I like Owl City

I’m starting to love the Owl City music, it’s so quirky and funky. Very digital and sort of alternative but works so well together. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a song about dental care, something nobody really likes and enjoyed it before. I’d only really listened to Fireflies before and whilst it was a great song it didn’t make me want to rush out and buy an album straight away but I recently directed my Spotify towards the artist and found that the album ocean eyes is actually fantastic, I can’t get enough of it. Might have to buy the album to get it on the go in the car and in a higher quality to that of Spotify basic. Top stuff Owl man.

I Miss The Floppy Disk

The Floppy Disk

As with any form of storage for digital files, Floppy disks had problems. They had problems just like that of USB pens and hard drives today, they were susceptible to failing and breaking and they had constraints on how much could actually be put on them.
There were some great pitfalls to them, they weren’t consistent as to what you could do with them, some couldn’t be written on and some could, not very a common problem with todays average USB pen. They also, despite having a robust plastic case, were susceptible to getting damaged through scratching or by magnets. But despite all of that they were still robust and couldn’t be damaged as easily as a CD or DVD would now and with those formats you could not guarantee a compatible drive when transferring media. You could almost guarantee with a floppy that you would be able to take it out to a friends with a tiny 256kb game on it and slot it in one way, not upside down, or back to front, it was always one way with a floppy and it would work a charm. I can’t help but think that in a modern day world we would be able to recreate such a format that could hold a much larger amount of data. I wouldn’t mind if they came back with the same size as something like a USB pen, between 2gb and 64gb would be fine. No waiting around for drivers to install, no hanging about, just push it in and it works. They were great floppy disks and I wish they would come back. It’s a shame every sort of similar media failed after floppy, sony’s mini-disks were a disk that was cased as well as their PSP format, the UMD which failed and most of all Zip Disk. If they didn’t mess about so much with the various versions and drives they could of been very successful, the had a pretty good product but changed it too much in too shorter time. I guess floppy’s are never coming back, we are moving towards a much more cloud based future now, even our own hard drives will becoming more and more redundant.
Either way, I miss the floppy disk. Even if there is no longer room for a physical media format.

Back when we rolled

I was browsing through one of those cases that hold many CD’s and have a zip round the outside. It’s not what’s on the outside that counts though, it was what I found in it.
It was a movie I made with a few friends of us rollerblading. It was 6 years ago that we had put together a little montage of us all rollerblading round the town and in a local skate park.  I couldn’t believe it when I found it, it was taken off google video due to copyright issues as we used other people music to put on top of it so I thought it was gone forever. Just goes to show how important backing random things up on other forms of media is really but anyway it’s back up on the web now so if you wanna take a look at some rollerblading by some rather average rollerbladers check out the video below:

The end of an era.

Tonight is a very sad night, Wagner the greatest contestant ever to enter the X Factor studios has officially been voted off the show by the very nasty judges. I will miss Wagner and can only hope that he will pop up on our screens very soon in the form of his own TV show or as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent. Then Simon Cowell cannot argue that he does not deserve to be on screens because he genuinely is extremely entertaining.

I’m backing Matt Cardle for the rest of it.

Wagner

Record Temperatures in Wales

Can’t say this surprises me at all. But last night the lowest recorded temperature of -17C happened in Powys.
I had work last night and needed to pop home in the middle of my shift which lead to me having to wait for my car to defrost at 10pm, it was freezing on the way home and even with the heaters on full the ice had hardly gone when I’d got home, out came the de-icer and by the time I’d finished my shift at 2:15am it was frozen again.
I then made a trip to Cardiff to pick up some friends who were stranded and it was even colder there than it was here in Usk. They seemed to have twice the snowfall we had here too, it was settled all over the edges of the motorway.
Couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I got to Cardiff though, people hadn’t changed there attire for the winter at all, all the Saturday night clubbers were just still in polos, t-shirts and the girls in short dresses. There were absolutely hundreds of people with there arm out trying to get taxis, the majority of the drunken weirdos assuming I was a taxi and waving frantically at me. How a black Punto with a full body kit looks like a taxi I don’t know but when your drunk and freezing I guess any car would do.

I can’t see any more snow coming but that ice is a pain in the ass to drive on.

It’s snowing.

I opened up Facebook on arrival at my house this afternoon only to be displayed a list of statuses all about the weather outside. I didn’t need to be told exactly what was happening outside as far as weather was concerned. I have a fantastic piece of kit that came built in with my house. They’re called windows.
The snow is always great for a short period with everyone off school and work but after a while it just gets a complete pain in the ass. I don’t even know if I still want to go to the pub tonight now because the chances are I’ll fall over, I’ll freeze to death on the way home and I probably will waste endless amounts of money making a complete tit of myself and eventually fall asleep by the fire. Doesn’t help that I actually work at my local on a saturday night so the chances are the disturbingly large amount of alcoholics will be reminding me of my antics whilst at work.
I will enjoy the snow for a few days if enough falls to allow me to go snowboarding, if not it’ll undoubtedly piss me off.

Thanksgiving

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK.

It’s apparently to do with some pilgrims surviving a harsh winter in New England, Massachusetts with the help of some native Americans. The event is apparently similar to that of the Harvest Festivals held in the UK.

