Sunday, 30 December 2007
Mmm Christmas

 Okay I haven't posted many articles lately and I have a good excuse - it was Christmas!

I thought because I work so hard (most of the time) I was entitled to a break. This usually involves lots of Xbox and Wii games followed by my favourite Christmas tipple Youngs Christmas Pudding Ale.

Its become a bit of a tradition for me getting one or two of these each Christmas. Its one of the ales I truly enjoy and only get to try once a year.  It comes complete with its own pint glass of which I now have 5. Even my wife loves it!DSCN0880

posted on Sunday, 30 December 2007 16:39:39 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

Netscape is no more!

Sadly the browser that many of us used in the early days Netscape Navigator will cease development because not enough people are using it.  

Its a pretty sad state of affairs. I remember the earlier days when I used to use Netscape 3, instead of Internet Explorer which was the most unstable browser on the planet at the time. I then progressed onto Netscape 4. But when IE 4 came out I started to move away from Netscape which was fast becoming a bulkier browser and more sites at the time were starting to support IE.

Funny enough I found Internet Explorer started to get rather bulky and by version 7, I firmly moved over to Firefox. For some reason Internet Explorer seemed to be following the same path as Netscape getting bulkier and adding more and more features that really weren't needed. I think the thing I like about Firefox at the end of the day is that they keep it simple, they know its supposed to be a browser and that's it.

posted on Sunday, 30 December 2007 16:20:01 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 28 December 2007
Tomb Raider Anniversary for Xbox 360 - guide

I'm not sure how different Tomb Raider is on the various consoles out there but on the Xbox 360 its got pretty decent graphics and game play. I was originally going to buy the Wii version but was advised against it by the guy at the game shop, however just to satisfy my curiosity I may go and buy the Wii version for a comparison.

Now just as a little help to anyone else who has been struggling in some parts of the game I thought I might just post a few guides every now and again to help people through. At the moment I am still on the Peru - City of Vilcamba trying to get through some more of those Inca doors.

Peru - City of Vilcamba

LaraPeru1 Part of this level had me for a while and that was the part with the Inca door that appeared to have two levers that were just out of reach. Other than that this part was pretty simple.

Go into the right had entrance next to the door and follow this all the way through. You'll encounter some bats here so have your guns ready. You'll then get to a room filled with water and some broken ledges. Its prettyLaraPeru2 simple to workout what you have to do here.

Simply jump onto the ledges and use them to get around the room to the entrance higher up off the floor. Remember Lara can do some pretty impossible jumps and it doesn't matter too much if you miss your hand holds the water will break your fall.  You will encounter a walk way with a divide you will need to jump. Jump the divide and you will see one of the wooden bars above the gate. Now this is the part that LaraPeru3through me. You need to jump and catch the wooden bars(or levers) that are jutting out, this will not work unless you have a good run up before jumping. After  catching the bar it will swing around. You will need to do the same thing again but on the entrance on the left hand side which is almost an exact duplicate to the one on the left. After this the gates should open.

posted on Friday, 28 December 2007 02:00:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 16 December 2007
Microsoft and the browser wars

Microsoft are again being accused of being anti-competitive by bundling Internet Explorer as part of the Windows operating system by Opera software makers of the Opera web browser.

Opera wants the European Commission to force Microsoft to bundle competitor browsers with its operating system to give people the choice of what browser they would prefer to use. They want Microsoft to be forced to separate the operating system and the browser from each other removing the dependency between them.

To be honest I believe Opera who are the current browser under dogs at the moment with only 2% of the market are feeling a bit left out. Popular browsers such as Firefox are already gaining a large percentage of the browser market and they have done this without reverting to legal tactics like those instigated by Opera. Firefox has used a more grass roots approach to its success, the sudden drop in quality of Internet Explorer has even seen me (a very staunch Microsoft type person) revert to Firefox as my browser of choice.

posted on Sunday, 16 December 2007 20:44:58 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 14 December 2007
MP Hilary Benn and Channel 4 News

I don't know if its just me but if you have ever watched the MP Hilary Benn (the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) talking to John Snow on Channel 4 news he starts every sentence with the persons name he is talking to "John I know  but..." or "John we have to..." (and he does it quite excessively)- it is really quite annoying. I wonder why he does it?

posted on Friday, 14 December 2007 19:58:31 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Wednesday, 05 December 2007
Technology telling you what people are doing

Its rather interesting if you think about it. We all have messenger programs installed on our machines and many of us are members of social networks such as Facebook. We send roughly 10 to 20 e-mail a day and many of us have blogs (like this one) we post anything that amuses us.

