‘Tis the Season

You know. That season. The Season. The Season where half of your extended family gets a new electronic gadget from that man. The half of your family which happens to be technologically illiterate.

Well, help is at hand.

Are you tired of cheerfully helping fix their problems, even as you wish a painful venereal disease upon them behind clenched teeth?

Have you been looking for a way to aggressively passively-aggressively assert yourself in a charming manner?

Well, look no farther, good Hacker!

From me, to you, comes this delightful mashup of the infamous Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Available you today, for free. You can download it from here, now, in A3 size, under a permissive Creative Commons license that allows you to share and edit the poster.

Or if you so wish, you can purchase a high-quality printed version from me for €5. €2 will go toward the cost of printing, and the other €3 will go straight into the kitty at 091 Labs for our Christmas party fund. Delivery will be on December 16. Please contact me directly if you want a print.

Dune, November 1 @ 9pm

This post comes to you a little belatedly, but tonight from 9pm we will be hosting a showing of David Lynch’s epic 1984 adaption of Frank Herbert’s equally epic science-fiction novel, Dune.

In the far-flung universe of Dune, two ancient Houses are locked in a bitter struggle for control of the most precious of commodities, the drug Melange. Melange, known as the Spice, is a narcotic that extends life indefinitely, boosts vitality, and in high doses unlocks shocking mental powers:

The Bene Gesserit, a quasi-religious order of women who ostensibly strive for the betterment of Mankind, use the Spice to unlock the body’s ancestral genetic memories and superior reasoning faculties.

The Spacing Guild, clannish mariners of the ultimate sea, forcibly feed their Navigators massive amounts of Spice until the hypersaturation of Space in their body cruelly mutates the Navigator; the Spice twists their form until they cannot live outside of a life support tank, like nothing so much a fish in a glass bowl. However, these same mutations grant the Navigator near-immortality and the power to crest Time itself, to see into the future and safely guide their Heighliners to port through all perils.

Balancing the power and influence of the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild are the Imperium of Man, ruled by an all-powerful Emperor, and the multitude of Houses that comprise the Landsraad Council.

As Dune opens, the venerable House Atreides, a House Major of the Landsraad led by the compassionate Duke Leto, are preparing to move from their ancestral home of Caladan in order to take control of Arrakis, the blasted desert world that is the only known source in the Universe of the Spice.

But House Atreides will not go to Arrakis unopposed…

He who controls the Spice, controls the Universe.

Situation update

Hello, world.

A lot of discussion has gone on behind the scenes in recent days and weeks regarding the current homeless circumstances of 091 Labs. Some of the discussion has been heated. Laconic quips have been made. Properties have been researched and prospective landlords have been contacted in and around Galway City. The outlook right now is pretty good: We’re close to securing a property in the city centre and negotiations have begun about the letting of the property to 091 Labs. More than that it really isn’t my place to say.

We’ve started to move our books, furniture, electronics and bookish electronic furniture from Exchange House into temporary storage around the city and county. Almost all of the small pieces were moved yesterday afternoon. More is to go in coming days.

And yes, many weeks of summer still lie ahead of us, but inevitably September is going to come and a fresh batch of mundane…first year college students will arrive in Galway. Just like we did in 2010, classes are in tentative planning to be held for them: Electronics, programming, Linux, computer maintenance.

We’re not dead (yet).

Galway photowalk @ Merlin Park July 2

While not strictly an 091 Labs-affiliated event, this was announced first on our mailing list and we will have several members attending. Anyone interested in the forest, the castle or photography is very welcome to attend (and your kids too), no matter your level of photographic advancement. Full details from photowalk.ie follow:

No better chance to photograph a ruined keep in a mysteriously misty, wet and rainy forest (because really, when isn’t it wet, rainy or misty here) is to be found than in Galway City on July 2 coming, from 10am-3pm. Attractions in the forest include the marvellously-intact Merlin/Doughiska Castle, the ruins of crofters huts and other buildings. And trees. Lots of trees.

Where are we meeting?

At the Supermacs opposite the entrance to Merlin Park, at 10am (map).

I have children. Can I…

Yes! Children are absolutely welcome to come to this photowalk.

The plan:

The plan for the day calls for a relaxed photowalk: Meet at Eyre Square, travel to the forest, take photographs, walk around and travel back to the city for either a late lunch or drinks. Photographers on all levels and interests are very much welcome to this event!

How to get there:

Galway’s Merlin forest, castle and hospital are long-established institutions that are easily accessible to travelers from both Dublin and Galway City. The hospital is served from Eyre Square by the #4E bus and is located on the main Dublin road just inside of city limits.

If you are travelling into Galway on the M6 motorway, exit left at the terminus and take the right hand exit of the next roundabout (map).

Contact details:

Email mark@bhalash.com, tweet @bhalash or call me (Mark) on 086 190 8088 for information, suggestions or directions on the day.