Category Archives: webstuff

Anything internet related

HCI as a student sees it

This is a post about future developments in HCI from one of my studynet blogs. As my HCI exam approaches I figured – why not use it here as well? There are many of you twitterers and facebooky types interested in this too, no need just to share thoughts of this nature with the studious ones counting down to May 13th..

This is something I personally find quite interesting anyway; especially when related to ‘teh internetz’ and more specifically webdesign or social media applications.

Which is why this quote by Chris Johnson of the Department of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow. caught my eye:

Visual impact is currently more important than comprehension or error rates in many commercial contexts.

I’ve been reading a lot about usability for my WBL project (though you may not think so when looking at the finished product ) in this article he’s discussing ‘The Social Implications of Future Forms of Human Computer Interaction‘ as opposed to usability, but this ‘style over function’ thinking seems to permeate the internet – especially in a social media context.

Is it the same everywhere? We’ve just had to do an assignment looking at summative data on mobile phones – is ‘style over function’ really the way things are headed? Are Apple the embodiment of all that is evil for pushing ‘stylish’ over ‘functional’?

Is the true future of development in HCI?

Microsoft don’t seem to think so. They’ve published a rather interesting read in pdf format (click the link to download):Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the year 20-20 looking through this is like seeing the opening catalogue of a new toy shop – I WANT!

They see a trend in embeddable wearable technology and for a long time I’ve been saying that the future of the web is mobile and wrapped around a structure based upon social media – so what do YOU see as the future of HCI? I may be a tad narrow in my interests but I think biometrics will definitely start to play a larger role as the web and the real merge.

Thoughts?

A little less than Zen

I try to be a good person, truly I do but maybe I’m going against human nature and that’s why I have to work so hard at it.

What?! It’s the nature of humans to be nasty? Well.. The latest flurry of online nastiness could prove me right. The fact that I have contributed also leaves me feeling a little shamed – hence this blog post and not the one I’d intended to write.

Yesterday I followed a retweet from.. um.. I think it may have been @sizemore, though it could also have been @copyblogger or @documentally as any of those three guys give out interesting and thought provoking links on a regular basis. This retweeted link sent me to a blog post entitled Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (or the privatization of the English Language) and it turned out to be a mini rant about a cease and desist order regarding a phrase used by the author on a previous blog post.

This phrase is apparently copyrighted by the author of a book and her lawyers (yup, lawyers not solicitors so it has to be an American thing right? Right.) have demanded that the blog change or at least acknowledge the books author. The writer has refused, adamantly.

To the delight and positive support of what appears to be a goodly portion of the blogosphere.

Unfortunately, naming said book author in the post has resulted in a legion of these supporters finding her Amazon page to attack and otherwise drag down her ratings. I have not done so, I have not sent a message of hate to the writer nor have I even visited her personal site. So why do I feel shame?

I feel shame because I read the post and was shocked that he had named the author in question, but did I comment on his poor judgement? No. Instead I responded thusly:

I came here via a twitter RT so whether she likes it or not there is much negative publicity regarding her work ‘doing the rounds’ following this incident.

Having actually read through all the previous comments (interesting conversation)

I have to plug for what Bill Schmeck Says:

“If you REALLY want to screw with the lawyers, tell them you’re going to send a copy of their letter and an explanation to the USPTO and ask to have the trademark withdrawn. If a mark is inappropriately granted, the USPTO can void it if someone challenges it.”

I’m guessing you won’t be that bothered but such an idea really tickles the vindictive child in me..

Perhaps it’s not so bad a comment in comparison to some, but did I air the thoughts in my head about “have you asked for a response from Mrs J?” “Was it really a good idea to link so clearly to Mrs J?” did I contribute to the ‘interesting conversation’ in a positive way?

No. I didn’t.
Which makes me a bad person in my own eyes. Others have been bigger than I and called the writer on these points, others have been far worse than I and spewed hate filled bile about Mrs J for the actions of her lawyers.

But this blog here, the place you currently rest your eyes.. This is my space where I can be as honest as I allow myself to be where you can see it. In real life I try to stick to the idea of “if you haven’t anything nice to say then say nothing” (note I said ‘try’ I don’t always succeed but if I catch myself being snide or malicious I do attempt to make up for it somehow) surely I am not the only person on the internet to look back at something they’d written and wish they could take it back and make it into something more worthy of the person they want to be?

