10 March 2007


It's been a while since I've blogged and the truth is it's difficult to find the time, so I've set up an AudioBlog.
Some would call it a podcast, and whilst technically the same, I think a podcast implies a produced piece of audio; mine isn't produced at all, it's just my random thoughts on stuff, much the same this Weblog. With my iRiver IFP890 (purchased of ebay especially for the task) I can record stuff in the car and just upload it when I get in. In fact, this small post has already taken longer than it takes to stick my AudioBlog up.
So, if you want to listen, you can subscribe at http://feeds.feedburner.com/pwdmarshall - stick it in your PodCatcher (iTunes, Juice, etc) and enjoy (or not, as the case may be). If you're not familiar with subscribing to podcasts, leave a comment and I'll let you know.

02 January 2007


Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

19 December 2006


I've been using mightyv since it was first mentioned on BBC Backstage and I love it, it's the only place I go to find out what's on ... forget Teletext and newspapers ... the easiest way to find out what's on. (I've even converted my wife to use it)

I've only just started adding programs to my schedule, but I can see it's powerful, especially with the recommendation engine.

So I thought ... if I've added things to my schedule, I wondered if there's a webcal feed that I can add to my 30boxes calendar .... and sure enough, there's an ical button on the my Schedule page ... but it doesn't seem to work in 30Boxes.

Of course, this could be a problem with 30Boxes, but I don't think so ... when I checkout http://icalshare.com the feeds all seem to begin "webcal://ical..." and end in ".ics" but the one on mightyv doesn't.

Anyone got any ideas?

06 December 2006

Searching for a strategy

Check out this from John Udell. It's a very interesting post about searching and how we all go about finding what we're looking for.

A friend of mine always used to say I had a knack for getting to the right article. I'm not sure about that, it's certainly easier when you're familiar with the subject matter, or if it's searching within a site, knowing how they arrange and title their documents.

After a while of using it, I used to find the right article on Veritas technical support quite easily. However, I've been using PTC technical support site for years and it's still hit and miss, sometimes enter a specific error message and you get no results, other times you'll get 500+ results and even more occasionally you'll get what you're looking for. I think part of the problem here is the inconsistency in their documents, what chance have you got if there are typos and inaccuracies in the data you're searching. I suppose that's why I find searching the web much easier, on average typos will be insignificant when there is more that one document containing the information you're looking for. When you're limited to a specific site, where there may be only 1 document with relevant information, your success depends on their data integrity.

28 November 2006

40% off at Thresher

Anyone interested?

See Hugh MacLeod's weblog for some background, thanks Hugh.

Or just go here.

Be quick, it expires 10th December.

27 November 2006

Free offsite backups

For a few months now I've been using Mozy to backup my computer. It just sits in the background and backs up whatever you've specified to the Mozy servers; either anytime or when you're computer isn't busy; all traffic is encrypted, so you're data is safe.

I really like it and so far it works well, though I've only restored a couple of files. You get 2GB for free and 30GB for $5/month. I'm using the free version at the moment, and I'm backing up all data apart from my music.

My music collection is too big and not really critical, though it would be nice to backup off-site, a DVD every month or so is enough. What is really re-assuring is that I haven't got to remember to backup my important data (accounts/invoices etc), it just does it. Really simple and it just works.

At the moment they're only supporting Windows, but a Mac version will be out soon.

Why not take a look? If you do, please use the links here, as they'll give both of us an additional 256MB of free space ... check it out.

25 November 2006

30b ... business model?

As I've said before, I love 30boxes. My problem until now has been where to keep my diary. I'm a consultant, who spends time at different companies using their computers, plus time using my computer. 30boxes transcends all these barriers.

Recently my wife has started using 30boxes, at the moment she's using my login (which is fine by me), but maybe we should get her an account and share items between us, I'm not sure of the benefit. Anyone like to comment?

The benefit to me has more that doubled with my wife using it. No longer do I get home on a Friday and ask my wife what we're doing over the weekend. The interesting thing is, my wife is putting all the family and friends birthdays into it (which works really well, automatically repeats every year). For years, at this time of year she has purchased a new calendar and transferred all the birthdays into the new one .... not any more ;->

I only have one worry ... how are 30boxes making money? I know they're a small company, with individuals who've made a lot of money in previous businesses, but are they financing all this with their own money? Surely this can't go on forever. Will ads start appearing? Will they sell the app to companies? Will they wait until I've got a lot of data invested in 30boxes and then start charging me? I don't know the folks at 30boxes, but I get the impression Narendra is a good guy with a good brain, so I certainly don't think it's the last option. Sell to companies? I doubt it when they are so many calendars that come bundled with email. Ads? Maybe, but the GUI is very clean and un-cluttered at the moment, so it would be difficult to see how they'd achieve this without affecting the simplicity.

