From April 2006

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

I’m sitting here writing this on my shiny new MacBook Pro which arrived earlier this week! The MBP is the evolution of the former PowerBooks (may they RIP!) now updated with hyper-fast Intel duel core processors with the same cutting edge industrial design to match.

So what sets this apart from the competition:

15.4-inch widescreen display
2GHz Intel Core Duo processor
2GB (667MHz) DDR2 RAM
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics processor with 256MB memory
Dual-link DVI output
Optical digital and analog audio I/O, built-in microphone and stereo speakers
Slot-loading DVR-RW Drive
Illuminated keyboard, Scrolling TrackPad
Built-in wireless (802.11g), Bluetooth, and Gigabit Ethernet
Built-in iSight webcam
Mac OS X Tiger with iLife ’06 and FrontRow + remote
MagSafe Power Adapter

I really don’t know of any other laptops which pack so much into such a small and stylish package. How many computers do you know which could handle playing HD videos, encoding a DVD, surfing the web and IM’ing all at the same time? The MBP really is an amazing bit of kit, if not a bit on the expensive side!!

Docklands

Docklands Cranes

Past Docklands Glory

We got our first proper day of nice weather in London today so with nothing much else going on I decided to take the D70s for a stroll around the Docklands area where I live. Whilst the docks remain the industries behind them are long gone, mostly replaced by expensive apartments. However, there are still a few lingering relics remaining like these huge lifting cranes and it’s quite an interesting place to wander around. Unfortunately among these rotting hulks you could also included the impressive multi-million pound Millennium Dome which has sat empty since the end of 2000 – hopefully with the further regeneration of this area for the 2012 Olympics it will get a new life!

Hostel Situation

I must aplogise again for neglecting to post as often as I’d like – events over the past half year have taken their tol on my time and energy, not leaving as much as I’d like for this. However, life goes on even if it’s coloured in a slightly different shade! I’ve now rolled-on to a new project at work doing some infrastructure and DBA work so it’s “goodbye SharePoint, hello Oracle” etc. Looks like a good opportunity to learn some new stuff but of course nothing is without a steep understanding curve!

Hostel

For whatever reason over the past few months there seem to have been a secession of unrelenting ‘survival horror’ films – i.e. films about people escaping from terrifying situations (mutant cannibals, Eastern Europeans and the like!). Recently I saw the ultra-violent ‘Hostel‘ which I would imagine has single-handedly killed the tourism industry of Slovakia (no pun intended!). The film depicts a backpacking holiday gone badly wrong. The events that follow push back the barriers of what has ever been shown in mainstream cinema but I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing… do these films desensitise us to the real world? Personally no. I find I can just about watch this stuff (with my eyes half shut) as I know its all fake but when it comes to real violence of a graphic nature I really can’t stand it!!

Alton Towers

Nemesis

My previous project at work came to a close last week so I took this week off and on Monday went somewhere I’ve been wanting to go for a long long time – Alton Towers, arguably the best theme park in the UK. I last went about ten years ago when I was 12 and have been wanting to go again ever since – of course its expanded a lot since then! It boasts some of the most intense rides in Europe including Nemesis, a roller coaster in which you hang below the track (see photo above), Oblivion, the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster (don’t look down!) and, Air, where riders are suspended horizontally facing down, as though flying (another first). The newest ride, Rita, which accelerates from 0 to 100mph in three seconds uses a statue-of-the-art hydraulic launch system by Intamin AG is also awesome – but none you’d want to ride straight after lunch!

I’ve posted a few more photos on my Flickr stream.

Ganner

Sadly after a long battle with illness my Grandfather passed away last Tuesday (28th) at the very respectable age of 80. He lived a remarkable life – served as a pilot during the latter stages of the Second World War,  worked on the first commercial computer systems as a business man at ICL (now called something else), in his free time was a well renowned photographer and of course was a father to three children and later on a grandfather to three more!

Up until recently he lived a very active life and was amazingly computer literate for someone of his generation. How many 80 year-olds do you know who can use photoshop, send emails, surf the web and shop online (let alone know what a blog is)?!

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.