Friday, 23 February 2007

My Previous Life

Just googlin to see if I have any image credits picked up by google on the big wide internet, and came across a newsgroup message archived, from my previous life as a biochemist:

I am currently doing assays of protein in cell cultures, and am looking for a good method of lysing human and rat cells which are adhered to 96-well plates, before measuring luminescence. Currently using five minute freeze/thaw cycles, but am looking for a better way.

Rachael Russell
Kenepuru Science Centre
New Zealand

Wow... I can't remember posting this message, and I can on vaugely remember what I was talking about. I do miss messing about in the lab and getting (barely) paid for it!

Monday, 19 February 2007

kung hé fat tsoi!

IMG_1973.JPGor happy new year (in cantonese) :)
went down to chinatown today in London to check out the Chinese New Year celebrations. Got a few good pictures and ate some yummy spring rolls and noodles..


More pics are here, and kerry has some on his blog too here

I have some for sale at Shutterstock (royalty free) here

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Blue Tuesday

Bit of a blue day on shutterstock today :)

Friday, 9 February 2007

Save Borough Market!

Borough Market, LondonMy favourite food market in London is under threat...!

The government has agreed plans for Network Rail to build a new viaduct straight through the Borough Market area - which would mean a lot of the historic market buildings and surrounding area would be destroyed, and the outdoor market area at Green Dragon Court would disappear. It would also cause a lot of noise and vibration throughout the area - it's bad enough at times already with the existing rail lines there.

There is an online petition at the Save The Borough Market Area Campaign site.

Borough Market, London

The trustees of the Market aren't supporting any of the petitions to stop the rail development. But it seems a little insular of them to just ignore the fact a lot of the surrounding historic buildings will be lost, even if they aren't a part of the acutal Market Complex.

Edit: added some of my own pics from various Borough Market outings

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

CruiseControl + the FIT/FITNesse Framework

Where I'm working, we're using FitNesse on some of the in-house java development projects to run automated 'business user acceptance testing'. I'm still not 100% convinced of the value of FitNesse - it takes a lot of setup, and anytime the archictecture of the underlying systems changes, the java fixtures need to be rewritten to take this into account. This means only test analysts who are also Java devs can modify the 'framework'...

I'm currently trying to get FitNesse and CruiseControl integrated - as the development team (supposedly) use CruiseControl as their continuous integration solution, and Fit/FitNesse currently lacks a lot of the reporting and scheduling features I'ld like to see. So we get some 'free' reporting/scheduling tools, and in the future can integrate the Fit Tests with the current build process as an extra layer of tests.

So the current solution is a lot of hacking of XML/XSLT stylesheets - I don't have a JDK installed on my PC yet, so can't get CruiseControl up and running, but I've got the FitNesse end running. There is a command line runner that can recursively run tests generated in spreadsheets, and spit out xml or html results, which some nice people have posted their xslt to turn into stuff that CruiseControl can display nicely :) Not sure if the command line test runner can run the FitNesse wiki pages or not...

For invoking builds on the fly, the users will have to use the CruiseControl JMX Control Panel, which is pretty ugly and rather hard to find... I might just hardcode a html page which invokes the build myself, or see if I can put a link up on the CruiseControl admin page.

Fingers crossed! I'll post my results here in case anyone ever wants to give it a try themselves :)
Would be great if there was a CruiseControl plugin for FitNesse all ready to go...

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Thursday, 1 February 2007


someone asked me about my avatar the other day... I've been using it all over the place - the forums I post on, msn messanger, logon icon on my mac blah blah.

It's a vector drawing I've started doing (and never finished!) from a self portrait I did one day. Must finish up the vector (yeah yeah procrastinator!).

Here's the two versions:

Rach Vector self portrait

procrastination begone!

I've decided it's time to start 'getting things done'.

I'm starting with my personal life - and on Sat I'm going to a trial day at the gym for the first time since university (!). It's ultra handy to us too - on the next street! I'm hoping I can keep it up for the next year - I really need to get healthier.

Next on the list is sorting out wedding stuff - I know we have a year to get it all done, but when you're doing it from overseas (we're getting married in NZ) it's not as easy as just looking in the phone book and going around to see someone. Most of the big stuff is done (venue - they sort the food & drink & photographer), but I'm sure there are heaps of things I haven't even thought about that need to be reserved/bought ages in advance.

What next? Sort out my career (ahem if you can call it that!)? Do all those little annoying jobs at work that I've been putting off? Hmmmm.