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August 2009

I survived 6 hours underground

By Work One Comment


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….


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.

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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
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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.


 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:


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


With these assets i can create the following passwords:




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:


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:




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.


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.



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: = FB / FABO / fabo / fAbO = TE / TESC / tesc / TeSc  = GO / GOOG / goog / GoOg

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


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.

Holiday snaps yo

By WooYaa No Comments to

By WordPress No Comments

I’ve been thinking more on the development of his site and since my last post abut this I was having another thought.

You can visit my lovely wife’s blog at a subdomain on this site: but i was thinking of maybe combining them. As she is, after all, my wife then why not combine the into one main blog for the two of us. When the kiddies come along they could join in too…..

Below here isa list of ideas fr it that i wanna write down in the site so i dont loose them – i would do so if i wrote it on a scrap of paper.

Cat Images – Photos of Ruth and I together doing stuff. – ideally facial expression!

  • WordPress –
  • Arg – both lookin miffed – sulking
  • Church –
  • Family –
  • Film – eating pop corn
  • Friends –
  • General/Uncategorized – looking bored
  • God / God Stuff –
  • I Laughed – tickling each other
  • Love – the kiss shot
  • N95 / Phone – looking at phone with joy
  • Photos –
  • Private – going shhhhhhh
  • Profound – looking stupidly profound
  • Rides –
  • Sad – looking sad
  • Techie –
  • Tunage – headphones bot of us
  • Tweet –
  • Video –
  • WooYaa – going oooooooh/holding alternate sigs saying woo and yay
  • Work –
  • Geek-tastic – geek out
  • Holidays – tent
  • Reviews – looking estudious


Twitter integration  – needs to be able to link in to multiple twitter accounts twitter users may help

facebook integration – needs to be able to link in to multiple facebook accounts read: smashing mag’s article on this

WOW Intense!

By Profound, Video One Comment

This is probably the best film i’ve seen with a message discouraging people from a certain behaviour while driving….

The video was done with local actors by the Gwent police department, to be shown in area schools as part of a 30-minute deterrent movie about “texting while driving.” It’s effective, violent and bloody. That’s probably the point


via gizmodo

Where do i put my photos?

By Techie One Comment


I’m struggling with how bets tomanage photos and video i take and where to put them i.e. where to store them on-line. The choices are:

  • My Website
  • Photobucket
  • facebook
  • posterous
  • twitpic

Each of these have their own limitations and conmsequences.

My Website, has the limitations of not being able to upload many large sized photos. This is a major pain as uploadingasimple gallery is always….hicupful. Ideally i’d just like to upload high res images to my site and for them then to be published to other places automtically from there.

Online accounts all have the same issues – Does anyone remembr GeoCities? that was a website ervice that died and went away. I am looking for a solution that will never go away. i.e. I dont wanna use a web based service only to finfd that in 10 yeas the company folds and my images die alongside it.

Posterous is great except that it is still a young company and it wont post images on to MY site – it will only display them on my site. It will push tem to facbook adn flickr and the like but not o my own website.

Hmmmmmm what to do….