Excel Number format for Sort Codes

In the UK bank sort codes take the format 99-99-99 for example,   Excel plays silly buggers with this,  you can get around it by prefixing it with a ‘ which will turn the field to text but really there is a better way by creating a  custom number format.

Simply go to format cells -> Custom and then enter 00-00-00 as the format.   this has the added bonus of preserving the leading number if it is a zero.

Have fun

Cockney Rhyming Slang For Dogs

Right, a friend of mine down the pub has taken in a young dog because the family that had him originally discovered that one of the kids is allergic to dogs.

This little hound is a lovely animal but does not seem to respond to my friend’s commands, I have deduced from this that it is not that it is because it is a puppy but due to it’s former location (London) and therefore it is obvious that he doesn’t understand people in Worcestershire and must only speak Cockney rhyming slang…

I have started on a translation guide for him, and when complete will be printed out and posted in the pub at dog level to assist canine communication.

Windows and doors , paws
Apostle’s creed , lead
Elbows and toes, nose
Having a beg, cocking a leg
Daily mail, wagging my tail
Parking , barking
Give me a phone, throw me a bone
Having a yap, one requires a scoop and bag
Strike a match, catch

This is a work in progress…

Notion Ink Adam – 3G Settings. Apn settings

Just a quick note.

You will need to reboot after inserting SIM card.

In the mobile settings you will need to create a new Apn entry.  You will be able to get this from your providers website.

Important : the name on the entry will need to match the providers name for it to work.

On hold to Vodamoan (Vodafone)

/me complaining on IRC about calling Vodafone…

< tig> grrr dealing with vodamoan :-I
< tig> up a tier and round and round we go
< tig> will it get fixed nobody knows…
< tig> tell the tale tell it once more
< tig> I am repeating my self now, what a bore
< tig> on hold with the music in a repeating loop
< tig> now my hot cup of tea is luke warm gloop
< tig> will they come back, it’s a mystery to me
< tig> yuck I now am having to suffer a mug of cold tea
< tig> but what is this that wakes me from my slumber?
< tig> oh cock it is tech support telling me to ring another number 🙁

ls : short and slightly odd (bit like me)… .

A collegue pings me this morning to say he is having a bit of an odd time with a script erroring out, no problem I think. This is the simplified version as in the setup we saw this we had long paths and remote filesystems to lure us down blind alleys of permissions etc. We look at the log and it says (rebuilt a dummy setup of a layout that will show the issue so ignore the 0 file sizes) :

FATAL: No such file or directory opening: < /home/tig/test/1043_states.txt
Bit obvious I thought, and then it gets odd, he then runs :

ls /home/tig/test/1043_states.txt
ls: cannot access /home/tig/test/1043_states.txt: No such file or directory

Makes sense

tig@ubuntu:~/test$ ls -la
total 0
drwxr-xr-x 6 tig tig 592 2011-01-27 10:08 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 tig tig 856 2011-01-27 10:07 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 tig tig 160 2011-01-27 10:07 1031_001
drwxr-xr-x 2 tig tig 160 2011-01-27 10:07 1033_001
drwxr-xr-x 2 tig tig 232 2011-01-27 10:09 1043_001
-rw-r--r-- 1 tig tig 0 2011-01-27 10:08 1043.bar
-rw-r--r-- 1 tig tig 0 2011-01-27 10:08 1043.foo
drwxr-xr-x 2 tig tig 160 2011-01-27 10:08 2057_002

All looks fine, the file is just not there, but he then says, "if I do" :

tig@ubuntu:~/test$ ls -la /home/tig/test/1043_*
total 0
drwxr-xr-x 2 tig tig 232 2011-01-27 10:09 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 tig tig 592 2011-01-27 10:08 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 tig tig 0 2011-01-27 10:09 1043_state.txt

Pardon? wtf did that come from? He then did :

tig@ubuntu:~/test$ ls /home/tig/test/*.txt
ls: cannot access /home/tig/test/*.txt: No such file or directory

ls, bless it's little cotton socks has been helpful... it was only when I did (note I removed the underscore) :
tig@ubuntu:~/test$ ls /home/tig/test/1043*
/home/tig/test/1043.bar /home/tig/test/1043.foo


Do we see what is going on, ls matched the 1043_ with the 1043_001 directory and then hides it and shows you the matching result from within it, if only seems to be if there is a match in the current directory (or more than one matching directory) does it actually tell you the directory it is in...

All this before I had chance to put the kettle on...


Sitting in departures at Belfast City airport (I refuse to refer to it by it’s daft new name) and I am reminded of the kicking that Heathrow, Gatwick and others got in the press when they could not stay open in the snow.  The criticism was levelled that they were more focussed on being shopping malls than airports, something they howled at and denied. 

If airports want to be taken seriously as transport conduits and not “retail experience centres” they need to stop shit like the following.  I am currently sitting looking at a departure board and the status comments for all non-boarding flights is listed as “Relax and Shop”.  It does very little for your credibility when you are trying to pretend that you are not just focussed on extracting cash from a captive audience.

Cooking Parsnip and Pecan Cake: The Linux Distro Guide

From a conversation on #staffslug

We start of with a recipe for fantastic cake :


We then see how given this recipe or source different distros would approach cooking it based on past experiences. Please note this is humour and don’t start getting pedantic 🙂


Cooking is reasonably successful, not very fast but was reasonably friendly, used brand name ingredients, the icing sugar came out a bit odd but tasted alright so you can’t be arsed to fix it.


Getting the ingredients together took a tad longer, couln’t use the recipe as provided as the BBC trademark did not fit with the rules, consequently cake is now called IcedParsnip Cake but apart from that the recipe went well, shame some of the ingredients were a little stale. Also mixed spice cannot be used as it is a closed ingredient provided by a third party company that refuses to reveal the exact recipe.


Cake was baked with tried and tested ingredients some however were a couple of years old. Cake, although of professional quality was rock hard and stable. Better for construction use than eating. RedHat cake comes with support tag, CentOS version identical but now called CommunityEnterpriseCake.


Uses the freshest ingredients but halfway through the baking stabs you in the face with a circular dependency on pecans.rpm.


All ingredients have to be grown from scratch (yes you could use packages but then you could not do compiler fu), recipe is eventually very quick but by the time you have grown everything and baked the cake everyone else has eaten theirs (also then you find out it has raisins in it as you messed up a USE flag when you were fiddling with stuff waiting for your pecan tree).