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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in andrewwilde's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, January 26th, 2012
8:45 pm

Been back in the UK for 12 working days. 11 of these I've been actively job hunting.

I've now been to one interview (Didcot), cancelled the second one (Wolverhampton) on the back of the first (the Didcot company arranged the interview last Friday, for this Monday, so it was ahead of the Wolverhampton one I had booked for Tuesday. It was so positive that I cancelled the second on the back of informal conversations with the client & agent). I've also now cancelled another interview (Coventry) tomorrow, as the offer came through a couple of days ago, and contract & paperwork / security is all cleared and through today. And 2 more calls today, with offers of interviews (Cheltenham & Oxfordshire), and the other 3 positive sounding leads (Falmouth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne & Woking) not yet come back. Maybe next time?

I'm amazed how quick it's all been - and flattered. My CV seems to be OK :o) It seems January is a good time of year to job-hunt...

Now, to get my mind out of the house-husband lazy-git place it's heading. Seems a pity, it's quite nice to just have making cups of tea, housework, cooking, keeping the cupboards stocked, and the odd bit of internettage to do...

Current Mood: cheerful
Friday, January 13th, 2012
10:47 am
Back in Blighty!
It's been a hell of a trip, 5-1/2 months, covering 4 national championships, world championships, 4 continents, 16 flights (but only 9 countries). Not to mention more photos and good memories than I can conceive and more debt than I care to think about. But worth it.

Photos and posts may (and I mean may) arrive in the future - but first, I have to consider things like a job. And somewhere to live. And how to keep HMRC happy, pay off the bills, etc. Fun times ahead, but with luck, I'll have some time to share some memories on here too...

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, September 5th, 2011
11:21 pm
Couple of questions...
I've got to do some video editing soon, and want to be able to compile a basic video from camera footage from the bike: I need to join videos (fading in & out would be enough), crop the length, resize the frame, and compress it down to reasonable size. I'll also want to edit / replace the sound track. Any ideas what's good, and what I should get?
(I'd prefer free, but don't mind paying a bit)

Also, if anyone could let me know the RON of UK unleaded fuel, that would also be appreciated (octane number, it should be either 85, 87, 98 or 91).

Thanks in advance.
Friday, July 29th, 2011
8:16 am
Standing at the precipice, looking in.
It’s scary, when you think about it.

This time next week, I will have moved out of my home. All my possessions (that I want or need access to) will be in storage. Those that I might want, sometime, will be in the loft of a house I no longer have access to. Lots will have gone to the charity shop or the recycling centre. My rifles will be with someone else, ditto all my shooting kit, and my bike will be in storage at Heathrow: awaiting a flight to Vancouver. Everything I will need, for the rest of the year, will either be in a single bag, will be packed in the bike or will be with my shooting kit.

I will be without a home, of no fixed abode, and with no plans in place to get another one until 2012.

It’s been over a year since the idea was conceived, this little jaunt, the latter stages of which
have been quite intense. I really hope I haven’t forgotten anything, but if I have, it’s kind of too late now...

Current Mood: pensive
Monday, June 6th, 2011
6:34 pm
Another one I'm not understanding...

Current Mood: cheerful
Monday, May 16th, 2011
7:06 pm
Messing with my head...
Okay, saw today's xkcd, got most of it, but wanted more so followed the wiki trail.

Some of the links were intriguing - I have never heard of any of these, but can usually follow most mathematical arguments. So had a browse. And the detail? People get paid for researching this?
Untouchable nubers
Abundant numbers
Weird numbers
If you manage to read all these links, and follow all the logic / arguments, then you're a better man (or woman) than I am. But seriously, how can that 210 article exist? Have people really got that much time? What's the value of that?


Current Mood: meh
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
10:18 pm
Nom nom nom
Breakfast today was pretty good: Banana, 3 scoops of double cream ice cream, topped up to a pint with full fat milk, and blend. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Delicious!

Only milkshake I've had that was better was when I used clotted cream ice cream and added a dash of rum...

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, February 12th, 2011
3:37 pm
MP3 Players
I need to get another MP3 player - my current one (Creative Zen) is dying. It has been for about 2 years, when the power switch first stopped working... It's also somewhat large & clunky, and less than ideal for an extended biking holiday.

So, what would people suggest?

I need:
  • something that's fairly compact and robust: it's going to be in a biker's pocket for some months, probably playing fairly continuously...
  • fairly decent quality music reproduction,
  • more than 4Gb capacity (I've currently got 3.2Gb and it's likely to grow),
  • the ability to play hacked tracks (some that even date back to when I ripped them off cassette tapes!),
  • easy to use, that can work off MP3 files just dumped into folders,
  • good battery life, that can charge off USB or has replaceable batteries
  • and finally, something that doesn't have any need for iTunes and that doesn't have an Apple logo...

    Any advice appreciated!

