All Posts By

Mark

District 9

By Film No Comments

If you go see any movie thisyear GO SEE THIS!

Such a wonderful and amazing film with a great concept and story.

New Theme

By WordPress No Comments

I saw the theme on this site: www.ragamuffinsoul.com and it was very close to a theme ive had in the pipeline.

The one you see now is a first draft of it. I still have to add lots of previous functions like category thumbnails and such but it will happen over time. It’s a combo of the above linked theme and this one: Clean Home.

What do you think?

Holiday……..celebrate

By Photos No Comments

 _IGP7516.JPG

So we are now back from our amazing holiday over in Ireland. It was AWESOME! There is a massive gallery below..

We set of on Monday morning and drove to Pembroke which was a loooong drive. Easy but long. I’ve never driven to the end of the M4 and then some so it was a first for a dull fact. When we set off I’d had the idea of stopping off for a McDonalds breakfast – mmmm Sausage & Egg McMuffin – only to realise that when a motorway services has loads of signage stating that it has a McDonalds does not necessarily mean that there actually will be one there! I didn’t let this break my stride of happy holiday joy joy feelings. I settled for something else which was…i can’t remember.

Anyway. We got to Pembroke in good time with an hour to spare so we chilled out and read some of our books. AH Yes the books – I’ll get on to them later. We boarded the Ferry fine and the sailing was – windy. Cut to 3hrs later. We got off the ferry at Rosslare. I found this very exciting indeed. It was great to be arriving on Irish soil with my Wife. I’d never been to Rosslare port so that was also new. We got on the road and zoomed…well no for about 5 mils we got stuck behind some guy who insisted on driving at 20 mph. I put that down to him panicking about the metric system and deciding slower was better-  not for the massive queue of traffic that built up behind him. Luckily i was jus behind him and was first to be free of the confines of his diabolical driving. Off we drove.

We arrived at silver strand at about 8:2o that eve. This was a little later than I had expected. It was also raining a little more than I had expected. I was expecting there to be no rain – at all! It wasn’t pouring by any means; it was a fine misty rain. It was wonderful pulling off the road and opening the gat to the campsite and seeing Ruth’s reaction to it all. We decided to visit the Loos first off as it’s been a while in the car.

The Nostalgia Boom began

It didn’t end till we got back home to Acton.

Anyway, the loos are on a slope and while we were pulling away the backend swung out and we went sliding in the car! I’d forgotten that can happen when it rains! After a quick recovery we drove across the field in search of my folk’s caravan. At this stage we were very pleased to not have to face the act of setting up a tent in the dark in the rain. The timing of my parents move couldn’t have been better. As we drove across the field it became apparent that, while there were a few other caravans dotted around and the usual static vans, thee were no other people in the field at all – not even in the static’s – We had the place to ourselves completely! It didn’t take us long to find the Robinson’s caravan. We unloaded some of our stuff and then headed in to Wicklow town as our bellies were getting cranky! We got ourselves some Fish and Chips and headed back here we ate them by LED light – how romantic! We set up for bed and went to sleep soon after.

The following day we went to see Mom and Dad’s place. On the way I sowed Ruth the house I’d been born in and some of the schools I’d been to. We called Mom and then told her we were near by. We got some food and headed over to see their house. Mom was delighted to see us. I was a bit shocked by the place. I know they had said it needed work but I hadn’t quite expected it to be as bad as it is. It will take them a long time to get it back to a state they will be proud of… It was great to see Mom in her new home. Dad was in the UK that day for a meeting so we dint see him that day but we did see them both twice more on other occasions.

At his point the list of things we did began:

  • Walked Bray Head
  • Cooked dinner in the dark
  • Found a candle
  • Cooked dinner by candle light
  • Read more book
  • Slept

We then woke. I woke up facing the air vent in the roof of the van. I looked up and saw a sliver of pure blue sky – I reached over and slid across the curtain and the sun blinded us by flooding in and blessing us with a beautiful site of the sun shining on the water. It was amazing. From this point on the weather stayed beautiful for the rest of the week. I even got sun burn.

We went in to Dublin city centre and we did some of the touristy things. I realized that my knowledge of history of Dublin is not what it was so it was a bit half a**ed. I promised Ruth that next time I’d arrange a tour or something. In the Evening we met up with Dar and had a nice dinner and a drink with him before heading back down to Wicklow.