I can’t help but wonder if that same thought is running through the mind of Leo over at Zen Habits right now.

#Twitter (again)

I was asked today to come back to the college in June (after exams etc) to give a presentation on twitter and other social media applications, this has made me go back to thinking about what is so great about twitter – why do I and others enthuse about it so much?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o[/youtube]

I loved it back when it was just a webpage but now it’s because it has developed adaptability due to the amount of third party applications built around it – now it works differently depending on what you use to access it.
Using the normal web portal at twitter.com allows a basic view of peoples tweets (once you’ve added a few folks to follow that is) installing Tweetdeck allows you to view search results as well as a timeline made up of folks you follow and friend groups and replies etc so, for example; if you’re interested in media, any tweet mentioning media or #media will show in that search time line (all time lines have their own column so you can easily differentiate between groups)

It’s not just a place to announce that you’re heading to bed or about to have a cup of tea – or even as the video states ‘to let the people you care about know the little things you do in life’ (though that is a part of its charm) Twitter helps you to gather information/ interesting links/ peoples opinions on a subject, you can start/ join in conversations by replying with @username before the comment and make friends – look at the success of the recent twestival, online social media doesn’t have to stay online with twitter.

As far as social media goes it’s the best site around in my honest opinion.

WordPress thoughts

I’m currently in the process of sorting out a website for my ‘final’ year project, I’m using wordpress to create a site for a peripatetic music teacher based in Surrey (who just also happens to be my best friend..)

The thing is, whilst doing this I’ve learned so much about wordpress that I hadn’t really thought about and know that it is quite a powerful little bundle in its own right.
..but the plugins! The list seems to have exploded since I last looked at it (which must have been back when I first shifted from blogger to here so at least three years ago now) It’s made me add a few things to here as well – and brought about a decision to use wp for my entire site and REALLY do something with it – so if you have me bookmarked here, well.. Sorry – I’m going to sacrifice most of my links and technorati ratings and start over – don’t worry, I’ll give at least a weeks notice before I pull the plug on this link location but it’s my new ambition (hey, gotta start small y’know)

I have information on ME/CFS that could very easily transfer over to a wordpress installation and seeing as I plan to have the ME/CFS site updated by the end of September it makes sense to do that, I could make a proper gallery wp installation with tutorials and the like for my beading (once I’ve spoken to someone knowledgeable about macro photography) and I might even start a media wp installation to throw up some music and video content now that I’m collaborating vocally again with a lad from musofinder

And the best part of it is I can use the same template for all and keep the site looking uniform.

I’ve toyed with the idea of playing around with drupal, joomla and the like for ages, but methinks my heart is with the ease of wordpress, it can literally do everything I need and I don’t have to start from scratch learning how to do it.

..though if I ever get time on my hands that may change *grin* I love to learn..

A meme

It’s been soooo long since I’ve done something this bloggy (as in community of bloggers type bloggy) I saw this on the LittleBead blog (which I found following through from her twitter page) who got it from Swirly and despite not knowing the lass (though I’m now following on twitter, gotta love the fellow beaders on the web when you find ’em) I’m going to do a meme.

So.. if you love me (and I know you do) why not take part as well, get back to the old blogger within you, the one who used to care about technorati ratings and link love *grin*

