Yesterday I played with the latest plug-in I have installed on this blog. Called “NextGEN Gallery” I have had the plugin installed on my other site for a while and had not had the chance to use it. I figured that it would be more use here so I have installed it. I find it really easy to use and have not really figured out all the settings yet. The basic gallery is show on a blog post or page as follows:


If you click the PicLens link it will load in CoolIris, which is a nice way of browsing the images (and any other images or videos on a site). If you have the CoolIris firefox plugin it will load in 3-d. The images are not so nicely sized for CoolIris as it makes them bigger. However, I sized the images for a slide show and not for CoolIris.

If you want a more slide show look, you can install the plug in “NextGEN Smooth Gallery“. I hate to link to that site as it looks quite bad, but at least the plugin is rather cool. Using the smooth gallery makes the gallery look like:

changeI finally decided to get around to changing the site. So gone is the old site to be replaced by the blog which previously only occupied one corner.

I need to replace some of the features on the old site and will look for some nice plugs to handle things like the photos that the site had. Perhaps I will do that through flickr, not sure yet.

You can now follow me on Twitter. I have a growing group of followers and and following some very interesting people. One of the “people” I am following is my employer, but embarrasingly it looks like it is just a test. Anyway, I’ll keep following it just in case something actually happens.

For those who do not know what twitter is, Wikipedia says:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.” – Wikipedia

You can find me on Twitter on the url: http://twitter.com/julesdw

Recently, I decided that my old computer – which has done sterling service to me for the past 2-3 years – was finally due replacement. Now I don’t keep up with the hardware that one should buy so it will always be a struggle to choose the right hardware for the job in hand.
Everyone has an opinion on what is good versus bad. Asking my clan mates is helpful and confusing all at the same time. What I did in the end was make some technology choices (e.g. Intel versus AMD, ATI versus NVidia). Once that was done, I needed company to build me one.
I tried Alienware but after building my ultimate PC there, I would have been 8,000 euros lighter in my pocket which I felt was not completely necessary! Dell is also too expensive but at least they make nice looking computers.
In the end I got one from Komplett. They have a Dell like configuration application where I can tweak a base system. In the end I got to a computer with: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.67, 4 GB Memory, 2x GTX260’s (SLI) and Windows Vista 64 bit. Vista is very nice but I think it sometimes is a bit too slow. I guess that is the OS more than the PC as this should run pretty much anything quickly.
Gaming is good Call of Duty 4 looks awesome, although I find the soft focus sometimes annoying when there are blades of grass in the way (or at least, that the game thinks are in the way). Company of Heroes runs fine, it is not more detailed than on my old machine but at least the patch will install now so that means I can play online with the clan. I am not waiting to start playing Warhammer. I need a bit of an introduction to playing MMORPG’s and I am also waiting the release of Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway.

 


View of the case and contents. Lots of wires and stuff…

The long shot including screen and mouse (blue mouse is from something else)

There are not many words, if any, than can describe why I find myself here where I am today. Life has an unexpected way of picking you up and throwing you down somewhere else like a “life tornado”; just when you expect it least life changes without warning.

In the last year my life has had highs and much lows. I have stood on the precipice between madness and sanity, between life and death. Somehow, between the overwhelming stress, tiredness and panic attacks I sit here writing on my blog for the first time in I don’t know how long. Since the beginning of the year I have spend time in two continents, two hemispheres and seven countries. I have learnt to drive a right hand drive car (I learnt in a left hand drive), driven my BMW at 230 KPH (there was more left but I ran out of space!), visited new places, ridden on a husky dog sled in Sweden, eaten reindeer, got to love my kids yet more. And yet I am still at the beginning of my year, life stood still for five months.

Now I stand, the day before my 32nd birthday (or rather 25 version 8), watching Eurovision (I never know why I do) with my two kids – Lucas and Iris – sleeping upstairs, wondering what the newest chapter of my life will hold. I know some things that it will not hold. It will not hold arguments, stagnation or bitterness. I have had enough of that to fill a lifetime. Not all mine and not all of it deserved in any direction.

For the future, I plan to execute my “bucket list” and do the things that I have always wanted to do (or have thought up as cool things to do). I will make sure that I live life to the full, I have but one and I plan to make it a good one…

Now, I promised myself to reveal more about what I spend my “spare” time on so here it is:

OK, it does not look like much but the sites function is to create small images – also known as thumbnails or thumbs – of websites. The whole process is rather clever and was built to support another site I am in the process of creating. I thought I would put it online to see if it becomes something.

Written in PHP it utilises XML, SOAP and some outside applications to actually do the building of the image.

The full url of the new site is: http://thumbs.gameification.com.

The next plan is to get the other project done. This is currently being tested on the webserver and despite lots of testing before hand I’m getting new bugs which have not come up already. The end result is that the launch will be delayed (boooo!).

Well it actually seems like a *very* long time since I posted anything here and that is mainly because it is. I decided that I needed to post more, not only about family, life etc but also about what interests me.

Before I started boring the world endlessly I think I better explain two things.

  1. Why I’ve updated the blogging engine
  2. What I’ve been doing instead of doing this

Well in answer to number 1, it’s because I wanted to. I used to use b2evolution as the blogging engine and whist it is a good blogging engine I was putting the upgrade off through fear of complexity. So I thought I would give the latest and greatest WordPress a run. I’ve copied over the posts manually and set the dates so everything looks the same as before. I like WordPress, the interface is cleaner and the resulting blog looks better.

As for number 2, I’ve been working on three sites. Gameification.com, F1Rogues.com and Greenermachine.com. I’ve been experimenting with funky AJAX, PHP, XML-RPC, SOAP, TCL and all manner of other geeky things. Additionally I’ve being doing some whitehat SEO work for these sites. That is a whole load of posts by itself, suffice to say it is interesting and fun to play with.

After all those reasons I’ve also been doing the usual family type activities as well as doing research on the Family Tree. More of that will come later when I’ve made some sense of it all.

Well lots has happened in the last few months, so much so that I’ve posted nothing on the blog. This has not gone un-noticed I point out so I’ve now caved into pressure to post something.

I’d just thought I’d post about the network changes that I’ve made at home. Firstly I’ve upgrades the wireless network to something quicker. Not a massive leap in technology, just keeping up with it. Secondly I’ve installed a Squeezebox. It streams music from a PC in the house.

Squeezebox

So far I have 1500 songs awaiting the chance to be played (and I’m busy ripping more as I type). This little device can also be customised and I’ve added on plugins for the TV Guide and the ability to listen to all the BBC radio stations (including Podcasts and listen again facilities) using the AlienBBC plugin. It is really easy to install and well worth it.

And if this was not enough i have a 320 GB Network Attached Storage (NAS) to store all the MP3s on )

Next Page »