Cookers, Family, Laptops, Gmail, New Years

Christmas with Exs parents was excellent! I hope all you guys had one as good. As you may know the main festivities are on the 24th of December here in Denmark, so the four of us had a lovely Christmas eve with plenty of food, drink, singing, dancing and exchanging of gifts (of which I’m sure I received more than my fair share ;) ).

It wasn’t without drama however, as the cooker decided to go “POP” (literally) taking out the power in the house. I got the power back easy enough, but unfortunately the cooker was a no go. I had consumed rather too much alcohol to trust myself fiddling around with it, so instead we drove down to the fat cow’s sisters house (cow drove) and took over her kitchen. They were away at dinner else where so it was cool. Thankfully they live so close.

The next morning Flemming turned up early with his toolkit, I was by then suitably sober and so we hauled the cooker out and got everything working again. Good thing we did to because then we did the whole family meal thing again except this time Exs sister and family were with us bringing the total to 8 (+dog = 9).

I’m a bit sad that I didn’t make it home to Ireland to be with my family this year, especially considering the presents I sent didn’t arrive until yesterday (the 29th). Still I love Christmas here to, and wouldn’t have changed a thing about it.

The big problem with not going home (as in Ireland) is that it’s to easy to fall back into work on these intervening days between Christmas and New Years. I had promised myself the entire time off.

I’ve been catching up on my RSS feeds today. I’ve fallen so far behind with reading them over Christmas that it’s scary to see the number displayed by . Still, as always there’s plenty of interesting stuff in my link blog.

Some things of interest which stood out:

The great Microsoft Laptop 180 scandal (via )

gave GMail the Christmas munchies causing it to eat users email and archives (only affected 60 or so people).

(now that its done can’t we all just move on to other things?)

Michael Arrington brings this little desktop tagging app “” to my attention. I agree with Mike too, tagging should definitely be part of the OS.

I’ll be back again on the 2nd of January (I intend to be too hung over to blog on the 1st). Have a Happy New Year everybody. Thanks for reading my blog and here’s wishing you all the best for 2007!

Last post before Christmas

I just wanted to fire off one last post to wish everybody a Merry Christmas before I head off in the morning.

For those of you who don’t know, the majority of the Christmas stuff (Family dinner, opening of presents etc.) happens on the 24th here in Denmark. We’ll be up early tomorrow to travel to Ex’s parents and won’t be back here until sometime on the 26th or 27th.

Now, some quick non Christmas stuff. As some of you may have noticed I’ve (finally) added a widget to this blog!

Also, I tried installing a few minutes ago only to have all the pages on this blog come up blank and only display after refreshing the page. I’ve deactivated it for the moment, as I don’t really have time to track down the problem today.

If anybody has had a similar experience with it could you leave a link to the solution (if any) in the comments? Failing that I’ll have to solve it myself when I get back. The only problem with that is I’ll be brain dead and fat from too much drink and food.

Anyway, here’s wishing every one a Merry Christmas.

Glædlig Jul.

MyBlogLog needs…

Okay, my reasons for this may be a little lounge in cheek. I’ve been at my favorite white wine again, but the warm fuzzy feeling it brings has given me a little inspiration about how to improve one of my favorite sites at the moment, namely .

MyBlogLog would greatly benefit from the ability to organize your contacts to display a top 10/20/30 etc.. The idea is similar to what is already implemented on MySpace.com. That way you could give prominence to the contacts that you really are “in contact” with.

Or you could simply use it to organize your contacts so that the hot women were at the top ;)

I’ve (at time of writing) got 21 contacts on MyBlogLog and 5 of them are women. So they’d all have to go at the top right?. So in no particular order of hotness (because they’re all hot) the first five spaces would be filled by:

 Halsted Bernard, also know as Cygnoir and blogs at

 

Clary Lopez, author of , and .

 

 Ananda, who authors blogs in French, Romanian and English. I’ll just link to the English one ;)

 

 MissRobyn authors “

 

Cath. Cath authors a French blog called “” about “design, innovation, techno, amis chers, fun, gloire et beaute”.

 

Well I think  you get the idea. Tongue in cheek as this post is (I’m sure the girls won’t mind being called hot) do you guys (and gals) think this is a feature befitting MyBlogLog? I do, but I can also see how it might be considered a little juvenile by many people. Still, I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, other than “hotness” to want to organize your MyBlogLog contacts. 

Way to kill off the innocence of children! Idiots!

Okay, before I get bashed for being anti-American, I’m not. But I really do believe that anybody who agrees with writing a 5 year old child up for sexual harassment for pinching another childs buttocks, should have their right to reproduce revoked. You’re obviously not fit to make any sane judgements about how to raise children.

Here’s the original article from the AP:

A Maryland kindergarten student has been accused of sexual harassment and written up. The 5-year-old boy pinched a girl’s buttocks.
A spokeswoman for Washington County public schools says the episode in a hallway at Lincolnshire Elementary School earlier this month fits the state Department of Education’s definition of sexual harassment.
The definition in part describes sexual harassment as inappropriate physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward others.
The spokeswoman says the reprimand is a learning opportunity for the boy even though he may not understand that what he is doing is sexual harassment.
But the boy’s father says he doesn’t know what to say to his son. He told The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown that the boy thinks of it as just playing and doesn’t know anything about sex.