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to – leave in plain font

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited Hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more to charity than you could afford
7. been to disneyland/world
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo
11.bungee jumped
12.visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning (who hasn’t???)
17.walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. grown your own vegetables (nope, just eat the ones grown by my MIL *yum*)
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight (and I WON!)
22. hitch hiked (From Manchester to Bristol and back with Aminatta way back when..)
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill(again.. who hasn’t??)
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb – and bottle fed it (i’ll stick with my daughter thanks..)
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon ( *shudders* )
28. ridden a gondola in venice (definitely on my list – blow the cost!)
29. seen a total eclipse –
30. watched a sunrise or sunset –
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. taught yourself a new language (I don’t think just ‘hello/ goodbye’ ‘please’ and ‘thankyou’ count)
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied (it’ll never happen *sigh*)
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen Michael Angelo’s David in real life
41. sung karaoke (Me?! Karoke LOL nooooo.. *grin*)
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited Africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight (more creepy than romantic I found)
46. been transported in an ambulance (sadly twice gotta love motorbikes eh?)
47. had your portrait painted (if I had the money this guy would be doing it)
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the Sistine chapel in person (On our tour of the vatican – amazing place!)
50. been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkelling (if only I didn’t have menieres disease *sigh*)
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class (Kendo, aido, jiujitsu and wing chun)
59. visited Russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl guide cookies
62. gone whale watching (A friend did and his pics were amazing, I was so jealous!)
63. gotten flowers for no reason (AND they were off Stef!)
64. donated blood (medically exempt)
65. gone sky-diving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a cheque (never deliberately)
68. flown in a helicopter (I know.. but surely my footprint is small enough for ONE ride?)
69. saved a favorite childhood toy (sore subject, mother has never been forgiven)
70. visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. eaten caviar (foul stuff, wildly overrated)
72. pieced a quilt
73.stood in times square and watched the ball fall at New Year
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job (nope, but taken great satisfaction from quitting!)
76. seen the changing of the guard in london
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle (see the ambulance question above LOL)
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the vatican
82. bought a brand new car If I could only get a license..
83. walked in Jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper (Many times in the Daventry express as a kid)
85. read the entire bible
86.visited the White House
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating (nope, but i did watch Stefs aunt do a chicken when we were in Italy..)
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous (Every other day when I worked at Manchester Academy)
92. joined a bookclub
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the Alamo in person
96. swum in the great salt lake.
97. been involved in a law suit (divorce counts, right?)
98. owned a cell phone (well, a mobile..)
99. been stung by a bee

What.. no 100? In that case I’ll add one I want to do

100. <em>Have one room set aside as a library in your house</em>

Blended learning

On top of my coursework I’ve joined the University Cable 3.0 project team, we’re trying to organise collaborative online learning between members of the 4 consortium colleges studying on the Foundation Degree Business and Computing Programme.

Last Thursday and Friday were spent at a residential at the manor of Groves hotel it was both an exhausting yet invigorating experience as in the space of 2 days we managed to hammer out a guideline of where the project needs to go and form an action plan regarding the tools we need to use to get there.
On the other hand though – it was awful!

It’s the longest I’ve spent away from Isabella since she was born, I had almost 2Gb of photographs loaded onto my phone and had Johnella laughing at me because I kept changing my background image whenever I felt bad about leaving her (so quite a bit..) I was suitably punished though by having what must have been the worst room in the place – the shower had temperature epilepsy, the bed cover appeared to have been vomited on at some point and then brushed ‘clean’, the lamp by the work desk didn’t work and the tv remote only worked when it felt like it. Still, I did get wireless access and the food was of a consistantly high standard so it wasn’t all bad.

Because I’m ‘only’ a student, to be invited to participate in something that will shape the way in which one of my modules is to be taught is a big thing. I and the other 3 ‘student consultants’ will be awarded Elluminate licenses before next semester as this is one of the technologies we shall be trialling, we’re to be heading up ‘virtual teams’ in the ‘human computer interaction’ module for research and focus group purposes, these teams are to be made up of small groups from each college under the guiding hand of a single tutor with the student leaders providing feedback and support.

Exciting times my friends! As this is a pilot scheme it’s going to be a lot of hard work as we ascend the learning curve but I’m just thinking of how useful this experience will be in the ‘real world’ when I’m back amongst the contributing members of society.

It also means I now have even more of a reason for looking forward to MediaCampChris Hamblys 3 o’clock session:

Distance learners and virtual communities – creating a sense of community and life-long learning in an online school

What’s in a name?

I’ve been dipping in and out of the blog and social media ‘scenes’ for a while, I *know* all about how I should be optimising my website for search engines and keeping my posts organised, concise and FOCUSED – but I am not a brand, I am not a company, I am a jewellery making, blog writing, new mother and student geek, so on what am I supposed to focus?

Like most of you I’ve yet to find a niche for myself, I have no single overriding interest that I can turn into my strength and identity as so many others here have, I have no expert knowledge on any subject nor do I have the concentration to gain such. I learn only as much about anything as I need in order to complete the task at hand (with maybe a little extra if it interests me) my time management is abysmal and yet it rarely bothers me because I do prioritise and the majority of my tasks are still completed on time.

