My Facebook contacts may already be aware of a phone call I had today but there is no harm in making a more permanent record of it.
I had a call from someone with a heavy Asian accent who gave his name as Edward. Sorry, even if an Edward had an Asian background, I am sure their accent would not have been as heavy. Irrespective of who they are, or where they are calling from, any attempt at getting on a personal level really winds me up. “Hello Paul, how have you been today?” may get me going on a recap of inane things that had happened during the day and an attempt to draw the same out of them. We may then go on to talk about how nice it is to have a conversation with someone who is not trying to sell anything. I haven’t worked out whether this happens when I have had a good day or a bad day. Usually I quote the telephone preference service and hang up.
Anyway, to get back to today’s call. According to Edward, Windows computers in Shipley are at risk of being infected with all sorts of nasties and their R & D department had identified mine as being in danger. What’s more he could prove it. Up until then my morning had been quite pleasant – I had tweeted about the selection of birds I had seen as I drank my coffee. I didn’t attempt to have a “pleasant” conversation with him. I told him that he was deliberately lying, not just mistaken, and that I believed his company was committing a crime. I would have carried on a bit longer but he was very rude and hung up on me. So there I was, in a reasonable mood prior to the call, not responding with a pleasant “string along” conversation nor saying “Go away.” and hanging up. It looks as though I need to make a few more records of my responses before I can say good mood or bad leads to a particular type of response. However I do know that at meal times my response tends to be quite abrupt.
After the call I Googled “Quick Resolve” and came across this Coras blog page, this saves me the bother of going into more detail about how the conversation could have gone if I had been in a gullible mood – aka stupid for someone who works in IT.
I am afraid you are pretty much on your own when it comes to protecting your computer. No one else is going to do it for you. Properly installed software, up to date browsers (preferably Firefox or Chrome) and common sense is what is needed. You could possibly hear from your ISP if something very unusual was going on. Other people might let you know that your emails included viruses. But, apart from that, anything else that is happening on your computer is your responsibility.
Wouldn’t it be nice if people were looking out for you in a nice way though. Just think, if someone with a bit more knowledge could have phoned me up about the noise my car was making, if they had then that holiday in France might not have been so expensive when the engine finally gave up. But if someone had called I wonder what I would have said? Good mood? Bad mood? String them along with idle pleasantries until they gave up, or “P**s off you money grabber”?
Towards the back end of last year I changed my site from phpNuke to WordPress with the intention of posting stuff here. I have not been very good at that so far.
I need to get into the habit.
A few weeks ago I tried a different memory card in my camera. The one I had was supposedly a fast one but the one Michael had was faster. I shoot only in RAW now and it is noticeable that the frame rate is a lot slower than shooting just JPEG. But once the buffer in the camera was full I was having to wait longer between shots. With my card I could only shoot 3, or perhaps 4, frames before it slowed down. With the one I borrowed from Michael I seemed to be able to shoot 6 or 7 before it slowed down, and it did not slow down quite as much. Anyway, I have now bought the card shown below. With this one the frame rate does not slow down AT ALL. At least I didn’t during a trial of 25 shots. As digital SLRs go mine is probably one of the slower ones so other people with faster cameras may still experience a slowing down with this card but it will be no where near as bad with cards that are older than this one. The first thing I noticed about its speed though was during the simple task of formatting the card. The progress indicator just flew across.
Feel free to click on the link to buy your own from Amazon. Or click on the link to then go and find the 16GB card.
I am still waiting for a clear and crisp day (I was hoping for one in November but I didn’t notice one) so that I can go and get a better photo of the TV masts than this one. (Click on the image to see it on flickr.) I went out today, well into December, (Christmas day next Sunday!!!) and took a few photos of pretty much the same scene but without the electricity cables. Unfortunately there was not enough light or contrast to even make the Wrose transmitters clear so it looks as though I am going to have to wait until next year before I get a clear shot..However while I was out getting cold I did see a Red Kite gliding around. I then stayed out a lot longer hoping to see more of it but it didn’t come any closer. I did manage to get this shot of it though. (Click on the image to see it on Flickr in black.)
Yesterday I was asked if I had any wintery photos suitable for the @Pace email newsletter. I gave them links to several of my photos from last year including the one on the right. You can click on the image to see larger sizes on Flickr.
We have not had much winter yet, at least last year we had a significant amount of snow in November.
However on the way home across the river I thought that the weir showed more of what it has been like so far this winter. Dark evenings after quite a bit of rain. The water going over the weir looked like treacle before it became a mass of froth. Feel free to click on the image to view it on flickr.
It looks as though more primary authorities (City Councils, District Councils etc.) are switching to the newer version of Public Access provided by iDox. This means that more groups associated with them can make use of my planning applications website. The latest one I have added is Edinburgh City Council. For some reason it looks as though they don’t populate a couple of the date fields, though I could add some new code that adds more flexibility to cope with that.
I will see what Google turns up for other primary authorities using iDox.
There are a few benefits from using the planning apps site, one of them being that local lists can be maintained as per this one for Haxby Town Council. where you can select from the drop-down list to view applications reviewed in earlier months.
The main drive for the site though was to make preparing for planning review meetings a lot easier. In a meeting with say 10 planning applications and possibly more than a 100 files, any of which someone might want to look at, then having an automatically generated index saves hours of work.
On my test system I am in the process of adding a few nice to have things, one of which is the ability to automatically email the primary authority the comments from the parish or town council review meeting, to make the clerk even more efficient.