Ex Terrestris, deliramentum

Random stuff from me, Sean Ellingham

August 7, 2011
by Sean Ellingham
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Thoughts on the BBC/Sky F1 rights deal

As many of you are no doubt aware, on the 29th of July the BBC announced a new rights deal for Formula 1 coverage in the UK. From 2012, the BBC will be sharing the rights with Sky, who would have exclusive rights to live coverage of half of the races. As you might expect, this was not a popular announcement; indeed since the moment the announcement was made, there has been a huge backlash from British Formula 1 fans.

My immediate reaction to seeing the news as I was travelling into work was one of shock and disbelief. I was certainly aware of talk that the BBC were considering cutting the F1 coverage due to the license fee settlement, however I discounted it as nonsense for three reasons: firstly, dropping Wimbledon was always mentioned in conjunction with dropping F1, which seemed equally absurd; secondly, the contract the BBC had didn’t expire until 2013; and thirdly, since the Concorde agreement between the teams, the FIA and FOM requires that F1 coverage remains free-to-air, and none of the other terrestrial broadcasters seemed likely to be able to afford F1, there was nowhere else for the coverage to go.

Quite simply, I thought the announcement was complete and utter nonsense. However, as I read further into the news article, I eventually came to the realisation that the BBC had thrown their award-winning coverage away.
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August 1, 2011
by Sean Ellingham
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A Rebirth

As you may have noticed, it has been nearly a year since I last posted an entry to this blog. As such, I won’t be surprised if the only “you” reading this turns out to be me, finding and correcting any mistakes with this entry.

I don’t really have any excuse for the lack of posts – not one that is credible anyway – so I’m not going to come up with one. I will merely resolve to start blogging again, and this time actually keep doing it. I do have a half written review of the Amazon Kindle lying around in the database, so expect to see that make an appearance sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I should get a plan together for what I want to do with this site. There was a vague plan when I launched the blog last year, but it really needs to be properly thought through.

I do have some ideas for blog posts that I can get started with – there are a couple of recent technology purchases I can review, and I can talk a bit about my photography. I’m also considering writing up my thoughts on the BBC/Sky F1 rights deal – although getting them down in a coherent manner might be a bit tricky.

Anyway, enough of the excuses. Let’s get this show back on the road!

August 29, 2010
by Sean Ellingham
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3 Mobile Wi-Fi Review

One of the reasons I started this blog was so that I could provide reviews of the various gadgets I own, as I think that will not only give a bit of an insight into my life, but also provide some useful information to those with similar interests. One of my most recent purchases is a 3 Mobile Wi-Fi, commonly known as a Mi-Fi, which takes a mobile internet connection and creates a small wireless hotspot allowing multiple devices to access the internet at once. I’ve now had it for roughly three weeks, and am thoroughly pleased with it thus far.
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August 28, 2010
by Sean Ellingham
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Holiday Preparation

Next Saturday, I embark on holiday to the back of beyond Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. I’ll be spending two weeks with my parents, who moved there about two months ago. All of the travel plans have been worked out and paid for (for the most part!) by them. This will be my first visit since the move, and the first to where they are living in about three years (the awkward phrasing is deliberate, as they are currently renting whilst they gut the place they will be moving to).

Needless to say, the journey up is quite involved: I will be making use of seven different forms of transport over a course of about 12 hours. In order, those are: foot, train, plane, bus, coach, ferry and car! Fortunately, the return journey is quite a bit simpler! The overall length of the journey doesn’t particularly bother me, apart from a couple of the interchanges being quite tight on time. The big unknown to me is the flight, or rather the faffing about associated with the flight. The last time I flew anywhere was nearly twenty years ago – and that was a transatlantic flight on a ‘proper’ aeroplane (something along the lines of a 747, rather than whatever EasyJet use on domestic flights). As a consequence, I don’t have any frame of reference for how long it takes to deal with check-in, security and boarding. Having said that, I don’t foresee any problems.

Because it’s now only a week until this ridiculous epic journey, I’ve spent most of today trying to pack what I want to take. The main issue is weight, as not only is there a 20 kg limit on the single checked bag I’m allowed, but one of the return flights has a 6 kg limit on the carry-on bag. I wasn’t particularly planning on taking a lot of stuff, but have since found that the combined weight of my camera gear, tripod and suitcase is 15-16 kg. Sorting out the remaining stuff (minor things, like clothes or toiletries!) has been somewhat annoying as a result; this has been compounded by the desire to have something to do both on the plane and whilst waiting at Gatwick (and Glasgow on the return trip). I seem to have gotten everything basically sorted now, but will have to go over it again tomorrow as it’s getting a bit late now, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time writing this post!

I do plan on making a couple of posts whilst I’m away, quite possibly with some pictures (assuming I can remember how to take ‘snaps’ rather than ‘photographs’!), so please check back soon!

August 24, 2010
by Sean Ellingham
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About this blog…

As I said a couple of days ago, I have a few plans for this blog. Rather than going over them in detail (as I don’t want to bore my potential readers), I’m going to comment on the blog as it stands now.

One thing that I am certain warrants some explanation is the title: Ex Terrestris, deliramentum. It’s Latin, and loosely translated means “From the Earth, nonsense”. This seems to sum up the general state of the world, and if I pretend that that grandiose sentiment was the intention I could leave it there. Alas, I’ve only just thought that particular angle through. In truth, I wanted something interesting, and a bit different – plus it does allow for the content of this blog to get a bit weird if I so desire! The downside, of course, is that since I don’t actually speak Latin – I only know a few phrases – I don’t actually know if that translation is accurate. If someone wants to correct me, feel free!

As for the current design – I simply chose a reasonably good-looking theme after finishing the WordPress install. It is most definitely a temporary measure, and at some point will get replaced. When this will happen I don’t know, as I doubt I will get around to it before my holiday. Other than that, I clearly need to create some extra content, set up tags and categories, and investigate the plug-ins available for WordPress. I would like to add some social content, such as my Twitter feed, and possibly some other stuff as well.

Finally, I did say that this blog would not be about work or web development. For the most part, that’ll be true, but as I learn WordPress, some aspects of customising this blog will make it on here. It won’t go further than that though, I promise! If I do decide to talk about PHP, MySQL, HTML 5, CSS and other web development topics on a regular basis, then I’ll create a separate blog for that purpose.

August 22, 2010
by Sean Ellingham
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Welcome

For a while now, I’ve been thinking of setting up a blog. A couple of things were stopping me: firstly, I wanted to build the architecture for it myself (as a learning exercise – I’m a web developer “by trade”), and secondly, I had no idea what to write about!

Today, I finally decided that I would get something started. I would have preferred to build it myself, but my plans require that the blog actually be working before I go on holiday in a couple of weeks – so I have gone for the ubiquitous WordPress install. Setting it up proved entertaining, as I have specific future plans which make a out-of-the-box install not really viable. I may go in to the specifics of these at a later date.

The second point is still somewhat valid – I do have a few ideas of things to write about, but I don’t think they will last very long. Let’s see what the future brings!