Bit of rant and a bit of a moan.


So it’s Fathers Day!  What does that mean. Well is supposed to compliment Mothers Day, but basically, it’s just another Americanism that seems to have embedded itself into British culture. It you want a history about it see this link. I don’t like these ‘special’ days, that just seem  to be a money spinning scam for card retails both online and offline (funny how we now call shops, “offline” and not shops.) It annoys me how advertisers try to make you feel guilty for not celebrating this and similar days. Well my father died some time back, and as good as they claim to be, I bet even Moonpig.com can’t deliver one of their personalised cards to where he has gone to.

Now for the moan. I have a portable hard drive, that until yesterday, was where I was  keeping my Classic films. I say, until yesterday, because at around 22:45 last night, I decided to move them to my main laptop hard drive. Not such a difficult job and I have an applicaman-pulling-his-hair-out-300x138tion that does just that. Only problem was, that instead of moving them, it deleted them. I spent a good hour or so, searching my hard drive for sign of the files, but alas they were gone. However, I have in my software armoury, a program that will recover files that have been deleted, if it is done quite quickly afterwards. The software is called  Recuva and is part a group of very useful free tools available from a software company called Piriform. All are free for home use, and no serious computer user should be without them. Forgive me if I am sounding like a complete Geek, but sometimes specialised tools are needed and it is useful to have them on board from the start.

Only four days …..


   Well the ‘run’ did not happen. I did not think it would. I’m going to have to break this in gently, if it is going to have any effect. I shall see how I feel tomorrow when I get in.

   As the title may indicate, I have only four days to work this week. I’m off on Friday and following Monday. Mrs H and me are going to Whitby for the weekend. A belated anniversary break. It should be good, just hope for some reasonable weather.

   Youngest has now gone two days without any medication. We have had no problems to speak of at all. There has been a couple of times when he has got a little upset, but nothing like the scale that it has been. He has eaten and drunk a lot more than usual, and has been quite a happy lad. We now wait to see how he is when he gets home tomorrow night. I’m going to suggest, that if possible we miss out his medication tomorrow, when he gets home from school . I am beginning to suspect, that it may be the medication that could be at least part of the problem.

   Eldest is in Manchester at the Eddie Izzard gig tonight. He went to Hull, of all places, on Friday. Got back around 2pm today. That was a bit of a surprise. He never mentioned anything, when Mrs H rang him yesterday morning. I guess he did not think he needed to. I was a bit surprised at Mrs H’s response when I told her. She more or less accepted it, without any fuss.

   As a part of my Geeky nature, I have installed Google Chrome on my PC. Eldest has been using it for a couple of weeks, and he seems quite happy with it. I have been faithful to Firefox for a couple of years now, as I find the add ins quite useful. I’m not too sure how many Chrome has, but the bare bones browser, is certainly fast at first start up.

A new week …. hurrah


   K**** was back at work today. Everyone has missed her, well at least I hope they have. It was good to see her back. All went quite well. No problems with the PDA’s, although I’ve logged 11 for repair, and have only received quotes for 10 of them. I know what will happen.  I’ll raise an order for 10 repairs and get it emailed off, then the 11th quote will come through, and I’ll have to raise another order. If I wait, I’ll have to ring the help-desk and ask what is happening.

  I got a random email for an MSN friend this morning. It had a link to a web based software called Status Checker. This is apparently a piece of software the is supposed to check to see who has blocked you on MSN. My Geek instincts told me not to open the thing, and to let the person who sent me it know. It turns out that I could have been right. MSN Status Checker is a valid web service, that tries to do what it says. However, as all Geeks and Nerds know, never click on links on emails, unless you know what the link is. Even then, I’m very wary. This thing could be a variant of the ‘koobface’ virus.

   S****’s back seems to be no better. He’s seen the doctor, but we don’t know what he said really. It would appear, that he needs to register with a doctor nearer where he lives, and then needs to get some physiotherapy. I’m not too sure about that though. It would be different if he was going to be living in Leeds for a long time, but he could be back at home next August, which is his work experience year, or more likely even further away.