So Narendra? If you're reading this, would you care to respond?

03 November 2006

Do you del.icio.us ?

If you're using del.icio.us please add me to your network ... I'll probably do the same for you.

I don't think I've written about del.icio.us yet.

I love it.

I've been using it for some months now and it's changed the way I think about bookmarks.

I used to have problems with bookmarks on different computers, I'd bookmark at work, then want to use it at home and vice versa.

Another problem I used to have is categorising bookmarks. I had folders, but often bookmarks fit into several different categories, so where should they go? In all of them? Maybe, but that's time consuming.

del.icio.us allow's you do keep all your bookmarks online and you organise them by tagging them. A tag is just a word to help you find it again, and your del.icio.us bookmarks can have multiple tags, as many as you like.

To use a bookmark, you just visit http://del.icio.us/YOURNAMEHERE and look for a tag. Alternatively, you can search your own bookmarks ..... and also everyone's del.icio.us bookmarks.

There are extensions/pluggins available for browsers, so when on a page you can just hit 'Post to del.icio.us'

I can't recommend it enough. If you look through my del.icio.us bookmarks with the tag del.icio.us (visit http://del.icio.us/pwdmarshall/del.icio.us) then you'll see all sorts of tips and tricks for using del.icio.us

06 October 2006

New look

I've updated the look of the blog. It now includes some of my del.icio.us tags.
If you're reading this through an RSS reader you might want to take a look.

05 October 2006

The Royal Harbour Hotel, Ramsgate

I've been in Ramsgate for a few days. "Nevermind" you may say, but I found the town quite nice after hearing bad things about it.

I stayed in an excellent hotel, The Royal Harbour Hotel. It's part of a terrace overlooking the harbour and I would guess the building is Edwardian. The rooms are very simple, but clean and the bathroom was excellent. The ground floor (main lobby/lounge/restaurant/snug) all had a really nice feel to them, polished oak floorboards, an 'honesty bar', open fire, nice artwork and a record player and collection of vinyl that guests can play.

So many hotels are owned by chains and after you've walked in you could be anywhere, it was really nice to stay somewhere where the owners clearly take pride in hotel and want to provide a superb environment. It wasn't really like staying in a hotel, it was like staying at a friends house, where you're very welcome.

Oh and there's free Wi-Fi

27 September 2006

To link or not to link ...

A very interesting post from Steve Gillmor.

I can't quite decide whether to link to it or not. I know Steve wouldn't want me to, but don't want to re-write his post here.

He would say the better gesture is not to link and for my readers to be forced to search for him and find the post I'm talking about.

I'm not convinced any of you will do that.

So here's the link.

But not hidden behind some other words.

Just a link.


17 September 2006

Sick of annoying phone calls?

I can't do anything to help if you've just got annoying friends, but if you're in the UK and getting too many marketing calls, visit......


I've just signed up, hopefully it will reduce the number of times the phone rings, we answer and there's nobody there.

The BBC had an interesting article, which lead me to the above site.

16 September 2006

The power of the Hoff

15 September 2006

VRM - The user in charge!!

The Gillmor Gang podcast just gets better and better. (well, when they're not playing vendor sports).

I highly recommend checking out the VRM Gang, a very interesting discussion revolving around 'The user in charge' - control your own online metadata instead of vendors (companies) each having their own inaccurate version of your metadata.

It will be good to see what Steve has planned. I'm also very encouraged that Doc Searls seems to be involved.

10 September 2006


Long time no blog.... has anyone noticed?
I doubt it.

Ooh, I'm using the new Blogger Beta, though I'm not sure what the difference is yet.

So what's happened since I last blogged?
- I still haven't got enough time - hence no blogging!!
- The kids continue to grow, and their birthdays are less than a month away
- We sold our summer house on eBay
- We ordered a (kids) playhouse to replace it
- My father-in-law helped me fit the pond cover we bought in January, so the kids are safe now.
- My father-in-law has given up his 'day job' to do something on his own - something he's always wanted to do.
- I sold my Mercedes A Class and bought a Volvo S60
- Gmail continues to rock
- 30boxes rocks almost as much
- I went on a stag weekend to Lithuania
- LFC have made an average start to the season
- England were disappointing in the World Cup
- England appointed McClaren as new manager
- Stevie G missed out on the England captaincy, but his new role under McClaren lets him influence the game

That'll do for now..... is anyone reading this? Please leave comments....even one word would be great.
Oh yes, who is Richie that left the comment on the last post? Is that you Brains?