Friday, 31 December 2010

Dead Pool 2011

My guesses for those not likely to last the distance in 2011

1. Thatcher
2. Ronnie Biggs
3. Patrick Moore
4. Jimmy Saville
5. Peter Sallis
6. Fidel Castro
7. Dame Vera Lynn
8. Robert Mugabe
9. Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor (Liz Taylor)
10. James Earl Carter, Jr. (Jimmy Carter)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


I've been using this cloud-based operating system on my sluggish old Acer Aspire One A110L netbook for about a week now and so far it's pretty good. Much quicker than Ubuntu Netbook Remix which I was previously using which the AA1 struggled with - mostly because of the dog-slow SSD employed by the Acer rather than any underlying problem with UNR.  Jolicloud is Ubuntu based, with a UI provided using HTML5. And it's open source :-) More at

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A little bit of history from 1982

In July 1982 the Viking Venture Scout Unit, part of 1st Lent Rise Scout Group went camping in North Yorkshire. A "log book" was created as a record of the expedition and this has sat gathering dust for 28 years. now with the power of modern technology it can see the light of day again (assuming anyone is interested!).

The log book is hand written and real photographic prints are glued to the pages - no personal computers or digital cameras back then and there are some pencil sketches I made at the time. I make no apologies for the juvenile humour, it was funny at the time.

For the record and for search engines the members of the expedition party were:
Pete Lewis
Bob Ward
Don Constance
Martin "Charlie Brown" Hunter
Dave Chamberlain
Chris Hill
Giles Blundell

Towards the end of the log there is an accounts page which includes the line "51 gallons of petrol - £86.04 (and a ha'penny)". Those truly were "the days" :-)

The log book can be viewed or downloaded in PDF format (assuming Google Docs behaves itself) by clicking the following link:

Viking 1982 Log Book (14MB)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Windows Mobile - I'd forgotten how difficult it could be!

Picked up a cheapish Windows Smartphone on ebay to use at work as I want to sync it with Outlook. I want a password manager for it but have spent 2 hours failing to get one. I've trawled through dozens of sites, downloaded applications that said they were compatible with my phone but the phone disagreed, tried to download open source apps only to run up against the "please sign up so we can spam you for all eternity" scum-suckers, found pages that are sorry that they're temporarily unavailable "please come back later" and fought with the slow and unreliable (over Wi-Fi FFS!) Mobile Internet Explorer.

No success :-(

I have a password manager on my own mobile - Nokia, Symbian S60. I have one on the 10 year old Sony Ericsson T610 I have been using. Both free, both work, both downloaded and installed in minutes. I could have any number of suitable apps for iPhone/iTouch. Not, it seems for Windows Mobile Smartphone. Unless I want to shell out $$$ for something over the top that's not guaranteed to work anyway.

Roll on the day BT sees the light, embraces Open Source (instead of just talking about it) and kicks Outlook/Windows into touch. Then I can use a proper phone again. It'll never happen though :-(

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Inspecting for drugs.

DEA officer stops at a ranch in Texas, and talks with an old rancher. He
tells the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown
drugs." The rancher says, "Okay , but don't go in that field over there,"
as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, " Mister, I have the authority
of the Federal Government with me." Reaching into his rear pants pocket,
he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the rancher. "See this
badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish.... On any
land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do
you understand? "

The rancher nods politely, apologies, and goes about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA
officer running for his life chased by the rancher's big Santa Gertrudis

With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems
likely that he'll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is
clearly terrified. The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence
and yells at the top of his lungs.....

" Your badge. Show him your BADGE !"

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Pirate Personality Test

You are The Cap'n!

Some men and women are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any scalawag who stands between them and unlimited power. You never met a man - or woman - you couldn't eviscerate. You are the definitive Man of Action, the CEO of the Seven Seas, Lee Iacocca in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. You're mission-oriented, and if anyone gets in the way, that's his problem, now isn't? Your buckle was swashed long ago and you have never been so sure of anything as your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off his head if he shows any sign of taking you on or backing down. If one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?

brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

More jobs done on the folding camper.

So that's how the sofa goes together!

New inner "bedroom" in daytime mode and

night time mode. Amazing what you can make from sheets & old duvet covers :-)

Monday, 5 April 2010

Now with working door!

Progress. Put the new zip in yesterday - by hand. Sore finger & thumb.

Yes I know, but it was never gong to be straight fitting a new zip inside the old one. It is however a 100% improvement on not being able to shut the door at all (something the previous owner somehow managed to miss off the description on eBay).

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Our new project.

 Lots of jobs to do before it's ready for a trip to Scotland in June.

Like replacing the zip on the door.

New gas locker already made.
Needs curtains!
I'm not sure about that gas fire.

Kitchen needs water and gas hoses fitting.

Hopefully the sun will shine and we'll get the jobs done in time :-)

Friday, 29 January 2010

Vodafone - useless tossers

Has anyone ever managed to get anything to work on Vodafone's webshite? Four times I've tried to top up my phone with this result:

If I try via the phone it tells me my card has expired, which the web site confirms isn't till 02/2012. Obviously these muppets are working in a different timezone to the rest of the planet :-( Why do we put up with this crap service in this country? Yes, ok, don't tell me, it was a rhetorical question, they're all equally crap.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Bracknell Telephone Exchange

Bracknell Telephone Exchange, Market Street, photographed 8 April 1965