You are looking at the vinceunlimited Geek page. A place for me to upload all my information about this web site for those that are interested in such matters. In time this page will be fully populated with all the geeky content a top geek could desire found within the vinceunlimited site.
It is set out as a reference source with the articles listed in reverse date order, blog style, and can be navigated by scrolling back through the content or jumping about using the vSearch dates and titles below.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.281 17 Dec 2019
First Published: Version 5.001 30 Sep 2017
Computer Tech 2019
Most of my computer stuff now fitting easily on one small desk. The smartphone is heavily involved in taking the picture so couldn't attend this tech party
When I designed my first web site way back before 2003 to be launched that year I envisioned four primary elements would form the layout - Ideas, Opinions, Personal and Writing. Within the personal section I wanted to tell all a bit about myself and also to include details of my computer set up. I wanted this because at the time I imagined a fair percentage who were surfing at the time may share similar interests to me and would appreciate information on how I operated my technology. As a result since October 2003 I have included details of my computer hardware, software and web use. You can see these unaltered articles below [Click here].
I created an update to my computer story in March 2010, also seen below [Click here], which is now nearly a decade ago so I thought it timely to provide another round up of my tech.
When I left off in 2010 I had just started to work myself into the Applesphere. My main computer was a Mac Mini viewed on an Apple Cinema Display. I also had an Apple MacBook whilst I waited patiently for the rumoured iPad which hadn't materialised but sneakily came out just a month after I posted my article.
I also had a couple of Windows based laptops. My ageing, noisy, overclocked Novatech lap top and a tiny new Dell Mini netbook primarily for servicing my HiFi processor.
Apple's iPhones were becoming more common and I noted in 2010 that I was on my third one and I have listed a full schedule of those I owned below.
Other accessories included an Iomega MiniMax MMHD 500Gb USB/Firewire 400 back up drive running Time Machine, a Logitech QuickCam Fusion web camera, a Hewlett Packard HP Photosmart C6180 All-in-one WiFi full colour printer/photocopier/facsimile machine, a 2009 BT HomeHub 2 WiFi N router, a Bose Companion 5 Series 2 sound system with stereo speakers and Subwoofer, a first edition 2008, 160Gb Apple TV plus an iPod Classic.
Since these heady days of multiple devices I have greatly simplified my set up which is now fully suited to remote working and have subsequently sold off or given away everything I had previously listed. Now it is just one lap top with a few accessories, an all-in-one device, a smartphone and router.
My current laptop is again an Apple product. I have not deserted the brand but did upgrade. As advised in March 2010 I was considering an iMac but never went down this route. I really liked my white, unibody MacBook and appreciated the simplicity of using just a single, portable working device which suited my changing lifestyle. I did try a couple of iPads along the way, a 64Gb black WiFi, 3G enabled iPad 2 in November 2011 and a 128Gb space grey WiFi, 3G enabled iPad Air 2 in November 2014 but none could be considered a true laptop replacement. Data and software back up to anywhere but the cloud was too difficult, my old file system comprising sometimes deprecated file extensions couldn't be handled, I wasn't able to natively title and sort my growing photograph collection and web coding was awkward to do in the way I wanted too, which is simply. So in the absence of suiting these critical criteria I purchased a proper, full power, old style lap top in November 2014.
I choose a new MacBook Pro, a late 2014 Retina 15" model with a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7, 16Gb 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, an Intel Iris Pro 1536Mb video graphics card and a 1Tb Flash hard drive. This was a standard selectable Apple configuration and I haven't modified it in any way. And as you are dying to know it cost me £3.60. Short of £2,400.
My trusty old MacBook hooked up to the new MacBook Pro. Some time later the Pro was fully impregnated with the guts from the willing donor
The alleged lack of connections didn't concern me as the world was moving in a WiFi interconnected way but I was concerned about reliance on huge operating system updates over the air and the ability to play and record to disk media such as CD and DVD so I also purchased an Apple DVD Rewriter, a USB Super Drive, for £65, which has since rarely been connected.
I intended to use the laptop in a place where it could suffer potential loss so needed a way to secure it to some infrastructure in a room. The MacBook Pro didn't have a Kensington Lock slot, the standard in computer security, so I had to find a way to provide this kind of protection myself. I discovered the solution in a LandingZone Dock Express, model LZ3015AL, similar models of which are currently on sale, new for $99. This MacBook Pro accessory clamps into opposing connectors either side of the laptop edge and locks into place, protecting the removable base plate whilst providing substitute connectors and crucially a Kensington Lock slot.
