Aboot this blog

This blog is a cross between a scrapbook and a diary. I hope you find something here of interest. If you’d like to keep up with things as I see them then you can subscribe to my news feed by clicking the icon below:



Please note that any reviews/recommendations are based solely on my own experience and does not constitute a guarantee that you will have the same experience. Please do your own research before parting with any money - the risk is all yours!

The Briticiser

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facebook-icon-28x28.pngVisit my Briticiser Facebook Page to keep up with things here - lots of reviews of stuff I’ve really used and also all kinds of helpful computer tips with a heavy bias towards SAVING YOU TIME.

The earth moved for me last night…

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170608-064346

…and a few other people in the office said they also felt the little earthquake which hit Georgia last night.

Not much to report - it caused a few things we had hanging up on the wall to rock to and fro for a while afterwards - but if you weren’t looking at them you’d probably miss them. My Darlo bottle opener makes for a great earthquake detector!


3D - Election Day

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161008-130647

It’s time for the media circus which masquerades as the Parliamentary Elections in Georgia today - always entertaining, no matter which side you support. It’s a nice day for it so I hope there’s a big turnout.



Rod Stewart becomes an astronaut

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry160612-114930


Add a new FlatPress Blog in Open Live Writer

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry160121-165110

imageOpen Live Writer is the new open source version of Microsoft’s wonderful blogging tool Windows Live Writer, and users of the latter will feel VERY at home with the new open source version (as it’s pretty much the same thing!).

In my previous post I gave you my first impression of it - there was a slight hiccup when I tried to set it up with my first blog account, but here is how to add another blog account once you’re up and running. [Read More…]

Live Writer is now Open Source

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry160120-174435

imageWindows Live Writer is/was a great blogging tool but Microsoft haven’t really supported it for some time now, so thanks to them for allowing it to become open source so it can be developed by the large community of users who love it to bits.

This is my first post using Open Live Writer on FlatPress and it was relatively easy to set up, but not so straightforward as it could have been… so here’s what FlatPress users may* need to know in order to get it working. [Read More…]

Avoid SPAM with my text to image conversion plugin for FlatPress

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150530-064419

As one who knows just how easy it is to scrape web pages for email addresses it never ceases to amaze me how many people are unaware what they’re letting themselves in for by putting their email address on a web page.

I never do it myself but I was recently asked to do so by the owner of a new website I’m developing so I went looking for a way to help make those email addresses invisible to the kind of software programs I’ve used in the past, and found a simple text to image conversion script which displays an email address as an image, like this:

If you right click on the image above and inspect the image source address you’ll see that the email address itself is encoded so this will defeat most of the malicious robotic visitors to your site… though I’d still recommend that you NEVER put an email address on a web page, even like this, if you want to be 100% certain that your email address can’t be stolen and used in ways which could make your life a lot more difficult than it already might be.

As I develop most of my sites using FlatPress I wrote a neat little plugin to convert an email address to an image. This is how it works. [Read More…]

Computer bugs… everywhere!

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150526-102839

Just like these:


I added a comment there with my own plan to get rid of the little buggers (see copy below in case it never made it past the moderator) [Read More…]

Giorgia on my mind

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150410-114605

What to call “Georgia”? Some people have moved to rename the country “Sakartvelo” which is what the Georgians (or should that be “Karvelebi”?) themselves call the country in their native Georgian (”Kartuli”).

Georgian Journal Editor’s comment: Georgia or Sakartvelo?

The good thing about the current name is that it’s easily pronounceable and widely known but it’s often confused with the US State of Georgia and so, when people ask me where I live, it does take a bit more effort than it should to explain which “Georgia” I mean, but if we switched to “Sakartvelo” I’d just be faced with scrunched up faces, bared top teeth, and people grunting “uh”?

Personally I’m comfortable using both depending on who I’m speaking to - even “Groooozia” when speaking to Russian speakers but there’s, perhaps, one thing which the current name does for English speakers (at least) and that is to make them feel somewhat closer to the country - “Georgia” has an endearing quality to it, which is something to be valued.

If it must be changed then maybe it would be simpler to just change the “e” to and “i” and pronounce it like everyone says the most common male first name in the country, “Giorgia”?

