Lots of folk write and ask me for advice, instructions and general information. I decided that I would put a place on the internet that allows them to visit and see what mischief I am (or have been) up to. Hopefully it will be appreciated - please feel free to press Ctrl + End and go to the bottom of this page and give me some feedback. If you think that it is worth it, please tell your friends, if not, please tell me - thank you.

It is my intention to add something here every 7 to 10 days - the most recent stuff will always be at the top of the page to save you time. Sometime in the future, I have decided my policy and techniques for removing stuff from the bottom - there will only ever be two weeks information shown in this page. At the bottom there will be a link to an index of earlier pages. This way, it will stop the page from becoming too long and unwieldy !

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Friday 8th March 2002

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Feedback
Lots of folk have visited - more than I expected - gives me the encouragement to carry on. About a quarter of the visitors gave some feedback - most of it is complimentary. Looks like it might be an interesting venture - whoopee !!

The most frequent comment came from folk that have know me from face to face meetings. It was "as we read it, we can hear you talking". I'm not sure if that is a good thing in the written word - but there you are - I am what I am - hehehe!!

Another question that came more than once, was "why isn't it wider?". The answer is so that it fits OK on the smaller monitors used on older PCs. Everybody sees it the same this way, the automatic re-sizing can cause some unfortunate effects.

A reader refered to the complimentary comments made in last weeks issue about an hotel and said the more cynical readers will ask "what is in it for Byers". It is a fair question and the answer is simple - nowt and that is how it will always be. In fact if I were offered something, it is likely that I would report the offer in here     !! If I accepted any such (unlikely) offer, I would most certainly report it in here    .


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This weeks purchase
I told you last week about a visit to PC World - I didn't tell you that while I was there, one of the things that wanders about in the back of my mind was active. Well it was . . . .

I wonder and worry about the security of the information on my various Computers. In past times I have used Magnetic Tapes, more recently it has been "prayer" and occasional copies to PCMCIA cards. Now I have discs on which the capacity is measured in GigaBytes rather than Kilo or MegaBytes, the problem is one of a different dimension !!.

I saw a 20 GigaByte external hard disc costing around 350 quid - the connection method was FireWire (one of the facilities that I do not have - otherwise I would have bought it !! The tiny Grey Cells had been stimulated once again so I took to browsing my Action catalogue (you can get one by ringing 0800 333 333 - they are a huge Mail Order Computer Supplies company - they also have a Web Site http://www.action.com but I have to confess that it is a bit hard work for a dimbo like me) - I found a 60 GigaByte USB External Hard Disc USB or Parallel connection - cost around £210 + VAT + around £22 + VAT for the parallel lead.

I bought it - plugged it in and it worked - by brain is now at rest - please don't anyone mention the word TeraByte    !!


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Searching
I was once told that having a connection to the internet is like having a telephone without a telephone directory - that was followed by the comment that this was what search engines are for.

I am sure that that is true, but which search engine is best, which one should you use. Well there are hundreds of them and I don't have a clue what the answer to that question is. I avoid the question and use a program that sits on each of my several PCs - it is called Copernic.

It takes your keywords (or even your question) and submits them / it to lots of search engines simultaneously, it gives the replies in a standard (but customisable) format. The words best of all worlds come to mind. It is a brilliant program - really is a "must have".

You can pay for a copy or download it for free from http://www.copernic.com/ I really do urge you to get a copy !!


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This weeks hotel
This week, I spent two nights in a lovely place not far from the city of Hereford

The Steppes
Ullingswick,
near Hereford,
Hefefordshire,
HR1 3JG,
Telephone 01432 - 820 424
Their website is at http://www.steppeshotel.co.uk
Their EMail address is info@steppeshotel.co.uk
If you want to "climb off the world" and into the bargain "go to heaven", this is the place to do it.

You can either "luxuriate" in the lovely comfortable rooms or go walkabout in the peaceful real (not plastic) countryside. No phones, No Newspapers - do not go here if you do not want to be incommunicado    
(I suspect that the owners Henry and Tricia Howland will not love me for say that tho' !!)

Tricia is as finer cook as I have ever met - or tasted food from - sorry if I should have said Chef, or Chefess - anyroad up it is really fantastic food!!

I spent two brilliant nights there.

I defy you not to love it - I have no hesitation in commending it to you.
(....and the prices are more than reasonable.)


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Links
Sadly it seems to me that readers have seen the links but not followed them. If it is blue and is underlined, do try pointing to and clicking on it - I promise that I never intend to point you to any "rubbish" pages!! The magic trick in last weeks links really is very very interesting - show it to your kids (even adult kids) - see how long it takes you to work out how it is done !!

A friend of mine was having difficulty persuading one of his ECommerce sites to go back to the proper page after updating / showing the shopping basket.
I wrote a page for him - to describe a technique for doing it. It will not be of much use to Butchers, Bakers or Candlestick Makers, but it may be of help to Web Designers - click here to see it.

I was drug up in a very agricultural part of Lincolnshire - a pleasant but unremarkable village called Metheringham. I was delighted recently to see that a very pleasant web site has been created for it it is at http://www.macla.co.uk - you might find it an interesting site to visit.

Enron, Microsoft, finance - "watered stock fraud"
All very complicated, if you are interested (and I'm not sure that I am) and want a fairly understandable explanation (I nearly understand it    ), follow this link http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=9726 I hope that it helps you.

If you take an academic approach to the internet, you might find http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk interesting


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Recommendations
When I make a recommendation, it is done on the basis of my own experience. That way, I do not drop too many clangers. For example, I have known J A Andrews and sons for over 50 years, know three generations of the Andrews family - in other words, I really know them!!

I met MacBeths at an exhibition at Olympia in London (I think) several years ago and have bought several boxes of meat from them - I guess that means I sortov know them a bit !!

All of this does NOT mean to say that all others are rubbish - I believe that a stranger is a friend that I do not know !!

Someone gave a feedback to last weeks publication (they did not give their name - but I think that I can guess who it was   ) it was suggested that I should give www.glenfernate.com a try - I probably will, but at the moment, I do not know them so I cannot yet recommend them.

Please, oh please do tell me who you are if / when you give your feedback    .

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