Posts tagged: Blogging

Annual Report

I should really publish my annual blog review report from JetPack each year, so you can see the most popular posts and comments on my blog. The overall summary is that after a poor six months, the second half of the year I kicked off and started to blog as often as I had when at the peak of my powers back in 2006/7.

Too Old For Tumblr

You probably know the service and may even be an advocate user. I have known about Tumblr for some time but until now, never really had the need to setup a Tumblr blog. With the news that Yahoo! is to purchase the platform for over $1.1 billion. I thought this was the ideal time to tip my toes into the pool. I have setup a blog. The most interesting aspect of the story, is not the large amount of money in the transaction but the promise from Yahoo! not to ‘screw things up’. The warning from history is when Yahoo! purchased my beloved FlickR and made such a hash of things, the service has never fully recovered. While FlickR may be on life support, it is not dead and there are plenty of things the current owner could do to make things better. I have faith in the service and continue to upload all my high resolution images onto the cloud for safekeeping. While most of my peers now use Facebook for their photographs, I will always use FlickR and as a fully paid up pro user, I know I am getting very good value for money.

So why join Tumblr particularly so soon after joining Instagram (and uploading a total of only three photographs to date). I suppose I am preparing myself for the near future when I finally get my hands on a Samsung Galaxy S3 and start taking some impromptu photos while out and about on my travels. Ultimately though, my plan for Tumblr is more about fun, whereas Instagram is more about recording a specific moment. While I agree that I am perhaps far too old to be using these services, there is no barrier to my forever expanding online presence. I am finding it extremely difficult to find the time to blog, which I know you have all heard for too many times in the past few years on these pages. In fact, I have about half a dozen posts sitting in draft mode, waiting to be completed and published. I am hoping that using these alternative platforms, they can complement my full fat blog.

Any advice on people to follow or tips on posting to Tumblr would be greatly received. You can contact me via Twitter my handle is @tegala.

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Saturday 23rd September 2006

Felt like I was stuck in the working week for an age, as the days seemed to drift into each other. Glad the weekend has finally arrived, although now that I am here my plans seem to have fallen apart. Hold on a second, that does sound rather over dramatic. Due to circumstances beyond my control my Saturday evening out was taken away. I suppose I should start from the beginning. Pav was making a minor comeback on the DJ trail by having a four hour set over at the Roof in Maidenhead. I promised to come over and support him. After getting my haircut this morning, I came back home to settle in front of the computer and then watch Football Focus. During the show Pav text and asked if I was coming down, I confirmed that I was but a little over an hour later he replied saying the management had decided they wanted some commercial cheese and his slot had been cancelled. Great(!) Now I had to go back to my friend, whom I had turned down earlier in the week, checking if he was available. Yet it was short notice and I expected him to have planned something else. I was right. So, my Saturday out turned into a Saturday in but while many people would have been annoyed, I was quite content to spend time at home for a change. One person in particular whom would have been pleased is my bank manager.

Been seriously looking at creating an RSS feed for this weblog this afternoon. (In between the live football matches on Sky) It seems to be the de facto standard when you want your blog published or listed in any of the new blog directories, that you must have an RSS feed for them to capture all the important information. So off I went looking for a piece of software that would convert my entire blog and over four years of archives into an easily readable xml document. This is not an easy task, even though Pony Fish appeared to have the answer, when you view the final feed in a RSS reader, in my example, Sage which incorporates into FireFox, it was a mess. Instead of capturing the date and opening of postings, there was just a long list of web links, including the hidden technorati tags which I only started using almost exactly two years ago. Well rather than go on and continue to complain about it, you can judge for yourself. Hunting around the web, I found two pieces of software by the same company, Extralabs, both for RSS feeds. First we had RSS Wizard which actually is suited to the job of converting HTML but it was not very straightforward, even with wizard in the title. The basic idea is that you either use existing tags as starting and ending points for the RSS feed or create your own. I tried both methods but to no avail. I removed the software, whereby I was taken to a web site page requesting feedback on why I took the decision to uninstall the software. Forgive me for skipping this process. The next piece of software I found was called RSS Editor with a exact same installation routine but it was only later I discovered the developers were the same. On this occasion, you actually create the RSS feed manually by creating descriptions or rather I would put them as introductions to blog posting and link to the directly in each ‘topic’. This would not work on my blog as I do not use a single html page for a host and use no titles for entries unlike my sister site which uses Blogger. Close to giving up I asked my friend Hussein what he thought was the best option and his instant recommendation was Word Press, but this would not be an easy migration. Particularly when you consider the archives and the way my blog has developed over the years. For now, I think I will open this debate to my readers, the ones whom will actually use it. Firstly do I need an RSS feed? If so, any suggestions on which service to go for? If I do not need an RSS feed how else can I improve my web site?

Did not watch Attack Of The Clones this evening on Sky Movies and most likely will miss Revenge Of The Sith next weekend, but watching four out of the six Star Wars movies on Saturday night on television was great experience. Particularly the original trilogy, which I had not seen for several years, seven in fact. Will update the blog more tomorrow. Right now, I think I may go and get some sleep.

Thursday 23rd March 2006

It was a dangerous moment to drift to sleep, the train had just gone through Gerrards Cross station. What woke me up, from my afternoon nap was the sound of my thankfully empty chocolate milkshake, landing at the feet of the passenger in front of me. Trying to keep cool, as always, I quickly picked up the cup and regained my exposure. I don’t think anyone really noticed. As I got up to get off the train at the first stop, I tried to reflect on my day. The training with the client had been arranged a few months back and I had no intention to attend. My technical input was not required in any case a developer would be on hand to deal with any questions. However, as the poem goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, so my Manager explained mid afternoon that my attendance at the pilot event would be greatly appreciated. I cleared my scheduled for the day and grabbed a laptop and installed the new version of the software. Looks like another trip on the DLR tomorrow. When I got home I realised that this was in fact a blessing in disguise. I had been meaning to go into Maidenhead to pick up a present for a friend. I knew they were getting an iPod Nano from Pav, so had opted, after much deliberation, to buy the car kit. I was originally hoping to pick something up from PC World or Maplins but now could go over to the Apple Store in Regent Street. I wanted to be organised, so headed over to the Apple site and called their customer service line. Eventually I was put through to an operator but he was American and explained that any order placed would be delivered direct to my home and could not be collected in store. Never mind, I would just have to get what I needed after the client visit tomorrow. Thankfully we finished ahead of schedule, so I was waiting for the DLR, on a clear sunny, but windy and chilly afternoon at 2.45pm. I made the way back to Canning Town, where I took the Jubilee line across to Bond Street. Back above ground I was using my gut instinct to find the iPod store. I was eighty percent sure I was heading in the right direction as I went past Oxford Circus tube station. Sure enough, I turned the corner onto Regent Street and there it was, the black flag with instantly recognisable white fruit logo. My Dad has been bugging me to come here for years, having himself been on numerous occassions. Sure enough as I entered through the glass doors, I knew I was in a different store for a different type of consumer. It was relatively busy with each of the till operators (now that is harsh, I make it sound they are checkout girls at Tesco) serving customers. I asked about the car kits and was polietly directly to the far left handside of the store which had all the accessories. Now a quick phone call to Pav to confirm he had purchased the black Nano, so I could colour co-ordinate with the accessories. Great. Time to pay. Strangely within the few minutes I had been browsing and speaking to Pav, the queue disappeared and every cashier was free. I went to the nearest person and was intrigued, rather than shocked that he had an Apple Powerbook as a register to total up my items and then request payment. In an ideal world I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer, you never know, I could have shelled out on one of their popular mp3 players myself but I was tired and wanted to get home. I headed off into the West End, clutching my silver bag. No, this is not just a bag, it is a fashion statement. It is being part of a collective group of followers, a cult if you will. I iPod.


Following on from my comments on BBC blogging the other day, I had a comment from Jem Stone, who has a blog over at Common Users. Fantastic to hear such encouraging movements from the Beeb to embrace and develop the new citizen journalism. It cannot be ignored and if you ask me it has been a long time coming around. My hopes? That within the not too distant future, we will watch television programmes, such as Top Gear but then be able to read further information on individual episodes on Clarkson’s own blog and challenge some of his views on our beloved motorcars. Okay, that is an example taken to the extreme but you get the point. The aim would be for there to be as many blogs as there are personalities across the diversity of BBC broadcasting spectrum. I have contacted Jem via FlickR (as there was no other clearly visible way of contacting him) and hope to hear more from him and the background to the Beeb blogging.

Sunday 6th June 2004

The 40th President of the United States, passed away yesterday. A strong symbol of 1980s America. The news was overshadowed, by the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings. I have been enjoying some of the coverage on the BBC. History is one of my favourite subjects, and the Second World War, is the greatest topic for me. What makes the events more significant to me personally, is that eleven years ago, I was in Normandy with my middle school. I have dug out some photographs, I just need to find the time to scan them in and upload them to the website. There are some interesting photographs, as I have images of Pegasus Bridge. The site of the first moments of liberation on 6th June 1944. I also have an postcard, autographed by Major John Howard, who was in charge of the operation to secure the bridge. That was the location of the celebrations and ceremony yesterday afternoon. Today, it was the time of the great American war cemetery in Coalville. I also have some photographs of this peaceful place, overlooking Omaha beach. The final resting place for some 9,000 US service man. Again, I will try and scan some images in and upload them as soon as I can. For the time being, I recommend you go the fantastic BBC D-Daywebsite.

Let us never forget the price these young men and women paid for us. For our tomorrow they gave their today. We must remain grateful for their sacrifice and pray that never again should a time come, when such great sacrifices have to be made again. As I left the NEC on Saturday afternoon, over a week ago, I headed to the railway station. On my way there, I saw some veterans from the Battle Of Britain seeking small donations for their charity. I gave some money, the little change I had on me, to hear a voice behind me say to these old men, “People quickly forget the great things, ordinary men, like you did for us,”. I turned around to find out who had said this, but it was too late, he was gone. I smiled, as I was given a badge, feeling somewhat proud. Proud to know that the sacrifices of others, strangers in a generation nearing their end, have not gone unnoticed or unobserved.

My journey back to Leicester that Saturday evening was via the 330 coach, to Nottingham. When I eventually found the correct coach, (there were two going to Nottingham, but only one stopping at Leicester) there were only a few spaces left. So I grabbed the first seat I could and sat down next to a guy, around my age. He was listening to his CD walkman, and I could hear the distant sound of Vindaloo by Fat Les over his earphones. Instantly my thoughts drifted to Euro 2004. It had completely slipped my mind, that here were on the verge of another classic international
tournament. The build up is so different to the World Cup two years ago. Perhaps because it lacks the global appeal. I know certain people who, although have no strong interest in football, will watch the World Cup religiously. When it comes to the European Championships, however, they do not bat an eyelid. Never mind. There loss at the end of the day. So many great players being showcased! However, I really had an urge to discuss England’s chances with the passenger sitting next to me. I then made the initial judgment, that he was being highly antisocial and did not want to talk. I promised myself, the moment he stopped listening to his music, I would speak to him. That opportunity came, just as the coach was pulling off the M69 and into Leicester. I soon discovered I was sitting next to Andy Guilder. Someone who again, is making those sacrifices in his own way to help those who have drifted from the righteous path. To my surprised he too keeps his own journal, in the form of his website, AGuilder. I even get a mention, if rather brief during an update last month. My blog is having a major impact in my life even letting new people find out more about my life. I just hope that future brings with it more happiness, not just for me, but for all the new people that have recently walked into my life.

In the past 12 months I have made more friends that I could ever have imagined. Now that I am back in Wycombe, I see a need to reconnect with my old college and schoolfriends. This is not going to be an easy task, but at least I will try and see what sort of reception I get. Maybe even some have been keeping ‘tabs’ on me via this blog. Then again, knowing my friends, maybe not.

Friday 7th May 2004

Over a month ago, towards the end of March, I mentioned that one of my favourite blogs had closed. I was extremely disappointment that it had come to such an end. I did mention in that entry that Max would be back. He would miss blogging and the outlet that it provides him. I was right. The full archives for A Teenager Blogs are available, but along side a new blog, aptly called Brief Writings Of Boy, has appeared. Max has now taken the approach that ‘less is more’ and is keeping the new incarnation of his blog, far more light hearted, brief and ultimately less personal. I am not sure about this approach. The shout box, which was the port of call for many fans of the site has now gone. Maybe the fame has turned against our author and he prefers now to shun the limelight. Who knows? Time will indeed tell for, like I mentioned before, although mature beyond his years Max still has many lessons to learn, both about himself and others. I am still on the hunt for any unique and special blogs out there. Particularly those by British Asians, but any generally of interest. I know some blogs are done completely anonymously and that is fine in some circumstances, but I feel a blog in it’s nature is highly personal and should at least give a few clues to the identity of the author.

