I'm officially a criminal


Got my penalty notice through the post the other day for my speeding. 3 points and a £60 fine. I don't give a shit about the fine, that's not an issue, it's the sodding points I don't want. My driving instructor and I sent a letter to them trying to get me off it, didn't seem to work. Proof the police have nothing better to do and that the system is ujutst. Now I'm gonna have to tell employers... ugh, what a pisser.

As the saying goes, shit happens, it's just a pain in the arse when it does.

Oh, and I don't even think a speeding conviction gives you a criminal record but I just liked the title.

Got caught speeding... bah 2

OK, so I passed my test in December 08. Haven't driven again until today, 15th March. I was doing my pass plus today, basically a small course where you do more advanced stuff that you don't do in the standard test, and then you get a bit of money off the insurance as well as more experience. All went fine despite the fact I hadn't driven for 3 months, actually seemed like I'd been driving every day, was a bit surprised, and when we got to the half way point, to turn back, I was quite happy. Half way back it started to get dark, but I've done loads of night driving before so that was fine. Then, we hit a 50 mph limit. This went on for at least 15 minutes, along a quiet road, at the same steady speed, but it was slowly getting darker. Eventually it was very dark and could only really see what the lights showed me. Going along quite nicely, and my instructor suddenly says 'It's 40 along here!".

*slams on the brakes*




So yeah, there's me, first time driving for 3 months, doing 50 in a 40. But it's total shit really. For one, the 50 limit had been there for ages, and there was no real reason at all for it to be a 40 at that point. About 100 metres after the camera, it went back to a 50, there just seemed to be this random 40 mph limit in the middle of the 50. Plus, there was only one small sign saying the change of speed, which I didn't see, there weren't any markings on the road to indicate the change, and the camera was extremely close to the start of the 40 zone. Now, you may think that I should have seen the sign and braked. Well, yes, if there was any light, I'd have seen the sign, and would have slowed down. But there wasn't any light. Even if I did see the sign, I wouldn't have had enough time to slow down from 50 after seeing it to be going slow enough for the camera because it was so close to the sign. The guy behind me was going just as fast, he couldn't see the sign either, he only knew about it because it flashed for me.

Now, there's every chance the camera had no film in it. That's what I'm hoping for. If not, when they send the letter to ask who was driving, my instructor will obviously say it was me, but he'll also write a letter trying to get me off it. I do everything else fine, very careful, take note of speed limits, but in this case, the signs were very unclear. Plus we were talking about stuff to watch out for when it's dark, which is kinda ironic.

I guess I'll have to see what happens. If they do follow it through, I'm quite certain they'll let me off but I'm not looking forward to finding out.

Grammar 101

You could call me a member of the Grammar Police. Although I hardly ever correct people's grammar anymore I always want to and even though I make some errors sometimes I hate it and usually correct them quite quick. However some people need a starter lesson in grammar (you know who you are) so here you go.

To, too, and two

People seem to get this mixed up, mainly to and too.

To - 'I am doing this because I want to.' 'I am going to have a drink...'

Too - '... and I am going to have a sandwich too.' 'I have too much to do today.'

Two - 'Actually I am going to have two sandwiches.'

Too many times I see these three getting totally mixed up. Too can be used in the same as as also, as well, in addition etc, or to show an extreme. I see this sort of thing quite a lot... 'I went too the shops to get to pints of milk'. Bah.

There, their, and they're

This is a good one. These have very different meanings and I see them being used wrongly rather too often.

There - 'I am going over there.' 'There is no money in my bank.'

Their - 'I like their house.' 'It's their problem, not mine.'

They're - 'They're not going to like this.' 'They're going to be here soon.'

They're means they are, which is why there's the apostrophe, and seems to be the one that causes most problem. Also there and their get mixed up quite often. Bah. Take this test and this test. If you get less than 17/20, double bah.

Your and you're

Similar to above, very commonly used wrongly.

Your - 'I like your car.' 'This is your fault.'

You're - 'You're very annoying.' 'If you don't look at the map, you're going to get lost.'

You're means you are, which is why there's the apostrophe. Saying 'your doing something wrong here' is bad. Bah.

