Sunday, February 28, 2010

YouTube on a roll - 60,000 views

Yesterday (27th February), views on my YouTube channel passed the 60,000 mark - while this is an extremely modest number of views compared to other channels, I still can't believe that so many people are viewing my videos, but I have noticed that the rate of views has increased dramatically over the past month. On 27th January I posted that I had hit the 50,000 view mark - this means that the last 10,000 views occurred over just a one month period (over 320 per day)! My first 10,000 views took place over a two year period (see post of 8th April 2009). I will continue to add some more in both my "How To..." and "Problem-solving techniques" series in the hope that I can reach more people and help them learn some simple and useful techniques. Many people leave comments (mostly positive) - one recent one from dudepr3tdudepr3t:

Oh thank lord!
Now I can put the (Ra-ra-) Rasputin song into my speech about him.
Russian Class is saved!
Thank you!

YouTube provides an interesting Insight option so that you can get some information on the demographics of who is viewing your videos and where they are viewing them from. The charts below are taken from the Insight page and represent all data since I set up the channel (11th December, 2007). Interestingly, most views are from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and India - while my audience is mainly male and in the 45-54 age bracket (same as me on both counts).

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds meets Ted Bundy (The Lovely Bones movie review)

Roma and I went to see the movie "The Lovely Bones" courtesy of a Christmas VIP voucher for the Mezz cinema in Dundrum from our daughter Kate. First, the "VIP" treatment consists of free popcorn and a drink (I didn't forget Lent and had water, Roma had a nice glass of wine) - the best bit is the comfortable seats at the back of the cinema which give a perfect view of the screen. This is an excellent idea for a gift voucher.

However, the movie was very dreary and far too long. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weicz, and Saoirse Ronan. The plot is simple - a girl (Ronan) is murdered but ends up in the "in-between" heaven and earth. Here there is a mix of dark scenes and curious (almost ridiculous) animated scenes of Ronan running around a make-believe world that reminded me of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The darker side of the movie is represented by Stanley Tucci who plays serial killer George Harvey - however, for me he does does not work on screen and does not instill terror or the character of a serial killer. See Mark Harmon as Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger for an outstanding performance (in 1986) as a serial killer.

The murder took place on December 6th 1973 when the main character Susie Salmon (played by Ronan) was 14 years old (co-incidentally I as exactly the same age in 1973). I did like the reminder of the style (long hair on men) and fashion (bell bottoms, wide ties, and large shirt collars) - this was about the only thing that I enjoyed in the movie.

The Consensus on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes gets it almost right for me...

It's stuffed full of Peter Jackson's typically dazzling imagery, but The Lovely Bones suffers from abrupt shifts between horrific violence and cloying sentimentality.

...though I didn't think it was particularly violent (we don't see the murder which is described in the book by Alice Sebold). Here's the trailer from the movie...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Review: Accidental Leadership by Paul Mooney

I have just completed reading Dr Paul Mooney's new book Accidental Leadership: A Personal Journey. Paul Mooney is President of NCI (where I work), and is retiring at the end of next February. In his new book, he describes his experiences in leadership roles both at NCI and in several previous jobs. Dr Mooney gave me a signed copy of the book (I swapped with one of mine!). As the title suggests, it is a very personal journey. You know you are going to get honesty when on the second page he talks about leaving school at 13 years of age: I didn't leave school because of financial pressures. I left because I was a complete gobshite.

The book is a combination of experiences and the concepts of leadership. It is an easy read that is not heavy on theory - the blend of personal thoughts, "war stories", theory, practical suggestions, and some insight tit-bits of his role as President of NCI. I enjoyed the discussion of drawing up the new College mission and strategy as I was a member of one of the groups that determined the new strategy. A huge number of the staff were involved in this and it was a great way for Paul to get to know the staff as well as getting "buy in" for the new strategy. I felt at the time that this was a great start for him as the new President.

