The Infamous TWBrit Christmas List : 2014

Hey, let’s get back to where we used to be at, and what better way to start than with this years Christmas List.
Of course there will be a few old things, and some new :)

Lifetimes Supply of Coffee

In the absence of the availability of the previously wished for Amberley Court 
Then Stanton Court is next :)

And / Or This place in Escala, Austin, Texas
Austin house

Marshall JCM 800

The TrackingPoint XS1 .338 Rifle


Again…. The Land Rover 110 Crew Cab pickup but stretched on a 130 Chassis

The Cintiq 24HD touch

gallery image 2 cintiq24hdtouch
Dell UHD 32 inch 5K Monitors

I still want a plane, but we’re dropping the 787 and returning to the 777-200LR ;)

Theakston’s Old Peculier by the barrel, not the bottle (of course)


Virtuix Omni

DJI Inspire 4K


Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 bridge Camera

Taylor 812ce 12 Fret

Taylor 812 12 Fret
A Knighthood: KBE
for services to Britishness and Commonsense

An invite to become a member of White’s

A Toyota Sequoia


And finally

Edible Chocolate Anus
because nothing could be more “Wrong” :D
edible anus

The TWBrit 2013 Christmas List


Sorry it’s been sooooo late but to say I/we’ve been a little busy is an understatement. So, lets get on with it – at the end I will list some of the things now removed from previous lists and please do comment on it all. Sadly last year I missed doing it at all, but the last 2 Christmas’s New Years were spent in the USA.

Without further ado – here is the 2013 TWBrit Christmas List:

Virtuix Omni


Oculus Rift Gaming kit


DJI Phantom 2 Vision


Amberley Court
Yes it’s back again…. why? because this house is STILL awesome!!

Amberley Court

Battenberg Cake


Land Rover 110 County Station Wagon
Actually I want a 130 stretched County Station Wagon with a standard pick-up rear but larger internal cabin space (obviously a special order)


Accuracy International

.338 with a x24 Schmitt und Bender scope ( I would say an AS50, but they’re not legal in the UK)


A life time supply of Coffee


A Knighthood: KBE

for services to Britishness and Commonsense


An invite to become a member of White’s



Now, there is no way I can continue in leaving this list without an update for my weird and wacky wants… But due to the nature of manufacturing issues I have revised my dire wish for a personal Boeing 787 Dreamliner and opted for my most favourite plane the 777 and on a tight budget a 767.

Below are two pics of planes for sale (click on them to enlarge). It’s worth noting that a new 767 is about $185,800,000.00 and a new 777 is around $261,500,000.00 (Boeing 2013 list price) so can see these are greatly reduced as they’re older and have probably changed hands a bit.
Now the 777 is fly by wire with a mechanical back up, making it very cost-effective and much easier to service, however the 767 is ALL Mechanical except for a couple of little bits – this means things like control cable replacement on a 767 is quite a big and expensive business.

Also there is the cost of refitting them with bedrooms, bathrooms etc. Frankly an engine of a 777 is around the $18m each mark so I really don’t know how many cycles the airframe has left – but either way, two rock solid planes make the list :-)

767 for sale777 ad

Things now removed:

Taylor K24CE – Got One

Taylor Guitar

A REAL Tablet: Motion Computing J3500  – Got One

j3500 copy

Drum Kit – Got one


Theakstons Old Perculier – Got plenty :-)


Millions of personalised guitar picks – Got Them


Back of Pick 1

Give up Smoking – Did it, one year ago today

no smoking

Adobe Master Collection CS6 & Lightroom – Got them :-)


Heavy Duty Footwear – Got them all


Photo from the BIG BLACK BOOTS website at

Laptop with i7 CPU – Got It


Battlefield 3


So there you are… the craziness that is me and-some :D

Merry Christmas


Stuff :-)

Firstly, hurricane Sandy…. Wow!!

Hope most people are ok, I guess NYC will be building some new infrastructure over the coming weeks and months to minimise this kind of thing again. Web buddy and owner of Andrew Baron managed to get out and about and take some pics of the aftermath. Click on the image to go and see

All things “Sandy” aside, it was Halloween and a quick look at this site called TMZ made me realise that at least 90% of the so-called celebs they talk about, I’ve not in fact heard of lol. Most of which didn’t come close to @gabsatrucker’s Halloween cozzy which was based on a pirate wench – less sword, belt and hat. But in all of this, something strange appeared. [***Segue***] I’ve been looking into “E-Cigarettes” and so far I have found that many rave about the “Apollo” brand for being so like the real thing – yet DONT smell, DONT kill you and DONT affect the people around you… But who knew that come all things Halloween you can “Mod” them and make them look Kewl?! This pic is care of @gypsyhooker or better known as Shannon to the good ladies of the US trucking fraternity.

But… I’m about to embark on a trial of these e-cigs and see if they work where on 4 occasions everything else (patches, a punch in the mouth etc) have failed. But while doing my research I have come across some disturbing things.

1. There is no enforced safety standard or Govt. Regulation

2. There is no guidance regarding public places and mass transit.

3. If these things work, then they are in everyone’s interest to allow and to help stop smoking widely

4. The cost of these things are targeted at the price of a pack of cigarettes – whereas most people in the UK at least, hand-roll – so moving to e-cigs is a far more expensive consideration than the cost to remain smoking…

5 What I do disagree with is that they are made to look like real cigarettes! As such there have been instances on flights where one person has seen someone smoking an e-ciggy and just assumed it was ok to smoke – and lit up a real one… So, they should ban the use of Red or Orange LED’s in them and the outer colour should not be white.

Talking of planes though…

Air New Zealand have brought out a new flight safety video… Think Hobbits!! It’s great lol

In other news

As I mention in an earlier post, this blog’s and my buddy Sue Black was raising pledges for a BOOK publication… Well not only did she raise them, she far exceeded them and in doing so she halved the record time it takes to raise them!! Great work Sue and everyone who pledged – rocking, just rocking!!

