Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Interviews ahoy !

So I've recently applied for a job within the NHS trust where I work. It's a band 8a position so would do me, Lins and Max nicely. It's Technical Systems Manager looking after the 3rd line staff.

I've got to do a 10 min presentation on:

“The Trust employees are going to be working more agile in the coming years. What needs to be done, changed and deployed to make agile working successful, secure and easy to use.”

Wish me luck people - I've got a month to nail this !

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Internet Explorer lost connection but still connected to internet.

This was a weird one!

User had problems with IE - "Page cannot be displayed" !!!

There was obviously a connection to the internet as sidebar apps were still streaming RSS feeds. Email was still working and I could ping URLs.

What I initially blamed on "Rapport" turned out to be a bad patch that Norton had published for 360. i downloaded the Norton Remover and it worked a treat !

Dell Inspiron Virus

User reported a hijack of the OS and a 3rd part app offering virus removal.

Upon running Spybot, CCleaner and Regmechanic I discovered the "Artemis" virus on his laptop.

There was a suspicious entry in the startup when I ran MSconfig so I removed that and it allowed me to run the resident AV.

Once it had quarantined the virus I was able to reboot and tidy up.

IE wasn't connecting to the internet but this was simply a blank proxy entry in the IE.

Printer connection and MOT

User had bought a new printer (HP 5100) and couldn't get it connected.

PC was running XP Home SP3 but no matter what I did I couldn't get the damn thing to install.

It worked fine on the W7 laptop they had but no way on the PC.

Did my ususal MOT but gave up on the printer !!!

Broadband troubleshooting and PC MOT

This was a tricky one. The customer had reported problems with his internet dropping off. He had a custom built PC connecting via a Netgear USB dongle back to a BT Home Hub.

The internet would seemingly work fine then grind to a halt. Also their IE had been hijacked by a 3rd party application. I installed Spybot which found in excess of 1000 items on the PC - it appeared the temp internet files had never been flushed in the 6 years they had owned it. CCleaner finished up the rest of the temp files and reg fixes which helped the machine run a bit quicker and revive IE.

I installed Firefox to do the majority of my work as I needed a clean browser to work on.

Once I was happy that I had done all I can in terms of speeding the machine up I went on to troubleshoot the ADSL connection.

The user reported he had his ISP (BT) out who had been as far as replace the D side copper from the local DP to his property. Several homehubs had been provided but the problem was still apparant.

When pinging several URLs at the same time as his router there was an obvious drop of packets out to the net while his router was constant.

Other than recommend a new PSU for the Homehub (as this has reportedly caused problems for other users) I advised he call BT and jump higher and shout louder and get them to replace the copper on the E side of the connection.

Lenovo N500 keyboard replacement

This was another laptop that had a faulty keyboard - just a straight forward swapout and it worked fine. Had a helping hand from the Lenovo website and got the service manual in PDF format.

2x Laptop Repairs

First job since my little venture took off was 2 laptops a customer wanted me to look at. There was a Toshiba Satellite A200 that had suffered a spillage which left it with a bank of faulty keys. I proceeded to purchase a replacement keyboard and replaced it accordingly. Once it was fired up it worked a treat.

The other was an old Dell Latitude they wanted flattening and rebuilding. Luckily this was a nice easy job as the provided the OEM CD's

PC repair service

I've started my own PC repair business in the beginning of October - here is a record of the jobs I've had to date...

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Week Old, Schmeek Old !!! Max is a month !

My last post here is just a quick reminder on how quick time can fly. Besides posting to celebrate my son's week old birthday it was also a humble attempt at keeping up to date with my blog.

Well, Max is now one month old - and my blog isn't any more up to date. The sleepless nights are relentless - but not on my behalf. My wife (who I'm going to have to stop calling "Dave" on here someday) is staying/getting up at all hours.

Max is taking more and more per feed and they are becoming a lot more frequent. He also puts me to shame in the ability to wee/poo/puke in one swift movement. In fact I object - that was only my 21st birthday... Objection over-ruled - your son still takes after you...

Note to self - don't allow any psychiatrists see the previous rant written in the 3rd person...

Work hasn't changed much (I'm back now). My back is a lot better now and I've returned to the gym - In fact as you will see from my banner I have lost a touch more weight...