    Current Mood: busy
  • Sunday, January 30th, 2011
    10:28 pm
    Tax Returns
    I really, really dislike accountancy.

    On the one hand, I can juggle the figures and play with numbers and budgets and whatnot 'til the cows come home. I can usually make them make sense, too! On the other hand, I have absolutely no idea the origin of some of the figures accountants come out with... This frustrates me, a lot, especially when it's "you owe HMRC this much by the day after tomorrow. Pay up!"

    And this time of year?
    It sucks...
    31 December - company tax return needs to be submitted, and corporation tax for that year needs paying.
    31 January - individual tax return needs to be submitted, and anything owing needs to be paid.
    31 January - Q4 VAT return needs to be submitted, and payment made by 7 Feb.


    Current Mood: morose
    Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
    1:42 am
    Years ago it was suggested that "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
    But since all the doctors are now Muslim, I've found that a bacon sandwich works a treat!

    Current Mood: amused
    Friday, January 14th, 2011
    9:45 am
    Right. Getting narked with this. I'll keep Windows 7 on the netbook, as it works and seems pretty reasonable (and software I've got, and need, works. But for the laptop of doom (TM) I am going to give up:

    Linux is probably the way forwards - I've been toying with the idea for some time now, I guess it's time to take the plunge...

    Poll #1667787 Linux - which one?

    What install of Linux should I use?


    It will mainly be used for browsing & e-mail, with some image editing, spreadsheet & document type work. (I'm normally a paintshoppro user, but can also use photoshop if I need to: Less of the borders & predefined gimics, more of the tweaking textures & tones with curves & removing / cloning details I don't want)
    Thank in advance!

    Current Mood: curious
    Thursday, January 13th, 2011
    6:52 pm
    'pooters and stuff
    Advice needed:

    I'm rebuilding the laptop (probably virus-ridden, suspected rootkits, terrible performance, HDD almost always active and noisy, etc) and have found something ... odd:

    The drive is a 200Gb drive. IIRC, it shows in Windows as around 187Mb - sort of as expected due to 1kb not being 1000 bytes, etc etc. I'd never given it much thought. However, when I'm formatting it from the XP Pro setup disk (i.e. not from the operating system but from a boot disk) it's saying it's 131,070Mb. That's a lot less than 200,000Mb...

    Question: Could there still be something lurking there, or is this what you'd expect to see? No partitions were identified, and the disk has had a formatting through windows 7.

    ETA: The laptop just shut down halfway through formatting the disk. The area around the disk is almost glowing...

    Also, RAM: I will be upgrading the RAM on both the netbook and the laptop.

    As I understand it, the type (DDR2 for the laptop, DDR3 for the netbook) denotes the voltages and physical fit.

    The rest of the number (667MHz or PC2-5300S for the laptop and 1067MHz or PC3-8500S for the netbook) is the speed of the RAM. The bigger the number, the faster it can operate (and transfer data).

    Question: What would happen if you put RAM that is the same spec (DDR2 / DDR3) into the machine, but a different speed than the old RAM? Will it work? Will it need anything changing in the BIOS (voltages, etc?)? If it's quicker than the old RAM, will it improve performance compared to the same amount of the old speed RAM? Does it have to be the same speed (or a multiple of) the bus speed?

    I'm aware there's 3 (possibly more) speeds to consider: Processor, FSB, and RAM. Details of what I've got behind the cut:
    Tech specs behind hereCollapse )

    Current Mood: busy
    Monday, January 3rd, 2011
    12:40 pm
    Virus & Malware protection - what would you advise using?
    Again, as per last post, I'm setting up the new netbook. Having had to replace the laptop... As before, I'm after people's opinions as to what's good, and what's not:

    Poll #1663709 Virus & Malware Protection

    Which of these would you think is worth having?

    AVG Free 2011
    Norton Anti-Virus 2011
    Webroot Anti-Virus with SpySweeper 2011
    Shield Duluxe 2011
    Trend Micro Titanium Anti-Virus 2011

    Is there any of these you wouldn't want installed on your PC?

    AVG Free 2011
    Norton Anti-Virus 2011
    Webroot Anti-Virus with SpySweeper 2011
    Shield Duluxe 2011
    Trend Micro Titanium Anti-Virus 2011

    If you've got any others you'd advise using, please feel free to let me know by comments...

    As a bit of history, I have an aversion to paying for AVG: The laptop got infected through their paid version (infested would be more accurate - rootkits and heaven only knows what else, really unusable with chronic slow performance, shutdowns when rootkit searches were done, etc). When I went through their so-called on-line help, I finally managed to get a message to them about 2 months before my subscription expired (it's not easy to do when you get shut-downs on their messaging service page...). It took them (repeatedly) between a week & a half and two weeks to respond, and then it was crap: I've had them send me 2 or 3 other bits of software to run, which either shut the machine down or found nothing. And then they asked me to uninstall and re-install AVG (knowing that by then the subscription had expired). This obviously uninstalled but didn't re-install as the licence had expired. Since then they've basically said, despite the infection happening when I had paid subscription, that I have to pay again for them to fix the problem that happened "on their watch". Like fuck will I do that, unless I know they actually have some form of customer service... Past performance indicates they will just wash their hands of it, and can't fix it anyway...

