Monthly Archive: January 2005

Investing in living

I am currently changing my approach to spending money, in the most obvious, (in hindsight) way.

First I did an audit of how I spend my time, then I looked at how much I could improve my level of enjoyment or productivity by investing money in support of each activity.  I also looked for new activities that I could add to my life if I spent some money.

I ended up with a fairly simple list in order of Return On Investment.   Without going into all of the details here are a few of the outcomes:

– I have sold a whole load of old gadgets on eBay, because I only used them for a couple of hours a month

– I reaffirmed my decision not to spend any money on cars for a long time,  my current car get used for about an hour a week, although my wife uses her’s more, so we won’t be investing in a second car when hers gives up in a few years time.

– I invested in some great walking gear and swimming gear because that’s an activity I do every day and I want to maximise my enjoyment and minimise the …

Beagle – innovation in action

Its great tgo see that even in a application space dominated by the big boys MS, Google, yahoo etc there is room for innovation, check out Beagle on Linux, great UI, Command Line, API etc.  Of course being a die hard X1 user it won’t tempt me, especially now...

Deception Point

After The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons Dan breaks away from the religious theme and writes a traditional thriller.  Its got good pace, lots of mystery and conspiracy and some interesting science.  Like all of Dan’s books he opens them by stating that all of the technologies he describes all exist, which gives the books that extra bit of interest. 

I liked this book.  In some ways it was better written than the previous two which made up for the fact that the subject matter was not quite as facinating.  Not a book you will remember for long, but if you want a good book for a long plane journey, train ride etc it’s ideal.

Dan has a web site where you can find more details

More about SwimMP3

I wrote a short article yesterday about how my SwimMP3 player has transformed the way I swim.  In this article I will provide a better review of the device itself.

First off it looks quite strange, you get lots of looks whilst swimming.  If you like to chat to people then it’s a good ice breaker!

It has 128MB of memory, which is reasonable for music, if you set it to random then most people won’t get bored even if they swim every day.  If like me you listen to talk shows, conferences etc then 128MB is more than enough, in fact the way I use it I tend to load it up with just 2 * 30 minute MP3 files, less than 30MB, why 2, just in case I don’t fancy the the content of the first one and need an alternative.  Each day I just delete the talks I have listened to and download another.

My main source of talks right now is IT Conversations

I find that lots of the things I want to listen to are too long for my swims, so I split them into 20-30 minute sessions depending on how long I want to …

Working while you swim

I have recently restarted swimming.  It’s a great way to keep fit and it really helps ease my aching muscles and joints, but it’s really boring!  I recently found the solution though.  I purchased a waterproof MP3 player, that looks like this:

and it works by bone conduction of sound. When the device is placed on any bones of the skull (i.e. the cheek bones or the mastoid tip) it leads to vibration of the fluid in the inner ear. Thus I can enjoy clarity of sound with the SwiMP3 device that was never before possible.  Jon mentions it in his blog as well.

At first I thought I would use it mainly for music, but then I discovered the IT Conversations web site, which is chock full of really interesting downloadable talks, many of which are so relevant to my job that I can make a valid claim to be doing research while I am swimming!

I found a slight glitch in that there is no way to bookmark the point you get upto in a talk and restart at that point the next day, so for longer mp3’s I have had to split them into 20 – 30 …

New Years Resolutions – 2005


  1. Establish a healthier way of life (now that I seem to be “fairly” stable and know which activities help keep me that way)

ü      Cycle or walk daily

ü      Swim daily

ü      Take plenty of short breaks

ü      Don’t eat sweets or dairy products

ü      Reduce the amount I eat at night

ü      Drink more water

ü      Learn to cope with pain and frustration (cognitive therapy or meditation)

ü      Make it possible to work in as many enjoyable places as possible

ü      Continue to improve on the limited success in not biting my fingers and lips!

ü      Get my weight down to 11 Stone

ü      Use my blog as an outlet for my interests (mainly those not funded by my company or shared by my family)

  1. Eat out once a week and take Debbie out at least once a week (Friday and Wednesday)

ü      Wednesday is evening meal, Cinema or Theatre and maybe in the summer just walking/cycling

ü      Friday is a walk and lunch or breakfast together

  1. Establish my new role at work

ü      Final edit of what I think the conclusions are and …