It just occurred to me without even realising it. I roughly and subconsciously knew where most of my friends who used the above mentioned applications were at any one time. At about 8:30am to 9:30am you can tell when your friends arrive at work if they sign on earlier they usually wake up early to check their e-mail's and do some blogging. You can tell this by your RSS blog reader subscribed to their blogs bringing up their articles they post early in the morning. Signing in an out of messenger programs can tell you when they have taken their laptops into meetings and set them up again. At around 6pm when they have signed off from their messenger applications and then about an hour later sign back in, you pretty much know when they are back at home. Now isn't that scary?  Now think of this, you will probably know when your friends are on the move if they have a pocket Windows Mobile with a messenger program on it MSN messenger will tell you that they are using a mobile device.

Add social networks such as Facebook and people openly advertise what they are doing each day sometimes up to 6 times a day! We all seem to have a fear of a futuristic big brother world where the government knows what ever you are doing. Well it appears we have created our very own social big brother network and we have the choice wether we turn it on or off.

posted on Wednesday, 05 December 2007 19:28:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Tuesday, 04 December 2007
New Indesit oven and hobs

Oven My wife has been going on for months about how bad our oven and hobs are, I finally got around to doing something about it when after 6 hours of cooking the Sunday roast was still raw. I purchased a brand new Indesit Fan assisted oven with ceramic hobs from Curry's which arrived yesterday. This thing is such a dream to cook on (yes I do cook every now and again) the fan assisted oven distributes the heat evenly so you are less likely to burn the food. I cooked one of my favourite recipes Chicken En Croute (recipe and pictures to follow soon) which only took 45 minutes to cook as opposed to the usual 1hr and a half. The hobs are also great compared to the stone hobs we used to have that took 10 to 15 minutes just to heat up, with the ceramic hobs the heat is there instantly just like gas.

If you are interested in a new oven and hobs Curry's offer free delivery on the Indesit FI31MK64 Ceramic Hobs and Oven package for £329.99. For an extra £54 they will also install it for you and take away your old one for you. Its worth noting however if you do not have the proper electric sockets available they will not be able to wire them in for you and you will need to hire an electrician to put in a plug socket near the oven which takes a standard 3 pin fuzzed house plug. Also note that when they install the hob (and they will warn you), the formica work tops are likely to crack as they pull out your old hobs. This in many cases can't be helped if you are lucky enough to afford granite,stone or real wooden work tops this shouldn't be a problem.  

posted on Tuesday, 04 December 2007 15:42:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 02 December 2007
My Tom Tom vs Owens MP4 Watch

I had a look at my friend Owen's Christmas present (to himself I think) an MP4 Watch! And thought "I really want one of those!" (envy). But I was stuck with a bit of a dilemma, I had to get to a friends place for a get together and I had to go by car and I really wasn't sure of the route. So ... I could purchase a Tom Tom (poor excuse I know) or an MP4 watch (because its so cool!).  tomtom

Quite a lot of my friends know that I only have a provisional drivers licence, that means I can only drive a car with L plates and a supervising responsible adult  with a full drivers licence in the passenger seat (my wife). What this also means is that I can't go on any Motors Ways when I am travelling anywhere (bummer). As you can see the TOM TOM is becoming more and more attractive hey? And yes to cut a long story short I did purchase the Tom Tom and it is soooo cool!

I was able to put the post code of my destination into the Tom Tom and then revise the route excluding all motor ways and it automatically re-calculated the route...sweet! What was even cooler was when I was on my way through Windsor I didn't turn off at an exit when it told me to and the Tom Tom just recalculated the route on the fly telling me where to go to get back on course again. Another interesting part which I had no idea these devices had was the speed camera warnings (defined by Tom Tom as "Safety Cameras").  I know many people have had these devices and I am only just discovering how really cool they actually are, as a backup however I did have my wife map reading next to me but we soon discovered we didn't need a map. This is one of the new entry level Tom Tom's available from Halfords for only £149 which I think is a real bargain. The only complaint I actually have was the customer service in Halfords, they don't really seem to have anyone around to help you out and when the till is busy they leave one poor girl struggling with a long queue while other staff members seemingly seem to be doing stock checks. If you do find someone in the store you are lucky if they get back to you as they sometimes seem to have forgotten they were checking something for you. Its not only my local Halfords where this has happened, a number of friends have complained about various stores where its the same problem. Great advertising campaigns on TV guys just get the service in stores sorted and you could be making a lot more money, instead of people leaving long queues at your stores annoyed by having to wait so long.

posted on Sunday, 02 December 2007 14:47:45 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [2]