Welcome to DironSpace, an unknown part of the HHGTTG world to most (but obviously not to the Good Book).

It is owned by no lesser (but no greater) than Diron Worhox (who??), and it is I, that smallest of immortals, who inhabit this space for all time to come. But please, do come in. Don't let me put you off.

This page has just this minute been updated, so will look a bit sour, admittedly. But just think... in a bit, it might be filled with wonderful delights too awesome to behold. Or perhaps not.

That's just the thing, you see. You never know what's going to happen next. A bit like you don't know whether or not I'm going to stop waffling. Unless you looked down, you naughty crafty thing you, in which case you'll know that this block of text is just going to stop here and now, perhaps for the sake of humanity (and others).

Disfunctional Amiga Parts, String and Everything

As from the 9th Oct 2001, I am the proud h2g2 Keeper of:

  • Voles,
  • Disfunctional Amiga Parts,
  • String,
  • An unknown programming language called Tiny Tim, and
  • The word "etcetera".

    Why? Well, let me explain...

    Voles (squeamish alert)

    I own two cats, Sylvester and Kassie, who would (as cats do) normally bring home, in part or entirity, rabbits or mice. But my cats are not that brave, really. Instead, they decide to bring voles, little, inoffensive creatures that aren't that bright, which are the size of baby mice. They're captured dead or alive, which presents a problem when they're brought into the house through the catflap. Catching one is a bit tricky since, due to their size, they're surprisingly agile and very fast. So these days, I check their mouths before letting them in and they generally leave dead ones by the back door, which I then throw over the field at the back. It is for these reasons that I am a Keeper of Voles whether or not I like it, so I may as well be recognised as such.

    Disfunctional Amiga Parts (fanatic alert)

    I have owned various Amigas from the dawn of (their) time, and thus have amassed various objets d'art of the said world, from the days of the A500 through to the A1200 (but not the "Big-Box" Amigas, which I never liked). For the past six years or so, I have owned various A1200s, and the junk I've collected from old ones, salvaged and used for new ones, is incredible. The problem is, not many of them work.

    String (weirdo alert)

    Yep, and string. This one's twofold. The simple one to explain is that string seems to come in for everything, from make-do shoe- laces to stringballs which are surprisingly good back massagers and shower sponges. The other one, for those who program in Java and C++, is that I like to exploit Strings (arrays of characters that are treated as a "string" of text) to do other things. If you want a shortcut to emulate how objects work, append all the information in a String and create a parser method to combine all the bits and separate them when needed. Messy, I know, but I only used it for an experiment and (especially in Basic) it works rather well to emulate object orientation.

    An Unknown Programming Language Called Tiny Tim (techie alert)

    I am currently studying an M.Phil. in Computer Science (Software Engineering) at Keele University (Staffs, S-o-T, England). That means that I am now a research worker (although, bizarrely enough, I pay for the privelage). I also did a degree in Computer Science there, and in the last year I had to undertake a year- long project. Two lecturers here, Dr. Barry Cook (who's left now) and Dr. Neil White, created a program (written in C++) designed to teach students the fundamentals of computers. It did this by supplying 8 risk-style instructions and registers, memory, an editor and an emulator in which to run programs made. They called it (for reasons even I do not now) Tiny Tim, and my job was to add to it. I rewrote it in Java (all 10,000 lines of code) and added a graphical interface (GUI) and various loading/saving stuff. I've also created a 60-page manual, which is a bit more detailed than the 5 sheets of A4 I had to go off when I started. This became a pet project, and it is now rewritten from scratch. It is being used by a final-year student who intends to create a higher-level language out of it. I am therefore the guardian of Tiny Tim (or as my version is now known, Big Tim). So there you have it.

    The word "etcetera" (nutter alert)

    This is an odd one, yet it's strange no-one has offered this word safekeeping before. Probably the most overused word in the English language, etcetera (etc.) is underused by those who know what they're on about and overused by those who want to look as though they know more than they actually do. Placing etcetera in a sentence, when the writer/speaker does not actually know an exhaustive list of the thing for which it is being used, is perhaps the bain of mankind at this moment in time (that's another one - why "this moment in time" when saying "now" will do? etc. etc.).

    More about me

    I wouldn't like to flatter myself by assuming you were interested in me particularly, but in case you were interested in the lives of the h2g2 inhabitants or just wanted a conversation then here it is:

  • Details: Age: 21, location: Keele University
  • Interests: Music, programming, hiking, good conversation
  • Music: Mainly Rachmaninov, Dvorak and Gershwin
  • Affiliation with HHGTTG: Relatively recently, I saw the rerun on BBC having not heard of it much before. I taped every episode and immediately became hooked.
  • Other Sci-Fi: Mainly Star Trek, but also Red Dwarf, and some Robert Rankin books (the Voodoo Handbag is a must to read).

    And that, if you're still reading and are more than half awake, is that.

    Well, that's my world for now. Feel free to ask about any aspect of computer processor fundamentals and low-level programming languages, the uses of string (in either form), the Amiga or anything else, really. I like a good debate (I was VP of Keele Debating and Oratory Society for a while), so anything random to talk about is always nice. If you would like to know if anyone including me is in h2g2 space, click here.

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    Hola Diron!.. Oct 3, 2001


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