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

Still working with SCCM and enjoying it and now anticipating the next exciting installment of Carl Walkers blog who has promised me a tutorial on installing Java and packaging it using Wise Packaging Studio.

Well as I always promised I will fill this in again soon... So see you in a month no doubt ??!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Little man is a week old!

Can't believe Max is a week old already. We have had a few different nights, easy sleepy ones and whingy whiney ones...

Magic Mummy B has got him down for a bit so I'm catching up on my emails tweets blogs and facebook...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 12 July 2010


How many times can one human being need to "eat" in the space of 8 hrs? For you and I that would roughly equate to a days work so; a snack in the first 3 hrs, a meal at lunch and then a choccy digestive (or five) with your mid afternoon brew followed by a meal at tea time. So that's three or four times in 8 hours.

Not this little one; try our daily feed in the space of two hours - and repeat all day !!!

I've tried to establish a shift pattern, early nights sleep for me at 7pm then I'm charged up ready for a night of dozing whilst tending to little Max. In between grizzles and whines I'm just teetering on the verge of sleep until he stirs.

This normally results in either another feed or a pickup and lie on daddies belly session. This will get him off so I can put him down for an hour and get back to some serious REM sleep. Mind you fatherhood has granted me with the power to be able to go from the deepest slumber to the alertness of an elite trained soldier in a fraction of a second - minus the inconvenience of having a heart attack!

I have to laugh; between me and the missus we are a right pair. She is suffering the obvious aches and pains following childbirth and I am suffering with searing sciatica pains. We are keeping each other going; in fact I have just had to make sure she didn't fall asleep feeding him bless her.

Well he's down so I'm going to get an hour hopefully.

See you soon !

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The new chapter...

Tired doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling...

On 6th July 2010 my wonderful wife gave birth to Max James. He was 7lb 7oz and is absolutly amazing...

He was delivered via a water birth which was all very surreal. I won't go too deep into the logistics of it all but I can now fully appreciate the term unconditional love. Both my wife and my little boy are the most important things in my life and I'm so proud of them both. The "trauma" my wife put herself through for us both was absolutly selfless and I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

I wish I has more time to blog a bit more but I really need to get up, do some washing and get ready to go see mum n max.

Keep checking as I will be posting again soon :)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

The end of a chapter in the book of life.

30 years old . . .

or 1605 Weeks old
or 368 Months old
or 11239 days old
or 269736 Hours old

It doesn't seem such a long time ago that I was entertained by simple die cast metal cars or plastic bricks that slotted together into anything my imagination wanted them to be.

I would watch Star Wars EVERY morning for what now; seemed like the entirety of my childhood. A Milkyway was a totally acceptable substitute for breakfast followed by purposely and expertly burnt toast.

The primary school that introduced me to 14 years of education which; although it was fun; was unfortunately a short lived period of my life. I lived in Wales for about 3 or 4 years of my life. Those crucial years where a young impressionable mind is moulded into an inquisitive soul, hungry for vitality and success were spent in a beautiful country surrounded by people who cared for me and actually respected me.

The reasons behind me ending up there can't have been coincidental. I'm sure that in the grand scheme of things; karma, fate, God or whatever you want to call the preprogramed cosmic destiny, wanted me to spend the early years of my life there as I'm sure that if they were spent in the current area I live I wouldn't have taken the trouble to write this.

Years went by; high school, college, fun, laughter, tears. Introductions to people and potions I should never have even indulged in, others that I couldn't have lived without, others that were fun while they lasted and I would never change for the world.

Jobs here and there, the young vulnerable shoots of a career in IT reaching up to the sunlight of success. Successes, failures, lost battles but, in my mind - many victorious wars along the way.

More years went by; heartache, longing, persistence, strength. A strength and determination that burned so brightly in my heart, fuelled by a deep routed belief that it would be futile to abandon my efforts; a strength that honoured me with one hell of a keepsake.

That seed of strength was planted by those years of sculpting from my life and experiences.

Just in the latest period of my life that strength has continued to burn brightly. I have built a home, married a beautiful wife and acquired an incredible circle of friends. Those friends who take the time to read this will know deep down just who they are. They are the immaterial people who don't care who you are or where you are from. They take the rough with the smooth, they forgive the disappointments and embrace that light that you offer them from deep within and never take it for granted. (Sometimes, fondly known as "Kins Mongs" and others as "One Pre Fwim") ;o)

I almost lost my beloved only days before we were due to be married. Perfect timing meant that she dislocated her shoulder resulting in an overnight stay in hospital. Due to incompetence; a wrongfully administered anaesthetic caused her breathing to flat line.

