on the internet (or don't use windows) and preferably from behind a firewalled router. (XP gets taken over in an average of 16 minutes if connected directly to the internet after just being installed). Vista well I won't go there but it is unstable.

Fifth, don't use any programs that come by default with Windows to access the internet[5], Internet explorer 6 which comes by default with Windows XP spent 280+ days of 2006 with unpatched security holes that would let viruses etc. in (it is still used by most computers). Internet explorer 7 is better but I would still advise against it. Firefox is probably the best it only spent 6 days of 2006 with unpatched security holes.

This goes for email as well don't use Outlook, use Thunderbird or some other email client, or use web mail.

On Windows you must always use the most up to date antivirus and antispyware software.[8]

Sixth, never use your real name online. Unless, you trust the site you are connecting to completely and when you are using it there is always a padlock sign (https:// will be at the beginning of the URL) somewhere on your internet browser (Firefox changes the colour of the address bar as well) and only those on your contact list are allowed to view the page. e.g. If you set your msn space page to be only viewable to people on your contact list then only the people on your contact list, Microsoft (M$) (and any of its subcontractors it allows) the US secret service, anyone spying on your internet connection and anyone who hacks any of the above will be able to view it. (So only a few thousand people (If they could be bothered)).

Seventh, encrypt your connection when on an untrusted network, if you are using a network you don't trust or are using a wireless network[1] and you have information you are accessing that is not encrypted (remember padlock sign). If you don't want to share what you are doing with anyone who feels like listening then you need to get yourself an encrypted connection to a proxy. For real anonymity (rather than security of the actual information) I would recommend the TOR network. (Warning you must trust the proxy you are connecting to completely it can be being used by a hacker to steal your information).

Eighth, Use as little personal information as possible (this includes photos of people).

Ninth, format your computers hard drive before selling it or giving it away. [2]

Tenth, Trust no one and go to a mental institution suffering from Paranoia.

Really I don't expect you to do everything on this list, I personally don't. But remember if you connect to any site (including hotmail) that does not encrypt its traffic then what you read can be read by other people so...


Keyloggers: programs or devices that record which keys you press in order to extract information such as passwords, user names and credit card details.

Spyware: programs that spy on you and your files to make money out of you somehow (or just to be evil).
Firewall: a firewall prevents connections coming into a computer or network unless they were asked for by a computer behind the the firewall or have been otherwise allowed.
Router: a router is a device (can be a computer) that takes all the connections to it from one network and funnels them into another network (e.g. The internet). Simpler than a proxy.
Proxy: something that does something on behalf of someone else in the context of computers it takes requests for webpages from one computer and makes them itself to the site in question and then passes them to the computer that asked for them.
Unstable: in the context of computers this means that it has errors, crashes and otherwise does weird annoying stuff that it should not do.


  1. If you are using wireless then anyone who knows the network key can listen to your connection. If it is WEP encrypted (rather than WAP (which with a good password can take a very long time to crack)) then it can be cracked in 15 minutes. If it is open then anybody can listen.

  2. Some criminals make a living by stealing personal information off old computer hard drives, formatting will remove everything but you will need a disk of some sort to do it with as windows will break if you try to format the disk or partition it is on. You will need to fill it with random junk and then delete and reformat 9 times to be sure that all the data has been actually removed (deleting a file does not actually remove it, the computer just forgets where it put it.)

  3. A BIOS password can be set by entering the BIOS settings (how to do this will be displayed the moment your computer starts up) then poke around until you find it, If you forget this you are stuffed completely. Alternatively a physical lock works quite well :-). Note that fingerprint scanners offer no extra security with the right disk your computer can still be cracked within 20 minutes.

  4. Tests carried out to determine the security of different operating systems found that it was easy to hack into a newly installed Windows computer, slightly harder to hack into a newly installed Mac OS X computer and much much harder to hack into a Linux computer. (search on slashdot)

  5. The reason you should not use windows programs to access the internet is that the bad guys specifically target flaws in these programs to break into your computer (and there are a lot of flaws). I would also advise that using M$ office is probably a bad idea, though not to the same extent and you should probably use OpenOffice (this is free) instead.

  6. Social networking sites are sites that allow you to connect socially with people on the internet through commenting on each others sites and chatting online and numerous other things.

  7. Blogs (origin web log) are many and diverse in what they do but generally they involve people writing things (these can be like articles) and putting them on their blog (usually they are ordered chronologically) they are used to provide information about anything from news to the movement of ants.

  8. At least one person I know is going to have to have their hard drive formatted and windows reinstalled after getting viruses over easter. However users of other operating systems may not need antivirus programs e.g. I used Linux all Easter which does not need antivirus and consequently I was safe. I did not use windows once.

Note: people who know enough about computers and windows computers in particular become slightly paranoid about them or know what to do if they were paranoid but cannot be bothered to do it. (I don't even have a password set or use Ctrl+Alt+Del to enter an administrator account on windows :-)(On Linux I have a password but it logs in automatically the password is only required if I want to do something dangerous))

Oh and the only reason people could hack the pentagon was that people there were really stupid and could not be bothered to change their password from the default of “password” this same flaw allowed lots of hackers in over a long period of time, it might have been fixed by now. Bebo is just as secure as the weakest user that is allowed to view the page (probably quite weak but who could be bothered to hack a silly social networking site?). Then again thousands of people had their Myspace passwords stolen (someone hacked the crackers and told the world) but the Myspace passwords were stronger than those used by employees of companies (who were cracked by the same people).