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Updates and upcoming changes!

Its been a while since I posted. it was also a shame I had to start posting again with a rant about a delivery company but there lack of incompetency to deliver simple packages time after time just made my blood boil! Hopefully this makes up for it πŸ™‚

So it has been a while so fair bit of news to share I think πŸ™‚ Finally on my final year of my degree, just 5 modules and a final year project and I will be done with studying for the foreseeable future, given that fact its obviously clear I passed all my exams in june and august. its been a busy summer for me and for STS. I finally got round to going limited as a registered company which has some tax advantages and other benefits Not forgetting a debit card with the company name on it! there’s been lots of work coming in which has been really a blessing to Marie and I.

I’m keeping this fairly short as I’d like to try and do more updates than my once every couple of months routine, so I’ll move on to upcoming changes. there’s only really 2 changes, firstly Marie has been considering blogging about stuff that she is passionate about or just plain wants to talk about, and we thought why not put it all here, because that way this will get more content over time and doesn’t have any extra expense! So soon you will be seeing posts from Marie Somerset, do read and enjoy them because I’m certain there will be some good pearls of wisdom in there.

second change which probably quite a few people now about by now is that Marie and I will be planning to emigrate to Zimbabwe by September 2012. Yes folks that’s less than 11 months away! we had been taking the first 6 months of this year to pray about the long term future and where God is calling us be it Zimbabwe or the UK or anywhere else in the world. God made it pretty clear that Zimbabwe is the place we should be to raise a family and build my business (no Marie isn’t pregnant yet!). There is going to be a lot of challenges ahead for us and some tricky decisions to be made, like do we ship everything or do we sell/get rid of stuff and re-buy new stuff in Zimbabwe? down to what church we should be involved in, we’d quite like to get involved in one of the Harare church plants but that is still to be decided, ultimately we want to do what God wants us to do so we are still open to prayers on that. we really would appreciate your prayers and thoughts over this next period of time while we plan, co-ordinate and ultimately move from the UK to Zimbabwe. Initially the biggest hurdle in our way is that I need to get residency status this December when we travel for Christmas. because Marie was born in Zimbabwe and is a resident herself it should be a straightforward process, however we are not dealing with a straightforward government so we do need specific prayers that the right people see the documentation required and have the grace and wisdom to grant the application

I will leave our news there for now, perhaps next time you might see a post from Marie.




Summer is here… I think!

Wow! haven’t blogged here in a while and thought I should post an update. It’s been pretty pretty hectic for me the last month or 2 with studies, exams and work, I’m not complaining though! It has just meant that some things have taken a back burner while I focus on the priorities in the right order (God, Wife, Study, Work, Other). So roughly in that order :).

ChristChurch has been good, Marie and I got to witness Andy Tilsley being officially “prayed in” as an elder and the general comings and goings of church life, Marie has joined the crΓ¨che team to help combat the current and further impending baby boom! and they couldn’t keep me away, am back serving Sundays on the sound team now technically called the tech team (excuse the pun) which encompasses the visuals team also which i think is a brilliant move purely because the 2 teams were quite small on there own and trying to organise social events was rather difficult because normally what ended up happening is 2 guys end up meeting up for a beer (which is not a bad thing!) rather than 5 or 6 people meeting up having a meal and enjoying good fellowship.

Marie has been the usual busy with working for Newfrontiers, carrying on as usual despite all the ongoing staff changes that take place regularly, she is still knitting a woolly green scarf for me for Christmas, hopefully its ready in time although i wont need it because we are going to Zimbabwe for Christmas again, Woohoo!

Studies have finally concluded for the summer, I am still awaiting results and have one exam to do in august – due to the bad organisation of Uni which I have probably mentioned before. i had to spend 4 weeks at uni after my exams attending lectures which apparently had been the plan since the beginning of the academic year but we weren’t informed until mid way through our exam period despite several people including myself asking for clarification several times throughout this year (i think that shows how badly organised the uni is) in fact some were so badly caught out because they had already booked flights home for the summer and couldn’t attend the lectures. gladly though its all done, i cant wait to get this degree over and done with purely because it holds very little relevance to my day to day freelance work, and any content that did is already going out of date, that’s how fast paced the IT industry really is.

