Archive for December, 2006

people can be terrible

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

I went to a Child Protection training session tonight. I’m not feeling too well at the moment, so I’m not gonna say much. Basically, we spent the evening discussing the different types of child abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, neglect), how it can happen, and what you can do to recognise the signs.

It was quite depressing. It wasn’t abstract – we were discussing the sort of stuff that can happen, and is happening, locally. How can people do this sort of stuff to kids?

I wonder whether it has always been like this, or if it is increasing? For example, I don’t remember my schools having a Child Protection Officer when I was a kid, but they all do now. Are things getting worse, or am I just more aware of it?

Asking for money online

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

At our last trustees meeting, we decided to give Justgiving a try to raise money for Solent Youth Action. Our page has now gone live:

Justgiving provides us with an online fundraising system. It’s a way for people to donate money to us electronically, without us needing to worry about the implications of collecting and processing credit card information. There are fees involved (they’re not a charity themselves, so they naturally need to make money), but we’ve looked into it and think that the fees seem reasonable for what they do.


What I could see at 5pm

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

BBC Radio 4 program PM asked their listeners today to take a photo of what they could see at 5pm, and send it to them. The feature is called Window On Your World, and the presenter explains it as:

…a picture of what YOU are normally looking at at 5pm. We … want to see … your view of the world as we come on air

It’s a nice idea! Here is the pic I sent in – this is what I normally see at 5pm, still working at IBM Hursley:

photo of my desk


Getting noticed on the web

Monday, December 4th, 2006

My website is typically a fairly quiet and underused affair. Written while I was at University, it was meant to be an online CV to help me apply for a job. And it served it’s purpose – it got me a few interviews, and on a couple of occasions interviewers would ask questions about stuff that I’d put on my online CV but not had room for on an application form.

I’ve not really got much use for it now, as I’m not looking to leave IBM any time soon. So, it has largely been left to languish. I will update it every now and then with an end date for something – so that I don’t claim to be doing something that I’m not. But I normally can’t be bothered to update it with new stuff, and several projects and side activities have never made it to the site.

I’m explaining this by way of background. I mentioned yesterday about a few emails that I had received about my Windows Mobile wiki note-taking app. I’ve had a few more since, which was surprising as I didn’t think that anyone would have come across my little tool. I’ve got AWStats installed so, out of curiosity, I had a look at my web server statistics to see how many times it had been downloaded, hoping to see perhaps a dozen or so downloads.


Supporting different languages

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

I got an email on Friday from a German guy called Bernard. He uses my wiki note-taking app that I wrote to play with the Windows Mobile SDK (that in itself was a surprise!).

He asked if I’d add support for accented characters to it, as he (unsurprisingly, being German!) wanted to use German characters in his notes. That was an easy enough fix – just add a lookup table to the wiki markup parser which replaces characters with their HTML code equivalent.

Hurrah – I could feel suitably smug for making it a little less English-centric.

A guy called Alex brought me back down to earth on Saturday morning with an email pointing out that when he uses my wiki note-taking app (wow – how many people are using this??), it displays the wrong Chinese characters in ‘View’ mode to the ones he enters in ‘Edit’ mode. Chinese? Eeek… this isn’t something I knew about.


More recycling in Eastleigh

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

We get three types of collection for rubbish at home – a bin for glass to get recycled, a bin for other recyclables like paper and plastics, and a general waste bin that goes to landfill.

We might soon be getting a fourth – for food waste from the kitchen. This is being trialled at the moment to work out the kinks in the system, but all going well, we should see it rolled out across Eastleigh soon.

This is pretty cool – I’ve got to admit that recycling is one of the things that Eastleigh Borough Council does well. They even started a recycling trial for batteries earlier this year, which sounded like a great idea.

Well done, Eastleigh 🙂