Still Relying On The Cloud?

The concept of cloud computing is brilliant and I must admit to relying on the cloud for a lot of my day to day activities such as Gmail, calendar, Google voice etc…

But then something happens and you realize that maybe the cloud isn’t quite the utopia it promises to be. Outages, network connections failing, areas without coverage, services folding and shutting up shop, and just simple downtime like this example, make me realize that the ideal dream is still a long way off.

Got to love the cloud

Got to love the cloud

Why You Don’t Know Me

I don’t often write very personal posts on this blog. I’ve always kept it to the tech side but today I find myself revisiting a topic that I wrote about on May 13th 2008 just a few hours before I left Denmark to move back to Ireland.

The post was entitled “Restarting my Life. Literally” and marked the end of 7 years in Denmark, my life as I knew it, my marriage, my work and everything that I was and had been up until that point.

I have posted a few times with minor updates but none of them ever gave any real detail or told any real story and I am sure that for most looking at them they read as “all is going well”.

Well things haven’t been and it’s about time I put a few things out in the open about myself instead of hiding behind my sarcastic veneer and the safety that is this blog.

As you are all aware I am with Sara from SuburbanOblivion.com. We are both going through divorces and both trying to deal with it. Yet, I am a private person and that has caused no end of problems between us.

Since I moved back here I’ve had a lot of difficulty. I spent time without a home, moving from relations to friends while I was trying to get myself sorted and trying to find a place to call my own. As it stands at the moment I am renting, I could find somewhere else but as I do not know how much longer I will even be in Ireland it makes no sense to get somewhere else.

Upon my return and since, I’ve been trying to deal with a great many things. At least they feel like a great many to me and I have not been doing a good job.

I suffer from depression. I was diagnosed with it a decade ago and was recently diagnosed with anxiety depression. Dealing with it has become part of who I am and that part has been handled badly.

As I said earlier I am a private man. Yes, I voice my opinion publicly but the person inside me remains hidden away. I am a paradox in many ways. I am a very shy person but most who know me would swear that I am very outgoing and have a huge ego. Most of that is an act. It is my way of hiding my insecurities, with bravado and gusto.

It’s also my way of hiding the parts of myself that I fear others knowing about, that I am not proud of. That I am ashamed of.

I’ve lied to cover the things I am ashamed of and I’ve lied, foolishly, in the misplaced belief that hiding my past from people, from Sara, will protect them from it.

Perhaps the thing I am most ashamed of is that I cheated on my ex. The details of why are not for this post. Giving the details as to why would only serve to sound as justification and I am not looking to justify my actions here. I have had to reconcile myself with my actions, a process which is still very much ongoing because I keep making mistakes.

My first mistake was not telling Sara about my past when we became a couple. Sure I told her some details, but I left out the stuff that I was ashamed of. To be honest I’ve glossed over much of my life and dealings.

My rational has always been that my past is my own. That the details of what happened to me are for me to know. I try to judge other people the same way. To stay away from prying in to Sara’s past marriages and relationships for example. I just feel that it is not my place to know these things. That she will share with me what she wants. After all I am not her past. Her past is only a journey that led her to me.

I was wrong.

My perception of things was wrong with respect to how others see things. I didn’t tell Sara about the cheating on my ex and it came back to haunt me. I won’t get into the details of how, but long story short Sara got access to my email and social network accounts and found out.

She confronted me about it. I denied it. I lied. I didn’t want to face it or face up to it. I squirmed, I wriggled, turned words on their head and avoided the truth as much as I could.

It was the wrong thing to do. I was wrong.

That lie and my unwillingness to face up to my past have come back to bite me a few times.

As I didn’t deal with it the first time, more details surfaced as Sara dug further and it all came back up again. Still in my ignorance I choose not to give all the details. Just leave her be with what she knows now.

Yes, I volunteered some new details and expanded further on what she new but I didn’t address everything because again, I was afraid. Afraid of the consequences to our relationship. Afraid of facing up to things again.

It’s not easy to face up to things sometimes. It’s not easy for me to admit that I’m wrong. That is my failure and I was wrong.

Dealing with my depression for the last 10 years has been handled badly. I’ve struggled most of the time not being on medication. I’ve been afraid of it.

When things were at their worst 10 years ago I broke down, was in hospital for a while and was prescribed anti-depressants. It was a bad time for me. I hadn’t been suicidal before I went on the medication, but thoughts of it became more and more prevalent once I was on it.

Eventually I acted on those thoughts and it is only by sheer luck that I was found and am here writing this post a decade later.

I have been terrified of anti-depressants ever since.