As the hard drive on the MacBook Pro was 1Tb and my Iomega MiniMax was only 500Gb I also had to upgrade my local back up drive. I wanted greater portability and the option to have two solid state drives so one could be stored away remotely and each could be swapped regularly to ensure the most reliance in case of major theft or failure. I chose the bright orange, rubber encased LaCie Rugged 3.0 Thunderbolt 2Tb flash drive and purchased two at a price of just under £200 each. I also bought a lightweight My Passport Ultra 500Gb back up drive, for about £60 and used this to make a further copy of my photographs and videos which hold the greatest digital sentimentality.
The only mouse I now have is my Logitech V450 Laser Cordless Mouse which I purchased in 2007 but failed miserably to mention in 2010. I purchased this mouse to be a portable input device, small enough to pack into a rucksack with the laptops I took to work but I don't tend to bother with it as I find the MacBook Pro's large trackpad sufficient for most of my needs.
The remarkably beautiful HP Envy 110 all in one printer, copier etc., etc., just before it was sold
My Hewlett Packard Photosmart printer/copier/scanner/etc device was getting old and I wanted a WiFi model so in May 2012 upgraded to a very smart looking HP Envy 110 D411a printer/copier/scanner/etc/etc which cost a whopping £175. Although sleek and beautiful it eventually needed new inks so naturally I bought a new printer/copier/scanner/etc/etc/etc. Sadly these days buying a whole new printer/copier/scanner/etc/etc/etc/etc is now a cheaper option than ink replacement. It is an Epson Expression Photo XP-760 printer/copier/scanner/etc/etc/etc/etc/etc which I got for £98 [new obvs], in October 2017.
And to complete my hardware set up my Wifi source also had to be addressed. For a while I was reliant on using a commercial over the air source which at first only provided about 0.1-0.5 Mbps. Over a couple of years it increased to a more reasonable 5-6 Mbps but I changed tack, invested in my own mobile router, a Huawei HomeFi B311s-220 and now get around 10-12 Mbps from a 3 SIM, just shy of 4K streaming.
I no longer own any Windows equipment nor use any emulator.
Software and Web
The MacBook Pro running at near full speed during a video conversion process. Note the near full capacity of the 8 cores [4 core hyper-threaded] and GPU
As I am now solely reliant on Apple devices I naturally err toward Apple software, the latest operating system being MacOS Catalina version 10.15.2. My pattern is to always update to the latest formally issued non Beta version of any OS X since I purchased my first MacMini and have never had a problem.
I also always favour Apple supplied software applications and programs such as Books, iMovie, Music, Mail, Maps, Notes, Numbers, Pages, Photos and Safari, all in their latest guise.
Web site coding is now handled within Apple's Xcode with uploading to the cloud via FTP within a non Apple product, Filezilla [ver 3.46 currently] up to my web hosting service provided by UK2.
When I reported in 2010 I mentioned that I had been through a slew of Apple iPhones and this trend has continued until this day.
Prior to 2010 they were an 8Gb [original] iPhone in February 2008, a 16Gb 2.5G iPhone in July 2008 and a [replacement] 16Gb iPhone 3G the next month.
In 2010 I upgraded to a 32Gb iPhone 4, in October 2011 I chose a 64Gb iPhone 4S, in October 2014 I went for a 128Gb iPhone 6 Plus and my latest choice, from November 2017 is a 256Gb iPhone X.
You can see a pattern of purchasing the largest capacity version available, which I did to attempt to chase a dream of fully storing high quality versions of my photographs. You can see that my 'phone updates originally occurred around once a year but slowed to replacements every three years as the technical abilities of these smartphones matured. So I expect my next one to be the iPhone 12S with around 500Gb. Not that such a large storage is needed as I currently use around 200Gb of my 256Gb capacity including now being able to store all my photos and filmed videos at full resolution on the device.
For mobile sound I used the out of the box wired EarPods for most of the last decade but am now using the wireless Apple AirPods, which are great for sound and safety in operation as a hands free device whilst driving. I have tried the latest, wirelessly charging, noise cancelling AirPods Pro but remain unconvinced that their performance is worth the very high price of upgrading.
Binning The Tech
But what about my superseded, now no longer required tech.
As you will be aware from reading my Computers 2010 update I take digital security seriously. This is why I destroyed my Mac Mini and its hard drive. However I felt guilty about doing the same to my MacBook, which still retained considerable value. I twice cleaned the hard drive with a security wipe but did not want to sell the thing to an unknown source on an auction site. Whilst most likely to be purchased by a grateful teenager who wanted to spend more time on their ass watching YouTube I couldn't risk it being bought by a clever dick, Black Hat, cyberpunk who could unmask my security cleansing. So I chose to donate it to a family member.