How to run Acrobat 7 Professional on Windows 7 64 bit computers

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150404-154122

If, like me, you’re less than impressed with the latest versions of Acrobat Professional (I have Acrobat XI 64 bit installed) and wish you could go back to good old 32 bit Acrobat 7 with it’s dockable toolbars, batch processes which run really quickly, and overall familiarity with a product which you use on a daily basis, then here is some good news… for some of you.

image As Acrobat 7 is no longer supported by Adobe they’ve decided to give it away (activation key and all) for FREE to qualifying users and, while you can’t install this directly in Windows 7 64 bit you can install it from within Windows XP Mode running in Windows Virtual PC on a 64 bit version of Windows 7.

While you still suffer from a few problems caused by Adobe not fully supporting 64 bit in so far as you can’t easily see thumbnail previews of you PDFs in Windows Explorer or (inexcusable) the PDF document PROPERTIES in Windows Explorer, there are ways around these problems. [Read More…]

Facebook no more

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150103-103123

I’m not on Facebook as myself any longer, my New Year’s Resolution was to stop using it for personal use. [Read More…]

Have they finally found the wreck of the Santa Maria?

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry140516-033207

image Barry Clifford, an American underwater archaeological explorer, may have found the wreck of the flag ship of Christopher Columbus’s fleet, the Santa Maria, which ran aground off the coast of Haiti over 500 years ago.

Sadly the wreck is already being looted while Clifford tries his hardest to gain support for excavating the wreck and preserving this great piece of history for all mankind.

Surely this is a classic case where RFID chips would be useful - if finds could be electronically tagged somehow as soon as they’re discovered?

Original photo: Dietrich Bartel

There’s a great illustrated article about this by Hanna Keyser at mental_floss:

Barry Clifford on Finding the Santa Maria—and Why the Story isn’t Over Yet

Disability hate crime in Britain - BRING BACK THE BIRCH

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry140510-110132

While my adopted home of Georgia may lag well behind in social services for disabled people at least it is a society which hasn’t degraded to the level of bullying blind people in the street.

If this sort of thing was witnessed happening on the streets of Tbilisi the perpetrators would certainly have a short, sharp shock coming to them.

BBC: Bullied blind woman Siobhan Meade films Stevenage abuse

A blind woman who was regularly sworn at by bullies and nearly mugged took to wearing a body camera so police could identify the culprits. [Read More…]

Watching the snow

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry131213-165539

It’s the little pleasures in life that mean the most, like watching someone stand and watch the snow on his own for the first time in half a dozen years.

20131212-3 20131212-1


Being there

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130226-075208

This is simply awesome.

Don’t hang around here - go take a look for yourself:

Mars panorama

Make your own gait trainer - Part 3

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130223-132150

<< Part 2 || Part 4 (coming soon!) >>

In part 2 of this project I decided to change the design to use Unistrut instead of welded box section. Well, because I can I’ve decided to revert to using box section mainly because I have someone who is willing to build it for me, albeit with a much simpler design. The other reason is that, although the Unistrut design is quite sound I’d need to import the hand winch - maybe the pulley wheels too BUT I think it could be built without those now, and just have the wire rope running around metal posts with some PTFE tape wrapped around them.

Once I’ve got Georgi’s gait trainer built I’d like to go back and redesign the Unistrut version, but here are the drawings for the latest incarnation. [Read More…]

First Cuckoo of Spring

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130221-144004

Sorry, I meant locust! It’s hanging about outside our office door.

sarancha (locust)

Edit (25th Feb): Sad to report that this is now an EX-locust.

When Roobarb Made a Spike

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130218-194103

A beak is a beak, and a spike is a spike

Thank you Richard.

Make your own gait trainer - Part 2

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130217-221004

<< Part 1 || Part 3 >>

In my first post on this project I showed the initial design I did for the base of a LiteGait-like gait trainer. I also mentioned that I was looking closely at how I could use Unistrut instead of using box section. Having trawled through the Unistrut catalogue I now think I’ll go this route, for the following reasons. [Read More…]

Spennymoor 1 - 3 Darlington

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130216-102919

Northern League Table 16th Feb 2013

Great and somewhat surprising result last night. Spenny 1 Darlo 3! :)

2400 there - very good for the Northern League, just like the old days when we were a league team, except that every match is a local derby.

98 goals scored in 31 matches – the ton is a certainty so we’ll have to set the bar a little higher and go for a +100 goal difference.

Onward and upward!

Three good goals for Darlo and they didn’t concede in open play (Spen pen). Here’s all the goals: [Read More…]

Face Reconstructed From Neanderthal Skull

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130215-085711

It turns out it looks a lot like a Uruguayan footballer:

Neanderthal Skull

Luis Suarez

Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.

Support our caregiving

Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.