Long time … no see !!!!


   Well, it’s been a long time. To be honest, not much has happened, well not much of any interest that is.

   Eldest lad went back to flat yesterday. He has been with us since the week before his play, so the house seemed a little empty yesterday evening. i must add, the youngest is on respite this weekend too. Mrs H said she did not sleep so well, but then again, she never does when he has been here for more than a couple of night. On a good note, the nights at the pub will slow down a bit. It got the stage, where me and him were going out 4 even 5 nights a week. this was not good for the pocket, and the waistline !!!

   He will be back up at the end of the month for Leeds Festival 2010. I’ve bought the tent, and a couple of other bits and pieces, as we intend to camp at least 2 nights. Just need to buy a few disposable BBQ’s and food and drink, and we will be all set. I still have a few doubts about the whole thing, but I suppose I must ‘go with the flow’ as I keep being told. I don’t have to do it again, and there will be some people of the same age as me there, as I understand.

   Work is holding it’s own at the moment. The CE has created a forum, whereby staff can suggest how money can be saved. It is a good idea, but some of the comments and suggestions coming from the staff are a little controversial to say the least. In fact one idea, that staff work only 4 days a week instead of 5 days is totally bizarre. That would be equivalent to a 20% cut in pay !!!!! I cannot see that working. I have to say, that suggestion came from a woman, working part-time at two days a week. I hope she was including herself in that 20% pay cut.

   Many of the suggestions seem to around the area of better use of resources. Things such as reusing old envelopes for internal mail, not printing emails and my suggestion, to use video conferencing instead of travelling to meetings. All small things, but ones that would be useful into the future.

   I am in a bit of a quandary at the moment. Through work, I am able to purchase Microsoft Office 2010 at a bargain price through Microsoft Home User Program. The problem is, whether is would be worth it, given the age of my PC (about 7 years old now). It is still running Windows XP, and I’m quite happy for it to do so. Office 2007 runs on my PC, but it is slow to start and I’m worried that Office 2010 would be even slower. I shall decide over the next few weeks. Watch this space !

….. just a little bit more.


   When I said that Office 2007 installation went well, I may have spoken too soon. I had problems with the Bluetooth, Outlook and my webcam. Now I suppose the Bluetooth and the webcam may be down to installing the RAM, but Outlook was a problem. First I had application errors linked to Visual C++, then I could not import any emails or contacts from Outlook Express. Out of frustration, I uninstalled Outlook and resolved to stick with OE. Then, like the optimist I’m not, I decided to reinstall Outlook. This time everything worked !!!! Unbelievable. Now I’m struggling to understand the need for Microsoft Groove !!! What a name. I have an idea what the program is about, but it installs as default, and I just do not think it is for home use. So that went. Fingers crossed, everything’s working as it should now.

   Eldest came back from the festival early today.  His backKaiser Chiefs has been playing him up really badly over the past few days. I don’t suppose sleeping in a tent helped. He was going back to see The  Kaiser Chiefs and The Kings of Leon, but the back won the day in the end. I get the impression, that he had had The Kings of Leonenough anyway. You could really hear The Kaiser Chiefs tonight. It was very clear, and I think the wind must have been in the right direction. They were on for a good 75 minutes, and from what I cold hear, were singing all their hits. The Kings of Leon on the other hand seemed to be a lot quieter. I was quite amazed too, that their set lasted exactly 1 hour. All done by 10:00pm. Not good value for money for a headline band on the last night.

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.

Bank holiday


   I’m quite glad it’s the bank holiday weekend. It seems to have been a rather long week. Still haven’t installed the RAM, but Sunday looks favourite. This is going to be a short one, as I am going to download the Office 2007 package. I’m not sure how long it will take. Hopefully around 30 to 40 minutes, it all depends on the speed of the server at the other end I think.

   Leeds Fest seems to be going well. I understand that they may have got a bit wet last night, but I suppose, it’s all part of the experience. S**** and his friend came home this morning for something to eat and a shower. He says, that he did not think I would cope with it all. He is probably right too.

   Well that’s it. Wish me luck with the download.

Better than I expected


   I got home in good time tonight. The roads were a lot quieter than was anticipated. I had visions of 10 miles queues Leeds Festival 2009 on the A1, after the problems last year. This morning was quiet too, although going north, the A1 was very slow and crowded. The Leeds Festival gates opened at 3am this morning, and as I understand it, there was a steady flow from about that time. S**** was dropped of at his friends house, around noon, and they were going from there. Although the whole thing does not get going until tomorrow, there seems to be some music playing this evening. It will be a bit of a test tomorrow afternoon. I need some petrol, and both the petrol stations that I use are on the A64. Not a road I want to go on, as part of it will be still be closed. I also need a haircut, and the hairdresser’s is also on the same route.

   Never got around to installing the new RAM this evening. It looks like it might be over the weekend sometime. I also need to work out when I should download the Office 2007 software. I think it may be a good idea to try on Sunday night, before the Bank Holiday. Still cannot get over the price. I hope that it downloads at a reasonable speed. I have an idea that download speeds sometimes depend on the site they are being downloaded from. It can take ages sometimes to grab a YouTube video.

   My new phone seems to have a lot better signal in the office. I have only noticed a signal loss a couple of times, and considering where I sit, and the amount of metal cupboards and electrical kit around me, I’m surprised I get a signal at all. Talking of electrical stuff, we have the Portable Appliance Tester (PAT) with us this week. And before anyone asks ‘Portable Appliance’ refers to desktop electrical equipment such as computers, desk fans etc, not ………although I do not know how portable a three drawer laser printer is. Well, it has to be the most boring job an electrician can be asked to do. As far as I can see, it is only the cables that get tested anyway. But it takes the guy forever. It’s my desk tomorrow. The last time, it took the tester nearly an hour to get through all my stuff, and he’d been doing it for years. The man we have today, has only been on this since last week !!!!

   Done for today.

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.

Bank holiday weekend …yah


This new theme is quite a clean looking one. Looks very sharp.  It’s been a strange day. Pottsy has gone, so despite what a lot of people think, it is a big blow. He was not a bad bloke, and unlike a lot of people, stood a joke. Heaven knows who we will get. There are one or two waiting in the wings, ready to take it on, but neither will be any good. The job needs a people manager, and neither of ‘the big two’ are people managers. We wait and see, with intrepid anticipation.

Microsoft has issued ‘Service Pack 2’ for Office 2007 this week. It will come as an automatic update in a few weeks, so I downloaded it whilst at work. We can install it to all three machines over the weekend. It’s a 290mb download, so it would have taken a good 10-15 minutes, and that would have been repeated on each machine. Quite a bit of saving there, I should think. Microsoft seems to be pushing IE8 a lot. I hear that will come as an auto update. It would appear that it will download, and that it will be the user’s choice whether to install or not. I do not think i will install it, although if I am forced to download the thing, I may as well install it..

I’m letting the eldest drive to work tomorrow. From the sounds of it, he seems to be fine. Mrs H, has finally got it, that they way people are taught to drive now, is very different from when she was taught. I have been saying that for the past 14 years. Now she believes it.

Not heard from my American friend all week. I cannot chat on MySpace, well I could, but I just don’t like the interface. She has been on facebook, but I’m not too sure if she realises that you can chat on there.