01 December, 2008

gOS Cloud

gOS.cloudJust seen something about gOS Cloud -- Anyone know when this is released? I am still on the lookout for my next laptop, and its going to be a Netbook of some sort. The Asus 1000H seems to be drawing me in right now, but waiting for it to drop below £300.

Adding the tiny linux software gOS Cloud to boot into, when I start my machine seems a very clever way of getting what I need very quickly. I can then boot into Windows when needed. 

Now I know someone is going to say, "just get a linux OS like xandros".. sorry, but I dont have the time to learn a new OS. I know windows inside out now, and certain programs ONLY work on Windows, or Macs - Nokia PC Suite, Outlook, iTunes etc etc. This has very few programs, and if its stable then looks like a winner.

According to the few sites that have this written up - engadget / cnet / laptop mag - it seems that gOS Cloud features a browser with a MacOS like dock with shortcuts to favorite apps. It has tabs for multi-tasking between web and rich client apps, and icons that allow it to:

  1. Open gMail

  2. Open Meebo (web based instant messaging)

  3. Open google Calendar

  4. Open google Reader

  5. Open Google Maps

  6. Open Youtube

  7. Open Blogger

  8. Change wireless settings

  9. switch to Windows

  10. and power off

This does look really interesting, and something I need to read a lot more into. 

Anyway, Good OS.. let me download this, and install it on to my new netbook in the new year please! In fact Google, why don't you just go out and buy this company?? ;)

07 October, 2008

100 Skills every man should have

Over at Popular Mechanics, there is a post on 100 Skills every man should have. Being a 33 year old man, I thought I should check to see where I am. How much do I know?? I have starred ( * ) all mine. 
Brains and charm are fine, but a real guy needs to know how to do real stuff. After months of debate among PM’s expert editors, here’s our lineup of essential skills, broken down in 10 categories for the competent man—plus 20 tools you need to own. Did we leave anything out—or included a skill you don’t think is worthy? Sound off in our chat, then take PM’s interactive DIY quiz to see how you measure up!

Google Chrome .. five weeks on

Five weeks to the day since Google released its browser, Chrome and I thought I would give a quick update. 

I think the best thing you can say is that I am still using it! It wasn't a fly by night browser, try it out for an hour or so and never open it again.. its used for everything I do on my PC thats related to ME!! .. I don't use it for anything work related. For that I use IE7 and occasionally a very clean install on Firefox v3. 

Its still blindingly fast.. I have application shortcuts on the desktop for Gmail, Calendar and Gmail Contacts... I use the incognito feature, when I want to check my other Gmail account... I have used the Tabslock feature, so that whenever I press CapsLock it opens a new tab with my nine most used webpages on. For the record, its my company homepage, Facebook, Gmail, BBC News, Amazon, Google Reader, Wikipedia, My Wikipedia Watchlist, and at the moment it also has National Rail. I also love the search bar.. its called the onebox,a nd you can have custom search set. For instance, everytime i press W > space > SEARCH TERM.. it normally brings up the wikipedia page on it.. Would someone please tell me how I can search Amazon.co.uk the same way?? I have tried loads of ways and none of them work.. All in all though, I love it! 

But what do I miss?? I miss my delicious adding, but have managed to fudge it using a bookmark. Its not the best, but it works and Del.icio.us is 100 times better than Google Bookmarks. but thats about it. I now have a very fast browser, and its only crashed on me once. It opened up again so quick though, that I hardly noticed. 

The trackpad still doesn't scroll up, but I understand Google have fixed it on the nightly betas ... I haven't signed up for those, as I want a pretty stable release. One thing though Google, of you are reading this, please make it easier for me to upgrade to v0.2.149.30 or whatever the most recent one is by a click of a button. I don't know which is the most recent stable release.

Anyway want to know more?? go and view the comic at http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/index.html and download the browser from http://www.google.com/chrome

02 September, 2008

First thoughts on Google Chrome

 Any normal google announcement is normally preceeded by all the tech pundits giving it a bit of this and a bit of that.. this was no exception. 

 This time though, it was only because Google sent out a comic to some leading bloggers yesterday that anybody had any idea it was happening. One of the comments was, "Who Cares? After all Internet Explorer is still used by 70% of all internet users" .. true. Another 20% use Firefox, and the remaining 10% use a mix of Opera, Safari, Netscape and others. 

Day to day I generally use Firefox,  but regularly find my memory being abused to the point that my computer crawls to a halt. Even closing tabs still fails to reduce it enough. So lets run a very quick test.

