Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

30-Oct-12 One down, five to go…

In Blog, Personal on October 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Yesterday I completed one of my personal moments for 2012, which was to visit an island in the UK I have never visited before.

The photos in my blog today show that we visited Brownsea Island off the coast of Poole, which is not only famous for the first camp site of the Scout movement, but also for one of the few places in southern England where indigenous red squirrels survive.


Brownsea Castle. Another castle built for Henry VIII!


Brownsea Island is actually sited in Poole Harbour, which is the second largest natural harbour in the world. The first is Sydney in Australia.


In the middle of this picture, if you squint, is the very rare Red Squirrel.


26-Oct-12 CIO UK

In Blog, Personal on October 26, 2012 at 5:59 am

Yesterday evening, I attended an excellent Consumerisation event that was run by CIO UK, sponsored by Samsung and attended by a number of high level IT folk across a number of different sectors.


Event was in Knightsbridge very close to the seasonal lights of Harrods!

The event was timed well, as it coincided with Microsoft’s global launch of their surface device, another entry in to what is now becoming a crowded arena of devices.

Although there was a lot of discussion (before, during and after the event) on the devices, whether that be a bring your own or a company provided one, we just cannot avoid the fact that applications and their simplicity of use (Drop box) are driving this trend.

With this in mind, the device is almost irrelevant, as this market of 4″, 7″ and 10″ wonders will continue to evolve over the coming years. We cannot overlook basic things like security, but now these are so much more of a given with any device.

What applications will survive? In my mind, it is those applications like social media and file sharing that are simple to use, but it will also be those who can provide these across a number of different devices using very sophisticated cloud services, which minimise mistakes and provide effective synchronisation.

These are indeed existing times!

24-Oct-2012 Microsoft surfaces…

In Blog, Personal on October 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

The next big consumer trend is possibly about to be globally launched tomorrow. Is this device, the Microsoft Surface running Windows 8, really going to tempt consumers away from Apple and Android devices?



I’m at a consumerisation event tomorrow evening, so I’m guessing it won’t be too long before this device is mentioned.

My view is that I am doubtful that this will have a huge impact on the consumer market, but corporates will love it. Could be famous last words!

23-Oct-12 Friday night dinner!

In Blog, Personal, Uncategorized on October 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I’ve been a bit irregular with my blogs of late, hence today I felt I was due one! Especially as I needed cheering up, as work has been a tad stressful recently. Too many road maps, budgets and business cases!

What made me giggle at lunchtime was a wonderful quote that my daughter sent me from ‘Friday Night Dinner’, a comedy on Channel 4 in the UK, which has been reduced to  ‘peak’ viewing on Sunday at 10 o’clock!

Although initially drawn to the first series via Simon Bird (Inbetweeners), who plays one of the sons, Adam (or is it Jonny), it was actually the character of Jim (played by Mark Heap), who completely steals the show.

Jim is a very strange neighbour, who is scared of the most cutest Alsatian (Wilson) you have ever seen, and always appears at the most inconvenient time for help.


Jim. Brilliant, albeit a bit strange!


Wilson. Cute and not scary at all!

If you get a chance and want an introduction to the now hilarious second series, watch this clip from last Sunday.

It had me in stitches!

20-Oct-12 Twitterings!

In Blog, Personal on October 20, 2012 at 6:56 am

Saturday morning and as I wait for our curtesy car, as a result of our accident last weekend, I finally get 5 minutes to dedicate to the blog.

For those who don’t catch my regular tweets @garrylengthorn on Twitter, you won’t know that the police caught the individual who burgled our home this time last year. The man, of Polish origin, apparently burgled over 40 properties! It nice to see that justice will be served. Unfortunately none of our goods will be returned. In fact, that might be fortunate, as most of the items were electrical, so not sure I want back them back now!

It seems that more and more people that I know are converting to Twitter. I’ve been on it for some time now with over 1100 tweets, and this week, I finally bypassed the 200 followers mark, which has taken a long time to achieve. It shames me, as my daughter has over 2000 followers!

It is difficult to judge the long term future of Twitter. At a meeting yesterday, I learnt that Analysts reckon that Twitter has a short term life. In an article in July, it was estimated that there are over 500 million accounts, albeit only 170 million of these are active.


Top of the tweeting capitals is Jakarta!

I do wonder how Twitter will evolve. For me, there is a clear distinction between using Facebook and LinkedIn to socialise and collaborate, but the lines get very blurred with Twitter. Especially as Twitter starts to get used more by those who are fleeing from the privacy concerns over Facebook.

As with any technology, the consumer will influence where the product goes and what products will be here in 2 years time. Already, other social networking tools, like Instagram, are grabbing significant online time with my teenagers! The ability to share an important moment through an enhanced photo or video is very popular with this generation Y culture.

I have a doubt over whether Twitter and indeed Facebook will be here in 2-3 years time, unless both companies can keep up with the emerging trends and a population that will want to be even more social on the move and in the workplace, whilst not being inhibited or feeling like they are being stalked.

I’m looking to embrace whatever comes along, as I’m a generation X who is clearly a generation Y wannabe!


Back in the day! Now where’s my Freedom t-shirt!

14-Oct-12 Accidents will happen!

In Blog, Personal on October 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

One of the regular blogs I follow is influenced heavily by photography, hence a slight change to my normal format today.

The weekend started with a bump unfortunately! The result of some poor driving by a white van man!


Hmm. Not sure I can view the road at that angle!

Grainne tried to stop the driver, but he drove off! Did not realise that leaving the scene of an accident like this was a criminal offence. Well it is, and the witness (local bystander) got the number plate, so looks like justice will be served!

Friday at least ended on a positive note with an evening of Squeeze on BBC 4. Pure class.

Saturday ended up being an insurance claim day once we had reported the crime. Can you believe that our nearest police station is a 30 minute drive away!


Reminds me of Sun hill in the Bill!

Sunday was a perfect autumn sunny day and we felt it was a perfect opportunity for a Sunday afternoon stroll in Nonsuch Park followed by tea and cake. Hmm.


A glorious day!


Who are those 3 strangers?

12-Oct-12 No more budgets please!

In Blog, Personal, Uncategorized on October 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

The end of another week! Budgets, budgets and more budgets this week, but at least I’ve got to a stage where first drafts have been submitted!

This week, I’ve had lots of opportunities to play with my new Google Nexus 7 and I have to stay that I am very impressed.

Yes it lacks the screen estate of the iPad and also 3G, but what a reliable device this is for my particular needs; especially as I use it for work via Good to access my email and calendar (much better than an Apple device, as it syncs in the background when a network connection is present), my social interaction via Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, as well as accessing my personal emails.

As I am fortunate enough to use a Mi-Fi device (mobile dongle), I can use the two hour commute each day to full effect.

This week, I was an attendee at our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) committee meeting, which was hosted by our chairman, Clay Blendish, as I represent the technology strand at SThree. For those who are not familiar with CSR, typically its focus is about how your organisation supports the environment, community and workplace.


It was an absolute pleasure to get to meet Clay and get first hand experience of his business knowledge that has clearly made him successful. I am also working on this project with some extremely talented SThree staff, which is also exciting.

I’ve since been reminded that Clay owns a Fishery. Hmm. One of my personal targets is eating a fish I catch! I wonder if I dare mention!

I also started my investigations this week in to Solar panel systems. As you are probably aware, the government is providing incentives for home owners to install these systems, which involve a number of large panels installed on the roof.

Its a bit like buying double glazing, whereby the salesman just think you will pay the first price quoted (typically 30-40% dearer than it should be). With these solutions, its probably even easier to sell, as you actually get a return due to an annual cash refund incentive, as well as a reduction in your bill. I intend to follow up with these over the weekend and will keep you updated on my shrewd negotiations!


Use up as much power as you like Grainne. Its sunny out here!

09-Oct-12 My first blog on a Google Nexus!

In Blog, Personal on October 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm

So already Tuesday, at the start of another busy week, which followed a full on weekend where I’ve actually made some progress with my personal moments.

It all started in the wrong way though , as my Friday evening was spent at St. Thomas’ hospital, when I was meant to be at a 40th birthday celebration.

Thankfully it all ended well, as my colleague, Colin, who I had accompanied was just suffering from dehydration.

Most of the weekend was spent in the loft. Although the original plan was to wire up a socket and light extension, we made the decision (well my wife did) to have a major clear up so that it would make the next stage (lining the rafters and electrics) easier to do with more space. One completely full car and a trip to the dump has made the next stage a lot easier I am happy to admit.


Now once that paint pot is moved, the train set can go here!

For those who recall my challenge, its about completing the set up of the train set as well. I’m looking forward to this bit!

Between loft work and the dump, I got time to set up our new Google Nexus device. This was the easier set up ever and I have to stay that I am very impressed by this android tablet. Certainly for what I need and for the price, it is much better than an iPad! Especially one that is running IOS6!


Given my iPad a run for its money!

We also did our first run for a few weeks. Although less than a mile, it was great to get out and stretch the muscles. Especially after spending most of Saturday in the loft! From small acorns (and all that)! Still time for a half marathon this year? Hmm..

04-Oct-12 Not another disaster!

In Blog, Personal on October 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I’ve decided that I am jinxed when it comes to work and our buildings after our office at King William Street was flooded overnight. In the course of my working life, I have now had one office bombed (when working in the Docklands), one building that was without mains power on two occasions (one of these for several weeks due to a flood in Wimbledon) and now another flood.


Hmm. Better cancel the cleaners tonight!

Bizarrely the floods have not been due to river sources (Wimbledon is hardly known for its riverside views). The one in Wimbledon was due to a freak storm that caused a tidal stream and ultimately a blown power supply, whilst last night’s was due to a mains pipe being cut by some contractors doing some building work!

It’s probably worth increasing your insurance premiums if I am working in a location! Thankfully, all appears to be now resolving itself, and we were lucky, as no equipment was damaged on this occasion.

It was fortunate, if you can look at it like this, as I was actually on site with a number of colleagues, as we were enjoying a social evening after our quarterly team meeting. It was certainly a way to sober up what had been a very fun filled evening.

On route to a meeting this afternoon, I realised yet again how quirky the City of London can be and how there are so many hidden treasures. This photo was taken near by to Lombard Street.


What a quaint little Inn! Hmm. Time for a drink…

This inn was apparently a favourite spot of Charles Dickens. George & Vulture

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