31 October, 2006


I think I was a little hasty today. A colleague told me about something happening in Reading on the 25th march 06... Do you want to know what I did?

I signed up for next years Half Marathon.. yes, 13 miles of running the grey and wet roads of Reading. Put it in your diary's, so that nearer the time you won't mind me asking you to contribute towards my registered charity JezArnoldBeerMoney

Any regular readers here may remember that one of my 30th birthday resolutions was to get fit. The others were keeping a journal (still do here..), stop smoking and manage my cash better. Well, most of those are going great! Obviously the get fit needs some work, as my belly is starting to remind me of Gazzas mate, five bellies!

So I have a 19 week training plan, which involves a lot of running and a lot of recovery, and I aim to do the race in less than 2 hours! I am extending the plan to 23 weeks, as I want to make sure I finish the bloody thing. A few of the people at work, are doing it as well... So there is no way I am letting them down!

29 October, 2006

snowboard crew

ReunionSo a week after I had caught up with old friends in Worcester, I was seeing the ex-members of the Yellowsnow Snowboard Club in Richmond. One of my best friends at Uni, Kate and her boyfriend Mike have decided to upsticks and live in Tauranga, New Zealand. Good for them! They are loving life there..

Along with Mike and Emma, Sherman and Matt and Ben, was Gary; Mikes brother in Law. I had never met Gary before, but hes a top jazz musician, from Chicago! Even teaches little kids a little music. Top Bloke!

It was good to see everyone! I get on really well with the snowboard crew, and miss our holidays! I organised one of the Holidays one year, when Matt was Yellowsnow President. In fact, thinking about who was there, was a veritable Who's Who in Yellowsnow! Mike Rhodes - First President. Matt Walder - Second President. Me - Second Holiday Organiser. Mike Edwards - Third President. Sherman - Third Holiday Organiser. Ben Lloyd - Fourth President... wow! Oh and the girls of course!

I missed my train, and arrived about 15minutes late at Smollenskys, a gourmet burger bar in Richmond, SW London. After a few beers, we all headed to this great little bar where Emma's sister worked.. We all chucked in £20, and didn't worry about drinks all night.. SWEET! All in all a really good night, and at the end Me, Mike and Kate went back in a taxi to Fulham.

Early doors the next day, a bit of brekkie and we all met up again in Richmond for some Wagamamas at lunchtime. Everyone else was raving about it, but I thought it was a bit pricey, and a little standard! Made some ninja stars put of paper, and headed down the Thames to test them out on the ducks! Don't worry, when a paper Ninja Star hits a duck it doesn't even fly off... London Ducks are just too hard!

It was really good to see Kate and Mike again, and it will be a while before I see them again! I am going to keep up with all the boys though. Shermans off to do a snowboard season in Mount Snow, Vermont, USA. Matts living in Brighton, working for Snowboardclub.co.uk, and living with one of my brothers friends! Mike and Emma are living in London, working for Event Management/Marketing agencies, whilst little Ben is a Broadcast Engineer in Southampton! KEEP IN TOUCH!!

23 October, 2006

cowboys and indians

Lewy and Laura were having a party back home in Worcester on Saturday, and as I haven't been home to see the boys for a while, I thought I'd better go and show my face before they forget what I look like!

It was down the Tops. What a place.. I did actually go back there a few years ago, when I was younger it was pretty much a local for me. I didn't go down there for a few years, but when I came back to live at home for a year before I went traveling, we went down there. Nothing had changed, but I asked Steve and Lewy anyway.. They looked at me with surprise in there eyes and said, "What do you mean? they've changed the bloody curtains!"

Anyway the party seemed to be a success, Cowboys and Indians theme and everyone made the effort.. Well, everyone I knew! As happens with your friends, there were a few new faces but it was my old mates I went back to see.. Saw Dicky, who I haven't seen in a fair while, and Matt and Andrea and baby Holly. Shes three. First time I had seen here... I am just too slack!

It made me realise its good to have some great friends around. I have been lucky in my 31 years to have some great friends. Its important to understand that you need to spend time with them. Don't forget that.

14 October, 2006

the future of smarthouses

Now I wish I had the technical & business skills to be able to approach someone for Venture Capital. I have this kickass idea, that one day we are all going to be going "Why didn't I think of that!" .. and as I have no chance of getting the cash together, I am gonna write it up here and look back in ten years..

Its all about computers / smartphones / internet / networks and our homes.

Basically at the moment we have one, maybe two or three, computers hooked up at home connected to the t'interweb. Each of these computers have there own internal harddrives, and all require significant power to keep running. They all require a degree of knowledge to operate, so if something goes wrong, you have a rough idea of what to do. If something goes drastically wrong, then you have to start again, or pay a significant amount to you local computer store to get things working again.

So whats the most important thing on your computer? Its the data. Everything else is covered by insurance, but you can't replace the data. Its like if your house burns down, you can't replace your pictures can you? The future of computing resides in backup. Not just in one place either.

Home Servers. Fireproof/thiefproof and totally secure. Nothing is totally secure, so the data will be backed up offsite. So, if you are going to have a home server, why bother with PCs. Why not have virtual machines.

VMWare are a company that have seen profits rise by 60% each year (can't remember where I read that) and its helped by Dual Core chips.. or quad core .. or n-core.. On a server you load a copy of the operating system, and all the software you are going to require. From there you run out to Thin Clients (TC) and they show and allow you to operate all of your applications, on a cheap computer. Yes, thats right cheaper computers.

For those users whose computing requirements are office/email/internet/music/films/photos, a TC will be fine. Even if you want to create images, or write programs, as long as you add some more memory, it should work no problems. And thats with todays TC machines. You can attach a TC to the back of a flat screen monitor, attach some USB ports for Keyboards/mouse etc, and a a decent networking connection, and there you go all set up. How much money will this save you? Less money on the machine in the first place, and even less energy costs.

Each user authenticates with a fingerprint, and they get logged in to there profile. This is stored on the house server, and backup up remotely. Oh did I mention your mobile use? You use a smartphone. It logs into your profile, and with WiFi you can make calls, or browse the net, write some IMs or emails, do some work. It will be that simple.

With IPTV not long away now from being everywhere, we are soon going to have all entertainment on a screen near by. Oh and another thing, you will be able to control the house. Dim the lights, turn on the washing machine, set the cleaning robot on its way, CCTV when you are away, all these things..

What do you think? The best way for this is the ISPs create a service, where they set it up and lend you basic equipment for free. You want something better, then pay for it yourself! You will have a service plan, and a Technician can be at your house in four hours to fix things, or they may be able to do this remotely. This obviously needs some kickass company to be able to get these things together, but I have heard that the Freebox in France, is going in this direction. Perhaps my favourite company, Google can make a google box, and get it installed where ever there is a monitor in your house...

anyway like I said, its only an idea!!

more google news?

What is it about Google and the media constantly looking at what they are doing next? As you may be aware (unless you have been living under a rock) Google bought YouTube for $1.65billion in Google Stock last week. Some say its a bargain, some say Google are now going to face huge lawsuits for copyright materials; I think that Google want to take on MySpace. I can see Orkut going through a 'merger' with YouTube soon, to bring a community focus to YouTube.. but then again what do I know?

Been playing with the new Google Groups this week. At work I have volunteered to create and manage our Teams Guidebook. Basically, I want to create a collaborative document that I can create and my colleagues can help keep updated. I found some ideas online, but they all wanted getting paid and I wasn't going to pay for this. Google Groups seemed the best idea, as you can create non-searchable, members only pages and discussions. I started getting it all ready, when a colleague points out that we can't keep commercially sensitive information on there. "Yeah, I know!" I reply, "its just guidelines on how to do your job better." so he comes back with "But our processes are commercially sensitive" ... oh... So I binned that idea, and now we are looking at Microsoft Sharepoint. I hope we don't have to pay for this..

Google have also combined Spreadsheets and Writely into Docs which is obviously taking a hit at Microsoft Office. You know that the BigG went into partnership with Sun Microsystems recently? You didn't? Anyway Sun are the owners of Open Office, and Google have some of there programmers down there improving this free opensource software. Eventually, we are going to have Docs & openOffice working together - on your home PC you can use all the functions of OpenOffice, and as long as you are on an internet connected PC you will be able to work on your docs online.. very clever.

Next year, I forsee the launch of an online storage from Google which you will use to back up photos, docs, etc. I reckon they will give everyone a minimum of 2Gb of storage, link it in with Google Search/Gmail/Calendar/Reader/Picasa/Open Office and there we have a FREE kickass package..

Does that make sense? I hope so.. Maybe I will finally be able to ditch the expensive Microsoft packages, and do everything online!

England vs Croatia

What a disapointing week of Euro 2008 fixtures. Having played four games in our Group E fixtures now (and winning the first two) we go and draw against Macedonia, at home... Steven Gerrard and Gary Neville both hit the post.

Worst is that we lost 2-0 to Croatia in Zagreb, after a goal from Eduardo and a freaky own goal by Gary Neville, which jumped over keeper Paul Robinsons foot as he was about to boot it down field...

Anyway my own team, Aston Villa are still vying for Premiership leaders, after a 1-1 draw with Chelsea and we are still in 7th place in the league.. Now that owner Randy Lerner outright owns the team, perhaps we can see new signings in the January transfer window? heres hoping that I can't start taking an interest in my team again!!

02 October, 2006

all alone :(

My girlfriend has left me...She has gone and left me to look after the cats on our own.. Booley and Chanel have now only got one person to 'Miaow' at...

However its not all that bad news! She's only gone on a holiday for her best friends wedding..
Jayme and Don get married next Saturday in Moncton, Canada.. I was invited, but back in January when we heard the date and location, I was busy sunning it up in Sydney and didn't have the spare cash for a flight. Thats why I am not going..

Anyway as Zee has a few problems with flying (She once screamed, "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!" much to her mums amusement) so I hope she managed to get to Toronto without any problems! A few days shopping and sightseeing, and then on to New Brunswick.. I am left behind to play Amped3 (and tidy the house for an inspection)

Jayme and Don.. Have a wonderful day, and I wish you both a happy life together!!! Sorry I couldn't make it :)

google products

Am I a Google Fanboy?? I am a big user of Gmail > Google Calendar > Google RSS Reader > Google Writely > Picasa > Google Analytics > Google Maps/Earth > what is it about this company that makes products i just love using??

Is it the simplicity, in that the minute I open it I naturally know how to use it? or the elegance of the design, and that everything is where it should be? There are plenty of us Google fanboys out there, and a few thousand blogs about anything that may be coming out soon... even if its wild rumour!

I even PAID for my gmail invite :) a couple of dollars back in August 04!! I love the integration of Calendar with Gmail, just wish that Google could do a great To Do list now (perhaps in line with Getting Things Done??) ... who knows??

What are the websites you visit?? for me its BBC news, Times Online, Guardian, Flickr, YouTube, Gmail, and Google Reader. I have Firefox 2.0 load up all of these in Tabs, but what about all the other websites.. Well If I am interested, then I grab the RSS feed and load it in to Google Reader. That way anything new comes into that, and I go to the page if I am interested!! What a great idea!! don't you think??
So I use writely to write documents on the fly.. Picasa to manage my extensive photo collection (5000 + from Travelling alone!!) and also any images I like online.. Analytics to manage website stats.. and finally Maps to find somewhere (surprising that..) and Earth to look around the world!!

To be fair, I don't like multinationals. Why? I think its something to do with why I don't like salesmen. I don't like the grip they have on people.. SoAndSo company has substantial shares in ThisAndThat media group, who make the Daily News. Is it a coincidence that the DailyNews never has a bad story about SoAndSo? I also don't like it when a Multinational release a product that just does NOT work how its advertised, or they then go and release something 'slightly' better two weeks later..

Google don't really fit this mould (just yet..) there motto is 'Don't be Evil' and I still believe they have this ethos.. maybe in time the TRUE Google will come out, but as long as they don't release my search history to any Tom, Dick or Harry they will be good in my eyes!!!