Currently in Firefox I have 11 tabs open. Its using 213Mb of memory. With Google Chrome I have 10 tabs open, and in Task Manager I see 10 instances of Chrome running - 50mb + 19mb + 5mb + 44mb + 11mb + 23mb + 11mb + 16mb + 27mb + 10mb = 243mb of memory. 

You might think here I have a problem. Less tabs, using more memory. Not the case. I close one of those tabs, and I immediately get that memory back. In Firefox, it stays. In fact if I close all the tabs less one, its still using 158Mb of my precious RAM. As Google says:
Each browser tab operates as a separate process; by isolating tabs, should one tab crash or misbehave, others remain stable and responsive, and users can continue working without having to restart Google Chrome.

Its a lighning fast browser, with a noticeable difference to the speed of opening new pages.

First impressions?? GREAT! Considering I use a lot of different google online applications, it will be one of my most useful broswers... 

Anyway, one complaint.. I can scroll down using my trackpad, but can't scroll back up. Its not that bad, just use my up/down arrows. 

25 August, 2008

Heres to the Crazy ones

My favourite piece of poetry.. I used it for a voiceover on a snowboard movie we made at University once.

It still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck...
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits.The rebels.
The trouble makers.The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

24 August, 2008

Beijing 2008 - Team GBR finish in fourth!

With the 2008 Beijing Olympics now entering the closing ceremony, I am over the moon to see Team GB finish fourth overall! CONGRATULATIONS!

Its been an amazing Olympic Games, and I have been glued to the t'interwebs, especially the BBC Live Action page, and the coverage from the BBC. Again, I feel my TV license was money well spent with the coverage that has been provided.

So whats been my highlights? Super Saturday and Sunday, and Tremendous Tuesday.. each day four new gold medals for Team GBR. I was gobsmacked with Usain Bolts three world records.. and Michael Phelps! Is he the worlds greatest athlete? He's up there with the best of them! It wasn't just Phelps.. all the swimmers did well. I guess at London 2012, every swimmer will be wearing the latest and greatest Speedo Suit...

The medal table is impressive this year.. China with 51 gold out of there 100 medal count, USA with 110 overall medals.. Russia pipped us to the post with a superb tally of 72. But Britain definitely put the Great back in Great Britain. Fourth in the number of Golds, fourth in the overall table. WOW!

Just before the games started, I was expecting Australia to do soo well. After all they have a pool of 21 million people to choose from and are a sporting nation. (lets not mention the Rugby though!). The UK Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe made a stupid bet that he would wear Australias Green and Gold jersey at a sporting event if they beat us in the medal table! DUH!! I thought, "ARE YOU STUPID??".. fast forward two weeks later, and maybe I should have made a similar bet..

Anyway, for a rundown on all the British Olympic Medal Winners pop over to another BBC page. Lets all sit down and congratulate them in a very British way, with a nice cup of tea! After all it did seem that our Olympians were sitting down for most of our medals :)

Good luck to all the Olympians competing in the Beijing 2008 Para-Olympics!  Great Britain will send a team of 212 athletes to the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and compete in 18 of the 20 sports. In Athens four years ago, GB finished second to China in the medals table with 94 medals, including 35 golds. Team GBR can you do better ??

22 July, 2008

EeePC 901 - Linux or Windows? *MUST* sync with my phone..

Anyway, I am still contemplating buying myself my own laptop instead of using works all the time... In the next few weeks, I will be getting myself one of two laptops:

What's the difference you may ask?? Well they are both £300 from LaptopsDirect, and come in two different colours - white and black. However, apart from them running different Operating Systems, the Windows XP version only comes with 8Gb of SSD storage space, while the Xandros version comes with 16Gb. Each comes with a 4Gb SSD to store the Operating System on. As such I am going to need some decent online storage..

I'm also getting a little fed up with Windows, and want to try a different OS. I think Linux is one to learn today..

However, my problem is the syncing of a phone. Currently I am using a Nokia e51 phone. This runs Symbian S60 v3 , and is one of the most popular phones in the world. However, can I find out if it will be able to sync with the linux laptop?? nope.. not anywhere. The ever popular EeeUser Forums doesn't have a clear answer, nor does going through 30 pages of google results for "sync linux s60" solicit the easiest answers.

Nokia makes a bloody linux tablet, but can't seem to be bothered to create a Linux Nokia  dataSuite.

Due to this 'slight' problem, it looks like I am going to have to buy the Windows version.. Does anyone have any ideas????

