Categories
Technology

How did they do it in the olden days?

So, on Saturday evening I went to a pub. Now that’s not the unusual part of the story that needs writing about.

The reason for this pub visit was due to my brother-in-law being in Sheffield so I couldn’t really pass up on the chance of meeting him. Sheffield’s a big place, how would I know where he was? How did they do it in the olden days? I guess people would have to have found a payphone and made a phone call. Assuming they could remember exactly what phone number they wanted. It seems possible but a bit of a faff. [As a side note, my Mum always told me to carry 10p for use in this sort of situation when I needed to make a phone call.] How did I do that the other day? We’re both BlackBerry users and with the BlackBerry Messenger app we get free instant messaging. Problem solved.

Ok, skipping that step, I now know which pub he’s at (assuming he hasn’t moved on). He’s at the Gardener’s Rest pub. It’s somewhere in Sheffield, but he has no idea exactly where that is. I’ve never heard of it in my life. How did they do it in the olden days? And here’s where I get stuck. What would they have done? The only thing I can think of is to look it up in a phone book. Then what? Find my A-Z map and look it up. How about getting there? Take the map with me? Leave it at home? How did I do that the other day? Going back to my BlackBerry I fired up Google Maps. [Sidenote: This is the only place I use anything Google — Gmail does host my university and my personal email, but I avoid it as much as possible.] I whacked “gardeners rest” into the search and it popped up straight away. I then clicked plan route and I knew exactly where I had to go. Did I mention that it showed me exactly where I was by using the phone’s GPS? I was able to follow my whole route on my phone as I went. Try doing that with an A-Z. Twenty minutes later I was there. Problem solved.

So there you have it. I managed to navigate my way to a completely new part of Sheffield just by using my trusty phone. Simples. So what would people have done before technology? Leave me a comment with your ideas.

Categories
Wordless Wednesday

The Unfortunate Truth

This week’s Wordless Wednesday is courtesy of today’s Garfield comic:

Categories
Technology

Sad News

That’s right, on Sunday I lost a dear friend. My PlayStation 3 suffered from the dreaded Yellow Light of Death problem. He She It died at the young age of only 3 years and 22 days. That’s 22 days beyond the lifetime of its extended warranty. Typical isn’t it. I had only been playing inFAMOUS for about 15 minutes when it gave up the fight. Beeping a few times, it rolled over and died instantly. My worst fears were realised when I was unable to revive him by any means. It was a very ignominious end for it, after all it had survived being shoved in a rucksack and thrown in the back of a van. It had probably also been dropped several times in its life, but each time it kept on going. So this was truly the end.

I called up Sony who quoted me a price of £131 to get it replaced but that it would be a lesser model. My model is an original 60GB which has all the good features which everyone wants returned to the design. This would also loose all the data stored on my hard drive (which I had upgraded to 320GB). As an aside, make sure you back up all the data regularly. Fortunately for me, I had done a backup about two weeks ago, so although this is missing some of the latest saves, it would have been much worse if I had lost everything.

Determined to preserve the dignity of my console, I found a repairer in Newcastle called Console Doctor who can apparently fix these problems. Therefore as we speak my console is hopefully flying (it’ll be by lorry – due to the volcano ash) up north with the friendly DHL man. And this only costs £70, plus I get my console back and sooner, hopefully with all the data intact and with the disc that is currently stuck inside. Just because I need to add a photo to make this article more exciting, here is a picture of my PS3 in its original box waiting to get sent off:

I guess I should probably do something useful whilst I wait for its return… like my dissertation.

Categories
Film Review

Hot Shots/Hot Shots, Part Deux

Why did I watch this film?

First off, this is obviously two films. The first film was watched on Friday evening, the second one on the Saturday evening. There’s never much on TV on a Friday evening, but this was on Film4 and it stars Charlie Sheen who also stars in Two and a Half Men which is one of my favourite TV shows. I had already seen the second film which I thought was quite funny, so why not watch the first one too? The sequel was on Film4 the next evening so I thought I’d watch it again anyway for continuity.

What did I think of this film?

 The first film is a spoof of Top Gun and the second is a spoof of Rambo. Both films are very funny, and it’s not just current affairs jokes, so the majority of this will remain funny into the future. As mentioned it stars Charlie Sheen who I always like and it was good to see him in something different. Although there were elements where I could see elements of his Two and a Half Men character, it just made it that little bit funnier for me. Jon Cryer (Alan in Two and a Half Men) features in the first film and Ryan Stiles (Herb in Two and a Half Men and also in “Whose line is it anyway?”) has short parts in both films. Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean, Blackadder etc) is in the second film and is as good as ever. Lots of my favourite actors in this, but the ridiculous storyline is what made this film what it was.

Will I watch it again?

They are funny films and definately worth watching again. There are a lot of jokes so I think there’s probably a lot that get missed in a first run through (or even second run through in the case of part deux). They are definately not films to take seriously, I don’t think I would sit down planning to watch them, but if they were on I might give them another viewing. I wouldn’t even worry about only watching part of them, they are so unserious they certainly don’t need to be watched in full to enjoy.

