White Christmas

snowMerry Christmas everyone – hope you all had a good time. We had a White Christmas for our first Christmas in the new house. If I’m being honest though there was very little snow, but it made the day a bit more special. Christmas TV was awful though – hardly anything to watch so I ended up viewing my new Spider-Man 2 dvd – quality film.

For the rest of the holiday I’m off to Peterborough – just an excuse for an extended gaming session really but it will be good to catch up with friends whom I’ve not seen for ages. Anyway – must go and pack – nice 6 hour drive tomorrow although I’ve prepared a best off the year CD for the car – must get the iPod wired up for car use.


MSN Toolbar Suite…

…is it’s official name but it includes MSN Desktop Search, Microsoft’s entry into the desktop search market. First impressions were very good. It quickly indexed (my recently formatted) drives and allowed me to content search Office App files, Outlook mail, Text files and also title search all files including music and pictures. Results returned were quick and accurate. It also worked across a network. Great – as fast as Google desktop with a lot more content. Annoyingly you also had to install the MSN Toolbar at the same time which meant IE and Control Panel etc. had a MSN search bar – once installed you can remove.

However after a reboot it stopped working. Only logging in as administrator allowed the desktop search to work – anything else failed. So it’s uninstalled but one to keep an eye on. MS have created a Wiki to track developments.

Re-installing XP

The new PC (who am I kidding – it’s 6 months old and out of date) was struggling with Windows. Seemed to have a lag at the start where no matter what program I selected it would wait for a couple of minutes before launching. After that it was fine. Shutdown also had the odd blue screen. I spent the last 2 or 3 weeks trying to find the problem but gave in at the weekend and formatted it again.

I’ve always been against re-installing everything every 6 months or so but the results have been dramatic. No startup lag, no shutdown problems and I’ve got most of the programs I use re-installed. Only snag was that I forgot a couple of things before formatting. I had an electronic download of Half-Life 2 via Steam. 3 gig download later and it was sorted (apart from the game save – swine). Also, I was sure I had moved my Outlook folder to My Documents (which is backed up and on a separate drive). Nope – looks like I hadn’t. SWINE. I still don’t understand why something like Outlook keeps the main pst file outside My Documents but that’s an excuse really for my fools rush in attitude. Got all important e-mails re-sent though so nothing lost. One utility that is a nice find is Startup Control Panel. It’s a small download and install which allows you to easily control what will be automatically started the next time XP boots. Accessible via Control Panel it’s and essential app.

So I thoroughly recommend that you do a proper (format the drive and re-install) refresh of Windows and applications at least once a year. Also – sort out a good backup regime. I’m trialling Norton Ghost with a main backup and incremental’s (weekly) onto my old pc. So far so good. End of public service announcement.


For just under 12 years we’ve had the most lovely cat in the world called Daisy. She was so good natured and the perfect cat, only slightly ripping the wallpaper but where else could she sharpen her claws….apart from my shoulders. But I didn’t mind – she was part of the family. She was always small but in the last few weeks she seemed to be getting thinner, but she was at least 3 when we got her so that makes her at least 15-16 and we thought it was just her age. But last week we saw a sharp decline. Not interested, hardly eating, struggling to digest so a trip to the vets was arranged for tonight. Our worse fears were realised – she had damaged kidneys and it was downhill from here. We took the difficult but only decision to have her put down which was really difficult to watch but I knew deep down it was the right thing to do.

Bye Daisy…you’ll be sadly missed.

Playlist meme

From d2r, select whole music library and list the next random ten tracks that are automatically selected by your music app.

Mine are (thanks to the grammer Nazi):

Whatever Happened To Corey Haim – The Thrills
Johnny Come Lately – Catatonia
Don’t You Want Me Felix – Felix
The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve
Shes The One – Robbie Williams
Flowers In The Window – Travis
Escape – Muse
…Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
I can’t give it up – Artful Dodger
Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones
With Or Without You – U2