   I seem to be getting quite a bit of pressure fro the candidate for the local Labour Party. Our MP is standing down at the next election, and I’ve had the three candidates contact me over the past few weeks. One of them, Karen Bruce has been in email contact, another one, James Ellis (I think) even came to see me. The third sent his CV, but he was so unremarkable, that his name has not even registered. I have to ask myself, where is all this interest when the General or even Local elections are happening. This is such a safe Tory seat, that they just don’t even bother to show their faces. How can they expect to get new voters. And by the same token, the Tories are so confident here, that we don’t see them either. At the last local election, the only literature we got from any party, was from the BNP, and that was pushed through the letterbox after 11:00 at night. As for the Lib-Dems, well the words ‘chocolate’ and ‘teapot’ spring to mind. I will not be voting, as I am no longer a party member, but if I did, Karen Bruce would be my choice.

   All done.

Everything seems to work


   I installed the software this morning. That was a job and a half. For some reason, the software must have been an old(ish) version because, no sooner as it was installed, than that little yellow shield appeared to tell I had updates. All 220mb of them. I then found out, that the Executive version did not overwrite the Home & Student version. all in all it must have taken a good two hours.

   I also installed the new RAM at the same time. That did not take as long. If fact, if you take away the time I spent clearing the dust out of the box, it will have taken no more than 15 minutes from start to finish. Things do seem to be a little faster now. All the Office programs start a bit quicker, I think. I’m having a little trouble with Outlook though. I don’t seem to be able to import my contacts from Outlook Express. I know they are different formats, but I thought I should be able to import all the messages and contacts, but it does not seem to work. I may have to just type them in, although I do not use my Gmail account for much.

   I downloaded some useful Microsoft Office guides from Custom Guide. It is a great resource for Office training materials. They have a lot of what they call Quick Reference Guides, which are very useful for learning the basics. For slightly more advanced tutorials, I downloaded some  stuff from a site called Office Tutorials. They have a good tutorial for Outlook 2003, which will be useful for work, and I got some stuff for Outlook 2007. I think I may need it. I will now have to think of something useful to do with Access !! Only thing I ever see any thing for is the usual Record Collection database, or possibly an MP3 database. Neither of which I need.

   I really need to get my Geek head on and sort out installing that old hard drive. The more I think about it, the easier it seems. There is just that nagging fear, that something will not go to plan. Silly really. I have added new RAM, various DVD and CD drives, USB cards and stuff like that, but never a hard disk. I suppose, all the other things just slot in, and away you go. A hard disk is a little more involved.

Leeds Fest’ is coming…..


   Well the Leeds Festival kicks off tomorrow. Many of the roads around here were starting to get a bit busier than normal. It looked like a number of people, were already moving onto the site this afternoon, and the music doesn’t even start until Friday lunchtime. Some of the gate bouncers have been in place since Sunday. The guy at the gate on the new access road between Bramham and the A64 was stood in the rain, by the side of his ‘port-a-loo’ at 07:30 morning, and he was still there at 05:00 this evening !!!! There seems to be an air of excitement about the village. It was all the talk at the quiz-nite, especially the people that have not been before. S**** is really looking forward to it. He was busy packing his rucksack with clothes and his camping stuff. Mrs H fussing round, trying to make sure he has everything he needs. That’ll be another 4 nights she’ll have trouble sleeping no doubt.

   Have been given a fantastic offer from Microsoft. Because the Council I work for, is now part of a Microsoft collaboration scheme, all staff are able to download a copy of Office 2007 Ultimate for home use. We can use it while ever we are an employee or while ever the Council is part of the scheme. The cost to the user of this offer, is an amazing £8.50 to download !!! Now as I intend to stay with the Council until I retire (which will be at least 9 years) I think it is an outstanding bargain. The caveat is, that if I leave the employ of the Council, I should stop using the software. How will they know, if I’m still using it ?? By that time, there will have been at least another 8 new versions, and I should think it impossible for Microsoft to have the wherewithal to monitor the possible 10,000+ copies that could be in use by employees ! The only problem I foresee, is the time it takes to download the software …… all 508mb. I will have to pick a time when the internet is quiet.

   My new RAM arrived today. I’ll try and install it either tomorrow or Friday. I’m hoping it will make a bit of difference to the speed. It will take the PC up to 2gb of memory, which is the highest the motherboard will run. I will then have to decide whether or not to install one of old hard discs, that I have in the loft. It is not hard to do, but I think I will try and get some advice from one of my ‘Geek Sites’. Just to be on the safe side.