In that emergency room; the only time I have seen all hell break loose fuelled a fear within me that almost extinguished every last morsel of light from that fire in my belly. At 3am I called on the one person who ignited that original flame within me: My Father. He arrived just as I was going to pieces and reminded me what family was for.

I have also lost people very fond to me. Lost in both senses; disconnection of friendships and persons passed away. Even though those times will never return I can thank them from the bottom of my heart for the fond memories that they left with me.

The brightest of those memories; my wedding day; was the best day of my life and as mentioned in my speech it was shared a week with the worst.

These tattoos of memories are placed on the same shelf and illuminated by the same light that is created by my strength.

More recently I have been blessed with news that I am to become a Father, a daunting but exciting prospect. I have a wonderful family around me keeping my light shining bright and helping me by sharing theirs in times where mine needed fuelling.

Although there are many exciting times ahead it saddens me to come to the end of such an eventful chapter in my life. One that now belongs in a book that will be placed back on my shelf to be read again many time over in the years to come to remind me how I got to where I am today.

I think the best analogy to describe how I'm feeling is by using the hero of my childhood (and adult) years: Dr Who.

It was always really good watching Dr Who - It was 30 minutes where I was allowed to let my imagination run wild but it always made me sad the day where he came to regenerate. All those adventures that were shared by thousands of other kids just like me and then, that was it. Finished. The Doctor that everyone knew and loved so well was leaving. Next episode a new Doctor materialised. New, shiny, different, quirky. After a while everyone accepted him and got used to him and those new adventures began.

That's where I am at the moment. The life I knew is coming to an end but in its place I am being given a new chapter. At the moment this chapter is just blank pages in a book filled with 30 years of stories and experiences.

One day, as long as the internet as we know it still exists; I will probably write a sequel to this account.

It will contain many years of many more memories and many more Dr Who’s!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The most off putting marketing flyer ever?!

"Local Aquarium & Reptile Collection"

Reasonably Priced Gifts
Staff usually available
Parking facilities are almost non-existent
We do not have baby changing facilities but can give you a mat and a quiet corner
We do not a childrens play area but have a fun packed toy box with paper and pens
We don't have a public toilet but you can use the staff one in an emergency
We are sorry but there is no special access upstairs

And after all that expense of the printing their marketing media I've decided to give it a miss - thanks for the heads up of just how boring and unaccomodating your establishment is !!!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

What is a billion?

The next time you hear a politician use the Word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about Whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, But one advertising agency did a good job of Putting that figure into some perspective in One of it's releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were Living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion Pounds ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, At the rate our government Is spending it.

Stamp Duty
Tobacco Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Income Tax Council Tax
Unemployment Tax
Fishing License Tax
Petrol/Diesel Tax
Inheritance Tax (tax on top of tax)
Alcohol Tax
Marriage License Tax
Property Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago... And our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt... We had the largest middle class in the world... And Mum stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!' Gordon Brown identified and acknowledged £11bn in waste every year but didn't want to do anything about it until next year...

Facebook has enlightened me to the views and opinions of loads of people recently. Some I agree with, some I don't.

At the end of the day no matter which government is in power there are always puppet masters pulling their strings, you don't really think they are in power do you? There is a greater New World Order lurking in the shadows and they are the ones we need to watch out for!

Let's just get back to poking people, posting pictures of our holidays/pets/children and farming virtual crops for 18 months and see what happens eh?!?!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

SU Magazine Review of the Bowlers Reunion !

