How to be Good

Yep, I am giving you all a chance to do something that will make you better people. You’d be fools/really unpleasant not to take it!

The future Mrs Dave is to take part in Race for Life this year, raising money for research into breast cancer. Being the web-savvy individual that she is, she has a web site set up to take sponsors. If you would like to make some sort of contribution to her total, please visit the sponsorship site and do the honours.


Living Without Microsoft

LWM is a great site, one that offers a different angle on the MS debate. Rather than being rabidly pro-Mac or Linux, it instead aims to offer sensible alternatives for those people who would rather not use MS software. Solutions like switching to Linux or a Mac are discussed, of course, but LWM acknowledges that it isn’t always feasible!

After a brief hiatus, I’m pleased to say that posts are now regularly being added again, and even more pleased to say that some of them will be contributed by me! I have had the odd post published before, but now I have joined John and Quentin and become a more regular member of the team. We are currently having a review of what the site is about and what direction it might move in in the future, which is exciting, and hopefully we will help plenty more people live without Microsoft in the future!

My recent posts: The AJAX Office and Living Without Microsoft: A Guide for Windows Users.

The site runs on WordPress and if you would like to contribute, you can leave comments in the usual way, or register and write a post yourself (these will be moderated). Alternatively, if you have ideas or suggestions for the site, drop me an email.

[tags]Living Without Microsoft[/tags]

My Ten Thoughts on Successful Blogging: Redux

The one blog post I have written which got the most attention was on my old blog, called ‘My Ten Thoughts on Successful Blogging’. It received quite a few links and comments, and it was pretty clear that I had got a few things wrong. So, taking some criticisms from the original post, and adding in some of the stuff I have learnt over the last year or so, I thought I would give it another go.

Continue reading “My Ten Thoughts on Successful Blogging: Redux”


Today, I have been doing some work on a side blogging project that I have been thinking about for a while. I’d got the remit of the blog sorted, a name, decided (as usual) on WordPress and on the K2 theme. Everything sorted. So, I went to my webhosts domain registry page, and looked up the URL I wanted.

It has already gone, as had the other couple of TLDs I was interested in. I had a look at the one site that was up and running, using the address I wanted, and was shocked.

The blog was about what my blog was going to be about. It had, as mentioned before, the name I wanted. It used WordPress. It used K2 as the theme. And he had done it all today.

Just how weird is that? Back to the drawing board for me, anyway.

[tags]blogging, wordpress, k2[/tags]

Clear your desk(top)

AJ’s blog features a nice piece on keeping your desktop free. It’s Windows specific, but the principles could be applied to any OS, I guess.

I am with him on this one. The idea of having icons on the desktop is inefficient and, well, rubbish. I use my desktop purely as a temporary holding station for downloaded files before they are put away or deleted. By the time I switch my PC off at night, there is only the Recycle Bin left on show. Because of this use of the desktop as a place for downloaded files I don’t follow AJ’s advice that you should use the Windows option to turn all icons off – they can be handy sometimes.

I also very, very rarely touch the Start menu – again, I just think that they are rubbish, and it depressed me a bit when I installed Ubuntu and Mandriva and found that they use a similar system. I personally use a quick-launch bar, with all the apps on it I use regularly, which is displayed at the top of the screen and which autohides when not in use.

I still think the most efficient and the most user-friendly way of operating a PC is through the keyboard. When I had Google Desktop Search installed on my old PC, I really liked the little search field on the sidebar that would auto-complete and hunt out whatever I was after, whether a file or an application. This sort of thing would form the basis of my ideal OS.

Instead of having to click on a box, though, you should be able to just start typing. Where there is more than one file with a similar name, such as a word processed document, a spreadsheet, an email and a webpage with the same name, then options appear to let me choose which one I want. Likewise, an option could appear to create a new document of some sort with that name.

So, no matter what you are doing, the method of doing it is the same. This could be taken further with task based search words, so I could type “burn cd” which would locate the CD burning software on my machine. The search “type letter” would bring up a word processor. This way, the need to know exactly what bit of software performs which task would disappear.