My take on the Kindle

For those of you kept in suspense since my last blog post – I bought the Mac! Managed to pick up a second hand Mac Mini from eBay on a second chance offer that was a bit of a steal! Got it fully up and running using Synergy and a KVM switch, but that’s another blog for another day…

Latest purchase is the new Amazon Kindle. They’ve really nailed down the price (nearly under £100 for the WiFi only version now), and the quantity and quality of books on there seems to be going from strength to strength. Basically, I wanted a device that I can sit in bed and read on without messing up my eyes, and also carry with me for odd moments where a book would come in handy. Having textbooks on there as well would be a huge bonus, saving on weight and cash! I’ve been meaning to get back into reading books for a long time, and am really glad I bought a Kindle – I’ve hardly put it down since!

First book I bought was Nikki Sixx’s book – ‘The Heroin Diaries‘ – it’s an absolutely fascinating view into the mind of a drug addict, as the main bulk of the book is a diary that he was keeping at the time, interspersed with stories and dialogue from the people close to him. I’d thoroughly recommend it! The buying process on the device is nowhere near as awkward as I anticipated either, the menus do flow quite nicely. I’m yet to try it with any textbooks (waiting to see what I need to read up on this year!), but I’m sure that even if I can get one course textbook on it, it’ll be a lifesaver in terms of weight!

A lot of people tried to dissuade me from getting one (Seb Payne & I were going to argue it out on Tech 107, but life got in the way!), saying that the Apple iPad was the way to go forwards, or to wait 12 months to see if colour e-ink displays come into the market. Buying an iPad is something that’s never even crossed my mind to date, the technology behind it is no different to my iPhone, which I have on my person most of the time, so buying a slightly steamrollered device that does the same job doesn’t make much sense to me! I do, however, want to see if colour e-ink displays will start to come of age soon, but I guess that (as with the Kindle) they’ll be extremely expensive on launch.

Well that’s my £0.02 on the matter of tablet computing (or whatever market you’d classify these devices in!), I’d better get doing something vaguely useful as opposed to writing blog posts. Dads & Lads camp with Cubs next weekend, and back up to Durham the week after to get prepared for the onslaught of Freshers week – can’t wait!!

IST 2011

Heard back about my IST application last week – I got on!

This means I’ll be jetting off to Sweden next summer for 2 weeks of sleep deprivation and hard work, but hopefully will get a good laugh out of it!

Waiting to get the various forms and information though (should be waiting for me by the time I get home), and now really looking forward to the meetup weekend in July with the rest of the UK IST team, should be an awesome weekend.

Off to Italy…

… back in 3 weeks!

Heading out tomorrow morning (at the airport for 5am :’-[) to fly to Pisa, couple of days getting used to the weather then travelling down the coast to Rome by whatever means possible, hopefully achieving our Explorer Belt!

I’m going to try and keep a diary of what we do each day, then post on here when I get back. However we may end up too lost/drunk/dead to actually bother writing!

Anyway – see you all in 3 weeks!

P.S. Twit2MSN V1.3 now released – should appear in the database some time whilst I’m away!

What would Baden-Powell say?

This article, headlining on the Daily Mail tomorrow I believe, has particularly annoyed me this evening.

From my experience, this kind of event happens pretty much every night on university campuses up and down the country without making headline news – just because this happened to be an official gathering of Scout Network members makes it wrong? Everyone at the event had to be over 18, all licensing laws were adhered to, no-one started smashing up a kebab shop afterwards. The only damage caused was a few dead brain cells!

I don’t have a particularly strong view on posting such photos on Facebook – but I presume they were posted with some privacy, which the Daily Mail has now breached by publishing them in a national newspaper. Those people did not ask to have their photo plastered on Facebook, nor was permission sought (a grey area), but using these as published material attributing the source to ‘Facebook’ is very very dodgy practice.

A comment from a parent cited in the article also pissed me off

The father of one of the revellers said: ‘It’s really let their image down so badly, the fact there’s a seedy side to scouting. I can’t believe HQ didn’t put a stop to this whole sorry mess.’

I think that is put into perspective by one of the comments left on the article

Looks like a great party. I never knew Scouts were so "with it!" Where can I join?

18-25 year olds don’t necessarily want to spend every night “gathering round the campfire and singing Ging Gang Goolie” – Scout Network wouldn’t exist if that’s all we did! That said though – the Mail didn’t notice the photos published on the MAD UK website of people – wait for it – gathering around the campfire and singing Ging Gang Goolie!! Do your research!

The best comment so far sums up my argument completely…

They are young people enjoying themselves. What is wrong with that?

I await a response from Gilwell with bated breath – I hope they don’t cower down under media pressure, and instead defend what Scouting is all about – letting us “take acceptable risks and think for themselves” (Official Scout Association description)

My life

Well, its been a very long time since I posted here! Don’t believe I’ve written anything since I got back from Hungary even… that was a long time ago!

Upon getting back from Hungary, I’d heard from Durham that I’d been accepted into Van Mildert College, which has been my home for the last term. I moved in on October 4th, was consistently drunk for 10 weeks, and then moved back home in mid-December, having learnt not a lot – but having had a bloody good time! You can see why I’ve not had time for blogging!

Hungary was awesome if you were wondering, as was Summer Camp the week after – a good preparation for the ensuing mayhem at university!

I’ll try to post more on here as and when I remember, including some updates from Durham!

P.S. – Happy belated Christmas and New Year!

Summer stuff

Absolutely loving summer 😀 Even though I have a vast cash underflow situation at the moment, I am thoroughly enjoying being 18, and being able to partake in legal pub drinking at long last!

Spent a good 4 hours in the pub at lunch today, and I’m probably going back very soon! Do they do "Frequent Drinker" cards?!

Anyway, I’m getting A-level results in about 2 weeks, and flying out to Hungary the day after, which is absolutely guaranteed to be one giant piss-up. Woop 😀

Besides that, I’m filling the days and nights with various expeditions involving alcohol and fire (nothing illegal, just hilarious!) Various Scout camps and other stuff scattered through summer as well, and a week in Windermere working on my D of E at the end of summer. Never mentioned the other hike on this blog, will have to post about that some time soon

Anyway… the evening’s young, the weathers warm, and the beers are cold. Ciao!

When will it end?!

This week is going to be another bad one!

Not got another free between now and Wednesday – including lunchtimes! They’re taken up from now until Friday with doing Battle of the Bands in school! Damn Music Tech!!

Got a Cub meeting at the fire station tonight, should be entertaining… for the Cubs! Group leaders meeting on Wednesday night as well.

Oh, and on top of that I’ve got school, homework, coursework, the usual crap! Goodbye week!

Back from Barnswood

Been camping again, Barnswood this time, "running" the home base for the Cheshire Hike practice with McNetwork.

Not a lot of work, just a hell of a lot of lasagne. Lots of lasagne. 3 trays of it to be precise… we’ve been eating it for dinner and tea the past 3 days!

Was a fun weekend (besides the food :P), watching a few films, drinking. The usual!

Think the downfall of the weekend for me was fruit cocktails. Found a Margarita maker in Netto for £7 (basically a blender made out plastic) and then preceded to put fruit and booze into it. I thought it would be healthy – not deadly! Lesson learned.

Anyway, sleep time.


Got back in at 2am Monday morning from "Chateau du Molay", a large prison-cum-stately home in France.

I’m bloody knackered.

18 hours to get there, and another 18 hours back, all for 24 hours of actual time there, most of which I spent sleeping!

Ah well… at least I got to see everyone from the Jambo unit again!!!