“Thanksgiving Day is a joyous family festival celebrated with lot of enthusiasm in US, Canada and several other countries. Thanksgiving Day Festival commemorates the feast held by the Pilgrim colonists and members of the Wampanoag people at Plymouth in 1621. On this day people express gratitude to God for his blessings and give thanks to dear ones for their love & support. Feasting with family is an integral & most delightful part of Thanksgiving Day celebrations.”

This was taken from the website http://www.thanksgiving-day.org/

It doesn’t seem particularly religious which I guess is a good thing, it means that it can be celebrated by everyone in the United States rather than just those who are Christians like Christmas is. There is certainly not as much hype about the harvest festivals we have here.

Ah well, Happy Turkey Day Americans.

The Apprentice – Week 8

Another week and another person fired. Christopher Farrell.

I don’t care about this bloke, I didn’t really have an opinion on him from the start, he didn’t really stand out at all and seems to of just skimmed through for the past few weeks. The task this week was good. It was good because I love crisps although I can honestly say if anyone turned up to my house and offered me a bag of curry sausage crisps I would slam the door in they’re face. The crisp flavours chose by both teams seemed absolutely disgusting and even if they did sell well, the people who will actually buy them are nuts. Maybe it’s just a German thing to eat those  sorts of crisps but the ones they had in the super market seemed completely normal. Paprika, most people like paprika Pringles and so do I, but the idea of goulash soup flavoured crisps is ridiculous, where as it’s a nice taste and crisps are nice the two things should never of been bought together. Also, something that annoys me about the apprentice, besides everyone being complete up themselves tossers, is that everyone has ridiculously bright eyes. The blues are as blue as can be and I can only put it down to lighting or contacts because when they appear on the You’re Fired show after they are never as bright. Anyway on with You’re Fired now. Time for a bit of a laugh before I hit the sack.

Using Twitter To Promote Your Website

Twitter is huge now. You’d be hard pressed to find a radio station that doesn’t mention it every twenty minutes lately. It’s featured on television and people use it all over the world. It has a huge user-base and every single person on it is connected.

I have been using twitter too promote my blog and it’s been working a treat increasing views by hundreds a day and has become my top referrer to my website.

Things to do:

  • Create a twitter account, it’s better to have one specifically for your website rather than use your personal one for website promotion.
  • Post regularly with links to your website, not just the homepage but parts of your website that are relevant to your tweet
  • Tweet with hashtags. Hashtags are something that you learn to understand more and more as you use twitter. It’s basically a pre-determined search that you add to your tweet so for example if you tweet say #timford if someone clicked that it would show all the tweets with that particular hashtags. If people search something like #Cheese and your websites about cheese and you’ve tweeted it with a hashtag, the search is much more likely to be found leading people to your website.
  • Follow people with similar interest, the chances are they will follow you back and you may find they will chat to you on twitter and visit your site regularly
  • Tweet other users with helpful information, they may start to follow you or even just check your profile where you can put your website

Things not to do:

  • Don’t spam twitter. People will hate you if you keep posting the same irrelevant stuff on twitter and they certainly don’t like recieving @tweets with information they don’t care about, chances are you’ll get blocked and lose a potential viewer.
  • Think Follower are everything they are not. Many promotion companies and twitter software companies will have you believe that if you don’t have followers people aren’t reading your tweets, this isn’t the case. Most people search on twitter, as do a lot of businesses. It helps to view opinions about certain topics, if your websites in relation they way view your tweet. They don’t always want to find out about this sort of thing so they might not follow you but they’ll still see your tweet and website.
  • Don’t link your website twitter to your personal twitter, it will annoy people if your constantly plugging your website on something you used to post normal tweets about things on and you could lose followers.

You might try set up a new email address in order to link that twitter to, it seems like a lot of trouble but if your serious about using twitter to promote your website you might want to keep the hundreds of emails about followers away from your personal inbox.

I hope this helps and that you can get the most out of twitter, I will try and update this with more tips and tricks as I learn more about using twitter to promote my website. \

Happy Tweeting, Tim Ford.

The Foods that make billions.

Dasani WaterThis popped up on my recommended on iPlayer today from which I can only assume is because of previously watching the apprentice on there. The link obviously coming from the business focus of the two programs.

The title of this alone suggested to me something that would be worth watching. I take a keen interest into the way businesses function and how products come to be and this really was a good watch.  It makes the point of how it’s easy to hate the big multinationals and easy to target them. It’s so true. I’ve looked at Dasani before, the bottled water by coca cola that just completely flopped when it made it to the UK. It’s hilarious really that such a big company full of some very intelligent people could make such a huge mistake. I feel very sorry for the guys who worked in the public relations department at this time.
I also couldn’t believe the size of Nestlé and Danone. They are both absolutely massive and the brands that lie beneath them is incredible. The sheer amount of them just seems like they’re is no room for competition with these companies but what’s great is that companies like one manage to find gaps in the market and do something different with a very simple product. Granted One doesn’t aim to make a profit rather to help create water springs in Africa but the fact of the matter is they are still selling water in a market that is completely dominated by the massive multi-nationals.

Anyway for a really interesting watch check out the first episode of “The Foods That Make Billions”