So, all this being the case – what is my marketable brand? In simplistic terms I guess it’s Rosevibe. That is the handle I use for everything and the name by which most of my net friends know me (well, that and Vics) but what does that brand stand for? What does it say?

Nothing. It’s a name and nothing more.

I intermittently read the blogs and tweets of people I respect from the social media scene (Loudmouthman, Sizemore and Chris Brogan to name 3) and have learned many a useful tidbit. But what have I given to them? I listen and offer observations, I ask questions and try to clarify my understanding of the answers given and I try to be a friend to everyone on my contact list.

Perhaps that’s the service I offer; a virtual sounding board, someone who isn’t too involved in whatever is being discussed yet knows just enough about the subject to offer a fresh perspective or a new idea – or at the very least ask questions in a way that shows perhaps their idea isn’t as simple to get across as they’d originally thought. I’m a test subject – but what shiny new buzz word can I coin to encompass such a thing? What new label can I give to the complex being I am that will turn “Rosevibe” into something more than a name? Something that I can market once my degree has been gained and I’m actively searching for work?

Propitious I may be – good at naming things I am not (which is why I always wrote the lyrics but the guitarist named the song) Methinks the old ‘consultancy’ label may be dusted off in lieu of a sparkly new buzzword as, like the little black dress, it hides a multitude of sins and accentuates the delightful.
So these are the questions I’ve been asking myself lately: What would you brand yourself? What do you offer?

In the realm of the virtual, how do you answer those questions? I’m interested to know what people think of themselves in a marketable sense and what they think of marketing in general, but then I’m interested in a lot of things, that’s what makes me ME – What makes you YOU? What would you brand yourself? What do you offer?

Salute to the IT support guys..

A couple of weeks ago my technology hating brother called me to talk him through opening a work document his girlfriend had emailed to herself.

It was hell.

I need to stress, my bro NEVER uses a pc if he can help it, he’s only recently become an x-box convert and even for that we recieved a barrage of phonecalls to help him set it up. This though.. *shudders* I could never be on a help desk that’s fer sure!

First of all, he had no idea what I meant when (after establishing that the document wouldn’t automatically open when clicked upon) I said “look for the word icon on the desktop” it took at least 5 minutes of re-wording the request before giving up and talking him through opening a gmail account so he could use google docs (which typically was unavailable due to some server problem) It served 2 purposes, he now has an email address (so I can send him the link to Stefs Flickr collection so he’ll stop bugging me for pics of Izzy) he could try out google docs – assuming it ever works when you want it to.

So.. That didn’t work, back to helping him find word and open it. After another 10 minutes it turned out that he was wrong, there was no office software on his computer whatsoever which was why he kept getting an error message, this meant I had to help him install open office. Over the phone. While I was nowhere near a computer.

Simple yes? No.

Me: Open internet explorer and go to google

Him: What’s google? how do I do that?

Me: in the address bar at the top of the page..

Him: Sorry.. What’s the address bar?

..Several minutes later

Me: ok now type in open office, when the page loads there will be a big list of websites, click the top link

Him: ok, the one in the blue box yeah?

Me: What blue box?

Him: (getting REALLY frustrated) The one at the top

Me: (trying frantically to remember what a google search page looks like and what this blue box is he’s going on about) Um.. ok, click it and tell me what the page looks like when it loads.

He then described some dodgy sounding site that offered office software at a ‘discount price’ at this point I handed the phone to Stef who’d been laughing his head off at my feeble attempts and went for a cuddle with my daughter.
I always thought helpdesk staff were ridiculously patronising whenever I’ve had to ring up about anything, now I know why – I salute all you guys and gals out there helping the technologically impaire, it aint easy!

Want!

My T-mobile contract is up for renewal, I currently have an MDA Vario (aka HTC wizard) and It’s done me proud for the last 3 years or so – but a shiny new toy has caught my eye and I feel it’s time for a change..

The T-mobile G1 (aka HTC dream) is due out 3 days after my contract expires, it’s not only using Android (anything but windows mobile makes me happy) and comes pre-loaded with all the google apps I’m ever likely to use – but you can download the SDK and write applications for it yourself!

