Honestly my last post about my viva

…for a while.

Woke up at 4.30am today having awful dreams about how none of the code worked. My dreams transposed the problems I am trying to solve at work onto the code I need to write for my corrections. I couldn’t stand it any longer so I got up and started work on it, and I’ve launched an experiment now which should hopefully provide all I need in terms of experimental work. So, it’s not as bad as my dreams…

The idea of getting back into the writing part also terrifies me. I guess another few weeks of getting up in the small hours might get it done, but I’m likely to lose all my friends. Obsessing about this is already making me totally inward-focussed. I am trying to make an effort to think about what other people might be feeling, to try and keep my self-pity in check.

Viva today

Today I find out whether I get a PhD. I’ve been strangely not-nervous about it, although I’ve woken up pretty early this morning. It’s difficult to `revise’ since most of what we’ll be talking about is what I wrote. I’ve been trying to refresh my memory of papers I cited (especially those of my examiners…) and of what I wrote, but it’s been so boring I haven’t done much. Let’s hope I don’t regret it later.

I’m fairly hopeful about passing – I would hope my supervisors would not have let me submit if it wasn’t going to pass, but I see the viva as being both a rite of passage everyone has to go through (i.e. a horrible experience that my examiners had to go through, so they want to inflict it on me, and a negotiation process about how many corrections I need to do.

I’m not worried about having a hard time today: I tend to stand up reasonably well under face-to-face pressure like this, and I hope I can robustly defend points of which I am confident, and give way in places where I should refine my thinking. I’m more worried about the corrections. I just can’t imagine getting back into writing my thesis – I’ve left it so far behind my thinking, I’m so sick of it, that the idea of writing another chapter or two is horrific. It was bad enough the first time.


I made a page for the band Pete Beresford and me had when we were at uni. You can download the 3 songs I was getting around to sending to John Peel. If you like your metal instrumental and a tiny bit Propellorheads, it might be for you: Mnemonic. If you like it, let me know and I’ll send you some FLAC recordings of those songs (still not great quality, I’m afraid), and/or some of our other songs.

FreeGuide’s TODO list

Take a look at the latest TODO list. There are several categories of things on it:

  1. Already done e.g. “Add firefox to the possible browsers.”
  2. Completeness features e.g. “Use Java’s printing capabilities to print”
  3. Feature creep e.g. “Automatically make a channel set when you right-click a channel and choose
    “Move up” (or even drag!)”
  4. Difficult-to-trace bugs e.g. “Make it not say no listings after midnight”
  5. Difficult features e.g. “Minimize to system tray”
  6. Subtle UI improvements e.g. “Remember where you were in the Options screen”
  7. Major features we are in the middle of e.g. “Run an exe when a programme is about to start and/or end” (this is actually recording)

I should go through and make sure everything is relevant, but also I need to prioritise what to do before 1.0 if we are ever going to get there. 7s are being done by Alex and others, 2s really need doing if we are going to call it finished, 4s should get cleared up during the beta stage (hopefully), most 5s are likely to get dropped, and 3s and 6s are good potentials for a public vote – then the most wanted ones will get done and the others will have to be post-1.0.

I may go through the list and actually classify them this way, and then we can see what we’re doing.