More news…

Dell, who class themselves not as a manufacturer but as a Solutions provider have been making steps forward into the digital home. Work, office, media, study, play, photography, design, interact; you name it, dell has drawn it all together for the home in a realistic way and far beyond any other company to date. The new Tech Inspiration site is now up and running with tons of know-how, and cool stuff HERE or click the pic.

SXSW 2013 Austin, Texas… Yer know…. as far as music and film goes – SXSW still has it, but the “Interactive” part? I think 2012 was its death knell… You see, the Interactive part was a meeting place of ideas, conceptual minds to share and conceive of next-tech etc. Now it’s basically a highly sponsored group of events to flog the attendee something.

Even Toby Daniels the CEO of Crowdcentric and the Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week said the format is old and stale. But the worse parts of SXSW are:

The Ticket Prices!! For an event so highly sponsored they’re unreasonable, unrealistic in the present climate and just money grabbing!

Transport!! Austin really needs to address its transport for such major events. Especially from the Airport – which for the most part you can’t fly internationally to from any country other than Mexico… But would desperately benefit from direct flights to London, Tokyo, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney and Shanghai.

Yet Austin feels it has a place on the world stage – I happen to agree, but it will soon be looked over due to the inability to get people to the city and around it in a reliable and at a reasonable rate… The Taxi’s are just too expensive.

And Finally: Accommodation… Often booked up, too many tickets than hotel rooms available and of course – the premium prices for the accommodation…

The only thing killing SXSW is – SXSW and Austin itself and it pains me to say that. But Austin will learn this the hard way if F1 finds fault with transport and accommodation that is for sure.

Personally, I like Austin!! In fact I believe Austin has a massive opportunity to make itself one of the best City’s in not only the USA, but culturally and in a cosmopolitan sense – one of the finest in the World!! But there is much to do, and little time to waste.

There’s a good reason why Dell is the prefered business machine

Published in: on 12 October, 2012 at 12:59  Leave a Comment  

Austin… the saving grace of Texas

Now I could go into the history of this City, the capital of Texas – but that is what Wikipedia is for… so go there to read it ;-)

I on the other hand will write of my brief experience of this Oasis of a city and one I’d like to return to. Beyond the complaints of the I-35, a little known parking lot that runs the entire length of Austin. As you approach Austin at night it looks like an oasis of high-tech and modern living. Indeed, Andrew Baron of Rocketboom even called this city “The saving grace of Texas” and for the most part I can see why.

Oh, it is an oasis… but furthermore it’s also a city of culture and has a “cosmopolitan feel” if you like. Like all modern cities though, the concept of skyscrapers in the centre have not escaped Austin, crushing much of it’s history into oblivion. Yet down there in the heart of it is the famed and acclaimed 6th Street and if you add in 4th, 5th and Congress Avenue… then there is more than a heart beat or pulse of this city’s history and entertainment right there.

These days, the area of South Austin seems to have a greater vibe, open parks, restaurants, leafy suburbs and a greater “wellbeing” feel. Something I found very attractive and yes from what I could see, it’s obvious the town planners have long term goals for making the city greener and healthier than most.

Austin like any large city has its good and bad, the first day we walked down 6th Street (2nd Jan) around 2pm and a full on brawl broke out in front of us. Two guys punching the living daylights out of each other without a care in the world of who they bounced into, or where in the world they were from.. No police presence, and while I sidestepped them as they flew past – this blogs buddy @Gabsatrucker got fully barged out of the way by them, just before skulls met the concrete sidewalk. This was certainly, how should I say… interesting… We went to Starbucks and I said “soooo, this is Austin huh?” Gabby on the other hand was really not happy either… This was on the back of the news that on New Years morning 3 people had been shot, one to death and someone was killed trying to cross the I-35… Kinda leaves you with a cheery feel… That and the fact that Austin has oh so many people begging on street corners in the 4th,5th and 6th street areas at night.

But nevertheless… there is a vibe to the city as a whole you can’t quite put your finger on, the south is awesome and the club names like Antone’s, reverberate through the music scene globally. In fact one night in Antone’s made up for a lot of the misgivings we had earlier.

Yes Austin does have it’s many sides, but it’s this mix that probably makes it so intriguing and apart from having to change hotels due to rather unpleasant smell at the first one – it is a city I will definitely spend more time to explore.

Austin also has quite a few interesting slogans “Keep Austin Weird” is something you’ll see just about everywhere and then the “Austin, Live Music Capitol of the World” and it’s fair to say they’re not wrong! It’s a city of modern culture, hi-tech industries, fitness and fresh air – heck they even name the flight between Silicon Valley and Austin the “Nerd Bird”… It also has to be right up there with as one of the biggest conference venues in the world along side cities like Dubai and with it being home to South by South West (SXSW) there are hotels galore – some better than others, but the closer you get to downtown the prices go from reasonable to extortionate.

This is one of the major centres of entrepreneurship in the US and certainly with regards to technology, but it’s frankly stunning that Dell computers does not seem to have anything for the public, nerds and geeks to visit or see… In fact I was seriously surprised there was little in the way of Dell’s visibility at all – certainly an opportunity lost on Dell’s part. A “Dell Technology Showcase” or “Experience” is seriously needed.

With so much going on I think the city will grow, continue cleaning its image. But if you want to enjoy a fitness lifestyle, then look no further than this awesome city with the Lance Armstrong cycle way, large parks and running areas and even a park on the water front with a special area to allow dogs to run freely.

Yes, it’s right to keep Austin weird, but it’s also right to redesign and build for future tourism, future-tech transportation systems and greener more hi-tech lifestyle and I really think Austin will…. Because if it doesn’t, it’ll just grow more monolithic buildings and increase its number of tourist t-shirt shops that will be more about a “has-been” city than the heart and soul of the great state of Texas… I some how doubt that will happen though :-)

Austin is (with insight from; Andrew Baron, Gabsatrucker and Mary Hennig and adored by Dr Sue Black )

100% TWBrit Highly recommended

I guess I should make an actual TWBrit approved logo now then lol…

The 2011 T.W.Brit Christmas List

Yes, it’s this time of year again and strangely, while I dug up the old Christmas logo, I obviously forgot to update the theme with the modern logo style due to the fact I no longer have a working copy of Adobe Creative Suite or better still – Master Suite. This is a shame in itself due to the fact I was to animate the TWBrit logos soon.

