Please leave a comment

In an idle moment I thought that I would allow people to leave comments about my blogs.  Give it a whirl.

In order to block spam comments I have to approve each comment first before it will appear. If my spam filters work well then I will remove this restriction.

Apollo 11 40th Anniversary

As you probably know it is 40 years since man first went to the moon. This was a big event in my life and has filled me with amazement ever since. Obviously there is plenty of coverage out there in the media so here are a few sites that have caught my eye..

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which is orbiting the moon right now, has taken the first photos of the original landing sites. You can’t really see much as each pixel equates to 4 feet, but hopefully they will put an end to the ‘we never really went there’ theories. See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/main/index.html.

http://www.wechoosethemoon.org/ is following the Apollo 11 mission as if it were happening in real time today with ‘live’ audio, video, photo and twitter feeds. Good fun.

The BBC has a Doctor Who story published especially for the event, http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/s4/misc/general/blue_moon_01_page_01

iGoogle tabs

This might interest someone.

I use iGoogle to define my customized home page. As well as allowing you to add ‘Gadgets’ to your home page showing various snippets of information, you can also group gadgets together under their own tabs within the home page. The picture below should give you the idea.

Capture

This week Google, in their infinite wisdom, decided to change the way that they implemented the tabs so that they were displayed down the left hand side of the page, taking up a lot more space on the screen. See the picture below.

iGoogle with new tabs on left
iGoogle with new tabs on left

Google had already made this change on the www.google.com/ig home page some time ago, which caused an uproar on the blogs. The solution that most people used was to switch to using the UK version at www.google.co.uk/ig, but now Google has changed that to use the new version as well.

Thankfully there is a fix that works, at least for the moment. You can use www.google.co.uk/ig?hl=all which reverts to the previous method.

I hope that this is of some help to someone.

The longest day has passed already

Don’t you think that it’s always a sad day when you start the downhill slide towards Winter?

Since my last Swine Flu post Emily’s school was closed for a week because of it and Sophie was actually put on Tamiflu. Thankfully it was all a false alarm which will hopefully be the case for Swine Flu in general.

We went to Barcelona for a long weekend and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

E has just come back from a trip to Belgium and France visiting war graves so I hope to have some photos to upload soon.

I have updated the web site with some more social networking bits and bobs. You can now catch a glimse of what music I have been listening to, thanks to Last.FM, and I have added a Twitter feed. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever post anything to Twitter but it’s there just in case I do.

Summer is well and truly upon us and we haven’t booked a holiday yet.

Oh yes, Sophie is doing a sponsored walk in the Namib desert of Namibia. Should you feel so inclined then you can read about it here and sponsor her here.

Swine Flu

It’s still far too early to say how bad this is going to get. The media are in overdrive, as usual, but I guess the fact that the WHO have just raised the threat level to 5 is an indication of the seriousnes.

There are some maps, here, and here, which give a good impression of the spread, and this describes many of the maps available.

I’ve embedded one of them below.

View 2009 H1N1 Flu Outbreak Map in a larger map

New for 2009

I’ve had a minor spring clean and given the web site a new look. I’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and I’m now using the ‘atahualpa’ theme.

OpenDNS

How to stop my children (or my husband) from viewing pornographic web sites? This is a common question that I am asked (actually no one has ever asked this question, but they might one day).

The answer is OpenDNS. This works by filtering the Domain Name requests that your PC makes every time you visit a web site.

First, register on the web site.  Then you have to change the DNS settings for your PC or router to use the OpenDNS servers instead of the default DNS servers provided by your ISP. Details can be found here. It is better to update your router rather than a PC so that ALL PCs in your house are protected.

Next you have to tell OpenDNS what IP address you have been allocated by your ISP. You can do this here. Because the IP address that your ISP gives you can change you can install some software on your PC that will keep OpenDNS updated with your current address. OpenDNS provides the necessary software at the above site. Alternatively, your router might provide a DDNS option that does the same thing. My router (a Linksys WRT-54G) has this feature and I have set it up to use DNSomatic which keeps multiple sites updated with your IP address.

Finally you go here to set the level of protection that you want. I found that Low is adequate to stop any pornograpic web sites. You can also block categories like Social Networking to block things like Facebook, or P2P/Filesharing to stop illegal music downloads. It is also possible to block or allow specific web sites.

It works for me and I hope that it works for you too.

Lee gets a new PC

I thought it was time I treated myself to a new PC, one that was capable of playing the latest games easily. It is a bit of a monster, with a Core i7 Quad Core processor, 6Gb of memory, 2x250Gb disks, and an Nvidia GTX 295 graphics card. I also got a nice new screen, a Samsung T240 LCD display.

You can see some photos here.

I will write about the actual build process here.

Quite Interesting

I have decided to do do some Public Service Blogging, well, sort of.

I keep all my Bookmarks on an online bookmarking site called Delicious.  This allows you to store your bookmarks online (Duh) and tag them so you can group links together. You can see all my tags and their associated links here.

It goes without saying that most of them are of no interest to any one but me but, some of them might be, so I have now created a tag called ‘interesting’ (can you see where I’m going with this yet?).

There is now a ‘Quite Interesting’ link over on the right to see a list of links to articles that I think someone else might be, err, interested in.

I don’t know if you will find them interesting or not, that is up to you. Either way, don’t bother telling me unless one of them changes your life in some unimaginable way.

Something else that is Quite Interesting is that once you start to store your bookmarks online then you can use the Delicious Firefox/IE addon from here to totally replace your normal bookmarks stored within your browser. Well, I like it even if you don’t.

Summer 2008

Well it’s nearly over now.

We went to Castelmola in Sicily for a week and Emily also went to Spain with Clarissa for two weeks.

Celine, the daughter of Sophie’s friend Myriam, has just stayed for a week and while she was here we went to see Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London and to see the birds at Bird World.

I also went to the Motor Show in London with Pat for the day which ended with a performance by Blondie. Great fun.

We hosted a BBQ for all our friends which was a bit over ambitious but worth it as we rarely see most of them.

This coming week we have the Weiss’s and Bluhm’s arriving for Uncle Martin’s party in Bexhill.

Before you know it Emily will be back at school, starting her GCSE course, and I’ll be on my own again during the day.

Lee.