Welcome to rho.org.uk, a little web site maintained by Rob Hague (see below). There's a variety of stuff here - poke around and see what you find.

Rob Hague


NaNoWriMo As mentioned above, this site is written and maintained by Rob Hague, an expert at talking about himself in the third person. Rob's homepage can be found here.

In 2002, he tried (and succeeded) to write a novel in a month. At some point he'll take the logo off the front page. But not yet.



I occasionally write things that might be of some use to other people (and isn't owned by some huge corporation or other). Some of this can be found here.

Mac OS X Odds & Sods


I've had an Apple iBook for a while now, an have generally been very pleased with it. I've created a virtual dumping ground for my musings about Mac OS X here.



This page is a collection of links to useful/interesting/fun stuff that I've come across.

You may have arrived here by mistake; if you're an opera fan, try roh.org.uk. If you're looking for Reproductive Health Outlook, they're here.


I also collaborate with Ben Chalmers to produce the Imaginary Movie Database, a site dedicated to those films that other sources seem to miss. We've not updated in a while, but we'll start again Real Soon Now. Honest.

About This Site and Whatnot

This site is basically a homepage for Rob Hague (webmaster@rho.org.uk). I'm happy to receive comments about the site, but please don't send advertising material, ways to Make $$$ Now, or Your CV.

If you want to keep track of updates to the site without the tiresome hassle of actually visiting it, bung the RSS Feed into your favorite news agregator (I use NetNewsWire Lite).

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Sat, 28 Dec 2002

A Christmas Message

Tori's parents very kindly got me a box of Quality Street for Chirstmas, and consequently I had a purple one for the first time in several years. For those of you not familiar with the confectionary in question, they consist of a hazelnut, surrounded by a thin layer of caramel, all encased in a chocolate shell. As I was happily eating this, I began to wonder how they made the oversized version that can be bought individually. Did they employ some sort of genetically engineered super-hazelnut? In an endeavour to find out, I bought one, and disected it.

As you can see, they just pad it out with caramel. This seems to be a swiz, although I'm not entirely sure why.

Wed, 04 Dec 2002

Bite-Sized Chunks

Both Steven and Tori requested that I break the HTML version of the novel into smaller chunks, to make it more manageable. Kind-hearted soul that I am, I dived into the Perl script and produced such a vesion, which is now linked alongside the text and monolithic HTML versions. (Sorry, no luck with the PDF version yet...)

Mon, 02 Dec 2002

I may live to regret this...

...but I've posted to the web; see the links in the top box, to the left. I'm slightly paranoid about this, but hey, I know that it's not exactly 1984, so I should be able to handle a little (or a lot) of criticism. You never know, some of it might be constructive...

Sun, 01 Dec 2002

Thank $ENTITY It's All Over

Well, that's it, then. Last night, I submitted to the NaNoWriMo website, and hence am a fully validated winner. I've got the icon (see right), the certificate, and everything. Now I just need to wait for my masterwork to finish rattling off the printer, then I can go and meet up with other U.K. NaNoWriMos in London.

(As far as this site goes, I'm probably going to post a copy of the novel for people to point and laugh at. This'll probably happen next week sometime.)


Sat, 30 Nov 2002


I did it! At a little after 6:30 tonight, I passed the 50,00 word mark. I've got a couple of sections left to write, and I want to tidy it up a bit before I submit it to NaNoWriMo and print it out, but, basically, yay!

Wed, 27 Nov 2002

Going well...

Things are going quite well; I'm ahead of schedule, and it looks like I'll make 50,000 by Saturday (probably on Saturday. Anyway, I have a plan for the remaining 5,614 words, and I plan to try to get about 1,000 words ahead tonight, so should be able to turn up at The Moon On The Water on Sunday brandishing a completed novel. Wiigii!

Wed, 20 Nov 2002

Now with added validation!

I've rejigged the pages so that they validate as proper XHTML (Transitional only, I'm afraid. I do some murky things with tables in order to get reasonable results for everything back to Netscape 4, and I don't think it's time to give those up just yet.) See the buttons at the bottom of the page...