I had done something similar with my original Packard Bell desktop system which went to my brother-in-law. He did eventually pass it on to his own father but I have no idea where it went after he died. Maybe to that Black Hat?
My mother was given my old Dell lap top, which she didn't get on with on the grounds she only played Solitaire so my father eventually used this. Occasionally. Over the years he had collected a number of lap tops and enjoyed the variety despite being unable to consistently remember his passwords and not really utilising any of his machines. He also owned a ChromeBook and a separate netbook along with his ancient desktop system which he liked messing around with in both Windows and Linux.
All this confusion led to much requested tech support from me so I figured that I could offer him my MacBook, watch him get to love its powerful simplicity and consequently tech support from me would be greatly eased. However an illogical opposition to Apple products meant he was determined to dislike it and so never used it. I took it back.
I offered the MacBook to my brother who really needed an update to his old desktop system but sadly shares my father's same illogical opposition to Apple products so turned it down. It seemed I couldn't get rid of my valued old friend. But then I heard my nephew was struggling with an old Windows laptop he shared with his partner and needed a device to assist in his studies to become a Fireman. He willingly accepted my offer of a free, high end Apple MacBook and has gratefully kept it since.
The Novatech was too old to be touted around like the MacBook and so I decided to risk selling it on the open market. Any secure data on it had already been well superseded and it was primarily used for business work for most of its life. I once again cleaned up the hard drives and sold it for £62 in November 2017. Furthermore, it would not have looked so interesting to Mr Black Hat due to its age, specification and low value.
The Dell Mini 10 was also sold, in April 2012, for £121. No major security wiping was necessary as it had only ever been used to put processor updates on my HiFi and if that software was interesting to anyone or a security risk to me I'll eat my hat, which for the record is not Black. I do intend to tell the full story of my HiFi system in a future blog update and will include details of why I needed this netbook and why it is now gone. Contact me if you need this story sooner rather than later.
The Apple Cinema Display was no longer needed when I sold the Mac Minis so this had to go to a new home as well. Due to its quality and being just three years old I got £350 for it in November 2010. It was perfect and well worth the money to the lucky buyer.
Other accessories were also sold, for instance the Logitech webcam around the same time for just £16 and the stunning HP Envy 110 D411a for a pitiful £25 seven years later.
One item I could not sell was the Iomega MiniMax MMHD 500Gb back up drive. Not that it wouldn't find a market or fetch too little but that I was concerned that it had held too much personal data. Although fully encrypted as a Time Machine back up I couldn't guarantee that some smarty pants couldn't unlock these bits and bytes so decided to destroy it instead. I duly picked the case apart to get at the internals.
The case and mother-board proved low resistance to my assembled tools and were suitably destroyed allowing me to concentrate on the internal disk platters. They were held together in some sort of clear glass moulding, the destruction of which I considered to be effortlessly simple. However this glass like substance proved to be actually made out of unbreakabilium. It successfully survived dropping onto hard surfaces, frenzied attacks with screwdrivers and a crow bar and even blows from a full size metal mallet with a three foot handle being swung against it whist it was precariously supported at a forty-five degree angle across two bricks. I was fully impressed despite being exhausted from my efforts and furious at my predicament.
I had to find a way to hide this perfectly undamaged drive from future prying eyes and concocted a plan to drop it in a deep river crossing. I imagine it is now roaming the seas balanced precariously on the back of an enormous crab and I am relying on that crab to be the final protector of my data.
A neat thought that my 2019 set up is now truly mobile.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.281 17 Dec 2019 [First Publication]
The first photograph shows my computer tech set up in one place, taken in December 2019. The image includes the MacBook Pro, a USB Superdrive, orange clad portable drive, a smaller red external drive, a Joby Gorillapod adjustable tripod, a Logitech mouse and a small external USB drive in front of the laptop. On the desk to the left is the Epson XP-760 printer and Huawei router
The second image shows my unibodied MacBook linked to my new MacBook Pro Retina 15" during the process of transferring data from one machine to the other on 26 November 14, as taken by the me
The image of the printer is my HP Envy 110 all-in-one WiFi device, shown in a standby state. The photograph implies the panels are mismatched but this wasn't so apparent in real life. The photograph was taken by me on 8 October 17
The final image shows a screenshot from my MacBook Pro during an intense workout for the CPU processor cores. The Activity Monitor indicates 8 cores in operation but in reality the computer has four cores each hyper-threaded. Note also that the NVIDIA graphics card is also in full use for the intense mathematical computations required. The screenshot was grabbed on 5 October 2018 by the author
The LandingZone dock can be found at https://landingzone.net/products/macbook-docks/for-the-macbook-pro/#products-macbook-pro-description
Yes, I’m calling it. I have now completed the remastering of my web site. The foundations of version 5 are done.