The next day we did beaches. We went down to our own beach and read and sunbathed. We waded out t the long rock and got stuck. There used to be a path back up to the other campsite but it is no longer there so we had to wade back with the tied coming back in. This ended in us walking back down the road absolutely soaked wet. It was great though. That afternoon we wet down to Britta Bay and walked along the beach there.

The following day we decided to do Killiney Hill and see the Obelisk. This is a place I hung out a lot as a kid. It was terrific showing Ruth my old haunts. We called Mom again and went and had lunch. Then we got invited for dinner so we said yes – we hadn’t seen dad at this stage and we were dieing to see him too. Too kill the passing time we went down to Dun Laoghaire. We went and got an Ice Cream at the infamous “Teddy’s” which fueled our walk down the pier. We got a great surprise when we reached the end and were able to actually enter the light house enclosure. For all the years I walked down there I never had that opportunity but now its open to the public. It was wonderful. It was such a beautiful day that we were almost getting head-aches from he glean of the sun on the water. After this we had a coffee and strolled down through the main high street back to the car. When we got back o Mom & Dad’s we had a nap before having dinner – and a wonderful dinner it was too. Dad told me of some of his plans to make changes and repairs to the house which was great.

The rest of the holiday was full of wonderful moments relaxing and chilling out. One of the other highlights as reading a sequel to a book that we both read during the year. It was a trashy horror novel called Contagious (sequel to Infected”) by Scott Sigler. We took turns reading this out to each other which turned out to be really great fun. It would have been nice to see some relatives and to see other things and re-live other memories but I realise that w can do that next time as Ruth and I both firmly agreed – there will be LOTS of next times…

Below is the entire gallery – first time i’ve been able to upload a BIG gallery to wordpress – the key has been – do it on a mac!

We’re off for a week

By WooYaa No Comments

Walk this way

WOOOHOOOO – Wifey and I are off now for a week in Ireland. Ruth will get to learn and see where i grew up where i grazed my knee first, where i used to wander as a lad and so on. I’m really very excited.

AS a bonus we also get to se Mom and Dad. We wont necessarily be hanging out with them loads – this is afterall our holiday but it will be nice to see them getting settled in.

No technology for a week though – this will be the biggest challenge!

Yarp!

I survived 6 hours underground

By Work One Comment

 ET-6hours

On Tuesday we had a shoot with Eurotunnel. The day was a long one. It was the fourth day of shooting or a project that has been 18 months in the making. This shoot was mostly about picking up shots that hadn’t worked or that we’d missed. Because of this it was a bit of a stressful day. However I had my brother Tom ans one of my camera men and Mr Dan as my other camera ma so it was nice and easy. The shoot itself went very well ad we got everything we needed.

At the end of the day we finished up our last shots in France and boarded a train to come back to the UK with th intention of getting two final simple shots. These shots were destined to never be shot……

About 20 minutes in to the 35 minute journey the train came to a bit of an abrupt stop in the middle of the tunnel. Shortly after this an announcement was made to the affect of some sort of Technical fault. This was the beginning of the 6 hour wait we had to endure. Now i must say that while to was a very unpleasant experience it is nowhere near as bad as how the Daily M.A.I.L. (Mal-Adjusted Information System) article displays it. In fact that article is just another example of how BAD a newspaper they are. The article is stupidly misleading its funny.

The facts are this. Announcements were made when they had new information. They simply couldn’t figure out what the issue was. The staff (including our client) started distributing water because the air-con was not working which the DID NOT run out of.  Soon we were told that It was to do wit a power failure. When the fire crews arrived they toyed with he idea of evacuating the train – This is a last resort due to safety. During this time the lights went out a few times for only a few minutes at a time. Eventually we were towed out quite quickly by a diesel train – it was just 6 hours later.

It was no a TERROR incident as the mail suggests. If anything it was a terrifyingly DULL experience. It did get quite warm down there but 30 degrees C is not over kill. You need to be a total wuss to think that is treacherous.

I think the ET staff did very well under the circumstances. If anything they could have been better with communicating what was happening but half of me thinks that they told us all there was to tell. Maybe they ould have reassured the punters a little more. Saying that the staff did make their presence felt as much as was humanly possible. They walked up through the wagons giving as much info as they had.