Dealing with my depression without medication has been hell at times. I’ve dealt with it by running away from the issues sometimes. By moving home, country, job. By drinking, sometimes very heavily. Going through phases of drinking and then giving it up. I’ve dealt by isolating myself from others. By isolating the real me from others. By hiding in plain sight. By being the heart and soul of the party, by knowing everyone and having everyone know me. By being Mr. Saturday night on a Wednesday. By hiding behind my bravado, knowledge and gusto. But throwing up a massive shield and not letting anybody inside.

I’ve made very, very many mistakes. I regret them all. I’m sorry for them all, but being able to say it, to admit it to others, to stand up for it, is not something I’ve been able to do properly.

I’ve never been good at admitting failure. I’ve never been good at facing up to what I have done wrong, like lying to Sara about cheating on my ex. I’ve always listened to others and been there for them, but internalized and avoided my own issues.

Internalizing and not dealing has made this unnecessarily harder on myself. I’ve deepened my depression because I wouldn’t deal with issues and I have hurt those I care about because I wouldn’t face up and also because they’ve had to deal with me when my depression gets bad.

I always thought I was protecting people. Protecting those I love. The hidden truth can’t hurt them right?

How wrong I was.

I’ve hurt those I love most because I haven’t told them the truth because I thought I was protecting them and because of my inability to deal with my issues.

I’ve suffered in silence due to my own fear, misguided sense of protection and failure to properly face up to my own shame.

I write this post today to say sorry. To say I’m sorry to a massive number of people.

To everyone who reads this blog. I’m sorry. This blog has never reached it’s potential because I’ve not been open and honest with myself and others. That is going to change. Right now.

To my friends and family. To those people that “know me”. I’m sorry. I’ve let you down. I should have let you in, shown you the real me. That is going to change. I am not the bravado and “Mr. Personality” that you’ve known. I hope you’ll let me show you the real me. I hope you’ll get to know “me” again.

To Sara. My sweet, beautiful Sara who has put up with so much and been my only shoulder and source of strength. You are the only person I’ve let under my shield at all and I’ve disappointed you and let you down because I couldn’t open up.

I want to open up. I want to let you in but it’s not easy for me. My past haunts me. I haunt me. I try so hard to protect you from what is going on. From the happenings of your divorce and the actions of your ex, to my insecurities, issues and past. I try to protect you from my moods, my depression, my worries , my fears and dread. I have a need to protect you.

They say that ignorance is bliss. They were wrong. I believed that and I was wrong.

I’ve told you many times of my dreams for us. Our future, together. A family. How I intend to make you happy and allow you to follow the life and career that you want while I ensure you have nothing to worry about.

I’ve wanted to protect you from everything so we could get to that.

I was wrong. Wanting to protect you from everything is wrong. Not allowing you in is wrong. Not facing up to my issues, not being honest about them and avoiding my past at every turn is wrong.

It hasn’t protected you or our dream. It has led to mistrust and anger.

It hasn’t helped me either.

I haven’t been honest for my own misguided reasons and I haven’t dealt with my past.

I am sorry.

I can’t express in words what writing this post feels like. It’s terrifying. I know that I am about to put a huge part of myself that I do not want to face into the public eye. Put in front of those I care about and people that I don’t even know. I know that I am going to be held accountable for my words.

I fear that. I accept it. But it terrifies me.

Yet there is relief in writing this post. A subtle therapy and perhaps the ingraining of the hope that the writing of this post will mark another major point in my life. Another “restart” if you will. I do not know if this will prove to be true. I can only hope, try and do my very best to make things change.

There are many who will say that I deserve the consequences of not being open and honest. The consequences of not dealing.

They are right. I won’t argue. I deserve it all. There is no justification. There is just my ignorance and fear which I want to overcome.

I am sorry.

Google Wave Invite Winners

Google Wave

Google Wave

Wow, I was completely shocked by the number of readers who left your name in the comments in order to pick up one of the 20 Google Wave invites I had to give away.

There were 139 of you looking for an invite so each of you had a 1 in 7 chance of getting an invite.

The invites have now all been sent out and the complete list of lucky recipients is below. I’m sorry if you didn’t make it onto the list, they were drawn completely randomly using a random number generator and I promise to send out more invites as soon as I have them.

Here’s the list of people who should be receiving an invite soon. It can take a few hours/days. It took nearly 24 hours for me to receive the one Sara sent me so please be patient. Your invite is on it’s way :)

Hope to Wave with you all soon. If I get any more invites I will share them again :)

The Future Of YouTube Channel Customization?

Interactive User Channels?

Interactive User Channels?

Google launched a new page on YouTube to promote the new set of “Artist Themes” for Googles browser Chrome.

The page itself features a fairly cool short video depicting the differences between bland ordinary browsers and Chrome, but the real fun doesn’t start until near the end of the video where it seemingly expands beyond the confines of the video player and takes over the entire page.