I’m so happy! and geeking out like you would not believe right now lol I’m sooooooo going to work hard at programming this year *grin*

MediaCamp London #2

In July I went along to an event organised by some folks I’ve come to know through using various online social media. As a direct result of that I have been offered work (paid) and participation in several interesting sounding projects (paid and unpaid) which, sadly, I’ve been unable to take up because of this gorgeous little creature

Isabella - supergirl!

So not only do I have the reassurance of knowing there is work out there for me when our little girl is of an age to allow me to take it, I’ve also made the acquaintance of many interesting and knowledgeable people – several of whom have since helped me to understand things I’ve struggled with in my studies.

I would not have received that help or those opportunities without my participation on the social networking scene. Through use of twitter I learn about up and coming events, new toys on the market, what the people I choose to follow are currently up to and how they feel about life in general. I can ask a question and have several answers within seconds (depending upon who is online at the time) and can start a conversation that spans several levels as other people I’m not connected to take the responses of those I am and run with it.

The reason for this post is that there is another of these events coming up and it seems only fair to let everyone know about it so that they too can not only learn a few things but also make some great contacts in the process.

The event is called media camp london and it would seem that even the guardian has taken an interest this time around:

MediaCamps – filling the skills gap

I know that at present the sessions seem quite thin on the ground, but last year things were being added right up to and including the start times – not only that but the meet up, chill out and chat rooms proved to be equally useful (if not more so) at providing insight and discussion on topics not covered by any of the more structured presentations.

Come along – Stef and I shall see you there!

Social media mafia – Mediacamp London

I’m not able to speak for everyone else who attended but as far as my first social media event goes, what an absolute corker! The discussions were stimulating and the topics interesting, I’m just sorry that I couldn’t get into all of the sessions but the building was just too hot for me to risk cramming into the busiest ones as I’d doubtless have passed out and made a tit of myself..

The main message coming through in the sessions I did attend was that there is a lack of education in using social media tools within business that prohibits employee buy in. I’ve found that this is true not only in business but in education, my course leaders are trying to push the use of wikis, discussion boards and blogs with very little uptake amongst the students, perhaps if there was more in the way of explanation for the reasons behind using these things with an understandable incentive in place then this would change.

There was also a lot of comments along the lines of how ‘green’ the business world is and how Social media tools can help

To paraphrase Steve Lamb (aka actionlamb) during his presentation with Adi Ben-Nesher from Accenture;

“Corporate culture needs to accept that technology can be used anywhere that there is power – an employee can be more constructive spending an extra hour in bed on their laptop than struggling through commuterville hell. ..Social media tools help you cut the crap by establishing a relationship, it’s an informal way of keeping tabs on what’s going on around you ie you know a persons mood and can gauge when is a good time to approach them with an idea or to tap them for cash”

Ok so the ‘tap them for cash’ comment made me chuckle but in business it’s a valid observation; most start-ups are always on the look out for funding. If you know someone is having a bad day through comments on their facebook page or twitter stream you know that today is not the day to bug them for help with your project.

In the ‘Talking social’ session before the lunch break there evolved an interesting mini discussion on the differences gender makes to the use of social media and the privacy aspect of leaving information online, I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with unwanted telephone calls after leaving contact details visible where there was also a photograph available. From the show of hands in the room it appears I’m not the only lass so affected – even a couple of the lads had experienced something similar, this is why I’m loathe to give out that kind of information and value twitter so much; people can still text me using the dm feature without knowing my number – social media tools allow me to participate in a virtual social life while still keeping a ‘safe’ barrier in place that allows me to screen the people wanting access to me.
Obviously for me this works, but as former accountant James (whatleydude) of spinvox said; if his contact details were not available online he’d have missed out on three very interesting phone conversations. Speaking to Vero of Pepsmedia by the drinks machine also shows that contact details online are not necessarily a bad thing; she received an offer of work based purely on her blog – perhaps it’s the luck of the draw but this is definitely an area in which you need to weigh up the pros and cons before putting yourself out there – after all, you’d not leave your phone number attached to a short bio of yourself on the side of a bus would you?

..or would you?

