bookmark_borderThe World Cup

There was a large sporting event happening in South Africa, you may have heard about it. I’ve been really good and, despite watching almost every game, I’ve not really mentioned it here and I’ve tried not to be too boring about it on Twitter (I feel sorry for my followers at times, I really do).

Spain won. I yelled and punched the air when this happened. I was most pleased. Mainly because Holland seemed to think the best way to stop Spain was to kick them (in the chest at one point).

And here endeth the football.

bookmark_borderHome again, home again

I’m currently operating on about 4.5hrs sleep having landed earlier this morning and suffering the return of the 6.30 alarm.

Spain was warm, sunny for the most part, a little misty some mornings, blowing a gale for two of the days and we saw a beautiful lightning storm rage over the Mediterranean.

I read books (more on those later), drank beer, sang at the karaoke (a rare event, I was quite spectacularly drunk mind you), sunbathed and did pretty much bugger all for the entire week.

I couldn’t half do with a siesta right now though.

Aside from a vigorous can of cider erupting all over my sister on the plane on the way there, and my sister-in-law deciding to get herself a tattoo there isn’t a huge amount to report. Like I said, the sky was mostly blue, the sun was mostly hot, the beer was always cold. Same as it always is.

It was good to get back to my bed last night though, and I’m REALLY looking forward to spending a bit longer in it tonight! Only a few thousands RSS feeds to read, a handful of photos to upload and, if I can be bothered, I’ll jot down my thoughts on the books I read.

Enough about me though, how are you? Aside from the political goings-on (anyone want to own up to voting in the BNP? No I didn’t think so), what did I miss?

bookmark_borderLengua española

Para el momento en que usted leyera esto, I’ el ll se esté asoleando en España.

Apologies for my butchery of the Spanish language for, despite visiting my father-in-law once or twice a year, I’ve yet to pick up much of the language. It’s lazy of me I guess, and if I’m honest I’m surprised that I’m not more interested.

But, considering language and grammar are fundamental to my job perhaps there is a small part of my brain that would really just like to switch off from all of that for a while.

So I’m jetting off to Spain for a week of sun, reading novels, drinking cold beer and generally doing not a whole lot. I’ll be trying NOT to think about the remaining 600-odd Author-it topics that still need tidied up, the entity definitions I’ll need to write when I return, the Javahelp landing pages which are still to be designed and build, Word template hacks, architectural overviews and more.

Back in a bit!


There is a sense of mild, but controlled, panic in the air.

I’ve only just realised that, a week today, we’ll be flying to Spain for a week in the sun. Don’t quite know how this has taken me by surprise but there you have it. All of a sudden I’m in the “pre-holiday zone” where every choice of t-shirt needs to be carefully considered, and the locating of cables, chargers and other sundry essentials starts in earnest.

That said, we are taking hand luggage only, and all I’ll need are:

  • 7 Books – already stacked and ready to go.
  • 5 t-shirts – I have so many t-shirts that I’ll just take whatever I pick up on Monday morning
  • 4 pairs of shorts – 2 longer ones for the evenings, 2 shorter ones for the sunbathing
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 5 pairs of boxer shorts
  • 1 iPhone + cable
  • Speakers for iPhone
  • 1 Camera + battery charger
  • Mains USB socket
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Passport + Money
  • Toothbrush

Thankfully I’m pretty well organised to I can leave all of my packing until Monday morning. So the only real panic is deciding what music and movies to put on my iPhone. I mean, I’ve only got a week!!

bookmark_borderNota Bene

Just a quick note to say that there is nothing of note to note here because, like everyone, I’m pretty busy at the moment.

I’m heading into a period of 6 day work weeks, from now until the end of June.
I’m close to finishing off a website for a client despite a fairly snag ridden build. Something I’ll need to invest some time in to investigate a better way of working.
I’ve started going to the gym. Aiming for 3 times a week.
I’m also off to Spain for the first week in June.
We are getting quotes to get a new bathroom fitted.
I really must get the car booked in for a service soon, MOT is due soon as well.
I’ve got a presentation to write for a conference in September (about blogging!).

So, obviously, this evening I’m off out to the cinema. Angels & Demons apparently.

Anyway, if you are really bored feel free to scour my archives, they really are quite good.


Back from a week in Spain (weather was lovely, as was the cerveza and tapas!) I’ve taken some time to look into some suggestions for screen recording.

Part of the developer community website we have was always aimed at providing online video tutorials showing the latest features. However we’ve had acres of issues getting these produced. The recording usually goes ok but editing them and getting them into a format that is acceptable for the website seemed to be causing us problem after problem.

Having checked out all three suggestions, Wink, Demobuilder and Camtasia Studio I have to admit (and you’ve probably already guessed from the title of this post) that Camtasia Studio blew me away. It’s a very slick piece of software, brilliantly designed to lead you further into the complexities it CAN offer without dazzling you with options the frist time you fire it up.

One of the best features, the one that took me by surprise, is called SmartFocus. As you click around the screen it zooms in appropriately and only, rarely, missed a beat in the few demo recordings I took. It’s very impressive, and once you get into editing the recordings, splitting them up, adding transitions, captions, callouts… well I’m sold. As will my company very soon (the purchased order has been raised).

Thanks to all for their suggestions.

If you are looking for a very simple and quick way of recording a screen demonstration (I’ve run up to about 30 minutes without issue) then go download the Camtasia Studio demo copy. You can try it for 30 days and if you are in the market for software like this then definitely give it a look.

Hell, if you have 30 minutes free, download it, install it, record something and watch the playback. You’ll probably start to wonder what you COULD use it for in the future…

Note: I’m not being paid for this, just the opinion of a very impressed first time user.