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
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Tue, 09 Nov 2004

FireFox 1.0 Released


You may not have heard (they've been keeping it pretty quiet), but those crazy cats at the Mozilla Foundation have released version 1.0 of their lightweight browser, FireFox. Could be curtains for NCSA Mosaic...

Sun, 07 Nov 2004



After being a happy user of NetNewsWire Lite, I've decided to try out an online news aggregator, namely BlogLines, in order to have access to feeds (and, more importantly, the list of which article's I've read and which I haven't) available in multiple places, across several platforms. A particularly nice feature of BlogLines is that they have several notifier applications, including a a FireFox extension, to let you know when there are new articles to read. I'll try it for a week or two, and then put up a post about how it's going.

Sat, 09 Oct 2004

Venerable Educational Institution Saved by Caius


Mmm... Chips with mayonnaise...

Wed, 22 Sep 2004

Makes a change from Viagra

Got into work this morning to find some interesting spam waiting for me. It begins:

You\'re invited to shop for large selection of bombs and different kinds of rockets such as surface-to-air, surface-to-surface and weaponry available at reduced price. With the following types of rockets you will be able to commit terrorist attacks, destroy buildings, electric power stations, bridges, factories and anything else that comes your mind. Most items are in stock and available for next day freight delivery in the USA. Worldwide delivery is available at additional cost. Prices are negotiable.

It go on to list todays specials, including cluster bombs and high explosive fragmentation air bombs. Fuel-air explosives are apparently out of stock.

Of course, this could all be a complete con, and you may never get the megadeath weapons you order. However, if I were looking to defraud someone for large amounts of money, I'd think twice before picking a mark who was in the process of shopping around for military hardware. Then again, I'm not the sort of person who sends out spam, so what do I know.

Tue, 21 Sep 2004

Sensible Title Bars Under Windows XP

I made a simple but useful discovery today at work; it is possible to make the title bars on Windows XP a reasonable size without resorting to a thrid-party skinning tool or the "classic" look (yes, yes - I know the classic window furniture looks far less like it belongs around The Square Window, but the toolkit and colour scheme is far better in the XP theme). Just go to the "Appearance" tab of Display Properties, and click Advanced. Select a title bar in the illustration, and you can change the font and size, allowing you to make the title bar smaller. Selecting "System" (which is only available at 10pt) makes the title bar eighteen pixels, which is more or less the same as Classic. I've no idea why I didn't spot this earlier, but I'm glad I did.

Sun, 19 Sep 2004

Lest ye be forgettin'...


...it be Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrrr!

Sun, 05 Sep 2004

To buy one Apple product may be viewed as misfortune...

****- >

Mmmm... iPod... After a year or so of watching my bank balance move monotonically in one direction (the wrong one), I now have an income again. I celebrated this fact by splashing out on a 20GB fourth gen iPod. It arrived on Wednesday, and on the whole I've been impressed. The design of the thing is, of course, fantastic. Not only does the iPod itself seem to be getting neater and simpler with each generation (without sacrificing functionality), but all the little touches (like the fold-out packaging) cement the impression of a product into which real thought has been invested. I particularly like the power adaptor - it's just a transformer with a 6-pin FireWire port in it. As I said, simple.

See more ...

Mon, 23 Aug 2004

Stick 'Em Up

Peter suggested this on IM last night...

Sun, 22 Aug 2004

Still here

Just a quick note to say that I'm still here, even though I've not added anything to the site in a while. I've been a little busy with a whole bunch of stuff - finishing my thesis, starting at Azuro, and moving house. I also unwisely agreed to run a six-week roleplaying game at the same time. However, everything's just about finished now, so I should be able to get round to some site spring-cleaning that I've been meaning to do for a while.

First thing, I'll be looking at moving the site over to the Blosxom version 3. I also might change over to dynamic content, depending on various hosting details. Oh, and I've updated the design little - now the news half is wider than the static content. There'll probably be more changes on top of this; watch this space...

Tue, 01 Jun 2004


If you're at all interesting in open source or Linux (either for it or against it), you can't have missed the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution's recent report suggesting that Linus Torvalds couldn't have possibly have written a kernel that quickly without cribbing the code from Minix. The assertion has been roundly dismissed by Tannenbaum, Stallman, Torvalds and various others, but got me thinking; how difficult is it to get a kernel up and running? Could I do it?

Like a pebble causing a landslide, this thought lead inextricably to the idea of InKeWriMo - International Kernel Writing Month (c.f. NaNoWriMo). A month is perhaps a little ambitious if you're doing it in your spare time, and I'm more than a little busy for the next couple of months, but still...

Thu, 27 May 2004

Extensible Programming for the 21st Century


I've just had my bi-monthly heart attack, when I stumble across something that seems to scoop my entire thesis, and spend the morning frantically chasing references to check that it doesn't. In this case, it was a fairly interesting article (linked to from this SlashDot thead) about "extensible programming", wherein instead of communicating data between components in terms of streams of characters, á la the Unix command line, we use something a little more structured, which at the moment translates as XML. He also brings in a lot of together other ideas, such as Scheme hygienic macros, in a view that's spookily similar to my own way of thinking. Worth a look.

(In case you're wondering, the thing that worried me thesis-wise was the fourth footnote, which alludes to the fact that .NET makes translation between source languages "almost possible" via common intermediate form. I've checked, and I can't find anything suggesting that anyone actually does this with .NET. If you're reading this, and know of someone who does, then please let me know.)

