Niall's virtual diary archives - November 1998

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Summary

2nd November 1998

Details of Garage and House music night, other LRA stuff

9th November 1998  
11th November 1998

How not well the Garage and House music night went, what I learned etc.

16th November 1998

Got angry with uni officials, told them what I thought

22nd November 1998

Programming, shattering of dreams, Acorns

23rd November 1998

Meet Melanie, why uni is so cool to be at

Monday 2nd November 1998: 8.35am, very much a good morning! It's a sunny but misty morning this fine first monday of the month, and I'd imagine it's probably also bloody cold. But ah well, feel happy that I'm put the effort in to type to you!

This is the first night now in a while I've not done any bongs, mainly as I wanted to stay capable enough to do lots tonight. And I haven't done too badly - given the last few days of madness. Last night saw me sufficiently stoned that I tripped my whack off - pretty much I sat in a corner either dancing or giggling and very much little else. Mind you, I did do ten bongs of that boiled stuff, far far more than anyone else there, and I was one of the last to go to bed - around 5am I believe (or so I'm told anyway ;) ). Why did I get so stoned that night? Well, saturday was not good - after crashing after Friday night (last entry's time), I woke for 7pm and got down to the LRA's Halloween disco to lend a hand. The night, unbeknownst to myself, had been splashed out upon to the tune of 350, somewhat more than I had understood, and we got exactly 54 on the door, thus creating a net deficit of some three hundred pounds.

Now (says I drawing air through gritted teeth), given that this LRA would not front me only two hundred pounds to get the first event off the ground, I feel that they blowing three hundred is just a tad out of order. For a start, I pointed out they'd be (a) competing against the student union's night which had a bar till 1.30am and was nearly cheaper than ours and (b) every other club and bar worth its salt was having a halloween night too. To further compact this disadvantage, they didn't bother doing advertising until only three days before the event, thus totally guaranteeing that no one would know let alone want to come. And finally, they spent far more than they needed to mainly as they're incompetent.

So, as I mentioned, they lost three hundred quid and now are having to borrow money off the JCR's, which is great because they'll want it back and the LRA won't have it, mainly as they're a waste of space. And I'm lumped with fronting some three hundred quid myself, a prospect I ain't too comfortable with.

That said though, our first night, Nov. 11th, should be a scream. Check out the flyer:

flyer.gif (14462 bytes) What do you think? Not bad I reckon - I even did the logo myself using some shareware vector art package, and since it wouldn't save or do anything useful I had to blow it up 300%, use Paint Shop Pro to do a screen grab, cut it down and reduce it by 500%. And what's more, this is just for informationals - I'm also doing ten large A1 posters to go around the student union building and laying on a bus to ship people between the union and the Lawns at the start and end of the night. Now if this doesn't get some punters in, I'll be my mother's slipper!

On Nov 18th we have Hempology playing, I'll be doing a similar thing for them too. If all goes to plan, I should net three hundred quid from each, much of which will go to paying various people more than the meagre fee I've promised. Well, they don't know that yet as I'm keeping it a secret in case the night goes really badly, but let's not think that okay!

Anyway, I've also generated a newsletter (which is here if you want to have a look see) to publicise lots of events within the Lawns, and I partially drew up the LRA's constitution (here again, but it's incomplete) which the incompetent's have gone and altered to remove all the "new stuff that gives us extra work" eg; like publishing minutes and such - "wow" thinks I, how hard can that be? Even with all the losses, they still refuse to get off their arses and ratify the damn thing and just keep pontificating - so hence next Tuesday they'll go to Lawns Halls without a constitution - which means their chances of being taken as a serious entity are so like, nil :( Sometimes I wonder why I bother ...

Besides that, I've moved the video afternoon to video night, and for the first time it now makes a profit! Cool or what - I'm finally making my money back at last! Even better, with this arrangement, I need not flyer every block anymore - just each JCR and then rely on Sunday night drinkers to pull in the numbers. Can't be bad ...

And umm, I think that's it for now. It's 9.06am, so I guess I'd better get into uni and start doing stuff like running off test flyers and such. Oh and of course stuff like lectures ;)

So, says I trying to drag this out so it doesn't look funny, be happy, and I'll see you again soon with lots more boring news about my life. Oh why can't I just get really worked up anymore ... guess I'm just calmer nowadays. Hmm - mind you, tonight's telephone conversation with Elli didn't go well for some reason - she just seemed to be really narky for no reason - or maybe it was just my voice, I don't know. Best go see here tomorrow - whoops, mean today! Okay, I'm just going to light up a spliff and then relax and listen to John Lennon for a while and then, possibly, head in. Give it a while yet though for the buses to become decongested - and to have a shower. Hmm, I think I've filled the box now ... cool!

In which case, I'm most definately off, be happy, see you again soon! Bye!

Monday 9th November 1998: 5.25am, just finished reading a very interesting article painting a different light on the state of cannabis legalisation in the UK - which I've mounted for your interest here.

Stop press:
HOUSE OF LORDS SELECT COMMITTEE CALL FOR CANNABIS TO BE LEGALISED FOR MEDICINAL USE!!!

Just got a leak from the upcoming report next Wednesday, looks like we have a yessir here! Congratulations to all who have campaigned long and hard for this just decision. Now lets just hope the government do what is right too!

Earlier today ... Dagh, yet another week has passed. I've been bloody busy this past week with organising this garage & house music night and what's more, getting it right. I also ran off lots of copies of those newsletters I mentioned below and hand-delivered them to 450 people - so tiring I passed out on Friday afternoon which led me to take the weekend off, which I spent with Elli. Pretty cool, even if we spent almost all our time in bed talking and err, other things!

Tomorrow needs me to deliver the rest of those newsletters, hand around ideas for my "legalise cannabis" motion due before union council, buy two cash boxes and run off yet another five hundred flyers. Cool says I. Never stops for poor old Niall ...

Anyway, must go as it's late and prepare more of that speech - I'm aiming to be in bed hopefully before 6am as I need to be out of it pretty early too :(. So be happy, and see you again sometime soon. Oh BTW, apologies for taking so long to update - it's been yet another crunch week!

Wednesday 11th November 1998: 6.05am, just finished updating the tornado web pages with the latest tornado SDK and a screenshot too! If you're anyway into programming, feel free to check it out.

Well, tonight, if you remember, was crunch night as my first ever event was put on down the Lawns Concourse. It went extremely well with some excellent music (even though I don't like house or garage music much), and the DJ's played their hearts out. However, unfortunately we only got a hundred people in, so I ended up losing some one hundred and fifty pounds, something I can't say I'm too happy about. Still, from what it seems, it was as good as I could manage, with the specialised nature of the music, the venue and lack of late licence all counting against me. It's also been very instructive, as I have come up with a cunning plan ... ;)

Essentially, I reckon that if I put on a weekly cheesy 70's music night, I can make enough money to put on a real music night running at a loss every week or so too. If I could combine a late licence with cheesy crappy 70's stuff, I reckon there should be no problem pulling them in. Problem is, where do I get kit from on a weekly basis? I'm going to try TechComm, but given it'll be on a Friday night if anything (best chance for a weekly late licence), they'll have problems as I'll be competing with Shine at the uni which they also do. I'll propose this tomorrow and see what happens.

Other stuff: not much since the last entry, other than things between me and Elli haven't been going too well recently. With me being as busy (and tired) as I have been, I'm not much fun to be around and she's definately not been happy. Which is going to get worse by the looks of it, as I have the legalisation speech to write for tomorrow plus lots of contract work to do to rebuild that lost 150 quid. There's not much I can do really - I still haven't gone to any lectures or done any coursework, so I have no time free as it is. Not much scope for leeway ... :(

Right, I think I'll be off. Be happy, see you again soon!

Monday 16th November 1998: 10.17am, it's been a funny old weekend. After getting some sleep after last Wednesday, I began to get particularly angry about the state of things at the Lawns and how I was doing all the work and nowt was happening.

So I stormed into the offices of Tom Stevens, Residence and Catering Manager.

And I told him how things were out at the Lawns, and how this was not good, and what I'd been doing to try and fix it.

And he seemed very shocked, and told me to write it all down so something could be done about it.

Which I've spent this morning doing, and it'll be interesting to see what he makes of it.

And that pretty much rounds up what I've been up to. I've spent the weekend with Elli almost entirely, and we got some shit sorted, and so things should be better now hopefully. I still haven't got round to doing any proper socialising, which I'm going to today I think. And what else - oh, I think I could well do with a well earned break, so I'm laying off "break neck speed" work for a while, give myself some time to ponder and think. And we'll see what I come up with.

So that's that really. See you again soon. Be happy!