Head above water

I managed to (finally) get back on track last Saturday, and have managed to stay on the right side of the green line since then. I'm not very far ahead of schedule, but at least I'll be able to hold my head up high at the Cambridge NaNoWriMo meet tonight. (Not many people have responded - I think it got a bit overshadowed by the London event - but, hey, it's an excuse to go to the pub.)

Fri, 15 Nov 2002



It all started with some comic book character mugs Steven has. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I've spent far too much time this week reading the archives of It's Walky, right back from when it used to be called "Roomies" and everyone had big, big hair. I highly recommend it (it even seemed to actually increase my producutivity; I've no idea how.)

Thu, 07 Nov 2002


It's a sad day; I've dropped below the green line. Actually, I was expecting this by this point, but it's not too bad; I should be able to catch up at the weekend.

Tue, 05 Nov 2002

Almost ahead of myself.

Only managed to make it to 8228 words, so (unless I do a couple of hundred at some point today, which I'll probably not get a chance to), I'll slip below the green line. Still, I guess I can catch up tomorrow...

Mon, 04 Nov 2002

Above the line (just)

Not a bad weekend; I've managed to stick to the 2000-words-a-day target without too much hassle. As tomorrow is Bonfire Night, I'll not be getting anything done, so I'm going to try and get ahead of myself (8500 at least, maybe 9000) tonight.

On Ben's suggestion, I've also added a "Triangle of Delight" to the graph; this involved some disgusting Gnuplot hackery, but it works.

Fri, 01 Nov 2002

These Words Don't Count

As you can see, I've got off to a flying start, pissing around with this web page instead of getting todays 2000 words in. Still, it's workable now, so I don't really have an excuse to not work on the novel...

Fri, 25 Oct 2002

Friday Morning Grab-Bag

I've come across a couple of interesting things on my daily trawl through the web. The first is a nice article entitled "Top Ten MacOS X Tips for Unix Geeks" at the O'Reily website. A tie in with their "OSX for Unix Geeks" book (which I've not seen much of), it starts of with the mind-boggling trivial ("You can find the Terminal application by navigating to /Applications/Utilities in the Finder. Drag the Terminal application to your dock so you can access it quickly."), but by hint 3 is giving you quite useful tips on substantial stuff like Startup items and /etc. The second was this hint at macosxhints.com about getting an iBook to drive two monitors in true PowerBook fashion. I think that my iBook is one of the qualifying models, but given the dire yet plausible horror stories about a botched hack permanently wrecking the firmware, I'm not going to try it until I need to.

In other news, Bluetooth is working like a charm; I've been using it to transfer VCards to and from my phone, and check my mail while sitting waiting for a Neal Stephenson (yes, that's Neal Stephenson) talk to start. I got the modem scripts from www.taniwha.org.uk, and setting it up was fairly straightforwards; mail me if you'd like more details.

Thu, 17 Oct 2002

Apple Destroys Trees - Film At 11

I've just taken delivery of a D-Link Bluetooth adaptor, which I can use with my Nokia 6310i to get a dialup connection while I'm sitting on a train back from Nottingham. Anyway, if you follow the link, you'll see that it's a dinky little dongle-like device, about 45x16x8mm. It came in a box with the standard page-and-a-half "this is what a USB port looks like" user guide, repeated in a dozen languages. That box was rattling around inside a 350x250x200mm box, presumably provided by the courier. So, assuming that the recipient knows how to plug a USB connector in to a USB port, then we could fit 2,625 Bluetooth adaptors into the box, and still have space left. That seems a little wasteful.

Mon, 14 Oct 2002

Added UnityWiki

I wanted to set up a Wiki so that a group of us could collaborate on designing a role-playing game setting. As I wanted something easy to install, I chose PikiPiki (MoinMoin has a lot more features, but is a lot more complex and requires distutils, which wasn't installed on the target machine). Anyway, I've hacked the script around to add a couple of nice features and tidy things up, and then Ben asked for CVS access as he wanted to make some improvements and install it at work. So, I set up a SourceForge project, and hence world+dog can now download the source and fiddle with it. See the box to the left for details.

NaNoWriMo - I Must Be Mad

Official NaNoWriMo 2002 Participant A while ago, Ben mentioned NaNoWriMo - that's National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in November. Against my better judgement, I've signed up, and I'll be posting updates somewhere on the site. Watch this space (or take the vastly more popular route, and don't).