Got One


After a few weeks of phone calls, interviews and such, I've accepted a job at Azuro, a small EDA startup. Now all I have to do is finish this damn thesis...

Wed, 12 May 2004

Added CV


As I'm looking for a job at the moment (as well as writing up, which is why I've not done anything to the site for a while), I've added my CV to my homepage. Enjoy.

Sun, 09 May 2004


The recent Register article about Clicker (a piece of software I'd get in an instant if it supported my workhorse-like 6310i) got me wondering why Apple hadn't done something similar themselves (as they've done in the past with other third party software such as Watson). One thing that did occur is that it would involve writing software for other people's devices (i.e., the phones), and that's something they've traditionally been happy to leave to others. However, there is an alternative route that they could take - the much-postulated BluePod (a iPod with Bluetooth). Think about it; a platform they control, synchronization software that's already written, and an ideal user interface for remote controlling things. Even if they don't enable the personal radio station mode that everyone's focusing on, adding Bluetooth to the iPod would make the syncing of contacts, calendars and other low-volume data easier, and would further cement the iPod's place as an accessory to your Mac (a position that's been diluted a little by the addition of Windows compatibility).

Now we just need to convince Apple to make the damn thing.

Where can you see lions?


Only in Kenya, apparently.

Mon, 29 Mar 2004

SilverService 0.1 Released

SilverService is a little application that I had the idea for a year ago, and I got round to writing a couple of weeks ago. I've tidied it up, and written a ReadMe file, and now I'm foisting it on the world under the GPL. I chose that particular licence because this is something that a) I'd like to keep working on, and the GPL might offer a little bit of leverage when getting permission from a future employer, and b) it's something that could easily be embraced and extended as a shareware or commercial app should someone feel like it, unless of course it's copylefted.

I'm starting the versioning at 0 because there are still some things I want to add before I'll consider it to be complete. One is the ability to manage bigger scripts (as opposed to just one-liners), and the other is some sort of plugin or extension system.

I'd be very interested to hear any comments you have about the software; mail me.

Wed, 10 Mar 2004

RAM - Cureall or Panacea?

I've just installed the 512MB SODIMM that I bought with my birthday money (thanks, guys) into the iBook, and the difference is, well, even better than I was expecting. Applications launch faster, waking from sleep is near instantaneous, switching between applications is no longer accompanied by five or ten seconds of the spinning beachball, the sun is shining a little brighter, and the shooting pains in my wrists are gone. Is extra RAM the solution to all of the world's ills? I think it just might be.

(I may be exaggerating a tiny bit, but the difference really is remarkable. Not that the iBook was particularly bad to start off with, but now running four or five applications at once is that bit smoother.)

Tue, 09 Mar 2004

"Best Technical Documentation Ever"


Ben has pointed me at Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, which he quite correctly describes as the best technical documentation ever. Read it and you'll see why. Scarily, it's also got me (re)interested in Ruby - its full, pouting lips and SmallTalk-like use of anonymous blocks is threatening to tempt me away from the housecoat / slippers / significant whitespace cosiness of Python. It's probably a temporary infatuation, but you never know...

Sun, 01 Feb 2004


I've had the source for CLOTH, a rewrite of a simple library that I wrote at AT&T, laying around for a while now (OK, a year and a bit). Anyway, I finally got round to tidying it up, so here it is.

Mon, 26 Jan 2004

Yet Another Way To Waste Time


John Gruber's Daring Fireball is one of the few blogs that I read regularly. It's always worth a look, and this morning was no exception; he provides a link Folklore. It's run by Andy Hertzfeld, one of the team who designed the original Mac, and is basically a repository of anecdotes about, for want of a better word, “hacker culture”. At the moment, it's filled with stories from the Mac project, which is a particular treat given it's 20th aniversary (yesterday). It's like the Jargon File, but without the whole ultra right wing neo-conservative gun nut angle.

Wed, 14 Jan 2004

42, Actually


The BBC have a story about the new, might-actually-happen, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy movie. They've cast two of the high points of Love, Actually - Martin Freeman (Tim in The Office), and Bill Nighy ("Thankyou, Ant or Dec... Kids, don't buy drugs - become a rock star, and they give them to you for free!") - as Arthur and Slartibartfast respectively. They're also retaining the vocal talents of Stephen Moore, the original Marvin ("God. I'm so depressed."). It's nice to see they're not screwing it up yet, although they still have to cast almost everyone else. Johnny Depp as Zaphod? We can only hope.

Wed, 07 Jan 2004

Spot The Difference


To celebrate the 20 years of the Macintosh, Apple have released a very slightly different version of everyone's favourite Superbowl commercial.

Mon, 05 Jan 2004

Small but Useful


Raging Menace has a bunch of little Mac OS X programs by Alex Harper, and very useful they are too. SideTrack is a replacement driver that lets iBook and PowerBook users reconfigure the trackpad to provide scrolling areas, tap-to-right-click and on. MenuMeters provides a set of neat meters for memory, CPU usage and so on, that don't take up much screen real estate; I've found it particularly useful to confirm that it is indeed more memory that I need, not a faster processor (when the paging indicator goes off the scale, that's a hint). I'll probably have a look at SleepTight at some point too. It gives Jaguar the Panther-like functionality to lock the screen when the machine sleeps. Handy when you're carting the machine round, but I'm only using the iBook at home at the moment, so I don't really need it just yet.

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