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Bank holiday weekend

28th April 2006 • Dave

I have now lived in Worcester just over 4 weeks, and for the most part things are going rather well.  My flat is great if a little on the expensive side, I am enjoying the variety of challenges and opportunities available to me at work, and I have pretty much settled into my new routine.

However, this bank holiday weekend will be a break from that routine as I head north on the train to Preston to visit friends and family.  It will be great to catch up with all the news from the Preston front.  Unfortunately the trip from Worcester to Preston by rail at the time I wanted to travel involves 3 trains and the best part of 4 hours.  However, I am all stocked up with digital talking books, and a few music CDs thrown in my general direction by one of the girls from work.  Not sure what she’s given me, but I’ll run them via FreeDB and/or CDDB when the mobile phone coverage gets a bit better and I can get online with the laptop.  The first one sounded all a bit weird, although good weird.

Having got up at 6:30 this morning and done another full day in the office, I was feeling pretty exhausted when I got on the train at Worcester, but I reckon by the time I get off at Preston I will get my second wind.  Hope to head out for a couple of jars tonight, visiting a couple of family members tomorrow, and I expect I’ll get pretty slaughtered on Saturday night.  Sunday, I intend grabbing a decent Sunday lunch somewhere and maybe I will pop over to Leeds to meet up with more friends.  I am pretty flexable at this stage, the possibilities are numerous.  Monday is a bank holiday and at some stage I will head back to Worcester ready for work bright and early on Tuesday.

It’s great to have an entire bank holiday weekend to myself without having to think about work or anything related to relocation or establishing myself in a new city.  Although as I indicated previously operation Worcester is bang on track.  April has been the most productive month I have had in a long time, bring on May!

Pip pip.

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PlusNet referrals

27th April 2006 • Dave

Not content with spamming it’s customers, my Internet service provider, in
my humble opinion, are encouraging us to spam everyone else!

Also spot the contradiction below. Is this a change to the service
conditions or not?

> From: PlusNet Customer Support
> Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 6:01 PM
> To: Customers
> Subject: New features in ‘My Referrals’
> Dear David Williams,
> This is a notice from PlusNet to let you know that we’ve
> updated the My Referrals programme, with new features.
> The main updates to My Referrals are:
> – Send up to 5 recommendation emails instead of 1
> – More banners to use on personal or business websites
> – Webmail option to add a recommendation to outgoing emails
> – Widened service to allow non-subscription customers to
> benefit from new referrals
> To accompany these new features, the My Referrals terms and
> conditions have been updated.
> You can view the updated My Referrals pages at our website –
> We’re only emailing to let you know about the updates to the
> My Referrals programme. There are no changes the main Terms
> and Conditions for your PlusNet service.
> Kind regards,
> PlusNet Customer Support
> This email has been sent to you as it contains important
> information about your service and notice of changes to terms
> of conditions. Please do not reply to this email, as this is
> an unmonitored address.

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Cashback when you get HD from Sky

25th April 2006 • Dave

This is the first time I have heard mention of improved Sound with HD TV. Anyone got any more info? Apparently Sky haven’t.

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top Ten 3G Phones – Belfast Telegraph

22nd April 2006 • Dave

I may be in the market for a smart phone upgrade soon so it was worth glancing over this list. No real surprises here, and good to see the N91 and several other smart phones getting a mention.

The N80 is getting increasingly appealing. The one real big draw back of the N91 is the lack of a media card slot, and the N80 has one. Although my 6630 has an RS MMC slot which to be honest still contains the RS-MMC which came with the phone. With all the other ways to move data in and out of the N91, is a card slot really that important any more?

I dislike those tiny MMC and SD cards, very easy to loose. On the other hand the N91’s 4GB micro drive sounds quite limiting at a time when I am designing a home server which will have around 1TB of storage (250 times as much). but honestly how many people get through 4GB of compressed audio while away from home anyway? And if I’m going to be on the road for any extended periods I take my Thinkpad and 250GB USB HD with me, plus I can access my home storage via the net, so I am not exactly data starved.

S60 Third Edition is the platform on which the N80 and N91 run, so these musings are all academic as no one has yet released any software to make S60 Third Edition talk. It is worth keeping an eye on the Windows Mobile 5 SmartPhone Edition and the various promises of a screen reader on that platform. I have been happily using the S60 platform for 2 or 3 years, but if Windows Mobile 5 SmartPhone Edition is made to talk, probably by the good people at Dolphin or Code Factory, then yours truely will be very interested indeed.

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Delighted to get a Daisy Player!

21st April 2006 • Dave

Tonight I came home to find a mysterious sealed cardboard box sitting
outside the door of my apartment. Feeling lazy, and that this would be a
good opportunity to go meet the neighbours, I went knocking on a couple of
doors to see if anyone knew when it was delivered, and to ask if anyone
could see if the box had any identifying marks. Turned out to be a good
icebreaker and my neighbours seem lovely.

I waited until I got into my flat before ripping the box open to find a
brand spanking new Daisy Player. A full hour later and I am still excited
about it! I do not really care if it does not work. I play Daisy books on
my laptop anyway. It’s just thrilling getting a new toy which feels like
getting a birthday or xmas prezzy!

I know it’s completely ridiculous! For anyone in blindness assistive
technology Daisy is not really new technology. And I have stacks of digital
text and audio books stored in my Thinkpad which is much more flexible in
almost every respect anyway. My job means I can work with Daisy reading and
authoring software for much of the day. But for some reason which I have
yet to fathom, getting a dedicated hardware Daisy player delivered to my
door filled my heart with joy!

I am off now to go stroke it some more. And marvel at how an over-sized
mono CD player, with horrible big rubber buttons, a proprietary power
adaptor and hard-wired battery which the manufacturer discourage you from
changing. How does this monument of clunkiness make me so happy? Seriously
genuinely and honestly It really truly does!

At this rate, I reckon when I get my next Smartphone, I will require a
change of underwear!!! 🙂

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Peter Kay signs book deal – Independent

20th April 2006 • Dave

Hah, there’s a shocker! Not. It’s almost unthinkable but I can’t decide whether or not I’m starting to get a bit indifferent toward his material. I will be interested to read the book when it comes out. It would be fantastic if Kay himself actually read the audio version.

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