Category: About me

Four seconds left to live – what went through my mind

A few months ago I travelled across England and then across France with my girlfriend, Stephanie, and her parents to move her stuff to Poitiers in western France, where she is studying for a year. After offloading Stephanie’s things and spending a weekend in Poitiers, we had completed most of our 9-hour journey back and were about 90 minutes away from home.

Driving along on the M2 at 70mph while chit-chatting, we noticed a black Mini Cooper ahead with its hazard lights on and not moving at all. It was in our lane, which was the third of four lanes (next to the fast lane) and there was too much traffic to swerve to either side, so we braked firmly and stopped about two metres short of the car in front. The panic of sitting still on a motorway full of very fast-moving cars set in quickly and we put our hazard lights on and looked around to see if we could pull out into either of the adjacent lanes, but the traffic was too heavy and moved too quickly to risk such a move.

I turned around, looking out of the back window to see a car approaching us at high speed and swerving into the lane to the left. Another car approached, but while still far away it moved into the lane to our right. Then, in the distance, I could see a red car approaching and not swerving away like the others. In fact, it wasn’t slowing down at all. I said, “There’s another car coming towards us,” and, while still staring intently for signs of slowing down, screamed, “It’s still coming. It’s not going to stop!

When I said that, I knew we were all going to die.

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Snippets – Part I

Over the years, I have collected many screenshots of funny things I’ve seen online, conversations I’ve had, weird Facebook posts and comments, etc.

I thought I might start sharing some on this blog. So here is the first snippet of many (hopefully):


Conversation with a friend on MSN

My job (placement) offer from IBM!

As part of my Computer Science degree, I have the choice of completing a one-year work placement in between the second and final years. This makes the degree a year longer, but means a much higher probability of obtaining a graduate job (and even achieving a high final-year project mark, apparently).

I applied to several companies in different fields (science, finance, software development) and attended various interviews, assessment centres and aptitude tests. A few days after attending IBM’s assessment centre, I received a call asking whether I would accept a job offer starting in July 2011, which I gladly accepted. IBM call this an Industrial Placement.

In the offer letter package that I received by email a few days later, I was told who my manager would be, along with his phone number. I called him to ask him a few questions about forms I had to fill out, but also took the opportunity to find out more about what I’ll be doing.

I found out that I’ll be on the team responsible for IBM Rational Software Architect (RSA), the division of IBM that replaces Rational, which IBM took over in the 90s. RSA is essentially a set of tools that developers use to design software architectures (usually in UML), which helps them to be more productive and engineering-conscious by generating code skeletons, helping with planning/workflow and more.

I’ll be based at IBM’s software development labs in Hursley (near Winchester), so I’ll have to find a place to live out there some time before July. I’m really excited and am looking forward to starting the first job of my Computer Science career.

I’ll try to write a detailed article about the application process for those who are applying soon and post it on this blog.

Hello, world!

Hello, world!

This is my first post on what should hopefully be a regularly updated blog about my projects, endeavours and ideas.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Horatio and at the time of writing I am a Computer Science student at the University of Birmingham. When not at university, I live in central London.

I’ve been working on several Android applications for a while when I have some spare time and shall hopefully be releasing some soon.

If you have any suggestions, I’m always open to them so contact me.