Saturday, April 21, 2007

What a lovely movement Free Hugs is. It's certainly alive and thriving in Tokyo!

I took a walk down Takeshita Dori amongst all the colourful creative kids there and up to Harajuku station. Just between the entrance to Yoyogi park and the station there is a large area of colourfuly dressed teens, loving having their photos taken.
Then I came across it, the Free Hugs group. They all looked a little Emo to me, but what would I know? In fact the whole free hugs thing does quite fit in with the Emo culture.
It led me to think, at the end of such a shocking fortnight of loose mad gunmen on the run killing people for no reason. Perhaps the world needs to listen a little more to Free Hugs. Certainly it was uplifting for me, a stanger in Tokyo.

Thanks Free Hugs people of Harajuku, the hugs were lovely!


Outlook clients receive error 0x8004010f when downloading the Offline Address Book

Now I know lots and lots of you get this error.... It's one of those ones that drives you nuts and you never really get to the bottom of it. Here's the best description of that error I've seen.

Just came out 2 days ago :)


Friday, April 20, 2007

The most important thing - Making a cup of tea worldwide in hotels.

I spend more than 50% of my nights in hotels overseas. (I spend 3% of my nights on airplanes, but that's another story). I'm currently in Tokyo and managed to make a good brew. It occurred to me that this travellers insight could be useful.

Here's my guide to a good cuppa in the hotel room. A good cuppa is hot black tea, with milk and sugar in a cup.

1) Tokyo: In the rooms they provide a water heater that boils water and keeps it not all day! Brilliant if you like green tea which they provide free. For Tokyo, bring tea bags (hard to get in shops) and grab the sugars from the breakfast room (they don't provide in room). Milk you'll need to get from a store.
2) USA, where to start? Mr Coffee is a machine that is in nearly every room and is great for coffee, sometimes you get little tubs of long life milk, but mostly you get a plastic bag containing, a napkin, 2 sugars, 2 non sugar sweeteners, 2 sachets of non dairy creamer powder, a plastic rod for stirring. There is no chance of getting a tea bag in the room (see Decaf Tea blog) so you need to bring tea bags, with a bit of ingenuity you're ok.
3) USA- Los Vegas Forget tea!!!! seriously forget it. There is NOTHING in the room to make tea or coffee as they want you in the casinos, room service takes 90 minutes!!! Vegas is not a good place... Bring tea bags, milk, sugar, cup, electric water element that fits in cup. Above all don't drink the water out the tap in Vegas, I've been sick twice on tap water there.
4) New Zealand; Australia: Civilised they provide all tea equipment in room and free.
5) Britain, it varies, but generally it pays to check when you book if they'll provide in room. The Brits are always into making money, so don't be surprised if you have to call room service. However the Brits understnad the tea-aholic and you can always get a cup somewhere, even if it's sharing a cup with the night porter! (I'm not joking).

That’s all for now...
More later


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are you working for $1 per hour? I bet many of you are - read why!

Recently I've been involved in a debate about posting on newsgroups and how I should follow the Netiquette guide.
Now I do understand why this guide was written many years ago on slow bandwidth, but how relevant is it now?
Let's get back to my main point... How much is high speed bandwidth nowadays? $30 a month? A dollar a day? So why are information workers still using dial-up? I bet it wastes hours each month, I'd go as far to to say that if you're using Internet Banking, e-bay, online subscriptions, newsgroups, windows updates etc etc you'd be coming close to wasting up to a hour a day! For what? To save a dollar a day?

Why is anyone using dialup? Why are people spending hours following Netiquette to avoid a few bytes when the could just have it all for a dollar a day?

Peter O'Dowd

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Performance problems with Outlook 2007? New patch released.

If you're using Outlook 2007 in cached mode then I really recommend you add the following patch just released by Microsoft yesterday...

As stated "You may experience performance problems when you are working with items in a large .pst file or in a large .ost file in Outlook 2007 "

My .ost file is 2.5 GB, since applying the patch I've noticed considerable improvements...


Thursday, April 5, 2007

The walking thing ---- stroll on!

OK I'm starting to feel like crocodile Dundee here...
I spotted a restaurant from my hotel window here in Florida. It wasn't clear from the vista just how the hotel 'entry' got to the road. However this restaurant was 1/2 mile away at the most.

The Americans in here, know where I'm going, but please bear with me ;-)

I asked concierge how to walk to the restaurant. Well you'd think I'd asked for the crown jewels on a plate! "Sir, you can't walk there" I'm told.... But whyever not?

Anyway I relented to their protests, and got the Hotel shuttle for 1/2 mile to the entrance of the hotel. This delivered me to a major road, where only cars may roam. So I made my way gingerly across it and got to the restaurant...

On the way back I was determined to enjoy my walk back to hotel and walk off my meal. So (heaven forbid) I walked out the restaurant and crossed the major intersection and walked up the hotel drive. I suspect I broke some rules here ;-) However the walk was lovely, the only problem was the lack of pavements (side-walks) in many areas....

My saying for the day is "Floridians/Californians, try walking, honest it's ok" :)

Have fun

DeCaffeinated Tea? Give me a break!

Picture this: Spent a long day training a room of attendees (great people, but still tiring). Go back to hotel room. End of a hard day. Turn on the Mr Coffee maker machine (That I've adapted to make tea and not coffee) grab the hotel provided tea bag and it is decaffeinated!

Whoever heard of DeCaf tea....?

Now before you say... ahh but tea has more caffeine than coffee, I'd like to point out it does not. Far from it....

Check out this site for details..

And please please lobbyists in the USA, tell the hotels to stop providing DeCaf tea...

Whatever next? Ribena with no Vit C?