Fri, 11 Oct 2002

You Learn Something New Every Day

Today's question: what exactly is a pretensioner? Well, it's...

  1. A large, complicated and difficult to fit gadget that sits under your seat and pulls the seatbelt tight when you have a crash (www.howstuffworks.com) Apparently, Corsa ones come with explosives in them.
  2. Bloody expensive.
  3. Fairly essential in a "not dying while driving down the A1 to Nottingham" way, particularly if your seatbelt is prone to spontaneously popping out of the holder at inopportune moments, such as when you're pulling in to the outside lane.

Educational, isn't it?

Mon, 07 Oct 2002

Things That Stop Me Doing Work On Monday


In case you've not seen it, look at Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About. Not only is it "laugh until you shake and people walking past your office think you're insane" funny, but the author got into a legal argument with The Mail On Sunday, and he's friends with a load of ex-staffers from Amiga Power.

Thu, 04 Jul 2002

New Scripts

As you may or may not notice, I've rejigged the scripts that generate the site a little. The most user-visible change is that the index page now carries the 5 most recent items from any section, allowing you to get a summary. Enjoy.

Wed, 03 Jul 2002

New Sections - Mac and Me

Further to the previous news item, I plumped for the iBook in the end, and have so far been very pleased with it. Accordingly, I've added a Mac section to the site; hopefully, somebody somewhere will find it interesting.

I've also added a separate homepage. Both are currently a bit bare-bones, but will get padded out with guff in the fullness of time.

First Post!

Sorry about the title. Anyway, here's a real homepage where I can add personal info without cluttering up the main page (which obviously serves as an invaluable resource for so many). I intend to replace the photo ASAP, by the way.

The King Is Dead, Long Live The King


Like a phoenix, Scary-Go-Round has risen from the ashes of Bobbins; read and enjoy, especially the lift operator. (On a slightly more confusing note, I tried to put a little in the Spooky Jar, but couldn't connect to PayPal. Maybe this is why it's at $0.)

Thu, 20 Jun 2002

Got Fink Working

I've had another go at getting Fink working, and this time succeeded. Last time I managed to miss out an entire step in the instructions (fink scanpackages) - I must've been asleep or something. Anyway, I'm installing xfree86, more out of necessity than desire. I need to run Python Tkinter programs, and although I have the native Mac OS X Tk installed, I cant get Python to recognise it when building from source. I'm trying out something I've found on the Pythomac-SIG mailing list, but until I get that to work, it's X11 or nothing. In any case, I'll probably need it to run Gimp until the native version arrives.

Wed, 12 Jun 2002

Mac 1, Unix 0

Some success, some failure. On the plus side, I've now played with all the "Digital Hub" apps successfully. I used iMovie to splice together a couple of interview videos I have to transcribe, imported Lou Reed's "Transformer" and the theme from Amelie into iTunes (I'm listening to "Perfect Day" at this very moment) and got a couple of photos into iPhoto. The latter is the most interesting, as it involved getting my ZiO SmartMedia reader working. I was a little disappointed that it didn't work straight off, but when I went to Microtech's site and downloaded the drivers, everything went swimmingly.

I also downloaded the OS X 1.1.5 update. I'm impressed with what I've seen of Software Update, and it installed the upgrade with no problems. I've not seen the dramatic speed increases everyone seems to be crediting it with, but then again I've not really started stretching the iBook yet.

On the Unix side, things have been going a lot less smoothly. I tried to install Fink in order to get things like Python and Carbon Emacs and start getting real work done. However, something went wrong. It's almost certainly due to my dodgy install of the developer tools (I downloaded the image from ADC, but it was corrupted. I ploughed on with the install regardless, and ended up with only half the tools. D'Oh.) I've removed it, and in the process of downloading the image again (not going via a PC and a dodgy CD-R this time).