This year I’ve been troubled about my wants and wishes… As ever, they’re all crazy, but I thought I would avoid things that require pretence – so membership of Whites Club has been removed. Nevertheless, the taste of all the things I cannot afford grows and lets be honest – is it not that if we refuse to dream, we’ll never make our tomorrow better? This year I will also ply a degree of reasoning with the items on the list. This does not mean there will be logic in that reasoning as in some cases it might come down phrases like “want one” or “me-some” ;-)

Also some things on my list last year I actually got :-) and some things this year maybe left over from last year.

So here it is, the crazy and often regarded insane:

 The 2011 Christmas List


Battenberg Cake

I know, I’ve put it here before, heck Gabsatrucker even made me one once. But Battenberg is a guys cake… It may look pink and yellow, be wayyyy too sweet – but it is the mass production and yet basic engineering concept that makes this baby a geometric marvel that most guys like – me some

Life Time Supply of Coffee

Because last time I did get coffee, but I’m still alive and I’ve run out ;)

A Knighthood:  for services to Britishness, Commonsense and because I’m apparently Legendary :-)


Personalized TWBrit Guitar Picks

Not that I can decide which way to do the artwork as you can see….



:) Toller, Shaker, Blood and Black :)


Heavy Duty Footwear = CAT & Dehner

I have no problem with wearing pretty much nothing else than Caterpillar Colorado Boots all the time… Supreme comfort, durability and never a bad smell. I have also been on the look out for a long field boot for ages and without spending thousands, the only one that seems to be tough enough and still to be reasonable are Dehner Boots… the actual benefit of Dehners’ is that while it may look like you’re gonna get your head kicked in by them – it allows me to wade through your sticky, lard like entrails afterwards. This, (if you are unsure) is a good thing! ;-)

Tech…  did you think I had forgotten?? Here they are, the crazy tech items I actually need…


Dell Alienware M11X, M14X and M17X – yes, all 3


Then 2 x  XPS 15z with i7 cpu’s


Marshall Hand Wired amp and speaker stack.


Motion Computing J3500


A Matrox M9188 16 port Graphic Card with Touch…


Adobe Master Edition

I have come to use Adobe software a lot on here and with other work. I used to have the CS2 edition but lost the disc a long time ago. And have been using Trial versions ever since… the trials have expired :( But the reason I love this software is simply the fact you’re limited only by a few things; Imagination! Knowledge of how to use it fully and Cost. Here is the ad vid to the previous version; everything you see here, the detail in the designs, animations and the music was all done with it.


Battlefield 3

Because it’s Battlefield 3 and I can’t run Battlefield 2 anymore :( Just for fun, here is the Play Symphony playing the theme music :-)


Amberley Court

Amberley Court was on last years list… If this house was a few miles east and not on the side of a hill… it would possibly be the best possible house in the world to me. It came up for sale on the Knight Frank website and I have literally spent weeks pawing over the plans and redesigning the Master Bedroom suite, removing the garden and building a huge basement that covers several floors and includes a way out to the pool house and an extensive subterranean garage, not to mention all manner of other things. The general layout is just astounding!! Sadly it was taken off the market… But still, what a house!!


Free advanced Adobe Training


Private Boeing 787

Yes, yes, I know…. And yes that is a car in the hold. And why? Because it’s the ultimate freedom, and because it’s so wrong and well, I want one :D

But as I did not win the Euro millions Lottery to the tune of £146m ($227,716,200) a few months ago and would have bought a new 737 BBJ (or 2nd hand 777) to whiz myself and my friends about in – I decided to set my fictional goals just that bit higher ;-)


As EVERY year… a Taylor K22ce



As an interlude, I also have a question or two… Person posing as my former neighbour of sorts, who are you and what have you done with my razor-sharp witted, night driving, sledge-hammer owning, house bashing, hard-assed off roading buddy KMA? ;)

It has been a strange year, and I have to say there are several people I miss on the old twitterscape and blogasphere. I guess most don’t know who they are – but from Dave, Annie, Joanne, WKD, Al, and so many others… you’re missed.

Right – back to it…

Again…. The Land Rover 110 CSW… 2.5 TDi and fully equipped if poss ;-)

The Wacom Cintiq 24HD

Actually, I would use this every day!! Top tool for doing a top job :-)


A Desktop Solution with a 28 or 30 LED primary screen solution with 2 x22 screen and 6 x 7 touch screens. Sadly the NEC/Alienware 48 inch curved screen is no longer available.

Another Guitar : Gibson Les Paul Dark Fire.

This thing just takes guitar tech to a new level :-)

Gibson still make the Dark Fire, but you need to order it via dealer.


A Made By Bob hoody in navy blue with white writing, size XXL


Still want an Accuracy International .338

Because it rocks and it’s just a whole loada wrong ;-)


British Airways – Free bump to business class on every flight I take…. And free trip to Toronto before Christmas please (rtn January) ;-)



Theakston’s Old Peculier by the barrel, not the bottle

Whoever you are, where ever you are…. Please, have a great Christmas, drive safely and be safe. For my friends of other religions – know that the spirit and good will of this time extends to you also.

But NOT if you’re a kiddy fiddling priest!!


Regular readers will be thankful of the following image as I’m now too late to purchase these confectionary gifts for you – and yes, this is for real.., as you can see HERE.  I know Hammy will be exceptionally disappointed ;)

I’ve something to say about “Spies R Us”… aka Bletchley Park, home of the Hackers, Crackers and Code Breakers

In 1989 I worked for British Telecom (BT)… the role I was initially recruited for was as an underground heavy cabler… As such we had to learn about various skills and dangers and bits and pieces of how to winch, pull, rod, rope and turn cables over huge distances through underground ducting, across bridges, in lakes, dams, coal mines, remote hill top locations and down your street.
As such there were only a few places in the entire world where you could learn this skill and one of them was British Telecom’s Technical College Bletchley Park…

What happened at Bletchley apart from learning a new set of skills of hauling optical fibre and copper cables up to 4800 pair, meeting trainees from the USA, Canada, Asia etc – was finding a fascination with the place…
There wasn’t anything really there to tell you of its history, but for the most part the ornate gardens, grounds and buildings were all operational and well looked after.

Yesterday I stepped foot back on the grounds of Bletchley Park.. once home Mi:1 (later Mi:8) and the true birth place of GCHQ and what ultimately lead to the start of the NSA…

So… What is Bletchley really?
Yes it’s where the code breakers worked… yes, later the code breakers for the US worked there and then began a much deeper US/UK relationship which has continued to at a similar level ever since.

But the most significant thing is what you’re looking at to read this article!! The Computer.. (I say that because you may be from a country that was not involved in WWII)

This issue knows no patriotism, it, while once a technology of utmost secrecy, is now a technology where you and I, the end users, roam about the ether without a visa, at the speed of light and in the realms of the internet are all most members of a reasonably governmentless new world…
Whether we use the computer for work, shopping or simply for communication, it does not take long to understand its pitfalls, gain friends globally and learn it’s abilities and more importantly its strengths…

Now add this to the following information:

Bletchley Park was the home of the world’s first programmable computer (Colossus).
The work carried out there by the Code Breakers, by intellect and by computer is known to have shortened WWII by a minimum of 2 yrs, most likely 6 yrs.
There is actual reason to assume now that without the work of Bletchley, the war would have ended in a stalemate!!
While initially a British only thing, the information was soon shared with our Allies and very quickly the USA came on board and later expanded the work considerably with over 300 US intelligence staff working at Bletchley Park at one point.

What does that mean in real terms…
Well if WWII lasted 6 yrs at the loss of around 84,000,000 lives – shortening the war by any length of time saved a hell of a lot of lives… So many lives in fact that had it have not done its work, some of you reading this would have simply never existed in the first place!!
So in real terms on a pro-rata basis in saving lives =

2 yrs = 28,000,000
3 yrs = 42,000,000
4 yrs = 56,000,000
5 yrs = 70,000,000
6 yrs = 84,000,000

Staggering isn’t it…. Of course we’ll never actually know….

But what we do know about Bletchley Park and only more recently seem to realize is that while its work on the war effort was one thing, huge infact – the relevance to our lives today is immense…
You see, the old cliché of “The first casualty of war is the truth” is very real… and with every single industrial revolution of modern history – we forget the true roots of it all..
Yes, from the work that has become legend of modern pioneers like Steve Jobs, Paul Allen, Bill Gates and so many others – little homage has been paid to where it all truly started.

And Bletchley Park isn’t the only site to have made a significant break through in history – and these places need preserving also. But what of Bletchley today and more over – what are the multi billion dollar companies doing to preserve this level of modern history?

Bletchley today is open to the public, its assets decimated by BT when it relinquished control of the site with the shameful selling off of assets in the most disgusting example of cut-n-run you’re likely to ever see and something they should be made to do something about or at least be held accountable for.

It is run mainly by volunteers with an affinity with the place, but in order to keep its doors open it has almost reached the point of soul selling – and that isn’t pretty!!
The displays are based on what they can afford and that isn’t much.  Even the gift shop is a sad cry for sell anything if people will buy it!!
To me it is not in anyway a family site, it is historic geekdom… Infact talk to several people who have been, other than the odd item to do with the code breaking and the worlds first programmable computer – the rest can strike boredom even in the most intellectual of minds!  Frankly, while that remark pains me to even hear it – it is nonetheless a point of view given to me… However, talk to someone else and they said their entire family went and loved it to bits… So it really is up to you to make your mind up.

Bletchley Park IS NOT and should not be a WWII theme park, it is and should be only about Code Breaking, its impact, what was achieved there, what was innovated and where the world is today because of computers and how they came into being.

Can it be improved – YES!!! But that’d take cash and a lot of it – and a real road map to what should be there…
It should on the outside look just like it did in the days it was operational… but underneath it should be an advanced learning centre… yes the introduction to the Enigma, yes, learn about the code-breakers and what they did…
But then it needs to turn uber geek and have a tech centre built in a secluded spot whereby the entire history of computing can be shown – but NOT as a set of static displays… unused computer equipment is simply static junk – it all needs to work and have a degree of “hands-on” ability. But when you drive up to the gate, you should see guards dressed and armed as they were back in the day, and the windows should be taped etc. The public should feel as they’ve genuinely walked into another world, the world of the Code Breakers themselves.

It is here where real networking started, where the computer made it’s first leap forward and it’s here where there should be the greatest collection of this industrial revolution!!
Not piles of old junk, not modernising a site to modern health and safety laws – but a real living breathing reproduction of its heyday.

So what has our multi billion dollar “do anything to make a buck” computer, IT, and software companies done to help (other than the odd one like Google)?


Don’t get me wrong here, I back anyone who did it for themselves, I respect their innovation and guts to do all they have achieved… But when is enough money enough??
Yup, all these CEO’s can enjoy their earned lifestyles etc – but to not honour in any way the thing that ultimately made them their money??? It’s a bit like the baby who has just been born jumping up and head butting it’s mother in the face.

Bletchley Park should to all intents and purposes be made a UN World Heritage Site, it has to be restored, protected and also become the ultimate learning resource… the site needs innovation, conceptual design that is hidden away. It needs to be hands on and have enough money to pay its staff.
It needs the greater industry to donate 50% of one day’s bank interest from their fortunes so that this site can be honoured developed and set its history in stone..

No, there are no national and BS patriotic issues here, it needs its greedy fat assed off spring to stand up and be counted, to stand with some level of courage, commitment and more over – the self respect to step up to the plate.

It needs physical help too!! Yes from the companies who have staff who worked or developed modern super computers to be on-site to show the world what they did, how they took and industry forward through their own innovation.
IBM, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Adobe, Samsung, Texas Instruments – and this list could go on and on…. But Bletchley should be the home of not only the Code Breakers – but the site of a global industry show case and meeting point.
A place of collaboration, innovation and a place the entire world can see where it came from and marvel at the concepts of where it’ll go.

I’m ashamed of the lack of investment, the lack of enterprise and more over the complete and utter lack of organization and imagination of industry into the place, a place I actually like! The people at Bletchley Park, well they’re working hard, but with hands tied behind there backs. As for the overall real vision, cutting the wheat from the chaff and remaining focussed, I don’t know – it’s hard to achieve as much that needs to be done with little more than a shoe string.
I will say that NOTHING makes me more appalled than the gutless  blind eye turned to an industries roots and birthplace  – by the very industry itself and one I’ve worked in most of my life.
So, if the industry has ANY level of self-respect, has ANY balls…. Feel free to apply yourselves, offer 50% of – or better still, a whole days company bank interest, – use this as an opportunity of show casing yourselves…

The hard work and dedication of the team at Bletchley and Dr Sue Black is a testament to how important this work truly is… these people have my respect and their hard work, enthusiasm is, while outstanding,  an immense wake up call of people striving to do something, to work against impossible odds for the benefit of us all.

So… is there anything “we” can do? Yes be there for the weekend of the 21-22 May to show your support…

One final note:

Contrary to the Bletchley Park website  image below…. the cost of an adult visit is NOT 10 pounds – it is 12… and while I have now scrolled about to find the parking fee – there is one and it’s 3 pounds

To be clear about this, this is the first Bletchley Park Google result link… the Site has been updated and you should (until previous cache’s have been cleared) go through the website main portal to gain the latest information in order to prevent confusion and possible frustration: Clicking HERE or on the image below will take you to the present prices page and the most accurate information at the time of writing.


The TWBrit 2010 Christmas list

Yes a possible annual event whereby I post all the things that no one will buy me and are predominantly boys toys :)
So, lets get down to it (in no particular order)

Amberley Court

Battenberg Cake

Tac 15i Crossbow

Land Rover 110 County Station Wagon in full Camel Trophy spec. but in TWBrit decals and colour scheme.

Accuracy International’s .338 with a x24 Schmitt und Bender scope ( I would say an AS50, but they’re not legal in the UK)

Taylor K22ce Guitar made of Hawian Koa

A Dell Adamo XPS

A life time supply of Coffee


A guaranteed way of giving up smoking

Motion Computing J3500 Table

A Dentist

An invite to become a member of White’s

Logitech HD pro webcam C910

Cloud Computing and why the UK and most of the world isn’t ready…

So, rolling back to 2004 and I’m sitting in a meeting… We’re talking about the design and build of the next generation data centre and what we can offer with the most cutting edge tech at our disposal.
So I said we should get on to Microsoft and offer pay-as-you go or ‘in with your contract’ Microsoft Office applications as a web-based entity…
You may notice that Microsoft now offer this service free of charge with Hotmail etc.

Well this is what is now termed as the “Virtualization” part of Cloud Computing.  And has effectively been the missing link. What I mean is, outside of your Windows, Mac or Linux based operating systems you have no need to actually own multi hundred-dollar software items on the volatile platform of your PC or laptop – they’re all online and you pay a $1 or 2 every time you use them.
This saves you the user a fortune, yet the software is always the very latest available. You then store and back up your work online so by default you have a complete disaster recover system – irrespective of the state of your home/end-user equipment, or if your house/office burns down or something.

So basically all you require is the personal device, pc, tablet, laptop or phone to access everything you need on the web without requiring tons of software etc. The simplest way is to say the difference between ordinary email and webased email like Google Mail, Hotmail and Yahoo etc. It does not mater where you are in the world, you can access everything online that is yours.  Likewise, companies simply don’t require tons of data storage infrastructure with regards non-sensitive information. That, like your web-based emails etc are all online – or, in the Cloud… As such, main software applications will and in some cases all ready do appear inside your web brouser.

HOWEVER…. It recent years we have all been fooled into believes that ultra fast broadband is vital to the future… Well the only reason it is, is because all future TV and entertainment will be web-based and High Def, takes a lot of bandwidth to watch in realtime.
But the bandwidth isn’t the real issue here – what is, is data centre capacity… And right now most ISP’s have over subscribed their systems and they can’t cope with demand.
As such they’re bringing in, and in most cases have brought in ‘Fair Usage Policies” which is their way of flaunting their inability to provide unlimited usage that they advertised and sold to you – the customer.
The benchmark usage figure is 40 gigabytes of allowable downloads a month… And that figure is simply not conducive for now, the near future – and most certainly not for Cloud Computing….
And then the mobile operators who are limiting the mobile internet to around 500 mb per month… yet as we finally start the roll out both WiMax and 4G products… we’re looking at a limitless amount of bandwidth which our ISP’s simply can’t handle….

Yes I can sit here and whinge about ISP’s and how I perpetually have ground breaking ideas in meetings that others make a fortune from and I don’t due to my inability to communicate in the right way, to the right level – or by the fact that everyone likes milking your ideas and sticking their names on it…. But the reality is, companies like Dell now have off the shelf plug-in and go, all-in-one Data Centre solutions ready for nationwide and global deployment – so why are we being screwed with fair usage limits???
It’s basically money for old rope – they limit us, cutting down their overheads and making a greater profit while we suffer crap from customer service teams.

Cloud Computing is ready, but it’s time governments started kicking the butts of the ISP/Telco’s

Published in: on 25 November, 2010 at 14:28  Leave a Comment  
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What an odd few days

So over on the left of the pond, BP is taking a lot of flak as we know from a lot of people. What strikes me as odd about all this is that, well I think I’d like to be contracted to do a job and face no liability what so ever!!
It just seems odd (not that I know the first thing about drilling for oil or what Black & Decker you would need to do it) is that Transocean get contracted to come along with their own equipment and workforce to drill a bloody great hole in the sea bed no less that 1 mile from the rig itself and when it goes wrong – the client gets shot – not the people who did the job…
On top of this, I don’t think there has been a time in history when so much money has been put up by anyone to get it all sorted out.
Oddly this isn’t so far the biggest oil spill in history – that was done by Saddam Hussein in the first gulf war, and having stood on the beaches or the Arabian Gulf, you simply don’t see any sign of it because nature does infact take care of such things.
However, while an awful lot of critics appear to be standing around doing nothing other than complaining rather than getting their sleeves rolled up and helping out, the Obama administration has been doing one hell of a lot of sabre rattling. This part is actually hilarious simply because there is absolutely nothing they can do… After all, they’re still taking revenue from the oil products being sold by BP, so there seems to be a conflict of interest of sorts going on.
On top of all of this the BP CEO has been dragged over the hot coals with everyone demanding reasons, answers and above all else – action on something the likes of which has never happened before…
After this, the CEO rightly hands over control of the entire operation to his man on the ground that is in charge of the operation, makes $20Bn available to residents of the gulf of Mexico and leaves the whole thing to the experts.
The following weekend he goes to support his son in a yacht race and gets damned for it… I’m sorry, a father can’t go and support his son now?
This rhetoric came straight out of the White House who have basically done F**k all about any of this other than take time for photo shoots and mouthing off. An irony when BP could simply just say, stuff it – we’re off!! Or maybe someone might want to send a little Viagra to the Oval office, to help cure things in some way.

Further BS from the White House came this week with regards a Rolling Stone magazine article about General Stanley McChrystal and the war in Afghanistan. You can read it HERE, and frankly – I didn’t see a problem with the article at all.
But alas, the reality is that either we commit every single member of all our armed forces – or we get the hell out of Dodge!!

This week in the UK we had the promised emergency budget from our new government. And quite honestly, I didn’t think it was anywhere as near as harsh as it could have been.
Personally I would prefer a hard 3yrs and get it over with, but that may also have a dire effect on business.
It is what it is, and it isn’t bad at all… Not that you would believe it if you listened to the former govt. who got us into the mess in the first place…
In fact the week before the same party had all it’s new prospective leaders in a TV debate which turned into the biggest direct show of a complete lack of unity, ideas and frankly was a bit like watching headless chickens running about – I stopped watching it was so embarrassing… I think it was the part when they all agreed that govt. should have and the people want them to have more control… doh!!! Hello! Why do you think you’re not in power anymore?!

Other news in a New York Times article and followed up by CBS and others is about the fact that Apple is becoming the worlds most hated company due to their overt control of applications and persistent product updated replacements and lack of user control… Hmmm, wonder where I’ve heard that before…
There isn’t anything wrong with a Mac per se and yes, if you want Mac OS, you can indeed just buy it for your PC, but it’ll only come with drivers for Mac hardware… Ironically, a modern Mac is a PC format but only people with way too much money and lack of intelligence tend to go that route unless of course you need a dedicated hardware for editing applications – then Mac is ok. That is assuming you are okay with people being beaten into working on making Mac products does not effect you’re conscience – especially as their workers have the highest suicide rate and are often disappeared by Chinese police if they fail a metal detector test when leaving work.
The difference in Windows and other OS is that you the user get to play about with everything (hence people whinge when they screw up what they don’t know about).
But there are folks who while successful in previous employment and hired spokes persons for our present govt in IT things that do advocate these products and frankly prove which end of there body there head is really at!! Odd really as the field they were from was web related and nothing at all to do with IT…
PC is still the world business platform, if you want a good laptop – buy a damn Dell and if you want a proper tablet – go to Motion Computing, which is also oddly owned by Dell. But as the CEO says, “We’re not in the business of Disposable tablets” so don’t expect a fully functional Win7 computer tablet that is also ruggedized to be as cheap as the glitzy, but somewhat useless iPad.

Actually, here is a vid by an artist who bought an iPad as a form of digital sketch blook only to find that the moment you rest your hand on the screen as well as the pen – the hand also leaves a mark. The Motion products reconise the difference the moment you the systems Wacom pen on it. The latest versions while expense operate multi touch and ped. The Ls800 is available for around $200 2nd hand on ebay (introduced 4yrs ago).

Published in: on 24 June, 2010 at 10:49  Comments (1)  
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Funny Few Days…

Over in Sioux Falls, South Dakota BigDog aka Dave has been a busy chap… He’s just been upgrading and swapping out his IT solution. Oddly enough he’s opted for a 17” Dell laptop… and good for him.
It’s funny really, my Dell Inspiron has a Centrino T2050 possessor and is still more than capable of anything I wish to use this laptop for – and this includes playing Battlefield2 with all the video settings to max!
However, looking at the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2 on PC a couple of days ago – I wonder if I actually have the power to even start that game… I must look up the specs… BigDog – buy that game – so Iz can whoop yo sorry ass!!

Other stuff…

My new camera is unbelievably outstanding – I’m simply stunned at the pictures it takes!!
I left my previous camera to my mate in Chepstow, and frankly I’m glad I had to buy another. It’s a Samsung ST500 bought from for a fraction of what Amazon charge for it.

I have continued my ruthless cutting of people I follow on Twitter. Some of whom are even friends of sorts, but this is not to say I’m falling out with anyone as we can still communicate on twitter without the following thing. It actually stops ‘extra’ followers appearing which had become a hassle… This is, except for one UK follower who has turned out to be a stunning and insightful individual whom I won’t mention (other than they get larger by the day).

The big spring clean is under way here as I rip through my place throwing out EVERYTHING I don’t use. I’ve always travelled light, and always have the need to live light – but rarely succeed… Until now (I’m hoping). Besides, I live alone and if anything were to happen to me it’d make the job of clearing me out of the way much easier (I’m laughing here – yeah, good luck with that!!) :D

Most admin has been carried out other than requiring a medical for my truck licence…(£113). So I’m simply cracking on with life and looking forward to warmer weather.

News also this week is that they’re gonna release a load of new bugs into the UK. These weird mite-like critters suck the life out of a plant called the Japanese Knot Weed which has become a real problem in the UK. While it can grow a meter in 3 weeks, what you see is a bit like the tip of an Iceberg – the root structure is vast!!
I guess we’ll end up being over run with those too at some point..

Work colleague and Farmerist WKD and hubby ‘C’ have been preparing for lambing. I had no idea just how hard work this is until JK of all people started lecturing me about it.
This (for those who may read this blog) is a bit of a concern… I can’t be having JK learning more about this farmerist business!!
Hopefully WKD will furnish us with pictures of the whole process and lots of ickle lambs… (hint!)  ;)

My cousin’s lad and friend ‘Matt’ has been having an odd year.. Matt is an avid climber of sorts. I say ‘of sorts’ because he’s into ‘Bouldering’ (no, not blundering as the this spell checker would have me write). While he does the odd rock face, he loves nothing more than to wrap himself around large oversized pebbles! This sounds ok until you realise Matt is around 40 ft tall and has the wing span of a 747!!
This last year he’s had the misfortune of having his Land Rover stolen and as such getting to he most favoured places of the Peak District curtailed. This however did not stop him legging it to India to do some climbing a few weeks ago.
Matt is at a place in his life I know all too well as I’ve actually been where he is now – and I’m sorely envious of him.
If Matt is anything like me, he’ll probably head off and work his way around Europe at some point. The only thing I would recommend to him is to get his HGV class 1 – because love it or hate it, it’s one hell of a fall back income.
However, Matt is very much his own man! He’ll do what he wants and he’ll do it his way – and I of all people get that.
I do of course hate him for it :) lol


Published in: on 9 March, 2010 at 13:49  Comments (4)  
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Dell’s new Adamo XPS

If it wasn’t enough for Dell to produce the Adamo a few months ago, they were obviously working on something for quite some time that Apple appeared to beat them to the punch, well that’s not quite true.
I say appeared, but as many know, the most powerful laptops in the world are Dell’s XPS range, well with the advent of Apple releasing the ‘Air’, Dell released the Adamo XPS, the worlds thinnest laptop – and further more, they gave it the extreme power of XPS.

Published in: on 18 November, 2009 at 18:23  Leave a Comment  
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Well this morning (after a very long sleep) a knock at the front door revealed a chap brandishing a box. That box of course was my replacement laptop screen (the first being DOA).

So while on the phone to my sister talking about the company she works for, I popped out the old monitor and slung in the new one – and….

here’s the old and new





Ironically, while this has an annoying glossy finish, the screen quality is much better than the old one – Result!!

Published in: on 10 November, 2009 at 13:12  Comments (6)  
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I Swear….

Well, the run to Oakthorpe was a bit arduous and typical of a SundaArlay night, albeit that traffic was slow on the M3 due to a serious car fire.
Arriving tired, I was greeted by Arla dairy hand Dave who was bright, and just the right level of ‘cheery’ to lift the burden of the drive into London – that was very much appreciated and I hadn’t seen him for months either.

I parked close – very close to WKD’s red missile when I got to work and hadn’t realised just how long her car doors were. Expecting a grimWKD icon1acing email later, I actually got a kinda humorous one with a mild declaration of war against the TWB Car of Character (CofC). This I can handle, though I’m not sure the CofC can. The bit that was a huge disappointment is that WKD is actually slim enough to have got into her car without bashing her door against mine. Odd, when I came to this work nearly 3 years ago, I thought everyone was fat! And there was simply no excuse for it – I am now bigger than many of the other drivers and this just isn’t good.  Any way, as long as she keeps sending farmerist pictures, I know we’re good – well there are farmerist pictures that might not be so good, but hey! LOL

DriverCPCThe 10th September looms close now and for truck drivers in the UK, this means the requirement for the Driver CPC (certificate of professional competence), a thing once only required by transport managers and owner drivers. But alas, if you wish to retain the ability of professional driving, you’ll be required to retain a CPC in an ongoing training capacity….. (sigh)
I’ll write more on this subject in the future.

Other news…

The Boeing 787:
The 787 is almost ready to fly! (YAY!) and Boeing say it will be airborne boeing_787before the years end with first deliveries being made throughout 2010.
I did try to get all the latest news via the Boeing webcast, but sadly it does not appear to be working. If you would like to watch the Boeing videos of the evolution of the 787 and the cool stuff going into it – you can watch them HERE

Dell HellWhat can I say about a company I’ve spent millions with? (not my millions, company money). Basically, I am my warranty!! And there will be more on this subject later! I have though, used Michael Dell’s own business model for fixing the issues I had.

Yesterday while driving back down the M4 towards home, I had a sudden wish to have been having a chat’n’chill with SEC, I haven’t seen her for 4 year (?), which is kinda weird to me really. I rarely miss anything or anyone other than my old Irish Setter.

If I’m not working on Friday, I’m going to Tuttles in London!!

Published in: on 7 September, 2009 at 17:33  Comments (3)  
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News of late is…
I have a non recoverable hard drive. Before anyone starts saying otherwise, it’s a dual platter with a dead motor and if you know anything about HD’s, HDD motorthen you’ll know it’s a done deal. Any other problem would have been fixable – but a dead motor on more than one platter is a no, no. Sad really, as I have so much info on it (118gigs out of 120). I might still mess about with it, but not until I buy some secondary storage device.

I received an odd note through my door at 4pm yesterday stating that the Landlord required access with a surveyor at 10 am this morning – so much for the 24hr notice.
But this did indeed give me the opportunity to give certain areas a very deep clean. Just need to finish the dec**-hating now.

24inch  monitorProcrastinating (also dithering) over the purchase of a repllaptop screenacement laptop screen or a 24” LCD monitor – what do you guys think? (sigh)


Back to work Wisemans tankertoday 17:30 and off to Wisemans, Droitwich and tomorrow…. Wait for it, yes, Bishops Nympton! to Cadburys also at 17:30. This almost seems organised (less we speak too soon).