Work has really ramped up the last month or so, I’ve had the chance to meet and even work with some great teams like Made.com (new web infrastructure), Rackspace (got to see the Rackspace mini and got a goody bag) and have met the awesome GoSquared team and WooThemes just the other week, its keeping me busy which i like and importantly its earning money, I’m actually quite thankful to God for all the work as I had to replace my laptop a few weeks ago (the old one couldn’t take the load i was throwing at it) which cost a seriously painful amount of money which if it wasn’t for the work i wouldn’t have been able to buy.

Other than that, not much has changed, still busy busy busy, off to see my dad and Karen for the weekend next weekend which should be good as we will probably get to go to the village church too so that should be an experience for Marie (its not Newfrontiers!), the weather here has been pretty miserable the last few days but we got a couple of thunder storms that Marie and I both enjoy watching.




76 Days :)

its 76 days until our wedding day, thats just over 2 months or just under 11 weeks, either way time does not wait for anyone! And i cant wait either!, we have just been to our second week of marriage prep and i have to say i am finding it remarkably helpful, Ross & Joy have experience and advice from there 30+ years of marriage that we would neccesarily be able to access as openly and honestly in any other setting except perhaps one to one, its humbling to see a couple so open and honest about some of there past challenges and issues and how they dealt with them, its refreshing and only helps for when we might have those same or similar issues.

this week involved a little bit about looking at some wedding vows and what they mean to us, we were given a few different versions, and i have to say we found something pretty much on the money of what we want to have at our wedding – not going to reveal them here so its extra special on the wedding day and we still haven’t tweaked them for us.

Life in general has been ebbing and flowing this week, had some work through this week but i cant say i was specifically busy, my uni lectures hit that “Mind Bending” stage which is good, i shall no longer be bored in the lecture! for my freelancing i got Marie to help me with Proofing the copy on my work website (http://somersettechsolutions.co.uk) and i am glad to say it now makes sense and is grammatically correct – i wish i could say the same about this blog!

we have looked at a few houses and flats now while hunting for our new home together for the new year, pleased to say we put an offer in on a place and it was accepted, so hopefully the relevant credit checks and paperwork go smoothly and we can pick up the keys from the landlady or agent in early december just before we fly to Zimbabwe for Christmas and the Wedding! pictures of all of the above to follow in due course)

next week is a little bit more of the same at the moment, although uni coursework is out so i should really get on with that (shouldn’t take too long) Running Front of House Sound at church tomorrow which will be good fun, will try not to put too much delay on lead vox (echo to non technical people!)




Installing Hugs98 (Haskell) on Mac 10.6 Snow Leopard

i have to use a program called hugs as part of one of my university modules, getting it installed on my mac proved to be a challenge, but i got it working. here is a brief guide on getting it working on 10.6. NOTE: if you are a 10.5 user the default macports install should be fine for you.

Lets Begin

hugs98 is the package available in macports to install the hugs program, so to get it you need to install macports, i wont go into the detail of that but point you to the instructions available here

to install hugs98 it should be as simple as running this command in terminal.app:

[bash]sudo port install hugs98[/bash]

but it should error out pretty quickly with a build error similar to:

[bash]
—> Building hugs98
Error: Target org.macports.build returned: shell command ” cd “/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_hugs98/work/hugs98-plus-Sep2006″ && /usr/bin/make -j2 all ” returned error 2
Command output: cd src; /usr/bin/make all
make[1]: Nothing to be done for `all’.
cd libraries; /usr/bin/make all
cd ../cpphs; HUGSFLAGS=-P../libraries/bootlib HUGSDIR=../hugsdir ../src/runhugs -98 ../packages/Cabal/examples/hapax.hs configure –verbose –hugs –prefix=’/opt/local’ –scratchdir=’../hugsdir/packages/cpphs’ –with-compiler=../src/ffihugs
runhugs: Error occurred
ERROR “../libraries/bootlib/Foreign/Ptr.hs” – Error while importing DLL “../libraries/bootlib/Foreign/Ptr.so”:
dlopen(../libraries/bootlib/Foreign/Ptr.so, 9): image not found