On page 69 Dr. Mooney discusses what he calls the elephant in the room - productivity at third-level and how difficult it is to get individual performance data on academics. He describes an insider joke (that I had never heard before) that you'd have more chance of an academic allowing you to watch them having sex than watch them teaching a class. In my time at NCI (2002 - present) not one person (other than students of course) has ever observed me in class (nor as far as I can tell - watched me having sex!). I didn't know either what to make of the description of Academics as being either Minimalists or Status-Ticians (pp 74-75). As I was first reading this I turned the page to read what the next/third description was as I (honestly) didn't recognise myself as either of the above two - to my surprise there was no other type! Now I have to figure out which type I am. As an "academic" myself, this section makes uncomfortable reading, even though Dr Mooney points out that there are both types in every profession and that it is a challenge for leaders to do something about it.  Apart from this section, the book was an enjoyable read.

The book is published by The Liffey Press who also published my own book. Nice to see a plug for my book which is listed as being part of NCI's The Changing World of Work Series.

This review was written on 23rd December, 2009 when I actually finished reading the book. I decided not to publish it until after Dr Mooney had left the National College of Ireland.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Viva El Presidente

Viva El Presidente (the old one)!

Today is a historic day in NCI as our College President for the past three years is leaving for pastures new. I have to say I liked Dr Paul Mooney and will be sorry to see him go. He always had time for a chat and was very approachable at any time. I particularly commend him for involving as many staff as possible in his early days to generate our new strategy and Mission.

NCI's Mission Statement:

Our mission is to widen participation in higher education and unlock each student's potential. We offer students the opportunity to acquire the skills and self-confidence to change their lives, contribute to a knowledge based economy and become responsible, active citizens. 

Paul was a great inspiration to me to write my book - being very supportive at every stage. He will be missed and I want to wish him well in his new endeavors. This evening there is a Going-Away "do" for him which I will attend. I do want to say goodbye and also check out my film debut! 

Viva El Presidente (the new one)!

Dr Phillip Matthews comes to NCI as President from the Smurfit Business School - he is probably more well known for his exploits on the rugby pitch. We both have something in common! We are the same age (50), and both have PhDs based on research of molluscs found on the sea shore around Ireland. In Phillip's case it was Littorina, in my case Calliostoma. Phillip attended Queen's University Belfast (while I went to Trinity) - I even still have a copy of his research abstract from a 1985 Zoology Postgraduate's Conference Proceedings held in the QUB Marine Biology Station in Portaferry, Co Down. Something to talk about when we finally meet!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Clever clogs

I'm feeling just a little bit clever right now as I am just home from a Pub Quiz having been part of the winning team!!! Also on the team was sister-in-law Dorothy (a teacher - handy to have on a quiz team), and my daughters Kate and Vicki - it was hosted by the Killiney Lions club in aid of Haiti. We scored 82/101 and tied with another table in first place. In the tie break we won with 3/5 correct. I'm kicking myself that I didn't know that Arlene Foster stood in for Peter Robinson, and that the "Phil" in Eastenders was "Mitchell" - in both cases I just could not come up with their names. Good fun overall - even though I was still off the drink for Lent. This is only the second time I have been on a winning quiz team - the last one was over 25 years ago in Trinity with the Zoology Dept team.

A winning feeling (which doesn't happen to me too often), is a very nice feeling.

Our prize was a cheque for €100, which we agreed to donate to the Haiti fund. I did come away with something as I won a bottle on cognac in the raffle (have to wait until Easter to try it out).

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The sneaky way universities are privatizing teaching

I read  (via George Siemens) with interest a recent article written by Erin Miller called The sneaky way universities are privatizing teaching for oncampus education magazine - this is a Canadian publication. The article poses interesting questions about the role of "for profit" educational institutions that act as feeder third-level Colleges for Universities. Many Universities and Colleges (like NCI) have concerns about the ability of International students to get through first year in College - especially if it is an English speaking institution, but that English is not the student's first language. What if another College was established which could provide the necessary support to help full fee-paying students through that first difficult year - a private prep college that offers a year of intensive studies with the chance to get into the real university in second year. Here's how it works (from the article):

Fraser International College, which is affiliated with Simon Fraser University, was the first college of its kind. Run by the Australian company Navitas, it offers first year courses in business, computing science, arts and social sciences that are designed for international students who need extra support; the program boasts class sizes under 40 students, additional learning and language support and longer classes. Students who earn the requisite GPA in these courses progress to second year as a regular international student at SFU.