Published in: on 4 September, 2009 at 16:36  Comments (1)  
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Coming Soon…





Published in: on 2 September, 2009 at 17:36  Leave a Comment  


I’m presently writing an article about Dell and my interactions with them regarding my now defunct laptop screen. It’s making interesting writing – even if the end result is all to common place.

I’m not working until Friday – YAY!!!!!!!!

Thinking about going out and about tomorrow, visiting and travelling – London, Oxford, Windsor, who knows?

Now I would comment on various things that have been in the news lately, but to be honest, they’re so infuriating – I just can’t bring myself to do it.
What I will say about stuff in the news is this;

The Lockerbie bomber; Firstly, there has always been doubt here about just how much input this guy actually had in the actual event and the true feeling is that the real culprits have never been brought to justice. In deed, while Libya may have put this man forward, I think it’s fair to say his family have been living in the lap of luxury every since!
The single benefit of him returning to Libya is that he will die a far more undignified and painful death there than here!
However – Justice?! No I’m afraid it’s not.
The gentleman gave up his right to appeal, which apparently he’s been working on since went to prison – as was allowed to leave. So, in other words, to save face, a man remains convicted of something that so many others were involved with.
Now, it is obvious the Gordon Brown (the unelected Prime Minister of the UK) denial of his part in all this (he’s also Scottish) is just crazy talk. You can’t say things off the cuff or flippantly to Arab nations, they listen intently to what is said and act upon it – so when he goes telling them that he wished that this guy would die a free man – then what do you think that would mean?!
While people in the US maybe/are angry about all this – we here, have so much contempt for Gordon Brown and his ‘Grab a $million’ predecessor Blair that it begs belief.
If there was any ounce of Britishness left in this country – Blair and Brown sold their souls to flush it away!

One day, we might get politicians who have lived a life before politics, people who know how things really stand – and are not so darn far out of touch.
Mr Brown has now totally scr**ed his role as PM.

Published in: on 2 September, 2009 at 17:35  Leave a Comment  
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Today, aside from the normal amount of grumpiness my age brings with me, I can honestly say I’m not a happy chap! This is work related and will, I have no doubt – lead to a predictable course of action on my part. You see, I simply don’t do things or work for people who make me unhappy (no matter how detremental to my life/income) – but, we’ll see how we go.

dellOn a lighter note and that makes me smile – Dell have been in touch. But more on that at a later date.

Now, these days it’s fair to say that life has led me to a point where by Chapswearing like a drain is common place for me. Indeed, this is not the best outward persona for anyone outside the bounds of humour – but while I was suffing the net the other day, I came upon ‘The Chap’ a truly English magazine based on both the web and of course in hard copy. To have a little read through it’s pages left me with a wry smile (my worst lol), but ulitamtely it’s an excellent look at what we have truly forgotten.

Published in: on 26 August, 2009 at 17:00  Comments (1)  
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Darn it

I just broke my laptop screen!!!

What has stunned me here is the simplicity in which it broke. This Dell dellInspiron has been one of the most awesome work horses I’ve ever owned or used from Dell. In fact, throughout this blog you’ll find reference to experience and knowledge of Dell products. But the single thing that Dell does best – is build sturdy Laptops!

This Inspiron was bought on Ebay over 2 years ago and has travelled everywhere with me. It’s been battered, dropped more times than I can remmember and has had so much abuse that even the screws securing the hard drive have long since fallen out of it and disappeared. When I got this, it came with Xp Professional on it and it kept freezing up. Biting the bullet I bought and formatted the drive with Vista Ultimate, put an extra gig of ram in it and it’s never failed (except when I didn’t secure a lead during a major overhaul and clean), even with the system running I have pulled the hard drive clean out , pushed it back in and it still carried on working!!  Now, I learned all about Dell laptops and just how good they were when I lived in Saudi while working for Marconi Middle East and using a complete Dell solution – you see the Dell global support doesn’t actually cover the Kingdom and we had to maintain hundreds of them ourselves. This Inspiron 6400 has had everything thrown at it, coffee dropped on it, thrown around the inside of a hard braked truck and even had a large full  Stanley steel flask drop square on it – yet it does not stop, break or miss a heart beat.

How did it break? you may ask… Well I had just sat down and was taking a sip of coffee while just turning the open and running laptop towards me by twisting it near the top of the screen on the bezel towards me. As I did, I felt it go. I’m shocked and a little surprised it went the way it did to be honest – but after 2 and a half years of solid abuse – not totally unexpected. With half a screen still working I made the biggest error – I ran my fingers over it and the rest of the screen then cracked and the image disappeared.

Oh well, there goes £70 – unless eBay…

Service time

burnWith the news that Who’s Who, Cozmic’s laptop went up in smoke the other day, and after some research into the matter – I decided it was time to service my laptop properly.
Oddly, as some of you may be surprised to know, I’m actually qualified in such matters of system design, build, repair and service of all things to do with computers, servers, networks and just about anything you attach to them – I’ve even designed the odd data center.

This however, would be no where near the surprise I received when I totally disassembled my Inside my DellDell Inspiron 6400!!

While I regularly take a vacuum cleaner to the vents on this thing, nothing prepared me for the dirt inside. There were huge wads of what looked like padding – but were certainly not!!Wad of Fluff
The fan blades were dirty as expected – well, dirty was an understatement!
A few cotton buds later and use of needle and thread to clean between the heat exchanger fins – and all was good!

Now with the wMy Dell Servicedhole lot back together and while I normally spend hours cooking my thighs with this laptop while the fan spends hours whining away, I’m sat here with only the mildest of warm thigh and a fan that cuts in for a around 30 seconds at a time keeping everything as cool as possible.

Why I didn’t do this before amazes me, but sadly for Cozmic, any advice I could have offered has long since past and he would have needed it months ago.

Sorry mate.

Published in: on 27 July, 2009 at 20:03  Comments (2)  
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