- Diary

About my diary

The diary is a record of events and thoughts in my life. It's a diary for me that I make available to you. It's a place that I go to when nobody listens to me, or I want to just hide for a while without having any pressure to say or do anything. It's a way that I organise my thoughts and come to decisions. Whether it contributes something to the Internet, or merely increases the amount of self-centred junk is something you will have to decide for yourself. It's written mostly with a sense of humour, but to be informative. If it's a rant, it's probably done seriously. If it's a general comment, it's usually done with a smile. If it's a confusing ramble of thoughts then that's exactly what it is <smile>.

Process of updates

Basically, I update my diary late evening or early morning each day (I'm in the UK, so you it is GMT). So what you see is the previous days logs. Sometimes I update things through the day, so you might find that a diary entry grows in the course of a day. However, I don't generally modify old entries unless I see a definate need. I generally hold that once commited, it stays written. If I didn't mean to say something then I shouldn't have written it in the first place.

The main process of updating the diary is performed automatically - I write my entries in a single file, and each day it is emptied and collected into the main months entry. I've yet to automate the monthly updates, but they only occur twelve times a year (odd that?!) so it's not a worry. If you find that the calendars lie about the days on which things fall, I'd appreciate knowing <grin>. The formula for that was taken from "The Rainbow Mathematics Encyclopædia" - a book I got when I in the upper infants, I think, which shows just how old it is really.


If you find the content scarey, or disturbing, then that's probably because I think it is too. Some people have, on hearing that I'm writing a diary, said "Oh, it can't be a diary. You wouldn't want x reading it, so you can't call it a diary". I hold that I can, because I think that I am quite frank and honest about the things I write. I like to think that I can write in here things that I would tell a friend, if I had the nerve.

Some people may feel that I've editorialised some things in the diary. For reasons of contractual necessity, refraining from abusiveness, or general politeness there are sections which have been 'hidden' or have not been written about. I'm sure you can understand these, and it may become obvious in the course of time what has been happening. An example is the formation of RISCOS Ltd back when the diary started; this was well known to me at the time, but I couldn't write much about it so I wrote musings about it as if I didn't know. You get the picture, anyhow.

If you think that I rant on about a topic too much - usually computers! - then you can drop me a line from the comment page. I read all the comments, and will try to answer those that have email addresses supplied (or via the diary!). However, I wouldn't expect the content to change much really. The diary isn't there for your amusement (although that may be a nice side effect) but for me.

Linking to the diary

Since 1st June 2005, the diary got proper 'permanent' link names for even the current month of the diary. Beside every date on the diary will be a rectangle image; this rectangle links to the 'permanent' entry address so that you can find it in the future. Most browsers have a 'save address' or 'copy address to clipboard' option which you can use to copy this out. It's often easier to do that than just refer to the root of the diary.

Manually constructing links

Since 27th April 2004, the diary changed its 'permanent' link names. When I originally designed the link style, it was with little thought to the scalability of the naming scheme. It might have been easier to use ISO 8601 style naming back then, but I didn't know about it and didn't think ahead. Although moving to an 8601 style name scheme would alleviate the problem, I rather like having the month names in the URL (and it makes the transition easier for me!), so I've merely moved things around a little. In particular, each year is now a sub-directory. And no year suffix exists on the leaf name. The final form is :
Where :
mon is the month in English as three characters
date is the date, without any leading zeros
year is the full year including the century

So, the last entry of 1999 would be :
The following section documents the old style format. In particular, the description of yy amuses me.

OLD-style Linking to the diary

Since mid-December 1999, the diary moved so that it is more maintainable and so that it is a little more heirarchial. Each month has its own page, with an anchor to each day in the form :
Where :
mon is the month in English as three characters
yy is the year as two digits (I'm not going to write the diary for long enough for you to care about it wrapping)
date is the date, without any leading zeros
year is the full year including the century

So, the last entry of 1999 would be :
There is one unfortunate problem with this though. The 'current' month is always stored as index.html so that you can always reach it. Until I think of a decent way around this, that's just life. Sorry.

Rich Site Summary

An RSS summary of this site are now available. But stunned. Be shocked. Be completely underwhelmed <smile>. RSS summaries are brief XML 'changelogs' of what has happened on the site. They're great; get yourself a viewer for them. The RSS link for the diary is :
You may find that your browser can read the 'meta' information from the page and offers you an option to subscribe to the RSS or Atom feeds for the diary. Opera 8 can do this, I understand.

Atom summary

An Atom summary, based on draft 8 of the Atom specification is available, too. This is similar to RSS, only it's a slightly more standardised format. Not many viewers support it, though, because it's 'new'. If you need it, though, try here :

Other diaries

There are many other diaries around the internet. If you want to find some on a particular theme, try which has more than you can possibly imagine. The only diary I read on a regular basis is that of David Chess. So much so infact that I now remember the URL off the top of my head. There is a very good reason I read his 'log'. It is very different to mine - he's working in the states, has a wife and daughter, has a life outside computing <smile>, and he's fun to read. I don't think my diary is as fun as his, but then it's the diversity that makes life good.