Many Colleges provide excellent support for first year students (NCI is particularly good at this IMHO), in the hope (and expectation) that it will not only help the student get through first year, but also make them ready for second and subsequent years. It strikes me that there is a business opportunity for smaller Colleges in Ireland (I'm thinking Griffith College, Dublin Business School, as well as NCI) to provide this service for our Universities. Is this something to consider, or (as the article title suggests) something to be avoided at all costs? The article does raise some interesting issues such as privatization of education, the quality of the education provided, and the position of Faculty in the feeder College. While the article above mostly discusses Canadian institutions, closer to home Keele University in the UK has such an arrangement with a private company called Study Group International (SGI) who even have a website strikingly similar to the "real" Keele University website

With a review of third-level education on-going in Ireland, I think we should be at least considering an option such as above. Our institutions are chronically under-funded, but a cash-strapped Government cannot provide more funding for third-level - indeed our Government may be forced to provide less funding and re-introduce fees in the future. Providing such a service to International students will/might attract new business to our Colleges, enhance the education experience of students, reduce drop-out rates, enhance the reputation of Ireland as an attractive place for students seeking a "western" education, and provide much needed extra funding for our Colleges. While many people (including me) will have serious concerns about how this would operate, I certainly think it is worth putting on the table and starting a debate on this issue. 

Comments welcome.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Favourite Posts

There are almost 300 posts so far in my blog  - but which ones would I like the Irish Blog Award judges to see? I thought I'd help them out ;-) by listing a selection of my own favourite posts, and the posts of which I am most proud of. 

So here goes...

Eugene's Blog Nominated for Irish Blog Awards!

Today I received news that Eugene's Blog has been nominated for the 2010 Irish Blog Awards. I am nominated in two categories - Best Specialist Blog and Best Personal Blog. Nominees will be judged in one category only and will be contacted to ask for their preference - mine will be the Best Personal Blog category in which there are a whopping 119 nominees! Thanks to the folks in the NCI Marketing Department for the nomination. 

Several of my NCI colleagues have also been nominated, Abi Reynolds, Jimmy Hill, Leo Casey, and Deryck Tormey - congratulations to one and all! Please drop by and check out their blogtastic (thanks for the new word Emma) blogs.

Blogging is a great experience and I love the freedom to say what I like on any subject that comes to mind. On Saturday last I visited my Aunt Mary who is just starting to learn how to use a computer. I was able to show her a photo of where her mother grew up in Newmarket, Co Cork, census records from 1911 of both her her mother and father, and my story about my grandfather buying me ice cream in Croke Park in 1964. She was fascinated by this - who knows, I may be able to turn her into a blogger too!

Friday, February 19, 2010

5 Years with Gmail

Five years ago to the day I set up my Gmail account. The first email in my Inbox was of course from Google welcoming me to Gmail. Google claimed Gmail is different, but I believe that it is now a standard for personal email. In that first email, Google tells me about ads and cheekily state that I "might even find ads to be interesting and useful"!

I use Gmail almost every day - mostly for personal stuff. It is a handy way to store files (I just email them to myself). I can also access it from home and my iPhone - in fact I almost never don't have access to my Gmail. I choose not to access my work email outside the College.

Gmail is also excellent at stopping Spam - as I write this there are 678 spams blocked on my account. I rarely get spam in my Gmail Inbox (this is not rare at my work email). However they do it, others should learn from them. Also at the moment I am "currently using 910MB (12%) of your 7425MB" - so there is lots of space online that I can use.

This is a fantastic service and it is all FREE!!! I also use iGoogle, Google Calendar, YouTube (owned by Google), and Blogger (also owned by Google). All for FREE!!! Long Live Google!

First email from 19th February, 2005 reproduced below:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Willie O'Dea shoots himself in the foot

I have been sort of following the Willie O'Dea mess over the past 24 hours. I heard the reports and the damaging tape on the News at One on RTÉ. His interview with Seán O'Rourke was riveting stuff as he basically owned up to everything, admitted all, apologized, denied perjury, and was (I thought) sounding very low and about to give up. The sound of the stable door slamming shut could be heard all over the country. For me, the key moment was when he stated in the interview that he was a "victim" as well. Perhaps he is, but he cannot dilute his own guilt by placing himself in this position. The Greens have been despicable in all this - yesterday they voted confidence in him - today they demanded his head. They were never going to get my vote anyway, so they couldn't do themselves any more damage as far as I'm concerned. Today I tweeted that WO'D should resign - my tweet....

eoloughlin Fine Gael going mad over Willie, Twitter going mad over Willie, even I'm mad at Willie - Time to go - RESIGN! #willygate

Twitter was alive with tweets about Willie today - I was following #willygate

I'm a Fianna Fáil voter, and most likely will still be at the next Election (Mary Hanafin, if you are reading this you'll always have my vote!). But WO'D compromised himself with his careless and untrue words - he shot himself in the foot and has nobody else to blame.

WO'D got 19,082 first preference votes in the 2007 Election - second only to Brian Cowen who had 20 votes more. What are the odds on him increasing his vote in the next Election? The people of Limerick-East love him, already there were people (including folks from Limerick) on the News singing his praises, what a good job he did in the past, and that he will be a big loss (especially to Limerick). His Cabinet political career is over, though no doubt he will hang on as a TD for a long time yet. He will be more outspoken, as he has been in the past, and God help any Opposition politicians who want to have a go at him in the future - he will not hold back, he has you in his sights!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Radio Interview with Dr Paul Heslin

I recorded an interview with Dr Paul Heslin for his show on South Dublin Radio (93.9FM) this evening. The studio is at the top of the Dundrum Shopping Center. Paul hopes that the interview will be broadcast on Saturday 27th February next at 3.00pm. This radio station is a voluntary community service that is only available within a 6-8 mile radius of Dundrum.

I very much enjoyed the experience - Paul is a good interviewer and kept the conversation going. It was really more of a chat than a formal interview. We started out talking about my Harley-Davidson experiences before moving on to education. I plugged several courses in the College and hopefully was encouraging to anyone thinking of going back to education. We then moved on to problem-solving where I talked about various creative and more scientific problem-solving techniques. Examples I gave ranged from a car not starting in the morning, to late pizza deliveries on a Saturday night, to customer complaints in a hotel. Paul was particularly interested in the creative techniques such as Camelot, Googlestorming, the Senses, WWJD, and Bouncing ideas off others. Mindful that his audience may not appreciate the techniques covered in my Business Systems Analysis book (though I did talk about Pareto Analysis) - I was keen to keep the examples simple and in tune with everyday life as possible. I also told him my Dad's "Water in the Toolbox" story (I must post about this separately). 

Finally I got the opportunity to mention this blog - the 55 minutes flew by very quickly. Thanks for a very enjoyable evening Paul!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Frustration recording lectures

I decided when I got my new iPhone that I would use it to record lectures as it has four times the memory space of my older iPhone. For some reason that I can't unravel - the Voice Recorder App only allows me to record for 15 seconds. This is despite the fact that Apple touts it as an App that can be used to record lectures and meetings. I have tried a few more Apps - the best and easiest to use was Audio Recorder from Newpea Software. It was €7.99 - not cheap for an App. It works great - I just switch it on (I have a mike to clip to my shirt), and it records my lecture as an MP3 file. Sound quality is good - though some of my earlier recordings suffer from noise due to me wearing the clip too high up my shirt.

The only problem is - how the hell do I get the MP3 files off my iPhone and onto my computer? No email option. Syncing won't do either - iTunes does not pick up the recordings (it does for Voice Recorder, but as mine are only 15 seconds long, this isn't much use). Newpea very "helpfully" tell us that the files are located in the following folder:


but since the iPhone cannot be browsed like an external hard drive - I am at a loss as to how to navigate to this folder so that I can copy the files. 

I have tried some Apps that claim to be able to browse the iPhone. While some are useful (eg to copy songs to a second computer that you do not sync with) - none so far has the capability to show me the contents of the above folder. The Apps I have tried are iFile and Discoverer - I have also tried Windows clients such as iPhone Explorer, iPhone Browser.

Meanwhile, the recordings of my lectures are still on my iPhone. Everyone I have talked to who has an iPhone reports that they do not have a 15 second limit for Voice Recorder - how can this be changed, I can't find a settings option anywhere? Does anyone know about a browser that will explore all files on the iPhone - not just existing songs, movies, and photos?

I have mentioned this in class and several students have offered tips and hints - but so far nothing is working for me. I'll keep trying!

The 30 km/h speed limit in Dublin City Centre

Yesterday I rode my bike through Dublin City Centre and completely forgot about the new 30 km/h speed limit. On the bike this is easy to forget as I use the bus lanes a lot and it is also easy to pass through the traffic. Going over 30 km/h is really easy to do. While passing Christ Church Cathedral I suddenly remembered the limit, glanced down at my speedometer, and was happy to see the needle pointing exactly at 30. 