First off, lets get one thing straight. If we are to believe that the 5 year old did this with sexual intent then this does not qualify as sexual harassment. It’s sexual assault, as harassment is a recurring event.

Next, are we really going to believe that a five year old pinched another child with sexual intent. It’s a part of growing up. The child should be reprimanded for pinching people and that’s that.

What effect will this have on the child? Will it stay on his permanent record? How will that affect his future? Do we now have to educate all five year olds about sex, so they can avoid being busted for sexual harassment? So much for the innocence of children eh?
This is a bad example of a society that has become so litigious that it has abandoned common sense in favor of having all their problems sorted in the courtroom. Actually the only deserved litigation here should be the suit that the boys father should take against the Department of Education on behalf of his son.

Once again, I’m not anti-American, but I feel a little sad for my American friends today, because if I was American and someone brought this topic up I would feel embarrassed for my nation.

Need help tracking down this file

I’m resurrecting some more old hardware today and one of my projects is to resurrect a HP iPAQ Pocket PC 2200. This machine actually works most of the time except that it randomly turns off when on battery power. I’ve checked the battery and it’s fine.

The ability to charge the battery when in the iPAQ itself seams to be dead as the fuse inside the iPAQ that handles the charge is blown, and I can’t track down a new replacement. However, the battery can be charged in the cradle, so swapping one charged battery for another is no problem.

Now, I’ve been scouring the internet all morning to figure out how to stop random “shut downs”, and have found a couple of website stating that it’s a software problem. They’ve also posted a solution which involves copying a file called “SpriteWakeUpService.exe” (possibly available as SpriteWakeUpService.zip) to the windows folder on the iPAQ.

The only problem is that the file used to be hosted on Spritesoftware.com and sadly no longer seems to be available.

Does anybody have a copy they can email me or post a link to? Remember, your help will save yet another device from the junkyard!

Is DigBack worth your cash?

When checking my Gmail this morning I noticed an advert for DigBack a program that promises to

get more readers and more traffic to your blog. It searches the Internet for blog articles of similar content to your own and puts a link in the articles of those blogs.

Apparently it works by scouring the internet for posts with similar content to your own and then posting trackbacks to those blogs.

Is this worth shelling out for? It seams to me, that the best (or most probable) use for this software will be for spamming.

In order to download the software (and there is no demo version available just a Youtube video) FlowChoice (the company behind DigBack) requires a subscription, which costs $7.95 a month or $79.95 a year. Why is there no demo version to let users figure out if DigBack is worth it? This screams of a product which may not deliver on its claims.

A quick search of Google Blog Search shows very few people talking about this program. In fact, the links listed are mostly from the creators of DigBack, and software directories. That also makes me reluctant to shell out cash for the software and determine if its anything that a blogger would actually use or if it’s just a tool for spammers.

Well, I’m never going to find out without at least demo version! So how about it FlowChoice? Are we going to see a demo version available on your site, or not. Failing that just send me a copy and I’ll review it for you and let everybody know whether or not your product is worth it to the average blogger.

Vanished!

IF you’ve been following my you will have noticed that I’ve been linking to a lot of posts by Jessica Hagy lately.

Jessica’s blog is called and it rocks. Each post is a little graphic, like the one on the left, and some of these things are extremely insightful.

If you like stuff that exercises your gray matter without requiring much effort then subscribe to Jessica’s blog (RSS feed).

Sidebars, widgets, time wasting

I’m not really into the whole widgets and sidebar thing as I find them at best to be poor replacements for functions better handled by full applications and at worst an annoying, distracting waste of screen real estate. I’ve downloaded and installed Yahoo Widgets on more than a few occasions but invariably end up unistalling after a day or two.

That said, I was looking for a sidebar solution today because I it will be a standard feature of Vista and because everybody else seams to have one. I wanted to say “me to” and see if it would do anything for my productivity.

I first tried the “Desktop Sidebar” and I must admit that I kind of liked it. It has a multitude of skins available so it can blend right into your existing desktop scheme. Unfortunately the download page only had 69 panels (I guess that’s their name for gadgets or widgets) available and most of the available functions had little or no appeal to me.

So after an hour of playing with it I uninstalled it. My reasons for uninstalling were two fold. First I couldn’t see any immediate use for it, other than distracting me with constantly updating images from my own photo collection. Second, I already had a sidebar client installed that I wasn’t using in the form of the one that comes as part of Google Desktop Search.

GDTS has over 900 gadgets available, but I still found myself relegated to a measly six that I might actually use – Scratch Pad, Email, Analog, GD Shutdown and the search box itself. How pathetic, I guess I’m just not a sidebar guy after all.

Before I switch GDTS back to just being a little search box in my taskbar, I want to make a comment about the supposed transparency in the Google Sidebar. It sucks. It’s poorly implemented. When there is no gadget you can still see the line going down the screen of where the gadgets should be placed. It’s dumb. Either give me full transparency or none, or give me the ability to set the transparency level myself, but this implementation just annoys me and looks bad on my desktop.

Google could seriously improve their sidebar if they fixed the transparency and made it skinnable like Desktop Sidebar is. The current “theme” for Google Sidebar just stick out like a sore thumb on any desktop that has been customized or themed.

Speaking of desktops, why can’t my desktop be as fun as this: Icon War

Note: has a good comparative review of Google Sidebar and Desktop Sidebar. It’s over a year old but still relevant.