14 July, 2008

Who uses Digital Pens?? saw the zPen reviewed on fives GadgetShow


After watching UK channel fives Gadget show tonight, I was really impressed with a new digital pen that has just been released in the UK. Part of the show is called the 'Focus Group' and tonight they did it on Computer Peripherals. They included:

Anyway I have been looking for a digital pen for some time, so was really happy to see this on TV. Everyone likes to write things down.. telephone calls, meeting notes, brainstorming. Trying to use a Wacon tablet with OneNote was a real PITA. Also when I attend my monthly team meeting, all of us are sitting behind laptop screens, checking email and not engaging with the meeting.

Digital pens have been around for some time, but have always needed a special tablet, or special paper. I don't mind putting some money down upfront, but I do NOT want to keep having to buy new paper everytime it runs out. Also, it needs to be portable.. The Dane Elec zPen should be, and according to theUS Amazon site you should be able to:

  • WRITE with the pen, on any kind of paper (with the receiver on top of your page)

  • DOWNLOAD your handwritten notes on your PC and view them on screen

  • FIND keywords back on your handwritten notes

  • CONVERT your handwritten notes in digital text, to use it on your standard word processing software applications

It takes standard biro refills, and apart from one downside - the battery life does not seem to be that great - it looks a sure fire winner! It has the ability to upload 1Gb of data (using a proprietary .eli format) which creates PDFs, and these can then be OCR'ed to your text editor of choice.. Maybe I can convince the boss to buy 25 of them and tell everyone to turn the laptops off!

So I need to know if anyone has used this yet?? Any US or UK customers willing to point me to a couple of reviews? google didnt bring much back I'm afraid.. and there is no zPen wikipedia page (there is one for digital paper)

30 June, 2008

My 2008 Resolutions

So this blog has been up and running for over three years now.. and originally I only used it for my travels round the world in my thirtieth year. I haven't really kept it up to date for ages, but now that its moved over to wordpress I hope I can ...

So why am I writing in July about Resolutions? Well I am just looking through my previous years resolutions. Thirtieth / 2006 / 2007 There seems to be a familiar pattern.

I only do four each year, and all of them mention:

  • No More Smoking!

  • Get Fit & Stay Fit

  • Manage my cash & life better

  • Keep a life journal

So what do I want to do right now?

  1. Give up smoking - I try and I fail. I think its been about six times I have given up now, and every time it lasts about three months. However, I have declared my flat to be a non smoking flat. (Once the new kitchen is all fitted, and the front room has been painted)

  2. Get Fit & Stay Fit - Again, I find this difficult. Its all about routine. Its all about sticking to a plan. When my kitchen is fitted, me and Becky want to do a routine of ONLY shopping for the week on a Monday night. Stick to the meal plan, and stick to a shopping list. Its not just going out running, but having a change of lifestyle.

  3. Manage my cash & life better - Something I can actually do! Do you want to know how to do this? Have two accounts - one for your bills and one for spending.

  4. Keep a life Journal - I love technology, but what I want is a private online blog linked to my laptop. Has anyone got any recommendations for journalling software?

I don't want to add any more to this list.. four is more than enough.

No more HP2133.. its going to be the Asus Eee PC 901!

Back in April when I heard that HP were going to release a new laptop.. called the HP2133 .. I put it straight to the top of my wish list. After all, I need my OWN laptop (I don't like using works to do my personal stuff) and It looks beautiful, with what looks like a full aluminium case and also a full size keyboard. Its only available to buy from Research Machines in the UK right now, and its priced from £385

Not a problem I thought.. after all the spec is either Linux (SUSE 10.3) or Windows (vista or XP) with a large 120Gb HDD, and either a 3cell or 6cell battery. The problem?? I have read that it gets hot... damn hot! If its meant to be a nice portable laptop then it needs to be running cool.. after all it will be sitting on my lap half the time..

So I needed to review the other models out there. Using both Wikipedia, and my favourite review website - Trusted Reviews - I have checked out these reviews:

Coming soon is also the Dell E and the Acer Inspire One .. but neither of these brands have ever ticked the box with me!

So it looks to me that my next purchase is going to be a Asus Eee PC 901, probably the linux edition. Its running with the new intel Atom processor, which makes it run quieter and cooler, and also dramatically improves the battery life (approx 4.5 hrs). It also has draft-N wireless built in. Some previous features that are quite clever are the Multi-touch pad, and the custom Linux Xandros OS.

With a guideprice of £319 and available from the 1st July 2008, it looks the perfect netbook.

