Archive for May, 2008


Monday, May 19th, 2008

Disclaimer: This is not a medical post. I’ve not referred to anything to write it, and I only vaguely understand what I’m talking about… if you are looking for medical advice, please look elsewhere.

My twitters for the past few days have mainly been moaning about my back hurting. I injured it last week, and have been out-of-action since.

I’ve been diagnosed today, so thought I’d share the full scale of my pain and woe with the world.

I have an annular tear in my lumbar region.

I’m trying to resist the temptation to google for this (seriously – that way madness lies!) but from what I remember of the doc’s description, one of the discs between the vertebrae in my spine has torn, causing the jelly (?!) inside to leak out. The jelly is what caused the muscles around the disc to inflame and spasm – a big cause of the pain I’ve been having since last week.


CurrentCost – first impressions

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

CurrentCostCurrentCost has been a bit of a buzz going round Hursley for a few weeks now.

I’ve been resisting the temptation to get involved, because I know how obsessive I get about stuff, and I’m a bit busy at the moment to take on another new obsession!

But last week, I weakened. It was all looking a bit too cool, so I figured I had to give it a go.

I’m a few weeks behind the other guys at Hursley, so I’ve not got much to add that hasn’t already been said yet. Still, I have a few readers from outside the IBM group, so thought I’d share links to posts I’ve been following about what other IBMers have been up to, and add my first impressions.


XBox Live anyone?

Monday, May 5th, 2008

I’ve twittered this already, but for those people not following the inane minutiae of my life, here is another call.

I got an XBox 360 for my birthday (woot!) and am really getting into XBox Live games. If you know me and play on XBox Live, feel free to add me as a friend. My gamertag is dalelane.

And don’t be surprised if I become massively unproductive for the next few weeks…

Flickr video vs YouTube

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

It’s my birthday today, and one of my presents was a Flickr subscription. How cool is that?! 🙂

There’s lots that I want to play with, but my first experiment with Flickr was to upload the same AVI video file that I uploaded to YouTube last week. I was curious to see the difference in picture quality between the two.

I’ve embedded them both below so you can see for yourself. This isn’t meant to be a representative or scientific test, but as first impressions go, I much prefer Flickr video. The interface feels cleaner, and the video quality is better.


Mobile broadband – USB dongle modems

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I’ve been playing with a mobile broadband for the past few weeks, with a USB modem dongle courtesy of 3mobilebuzz. In return for a three months free trial – free loan of the hardware, with free (unlimited) data usage – the deal is that I have to post my thoughts about it. So here goes 🙂

Huawei E169 modemThe idea
The EEE PC, and the slew of EEE PC alternatives that have followed it, have started to get more people thinking about mobile computing. It’s now possible (and not too expensive!) to have a fully-fledged personal computer that is so small that you can leave it in the bottom of a bag and have it with you all the time on the off-chance that it might come in useful. And so light that you’ll barely notice.

I love the EEE PC. You can do a surprising amount of work on such a small machine. With the built-in wifi, if I’m at home or in a coffee shop, I can get online and do even more.

But that leaves a lot of places where I can’t get it online.

And that’s what appealed about the idea of mobile broadband dongles. Because for the size and weight of something like a USB memory key in the bottom of my bag, the EEE PC can now be online (pretty much) anywhere.

Plug it in, wait a few seconds, and it’s online. Internet access anywhere, anytime. Proper Internet. That is a very cool thing.