Sun, 09 Jun 2002

Got it

I'm typing this entry on my shiny new iBook. I got it Friday morning, but this is the first real chance I've had to play with it. I've not really found much out yet. I had a slightly worrying moment Friday night when I was populating the hard drive with the restore CDs (not sure why they can't ship the hard drive with the system set up on it). It complained that the modem couldn't hear a dialtone, but seemed to connect to Apple and submit my registration and iTools details fine. However, when I started trying out apps, the modem claimed to still be connected, even though it wasn't (I could hear a dial tone on the line via my phone). Disconnecting just hung. Anyway, I tried again this morning and it seems to work fine (I'm using it now to SSH into the lab and type this), so it's probably just a glitch in the installer.

The only other problem I've seen so far is the on switch. It works fine, in that it turns the computer on and off, but I swear I saw the switches on other iBooks glowing (similar to the collar on the power connector). I'll check this out.

Tue, 23 Apr 2002

Pre-purchase Cognitive Dissonance

I'm currently contemplating getting a laptop, for working while away from home, and for giving PowerPoint-like presentations (although I'll be using PDF, of course). I'm looking to spend about £1000, and battery life is important so I want to avoid second-hand machines. The current front runners are an end-of-line Vaio that I saw (although the spec was fairly ropey), a bottom-of-the-range Thinkpad, or Apple's new iBook. If anyone has any suggestions, mail me at rob@rho.org.uk.

Tue, 16 Apr 2002



www.osi.org is the home of Ontario Swine Improvement, and not, as you might expect, the Open Source Initiative. Just so you know.

Wed, 13 Mar 2002

Added newfile

I've added newfile, all packaged up. It's simple, but it's useful.

In, Out, Shake It All About

About a week ago, Microsoft and UniSys put up WeHaveTheWayOut.com, a site advocating moving over from complicated, difficult to manage Unix systems to easy-to-administer, secure Windows boxes. However, a quick check on Netcraft revealed the site was running Apache/FreeBSD - hardly a ringing endorsement. The site was soon migrated to Windows, but then failed and was down for several days. Meanwhile, someone else put up WeHaveTheWayIn, a site advocating Open-Source and proprietary Unix as an alternative to Windows. This really is the sort of stuff you couldn't make up.

( This site has a similar theme, but couched as a 12-step programme...)

Added "Software"

Expansion continues apace; I've added a page with some little bits of (open source) software I've written. Currently, there's not much there, but I have stuff I want to add to it when I have the time...

Page Created

Title says it all, really. I intend to put more on here, but for now it's just the point to access the Bookaroo .tgz file.

Thu, 07 Mar 2002

I'm 24

It's my birthday today; I'm now officially 24. Hurrah.

Hear yourself think


Quietpc.com has a whole range of products designed to dull the hovercraft-like roar of the modern PC, including replacement fans, PSUs and hard drive mountings. As my home PC makes a noise like a Harrier jump jet, I'll be spending some money here pretty soon...

Wed, 13 Feb 2002

Pixar go back to their roots


As everyone knows, the new iMac is more than a little similar to an angle-poise lamp. Accrodingly, Apple commisioned Pixar to animate the adverts, and the results can be found here.

Fri, 18 Jan 2002

Added "Links"

I've added a (currently fairly meagre) links page. And you thought I was never going to update this...



The first Link Of The Day has got to be this account of ones man's struggle against reality.

Tue, 15 Jan 2002

Up and Running

Wahey! Well, it took a while for me to get my correct credit card details to DomainBuster, and for the approprite changes to percolate through various bits of Internet plumbing, but I've finally got the site working. There's not much here yet, but I'll be sorting that out.

2002 (38): Jan (3) Feb (1) Mar (6) Apr (2) MayJun (3) Jul (4) AugSepOct (6) Nov (9) Dec (4)
2003 (40): Jan (1) FebMar (3) Apr (2) MayJun (1) Jul (1) AugSep (7) Oct (14) Nov (5) Dec (6)
2004 (23): Jan (4) Feb (1) Mar (3) AprMay (5) Jun (1) JulAug (2) Sep (4) Oct (1) Nov (2) Dec
2005 (19): Jan (2) Feb (2) MarAprMay (4) Jun (1) Jul (1) Aug (2) Sep (4) Oct (3) NovDec
2006 (4): JanFeb (2) Mar (1) AprMayJun (1) JulAugSepOctNovDec
2007 (1): Jan (1) FebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec