Hello again.

It’s been a long time between blogs, way too long, not since the start of Akademy, so let’s just get what should have been said at the time out of the way:

Best. Akademy. Ever.

Thanks to the Tampere crew and our regular Akademy support team for an awesome time, we’re really getting good at organising these things. I can’t wait to see what Berlin comes up with for the Desktop Summit.

Life’s been as busy as usual, between archaeology and a new job finding time for KDE hacking was tough and I struggled to complete my TODO list for 4.6, but with winter on its way and an end to the digging season I should have more time for the 4.7 cycle.

The summer digging season was an especially good one for me, one up side to being out of proper work was being free to spend several months digging on a number of different sites. The Thames Discovery Program, a survey and monitoring project on the Thames foreshore in London, was a major commitment that had me working on a number of iconic sites such as the launch site of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Eastern, the Greenwich Royal Naval College (or more exactly Henry VIII’s palace formerly on the site), and most famous of all the Tower of London. There’s something special about looking up from your troweling to see the Tower walls looming over you, Tower Bridge in the background, and all the tourists pointing at you like you’re in the zoo :-) Other digs included a Bridgetine Abbey, a Medieval Rectory, and a month on a Roman settlement that started as a marching fort from around the invasion in 43AD and lasted all the way through until they left in about 410AD. My only regret is I had to turn down the invitation to a month’s digging in Pompeii due to lack of money :-(

Roman coin found at Durolevum in Kent, England

The lack of (modern) money was seemingly rectified the week after digging ended when I started a new 6 month contract doing the usual mainframe stuff, this time for a large insurance company based in Southampton, so I was spending 2-3 days a week down there and the rest of the week working from home in London. Unfortunately only 7 weeks into the contract they've decided to cancel the project due to financial issues so I'm once again out the door and looking for work. Such is the life of a contractor in a recession.

The other disappointment of the last few months was getting through 10 weeks of my 12 week half-marathon training programme before injuring my knee and having to pull out of the race. I had been looking good for a sub-2 hour time, but I guess I’ll have to wait for next year to achieve that. Two months on I'm finally back running again, but it's a long slow recovery.

On the KDE side, I’ve done the usual improvements to KCalendarSystem, KLocale and KHolidays which I will blog about in excruciating detail later, but I’ve also just started getting involved in the Marble community. A couple of weekends ago I attended the Marble coding sprint in Nuremberg, Germany and had a great time with some very smart people. I originally went to discuss some areas for potential collaboration with kdelibs, but have somehow ended up with a Marble feature TODO list :-) I’ll post a separate blog all about that too, but for now I need to get a move on with polishing my features that did make the freeze...

Oh, and I have a new toy, a Dell Streak phone/tablet with 5" screen:

Dell Streak

It's a really nice piece of kit, a little large to use full time as a phone (which I won't, I don't like large pocket bulges or carrying expensive kit on nights out), but great as a portable media/internet device. No, it doesn't run KDE as it's Android, but Meego has been spotted booting on one, so hopefully soon I'll have the perfect KDE in-your-hand device.