D4D

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Archive for the category “Domestic”

Night Will Fall

Over the weekend, as part of Holocaust Memorial Day, Channel4 showed a documentary called “Holocaust – Night Will Fall” about the films made by the allied forces as they discovered Nazi Germany’s various concentration and death-camps at the end of World War 2, and recorded what they saw and discovered.

While absolutely vile – despite descriptions, you never really see the true results of those camps – it was also essential viewing, and a fascinating story as well.  No modern film can truly show the effects of emaciation on bodies – no actor, regardless of dedication, would put themselves to that level – so you might see people being “very thin”, but the recordings on Night Will Fall put all of that into perspective. It’s not something you can look away from, but nor can you believe either the way the bodies are/were, or the sheer number of deaths. The piles of spectacles, the boxes of dentures, the sacks of human hair – they all show how many died, but you still can’t actually understand the sheer scale of the deaths.  I truly don’t think anyone can envision millions of bodies.

The other impressive thing about the programme was that Channel4 showed it without adverts. A ninety-minute film, straight through. I thought that said a lot about Channel4 (although the more cynical would say “who would actually buy advertising space in the middle of a holocaust documentary anyway?”) but it’s still a commitment on the part of C4, and I fully believe that should be acknowledged and respected, as they’re primarily a commercial channel.

The film/documentary itself, I just think everyone should see it, and that it should be shown in schools as part of a default history curriculum. That sort of thing just should never happen again. Ever.

Connected

This weekend I’m off seeing friends Oop Norf, and because of working from home, opted for the easier option, leaving home early, stopping off at a services most of the way to where I’ll be, and working from there for a few hours.

It actually worked out pretty well – surprisingly so, in some ways – and meant I didn’t get stuck in tons of shitty traffic.

The surprising bit was that where I stopped, up at Hartshead Moor services, my phone had a full 4G data service – surprising, because Hartshead is pretty much the bum-end of nowhere. But still, 4G.   That meant I could connect from laptop to iPhone using WiFi, which then gave me data via 4G, without having to pay a penny to the on-site extortionists of BTOpenzone et al.

That, to me, is a complete win. I’ve got unlimited 4G data through my phone contract (I know, it’ll still have a ‘fair-use’ limitation or whatever, but I’m well within that anyway) so it’s saved me the money of a connection through BTOpenzone, and won’t even hit my phone bill.

There are some bits of this modern life that I really quite like…

Business Progression

This week has actually been pretty positive when it comes to sorting out things for my own company again.

As mentioned earlier in the week, I had a look at an office to rent – and signed up for it. Annoyingly, it’s not available until mid-February, but that should still work out fine for what I want/need. It’s only a little place, but it’ll give me the time, space and office I want, and allow me to do a lot of other stuff too.

At the same time, I chased up the farce that has been the application for my company business account. It’s a long story, and one I won’t bother with ’til I know more, but it’s been bloody annoying. Standard bank incompetence, and hardly a great way to get business in, but well, we’ll see.

What with those achievements, plus the car MOT and so on, it all feels pretty positive! Most unnatural and surprising…

MOT – Passed

The car passed it MOT with no problem at all. Needless to say, I am very happy with this news.

I had been getting a bit stressed about it, as I hadn’t heard anything from the garage by 4pm. In fairness, they’re normally pretty good about letting me know if something’s going to be expensive, so I knew it was likely to be OK – but all the same, it was a bit worrying.

Anyway, I called them just after 4, to find out what was happening. And all was well – it was just that the garage had forgotten to call me. Bit annoying, but far better than “Oh yeah, we had to do a load of work, here’s the bill”

As it turned out, it passed with flying colours. One advisory (an out-of-balance parking brake, of all things) and that’s it.  I’m quite surprised by this – it’s a Y-reg with 125,000 on the clock, after all – but pleased.  And considerably better off than I was expecting…

MOT

Among other things today, the car’s getting its MOT done.

I’m hoping that it won’t need much. I’ve already sorted most of the known issues already, including new tyres, new wiper-blades, and a replaced headlamp bulb a couple of weeks back.  Of course, the inverse of that is that anything that does need doing is likely to be expensive.

Still, we’ll see. But for now, fingers crossed.

Office Space

With the way work is going this year, I’m going to be looking again at renting some office space for the time being.

Last year I rented a desk in a shared space for a while, and that worked fairly well, but wasn’t perfect for a number of reasons. So while that’s still an option, I’m looking at stepping things up a bit this time round, and actually doing a proper office.

As with all large towns, there’s a number of options available in both Milton Keynes and Bedford, and I’m looking at my first one tomorrow.  It sounds promising – designed for small and start-up businesses, monthly contract, central Milton Keynes and so on – but I need to see it and figure out the necessities.  I’ll write more about it in the coming days, I’m sure.

Why do I need some space like this?

Well, I’ve got a lot of work coming up, and while working from home is OK, I find that it’s occasionally difficult to keep up motivation when there’s no real push to be “at work”. Also, I find it’s suddenly very easy to not actually interact with anyone for several days a week, and that’s not ideal either.  I know I could easily become very hermit-like and insular, and I don’t actually want to do so.

So renting an office space will at least give me back a commute, a journey to/from work, and because the building is shared with a number of others, it’ll probably allow me to make some connections and interactions along the way. Never a bad thing.

Renting a desk is OK – but limits me to the times the main office is open, which I found more restrictive than it could’ve been, and limited the available hours I had.  I’m hoping that a rented office will give me more flexibility, enabling me to do longer hours when necessary and so on.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens and how it all shakes out. I’ll know more by the end of Tuesday…

Somewhat Calmer

Over the weekend, I’ve been working on reducing the impact of whatever/whoever was attacking D4D™ (and many others, I’m sure)

Looking at log files, it became apparent that a number of the issues were related to a particular site primary user-name that’d become known. Not massively surprising- it wasn’t the strongest in the first place, although the password was- and while it hadn’t been cracked/opened, it was getting hit so many times that it kept on getting locked out. And because it was the primary user-name (which I used all the time) it meant I was getting locked out as well.

As a result, that user has now been massively demoted, and I’ve created a couple of others with more-secure usernames and similarly secure passwords.

It’s not been the easiest of processes, and I’ll be keeping an eye on it over the next few weeks – but at least things now seem to be calmer and less slogged-down with hassles and shit.

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