In My Own Time

16th November 2012 at 00:00
Kate Farrell, Chair of Computing at School Scotland and a computing teacher at Castlebrae Community High, Edinburgh


- I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline recently and was so hooked I finished it in less than 24 hours. Before that was an interesting autobiography by Kevin Mitnick, Ghost in the Wires, about his hacking exploits. I'm now reading Rule 34, by Charles Stross, a crime novel set in Edinburgh in the near future. When I cycle to work, I catch up with classic crime audiobooks by Ian Rankin and Iain Banks.


- My favourite film recently has been a Scottish independent called Electric Man, set in Edinburgh. It had a lovely, quirky Maltese Falcon-style script about a couple of comic-book sellers finding a rare copy of the first Electric Man comic.


- Our TV is perpetually set to children's channels, so I'm fairly clued up on Mickey Mouse and Special Agent Oso. The only TV I actively seek out is Doctor Who and Sherlock. I watch Breaking Bad on Netflix on my iPad when I'm hanging up the laundry.


- I have long since stopped buying CDs (real or digitally) and have instead been subscribing to Spotify. I love finding lots of new music in Spotify Radio. Recent playlists have included Brett Dennen, Colin Meloy, Death Cab for Cutie and Of Monsters and Men.


- I love Shazam. If I hear music that I like, I can press the listen button and in 45 seconds Shazam will scan and analyse it, tell me what the track is and let me listen to it in Spotify. It amazes me that it can identify clips of music so accurately, even in noisy pubs or from the background of an advert. I'd love to know how the program works and how the music is stored in the database.

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