Because they must

A couple wander through quiet streets and in the darkened night of early winter a storm creeps in overhead. The wind dashes leaves and litter against buildings, rattles them off glass, heralding the change. Swirling eddies race each other across puddles and fingers of icy cold wriggle through gaps in clothing. They pull their jackets tighter, clinging to each other in warm embrace. They should be inside, they know, but on they walk. Braver now than before, happier and content with each other, relishing raw emotions that still sting as pellets of rain splatter their faces. They knew this was coming, they knew the forecast, but still found themselves eager to be outside. Neither fully understand why but press on …

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Red Bull

Is Red Bull the Marmite of my generation? Although strictly speaking, Marmite is the Marmite of our generation but bear with me here… Red Bull, that sickly sweet, caffeinated drink, the one that gives you WINNGGSSS, seems to be increasingly popular. Particularly when mixed with vodka. Standing at the bar the other night instead of vodka and coke, the tipple of choice for the 30-somethings of the evening appeared to be, almost exclusively vodka and red bull. As an aside, why is the alcoholic part of a mixed drink always first? You don’t order a Tonic and Gin, do you? Hmmmm. Where was I? Ohh yes, Red Bull. Six cans of Red Bull (no vodka) got me through an overnight …

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Teaching Demos

Taking a break from the Author-it, I’ve been playing with WINK, an open source tutorial and presentation authoring software. It’s quite nice but unfortunately I’ve been having issues getting the recorded presentations rendered into Flash. So I’ve started to look about for other options, but there are so many options out there that I’m a little befuddled and overwhelmed. We want to record some presentations that show off the new features in our product. A few of our developers have given a few of these to internal staff, but I want to get them recorded and viewable online in our development community website. Getting the recording software to do what we want is proving the biggest obstacle though, so it’s …

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I AM A WINNER!

In January 2007 a website I designed was launched. The mission of the website was to highlight great writing on personal blogs; to draw attention to blogs that you might not have heard of before; and to point you to one absolute guaranteed humdinger of a blog post, once a week, every week. One year and several months later, I’ve been honoured to be the Post of the Week. I’m hugely flattered given the quality of the other nominations, although there is part of me that wonders what took so long! I highly recommend you head over to the Post of the Week website to check out the other nominations from last week and all of the previous winners, the …

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Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama, originally uploaded by Gordon. There is a Flickr group where you can post a message to President (elect) Obama. But what to say? I’m not sure what kind of job he will do as President, he’s inheriting one helluva mess, but that’s almost secondary to the fact that he was elected in the first place. One thing at a time and all that. With that in mind, there really was only one message to send with the hope that “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”.

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Sigur Ros

Just home from the Sigur Ros gig at the Carling Academy. Not quite sure what to make of it to be honest but let’s get one thing out of the road first. I left early. I have never, ever, ever, left a gig early before. So I’m trying to figure out if that means that it wasn’t a great gig, or whether it just wasn’t the right gig for me. When I bought the ticket for the gig I spent sometime listening back through the Sigur Ros albums I have, enjoying the subtle tones and instrumentation, the changes of volume and pace, and realised that this could be a very special gig. The emotional range of the music is quite …

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Work that needs done

Turning the TV off I pause, considering the work that lies before me. I decide to have a coffee to get me started but, as I stand and start to walk to the kitchen, I realise that the clothes that were hung up a couple of nights ago will now be dry. I take my time folding them, sorting them into neat piles before taking them upstairs, ready to be put away. I wander into the spare room and turn on the computer, watching the lights, listening to the whirrs and clicks as it readies itself for the day. Bugger, I think, coffee. Back downstairs and I fill the kettle and set it on to boil. That done I stand …

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How do we structure our topics?

I’ve waffled on about single source and our plans for long enough so, as we are finally starting the process itself, I thought I’d capture some information as we go along. However, it’s probably good to set the scene, so I’ll cover that stuff first. Over time you’ll be able to see all the posts related to this work here. Where should it live? Next up in our journey towards Author-it nirvana is to decide how to store our content. Author-it stores information as topics, and as topics are designed to be reused, locating them is a key part of the Author-it solution. One approach would be to simply dump a lot of the topics in loosely appropriate folders and …

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There's nothing like a good book

We are off to Spain next week so there are some vital things to sort out. Namely what music to put on my iPhone (I’ve got Series 1 of The Wire on there already), and most importantly what books to take! I’ve got a Jeffrey Deaver and an Ian Rankin on standby and have just ordered Casino Royale and Live and Let Die so that should get me through the week, in between trips to the pub and general lounging around of course. I don’t really make time to read all that much these days, in fact I struggle to get through the two monthly magazine subscriptions I receive (Esquire and Runners World if you must know). Aside from that …

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