out of date

I refuse to title this entry four weeks having titled the last proper entry 2 weeks! I have been on holiday for the last few weeks, working on something I’ll talk about later and then catching up on everything. A lot seems to have happened while I have been away.

Ebay bought Skype

There were rumours of this when I left but I still couldn’t quite believe it when I got back – it will be interesting to see what happens going forward. I wonder if Skype will be able to maintain its cool status..

Telewest and NTL finally merge – took them long enough, I wonder what will happen to my cable account. If past experience is anything to go by (when Telewest bought Cable London) I will not see any change for some years. I seriously hope this is not the case!

Boots merge with Alliance Unichem – well Boots were going to have to do something, they havent really been going anywhere for years, I wonder if much will change out of this? Maybe this will help them compete with the supermarkets?

Office 12 was announced and they finally added pdf support – I can only think of one major reason why they did this – Open Office. They have known this was a feature in huge demand for years and have not added it to previous versions – I cannot remember a time when Microsoft added support for a third party’s technology when they were the dominant player in the market (They always do in the reverse scenario). Anyhow, it is good news for the consumer 🙂  Now, if we can enforce a standard on one document format spec the market would truly be competitive. Not that I would move to Open Office just yet, and Office 12 is sounding like a much more worthwhile upgrade than Office 2003 ever did. Lets hope its not vapourware!

Onto other things.. having got net access at my new flat set up and a decent computer at home for the first time in ages, I figured I could now host my own blog rather than living with the restrictions of MSN Spaces. I have used pretty much all the free blogging services in the last 18 months so maybe I should write up what I thought of them.

Anyhow, I initially thought of Movable Type and was all set to go with that when I heard of WordPress. I was swayed by a lot of the writeup in the blogs that this was a better way to go – amazingly I felt WordPress was the better one over the medium term than Movable Type. Why amazingly? Well WordPress is open source and I am always a little nervous about how often and how well open source products are updated – sometimes this is well founded sometimes not – depends on how popular the software is. Anyhow, I felt WordPress was definitely well supported and what with it being blogging software it is probably ideal as an open source product because not only will it stay free, but as the community grows it will be able to add whatever the latest gimmick is quickly – and we all like a gimmick 😉

MovableType obviously has a thriving plugin community right now but I wonder if that will always be the case – I think more and more of those guys will move to WordPress over time – plugin developers will use some of the most complex features available and if the platforms are equal and one is freely available to them they will move to that. If MovableType continue to restrict their product features some will start to switch. That’s where I am standing now.. I hope I am not wrong if only because I do not want to have to up roots and move!

Installation was a breeze, my php is poor at best and its difficult to accept that the web that I knew years ago is completely different – layout using CSS, it was only an experimental idea the last time I played with designing websites! Seems to work well enough, though some parts are still confusing. I am definitely going to miss the MSN Spaces photo album 🙁

Anyhow, I started moving across all my blog entries about a month ago and my photos are almost there. The design is still a long way from being complete but then I am never happy with my designs so I’ll probably make it public in the next few weeks barring anythign else coming up. It’ll be live on www.razorshine.com when it does but I’ll blog here again before that happens.

2 weeks.

I cannot believe 2 weeks have gone by since I last added an entry – they have gone very quickly. This should not be altogether unsurprising as the last 2 weeks and the next 3 are/have been the busiest of the year. Weddings, stag dos, birthday parties, my major holiday of the year and moving flat.. its been hectic.

Stag do has been and gone – went out Essex way and enjoyed the sights of Romford – apart from the names of the pubs nothing seems to have changed. At the end of it all, I slept in a tent for the first time in ages – I had plenty of room and was quite comfortable (for a tent!). Onto the 30th birthday party, Tillie’s to be precise.. down in Cornwall near Par. We got there rather late so missed most of the beautiful sunshine which was a shame. Party was great though and some great ideas. Short stories were sitting at each place on the dining tables for everyone to sign, and polaroids were used to create a photo wall 🙂 Even better it was right next to the beach so at about 3am we wandered outside with the intention of setting up the tent we had bought and lugged down on the train earlier. There was no way we were going to not set it up after all the effort we took getting it down there. Took us an hour though what with it being pitch black and only my mobile phone for light 🙂 Did it though – and it stayed through the night and even looked like a tent in the morning Photos to be uploaded shortly – though there are not many due to my failure to realise uncharged cameras do not take photos 🙁

In between those 2 events, the move is progressing, all my odds and ends have now moved to the new flat, however I did not own any furniture so in reality it wasnt much fun to live in (sleeping on wooden floors anyone? – I borrowed an air bed from my brother but it had a knack of losing all its air by the morning 🙁 ) Anyhow bed has finally arrived and been put together so I can sleep easy now. 9 weeks left for a sofa.. so let the countdown begin..

(I still need a dining table but the cost is extortionate right now so I guess I shall start saving!)

mental notes

It’s been one big weekend, ill on Friday, stag do on saturday and then a picnic in the park on sunday. In between all that I ended up in Waterstones even though I am not supposed to be buying any more books at present. I have at least 6 waiting for me in a pile at home! On top of all that, having ready plenty of books involving the Roman Empire, whether historical or fictional, I had attempted to stop myself reading anymore and make myself diversify to other geographies and histories (which I have been doing with reasonable success 🙂 ) Anyhow, the first book that caught my attention? Romanitis – a book about the Roman Empire as if it had made it through to the present day. The optimist in me made it sound interestinh – it could go either way with that starting point – complete arbritary tripe or as I say.. interesting. The title of course is rather poor I think, though I cannot think of a better one, and maybe that is why I did not succumb to the urge to buy it 🙂

Onto the main reason for this post – whilst I was in Waterstones, I thought that a really good usage for my blog would be to leave off the cuff comments and thoughts to myself – so I was thinking I need to look up Romanitis when I get back in front of a computer, but of course I always forget all the various qs surrounding the initial thought itself. With a decent network and phone that is easily achievable in this day and age – except I happen to be on 3, the 3rd generation mobile network here in the UK which is decidedly backwards. You only have access to their walled garden, no external access at all and get this – they give you a three branded email address which you can use and then charge you a price per message read and sent. Why can they just not use the data usage pricing model that everyone else uses? Is it that difficult?