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).

This site is generated by blosxom, with the following plugins:

  • theme
  • rating
  • meta
  • seemore
  • archives (modified)
  • entriescache
  • bloglikeapirate (disabled)
  • fixed
  • blox
  • interpolate_fancy
Power By Blosxom Get Firefox Creative Commons License: TEXT ONLY
Tue, 28 Oct 2003

Argh! My Life Points!

I've just caught an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!, one of the current batch of lazily-animated Japanese tie-in cartoons, designed to sell things. In this case, it's a collectable card game, but the brilliant thing is that the cartoon seems to be entirely about people playing the card game. Now I know that Pokemon involved people involving engaging in the same sort of things that characters in the game do, Yu-Gi-Oh actually centres around two people standing around in little pods, drawing cards from a deck, and taking turns. They shout card names at each other, speak sotto voce to camera to explain their tactics, and wax lyrical about the rules for minutes at a time. Sheer genius, from a marketing point of view, at least.

Fri, 24 Oct 2003

Le fin de Concorde (or something)


In case you'd not noticed, today marks the final flight of Concorde, the worlds only supersonic commercial air liner. No longer will you be able to experience three-hour London to New York flights with an odd combination of in-flight vintage champaign and a passenger compartment as spacious as a National Express coach (apparently; I've never flown on it). A couple of high-profile safety problems didn't help, but the real problem was the cost; there were never enough harried executives desperately wanting day trips to New York to cover the inordinate cost of the fuel. If there had been more demand, the price would've come down, other supersonic air liners would've been built, and we probably wouldn't notice the decommisioning of Concorde. As it is, comercial supersonic travel is, at least for now, consigned to the history books along with that long pointy nosecone.

White elephant of the skies, we salute you.

Thu, 23 Oct 2003

Transglobal Emporium - for all your luxury shed and caravan calendar needs.


I forgot to link to this last year, but I simply couldn't pass up the chance again. Transglobal Emporium, purveyors of the classic Luxury Shed Calendar, have added the Luxury Caravan Calendar to their range. Both would make tasteful additions to any home, or delightful christmas gifts.

A must for any lovers of Sheds or Caravans.

Mon, 20 Oct 2003

The Beginning of the End

It's the last talk, and they're about to turn off the WiFi, so this'll be my last entry 'til I get home. It's been a good conference; I've heard about and seen some interesting work, met a lot of fun people, and drank quite a bit of surprisingly good Seattle beer. One thing I've noticed is that I seem to fall naturally into the role of devil's advocate; I'm defending arty projects and ethnography to systems people one minute, then electronics and tracking systems to HCI people the next. It's nice that there's such a range of specialities at one conference; I hope it stays that way, as opposed to fragmenting into narrower venues.

My contribution...


I've just taken down the poster that I've been displaying (well, that a pinboard has been displaying on my behalf), and it occured to me that I should probably make it available online. So here it is. I'm planning to do a proper page for the Rainbow Group site in the next week or so, which would serve to fill out the details somewhat.

I be due for a keel-hauling

In honour of International Talk-Like-A-Pirate day, I've knocked together another Blosxom plugin - Blog-Like-A-Pirate. It also works from the command line, in case you're not a Blosxom user. Now there's no excuse for sounding like a scurvy landlubber.

Patent Pending?

I've just seen a presentation of a great piece of work from Mitsubishi Research. Basically, it allows you to use a normal LED to sense light levels, with only a microcontroller and a single extra trace on your PCB. This means it can be added to a device that already has an LED and microcontroller at give or take zero cost. What's more, as you now have both an emitter and a receiver, you can use it for short range bidirectional communication. It's very clever, very useful, and, unfortunately, very patented.

Now I'm not sure how I feel about this. Unlike, say, the one-click shopping patent, there are no technical grounds to object to it. It's original, non-obvious, and hasn't been done before. It's a piece of apparatus, and it solves a real problem (many patent systems require a physical instantiation and/or usefulness). However, it seems a crying shame that the technology can't be freely used and incorperated into other devices. The patent system was designed to protect the original inventors, allowing them to exploit the invention for a time while guaranteeing that it's (eventually) available to the public. This seems a laudable aim, but loses it's lustre when the exploitation rights are assigned to a corporation. I don't think that's really what's bothering me, though. I think it's that in this case, patenting the technology both reduces the potential for research, but also reduces the chance of wide dissemenation of the technology - even a slight per-device license fee would significantly reduce the cost benefit of the technique. Still, it was a very cool paper.

Cool URIs

As of this morning, I've officially released my first Blosxom plugin - CoolURI. It allows the use of extension-free, date-based permalinks, like the ones described in "Cool URIs don't change". It's pretty simple, but does the job well enough for now, and means that when something better comes along I won't need to change the URLs again. Which is the entire point.

Sun, 19 Oct 2003

Popped my eBay cherry


Today is a momentous day. Bands played, speeches were made, ribbons were cut. Or they should've been, for today is the day I put my first item up for sale on eBay. Actually, it's Tori's item; her iBook, that she doesn't use any more now she's here with access to my PC (which I tend to spurn in favour of my own iBook). Anyway, the auction is here if you're in the market for a robust, cute-looking laptop with a firewire port.

Thu, 16 Oct 2003

Licensing Rant

The software on this site is licensed under a variety of OSI-approved open source licences. UnityWiki is unambiguously a derivative work of PikiPiki, which is covered by the GPL, and hence is distributed under the same licence. The two original projects, Bookaroo and Newfile, are licensed under the MIT Licence (basically equivalent to the advertising-clause-free version of the BSD licence).

See more ...

Wed, 15 Oct 2003

Talking about Talking

I'm sat in a talk about blogging, so it seems appropriate that I should tell the world via the wonder of RSS. I should probably start listenting again now, though.

Mon, 13 Oct 2003

I'm blogging this right now


I'm writing this from UbiComp in Seattle; just in case you don't believe me, here's photographic evidence:

I've only skimmed over the programme so far, but there looks to be a lot of interesting stuff here. This afternon I've got to do a one-minute talk to persuade people to come and see my poster. At some point, I should probably decide what to say.

Thu, 02 Oct 2003

The Other King Is Dead...


The Brunching Shuttlecocks may be no more, but various bits of the site live on at The Self-Made Critic, The Book Of Ratings, and, as of today, Lore Brand Comics™. Slumbering Lungfish, Lore's blog, is also worth a look.

Wed, 01 Oct 2003

Coke uses GPS to track prizewinners


It looks like UbiComp-like location aware technologies are making their way into the mainstream. Apparently Coke are planning to use GPS receivers in winning cans to seek out people and present them with HumVees or large amounts of gold. I'm not they've really thought this through - aside from the technical issues of putting a GPS recevier in a can (what happens if you open the can underground? Or on the wrong side of a tall building? Or in a reasonably thick tent?) , I don't really think that buying a can of carbonated beverage with vegetable extract can reasonably be taken to imply that you give your consent for a multinational corperation to track your movements. Maybe there's a shrink-wrap EULA on the ringpull, but even then it's probably a case for Lord Denning's Big Red Hand.

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