Coming to this event was always going to be something different. Practically, we were the only students in a venue riddled with students. This wasn... See more’t promoted to students. This was something differently aimed at a different audience. But we liked our music. We liked our origins. So as you can guess, we came, we saw, we went. And what an experience it was, and quite possibly the best free event I have been too but I would certainly have still payed £16 quid to go the event even if I had had a debt to pay off for the following week. As soon as we entered the Bowlers experience, a reunion for a thousand clubbers who had attended the former club around fifteen years ago, we were awe struck by the atmosphere. I’ve been to other nights where people were already dancing quite heavily, but in the impressive space that 53 Degrees showed, this looked a fabolous proposition. Everyone was so friendly. It was quite clear that the majority of clubbers were ’sorted’ as is the term despite the tight security. However I never noticed an instance of paronoia in the dancefloor even if I accidentally ran into somebody. As I struck my dance moves, it is true that I might have looked ridicolous at times but I got a sense of approval that I fitted in right away. It might have been a nostalgic treat for the thirty to fourty somethings in the packed audience but to us, it was something different. This wasn’t totally different it has to be said to nights at Method for example, the nearby House. But there was something on the dancefloor that showed this was more intense, probably helped by the sheer number of people. This was the sort of atmosphere that really defined what an original rave is and its origins. Amongst the acts performing included a mix of such acts like Stu Allan and Dream Frequency. Well known hits it has to be said were dropped because everyone knows them. However, this worked really well because when the likes of SL2 ‘On a Ragga Tip’ and Prodigy ‘Out of Space’ were dropped, because for the first time I saw the crowd appreciaiting how the music should be danced to. I was particularly pleased when SL2 was played. This is a track that is still popular today especially with Drum and Bass fans and even Dubstep. This was also the first time I had the luxury of seeing 53 Degrees at it finest. It is likely there was more than 1,000 people. I have not been to a night at 53 where it has been full since the student nights at Freshers. The lighting on Saturday was superb, and really combined well with the music and the people. You have to be there to experience it but I was impressed with the venue reaching the potential I always felt it had. Strobe Lighting worked well but so did flashes to the room turning to its normal state with bright lights. Utilising this, the 53 team worked well as it showed the people who were vigorusly over dancing. When you compare this event to the UCLAN Student Union UV Rave Night held at ‘Promo’ back in September, then you start to see how far apart both events actually are despite their obvious term. The stark truth is that on Saturday night, the adults put the Students to shame on what a rave is. In some places round the Preston area this of course is not the case. Method is one example. The other, Warehouse is a strong vocal point for its rock and indie audiences. For the masses today however, who think they know what a rave is, think again. Politically, the club promoters of these kind of clubs have exploited the public musically. However another tricky subject is that the masses night are all alcohol fueled. Dance Music will always be niche, but in perspective, a lot of the main promoters in Bars and clubs within the industry have clubs like Bowlers to thank for their current success, seeing as laws were changed. Times may have changed in that the promoters have become all the more wiser in terms of making huge sums of money, but none of that can ever replace an atmosphere on Saturday. Dance Music is going full circle but for education, entertainment and difference, Saturday night with the tinitus ringing in my ears for well beyond 24 hours was inspiring.

Tracks to listen to:
SL2 ‘On a Ragga Tip’
Prodigy ‘Out of Space’

AD at QA and other abbreviations...

I'm currently on a train back from Manchester having spent the day on a training course at QA. It was the fundamentals of Active Directory. As it happens I really didn't know as much as I thought about AD and it's Microsoft goodness. 1day down, 2 to go...

Hopefully this will put me in good stead to clear 70-??? of the server 2008 MCSE requirement.

Well, £25 lighter in the pocket and a tad more stuff in my brain, can't wait to get home to wifey, cats and bump and chill with that beer I fridged last night.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

AD at QA and other abbreviations...

I'm currently on a train back from Manchester having spent the day on a training course at QA. It was the fundamentals of Active Directory. As it happens I really didn't know as much as I thought about AD and it's Microsoft goodness. 1day down, 2 to go...

Hopefully this will put me in good stead to clear 70-??? of the server 2008 MCSE requirement.

Well, £25 lighter in the pocket and a tad more stuff in my brain, can't wait to get home to wifey, cats and bump and chill with that beer I fridged last night.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 1 May 2010

I'm getting too old for this !

Well I'm currently at the Bowlers Reunion and I have to say I'd rather be at home with my feet up cus I'm missing wifey. I think i'd enjoy it more on the floor but hey ho I gotta work.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Give me 2 tsps of Morphine - STAT

I've felt rough as a dog today. Something has managed to penetrate the lead lining that is my stomach and started a small scale nuclear war by the feel of it.

My wonderful wife has been able to get her hands on some good old Kaoline and Morphine... Hmmm sweet dreams world...

Hope mummy B's hip is feeling better tomorrow or else we don't get to go to the forum for lunch :( That and I feel so sorry for her hobbling about...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 30 April 2010

Shiney things !

Just testing my blogging ability on the old iPhone

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Pussy Cats and Panics...

I got a phone call at work today from the house of Bilsborough to let me know our little monkey Frodo seemed to be going to the toilet in our bath quite a lot and it appeared to be tainted with blood.

As you can imagine I was worried for my little fella and promptly made an appointment at the vet.

I was very kindly allowed out of work early and took him down to see the kitty doctor. It appears our Frodo has a dose of cystitis which the vet gave him a jab for and sent us on our merry way.

He hasn't stopped his frequent visits yet and unfortunatly just as we decided to get an early night he decided that our bed looked like a promising candidate for a new toilet.

Early night my arse !

Little monkey is now scratching at our door wanting to get in to his mum and dad but unfortunatly we can't afford another episode like that with Lins being pregnant as the toxins in his urine could be bad for bump...

Anyhoo - I'm off for a well earned kip.

"Sorry Daddy"

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Countdown to the Reunion - Life@Bowlers past and present...

I posted a behind the scenes video of the Bowlers Reunion yesterday. What is it I hear you say?

In the late 1980's there was a club in Farnworth called The Pleasuredrome. During the birth of the rave scene the club evolved into a regular gathering of like minded people playing a sound rather different to the electropop that had graced our ears over the last decade.

After the Pleasuredrome was closed down, the promoters moved the night to the massive BOWLERS Sports complex in Trafford Park, Manchester. With a capacity of about 5000, the night took off where the Pleasuredrome had ended and LIFE was born.

Bowlers, normally a leisure complex, used to be home to Life, who began holding weekly nights there back in the early 90's. This lasted for several years until Life went bust and other companies came into the frame.

Big names in the old skool world such as Timeless and Seduction took over at Bowlers running successful nights until the late 90's when it was decided that the club would now do monthly events held by Compulsion.

The venue could hold 3-5000 people and original was held weekly from 9pm - 3am. Resident DJs were John Waddiker, Kenny Grogan & Bowa.

Bowlers played it's last Rave event in August 2001, it was a Helter Skelter/Compulsion event. New management took over the venue, and declared no more dance events to be held @ Bowlers!!! Apparently some guy had died a few months B4 and they were going to lose their licence. -

This is where 2 ex-lifers and a web developer from the Northwest got together one day and attempted to revive a scene which had fizzled out a decade earlier.

Stu Peet, Danny Walsh & Daz Wilde created Back2Bowlers, a forum for all ex lifers to reminisce on the old skool and compare stories of their raving days.

This spawned the Bowlers Reunion which was held at Park Hall in Chorley in 2007, another rave venue from back in the day. Life had been resurrected with the DJ's from back in the day gracing the 1's and 2's again.

The night was a massive success and has been held twice a year ever since.

On Saturday 1st May 2010 the Reunion will be held at it's latest venue, 53degrees - the student union in Preston.

I have been working on the big screen projections for the night which will be displayed on 2 screens at the front of the stage. The majority of the night will be animated using G-Force Platinum by SoundSpectrum.

For the PA - Dreamfrequency, I have created a simple slide show which will rotate their logos and 6 videos from past appearances.

Hopefully this time I will have a little time to grace the dancefloor and bust some shapes with some of the friendly gurning faces....

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Back2Bowlers Reunion Video

As it is the Back2Bowlers Reunion on Saturday night I produced a behind the scenes video of the last event in October 2010... Enjoy people...

Pickled brains and about time too !

As we've just implimented MS SCCM 2007 at work I have spent the best part of today getting our sequenced apps to work properly... Not quite got there yet as my trusty steed hasn't taken the SCCM Client or the AppV client as it should...

Anyhow - night off the gym - AGAIN - thats 2 days now so tomorrow I need to punish myself with a 6 mile run and a gruling lifting session. I replaced my healthy work out with an hour in the local Les Tescos. Thankfully my good lady had just been paid and sorted that one.

She has also just managed to replace her iPhone - it was stolen in the great break in of 2009 when some work shy little scroats broke in and kindly removed some of our hard earned gadgets...

So 6 months later (and £210 down the drain!) she has finally replaced it - oh the joys of being a two iPhone household - we can bump each other to our hearts content now... Mind you that's how we got into the situation we are in now !!!

Well that kinda wraps things up for today... Not done anything for the Reunion screens tonight - more on that tomorrow...