It was an experience i’d not like to go through again but it could have been alot worse! Needless to say – we didn’t get those final shots….

L´eurotunnel...

My Parents are moving back to Ireland

By Family, Profound No Comments

On 2nd Sept my parents will be moving back to Ireland!

Yup that’s right – its pretty epic! It’s also really great news and amazing for them. We are all really really happy for them to be finally moving home after almost 15 years. We are also obviously sad that they won’t be just around the corner.

This has all happened very quickly. While there was always a “loose” plan for them to eventually move back to Ireland, we didn’t quite think it would happen now. They just paid off their mortgage a couple of months back and were happy to finally be debt free after 36 odd years and were looking forward to maybe another year or so building up some savings before going back but circumstances have changed which sparked all of this off.

Img via www.dysfunctor.org

3 weeks ago their tenants in the house in Dublin rang them to give their notice. They are a big family and needed more space and wanted to move before the new school term started. On weighing up the options my parents soon realised that it would be very very difficult to proceed with live as was without the income of the rent of that house. On thinking and praying about it they decided that moving back was the best thing to do. This all happened over the Sat eve and Sunday morning. By Sunday Lunchtime their minds were made up. They called us about an hour later – it was all very exciting.

The result: they are moving back on the 2nd of sept. Their tenants were only required to give 1 months notice which means the turn around of this is all very fast indeed.

This is something my parents have wanted since we left Ireland. Moving to the UK was a great thing. I certainly would not be the man I am today had it not been for that. While as a 16 year old I hated the experience at the time, I never tried to look at it through my parent’s eyes. They too were wrenched from a happily content life, away form friends, family and so on. As much as it was difficult for me it was hugely more difficult for them. At least for me, at 16, I was able to adapt and grow up I to a culture that was new to me. My parents found it harder to adapt to the new culture of the UK. While you may think the UK and Ireland aren’t all that different, you’d be right in saying so but they are different enough for it to be a culture shock.

I still quite haven’t fully processed all this myself. I’m not fully sire about ho I feel about my parents moving country. I feel sad that they are going. But I am so s SO happy that they finally get to go home after so long. I feel unease at the thought that this will b the first time in my life that I will properly live in a completely different country than my mom and dad. I feel elated that they will be with all of their old friends, I feel excited at the prospect of many holidays to come in Ireland. I feel giddy about the idea of bringing our children over to Ireland for summer holidays to their grandparents in Ireland. Overall I’m stoked.

One of the hilarious things is that Ruth and I had booked a week in Ireland camping In Silver Strand (where I grew up camping every summer) in te second week of Sept. So Mom and Dad will be 30 mins away. They have now offered to set up their caravan for us down there so we don’t have to camp in the Tent – this is to be confirmed. But how ACE is that!?!?!

How to create strong passwords

By Techie No Comments
img via: www.jdavidmacor.com

img via: www.jdavidmacor.com

I’m hoping that this post will help people create good strong secure individual passwords for multiple sites. These days we all have various accounts on-line. It has become common practice to have one password for all accounts which is a big no no.  If a hacker is successful at hacking in to your one of your accounts, the very first thing they do is to try and log-in in to every other web-service with the same email/user id and the same password. Usually when a hacker has been successful – they’ll then lock you out of your own account by changing the passwords on you which would be baaaaaad news.

The key here is to create dramatically diverse passwords that YOU find easy to remember. More accurately it is about creating a system that you can easily remember but is also easy enough to make each password for each site unique

Most people will usually have a phrase or two that they use for passwords and that is the key for that. My recommendation for going about creating a system is to build it in chunks where those chunks based on your usual phrase and some common password thinking. Once you have created the system you hopefully wont have to to worry about remembering lots of passwords ever again.

You will need only 3 things:

  1. Time
  2. Patience
  3. Some lateral thinking.

In order to create a secure system we need number 3 of the above list. Some lateral thinking. There are 4 principles that you can apply in building your system. As you read on you will see that you will be able to mix and match any of them. The most secure password however, would be produced by using all of them together.

