Smart Meter, Rummy and Books!

Well we have just had our new Southern Electric Smart Meter installed and said goodbye to the Engineer after a brief demo of our new system.
We can now monitor our electric and gas usage in real time which is really cool and has had me switching things on and running back to the hand held monitor to see the difference!.
The only weird thing is when i plugged the monitor into a free plug socket and switched it on to save the batteries, our usage dropped, not sure why.
Over the next seven weeks, it will learn our usage habits and adapt itself accordingly, so it will be interesting  to see what happens!.
While the Engineer was busy downstairs, we had no power for a brief time, so with no Internet, PCs or TV, we were forced to rely on other ways of amusing ourselves for the duration.

Continue reading “Smart Meter, Rummy and Books!”

Games, Glorious Games!

Well, it has been a long time since my last post.

I think it is for a variety of reasons, chiefly being the fact that I am now well and truly back into my games and spend time on them when I should be writing.

I have definitely turned into a steam addict and my game collection grows by the week (though now Tracey has given me an allowance each fortnight!).

Lately, I have been mainly playing Crusader Kings II (where I am trying my hardest to become the King of Ireland [unsuccessfully] as YouTube recommends to new players), X2:The Threat (I am making my annual attempt at an X:Marathon where I start with X:Beyond the Frontier and progress through X:Tension, X2:The Threat, X3:Reunion and X3:Terran Conflict building my empire before finally getting my hands on X3: Albion Prelude and finally X:Rebirth if my PC can handle it).

Continue reading “Games, Glorious Games!”

The End of an Era

Well, that is college over for now until we start the Computer Programming course in September (when we get around to enrolling anyway!).  We came so close to finishing our final MS Access test but due to some unexpected issues, we had to come in the week after to finish it.  It was a sad goodbye to our tutor Nina, as we have been with her for two ITQ courses now and sadly Totton College currently do not offer the ITQ3 which we would gladly have enrolled on and had her teach us for level one, two and three!.

I would have had this post out earlier but, there were some computer issues which needed a careful application of Smart Defrag, Ccleaner and Malware Bytes to sort out first.

If your computer is running slow, chances are it either needs defragging or has malware (or even both!) I didn’t have any malware, but did need a defrag.  I can strongly recommend these three programs to help keep your PC in top shape.

Continue reading “The End of an Era”

Totton College Taxi Drama

We had an interesting phone call the other day from our tutor Nina at Totton College.

English: Totton College Totton College from th...
English: Totton College Totton College from the Calmore Road entrance. Formerly Totton Grammar School which opened in 1955, the College was opened in 1969. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Her and another member of staff, Kirsty had been talking and felt bad that we walked home the week before (and pushing that wheelchair from the college home was very tiring!) and had arranged for a Taxi to pick us up and drop us home for the last few weeks of our ITQ course!.

I was lost for words! I had no idea the college could even offer such a service, and the fact that these two members of staff thought about it and made it happen for us to make our travelling to and from college a hell of a lot easier just blew me away!.

We took a risk and decided not to take the wheelchair as Tracey would only need to walk around the college, but as it turned out we had underestimated the stairs and realised that next week we would be taking the chair anyway!.

It was such a strange feeling sitting in a taxi to and from college like royalty where we are used to walking and it made us both feel a little lazy but my goodness wasn’t it easier and a lot quicker! we usually don’t get home until gone 2200 but we were home a little after 2100.

So if you are reading this Totton college:

Thank you from us both! you have made us both smile and really made it a lot easier for us to complete our course! we look forward to studying with you again in September! (though Tracey will be more mobile by then hopefully!).

Well, time for me to do a spot of Python before going back to modding my Bethesda games (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas) and I will shortly get a post up telling all about this new exciting hobby!.

 

Related articles

 

 

 

 

Totton College Open Evening

Tutoring Center
Tutoring Center (Photo credit: Tulane Public Relations)

We went into Totton College on Wednesday in an effort to complete the Microsoft Access

module of our ITQ level 2.

Sadly, we didn’t quite finish it but we needed to wait around for an hour for the open evening to start.

Fortunately, there is a Costa selling student priced coffee which kept us busy until the Tutors began filing into the cafeteria and taking their places.

Thanks to the newly released prospectus advertising all manner of exciting courses, we had narrowed it down to a small list that we were interested in:

Computer Programming – This featured as a primary objective during my previous brainstorming session. It uses VB.Net but still should be useful to me.

Web Design – Only a leisure course but interesting, sadly the tutor wasn’t there to talk to.

Forensic Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Criminology – only short leisure courses but sound really interesting and could help me to decide if a career in Psychology is for me.

Hairdressing – One for Tracey, something she has wanted to do for years but due to Southampton City College‘s history with bullying and apathy has put her off studying there.

We spoke to all the relevant tutors in a roundabout way, being shunted between the front desk, and table to table.

Most people seem to have only had one or two courses in mind so we were definitely testing their skills!.

These courses also would be discounted if we are in receipt of certain benefits come the enrolment!.

It’s a shame they did not have any Health & Safety courses available as that is another primary objective discovered during my brainstorming session which would have come in helpful for my employment prospects.

There is always the ever present possibility of online courses too for many of the subjects I am interested in, though costs will vary between free and expensive.

Well, time to go back to Python and see how much I have forgotten!.

 

 

 

Brainstorming Bonanza!

I’ve had a lot of stuff rattling around my head the last few months especially with the recent loss of my mother and the hospitalisation of my wife.

It’s been crossing my mind to get all these thoughts, plans and ideas out on paper and last night I did exactly that.

With Tracey’s help, I brainstormed for an hour or two and got out all those ideas and plans that had been bugging me.

I ended up with a whole sheet of A4 then broken down further into another three sheets going into more detail on each main theme (courses, employment and hobbies).

It felt good to get it all out and free up my mind for other stuff.

I highly recommend this technique to anyone with an excess of thoughts and ideas, get it down on paper, it will clarify things and help you figure out which avenue to focus on.

I now know to focus on a Health & Safety course first which will help my job prospects in Catering, Cleaning and Retail (seeing how important the health and safety knowledge is to these three sectors) while focusing my hobbies around programming and writing.

That is the first step, then I will need to find work in one of the above sectors and hope to acquire on the job training on a relevant course to improve my prospects even further.

Well that is the plan anyway! who knows what is actually around the corner that may change all that! but as of right now, that is where I will be focussing my efforts.

Now to go back to Python and try to remember what I was doing last time!.

 

Kerbal Chaos!

I have been recently watching career mode tutorial videos for the technically brilliant Kerbal Space Program by Scott Manley on YouTube.

I have finally taken the plunge and started a career game.

In KSP you are in charge of the Kerbal Space Program (funny that eh?) and can design and build a seemingly endless variety of spacecraft to launch into space!.

You can orbit planets and moons, land and complete scientific missions, build Space Stations and much more.

It is more a simulation than a game in my view (though it is really fun!) and there are thousands of mods available to augment the gameplay in a myriad of different ways.

It is still heavily in development with a complete “Sandbox” mode where you can design and build to your hearts content and a career mode where you unlock new technologies by conducting space flights and experiments to obtain science.

My first attempted flight was simply a capsule with a parachute attached, connected to a solid state rocket, which is as simple as it gets but I somehow screwed it up as it promptly took off, veered to one side, exploded killing my poor Kerbal astronaut and left the parachute sadly floating to the ground unattached to anything.

Frantically watching the first video again to hopefully see where I had failed, I tried again.

Using an actual engine this time rather than a rocket, it sat on the launch pad.  I pressed “Launch” and it made a noise and sat there mocking me doing nothing, turned out i had forgotten to open the throttle so no fuel was going to the engine.

Third time I attempted a launch, the parachute opened while my rocket was still on the launch pad and then the engine ignited sending my astronaut up into the atmosphere, where he eventually fell back to Kerbin and without a parachute he was killed on impact.

Finally, I got the stages right, opened the throttle, pressed launch and watched in triumph as my puny rocket soared into the heavens.

After having watched a few more videos, i tried to carry out an experiment to earn some science, sadly, I accidently clicked “EVA” and my brave astronaut leapt out of the falling space craft as it fell to earth below him…. yeah I guess you know how that ended too.

Well, I have learnt a lot during these tests and feel bold enough to try again!

Wish Me Luck!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta