Archive for June, 2013


June 22, 2013

I did 7 hours of tutorials yesterday and went to bed with my mind buzzing, so much so that I was up at 5.30 thinking about XML and AJAX.

So I had to get up and look at stuff – it is now 9.10 and I have lots of questions. I have seen what AJAX offers and how a Web page is developed but there is a big difference on how these simple examples work and how much the technology is taken up in the real world.

Do I want to try this technology – I don’t know, the examples are in PHP so I will need to convert the PHP to C# – that should not be difficult. But do I want to go through the pain of development again……. I don’t know.

I need a project !






June 21, 2013

It’s a SQL Server day today….

Morrisey Fox

June 20, 2013

I just fancied a pint of blonde ale so I searched the web to see if I could find a stockist of Morrisey Fox Ale. But looking at their Twitter and Facebook sites it looks like the dream died circa 2010 and the web goes on to tell how Morrisey has lost £2.5 million in his business ventures.

However, the web has a lot to say about Morrisey Fox Ales and I still have to establish that the brew is dead.

If you know the full story please comment – I thought that they had made it when Tesco began to stock it.


Golf Event

June 19, 2013

I am trying to organise an annual golf event and have circulated a letter to 165 chairmen of the clubs in Manchester. To date I have had very little response – people are so wrapped up in themselves that they wont event reply to a letter, but i guess that they get lots of them !

I am beginning to thing that this is a bad Idea – even though I have been told that it is a good idea.

Learn Direct / Digital Champions

June 14, 2013

Today I decided to look at my Learn Direct ECDL documentation and document the consolidation exercises for Word onto my Digital Champions site. I will look at the other topics next week to see what can be documented.

Software Development

June 12, 2013

I have been looking for software that can be used to run a number of golf  tournaments. There is a market leader, servicing over 800 clubs and there price is over £2,000 for 3 modules plus £1100 per year rental.  A few years ago we repaired a clients web site that had so many errors, created a tournament booking page and an on-line quiz and only charged £1,000.

We should have continued with the development and refined the product !

Ladybarn Time Bank

June 11, 2013

Today I had a meeting with Ladybarn Time Bank promoting Protopage. I showed them an example that they are keen to progress so I informed them how they could register their own page and commence development. We spent some time prototyping pages and then discussed Facebook and WordPress.  Facebook is blocked by council websites but we were able to register a WordPress Blog.

I will have a meeting next week to discuss HTML and I will introduce them to W3Schools.


Virgin (continued)

June 10, 2013

Spoke to Virgin today to order my super hub – they said that they would upgrade my 20meg broadband to 30meg at no charge.

The service has been really good – when I contacted them in the evening to  say that I was only getting 20meg they gave me £10 refund on my account.

I say that the customer service is good but their product suck at the moment – I am not able to use YOUTUBE early evening, it is fine late at night.




June 9, 2013

Tonight I have been on the phone to Virgin Media for over half an hour.

I reported a problem that I could not use YOUTUBE – they were very good tried lots of stuff, configured my router – we installed software that enabled them to take over my machine. They also installed adobe flash so that safari and firefox would work but tried hard as they did they did not resolve my problem.

They have left me needing to contact Virgin again as they say I need a super hub.


June 9, 2013

There has been a lot of coverage this year on the French Open but I have missed the final.

What an achievement for Nadal to win the French eight times.

Time goes by….

June 8, 2013

This is still as refreshing now as when it first came out all those years ago…..




June 8, 2013

There is a huge gap in my blogging – I now realise  that there are two reasons for this:

1. I found a better social media site for my purpose.

2. Facebook arrived.


I have returned to blogging because as a Digital Champion I need to demonstrate how it is done.


Fancy a sing along…..

June 8, 2013

“Don’t Look Back In Anger”

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you’d never been
All the things that you’ve seen
Will slowly fade away

So I’ll start the revolution from my bed
Cos you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside ‘coz summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out

So Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away, “But don’t look back in anger”, I heard you say

Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it’s night or day
Please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a Rock n Roll band
Who’ll throw it all away

Gonna start the revolution from my bed
‘Coz you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside ‘coz summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face
‘Coz you ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out

So Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by
My soul slides away
“But don’t look back in anger”, I heard you say

So Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away
“But don’t look back in anger”, I heard you say

So Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by
My soul slides away
“But don’t look back in anger, don’t look back in anger”
I heard you say, “at least not today”

It’s an Oasis afternoon for me…..

June 8, 2013

For those of you that have not looked at YOUTUBE you do not know what you are missing. I have created an Oasis playlist – lots of tunes which I will play whilst I am reading.

For those of you who can’t remember who Oasis were here is a reminder…..

Golf !

June 8, 2013

It has been nice sitting in the sun meeting old friends, It ha been a while.

I can’t remember when I lost interest playing golf but I do remember trying to keep my interest alive. I bought a set of left handed clubs and started to play left handed – it was great I really had to think about my swing just to hit the ball and I was able to project the ball a good distance.