1). NUMBERS

 numbersLets start at he beginning. If you have a phrase that you usually use i would suggest using that. If you have two phrases – why not combine them!.  Alot of people have a regular password phrase. But a phrase on it’s own is not enough. So the easiest step is to take that phrase and add a number to it:

To demonstrate I will  use two phrases:

CABBAGE” & “PEPPER

When it comes to choosing a number it can be anything.If you have a number that means alot to you then use that. At the very least it should be a two digit number so that rules out the number “7&”.  If your fav number is only a single digit number then multiply it by 11.

To demonstrate I will  use the number

75

With these assets i can create the following passwords:

CABBAGEPEPPER75

75PEPPERCABBAGE

7CABBAGEPEPPER5

You can see that this already creates several different possibilities but a phrase and a number alone is still not secure enough.

2). Character Alternatives. keywords

For some the following will be a familiar concept but for others it may be a bit more complex. It’s not difficult its actually really easy (that’s the whole idea). Below you will see a list of letters. Beside them are displayed alternative numbers/symbols that look similar at a glance. i.e. the general shape of one is similar to that of the other.

A = 4

B = 8

E = 3

I = 1

O = 0 (numeric zero)

S = 5

Lets take our word “CABBAGE” as test subject –  Using the above alternatives:

CABBAGE= C4884G3

If you were to mix up the case it could become even more diverse:

CABBAGE= c48b4G3

All you have to remember is the phrase and then apply the alternatives to it. Now if we apply rules 1 and 2 we could get the following results:

c48b4G3P3pP3r75

75P3Pp3Rc4884G3

7C4884g3P3PP3R5

How you decide to apply those is up to you but i would recommend being as consistent as you can across the board. Remember the idea is to keep the system simple.

3). SEPARATORS

Using Separators to split the phrases and website abbreviations helps also. It helps by giving you the opportunity to introduce more adverse characters and by visually splitting the phrases/words.  This will certainly diversify your passwords.

Below is a just a few characters accessible from your keyboard:

!  ”  £  $  %  ^  &  *  (  ) :  ;  +  _  –  =  `  ¬ ‘  @  ~  #  ?  /  |  \

The idea is to use these to separate the phrases and numbers of your password. It may be visually easier to identify them as separators by making combos of them:

)!(

“@”

$%$

^*^

+|+

\”/

Using these could produce the following results:

CABBAGE PEPPER 75 becomes:

c48b4G3 $%$ P3pP3r $%$ 75

75 $%$ P3Pp3R $%$ c4884G3

7 $%$ C4884g3 $%$ P3PP3R $%$ 5

This leads us on to the final section – how to differentiate passwords for different websites.

4). WEBSITE ABBREVIATION

 colourfulKeys2

This section is about abbreviating the name of the website in order to make the password specific to a website.

If you have followed the above guidelines you should have a fairly bulletproof password BUT all you have is ONE password. You need different passwords for each different website you log in to. Fear not however, again there is a simple solution to this predicament.

Abbreviate the website name!  Think of your passwords like a set of colour coded keys. Each key is very similar but its the colour that tells you for which door it belongs to. In the case of passwords the doors are the websites. The colours are the website abbreviations which tell you which site you are accessing. This way you only really need to remember the main bulk of the password phrases but you get added security when each one is made different by adding an abbreviation of the site to the password.

Here are some samples of possible abbreviations:

facebook.com = FB / FABO / fabo / fAbO

Tesco.com = TE / TESC / tesc / TeSc

google.co.uk  = GO / GOOG / goog / GoOg

Again the idea is to create your own abbreviation format and stick to it.

THE RESULT:

So by applying all these rules to create  passwords for facebook,  Bebo, Tesco, Photobucket where we will use the following phrases and numbers:

“cabbage”, “pepper” & the number “75

the passwords could be conceived:

75   c4bb4g3   $%$ p3pp3r   $%$ fabo    =   75c4bb4g3$%$p3pp3r$%$ fabo

c4bb4g3   $%$!(   p3pp3r   $%$ bebo 75  =   c4bb4g3$%$p3pp3r$%$ bebo75

7 c4bb4g3   $%$ p3pp3r   $%$ teco 5   =   7c4bb4g3$%$p3pp3r$%$ teco5

75 c4bb4g3   $%$ p3pp3r   $%$ phbu   =   75c4bb4g3$%$p3pp3r$%$ phbu

I hope this has been a help – feel free to ask questions in the comment below.