    I can also get my ISP (Virgin Media) to install a protection programme free (it's included with my broadband) which seems OK, but I can't find any way to compare it with other - or find out whether its any good...

    Oh, and I know not to have 2 different programmes running on the same computer...

    I've done some reading & research to come down to this list, but it seems that results are very variable, from review to review. Norton seems to be either very good or terrible, McAfee seems to rarely inhabit the top end (but I thought was one of the "big boys", and the others have been spotted in the reviews & links below:
    Top 10 review at all-internet-security.com. No idea if this is independant, but as it has a lot of links on the front page, I'd guess it is...
    This chart from virus bullitin, which seems to be a respected independant magazine...
    PC Mag review of AVG
    PC Mag review of Norton
    PC Mag review of Webroot

    Current Mood: busy
    Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
    2:16 pm
    Any views, opinions, or thoughts on what browser to put on the new netbook?

    Poll #1661598 Browsers...

    What browser(s) should I install?

    Internet Explorer 8
    Google Chrome
    Mozilla Firefox

    It'll mostly be used for normal web browsing, webmail, internet banking, online shopping, that kind of thing.

    But for a significant portion of next year it will be probably be used with the mobile as the main connection to the interwebbage, so data useage might become an issue if it's excessive...

    If you've any thoughts, any pros & cons of any of the above browsers, or if there's any alternatives worth considering, please comment below...


    Current Mood: curious
    9:05 am
    So, who thought that the new swaythe of anti-terrorism laws wouldn't get mis-used? No, me neither...
    An American, who proved his wife wad having an affair by logging into his wife's gmail account, is now charged under the hacking-into-Government-computers laws...<\a>

    Current Mood: pessimistic
    Sunday, December 19th, 2010
    7:06 pm
    Has anyone else had their friends page go to right justified over the last few weeks? Can't figure out how to get it back to normal...

    On the browser on the phone, it's OK, so I suspect it's a setting on this laptop, if that helps...

    Current Mood: annoyed
    Thursday, October 21st, 2010
    9:47 pm
    The good, the bad, and the ugly:
    The Good: Spotted this - the winning images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010. Some pretty awesome pictures this year, and some original ones too...
    Not too keen on the third one, personally, but the stories on the rest... :o)

    The Bad: Spotted another link this lunchtime:
    It's interesting playing with the figures. Try looking at welfare, at defence, how it's broken down, and understand the whys & wherefores...

    The Ugly?
    Not really sure. Life's good, why worry?

    Current Mood: busy
    Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
    9:21 pm
    A road trip and a half - not to be bettered until 2011...
    Recenltly back fom a week and a half in Scotland. A proper trip, including some Highlands, some Islands, and a good selection of Glens...

    The weather was fabulous - T-shirt weather for most of it, no rain, and also no midges!
    The camping was awesome - including the Red Deer over the dusk period in Glen Tilt (noisy buggers) and photography in the morning and evening light: as the mist was coming down and burning off again in the morning. Simply stunning...
    The driving & touring / roat-trip was also pretty good - we started in the Pitlochry / Blair Atholl region (for a shooting competition - really good fun), then wildcamped in the hills around Glen Tilt for a few days. Then drove up to Inverness, down the Great Glen, stayed in Fort Augustus, then drove down to the Ardnamurchan penninsular, which is stunning. Truly stunning. And a couple of days on Mull, before an eventful drive back via Glen Coe and the King's House Hotel. A fitting end, to a wonderful trip...

    Photos later, hopefully. When I get the time...

    Current Mood: content
    Friday, September 17th, 2010
    6:42 pm
    Tonight's Roundup...

    Linky - not for the feint of heart... That could have ended very differently - what on earth were the people coming up the escalator after the kid thinking? Certainly weren't rushing to help... Eeeek!

    Current Mood: amused
    Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
    9:20 pm
    On society. I'm getting old...

    What percentage of children, would you think, are "Special Needs"?

    Over 20%, this article claims... Although approaching half of these are mis-diagnosed. Apparently... Hell, that's still a huge proportion...

    Do we really need to label people like this?
    I remember a time, not so long ago, when people were taken as individuals with their own strengths & weaknesses, and didn't need to be labeled as "disabled" or "special needs" or "ADHD" or whatever else is the current trend to get the individual attention they needed...

    (Why do we feel the need, as a society, to label folk: to atribute a disability / illness / whatever buzzword you need to come up with? Folk are folk, and there's now't as queer as folk...)


    Current Mood: discontent
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