Once the video is ended it continues to scroll through images of the themes changing the background of the page accordingly.

While this is a great way to demonstrate the range of skins available for Chrome, I also wonder if Google aren’t letting us see a possible future feature of user channels, where you can have the background of the page change according to triggers in the video.

Much like setting annotations now, a user could set triggers to alter the background or some other element of the screen as you watched the video on their channel page?

WordPress Plugin Developers: Can We Standardize Where Menus Appear?

Confused?

Confused and Frustrated?

Dear WordPress Plugin Developers,

I know you’ve spent a long time working on your plugin and I am very grateful for the work you have done. However, as someone who spends a lot of time trying out different plugins for use on a number of sites can I ask that you standardize where the menu for your plugin is going to be located.

Sometimes I install a plugin and find I have difficultly tracking down the link to the options page for that plugin. Sometimes it is in the Settings tab, other times it is in the the Plugins tab and quite often it has even created a tab all of it’s own on in the WordPress interface.

I must say that this is all very counter intuitive and disrupts the work flow for those of us who expect access to plugins settings to be located in an obvious place such as the “Settings” tab.

Hoping that you will all take that into consideration in the next release of your wonderful plugins.

Faithfully,

Paul.

P.S. Can you pass the word on to your theme developer friends as well, as some of them appear to be confused as to where the link for a themes options should be located. After all, what’s the point of a nice sidebar with everything broken into specific areas if we stick in links where ever we want?

CNN Shows Incompetence Or Bias About Windows 7

Pirrillo, Cashmore & Chen

Pirillo, Cashmore & Chen

I just watched CNN’s interview with Chris Pirilo (Lockergnome), Pete Cashmore (Mashable) and Brian Chen (Wired) discussing Microsofts latest OS offering, Windows 7.

What a farce. All three of the panelists are Mac users and spoke with about as much passion or authority as a dead aardvark.

At least Pirillo displayed some enthusiasm for being on CNN but Cashmore and Chen came off like they’d rather be anywhere else in the world.

I hate to say it, but either CNN is very anti windows / pro Mac, or who ever did the line up for the panelists is completely incompetent? The entire segment seams to have been thrown together at the last minute and gave the impression of being completely unprepared. Even the woman doing the interview seemed to be surprised that all three were Mac users.

Don’t you deserve better than this from a major news organization?

Embedded video from <a href=”http://www.cnn.com/video” mce_href=”http://www.cnn.com/video”>CNN Video</a>

20 Google Wave Invites To Give Away

Google Wave

Google Wave

I’ve got 20 Google Wave invites to give away for anybody who would like to try out Googles vision of the future of online collaboration and the replacement of email.

Want to get your grubby paws on an invite?

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I’ll give the invites  out to random readers on Sunday evening (Sunday morning for those of you in the U.S).

If less than twenty people have commented, then it will be first come first serve, if more than 20 comment then it will be down to blind luck :)

Looking Back At 5 Billion Tweets

5 Billion. That’s the kind of  mind boggling number that the mind can’t really visualize. We have a conceptual idea, like the notion of our planet being like a grain of sand on the beach in comparison to the numbers of stars on the planets in the universe. We get it, we just can’t “get it” if you know what I mean.

Regardless, 5 billion is a huge number that also happens to be equal to the number of tweets we’ve all spewed forth since the first person first hit update.

What have we been tweeting about all this time? What has this mass of verbal textual diarrhea amounted to? I’d love to see a proper breakdown of what daily minutiae has most resulted in causing  ADD released by twitter, but for the moment this graph will just have to do!

5 Billion Brain Farts Captured In Time

5 Billion Brain Farts Captured In Time!

There are a few things missing from this chart though. For one there is no mention of “toilet tweets“…

(Via The Daily What, via Late Night With Jimmy Fallon)

Service Lets You TuneIn To Twitter

TuneIn Alpha

TuneIn to Twitter

I’ve spent the last few minutes checking out TuneIn a cool new web based Twitter client that has some great new features such as separating the media out from you stream so your can see it more easily (see the screenshot below) and allowing you to make lists of people you follow and have them all available on your page. Here’s my page if you want to check it out.

Perhaps the coolest feature of the service that I’ve discovered so far is the ability to search within the tweets of the people you are following. Normally when you do a search for something on Twitter it searches within the entire twitterverse, but searching on TuneIn, you can limit to search to only the people you are following which is very cool indeed.

Below is a screenshot of TuneIn and a video  the presentation and real-time demo from CrunchUp 2009.

The service is still in alpha stages of development but it looks like it could have a bright future ahead. May be worth keeping an eye on.

The TuneIn Interface

The TuneIn Interface