Hot Shots
Hot Shots Part Deux

Categories
He Says, He Says, He Says, She Says Saturday

Personalities

Quick background: He Says, She Says Saturdays (HSSSS) have been a regular (?) feature of my brother’s and his wife’s blogs for the last two years. Now my other brother and I have blogs too, we’re joining in the fun to produce He Says, He Says, He Says, She Says Saturdays. The purpose of these is to discuss a general topic and hopefully various similar/different viewpoints will be revealed. This first HSHSHSSSS is on the topic of personalities.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a lecture which talks about current/future software engineering approaches. One of the topics covered was that of personalities and whether people work better together if they have the same personality or whether opposites really do attract. The study (published in Empirical Software Engineering, vol 14 issue 2) concludes that different personalities can indeed be more productive together, however it is not a complete study and many parameters were not investigated. Most people never do a personality test and so will never know how they compare to those around them and will simply know that they get on better with some people than others.

In order to fix this, here’s my personality profile done at 41Questions

These results put me as a “reliable realist”. Rather than paraphrasing the description from the website, I’ve copied it straight in here for you to read:

Serious and quiet, interested in security and peaceful living. Extremely thorough, responsible and dependable. Well-developed powers of concentration. Usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. Well-organized and hard working, they work steadily towards identified goals. They can usually accomplish any task once they have set their mind to it.”

This sounds like it describes me quite well. It also lists the possible careers that this kind of person does, again this pretty much covers exactly what I do:

“Business executives, administrators and managers, accountants, police, detectives, judges, lawyers, medical doctors, dentists, computer programmers, systems analysts, computer specialists, auditors, electricians, math teachers, mechanical engineers, steelworkers, technicians”

I can’t really complain about any of that. The one thing I will comment on though is that whilst I am obviously introverted and make decisions based on what I think, my methods of processing information and the way I structure my life are both stuck in the middle. This continuous scale demonstrates that people cannot always be dropped into handy pigeonholes.

So what do you get? Give it a go and leave me a comment to see how we compare.

Also check my family to see how similar/different we are:

Categories
Film Review

The Invention of Lying

Why did I watch this film?

I was bored last night and thought I would watch a film. Since there was nothing on TV, I decided to download one of the Playstation Store via my PS3. Due to having a late evening meal, taking a while to choose a film and having to set-up my new bank card, it was getting on for midnight by the time I had actually rented the film. The download size popped up as 4530MB. Not a problem surely, we’re on unlimited internet usage. I’ll just have to let it download a bit first so that I don’t end up with a youtube situation where it constantly buffers. I decided to let it get to 20% downloaded first. In the meantime I got myself wrapped in my duvet due to the sub-zero temperatures of our living room. By the time the download had reached 20%, I was getting tired and I was also quite comfortable. This had better be a good film…

What did I think of this film?

This film stars Ricky Gervais, so it had to funny, even from his voice-over in the opening credits. The story is set in a world where everyone can only tell the truth, until one man discovers that he can say “something that wasn’t”, aka a lie (the word doesn’t exist in this world). It brings up many interesting questions of what life would be like if everyone knew exactly what other people thought of them. Sometimes this seems inappropriate though, as characters often seem to say exactly what they are thinking, rather than just saying nothing as would happen in real life.

The film also raises the question of what you would do if you had unlimited power to make people do stuff. Personal gain or helping others. As with all films, our hero starts by obtaining money and getting his job back. He also helps out some other people with their problems. This helpful stuff normally happens towards the end of a film doesn’t it? I don’t think we’re even halfway through, what else could be in the rest of the – BAM!! – Great, the download bar just popped up on screen, seems I’ve got to the end of what’s been downloaded already. 45%. Guess I’ll go to bed and leave it to download overnight.

Will I watch it again?

I still have to watch the second half so its hard to say. I would guess that I would watch it again if it was on TV or someone else was watching it. I don’t think I would go out of my way to watch it again. However I have learnt my lesson to plan ahead and download first, before I start watching. PS3Attitude gives a good overview of the Playstation Video Store and recommends thinking about the download time, I should have remembered this article before hand.

The Invention of Lying

Categories
Wordless Wednesday

Cheesy Grins

My younger brother holding my youngest niece whilst we waited for the Severn Bore at Stonebench (31/03/2010).

For more information on Wordless Wednesday visit wordlesswednesday.com

Categories
Miscellaneous

Welcome/Introduction

Hello and welcome to my blog. Since this is my first post, it will (hopefully) get buried far down in a list of posts, but this could be one of the most important posts I write – it depends on how long this whole blogging activity goes on for. As it says at the top (until it changes), this is “The best blog that I’ve ever made”. Therefore if you have any suggestions of things I can add or change or whatever let me know, and I’ll try to keep this place interesting. I have a few ideas of my own, so you’ll just have to see what develops over time.

A quick bit about me, I’m currently 22 years old and a final year studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Sheffield. And here’s a picture of me sitting in a tree:

In the meantime whilst you’re waiting for my next post, check out:

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