Sunday 22nd November 1998: 3.12am. I had a funny dream last night. I dreamt that Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones had got pissed off with his NT box constantly losing his songs and so had gone looking for something better and found a BBC Master 128 and "fell in love" with it. He then threw lots of money into reviving the platform leading to the development of a Linux/X based system running slowly but workably on souped up BBC Master. All this I was seeing on my friend Jimmy's Master back at his home in Ireland and it seemed like around when I was 17/18 years old (them were the days!).

In fact, it was such a believable dream that when I woke up, I turned on the computer and searched for +"rolling stones" +"fell in love" +"bbc master" on altavista. Needless to say, nothing turned up.

Now, I'm probably the first to admit I'm a right proper sad bastard, and that dreaming of impossible technologies on ancient architectures is most definately very sad, but it got me onto the topic of Acorns once more. And y'see readership, Acorns are a bit of a sore spot with me. I grew up with them. I formed my programming skills when I was six originally on an Acorn Electron with only 32k, considered plenty in those days, and it's led to my relative prowess on the PC today. Like for example, tonight I tested tornado on a friend's 98 machine and not only did it work perfectly (if slowly), it took up barely any memory and I notice also it shared memory between processes when it could. How bad thinks I? Anyway, I moved onto an A3000 and then a RiscPC before converting to the PC world after learning at Colton Software how much of a sham the whole Acorn movement was. This did not enamour me well with the Acorn roadies at the time and many still speak poorly of me.

And so it's a bittersweet thing. We all believed in the Acorn dream for so long, only to have it broken by incompetent management who really didn't have a clue. And they robbed something from us - not only a shared belief and common ground, but a hope we all shared. And the destruction of one's hopes is a terrible thing to endure, and we all have suffered.

Today I read on Acorn CyberVillage that after Acorn pulling the plug on Phoebe (the next generation of Acorns), a steering group led by the incredibly incompetent (and unpopular with Acorn management) former chairman Peter Bondar had tried to buy the workstation division that's just been folded. Needless to say, Acorn told him to go fuck himself as they really wouldn't spit on him if he was on fire. And so, as it seems, Acorn's will no longer be.

The weird thing is, of course, that things such as Tornado and PhoebeOS carry on the Acorn dream partially on the UI front, and that given that both are portable they may someday be running on ARM processors, the very same that power Acorn workstations except of course, it'll be under NT rather than RISC-OS. And I guess, we'll all be better off for it.

So that's that. So what else has been happening? Well, I wrote that letter, circulated it, rewrote it and posted it. I expect to be summoned before the end of the week ;). Ohh erk! - 95's becoming unstable and won't let me open Outlook Express - I'd better go then to restart.

Might update again in a minute .. until then, be happy!

Monday 23rd November 1998: 5.52am, I'm really beginning to realise why I'm at this university. I've just come back from having been out since like half three this afternoon, where I finally got my tickets home for Christmas finalised, wrote my legalise cannabis motion (which is here) in draft and went to union council (all four hours of it that I attended). BTW, the motion was well received, but some notable objectors appeared. We'll see.

Now here's where the magic of being at uni happens. I got the same bus back as Emma (my friend from Ferens - there's a hidden meaning in that, but none you'd understand without lots of background, and besides it wouldn't be anything you'd be interested in as it's not dirty or scandalous!) and with her was a girl from Nicholson. I was telling her tonight about the legalisation issues at council, but on the way back I talked of the LRA and how they've halved the number of ball tickets as due to their incompetence they haven't sold many. And she invited me back to discuss the future of the LRA and what we can do (I'm of course looking out for potential new members for next year).

And wow, what can I say? Seven and a half hours of conversation later, my eyes are killing me and my throat aches, but I have to say I'm impressed. She's on if she wants it. We talked of everything from the LRA to relationships to politics to history. And this is what I came to uni for - to stay up all night talking to people on a one to one basis. This is like the third time this has happened so far this year, and I'm well happy with it. And what's more, it means I'm beginning to form next year's LRA slowly. I'm getting a small but keen group of very competent people together, making them aware of the situation as present, and if all goes to plan - hell, next year's LRA is going to be something else. These people are hard-working, dedicated and competent - all you need to turn the whole Lawns situation around. Well cool methinks ...

Hmm, I'll just roll up a spliff - hang on! Done! Well, it's now 6.45am, so I think I'm going to bed. Long day tomorrow. As always ...

Be happy and see you again soon!

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