Its and it's

This is an easy one to get wrong actually.

Its - 'I got a new computer and broke its monitor.' 'The dog lost its ball.'

It's - 'It's a great day today.' 'I don't think it's going to work.'

It's means it is or it has, which is why there's the apostrophe, and its is possessive. 'Its good to be here' and 'the tyre lost it's pressure' are wrong. Bah.


I has always got to be a capital if it's about you.

I hate this. I've forgotten something. I'm tired. I'll do it later. I'd like to do this.

Not seeing I with a capital in these cases is unforgivable. Bah.


That's about it for the common ones.


How to ask for support 1

I'm all for giving support and helping people. It's what I'm good at, what I enjoy doing, and why I'm on the MyBB team. However, sometimes, it isn't easy and can be a bit frustrating. Anyone who is asking for support should bear the following in mind...

First MyBB Plugin

Only a few days after I finished my PHP day of birth script, I wrote my first proper MyBB plugin. My first plugin was a Return to Top postbit button, but I'm not really counting that :P This plugin will add a message to the index of your forums if a member is awaiting activation, and you have account activation set to either email or admin activation. You can choose to turn the message on or off, specify a different title for the email/admin message, and a different message for the email/admin message. The message will display in your theme's style and is collapsible. I've wanted this for a bit but really wanted to do it myself, so once I'd furthered my understanding of the basics, I tried, and got it finished quite quickly. I had to look at how some other plugins were made, mainly to see how to setup the settings, and how to make the template changes. Anyways, I managed to create it quickly and with hardly any problems. It's now been downloaded a few times already and I've had good comments back, which is great. It was a good first plugin idea, and it turned out even better than I planned. It's available for download from the MyBB Mods site, where you can also see screenshots, and the discussion thread can be found here. I already have another idea for a plugin, which may be ready in a week or so, once I have time to get it right.

Finally learning PHP

Well, the other day, after reading the basics in books and on the net, I wrote my first little PHP script. It isn't much really, but I'm still really happy with how it's turned out. What it does, is tell you the day you were born, based on the date. So for example, 17 June 1991 (my birthday) was a Monday, and if I put that into the form, it will tell me that. Magic.

Well no it isn't magic, the main workings of it is just a mathematical formula that I was taught at college, but I thought that would be a good thing to write a script on. The script itself is relatively basic, it just takes the values from the input form, assigns them to variables, does some stuff with those, then puts it through the calculation to get a number from 0 to 6 (Sunday to Saturday). Then I wrote out a load of if, elseif and else statements to show the actual day. I also put in some statements for if you put in a day that doesn't exist, (30/31st Feb, 31st Apr, Jun, Sep, Nov), if you try and select 29th Feb in a non-leap year, and also if you try and select 29th Feb in a non-century leap year (a century year is only a leap year if divisible by 400, so 1200, 1600 and 2000 were century leap years). So, although it's quite basic, it's been a big learning curve for me, and I've learned a lot from such a small script, especially how to get information from a form, and it helped me understand ifelseif and else statements a lot more.

The script itself is at least 99% accurate. There's not many dates that won't work, and the ones that don't are either hundreds of years ago, or in 2000+. I'm not too sure why it breaks with years that are 2000+, I think the formula ends up having to divide by 0 with those years, and dividing by 0 isn't mathematically possible.

I'm probably making a big deal out of something quite pathetically small but it's the first thing I've ever written that actually works so I'm quite pleased.

You can test the most stable version, with years from 2000 onwards disallowed, here. To see the one that allows years that are 2000 onwards, see here.

Hopefully now I've started to understand this stuff more, I'll be able to do much more, much quicker.

Another set of exams over...

Woo, on Friday 9th and Monday 12th I got my exam resists over and done with. I was resitting two of my three law exams, in which I originally got an E and a C (the third got a B, not bad considering I was getting Es and Ds all year), and I resat the first part of my maths course, as I'm actually completely taking that course again, as I did rather poorly and got an E last time. However it seems to be easier now (well, it should be, right??), which should mean I do better this time.

Now that they're done, I'll be able to spend a bit more time learning PHP, and I can finally get round to testing the MyBB Merge System, as well as working on my site. Woo :)