PAGE TEN OF MY DIARY

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Friday, 03 May 2002. Just realised - I have not had a copy of the accounts of the Pitsea and Vange Royal British Legion Club sent to me this year. For the past two years I have had two copies sent to me anonymously. Wonder what has happened!!? All passed away - or scared?
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Sunday, 05 May 2002. Always liking to keep up-to-date with new technology, I wanted to see what digital TV, via a standard aerial, was like. But, I didn't want to subscribe to a pay service. (though, they have now gone bust!) A 'set top box' is now on the market, made by Pace - cost 100.
It has been a good service from Currys and Securicor, as I got the unit I ordered Thursday on Saturday.
The set-up is quite simple but you have several alternatives depending on the TV and VCR that you have. I have the best set-up, as I have a VCR with two scart sockets which is able to do 'direct' recording.
The small complaint is that they did not include the aerial splitter and two RF leads needed to complete the set-up. Luckily I had them in my junk box.
To summarise, you can do everything as normal, plus receive digital TV. You can do all the previous recording of analogue while watching analogue or digital , but you cannot record one digital programme while watching another digital programme. Though I suppose that you could get another box!
I was surprised that the unit downloads software up-dates via the aerial. As the unit converts the digital signal to an analogue one, the picture quality is not greatly improved, though recordings should be better.
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Tuesday, 06 May 2002.
The Basildon Careline story is here.
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Wednesday, 08 May 2002. The Careline problem has been resolved. As we are finding out, and accepting, these days, it is not an individual's fault that causes a problem. It is usually a 'system error'. Recently there have been the instances of rail crashes and medical errors that, when analysed, show that the systems do not 'fail safe'. This is what happened here and plans have been made to avoid a similar occurrence.
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Thursday, 09 May 2002. My son, Kevin, has written a little midi player prog,
and it is here. (right click and Save Target as.......) He wrote it because he found that the progs on the market did too little or too much, but did not do exactly what he wanted. Its main advantage is the ease with which you can mute tracks and change tempo & key when using it to accompany yourself on an instrument or singing.
I am very impressed with it, but comparing the complexity with his
prog for designing electronic equipment, it is 'small beer'. He's almost as clever as his dad, BUT not as good looking! (he's on the left)
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Friday, 10 May 2002. Had an interesting day at Southend Hospital having an MRI done. The poor radiographer, like everyone else, had a job getting a vein to put a canular in! He apologised and said that I would have bruising, but all OK nowt there. He first tried the forearm and then the wrist. For the life of me I can't see where he put it in the wrist - clever guy! The first session of four short bursts were OK. But, oh my Gawd, the noise of the ten minute session! It was like laying between the rails while express trains were going over at 100 mph! I got used to it after three minutes and had a nice relaxing time. I've said it elsewhere, and it bears repeating, that we are very lucky to have such dedicated people in the health service. Another thing - the radiographer explained more to me, in a few seconds, about the circulation of the blood in the vessels in the neck and head, than the consultants did.
Here's his phisog.
Coincidence! He has a web site. So I said, "Show me your's and I'll show you mine!" And we swapped addys. I
really liked this picture. And these pictures have such great atmosphere.
All in all, not a bad day, after some initial trepidation.
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Tuesday, 14 May 2002. I had a visit today from the manager of
Basildon Careline, and we went through the steps used to enter a resident into the call system. It is a manual system and relies on carrying forward manually recorded information. Not an easy system for which to set up a formal procedures manual. We left it for her to talk through the problem with her staff and the warden. I, for my part, am happy in the way the matter has been resolved.
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Wednesday, 15 May 2002. Had a chat with the warden today about the Careline problem. We managed to come to a few conclusions and develop a better way to manage the 'no call' list. Took me back a while to when I was at work - and I was good at it!
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Friday, 17 May 2002. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. My friend, Margaret, was at a 'Hobbies Fair' and was interested in the genealogy exhibition. The demonstrator said how she could get details off the computer regarding Margaret's father, who died as a merchant seaman in WWII. I thought that I would 'have a go' and my efforts are here. I used the info on the commission's site in designing the plaque. She is trying to get a photo of him to include in the design.
Was with my dietician today and she was very pleased with my progress. My glucose levels are now OK. Can't understand why my weight is not shifting! It is 76 kgs (12s 1lb in old money). It is not much over the desirable weight - about 10%). Her advice and morale boosting chat are a great help.
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Saturday, 18 May 2002. Just been checking my firewall, ZoneAlarm, and found that I had changed the settings and accidentally opened one of my ports. (If it sounds complicated - but don't worry!) ZoneAlarm seems to be a cheap and effective way to secure your computer from hackers and spys. You can test the vulnerability of your computer by going to
https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 and checking your system. Snag is though, if you get a firewall, I won't even be able to see you with my counter! But, I'll accept that price for your security!

I also have McAffee virus prog and that has trapped a couple of Trojans. Be warned and be secure! Also go to Tools>Internet Options>Security and check your browser settings. It should be high security and high privacy for surfing. (Though you may have to make some temporary changes to access secure sites)

And, by the way, there have been a few attempts to give me a virus via email. The emails say that the attachment contains a fix for a virus - IT IS NOT - IT IS A VIRUS!!!! If you have IE6 you may be OK as it deletes dangerous attachments.

