Crafting in NWN2


As I have said, I don’t like Crafting in my fantasy fiction; it’s not what I see as heroic, although there are some stories that make something of it, for instance the centre of De Launentis’ “Conan the Barbarian” is the riddle of steel and weapon forging is a small  part of the story, and there’s Griswold, the Blacksmith from Tristram with his pride in the weapons of men. It seems that it’s needed in the NWN2 Official Campaign. The recipes are found in books and the material components are found all over the shop, often by killing monsters. Continue reading “Crafting in NWN2”

Fighting Tholapsyx


About fighting Tholapsyx,  the ancient Red Dragon. We are looking for the Belt of the Ironfist Clan so that we can recruit the Dwarves to the Neverwinter Alliance. This is started at the Iron Fist stronghold where we get more of Khelgar’s backstory; he is a compulsory party companion for the Ironfist caves and Mount Galardrym  This post contains spoilers, although  not much, since you are unlikely to be looking for this if you found the fight easy; it also has some notes and links and uses some of the same words as in my diary/walkthrough. Continue reading “Fighting Tholapsyx”

Defending the UK


What started it

I found myself doing some reading about recent British Defence strategy and policy. It started with a blog by John Snow, questioning the British military’s obsession with supporting the US, it’s a sort of trickle down, but we can’t afford the technology any more. Military technology works because its new and different and expensive to copy and counter. Snow points at James Meek’s review of five books about Britain’s War in Afghanistan, called “worse than defeat” in the London Review of Books. Continue reading “Defending the UK”

Encrypting my Email


I am crawling towards encrypting my mail. I have adopted enigmail, a Thunderbird addon and use it to sign emails from the one Thunderbird instance in which I have it installed. It seemed sensible since I use it even on the Mac, but suddenly, I discover that as I now have access to a 1and1 SNMP server, Apple’s imail wizard now works and so I could use the prettier, or is it merely different imail client. Choices, choices! The rest of this post is a collection of links about enigmail or PGP on a Mac.

Continue reading “Encrypting my Email”

More on Splash Pages


I want a splash screen on this page. See also this post. This article documents my experiments with Kento Splash Screen.

If the short code is before the More line, then it appears on the Home, if after only if one enters the page itself. (So make a tiny article that looks like part of the header and pin it? We now have some PHP, see below/overleaf. )

Continue reading “More on Splash Pages”

Unicode in Python


It’s a very long time since I have had to deal with binary code translations, but when dealing with HTML and JSON with Python, I need to get to grips with it. The € symbol for instance requires the extended character set support and rss should be written in utf-8. This page collects the notes I made in learning about Python’s support for unicode/ascii translations. Continue reading “Unicode in Python”

Web Site Testing with MaxQ


MAXQ is a web proxy with recording and replay features. It is designed to capture and replay tests. They are quite keen that one understands the terms of use of target sites since many prohibit automated access and these days it would seem defend themselves against it.  This article documents how to run MaxQ and make tests, but not how to successfully run them. (If that’s why you’ve come here, look elsewhere but if you have answers please comment here. ) Continue reading “Web Site Testing with MaxQ”

Banking Regulation Reform


I was pushed to look at some of the Banking Regulation reform performed by the last government. My focus was to look at the Vickers aka Independent Commission on Banking and the legislative response. The key proposal is practical measures to protect domestic savings from foreign risk by de-merging or separating the retail and investment banking arms of the large banks. The next stage in this article would be to collect comments/link around the adequacy or otherwise of the timetable for adoption and the politics behind it. The Banking Reform Act was passed in 2013. Continue reading “Banking Regulation Reform”

Converting dates to strings using Python


While working on converting ello.json to rss, I needed to convert the date formats, I needed to do it in Python and found the following code worked, using strptime and strfmtime. I had to augment the date string with the name of the day of the week attribute, so felt it had to via a date data type. (This is an important part of the requirement, since otherwise string manipulation would have been enough.) Finding exampes was hard, so I hope it helps, Continue reading “Converting dates to strings using Python”

Labour’s Leadership Election Timetable


Last Month, Harriet Harman writes,

As well as mounting a strong opposition to the Tories and understanding the lessons from our election defeat, we need to get on and elect a new Leader and Deputy Leader.

The NEC met this afternoon to decide on the timetable for the leadership election, ….

This leadership election will be run under the new rules we agreed last year: a broad and inclusive contest with one person, one vote. Continue reading “Labour’s Leadership Election Timetable”