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Apr 9, 2012 - Just Now    No Comments

Potato Competition

In strictly fashion here are the results which have not been verified by an independent adjudicator

Variety Bag Kg Garden Kg
Swift (Competition 2.0 1.78
Rocket 1.28 0.672
Kestrel 1.409 1.29
Lady Chrystal 0.720 0.277
Pentland Javelin 1.9 2.9
Cara 1.68 2.158

Not sure what Jaks will publish. For me the bags seem an expensive way to grow potatoes unless you use straight garden soil. I do not think I added enough compost to the bags during the growing period. Certainly the potatoes were cleaner out of the bags. I cannot really say which were the best eaters or cookers we just ate them.

This year no competition or any test bed growing just Foremost which will be split between the garden and some large bags. I think the smaller bags are little small not allowing sufficient compost to be added.

Finally from what Jaks and Philip said when they were up last year I did not have a very good crop compared with theirs.

So a honourable draw then.

Thanks for reading.

Update from Graduation on 14 April will be next post

Oct 4, 2011 - Computer, Just Now    No Comments

Computer Woes – and then success?

The saga continues – decided to go for a rebuild of win7 32 and win7 64 on a dual boot system.

Win7 32

This has the following 32 bit OS and Office 2007. This will be left alone in this low configuration as a failsafe.

The reason for the build was the problems I had a couple of weeks ago when the following errors seem to occur all at once.

Flat screen monitor suddenly had all sorts of lines across it. Replaced GFX card with spare and all came good – great but no – then I had all sorts of BSOD’s. I tested initially in pairs until I found it should have been done in singles.

Out of the four sticks only one showed no problems, two would not boot machine and one failed very quickly on test 5. So I am left with a working machine with 2 G out of 8 and jiggered GFX card.Memory86+ test package used.

Back to installing Win7 64bit.

Added Office 10 and a couple of other bits such as ESET AV and Malwares software and decided a good time to do the image thing.

Image made but left it a couple of days before taking the plunge to actually test it. Bingo time now reinstall complete both Win 32 and Win64 in about 15 mins.

However still getting some BSOD’s at random times but traced it down to actually crashing when the system came out of hibernation mode.

Reset CMOS to default – no change still had BSOD’s, so now defaulted BIOS and made some adjustments here as the defaults do not work with SATA needed ACHI mode. Turned off IDE and a couple of other settings – installed 2 sticks of new memory still on old GFX card.

Another eureka moment as the system now started to behave itself this after adjusting hibernation and sleep mode in preferences to NEVER. System now working as it should.

There is a but – Outlook today decided not to work for some reason – eventually went onto BT yahoo and my email was working fine as was Margaret’s address, so something wrong with my settings, played a bit but no clear conclusion other than set ESET firewall to allow in each direction and it came good. Spoke with ESET no thoughts there – no updates issued, a windows defender did a download something. Working now – computer glitch to make sure there is a but.

Continued to install software as well as remaining memory sticks, new GFX card so now I go for a new image and test.

Image made and rebuild including format completed in 18 minutes.

The boy is back in town well almost as I was putting this together the PC froze just like the weather here in Scotland.

Where did all my problems originate from. Nothing concrete but suspected a patch back in April that jiggered my Bullguard account which I never got working again, HD changed etc as well as alot of download’s of this and that from Bullguard. I will never know.


Sep 27, 2011 - Computer, Just Now    No Comments

PC Woes

For some time now I have been having the random BOSD without any consistent reason. I installed blue viewer which did give me some indication of the file that seemed to be giving me the most trouble. More often than not it was (ntosknl) which seemed to be located in the depths of the system with the web offering a lot of suggestions none of them concrete solutions.

Last week the whole system threw a wobbly with the TFT screen showing all sorts of fussy images so I thought graphic card was grubbed (Nvlddmkm driver sent me on a hunt) in the end I put in an old card and I managed to get my system to work to allow me to send off my final paper to OU.

Task now was to decide on a full rebuild which I have managed with a re format of the drive for both win 32 and win 64 systems. Loaded various programmes and did an image of the system which I find includes the win32 & win64. OK so a test was needed which I did and all worked fine taking less than 15mins. to complete rather than the day and half with updates etc.

