Archive for 2006

    Casino Royale

    Saturday, November 18th, 2006

    I went to see Casino Royale today. Its the best one since Goldeneye (which had the same director), Daniel Craig did a good job – he’s a different type of Bond to the others but made it a really good movie. I liked Pierce Brosnan but wasn’t too keen on the stories, this one is much better than the last couple, more of a story and less special effects. It starts with Bond before he was a 00-agent, so its really a kind of prequel, but then it gets a little confusing as all the technology and cars are modern – the dates on the text messages are July 2006.

    Still, one of the best Bond movies.

    A+ Certification

    Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
    I’m now looking at doing an A+ Certification exam. Its basically an extra qualification (which seems to b every important in the States) to prove I can do tech support. Hopefully it will help in getting me an interview. I’ve found a couple of sites with info for the test and people seem to be recommending a book by Michael Meyers called A+ Certification All-In-One Exam Guide, so I went to the library to pick up a copy. Amazon has the 6th edition available next month but I wanted to get started now so I thought I’d borrow the current copy instead. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised it was a little out of date, the local library only had the 2nd edition.

    I’m now learning about the latest Windows 95 and DOS technology, and about how PCs are nearing 1 ghz in speed and have between 8-64 mb of RAM. I’m expecting a picture of Paul’s BBC Master to appear every time I turn the page.

    RSS again

    Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

    I just realised that the previous post was included in my RSS feed so it looks like it works. The old posts are still there but hopefully they will gradually be replaced by the newest ones as I enter them. So give it a go if you can work out how. Clicking on the orange button in Firebox will give you the option of how to subscribe and IE7 gives some information on what feeds are. The idea is it lets you know when I post a new, err, post.

    There seems to be a few ways of subscribing other than using the browsers. Thunderbird (Mozilla’s email client) lets you subscribe and it will arrive in a similar way to an email, which to me sounds like a good option, but now that I use gmail I don’t use Thunderbird any more. Sage seems to be a good plugin for Firefox to keep up to date with RSS.

    If you understand any of this and have some better options or can explain it better than me please feel free to reply to this and help out!

    Feed me

    Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

    I’ve tried setting up a link on the right to the RSS feed (its the orange button) – I suppose if you know what I’m talking about when I say RSS you’ll know the orange button. I’m still not 100% on it myself, but it’s a way of subscribing to the blog. If you have Firefox 2.0 or Internet Explorer 7 then you will have the option to subscribe using them, if not then download Firefox 2 and stop lagging behind.

    The problem with this subscription is that it gives you the oldest instead of the newest posts, which isn’t of much use to anyone. I’ve tried asking blogger.com about it and had no reply, I’ve tried posting to the forum but had no reply. So if anyone reading this has any idea of how to sort it out (I have a feeling that blogger would need to sort it on their servers) then please let me know.

    In the meantime, feel free to enjoy my earlier posts all over again through the RSS feed ;)

    Cleaning up your C drive

    Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

    I had a pretty major crash last week on my C drive, there I was happily playing Half Life when the game freezes and after a restart I get a BSOD even when trying to start in safe mode. It just so happened that next week was going to be the first ever backup of all my photos and everything on the hard drive. Well backups are what you tell people they should be doing, not something you do yourself, right? I managed to get the data backup up onto another PC and scandisk seemed to fix things but I reinstalled Windows from clean anyway. It feels much better to have a nice clean system now – its like going from a room with clothes and stuff all over the place to everything being neatly tidied away. Very cleansing.

    Its amazing how many programmes you build up over the course of a year, I won’t be reinstalling all of them but I still have quite a few to go. I’ve not yet go to that file that you forget to make a copy of before you wipe the hard drive, so hopefully there won’t be one this time. Worryingly I’ve had a few crashes already, but at least things are quicker to load now!

    Skype phones

    Sunday, October 15th, 2006

    I was browsing through Amazon and found a few interesting phones. I first heard about them last year but they are starting to come on to the market now. Its like a mobile but it works using wifi connecting to Skype. In the US it would allow free calls to any phones within the country or free calls to anyone who is logged on to Skype, as long as you are within range of a wifi network. The local councils here are trialling free wifi across some cities here in the streets so it could turn into something very useful.

    I’m thinking of giving it a go, could be very handy for keeping in touch, especially combined with a Skype-in number to let people call a local UK number. Here’s the Belkin model, and the Netgear model. Netgear also do one on the UK Amazon, but at a higher price.

    Interviews

    Saturday, October 14th, 2006

    Things are finally starting to pick up on the job front. I went for an interview at a temp agency who were amazed at the scores I got on the Excel and Word tests that involved copying, pasting, creating graphs and mail merging. Maybe they normally only get people who call help desks when they mouse doesn’t work because they haven’t turned on the PC. Anyway, they seem to think they can find me some temp work and I had two interviews for a permanent IT Tech position so hopefully something will come from it all in the next few weeks.

    MySpace

    Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

    I finally gave in and made a myspace page. I was convined I would never use that site but circumstances changed and I had to in order to stay in touch with a few people. If anyone else if on there my page is http://www.myspace.com/neilwill

    I’m not convinced about it yet – everyone says you’ll get hooked and spend all your time on there but at the moment it seems like opening up your email for everyone to read. I do have a cool monkey on there though.

    San Francisco

    Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

    We went on a trip up to San Francisco for the weekend, Brenda has Fridays off while the students are off for the summer so we (by we I mean Edith) drove up on Friday morning arriving just in time to get a beer before it was time to get another. There are a lot more bars in SF than Los Angeles, its more of an English type of place – you only have a short walk to the next bar so we sampled some of the local beers.

    The last time I went to SF I wanted to go to Alcatraz but it was a bank holiday weekend and on the Saturday the boats were booked up until Tuesday so I though I’d try again. This time they were booked up until Wednesday. Next time I’m going to book in advance.

    Its a really nice city and 90% of the IT jobs I find advertised seem to be based in San Jose, which is about half an hour to the south. Unfortunately the housing prices are high so maybe its somewhere to look at in the future.

    Cricket

    Monday, July 31st, 2006

    I managed to see the Channel 5 highlights of the 2nd test against Pakistan and it looks like I’ll be able to get them for the 3rd test too. Hopefully this will carry on through The Ashes. This is via the internet not on American TV, although a funny thing happened to me the other day. I was driving home past a school where I normally see the kids playing football (soccer not gridiron) and they were all out in their whites playing cricket! I was shocked enough seeing them playing proper football but cricket?!? I’m not sure if it will take off here, the TV networks will love the speed of play and the amount of commercials they can fit in, the US public will love the fact that the scores go into the hundreds (they hate football where 5 ‘points’ in a game is a lot) but they can’t seem to get their heads around the 5 day part of it. I think 20-20 would go down very well here. It would be like an interesting version of baseball….