March 2007 Archives

The Pub of The Year!

Our Mutual Friend, the local mecca for real ale in Stevenage, has won the North Herts CAMRA Pub of The Year for a second year running :-D

They're having a presentation tonight, so it seems rude not to pop along. We're then off to Chicago's. Guna be a long night ;-)

Objectives Finalised Now!

Got then today, formally. Not everyone's going to be interested, so they're in the extended bit if you want to have a look. Will be interesting seeing how many are achieved, and how many get taken over by events and fail. Experience tells me I'll be lucky to get half done by the middle of the year without something coming along and moving things to the right ;-(

No More Clusters

At last, after years of talking, and not actually doing anything, I read that the UK has banned cluster bombs. Sure, it's only the so-called 'dumb' ones, but it's a start. And, yes, those cynics amongst you will, like me, say it's only because the replacement, Staff Target (Air) 1238, Brimstone is now in service that they're withdrawing RBL755. However, it does also cover similar muntions in the GMLRS system.

The fact the UK has become the first major power to scrap 'dumb' cluster muntions is a start. We'll just wait and see if the Cluster Munition Coalition campaign can convince other countries to take steps and follow the UK.

A Bad Day at the Office?

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Sent via a friend at work, sometimes things just don't work out - Lost driver hits 6 cars, 2 trees and 1 wall.

It's Here!

Primavera release 6 BETA has arrived :-D

First looks indicate it's loads better than release 4.1, which we're currently using. Of course, that's a bad comparison since some of these new features probably appeared in release 5. Which means I'll need to revisit 5 and understand what changes have been made, as well as any bugs that might have crept in.

The best feature, though, by far, is the web-based planning. It's really cool, fast, and simple to use. And I reckon it'll appeal to all the users we've got who don't like the client because it's too much for what they want to do. I won't say what, but many of our users use another application, and I can see this allowing them to move to the company's preferred project management tool at last.

Busy times ahead, testing, evaluating, and assessing changes to training. Like I wasn't busy at the moment anyway ;-)

Snow, err, where?

So, rushed home back from Hull last night to avoid the chaos and bad weather. Only to awake this morning and find...... NOTHING :-(

Does anyone else think that the Met Office is getting more and more cautious with their forecasts, ever since getting caught out back in 1987? I mean, it was a severe weather warning yesterday.

Home Again

And checking my email. Not had chance to download for over a week, for various reasons. So, before falling asleep at the keyboard, it's a quick check on the online world ;-)

Another corking link from Ian, this time a brilliant rendition of Smooth Criminal and Owner of A Lonely Heart on violin :-D

There's a few more, but what Ian really needs is a blog to post them all up on ;-)

Some Great Finds

After the UK Whitegoods Meeting, I travelled back up to Hull with Nige. I needed to get a drivers door handle for Gareth's Polo, so it seemed a good idea to drop in to Simpsons Salvage on the way. Yes, I know it's not exactly on the way back, but it's not far out of the way, now, is it ;-)

Found the Polo, after a few calls to Gareth to check. Turns out the door handle design changed quite considerably the year his was manufactured. And at 10 I didn't want to be getting the wrong one. The big find, though, was a Jaguar V8 Sovereign, with a full set of interior mats, chrome V8 front grill, rear airvent, and highlevel brake light. Nige was over the moon, particularly since he's been watching eBay for months now, trying to get a rear airvent for reasonable money. Of course, we knew that, being Jag, it was going to be silly money when we got to the desk to settle. So, imagine Nige's surprise when the bloke said it'd be 65 plus VAT :-D

We paid and made a sharp exit before he changed his mind ;-)

He's Gone!

Just settling down for the news tonight, and Luton have sacked Newell after Tuesday's game against Hull.

I was only reading at lunchtime former Coventry boss Micky Adams views on who's up and down at the end of the season, and making my predictions as to who I think will be on their way out. Leeds, Luton, and QOR are my thoughts, and after this evenings news, Luton have to be odds-on for relegation, surely. I just hope the Tigers keep it going Saturday at Sunderland.

Each One Counts Now!

TigersNail biting stuff in the pub yesterday for Chris' birthday. Up in Hull for a weekend sorting the computers at GT again, and then an afternoon in a local pub listening to the game.

And they pulled one out the bag, and beat Preston :-D Hopefully this is the start of a second wind, after last Tuesday's depressing whietwash at home to Ipswich. We'll see this coming Tuesday, when they're just round the corner at Luton ;-)

Owh, and before I forget, who's top of the Super League at the mo? ;-)

Windohs, Arghhh!

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That's it, I'm off down the pub to watch the match :-( Having wasted nearly 2 days now trying to get the 2 PC's connected, like they used to be, it's now telling me that my Windows XP install with deactivate in 30 days because the activation has already been done for the licence key I've got. Err, yes, I know, because I did it 2 years ago when we bought copies. Arghhh :-(

Now, I'll take the fact it does look like some, okay 6 Trojans, have smashed up the registry. But I'd hope and expect just reinstalling the operating system from scratch would solve all these problems. And whhhhyyyyyyy does just about every help file and support option want web access now. I can't access the web, that's the problem, so don't ask me to email or go to a website. Beer, now ;-)

No More Joy From Pandora's Box?

Reading the BBC News this lunchtime, and after raving about last month, it could be forced off the air by increases in royalty payments :-(

Ever since Ian introduced me to it over Christmas, I've been listening to all manner of different music. And it's got me into buying bands I'd never have thought of as a result. I do hope it's sorted out, and an agreement can be reached. Just sounds like yet another badly thought out decision bby the music industry :-(

Typhoon Increases Strength

Some news on Typhoon's successful firings of ASRAAM this past week, not that it got into the nationals from what I can read.

And Then You'll Have To Kill Me...

Had a funny moment at work this morning. Giving Primavera training to a special project group. A rather intensive 1 day overview, which certainly had them all looking dizzy and suffering Brain overload by the end :-O

The funny bit was not thinking through my usual speal, "Hi, my name is Alan Bell, and I'll be teaching you the in's and out's of Primavera...". At the end of the intro, I ask everyone to introduce themselves, and give a little background on the project they're working on, and experience of project management tools. Of course, as soon as I said, "and tell me a little about the project you're working on...", I got some very worried looks.

No More Simpsons

So, having threatened to do it, Virgin Media switched off Sky channels yesterday. No more Simpsons. That's the hurt for me. I'm not at all bothered about all the other Sky stuff. What am I going to watch with me curry now?

Had a letter from Virgin Media explaining how this improves the service. I can't really say I agree, having now lost 4 channels since they changed their name from NThelL to Virgin Media. And, as far as I can see on the bill, the price hasn't dropped to reflect this degradation of service.

Good to see that the National Consumer Council is talking about how chidish this all is. Lets hope they can kick BSkyB and Virgin Media into being sensible about this. I want my Simpsons back :-(

My First PM Presentation

Got a presentation this afternoon for our Sofware department at work. Different from the normal ones I've been doing, as our boss, Andrew Brown, should've been doing it. As he's tied up, and they also want an overview of Primavera, I'm doing it. My first What Is Project Management? presentation :-D

There's an excellent example of what goes wrong when you're not managing effectively as a team, which I'll show you offline. We'll see what the audience reaction is like in about 2 hours time. Better get going, it's in Reading so I've a bit of a drive ahead.

About Alan Bell

Lapsed: electronic engineer, scout leader, project controller.
Now: Oracle Primavera training consultant, business support manager, occasional website designer.

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