And then it crashed during the afternoon a couple of days ago – blue screen viewer showed a couple of things like file.sys and the ntosknl again but with 1066 next to it sent me thinking memory.

Downloaded memorytest86+ and ran two of the mem-sticks and showed no errors, good I thought until I did as instructed to do stick at a time – out of the four sticks two will not boot the machine and one has errors and thankfully one is good no errors. Four new sticks ordered.

I was hoping for a series of passes on the good stick but we had a power cut in the early morning so all was down.

Questions remaining after new sticks installed is old GFX card dead, is there anything else on the way out soak test will provide the answer.

I think I did well never beat myself up (age I think) when it all went down last week as I had all the documents on another drive so could access them.

What have I learnt, not a lot other than follow some instincts and at least get some tangible errors.

I ran just about everything last week from malware detection on boot etc. on both 32 and 64 OS showed nothing.

Sep 27, 2011 - Just Now    No Comments

Calling it retired

Calling it retired my way of saying OU finished and now time to move onto something different. Since I started back in 2005 I had no idea what was in front of me. The degree I opted for was an open one which allowed me to pick and choose my modules (that is what they call them now not courses etc).

The foundation course was just that a mix of a number of different subjects to get the grey matter thinking again. Next up was Globalisation which I found interesting followed by Governing Europe which I got my best grade for. That gave me 180 points a  further 180 to go for honours my ultimate goal.

Two level three modules were needed Ichose Religion:Modernity, Tradition and Change, this was a module looking into how religion fitted into today’s society and of some religions that were developing as well as traditional forms of religion such as C of E, muslim etc. Final module in the level three was Understanding Cities which looked at six cities (mega) and how each has impacted on the global reach of commerce and immigration etc. The typical mega city is one over 10 million inhabitants and growing daily with influx of the farming population hence the problem. Thankfully I passed all those to have my BSc awarded last December.

To complete the honours I chose Information Computer Technology which has now concluded and I am not sorry to see it go. What did I learn some TCP/IP protocols and what the layers meant (never need). a bit on Wi-FI, a wasted month on WordPress and  a website collaboration with six other students, another wasted period on AVS a programming language (Script) for manipulation of pictures and placing a commentary with it (never use again) and finally two questions:-

Final Examinable element

WiMAX installation in a remote village of 100 residents, report for a committee to consider as they proposed to hook in with a village 10km away.

Six pages of a mockup website in word on the subject of BOTNETS, What are they?, How do they get into your system, Mitigation both as an individual and in the corporate environment, I followed that with a case study of how a firm got shut down by a hacker and three other companies including TUCOWS, finally we needed to provide a question with five possible answers with only one correct. Each of the incorrect as well as the correct one required a comment  to assist students who would study this subject.

I found the botnets fascinating with so much to read and listen to (TED.Com) and to sum up botnets we are in trouble as no system is 100% and the criminals out there are one or two steps ahead of all the security and OS software developers finding those vulnerabilities.

Well that is it till the result in December and the ceremony in Glasgow next May will it be BSc open or BSc Open Hons watch this space.

TTFN  big update re PC coming soon

Sep 16, 2011 - Computer, Just Now    No Comments

Just a test page

Just found this on the system from word press so thought give it a go. Seems simple enough but most likely basic. Need to investigate more re albums etc. One week to go before I have to send in the final paper for Hons. Module. It has been quite boring at times but it is now completed I retire from end of the month and concentrate in the garden etc. I am sure I will come up with something else to do soon enough.

Just a test so see how it is received typing on IPad so here goes send button here I come.


Aug 18, 2011 - Just Now    No Comments


It is some time since I last posted and a lot has happened since April. We made a visit to Philip & Jaks and Steven & Yvonne in Northampton and Nottingham. It was great to have a break from the OU studies and see the family. Then Matthew was married just a couple of weeks ago on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond to Fiona. It was one of the hottest days of the year which added to that special occasion and now offically extends our family to the Alexanders, Frank & Catherine as well as Pauline and husband Derek we say hi.