Just want to finish with the verdict that Trusted Review gave:
"Brimming with features and with a new CPU and better battery, the Eee PC 901 personifies exactly the spirit in which the original was created. It may be a bit more expensive than the original and lack a more comfortable keyboard, but for a balance of features, size, usability and value, the 901 has once again set the standard. For the moment, at least, the (new) original is still the best"

29 May, 2008

Sicily 2008 - three days in Trapani

Lavanzo Harbour After spending three days in a B&B in Catania, me and Becks were fortunate to ask Angela (who managed the Catania City Centre B&B) to find us a nice B&B in Trapani. We had thought long and hard where we wanted to stay, and after dismissing Palermo, it was between Selinunte and Trapani. We discovered getting to Selinunte would prove difficult… So we stayed 200m away from Trapani Train Station at a B&B called Cortille di Venere It was well priced at only €48 per night, and was ideally situated in the old town of Trapani.

Trapani is a great base for the non-touristy east side of Sicily. There could be lots to do on this side of the island, but we didnt find it! We just spent three days chill-axing.. three days of slowly wandering round, having a few beers and lots more coffees, and smoking lots and lots of cigarettes.. I had finished the two books I had bought with me (Flashmans Lady, and Flashman and the Mountain of Light - Great Books!) and we were walking at snails pace round the town!! It was sooo quiet!

Anyway the next day we wanted to go to Selinunte, but my alarm was set for weekdays only and we didn’t get up till 11:30.  Instead we caught the hydrofoil across to Levanzo.. one of the beautiful Aegardian Islands. Only 450 people there, and its the epitome of peace and quiet.. When we got back to Trapani, we went out for a beer and some food. (but forgot to get some food..)

Sunday was my 33rd birthday, and I did find out the day before that everything was going to be closed, so with our hangover we went to the beach for the day.It rose to 35°C during the day, and we had to go and relax in the shade for the rest of the day.. I also discovered Brioche with icecream.. basically an icecream in a bun! tasty… That night we went out for a lovely meal at a new restaurant that had only just opened.

Our last day, and again we wanted to go to Selinunte..  and again we were thwarted. The bus only runs at 6:55 and 12:35 and takes three hours.. it was not meant to be. Instead we slowly wandered Trapani, drinking lots of espresso, and taking lots of pictures…

Tips ‘n’ tricks

  1. Guidebooks.. dont forget them!If you do bring one, get a decent one - Lonely Planet or Rough Guide

  2. Its possible to go on holiday with just one cabin bag (article to follow) — just plan it carefully!

  3. Be prepared for days of nothing… just sit back and put your feet up with an espresso

28 May, 2008

Sicily 2008 - Three days in Catania

Greek Theatre in Taormina Me and Becks finally managed to get away for our first ever holiday together and we chose Sicily.

We chose to fly with RyanAir from London Stanstead, and as our flight was leaving at 06:05 we had to get the train the night before. Arriving near midnight, we settled down to relax in one of the cafes. I was soon asleep! Anyway, we finally boarded and were soon arriving to a beautiful, if slightly windy day at Palermo Airport.

Once we had got the bus to the capital city, and boarded a €23 train, we soon found ourselves wandering through the city streets of Sicilys second city, Catania. We were looking for our B&B, and Angela had given us some great directions so it wasn’t long before we found Catania City Centre B&B. We were given a very comprehensive review of the city and local tourist sights, and promptly booked a trip to Mount Etan the following day.

Mount Etna can be quite stunning.. unfortunately we went on a day with a bit of drizzle! However, we still saw some underground lava created tunnels, and one of the crators at 2000m .. no running lava though. Apparently, its worth going during the night if that is what you are after. Once we got back to Catania, we wandered round and discovered the Castle and also some beautiful side streets. We went out to a lovely fish restaurant that night as well, where we were ‘treated’ to witnessing the Sicilian version of illegal parking.. simply burn the car !! (oh and Manchester United beat Chelsea in the Champions league - it was down to penaltys) The next day, with a small hangover, we decided to get the train over to Taormina.

Views in TaorminaTaormina is Sicilys tourist town. As many Sicilians wanted to tell us, “You won’t see the true Sicily in Taormina” .. maybe, buts it a wonderful place with an ancient Greek Theatre, and it has great views! Anyway, we arrived at the train station and decided to go walk along the beach to find the way up to Taormina, as its situated on a hill… it wasnt until we had walked about 4km that we realised we had gone the wrong way, and at this point we got the bus to the town!!