Eventually I reached a standard where I was playing bogey golf, when I hit a 7 iron to two foot and tapped the put in on the 4th hole I decided to enter a competition.

On the day I was feeling confident but when it came to my turn I hit the telegraph pole – I thought that this could be a long day for my playing partners so I apologised and retired.

I can’t recall playing golf again at my home course – from time to time I play with my son now but the hit has gone I can no loger hit it 290 yards and the want to play at my club again has not returned…….

Thought for the day…..

June 8, 2013

It is Saturday, enough of IT for the day as the rest of the would is resting and I am waiting answers from E’Mail.

I used to design hierarchical databases, IDMS, they were really cool.

Do they exist in another form for the pc world or are we restricted now to relational design ?

Your comments please…….

A Lesson in Synergy

June 8, 2013

I try not to do things unless I can use them elsewhere or kill two birds with one stone. I used to develop payroll solutions for 5 payroll departments at once and I used to keep their costs down by sharing development – so cost control is second nature to me.

I don’t request developments of others unless they can rebrand them, unless that is I have somebody who is willing to pay.

In the case of my last blog a lot of effort was needed but I also needed an introduction about myself for my Community Guardians web site.

So you can kill two birds with one stone …….

Community Guardians

Now for a CV update !!!!!

Good Morning Vietnam…….

June 8, 2013

Up bright and early today thinking about IT development. I have been thinking about a lot of stuff so this is a big blog !

I am not a computer programmer, I was a computer programmer, I am a Systemsy Analyst.

But I have prototyped solutions in Visual Basic, C#, SQL Server and Visual Foxpro. I do try and the reason why I try is that in 2000 when I decided that I wanted to set up a software house I was surrounded by experts but in different disciplines and I did not want to tie myself down to one skill set.

I also recognised that I needed PHP/Mysql and java script and Linux.

So I got some PC’s from the scrap yard learnt how to network them and introduced myself to Linux and saw some diferencies ! I was doing simple stuff, raw html.

I decided to do a course and got a city and guilds qualification in C, and started a second level open university course in java so that I could network with other developers. Sadly I was the only person to attend the first seminar at the Open University – the course fees were £450 so i requested a refund and used the refund to do courses in Management, Health and Sociology.

I latter went on to create a visual basic online application to capture lesson plans and session plans for teachers. This I hosted from a PC in my bedroom and delivered it to my tutor as my solution to the course requirement. I had joined a city and guild 7302 Delivery of Learning course, I was advised that I had to deliver a paper based solution so I came off the course and got a refund. I latter continued my interest in teaching by joining a scheme conducted by Manchester City Council for volunteers wanting to teach literacy and numeracy – which I enjoyed. Sadly the funding went so that was it ! However I still have the interest and I have registered for a PTTLS course.
When I do this course I will create the paperwork that they will require and on my lap top create a solution in C# and SQL/Server for my own interest…..

I have plans but I can’t do them alone I am heavily dependent on my friend to supply me with sample source code and I am aware of how hard he works and how valuable his time is. My experiences of courses is that they are shallow, I did all the ECDL courses plus two Front Page courses in a fortnight when I found out that they government was withdrawing funding and that each module was going to cost £1oo. ECDL has changed and there is some ITC2 course that I did just to see what they were teaching – a good background to my Digital Champions venture. Next week I will see if there are any free IT courses available to see what is being taught now.

So onto today’s thought …..

My father in law was the production manager at Ferranti Computer services and I was able to get a PC at home long before they appeared in the work place. My brother in law created an application pre windows that enabled people to select what application they wanted to access from a menu screen. The application was called Q, we should have sold it as it was some time before windows arrived !

With my understanding of the PC I proposed a PC solution for a Time and Attendance system using electronic clocks and IRMA communications to the mainframe. Th IRMA board was £1200 pound at the time. We installed UNISTAR it worked an I was told off and was politely told that we develop mainframe solutions. Look where we are now !

Anyway I have a question.

I have not prototyped a sql/server to Excel spreadsheet solution.
What I used to do was :

1, Create a database extract, VSAM, to create a flat file.

As part of our solution we installed an application called CopyKing which allowed us to create virtual pc disks within the mainframe VSAM environment.

2, We used to pick up the file and PARSE it into the spreadsheet manually.

For users not registered to the virtual disk environment we were able to use file transfer commands to copy the files to the PC.

My question now is ….. can you as a Microsoft developer automate the SQL/SERVER to spread sheet process.

If so I will be keen to hear from you as I have a client that may request an IT development.

I am particularly interested with people new to the business who are trying to learn the language and are prepared to be mentored. People looking to gain c# and SQL/Server skills, I have a little to offer and I know men who can help – provided there is a reciprocal arrangement and that you have skills / services to share.

Please comment……

Signing Off…….

June 7, 2013

Last thought ….

This is so cool it is how the www has developed in the last 5 years. This was my Vision22 for YMG – I always knew that youth would find the www cool and would play with the media. Is there a future fot TV !

Final Blog of the day …..