Still trying to find a song that can summarize my time at University. A recent candidate is another song by the Corrs. Their next single, in fact. ‘Summer Sunshine’, hold the right sentiment but it does not convey the right message. The message I want the perfect song to convey is the variety of emotions you go through when at University. The mixture of hope, sadness at times pain you feel when here. I am slowly coming to the realisation that I will not find this song I yearn for. I will not find it now because I am desperately actively searching for it. It will arrive when I least expect, like most things. However, it will be many years in the future, when some radio station or music channel are retrospectively looking back at 2004. Then a song, which perhaps I already know and like, will be heard with those rose-tinted glasses. Or should that be muffled headphones? Anyway, it will be then that I realise that yes, this song describes both my final year at University and my time there in general. All I hope for is that song is by a British band and that overall it is a feel good song. University has been a roller coaster ride for me. Off all the regrets I have, I wished I had blogged from the moment I had left Wycombe. It would make looking back much more easier than it is now. Having to race around my memory banks for the good times and for the bad. Did I find myself, while here? I feel I did. It was towards the end of my first year. The summer was drawing in and I was trying to look back at my year as a Computer Science graduate. Many things happened from September 2000 to June 2001. Of some of the more painful things, the death of a loved one. Those two words are highly inadequate. This was someone special, someone whom I held close to my heart. For bringing unique joy into my life, like no other. The journey to India, during Easter 2001, was an important part of this process of finding one’s self. I think I had to capture my roots and discover where it had all begun. Realise that there is more to life than I had previously imagined. It was the great Greek philosopher, Socrates who said, “To find yourself, think for yourself.” This time three years ago, I finally began thinking for myself.

I have re-organised and updated the Info page. Badly in need of a tidy up, I have also now included a history of the blog. Well more about how my weblog came about and how it has evolved through the past few years. I am also thinking of creating a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page in conjunction with the Info page. I am not asked that many questions by visitors to this site, but I just feel it would be a great addition and provide everyone to some answers they are seeking. Rather than e-mailing me directly in the first instance. I will work on that in the coming few weeks. If you have any burning questions that need to be answered, please drop me a line.

I have finally added a Comments system to this website. I have backtracked and added the ability to post comments from the beginning of this month. So please, feel free to leave your messages, negative, positive or even critical. This service is provided by Enetation. I will donate some money towards the webmaster providing this service to remove all the advertising. However, I must admit it is a great feature to have now and many visitors will be pleased. You can finally tell me what you think of individual entries and add your fifty pence worth! :)

Wednesday 5th May 2004

Went to Subway for the first time today. It is not normal practice for me to promote particular products, services or takeaway joints, but I think I will make an exception. Reasonable priced sandwiches which are great value for money. During my second year, it was being built on Narborough Road and opened sometime during my placement year. It has taken me nearly a year to go and try their brand of sandwiches and other savory snacks. The verdict – very very good. No wonder they are giving McDonalds a major run for their money. Check those figures, it has more fast food restaurants than McDonalds in the US!

Just guess which movie is on five this evening. I have now seen it at least eight times on the channel and have blogged about it before, just over a year ago on 23rd April 2003. Great movie, starring one of my childhood idols, but it is just a shame that the terrestrial channel keep using this movie and not any others from the actor’s fine catalogue.

Alex Mace, webmaster of the fantastic blog, Why The Hell? posted a unique web service on his blog last month. A plugin records the audio you play and transmits it to a website. This builds up a unique profile of your musical tastes. Then you can get in touch with people who have the same tastes and join groups recommended by the site. The site is called, AudioScrobbler. My profile is available as Teg. I will add this link to my Audio page, so everyone can keep track of the music I am currently listening to on WinAmp.

Strange time at University. Everyone I know, revising hard for finals. A bit of a limbo period really. Had my last lecture on Tuesday and it was very much anti moment. I think everyone was just relived to get their projects in on time and more focused on the exams that lie in the three weeks ahead.

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