College Days Revisited

I’m sat here watching the new series of Don’t Tell the Bride and looking forward to starting college again next week.

I’m not going full time as the course my wife and I are doing is only a few hours on a Wednesday at Totton college, but it is still the first time I have been back to college for a few years while I have been battling depression and trying to find work, so it is a big deal to turn that corner finally and start planning for the future again.

The course is an ITQ level 2 as we did the level 1 a few years back, it is an IT qualification in the use of Microsoft Office 2010 as I think I need to learn more about Office as it will come in helpful for my writing and for the possibility of employment in an office environment.  Also, it will vastly increase my knowledge of Office gained from judicious use of Google and YouTube!.

Plus, it makes a change from simply spending all day every day mindlessly job hunting without success or trying to wrap my head around the programming challenges I have set myself!.

The job centre needed to send some paperwork to us to prove entitlement for the bursary to enable us to do it for free – and they actually did! they sent the correct paperwork out with all the relevant details we needed.  Tracey phoned them to ask as I didn’t see the point, I knew they would screw it up just like they always do but this time the system worked!. Boy am I pleased to be wrong!.

So, we start Wednesday, I have an early hospital appointment the Thursday and Friday we are “house sitting” for my parents which is a nice little holiday for us somewhere else away from Southampton for the weekend! should sleep well then! maybe get a chance to catch up with my reading as I have been focussing on the computer recently so it would be nice to get back to The Dark Tower again!.

Wish me luck and take care!


iTunes Adventure

I have been having a problem with the popular iTunes media player the past few months after a system update caused my iPod to not be picked up properly by my PC.

It would install the drivers when I plugged it in and would then display “Apple iPod” but would not appear in iTunes under it’s actual name.

Looking up this problem on Google yielded a couple of hits, which consisted of reinstalling the device drivers, which I did to no avail.

Eventually, I decided to try to install iTunes on my wife’s PC, copy over my iTunes backup folder and see if that machine picked it up.

It did. Great!”  I thought as I prepared to sync it, must be a problem caused by a recent Windows update!. Excited with the idea of being able to update my iPod, I clicked ‘Sync’…

And it brought up an error.

It wanted to add over five Gb of videos (which didn’t exist) and claimed I only had 2 Gb free space (when I had 5 Gb free).

So that didn’t work.

Until today.

There have been a good few Windows updates since and iTunes had an update earlier so I though I would try my luck again, and it slowly installed the device drivers then came up with the correct name!.

Only problem now is the fact I have 5Gb free according to the iPod, 9Gb free according to iTunes, 20 less songs and it keeps re-adding apps I have deleted! but at least it is now backed up and more or less synced.

I just need to iron out the last few wrinkles.

And they say technology is here to make things easier!

UPDATE: Well I have synced the iPod successfully a number of times, but try as I might, I cannot get it to add any new music! it adds to my iTunes library but refuses to go onto the iPod! oh well, it’s still mainly a win I suppose!.

Programming Adventures Start Here!

The Microsoft Visual Studio .NET logo.
The Microsoft Visual Studio .NET logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Well after spending the best part of yesterday installing Visual Studio 2008 a total of FOUR times (kept coming up with a corrupt cab file error) and my google-fu only yielded four hits on it and two of those were chinese (thank you google translate addon for firefox!).

Eventually, I managed to get it installed and now it runs nicely so I am prepared for my first foray into programming for several years since college!.



I also downloaded Python as it was recommended for beginners all over the internet and am now completing the tutorials before jumping into the books I have

I am hoping to progress through the codeacademy tutorials, then onto the beginner’s book, then onto the more advanced stuff to build up a good level of ability before switching to C# and finally C++ where I hope to start creating a game (details withheld for the time being, but rest assured it’s not an MMO like everyone wants to do straight off!).




I would like to go to college again to study and give me something for my CV for this year, but I am having a few problems getting the paperwork they require for me and my wife to do the same course.  I am even thinking of seeing what the Open University can offer, but that will have to wait until I have a job and can afford it! though I would like to study at level three before upgrading to a degree level course (even though it is work from home course and it is a lot cheaper than University, it still is a big and expensive step and I don’t want to be stuck with a student loan hanging over my head!).




Ah well, time will tell! for now I am going to have a crack at Python and see what happens!.