Tag Archives: Python

What I did on my holidays

I wish my holidays could have been as full of adventure as Twoflower‘s, but I reckon there’s still time!  I’ve been doing an awful lot to keep myself occupied over the academic break though, but with a lot less dragons and swords and sorcery to keep me occupied. Oh no, wait, that’s a lie because I finally finished reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones to the reprobates), but I digress…

So we’re now into August and my summer holiday is almost over.  At the end of the academic year in May I decided to keep myself busy as I didn’t want to spend the summer lazing around eating crisps and watching telly.  Alright, so a large part of my evenings have involved corn based snacks and attempting to make space on the Sky+ box (so much to watch, so little time and HDD space), but I’ve done other things too!

The first thing I wanted to do is keep my brain turning by teaching myself some scripting, C# and SQL in preparation for second year and I’ve spent a lot of enjoyable afternoons working on these via Code Academy, ProgZoo and SQLZoo.  Although I’m not a software engineer at heart, I do think that it’s important to have at least a basic grounding in this area and as a networker I’m going to have to learn scripting at some point.  I know a few people on my course who would disagree with me here, but sys admin isn’t all about typing sudo yum into a terminal and eating pizza, guys.  If only it was though *sighs*.  I’ve also been messing around with the likes of AWS to learn more about cloud services, which has also been a really useful exercise.

I’ve also been doing a lot of work – yes, actual paid work, who’d have thunk it?  Half of my work schedule has seen me working with my husband, who set up a web consultancy business after he graduated last year (he does more than websites, so if you’re looking for a talented developer he’s your man *nudge nudge*).  I’ve also been working with the Scottish Resource Centre on a part time basis, which has been really educational and thoroughly enjoyable.  Having a small child to entertain through the summer months means I can’t really work on a full time basis, so the flexibility of both jobs has been perfect – keeping just one child entertained for seven weeks is hard work!  If she had her way she would spend her entire summer holidays glued to Minecraft; I play too, but when you find yourself demolishing a mountain for the giggles it’s time to put the Xbox controller down…

MATT DAMON!

Speaking of gaming, I found my old PS2 and a box of games while clearing out a wardrobe, hurray!  Luckily the main television has an analogue tuner in it so it was a simple case of plugging in the RF cable, tuning the telly to channel 36 and going on a FFX binge.  Good times.

2013-06-16 21.54.32

The best bit about the holidays though has been the time to work on the home projects.  We turned our Raspberry Pi into a media server using XBMC, making streaming from the network drive a doddle.  However, there comes a time when a household like ours needs better connectivity and so I’ve planned out a proper home network for us, using the old PC as a server.  We desperately need a decent wifi network upstairs too (concrete floors and a bejesusload of cavity wall insulation does not make for a strong wifi signal from the router downstairs), so I’ve made a wishlist of hardware to buy in September (UK based students will know).  Sadly the spare router fell over and died while being used to broadcast a secondary WAP, but I guess you can’t expect a cheap router from your previous ISP to last any longer than three years, never mind six…

XBMC on our telly

So there you have it.  The weather’s been great, work is fun and I’ve been spending lots of time with the wee one.  In preparation for the madness of September I’m going to sit back, enjoy some relaxation time and Film4’s Studio Ghibli season.