A public apology

This is my first post really branching away from what I usually write about – you have been warned!

I’m having a hard time writing this post because the consequences are ongoing and unresolved but I’m going to plough ahead with it regardless.

It will either be taken as sincere or it will loose me someone I care very deeply about. Here goes.

One thing my grandfather thought me was always to have manners.

Sometimes having good manners and acting like a gentleman is the only thing you have to separate you from everybody else.

Call it manners, chivalry or just plain being nice, he imparted the notion into me so deeply that it became a part of my core being.

Having manners or practicing chivalry has opened many doors for me. It’s also gotten me given out to many times and slapped many times because holding doors open is seen by some as suggesting someone is took weak to perform the action themselves.

It gotten me out of fights and sadly enough it’s gotten me drawn into them as well as I couldn’t let something wrong occur.

Tonight, manners has gotten me into a fight again.

I’m going to make any bones about it. I used to a prick. I used to be the kind of guy that did everything with the sole goal of his own immediate enjoyment.

Is used to live my life not caring about other people. Using them if you will, until I had a major breakdown and a major catharsis occurred after I tried to commit suicide almost a decade ago. I almost succeeded too, except for the fact that I was in a hospital bathroom when it occurred and I was discovered.

Anyway, I digress.

Tonight  my manners got me into a fight and has upset someone very, very dear to me (lets call this person Alpha).

The thing is that this incident happened live on air on UStream tonight (not recorded) yet I guarantee you that nobody but me and the friend who’s feelings are obviously badly hurt know about it.

Long story short is that I had been arguing with a real life someone (lets call this someone Bravo) earlier in the day at that someone happened to be in the same physical room as me during the broadcast.

I was asked by Bravo to pass a set of headphones to them which were located behind my monitor.

I looked for these headphones (which were there I just couldn’t see them because they were after falling down the back of the desk) and couldn’t find them so went to locate them because I was the last person to have used them.

I’d used them to determine if sound issues with one of my PC’s was due to a fault with the headphones I was using or something  more sinister.

I told Bravo not to get up. I’d pass the headphones to them.

Bravo has a personal comfort issue with being in front of my live cameras and just won’t go there. I respect that even if I had been arguing with them so I did not see the point in causing yet another argument by insisting that they come in front of the camera and retrieve them from behind my monitor.

For an easy life, not to be a prick about things and to avoid another argument, I elected to get the headphones and give them to Bravo.

Alpha doesn’t like Bravo.

The reasons are complex, but well understood by me.  They don’t need to be expanded upon in this post.

Alpha was watching the show and knew about the trouble which had occurred during the day between Bravo and myself.

Alpha was also aware of Bravo’s presence in room with me prior to their watching the UStream feed,

When I got the headphones for Bravo it was like a silver bullet for Alpha causing them to take off like the proverbial bat out of hell.

Apparently I’ve hurt Alpha, badly, by getting the headphones for Bravo.

Now, my reasons for getting them are simple. I did not want to be a prick. I did not want to get into an argument for being a git while I was live on UStream.

As great viewing as that may have made for some folk, it was neither the time nor the place for it.

So here’s the kicker.

I’m apologizing to Alpha for hurting your feelings. I’m sorry I hurt you. I really am. I wish it had never happened.

But… (I hate this but there has to be one)

I will not apologize for being nice, civil, or whatever you want to call it, to Bravo.

I will not be prick for no reason and I will not start an argument for no other reason than to start one.

Love me for it, or hate me for it, but I will not be a bastard just for the sake of it.

Other idiots occupy that domain (you know the type – fine house, great wife who’s probably miserable, seams like they have lots of money, yet have no real friends) and they’re bloody well welcome to it.

Time for a change

Yesterday things changed fundamentally for me on a personal level. I’m not going to get into what that change is right now, but I’m sure you’ll know all about it soon enough. I just need to get my head together and get to a place where I’ll be happy blogging about it.

So, as my life embarks on this new road I want to change this site to reflect my new direction.

As a rule I’ve almost never blogged about personal stuff on this site instead opting to lock it away and focus on the technology aspects of my interests.

I’m going to be breaking that rule a lot.

As an individual I am not defined solely by my interest in technology and my knowledge of the web, computers and other geeky things.

Changing my blog to so that I don’t just talk about technology may loose me a few readers. I’m well aware of this, but hopefully I’ll pick up some new readers along the way.

I want this site to reflect the other aspects of me as well and I think that the best way to do that is to change the design of the site.

I have no idea where I am going to go with the new design but if you see any weirdness occurring on the site over the next few days you can be sure that I am experimenting and things will return to normal rather sharpish.

Suggestion as to what you would like to see in the new design, what direction you think it should take or even links to existing design to build off of will be much appreciated.

Just drop a comment with your ideas or links… I’ll take everything on board and give credit in a post after the new design goes live.

Looking forward to your thoughts…

Prism – Almost the right solution.

Last week I was asking for a lightweight solution to running web applications without a browser and TDavid suggested I check out Prism from Mozilla labs.

So far I have been pretty happy with Prism (which is a beta) but there have been some issue with it that have been bugging me and still have me looking for a solution.

One of the great things about Prism is the low memory footprint but after prolonged usage (typically 2 hours or more) the CPU usage climbs up and ends up sucking all my CPU’s resources.

The other issue is that the keyboard ceases to function in some flash based web applications such as the recording interface for BlogTV, which of course make the chat room useless to me (this may not be Prisms fault but I’ve only experienced the problem in Prism).

Overall prism is a great application, but until the CPU usage and keyboard issues make it difficult for me to recommend it as a good solution. Hopefully these things will be addressed in future releases.