Phew (I thought)!

Of course, the bike is a 2003 model which uses miles per hour instead of km/h - I was speeding again! Hopefully there were no sneeky speed cameras to catch me breaking the law again - my two penalty points on my license is really making me more speed conscious.

The 30 km/h limit has attracted a lot of attention and controversy. During heavy traffic - it doesn't matter what the speed limit is, most people will only be doing 5-10 km/h at best. I think it is a good idea - if it saves even one life over 20 years it will be worth it. However, I do notice that I am spending a lot of time looking at the speedometer (not just in the city centre) - probably more than I should be doing. This is dangerous too. In a car the speedometer is just outside your road viewing eye line and easy to glance at, but on the bike I have to look down at the petrol tank, which is well outside my eye line. I then have to translate in my head mph to kph (divide by 5 and multiply by 8) - the smaller kph numbers are too small for me to see. Just need to be more careful!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bossed out of it for the last time!

Why is it that some people think that people ahead of them in a queue won't mind if they skip the queue just because the have only one thing to purchase? I have previously written about a Queue jumper in a petrol station when I was second in a queue and was queue jumper was third.

Yesterday I went to our local Centra to get some mince meat and burger buns (two items) for dinner. When I joined the queue to pay I was second behind Brian the butcher - he was buying the evening paper and some chocolates (two items). The attendant was having a small bit of difficulty with the till, but I didn't really mind. Suddenly, the woman behind (I'd guess in her mid 60's) who was buying pepper corns (one item) demanded that we stand by and let her pay because she had only one item to pay for. I objected and said I had only two, and that the guy ahead had only two items as well. This clever tactic (hoping to embarrass her) on my part didn't work - she told me that she thought I had more (I had an empty folded carry bag under my arm). She still demanded to be let through - everything in the shop had stopped at this stage. When I politely told her that "This is a queue" - she once again was not diverted from her quest to get ahead of us - she even started to tell us that she was in a hurry and had the dinner nearly cooked, all she needed were some peppers! 

Brian and I just stood back laughing and let her through - she wasn't in the least bit embarrassed by what she was doing, paid for her peppers, and left the shop without thanking us! Like the last time when I was buying petrol, in the end I stood by and avoided confrontation. I must have "eejit" written across my forehead - pushy "ladies" (I deleted several other names for women before settling on "ladies", least I offend my readers) have had their last one over on me - there won't be a third time! Next time this happens I will hold my ground and refuse to stand by - I won't care if the next pushy "lady" needs only to buy a plaster for a gushing wound. 

A queue is a queue, is a queue, is a queue! When I have to line up and wait my turn, well I don't see why I should have to stand by for someone else who thinks that the rules of queues don't apply to them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Howth-Sutton Lions Club 40th Anniversary Charter Dinner

The tuxedo was on again last evening as I accompanied Roma to the Howth/Sutton Lions Club 40th Anniversary Charter Dinner which was held in the Marine Hotel in Sutton. We were early - the first to arrive at 7.30. As usual at Lions events, Roma and I feel very young - there were very few people there under 60 years of age. Nevertheless, we had a very enjoyable evening - though with quite a big crowd making a lot of noise, I found it very difficult to hear conversation at the table. I danced a little to music provided by two guys called Chris and Cross - the dullest duo I have ever come across. 

Despite the boring speeches that were too many and far too long, you have to be impressed by the fund raising skills of the Howth/Sutton Lions Club - €80,000 in the past year and €2.6 million since they were founded in 1970. Good work!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

News & Events at NCI

More news on by book - there is a News Item about last week's book launch at the National College of Ireland's website. I was asked for a quote to add to the news item:

Dr. O'Loughlin  said: 

"The launch of An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis provides Business Analysts, and those engaged in business analysis activities, with an introductory text that provides guidance on key activities such as gathering and analysing requirements. The many techniques and strategies described in detail in the book will equip practitioners with the key skills necessary for their problem solving efforts."

Every little item helps to promote the book - I hope this helps shift a few copies as well

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Singing in Class

Today, I had good fun singing in class!