Photos well just some of hundreds that were posted so that Matthew & Fiona could see them while they were away on honeymoon in Mexico.Dropbox now full. We picked up the video footage from my friend Alistair on Thursday about 2.5 hrs worth as well as the first dance that has a number of viewings on YouTube.
Only one more TMA to do and that is is it from studying as I must spend more time in the garden next year.
I will try not leave it so long till the next posting.

I actually stated this on the IPad but it did not work as well as I had hoped so an edit done on the PC

Will try to add the first dance qwhen I have a chance. Bye all.

Apr 17, 2011 - Computer, Just Now    No Comments


Can’t believe it is over a month since I last posted. The excuse is that I have been busy completing my latest TMA for the course and completing some work at the church. I never find the time really so I thought go for it today before I need to make Sunday dinner.

The church  east corner has been on the go for about a year but on my own with the OU studies and the vagaries of the weather I never found the time to get it done. See for yourself the finished area.

That is that bit done next I am on to getting a network around the church which is connected but a router switch is needed. One arrived via my colleague on sound but no PSU so will go up tomorrow and check the updates are complete.  I will suggest to the summer mission that they could have an internet cafe if they wished. Total cost so far £24.00 for home plug.

Pressing on with the next part of my hons degree (Certificate for degree arrive yesterday) but finding it not very stimulating but I will crack it.

The gardening competition is well underway with potatoes planted, carrots and beetroot sown. The greenhouse is full of plug plants, tomatoes, peppers beans etc. Jaks watch this space.

TTFN I will try not to leave so long next time.

Mar 15, 2011 - Just Now    No Comments


Seems an age since I wrote re the Room under the Hammer. Well the hammer was out and used to knock the odd hole here and there but thankfully it is all finished with some draw handles only to be added. It is amazing how long just a simple bedroom takes to complete. The worst problem is having to clear up after the workmen all the time.  I asked someone why they never clear up now and it is due to the cost of them visiting the local tip. The bathroom team cleared it all away – from memory it may have been included but a few carpet bits surely should not come into that category take it back to the warehouse.

The boy is back in town now after a couple of days at LEUCHIE House with Margaret and made it for a run this morning despite a cold from last week. Played badminton last night as well only 4 more weeks and then it is the bowling season till September – oh! for some warm evenings – it is snowing heavy here just now.

Managed to start on my seed sowing yesterday following a guide in Garden News so see what transpires.  Daffodils made an appearance two weeks ago as did some Irises down the back wall – so all systems go will think about the competition potatoes in a couple of weeks.


Feb 24, 2011 - Just Now    No Comments

Room under the Hammer

No not the Tv programme but it does show that some of the people on it must tell a few porkies.

One room  – strip paper on walls and ceiling 2 days – palsterer to do walls and ceiling 2 days (3 or more days to dry-out) – painting walls 2 days – wardrobe fit is scheduled for 3 days and new skirting boards – further painting 2 days – 14 days just one room. A whole house in 6 months just might make it.

Margaret away to respite next week so complete when she returns on 11 March.

Course nearing the completion of block 1 and TMA in by next week. What a difference between academic type course and the technical ones. I am now thinking I might have been better to do an other academic one for my honours. The module (not course) as it is to be called does have some interesting stuff of what is in the black box or card re networking  packets and the like thenwe move on to audio and video editing etc later on so there is a good mix.

I am following a schedule in garden news for cropping vegetables written by the guy on friday mornings radio Terry Walton who hails from South Wales so we will see – also in competition with Jaks to grow potatoes in bags – bring it on.

Off to get paint and make my first trip to empty the garage of paper and plaster and a further 4 to go with wood and wardrobe.


Feb 13, 2011 - Just Now    No Comments


Busy day yesterday – Matthew over to help strip wardrobe out from our bedroom – strip wall paper. Managed just about a half of the ceiling and bit of the walls. Plasterer in by end of week if I can get the room fully cleared – skirting to come off as well. New coving to be added after the new fitments are put in whilst Margaret is away at respite on Feb 28. Will do a bit more today.

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