Sunday, 22 July 2007
Flooding in the UK

If you've been watching the news you probably would have seen that flooding has dominated most of the air time. We have seen flooding the likes of which has never seen before in the UK and its giving the environmentalists more fuel for their argument that things are getting worse and we will probably see a lot more of this in the future.

One of the problems I have is not so much that the flooding is taking place as it in most cases can't be helped but the information and how it is supplied on the environment agencies web site could be a lot better. A large map of the UK marking all the trouble spots and allowing you to click on it to drill down so if you are traveling it would really be useful. Anyway if you are looking for flooding information along the Thames this is the best I managed to find.

posted on Sunday, 22 July 2007 21:36:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

BT Home Hub pain in the ar*e

The BT Home Hub I have installed in place of my Conexant Hasbani router has recently started being a real pain in the ar*e. For no reason at all it will drop the Internet Connection and commence downloading updates from BT to update the firmware. It does this without disconnecting the BT Home Hub phone (one of the reasons I went for the hub) but it drops every other Internet connection.

I use the Internet a hell of a lot for work and dropping a VPN connection or a remote Citrix connection is not fun when you are in the middle of some important work. Yes I understand that BT wants to update the firmware but not when I'm using the hub and definitely not when I'm working on the damn thing! If this continues I am going to rip the damn thing out and go back to the Conexant. The Conexant is a simple bit of equipment but it works and is reliable. BT obviously weren't thinking straight when they decided to run updates on the Home Hub, and I suggest if they want this piece of equipment to be key to their new strategic idea of bringing TV, Phones and other services into the home that they had better think good and hard about standard of service. If you are going to update a piece of software you ask first you don't just disconnect people and let them lose their work.

posted on Sunday, 22 July 2007 00:05:18 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 21 July 2007
Brushing the difficult cat

oliweb  If you are a regular reader of my blog you most probably think I have a real death wish when it comes to cats as I usually end up getting bitten by them.

Well never fear I haven't been bitten again...yet! I've just been helping my wife try to brush one of our difficult "ferrel" cats Oli pictured left. Oli last gave me a painful bite when I tried to feed him a pill and since then the two of us have always had a strange thing about trust. I don't trust Oli and he doesn't trust me.


Oli's has an interesting party trick when you do something he doesn't like and the thing he doesn't like this time is the grooming brush, so when ever you corner him to brush him with it he poo's all over the floor. What a cat hey? Unlike Lucy who will bite you straight away Oli gives warnings in the form of a lick followed by a gentle nip and then a powerful bite.

Anyway I am going to give him one last time to get his matted coat brushed otherwise it down to the vet to be shaved! Mind you last time we took him to the vet he nearly removed two fingers from a male vet. He really seems to prefer female vets to male vets for some reason.

posted on Saturday, 21 July 2007 23:11:49 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Thursday, 19 July 2007
Mmmm Hoff

Yes I am a big fan of David Hasselhoff. Why? Because he is just so damn cheesy he's actually funny! 

Anyway here is one of my all time favorites that has me in stitches every time I see it. Long live the Hoff!

posted on Thursday, 19 July 2007 21:31:09 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

Burger King is better

I have always been a Burger King fan, not that I eat burgers a lot mind you. I only eat so called "junk food" every now and again such as a Friday to treat myself for surviving the weekend on bread and lentils. However Burger King recently closed down in Windsor and I had to have a Big Mac instead to fulfill my once a week junk food ritual.

My verdict is? Come back Burger King! Don't make me eat Big Mac's instead, please come back! I love the Angus burger!

posted on Thursday, 19 July 2007 20:48:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Wednesday, 18 July 2007
My Joost Set top box

pearl Well the only way I am going to get a Joost Set top box is to make my own! All I need is a PC that is nice and thin and looks like a set top box and I found one at Now I'll have to find a UK based supplier for this box all I will need next is to install Windows XP and then Joost.

Next I could probably get myself a wireless mouse pointer from global sources and that should sort me out rather nicely with the same functionality of a Wii remote I think.  Oooh I feel another exciting project on the way!

posted on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 20:58:50 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

How to loose weight - get toothache?

