A visit to Knebworth House

This post describes a visit to Knebworth house which we took as a family visit Sunday 27th June 2010. We choose that day because it was the day that England were playing Germany in the 2010 world cup so we knew that there was a chance that there would be less people about. I also took the opportunity to take some photographs. Sunday 27th was a very hot day and we set out at about 11:15. James and Emma were excited about […]

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Using Zend Framework ACL and Auth to control access

I’ve recently started using the Zend framework components to produce a site I’m working on and thought I’d document how I’ve tied the Acl and Auth components together to control access.The site I’m building consists of several services which all have access through a common user account login, but with different classes of user. This seemed an ideal candidate for using Access control lists so I’ve set them up in the following way. Each service is being written as a […]

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Panasonic HDC-HS9 EB HD Camcorder user review.

This post describes my impressions of the Panasonic HDC-HS9 digital camcorder which we bought after we lost a valuable recording on our old DV Tape camcorder. We use a camcorder in the same way that most families use a camcorder – basically for making movies of the children, family events and holidays. We first bought a digital camcorder when our first child James was born in 2002 and haven’t had any need to change it until I had a disaster […]

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Dealing with unwanted Credit card offers

We aren’t so plagued as we used to be, which is probably a sign of the global downturn, but we used to get about 5 credit card offers every week and even now we still get the occasional one.  I find these unsolicited spam letters a real pain, so I’ve devised a plan to deal with them. I open the letter and tear off any identifying sections with my name and address on. Then, I get the prepaid envelope which […]

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User review of Pioneer DCS-575 DVD home cinema system

We bought a pioneer DCS-575 Home cinema system to go with the Samsung LE40A656 40 inch LCD Television which we bought in July 2008. We choose the Pioneer because it is a 5.1 system but allows the speakers to be arranged in a variety of different combinations and therefore they don’t have to be arranged around the room. Obviously the ‘surround’ effect won’t be as effective, but with two small children running around the room I felt this would give […]

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Compaq/HP 8710W Laptop running Ubuntu Linux

This short post is to answer a question potential Compaq/HP 8710W owners may be asking. Just in case it’s useful to anyone who may be wondering if they can run Ubuntu on a Compaq/HP 8710W laptop, I can tell them that you can. I’m running the Intrepid 8.10 release on one of these and I have all the hardware I use running ‘out of the box’. The only thing I can think of which doesn’t work is the Finger Print […]

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Samsung LE40A656 LCD TV

This short post describes my experiences of the Samsung LE40A656 LCD TV. We bought a Samsung LE40A656 40″ LCD TVs about 7 months ago and I have to say that it’s stunning. It’s a full HD, 1080P set with 4 HDMI inputs as well as component and a couple of scart sockets. We run it from a Virgin media V+ box set and the picture quality in HD is exceptional. The only problem we had was to do with the […]

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Migrating Linux Distribution

I’ve been using Gentoo Linux for about the last 5 years and I’ve generally been quite happy with it, but over the last few months I’ve found that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to install packages without dependency problems or broken packages.About two years ago I decided to try Ubuntu on my Laptop and it was so successful that I decided to swap my main desktop machine as well. The big problem with this is that because I use this machine […]

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Unix Timestamp Conversion

I use unix timestamps to store dates in databases because I find it an easy way to do maths with the dates. One drawback of course is that I can’t tell what a date is by just looking at the number so I was trying to find a calculator app which would do the conversion. Although there are bound to be loads I couldn’t find one which would allow me to quickly highlight a number and convert it to a […]

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