The reason I don't read other diaries regularly is split between two. Most importantly, I don't have enough time. And I don't want to get into the situation where I'm merely citing things I've read elsewhere, or stealing ideas from other people because they just happen to have them. I've alread stolen some ideas from David, because they seem reasonable (you're reading one of them, and the other is the reader comment questions and form).

One of the things that I noticed about the diaries on is that they tend to have some sort of title to them. I don't. Part of the reason is that when I started out, I didn't know there were many diaries about or how they did things (I like that). The other reason is that it would have to mean something and cover the whole content of the diary, and I can't think of anything that would cover everything. So, it's simply "Justin's Diary".

The inspiration for starting the diary, as I have probably said in the diary itself, is from the principle behind games developers .plan files which provide information on what is happening, and from Jennifer Ringley's dream diary and other things.


Sometimes I'll mention people in the diary, and you'll probably have no idea who I mean. In the interests of fairness, I'll try to list some people here briefly so that you have some clue as to what I'm on about. Probably this will be a similar list to the 'friends' page, but this is purely a quick reference. If I've missed any nick names (or merely truncated names) then let me know and I'll update this list.
Nicknames Fullname Notes
- Matthew Bullock Housemate, colleague from ROL
ThisHell Helen Rayner Friend, from BBS and the Internet
CMJ Chris Johns Friend, from University
- Alistair Galbraith Friend, from University
Chocky Peter Naulls Friend, from the Internet (New Zealand)
Speckles Julia Naulls Friend, from the Internet (San Jose)
Spanners David Thomas Friend, from the Internet (Liverpool)
Dave upstairs Dave Ward Friend, from Stratford
Jogu Joseph Heenan Friend, from the Internet
Zappo Thomas Olsson Friend, from the Internet
TheMoog Matthew Godbolt Friend, from the Internet
- Robin Watts Friend, colleague from ROL
- Philip Tordoff Friend, from Doncaster
- Caroline Webster Friend, from Downham Market
- Sue Robinson Friend, from Downham Market
- Angela Beardsmore Friend, from Newark
- Claire Dunnett ne Wakeling Friend, from Leeming
- Alice & Sherry My 'Love Gurus', from California
- Amanda Lord Friend of Mum's, from Norfolk
- Vanessa Illingworth Friend, at Warwick Uni
- David Gamble Friend, from Colchester
Ju Julian Fletcher Middle brother
- Simon Fletcher Little brother
- Hannah Jackson Simon's girlfriend
- Rik Fletcher Dad
- Kath Fletcher Mum
- Greebo Cat, at Mum and Dad's
- Grendel Cat, at Mum and Dad's
- Paul Middleton Managing Director, RISCOS Ltd
- Matt Edgar Managing Director, RISCOS Ltd
- Andrew Rawnsley RCI, for whom I did Doom, Heretic and Hexen
- Ian Jeffray Friend, from talkers
Drobe Chris Williams Friend, from talkers
- Lucy Culley Cousin, dad's side
- Jessica Lucy's daughter
- William Lucy's son


Emoticons are Emotion Icons. They represent feelings, rather than having to explain them. I've decided to try these out for a while to see what people think of them. It might be that people like them. Or they might hate them. In any case, they are pretty.

<laugh> Laugh - a happy emotion, showing something very funny.
<giggle> Giggle - a happy emotion, showing something quite amusing or childish.
<grin> Grin - a happy emotion, showing amusement.
<smile> Smile - a happy emotion, showing contentment.
<sigh> Sigh - a mildly unhappy emotion, or regret.
<unsmile> Unsmile - an unhappy emotion.
<sob> Sob - an unhappy emotion, generally regretful or upsetting.

Obviously, you have to remember that the icons aren't always used in a place that is strictly correct for it's emotion.

Retrospective changes

For the most part, the diary is written as a 'set in stone' entity. Once something is written, it stays written. However, sometimes it's necessary to remove sections because someone has a legitimate complaint (it's not happened yet, I don't think). In addition, I'll correct typographical errors, and factual errors where they don't disrupt the content. That's about the limit to what I would wish to modify earlier entries.

There is one other manner in which entries can be added or amended 'after the event'. Over time, other manner of records have been discovered - in particular the 'May 1988' diary - which I wish to preserve. I've tried to add these texts in the appropriate place where possible. Similar to the 'May 1988' diary is the 'Sixth Form Diary' records which turned up during a search for similarly dated work. Both have been recorded within this diary where possible. Due to the content of the 'Sixth Form Diary', many of its entries may appear blank. Those entries which are blank have been held back for important reasons.


This page is maintained by Justin Fletcher (
Last modified on 08 March, 2015.
This site is copyright . The accuracy of anything on this site is entirely limited by his belief system and memory at the time of publication - neither of which should be relied on. The opinions are entirely his, except where he's changed his mind. Quotations are copyright their respective authors and whereever possible attributions have been included.