The best part of the day for me though was meeting so many people. I finally put physical form to both Nik (aka loudmouthman) and Suzy (aka SuzyMiller) as well as discovering a whole host of intelligent and interesting people.
The aforementioned Vero is a cracking lass with a great sense of humour (and I may well have to purchase Mario carts on the wii just to take up her challenge) Melissa Norman of the London Games Fringe is also someone whom I’m looking forward to meeting again when I attend the (tba) games fringe events happening in October, Melinda of the missgeeky blog – I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next geek dinner event with glee.. CJ seemed like a great person to know, sadly newt started making his/ her presence felt during the html/ css talk and I had to leave to find some air.

On the plus side, I then got talking to folks in the chill out room and Mike (Waugaman) gave me the name of a podcast to check out and suggested that I make use of spinvox when the time came to announce the arrival of our screaming little lump of humanity – a suggestion I will most definitely be taking up now that I know more about the service provided by the whatleydude (who by the way is also a great guy, funny, engaging and ridiculously enthusiastic about what he does)

I also enjoyed chatting to Tom Holder of Simpleweb and Jof Arnold of BrainBakery in the pub afterwards, yes, much of what they discussed was well over my head but the parts I understood were tantalising and whetted my appetite for leaning more of the joys of programming – I’ve also decided that hovercraft racing sounds like the coolest thing ever and while Tom may be a programming god, it will be that little nugget I keep on hand whenever I think of him *grin* if he and Jof didn’t live so far away I would definitely be proposing a building project – I may not be able to ride motorbikes anymore but no one could complain about me sitting on a racing hovercraft!

Well.. Not that I’d listen to anyhow ;0)

Chris Garret is probably one of the most switched on young men I’ve ever met – the guys on my course could definitely learn a lot from him! While he may be young he’s pretty damned brilliant from all accounts (and not his own either, Tom was singing his praises from the rafters) I may well be bugging him for wordpress tips in the near future 😉

The person I spoke most with in the evening was Adi Ben-Nesher (whilst being force fed chips by Chris Hambly) and despite repeated claims of laziness throughout the evening, is definitely a busy lad and someone everyone should know – he has excellent taste in music (we were both amazed that Jenny turned down free Iron Maiden tickets to stick around for the drinking portion of the event) the poor taste to have once owned a Harley Davidson (though he does have a point that a pocket rocket would have been too small for him) and makes it his business to connect people.

So despite feeling like all I did was talk about the belly all day I’ve gleaned a few pointers on things that could prove useful in the future and have several projects and products to check out when I finally have some time.. Yup, Mediacamp London was a definite success as far as I’m concerned and I seriously cannot wait for another event of it’s kind to take place at a time and location within my power to attend!

Fun times!

I’m really looking forward to mediacamp london, I’ve already spread the word facebook style but as it gets closer I’m getting all a-jiggle about it. This will be my first social media event and I’m just really looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere, conversations and hopefully learning something in the process.
I was going to drag Stef along with me as I think he’d find it interesting too but he’s got a stag do to attend so I guess I’ll be all on my lonesome – if any of you are about and at a loose end on July 5th, come down to the SAE Institute North Road, London and say hi to the dark haired fat chick waddling along the corridors – ignore any muttered curses from her direction though, that’s just a side effect of pregnancy when the unborn brat decides to use her guts as a punchbag..

I’m also excited about my upcoming move, Tuesday is when the first few bits will be transported to the new flat and the mammoth cleaning operation goes into effect (has to be done before the furniture goes in obviously) I’m estimating 2 weeks before we’ve got everything in as we’ll need to sort out a time when our lovely helpers are free to do the lugging around (C’mon, I’m 10 weeks off drop date, I’ll not be lugging ‘owt!) otherwise we’d be in on Wednesday *grin*

Right, now for the important stuff.. Time to research broadband providers in the area – what’s the betting we just end up with talk talk again..?

The international net

..I wish *sigh*

Half the interesting ‘new media’ apps are USA based and every website I’ve looked at for things I’ve considered purchasing of late are ‘ship to US only’ sites *sniff* ah well, I’ve taken to collecting pretty pictures instead with which to console myself. Let’s face it, I’m unlikely to have the cash to spend on pretty things soon, everyone seems determined to tell me how expensive childrearing will be – like I hadn’t already figured that out for myself!