Happy surfing!
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Thursday, 23 May 2002. I, (and ANO), have been designing ways to get people to divulge their passwords, and it has been quite easy! We have been successful in getting info from each other. What I have learnt, is that when I get a request via email, page or 'pop up' asking me to confirm my details, I will NOT do it without a LOT of analysis.
BE WARNED! There are a lot of a*s*h*l*s out there!
If you want any other advice
email me.
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Tuesday, 28 May 2002. How strange things happen. Talking to the window cleaner and found that he is keen on the internet, he was interested in d/l films. Seems that there is a Napster type of site out there. Things are progressing as broadband becomes popular and HDs get bigger. Also DVD-R and DVD-RW become affordable. I showed him my HP digicam camera and took a few photos with my 90 web/digi camera. The results are here -
him - me.

Well, "This laddie has been for turning!" (Acknowledgements to Maggie) I have now left Interworks as I could not access their tools and facilities. I have reverted to BT Openworld. The snag with them is that they do not allocate enough bandwidth, and files can take a bit longer to download. I see that a lot of people are getting broadband. I have checked, and it is not available in my area. Even that is getting bad publicity for not performing as publicised!
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Wednesday, 29 May 2002. Had another session with my counsellor, Laura, today. I thought that it would be the last, as my thoughts regarding suicide have become modified. (I will have to make it a topic for my
'Ramblings' pages - when I am motivated!)
We went over some of the events in my life and discussed how it was that I made some of my decisions. When I think inwardly I can quite easily 'see' why I have done what I have done. However, when it comes to verbalising those actions, it does seem that I have not acted according to 'good, acceptable, social norms'!
My feelings regarding
the Buckets were examined. In retrospect - and talking about it - it does seem to be a bit of a 'storm in a teacup'. But, when I recall the incident, I am certain that my actions were correct. My only regret is that it seems to be the cause of my sister, Dolly, not talking to me. (Though, I am still not certain)
We decided that continuing the sessions would give me an opportunity to talk about some of the painful events in my life, and see if there is a better way for me to deal with them emotionally.
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Friday, 31 May 2002. Most people are celebrating the queen's 50th. anniversary, so I thought that I would do my bit. I'm not a royalist or republican. Just think that, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Here is my tribute - with acknowledgement to "TV Times". I think I did a decent job of removing the background. (This is the original)

It's nice to know that I am always right! See my entry about Freeserve here.
Barry Fox, broadcaster and journalist in an article in "PCW" magazine, July 2002 issue, P35 says,

"I used to like Freeserve until I tried to cancel my Anytime account. Has the company been taking lessons from Sky?"

Not only me who had trouble then!
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Tuesday, 04 June 2002. Just a snippet of philosophy - while watching 'The Meaning of Life' last night. A few simple
words and music that encapsulates the meaning (lack of meaning?) of life. I doubt if many who watched the film realised the truth of the words.
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Sunday, 09 June 2002. That was nice. Got up at 8:30. Had my breakfast and went back to bed. Got up again at 13:05!! Slept like a babe. Must have needed it.
A black cat has adopted me. Could that be good luck? Certainly is for him (her?) - gets fed twice a day!
We had a QEII Golden Jubilee BBQ last Monday and I did a one hour video of it. It didn't turn out too bad, but it surprised me, the various comments I got. What some people thought was excellent, others thought was appalling! Most thought that they looked very old. As we are in sheltered housing for old folk, that should not be too surprising! It is an analogue camcorder and I do not have the card to import composite video so I can't put a clip on here. That luxury may come later.
And yet another
cyber friend, Julie- and that makes two! All the others disappear into a mist after a few weeks with Ted! But, nice to meet them all.
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Monday, 10 June 2002. Would Les, who sent me a message via my anonymous mail facility, please contact me through
my normal email as I can't reply to you, ol' mate! The facility is truly anonymous! Can't remember your name. I know the street well, and lived just round the corner in Ayloffe Road. Cheers.
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Saturday, 15 June 2002. Some time ago, someone salvaged a big screen TV from a skip and gave it to us. (The sheltered housing complex). Our window cleaner got it going, but the picture was no good. As the World Cup Football was on, I was asked to see if I could get a better picture. I have no experience of big screen, but a reasonable amount with old colour TVs. I took it apart - with a little trepidation - and it was filthy! It must have had about 15 years in a smoke filled bar, and never cleaned. I cleaned the inside of the screen, the colour projectors and reflector mirror. Good as new, but the picture just needed adjusting. Next was to get the video input going so that we could have film nights. I could not find how to get the video mode active. I had the video connections sorted. Anyway, I connected the video via the RF cables and it is satisfactory.
Today we watched England drum Denmark with a 3:0 score! (I'm not really interested with football, but the girls seemed to get all excited!). And, it gave me an interest for a couple of days, and showed the girls how clever I am! hehe!
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Friday, 21 June 2002. It's nearly nineteen years since Lesley died. A couple of weeks ago I had the urge to make a better memorial graphic for her page. The photo that I had been using was about 25 years old and the colours were faded. I found the negative and put it into the local chemist for a couple of prints. Whoops! It seemed as though they had lost the negative - but OK - they found the order and processed it. The quality of the prints was excellent. I have scanned it in and used my Adobe Photo Delux to make a picture. I am pleased with it. Her page is
here.
Well, that's England out of the World Cup! Not that I have much interest in football, but it makes a topic for conversation. At least, I won't have the kids kicking balls against the fence. They'll be hiding in shame!!
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