It seemed to be full of a lot more tourists than usual, and we put this down to a cruise liner we saw in the bay earlier. One of the main sights we wanted to see was the Greek Theatre. It was only €6 for entry, and it was worthwhile. The history and the views are stunning. We wandered round for an hour or so, and I took a lot of pictures - see my flickr page - but soon we decided we had to explore the rest of the town. We headed down the Corso, grabbed overpriced beers and pizza and espressos, and before you knew it we were absolutely knackered and headed to go and get our bus home, which was slightly more expensive than the train there.

On Friday we decided to move on, and after putting the world to rights with Angela at Breakfast, we walked on down to the Train Station only to miss our train! Instead we got the bus, which was much quicker and we soon arrived in Palermo to catch our onwards bus to Trapani..

Tips ‘n’ Tricks?

  1. Take some money before you go, only about one in five Sicilian cash machines let me draw money from abroad.

  2. Learn some basic italian.. not many Sicilians speak English. “Parle Inglese?” … no

  3. Learn to love espresso… oh my god! its great… and keeps you energised!

  4. Take a decent guidebook.. Lonely Planet and Rough Guides both have there updated 2008 versions coming out two weeks after we got back from our own holiday!

30 April, 2008

Home Server and the new HP2133

HP Home Server (thanks ArsTechnica)Who has a home server? I have been contemplating this for sometime now, as the desktop machine I have is never used. I play my music collection through it, but I am sure I could do something better. Also I am fed up with the desktop constantly crashing, as its too hot inside the cupboard its in.

So has anyone ever done this yet? I have an evaluation copy of Windows Home Server, and will probably install it soon.. but I keep reading about Ubuntu or even SUSE. Its free.. its got a great community.. why not? well, I don’t know linux enough to understand the syntax commands. I believe I could use linux as a desktop replacement though.

What I want to do is get a Shuttle KPC and create a headless machine, like HomeServerHacks .. I would love to be able to salvage as much of my current machine as possible,  especially the HDDs..

If anyone has done anything like this in the past.. let me know! HP 2133 (thanks ubergizmo)

Also, waiting to get my hands on the HP2133 -  The new ultraportable laptop for about £400  - its very similar to the EEE PC that has also been getting rave reviews. If I get something this small, then its going to be a linux desktop.. free software and everything stored in the Cloud!

30 March, 2008


So I am starting a new blog.. t’InterWebs

Currently hosted over at blogger.com It’s going to be all about the t’InterWebs (aka The World Wide Web) and how it can help you out.. it’s going to have a little reporting, some facts, some how to’s and some tips and tricks. I want to help people set themselves up online and how to go about promoting the best brand in the world … YOU!

I’m still going to keep this site up and running, but this is going to be personal only. Anyway go and check it out, and let me know what you think!

29 March, 2008

Sicily, Italy for a week in May ‘08

So its payday, and so that I guarantee going on holiday I decided to book me and Beckys flights today..  We had already both taken the week off and had talked about going somewhere nice and hot, but also a little historical.

I had read in a magazine (which I can’t find anymore..) that Sicily was a great place to go backpacking. So I decided to do a little research. Flights with Easyjet to Palermo or Catania ?? Not when we want to go, so you have to look with the other lowcost airline .. RyanAir.

Yes, I already know its going to be a Nightmare Flight and I have heard far too many stories about them. Sometimes though I am a sucker for punishment, and also the flights were dirt cheap! £15 there and £30 return, for a total of £170 (including taxes). Now I don’t know if you knew this, but RyanAir have started charging if you want to put bags in the hold. So we are both going to have a week away with a bag each that is no bigger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, and weighing no more than 10kg.. going to be our little challenge! I am using OneBag for some hints and tips!
So has anyone been to Sicily before? Any recommendations? Will keep you updated with our plans…

26 March, 2008

Now its nearly April 08!

So my last blog post was 60 days ago, and anyone that used to subscribe to this blog has now long disappeared. After all according to www.google.com/reader I have 1 subscriber… that’s right ONE!

OK. Its my fault. This blog was used as my travel blog. I found that I didn’t have anything to add when I got back. I work for [INSERT LARGEST IT VENDOR IN WORLD HERE]] in the Networking department, and I am now one of the Technical Consultants. I just do not want to blog about my day job. This is a personal blog.

I have also found that if anyone I know wants to keep in contact with me, they have my phone number. My email address. Or I know them on Facebook. There are still a few of my friends that are technological Luddites, and I am never going to get them to Facebook, let alone leave comments here!

Added a new comments feature Disqus and also linked that to my FriendFeed

Anyway, I want to start getting things added here. So watch out!