So.. Forget the Alexandrite earrings, I’ll just gaze at this Aquamarine and Alexandrite ring I’ll not be purchasing because even if they did ship to the UK I can’t justify the $538 price tag (or £270.88 in real money)

my ring from jewelsforme.com

Bags of stuff

The latest college assignments had me chuckling; first of all we have to keep a career planning blog, they’re trying to initiate some sort of micro social network within the group with these – at least that’s how it seems. They all have to be public, we are all supposed to keep up to date with each others progress and comment on that progress, they also want us to participate in polls and discussion boards.. This would be all fine and dandy assuming the techie responsible for setting up these career planning blogs had made it possible for us to add new entries *grin*

That’s right, even though these blogs are supposed to be ‘live’ on studynet, we can’t access them. So much for that assignment eh?!

The second one is pretty ace though, It’s given me the kick up the backside I needed to get my audio gear working on the laptop, we’re to create posters and blurb for an educational literacy game aimed at the 5-7 age range, as well as the hard copy stuff we’re to create some animated banners and pictures with sound for the ‘forthcoming website’.

This is why today I’ve dusted off my spirit notepad mixer, plugged in the mic and sorted out recording levels ready to do all the voice overs I need – only problem is I’m gonna need a bigger laptop bag to carry all this equipment into college.

Why is it so hard to find a laptop bag that doesn’t LOOK like a laptop bag? I’ve been searching on and off all day, while there are some nice ones out there, none seem big enough for my needs. I have to be able to pack in the laptop, mixer, mic and stand, headphones and all the leads – plus a pad and a couple of pens with enough space for water and snacks..

..enough space to also carry an external drive with psu etc would be nice – but wishful thinking. Especially in rucksack form.

*grin* I don’t want much do I?

Anyhow, all that playing around earlier meant that now I can start singsnapping again – just as soon as my ears stop playing up, haven’t done any singing in Aaaaaaages and I’ve missed it

Getting ahead of myself

Seems I should check my paperwork more carefully, I’m still fully hosted right up until june YEY!

*grin*

Thankyou to the three lovely people who offered me alternatives via text and email *sniff* it was quite touching to find that even with my recent feeble blogging efforts I’d be missed! I was even more amazed at the (minor) outcry over the loss of my CFS site, overly wordy and outdated though I deem it myself; it seems others are less critical and find it as helpful as I’d hoped it would be back when I created it.

Which means I now feel obligated to keep the damned thing up and running *sigh* guess this means I’ll have to give myself 2 more years hosting for my birthday and use the summer holidays to bring the whole thing up to scratch. I guess £3.50pm is affordable and it’s not like I drink or smoke so..

Heh pitiful eh?! I was all growed up for.. What? A fortnight..? What can I say..? The internet is to me what shoes and handbags seem to be for every other girl I know – but at least my habit is cheap and takes up far less wardrobe space 😉

The reason I have been so pants of late is illness related I’m afraid, but I’m finally going to see an Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) specialist on Tuesday about this possible menieres disease the GP thinks I have so fingers crossed they’ll tell me it’s something else and give me meds to clear it up – I’m getting more than a little sick of this nausea and spinning nonsense! After 4 months of it enough is enough already!

I’m also going to see my first neurologist on the 31st about my ME/CFS crashes because when the GP saw my description of them he decided they share some similarities with a type of epilepsy and he wants me tested for that – added to which it seems I’ve caught a bug which exacerbates a lot of the ME symptoms so I’m spending even more time in bed than usual.

What time I’m not using to rest is taken up with coursework – I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ve managed over a 94% attendance for this course despite everything and all my modules are looking at being a minimum of a low B grade – I think my dad is probably still chuckling over the incredulous text he recieved when I found out the database assignment I (literally) cried over netted me a mark of 70% (that’s an A by the way)

And there you have it; that’s why I’m only ever online in 5-20 minute bursts for anything none course related at the moment. As my health improves (because it WILL) I may once again prove to be a prolific blogger  (can’t help that, after 4 years it’s in the blood) but the socnet stuff will likely take a beating as I immerse myself in ‘real’ life – even facebook has become just another email address as 9 times out of 10 I only nip on there for messages and to change my status (it’s twitter without twitter)

Now I’m off to bug my beloved to make sure he uses sesame seeds in this new batch of flapjacks, quite fancy some of that..