make[1]: *** [../hugsdir/programs/cpphs/Main.hs] Error 1
make: *** [all] Error 2

Error: Status 1 encountered during processing.
[/bash]

all is not lost however the macports bug reporter has some patches that fix the issue below are the instructions and files if you dont want to browse to the issue page and manually go and get the files, so you get hugs 98 working on your 10.6 machine:

download the 2 patch files from the issue tracker or here: patch-hugs98-Portfile, patch-libraries-tools-make-bootlib

make sure to download them to your ~/Downloads folder or amend the following instructions with the different path to the files, now run the following commands in terminal.app

[bash]
cd $(port dir hugs98)
sudo cp ~/Downloads/patch-libraries-tools-make-bootlib.diff files
sudo patch < ~/Downloads/patch-hugs98-Portfile.diff
sudo port clean hugs98
sudo port install hugs98
[/bash]

this should take a while and your terminal window should look like this:
[bash]anthonysomerset@Anthony-Somersets-MacBook:~$ cd $(port dir hugs98)
ant@ASMB:/opt/local/var/macports/sources/rsync.macports.org/release/ports/lang/hugs98$ sudo cp ~/Downloads/patch-libraries-tools-make-bootlib.diff files
ant@ASMB:/opt/local/var/macports/sources/rsync.macports.org/release/ports/lang/hugs98$ sudo patch < ~/Downloads/patch-hugs98-Portfile.diff patching file Portfile ant@ASMB:/opt/local/var/macports/sources/rsync.macports.org/release/ports/lang/hugs98$ sudo port clean hugs98 —> Cleaning hugs98
ant@ASMB:/opt/local/var/macports/sources/rsync.macports.org/release/ports/lang/hugs98$ sudo port install hugs98
—> Computing dependencies for hugs98
—> Fetching hugs98
—> Verifying checksum(s) for hugs98
—> Extracting hugs98
—> Applying patches to hugs98
—> Configuring hugs98
—> Building hugs98
—> Staging hugs98 into destroot
—> Installing hugs98 @plus-Sep2006_0
—> Activating hugs98 @plus-Sep2006_0
—> Cleaning hugs98
ant@ASMB:/opt/local/var/macports/sources/rsync.macports.org/release/ports/lang/hugs98$ [/bash]

to launch hugs just type the following in the terminal πŸ™‚

[bash]hugs[/bash]

now go and enjoy your hugs98 geekery πŸ™‚




Freelancing and University

well today is the day! 2 changes in my life happened today πŸ™‚ well to be honest they have both been a gradual transition really but hey πŸ™‚

i go back to University as a “full time” student today i say full time with a lot of emphasis because this term until december i am actually only at university 2 half days a week. i had been part time previously so already had some credit hence not so busy this term and the story behind why i went full time is a long and stressful one, to summarise it. My uni is just poorly organised and they care about businesses more than there students so part timers often get overlooked easily, i was one of the unlucky.

my second change is that i am now a full time freelancer! i was previously working full time for Newfrontiers and ChristChurch London and doing bits and bobs in spare time as it allowed, but no more! My job title is probably still to be decided but i like the idea of Freelance IT Consultant. my main skills and areas are particularly hosting management, web hosting, server setup and management and other troubleshooting or optimisation. as i gain more time and skills i will definitely add web development into that list also, if your interested in that head over to my freelance site: http://somersettechsolutions.co.uk and have a look around or email me on anthony@somersettechsolutions.co.uk – i know my freelance site is in dire need of an overhaul, its somethink i plan to do now that i have more time.

with these new changes come some great opportunities that i cant yet talk about yet and it presents challenges mostly financial. i am praying that God blesses my freelance work and provides me with lots of clients so that i can work hard and earn the money needed to keep me financially stable. i am praying that the right opportunities come through and that i can have the wisdom to discern which ones to go for, which ones to pass up (probably not many!) and how to take things like brushing my web design/development skills back up to speed (lots of reading to be done no doubt).

hopefully with the new changes and new beginnings i will also have time to blog a little more too!




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