June 7, 2013

I am settling down for the evening to watch Actors Studio on my PC. For those of you that I have never seen it here it is


But Stop press – some news Bitesize Golf Finder Model is back – a solution that we have developed for Bitesize golf as their finder has limitations. David has indicated that he has no budget for our services so if you need a Finder we have one for you….
Sample Finder

Digital Champion

June 7, 2013

Second blog of the day – this wont be the norm but this time it is worth it.

I have registered as a Digital Champion so I have created my web site stating my mission – it is

Digital Champions.


June 7, 2013


Yesterday I registered  some new website and did not get the activation e’mail back. Today I spent the morning trying to reactivate them and sending bug notifications to the supplier. Then I had a thought and checked my hotmail account only to find that it has been converted to Outlook and stuff that used to hit my inbox now goes to junk – problem solved !

Today I have registered to be a Digital Champion for Manchester.





June 6, 2013

I got into WordPress when it was new to the scene , under development.

I was able at that time using a Freeserve e’mail account to register multiple sites – this was something to do with me using legacy software and WordPress was not expecting it.

I constructed a few sites, linking them  together  to represent the YMG business, This was done to demonstrate to David Gosling of  YMG the business model for his business – when we branded the sites wordpress squashed them..

We had identified a significant number of errors on the YMG primary website and we were contracted to repair them – this we did. In addition we developed a tournament booking solution and an on-line quiz, (and a forem – which we pulled when it got invaded with pornography).

We had volunteered our services to David because he was being driven out of his own company by Chris Smith.

In addition to the php / mysql development we hosted a starter pack for an on-line shop as a temporary solution and went on to nominate Ocean Design as the company to run his shop.  Ocean design went on to develop a shop for David. We also selected House on the Hill to supply help desk software but this was not taken up, (David had lost control of the company budget !)

These systems were pulled from YMG when David lost his company – and we lost the opportunity to deliver packages to him. We did not offer our services to YMG as we were supportes of David and returned control of the YMG site back to Chris and his team.

David has started again – he is starting up, we still keep in touch and we still offer our services but this time at the right price. Bitesize golf is his new venture – he will do well he is the best, I believe that he now has 37 clubs interested. What is important is that he is keeping his IT costs down – David has implemented my recommendations, that is he has a .com site for his passive data and a wordpress blog for his active stuff.

This sounds logical now – remember in 2006 these social network sites did not exist. I produced my first prototype site for the junior section at Withington Golf Club using Microsofts blog. A solution that WGC did not take on board.  WGC are currently reviewing their web presence, it will be interesting to see if social network technology is a part of it.

Following the restrictions on WordPress I got in contact with Protopage – they assured me that I could create multiple sites using their solution and it is this option along with hosted WordPress that I promote.

As a champion of Protopage I am now seeking sponsorship from them for an annual golf competition – but in today’s climate I hold little hope.

A day in the world …..continued

June 6, 2013

It has been many years since I blogged, I am starting again because I have decided to extend myself once more.

I should clear down my history as much of it was done during times of chaos and it was a method better than e’mail of keeping people up to date with what we were doing. We had waited many years for vista to arrive, many years after 2000 when microsoft recommended that we did not start our project till Longhorn arrived. I have long forgotten what specific feature that Longhorn was going to offer but we are still waiting for it.

It was an experience doing beta testing for vista and it did offer us changes but I chose not to get involved with windows7 and windows8 on the basis that I have 3 development laptops more would be excess.

So, today…….

I had a meeting at the offices of Manchester Community Guardians and have proposed a central web site servicing their 500 Guardians. This I will do / prototype and release to them.

It was suggested that I look into Manchesters Latest scheme for Digital Champions, http://www.go-on-manchester , …..(I could make that link active ,  there used to be an option for me to edit the html !)….

It was also suggested that I talk to Time Bank, which I have done – and agreed to do a website for them. I will see what they want – might end up with some !

I have also contacted WGC and made myself available for committee – I think I should be a communications officer given the experience that they had with facebook.

…… over and out.




Community Guardians

June 5, 2013

Where are you !!!!

I have been to the Manchester offices on Pink Bank Lane to give them an update as I have been passive for a while only to find that the building is being demolished.

Well done Manchester for keeping your volunteers updated.


Hello World

June 5, 2013

Hello world…..

It is a long time since I have been here.

I am off out now to visit Manchester City Council Community Guardians Offices to inform them of my progress to date.

It has been a long time since project Nimrod was implemented and project Mayflower died but that effort has not been lost and we may have found a clint that requires the Nimrod services.

This time it will not be so chaotic – last time we were trying to  save a man his business. David Gosling lost YMG Golf but has survived and has re-invented himself. He is now using the Social Networking technology that we pioneered for him to drive his Bitesize business.  David and myself are still on talking terms and I still champion his cause but he has no budget for IT development and his new business is not yet big enough for us to consider a joint venture as was our initial arrangement.

Well its back to work as a Community Guardian – I have spent a couple of days IT consultancy / development and am awaiting confirmation that there is a project that requires progressing.

More soon !