Robin O'Leary's Home Page

Here you can find out about some of the things that interest me and some recent photos I have taken. (and here are some older photos that are better indexed).

Today it is Julian Day number 2458198.712, or 2018-03-08 in the Julian calendar, or, more conventionally, 2018-03-21 in the Gregorian calendar, You can learn about the various calendars and convert between them using a simple web form. I know the time and date very accurately, because I am using NTP, the Network Time Protocol to get the time from various atomic clocks.

I have been gradually building my home automation system from scratch to avoid all the problems with existing control protocols, such as the popular and cheap (but dreadful) X10. Many of the lights are now controlled by computer using some DMX theatre lighting dimmers. I am a founder member of an open project to build Mowbot, a robot lawnmower. Unfortunately, the mailing list has long since faded away, although its archive still makes interesting reading.

I am conducting a running battle against spam of all descriptions, using wonderful tools like uBlock to clean up my web browsing and spamassassin and spamcop to fight unsolicited commercial email. Even the humble telephone seems to be a vector for infection these days, but those of us fortunate enough to live in the UK have a powerful weapon to wield against the battalions of telesales.

For many years, I helped to co-ordinate and judge the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, an annual event held every year to find the best College team of programmers in the world, and have a lot of fun in the process. Although the ACM contest has been international for many years, as chair of the European Regional Contest Steering Committee I am very pleased to have overseen the massive increase in finalists from Europe: from two in 1993 to eleven in 1996. There are now many Regional Contests held in the Autumn all around Europe, so if you study at a European college or university and would like to compete, please do---it's easy to get involved and I'm sure you'll have a great time!

I think people should be responsible for their own actions. I agree with Richard Dawkins that religion is a virus of the mind. Science is our innoculation against it.

I founded Caederus Ltd. in 1991 to provide design consultancy services for Unix (more recently Linux) software and hardware applications. The company did some interesting things but no longer exists. I was one of the founding members of Equiinet Ltd. in 1998, which is still going strong.

I think sleeping is a terrible waste of time; I tried doing something about it, which was interesting but not sustainable.

I've had a decades-long struggle to get my musical collection properly digital and I think I have almost succeeded, thanks to the support for FLAC files with embedded cuesheets and metadata provided by slimserver. I've also had fun writing slimrio to resurrect my old Rio Receivers, but I no longer use them myself having got some excellent SqueezeBox audio players.

If you know something about art and want to help satisfy my curiosity about a minor piece of film trivia, have a look at these images from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

PGP is spoken here! (Actually Gnu PG). You can get my key from several places.


Please send comments to me, Robin O'Leary, using the email address

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This page was last updated 2008-06-08.

Copyright (C)1996--2008 Robin O'Leary. All rights reserved.