68 bucks to pick up my gift? WTF?

I’m not well this morning and the last thing I need is for the Danish postal system to start playing silly buggers  with me.

Some of you may know that my good friend Scot "Mr. Business Golf" Duke recently (as in a few weeks ago) sent me a hat (cowboy style of course) from Texas and I’ve been dying to get my grubby mitts on it and wear it on a show or two.

I also think I’ll happen to look great in it this summer going around Denmark in a kilt and cowboy hat ;)

But trust the Danish postal system to take the fun out of receiving a gift. First off the hat doesn’t arrive.

Then a few days letter I get a stupid letter from them telling me that I have 14 days to send the proof of purchase (for a gift??) or they’ll send it back.

They also inform me that if it is a gift I just need to send them an email or a letter (also within 14 days) saying who sent me the gift, what my relationship is with the sender (as if they’d understand blog buddy?) and how much I think it’s worth.

The trick, in asking me how much I think it’s worth, is that if I write any value over 300 Danish (about 60 USD) then they’re going to charge me 150 Kr (30 USD) for the hat.

How the heck do you put a value on a gift? It’s rude to ask someone how much they paid for the gift they sent you and besides gifts always have additional value that cannot be calculated monetarily.

Anyway, to cut an already long story short, I emailed them saying I thought it was worth in the region of 250 – 300 Kr (50 to 60 USD) although I was only pulling that number out of my backside because I have no clue how much a hat I have never seen is worth.

I got no reply from the Danish postal service and all has been quiet for the last few days until I found a letter from them in my post box this morning.

It turns out that they want me to pay 345 kr ($68) to pick up my hat.

Not only do I have to pay to get my gift but they’re not even going to deliver it to me. I have to bloody well go get it myself? WTF?

I’m really trying to figure out what the hell Scot paid postage and packaging for.

I also tried ringing them this morning because I felt a mighty powerful urge to yell at someone. I guess they sensed that and decided to bore me to death because after 22 minutes on hold I gave up and hung up.

Thank you Danish Post (Internationalt Postcenter) for ripping the ass out of the joy of receiving a gift.

One good thing though is that after all this trouble to get my hat I’m determined to wear it with pride in the most inappropriate social situations :)

Tip to anybody else who may feel like sending me a gift , send me money instead (make a PayPal donation to paul@pauloflaherty.com ;) ). I’ll video myself buying the gift and showing it off ;) After all, it’s the thought that counts ;)

I will, of course, post pictures of the hat when it arrives! Maybe I’ll do an "unboxing" video ;)

Mr. Buisness Golf Show – Business Blogging

The second part of yesterdays session with Scot Duke :)

Today’s show was in Two Parts. This is the second part where Paul and I have a freelance discussion concerning why more Businesses need or should be blogging. There are some very interesting questions asked from the fans in the chat room. Check this out.

Mr. Business Golf Show – FuelMyBlog and SuperWebcam

Yesterday I had was lucky enough to be the first guest on Scot Dukes new Vidcast, the "Mr. Business Golf Show".

This is the first of two thirty minute shows we recorded ;)

Today’s show was in Two Parts. The first part was a review on FuelMyBlog and SuperWebCam Program.

Pub Quiz Tonight on FMB Live

I’m really looking forward to tonight’s Fuelmyblog Live (21:30 CET) as we’re going to try a live Pub quiz.

While I’m at it I’ve got to thank Kevin for recording this section from last Fridays show where we promised to do a show in fancy dress if Fuelmyblog live viewers send us 10 pictures of themselves in fancy dress.

Watch the video clip for full details of what it will take to get us to appear in costume :)

Hoping to see you all for the Pub quiz tonight.

What ever happened to ION Linux?

Back in June of 2004 I wrote about Element Computers who had developed ION, a Linux desktop OS, which was supposed to run all windows executables at top speeds?

Element Computer has overcome the final barrier for Linux adoption
on desktops by mainstream businesses.

The company has unveiled the worlds first Linux desktop OS, called ION, which can run all Windows executables at top speeds, using a new WinLauncher technology powered by Win4Lin from Netraverse.

As of July 1st, all Element Computer laptops, tablets, and PCs will
become Win enabled, and allow users to copy and paste between Linux and Windows applications on the same desktop, combined with filesystem integration and common “My Documents”, drives and printers.

I know this OS was only ever supposed to be released with the hardware from Element Computers, but what ever happened to it?

Was it Element Computers bought out? Did it fold? Was their code merged into another distro and if so why do we still not have seamless Windows applications integration in Linux?

Proactive security

About 4 years ago I wrote a post called “Security, Microsoft and You…” and  I am amazed that very little has changed in that time.

Who’s running anti-virus software and thinks they’re up to date? Are you sure? Have you checked manually.. A lot of anti-virus software is configured to update once a week, but updates can and are released more frequently than that. Downloading manually, regularly, along with the automatic update keeps you safe all the time.. Also, it can reduce the size of your downloads, instead of downloading a big file once a week, little ones once a day.. you’ll hardly notice it..

Who’s got a firewall running? No, get one.. Don’t feel you need one? Do you suffer from the “Who’d want to hack me?” syndrome.. get over it.. Nobody might want to hack you, but that won’t protect you from worms that search for open ports to infect your machine…

We may be using Vista (or XP SP2) but many people are still not using automatic update properly and are still continuing to run to run their computers without anti-virus software, anti-spyware software or a descent firewall solution.

Here’s 3 quick and free solutions you can use to help protect your PC:

What solutions do you use to protect your PC?