Its funny, I took out a gym membership to start loosing weight. I started going to the gym quite regularly but my 38inch waist line still persisted. Then all of a sudden I started to suffer severe toothache so bad that I was up whole night nursing it with cold water, I couldn't eat anything for several days and could only sip soup or chew bread on one side of my mouth.

I was surprised that after my little ordeal I lost half a stone in weight and my waist went back to 36inchs! Mmm so maybe I should have just eaten less? No it couldn't have been that simple could it? So what have we learnt from this? Well if you want to loose weight you have to have someone punch you in the mouth and and knockout a few teeth. No no no that's a horrible idea...

posted on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 20:21:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 14 July 2007
My new VOIP toys

qpe_v601_01 Every few months I collect the spare coins I take out of my pocket and leave on the side table at night because they weigh down my wallet too much. If I'm lucky I can usually put enough pennies together for my gadget fund. This months gadget is the QPE V601 wireless VOIP communicator which works with Skype.

Its so cool! Instead of having to talk into your PC's microphone and looking like a complete idiot to the rest of your mates in the office you can actually walk away from the PC and use this device (up to a maximum range of 10 meters). I have tested it with both Skype, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and VOIP cheap and the quality is excellent. I have only had a few problems where I have not set my Skype to use the proper sound device in this case being the QPE which of course relayed the Skype call through my laptop speakers instead.

My other device is an optical mouse which doubles up as a VOIP phone! How cool is that? The mouse rings and you just put it against your ear and talk. All these gadgets can be founds at Maplins for a total sum of £28, not bad hey?

posted on Saturday, 14 July 2007 18:45:05 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Thursday, 12 July 2007
I have won an award!

I've won my first blog award! Wehoo! Thanks Mariuca!

Awesome Guy


I promise I am not going to let this change my life. I'll still talk to my old friends and blog in the same way as I used to.

posted on Thursday, 12 July 2007 21:15:16 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [2]

 Wednesday, 11 July 2007
My good old Atari BBS

I will admit it. Back when I was younger and kids were fighting about what format was better in the school playground I was the kid with the Atari ST. A die hard fan right to the very end just hoping Atari would save what I thought was a great line of computers with an even more fabulous release of computers. Sadly this was never to be but it didn't stop me running a BBS system I had run on the machines for over 4 years.

The good old Atari ST almost never crashed it was slow but it was also reliable and did what it was supposed to but ever so slowly as the loyal users of my BBS system Athena BBS commented back then. For those readers too young to understand, a BBS stood for Bulletin Board System, they were around way before the Internet became popular, people would leave messages kind of like newsgroups on them and these messages would be traded with other BBS's systems in the unsociable hours of midnight over 33,000 baud modems.  Users would rush in polling the BBS's modem one by one for their mail in the morning seeing what had gone on in the world or what was the latest in the Fidonet message areas. Back then you were lucky to have a modem past 22k in speed anything faster was far too exspensive. Internet email was also exspensive back then and some BBS's like my own offered people email addresses at the BBS for free which would be fed through to them twice a day. Back then spam was something you got in tins and the closest we had to modern day spammers we called muppets and banned them from the BBS network not a hard thing to do back then.

The owner of a BBS was called the Sysop (Systems Operator) a very nice guy who ran the BBS usually for free. Most BBS's also had public domain software available for download, one of the easiest ways of getting hold of free software if you didn't have an Internet connection. My BBS used to be run on two Atari ST's networked over Midi ports using two modems to answer calls. It was a great hobby I funded out of my own pocket and sadly closed down when BBS's finally started loosing people to the Internet. Every now and again I take my Atari ST's out of moth balls and fire them up looking over the BBS system and playing with the old games in the glorious 640x480 resolution, left in exactly the same condition from when it was turned off 12 years ago.

posted on Wednesday, 11 July 2007 20:44:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Monday, 09 July 2007
Boeings Dream Liner

Mmm having looked as this plane I have a hard time understanding what makes it so "dreamy". Its looks exactly the same as all of the other planes Boeing makes.

I get the idea it is supposed to reduce pollution by 20% but I bet we are all still going to be packed like sardines into this plane as airlines put as many seats as they can into them. Hardly dreamy is it?

posted on Monday, 09 July 2007 18:58:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]