Author: Pete O'Shea

Lazy Time

Lazy TimeAt the end of each year I like to look back and review what I got up to and then look forward to the year ahead. Last Year I posted most of the details of this personal review here on this site. Now it’s time to look back and see how I got on.

I’m not going to go through each of the goals in detail as I tried this at the six month point and the post got so big I had to split it into two parts: Mid Year Review For 2011 – Part 1 and Mid Year Review For 2011 – Part 2.

Do you really want to know exactly which books I have read? If anything interesting happened I probably wrote a post about it anyway…

Instead I am just going to write a summary of how I felt the year went…

Wet RoseI have been meaning to sort out a complete backup regime for a while now. Unfortunately every attempt I make finds something lacking in the program I trial…

This would force me to find another program to try out, which takes time. After a while I found it hard to find the time to find exactly what I needed as there was always something more important to do.

Then the other week the worst happened, my hard disk failed…

I had some of the stuff backed up, but how much? I really couldn’t tell. There are collections of different bits of my data scattered here and there, some on my iMac, some on my little HP server even some on DVD’s—from when I used to use them for my weekly backup. After a while my requirements spiralled out of control and the 4.7GB on a DVD wouldn’t even scratch the surface…

I know I haven’t done a complete backup in probably a year. My heart sank…

Cheddar StalagmitesIn my previous post, The World Is Still Spinning, I noticed that I missed posting an article the week before. This gave me pause for thought and I decided to look back over what I have written about over the 2 years since the very first post.

To help me gather together my thoughts on what I had written I thought it might be a good idead to collect some notes and links to the various types of posts I have written. This grew a bit out of hand to be included in last weeks post so I though it best to release this summary of my blog so far as a separate entity. But be warned, even on it’s own it’s quite a long post though…

Anyway I hope you enjoy it and please leave a comment if you feel so inclined…

Inquisitive BirdSomehow I completely forgot to post something last Friday. I haven’t missed a week since I started nearly 2 years ago so I started to feel that I had really let myself down…

But guess what, nothing happened. The world is still spinning even though I missed my, self imposed, weekly posting schedule…

I didn’t even notice until about Tuesday. I just happened to go to my blog to reference something I wrote a while ago. Then I noticed that the latest post was written 10 days ago. Oops…

So is this a big deal or not?

Total Money MakeoverI have recently finished reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I have been reading various financial blogs for a while now and this book is mentioned over and over again so I thought it was about time I picked it up.

The more of this book I read the more I realised how many of these financial based posts I have been reading have some basis from this book. There are also some great quotes and a lot of myth busting about peoples approaches to finances.

There are a fair few references to the bible but it’s not an overriding factor of the book so don’t let that put you off. The book is also American so there are some references that don’t apply over here in the UK but the basic ideas are sound.

I’m not going to go into great detail about the processes laid out in the book but here’s a few quotes and my overall thoughts.

KindlesAmazon recently announced three new Kindle devices, the new Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire. Then immediately afterwards it was suggested that they were unlikely to be made available in the UK before the end of the year…

I still have a fair few paper books so I wasn’t too put out by this delay. Then when the new, cheaper, Kindle was displayed on the Amazon site for ¬£89 I couldn’t resist and decided to pre-order one. And as it arrived today I decided to get to work and write a review…

Once I had placed my pre-order I wanted to get my hands on an old Kindle, which has now been renamed the Kindle Keyboard, to make sure I would be able to make a decent comparison between the two so I recently read a short book on Shirley’s Kindle.

I received my new Kindle through the post today. That’s why this post is a little late. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to play with my new gadget so I can give a honest opinion of it…

Epson Stylus Photo PX720WDMy old HP printer recently died a death and started making some horrible noises as it tried to feed through the sheets of paper. It wasn’t long before it completely failed to pull in the paper so it was time to hunt for a replacement. I had been pretty happy with my last two HP printers but there was one feature that was lacking that only seems to be available on Epson printers, CD & DVD printing…

Now that in itself is not a good enough reason to buy a printer so I had to look into the details of the different printers out there and try and come up with a suitable replacement pretty quickly.

As you can tell from the title of this post I settled on the Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD. I’ll go into how I made the choice and my view of the printer having been using it for a little while.

I recently attended the Rad Studio XE2 World Tour designed to show off the virtues of the latest version of Delphi. Having used various versions of Delphi over the last 10 years I thought it would be interesting to go along and see how things have moved on.

I’m currently using Delphi 2010 for the vast majority of my development work and this currently restricts me to 32-bit Windows development. A new component added to the XE2, named FireMonkey, changes this restriction. You can now build executables from Delphi for 32-bit & 64-bit Windows along with Mac OS X and even iOS!

This post is a quick review of the main new features I learnt about at the workshop and how they may be of use.

Google Apps RingTo stay organised calendars are a very important tool. I have tried all sorts of calendars over the years but have always found issues trying to keep different computers in sync with each other let alone other devices like mobile phones.

The only way I have found to get around this is to use Google Calendars. They are available pretty much anywhere, as they are web based as so available from any browser on any computer, but even better they can be made available offline on your computer(s) as well as devices such as the iPhone or iPad (both of which I pretty much rely on for day to day use now).

Another advantage is that you can easily make calendars available to other individuals or even set up a public calendar to share with the world. You can also include calendars other people have shared in with your Google Calendars. A great example of this is the Rugby World Cup 2011 Fixture Calendar.

To get the best use of these calendars though there are a few things that may not be obvious so I will try and go into them in a bit more detail below.