I was discussing the role of Organizations in relation to Technology in Business - the module is "Managerial Foundations of Information Systems". On the subject of Organizations and their environment, I decided to introduce SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis. The classic case-study for this is about Robin Hood and his Merry Men - this is based on a real case-study analysis by Joseph Lampel of Stanford University.

We had excellent fun looking at the SWOT factors in this case - I like this case-study as it teaches a concept based on a story/legend about Robin Hood, which most people know. To get the students in the mood I played a YouTube video which has the original TV series theme song to the class. I felt I had to join in and sang along to the video. At the risk of looking stupid, I sang anyway in the hope that students will understand the key concepts of what an organization is (with Robin Hood as a reminder), and the factors to consider when making decisions. Watch the video below, and I dare you to resist singing along!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Formal Launch of "An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis"

Last evening, I had the formal launch of my book An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis. The Launch was held in the National College of Ireland President's (Dr Paul Mooney) office and I had an excellent turnout of about 50 people. I was thrilled that so many friends and colleagues attended - thank you all for our support and good wishes. I was particularly pleased that my Mum (Phil) and my Dad (Joe) were able to attend - I know that they had an enjoyable evening.

The book was launched by Mark Ryan, who is the top man in Accenture Ireland. Mark is also a fellow Cistercian College Roscrea classmate (1972-1977) and when I met him at the CCR Union Dublin Branch dinner last October he kindly agreed to perform the launch. Mark said some very kind words in his speech in support of the book - much appreciated. I also made a speech in which I mostly thanked people for their inspiration and their help - especially Dr Paul Mooney, Phil Chambers, Dominic Martin, and my family. I had a fantastic evening during which I managed to get to chat to most people that attended. We also sold a few books which raised a nice few euro for the NCI Foundation - I had great fun signing these for friends and colleagues. I discussed four possible speaking engagements with people who attended - great for increasing publicity for the book. This evening I was invited to be interviewed by Dr Paul Heslin (another CCR connection - who says that the "Old Boys" network doesn't work?) on Dublin South FM Radio - very exciting news!

The photo here (click for larger version) features (from left) NCI President Dr Paul Mooney, me, and Mark Ryan.

Afterwards a few of us adjourned to the Clarion Hotel for dinner which was most enjoyable. I finally feel a great sense of achievement and pride in the book, which did take a long time (18 months) and a lot of effort, to write. However, this 15 minutes is now over, and it is time to move onto my next project (a web site - more about this when I get it working). I do hope to promote the book as much as I can - through contacts, speaking engagements, the odd radio interview, and through YouTube.

Monday, February 01, 2010

New iPhone 3Gs

Today I purchased my second iPhone - this time a 32GB 3Gs. This replaces my older 8GB 3G version which I got free from O2 in October 2008. 

O2 had contacted me in December with an offer of a voucher to purchase a 16GB version for €99 - in the O2 shop in Henry Street today I used this voucher for the 32GB version instead. It cost a little extra, but it will be worth it over the life time of the iPhone. I'm looking forward to faster 3Gs speeds, as well as some of the extras like being able to shoot video and a better camera. 

The big plus is the extra storage space. I have 12GB of music on my computer and I have had to manage Playlists carefully up to now to fit what I wanted onto the old 8 GB version - not any more. I will also have lots of space left over - I intent to start recording some lectures as podcasts and make them available unedited to students in Moodle. I had hoped to start this from the beginning of the semester, but it will now only be available from week 3. I'll be sure to report back here at the end of the semester on how this goes. 

The changeover experience did not go without a hitch. The new iPhone need a SIM card to activate, but only one without a PIN code. Believe it or not, there was no option on my old iPhone to remove the PIN - I got Kate to insert my SIM card into her Nokia to turn off the PIN. After this, everything worked fine - all my old Apps, contacts, music, etc, were copied from iTunes onto my new iPhone. Overall - apart from the PIN, an effortless exercise.

We Blog Cartoons

Came across an interesting and useful web site that provides free cartoons for people to use in their blogs. We Blog Cartoons provides cartoons under several categories such as:

  • Blogging
  • Christmas
  • Current Events
  • Environment
  • Football
  • Graphs
  • How To
  • My Failings
  • Signs
  • Technology
  • Work
cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker.
Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Check it out - it's good fun and really useful too. So far they can only be used in blogs - use in any other publication is prohibited.