It’s taken some major commitment from me over the past 15 months and I’ve managed it all in less time than a Brexit.
From now on it will be all new content never before seen on any previous versions of the site.
Yes, I will still need to spend a little time finally tweaking some pages and entries but perfection always needs a bit of polish so that’s just an ongoing chore.
So, tell your friends, inform your colleagues and update your associates vinceunlimited is in business. The future can begin.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.247 11 Dec 2018
First published: Here 5.247 11 Dec 2018
One of the most famous incidents from western history is the shooting of American President John F. Kennedy. Few reasonably educated people in the English speaking world would not be aware of some of the facts around this moment. It might just be that it was in the sixties, the assassinated President was travelling in a motorcade, Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter, there are loads of conspiracy theories and the shot came from a repository.
I didn’t fact check these six commonly known things stated above. Some may be incorrect. For instance was it the sixties? Is Oswald spelt correctly? That’s not important right now. What I want to highlight is two uncommonly used words in this short summation - Motorcade and repository. Both first heard by my young ears around the time it happened and both rarely used to this date.
I’ve never really questioned the term motorcade. Probably because it immediately seemed to describe the line of vehicles involved. Possibly because even today it is used to describe an American Presidential car outing. The British Prime Minister, for instance, never seems to get reported as travelling in a motorcade. Even though it’s often technically true.
The other newly discovered word to my young ears was repository.
What is a repository a small child might ask? A library is the short answer. So why not say library then was the response?
Presumably because if it was a library a chap firing off a high powered firearm would have elicited a cacophony of 'shhhhhs' from other users delivered in that passive aggressive way only librarians and library users can achieve.
However the classic response to a small child’s follow up question in those days would have been ‘because it is’ or more likely please accept this clip around the ear as a kindly note to advise you will find out when you are older and stop bothering me now, I am an adult and you are irrelevant.
I can’t recall which type of reasoned explanation was used at the time but I never really questioned the word again as it never comes up in any context, except in reference to the Dallas incident mentioned above. But it was a key memorable fact about the Texas story that still sticks today.
My web site is a repository.
That’s not actually an analogy. It’s a fact. If I were to liken it to a library it would only be analogous. Described as a library it may make sense to some. It contains my web content. It has clearly marked sections for those who seek specialist subjects. It is arranged logically and is open to all. But technically it is an information repository. But it is an incomplete one because at present it is still being stockpiled. And only currently about two-thirds filled with historic content. Mainly the content from previous web site iterations between 2003 and early 2010.
You may note at the bottom of this article the version number is 5.166. This is the one-hundred and sixty-sixth update to the fifth version of my web site. Quite a lot of updates you might think. And you would be right. After I hand-coded and uploaded the current edition of my site I have made 166 new pieces of content. Meaning the repository now contains well over 120 separate pages, and more than 40 individual blog posts. All in HTML5 and linked via CSS styling cues.
This may seem a lot of work and it was but also consider I have done the exact same but in mobile specific form so those numbers can be doubled. In other words over 320 pages have been written or updated.
And in each case every article or blog post is first trailed on the homepage as well as being added to it’s final resting place. So the total number of alterations is more like over 640.
But there’s more. In every instance I consider whether an article may need replicating in a specialist place.
For instance this post will be added to the homepage as usual, plus added to the blog posts where it shall remain but then also added to both the geek and web sections for those who seek such specialist knowledge. Then I’ll update the vSearch page so it can be found. This type of procedure is common and sometimes articles get posted in six or seven places so the repository can be simply navigated.
And all that excludes the many times I have checked my updates only to find link errors, grammatical changes required or just additional content refreshing requirements, such as the updates to the sketches page I posted at the same time as this article.
I estimate that I have written near to 1500 page updates. And I am only two thirds the way through this initial exercise. And when all this is complete I shall continue to add to the stock with exclusively new content.
Quite a repository. And sadly like all repositories it is rarely visited. However, it is always open, it is free to enter and you are most welcome to browse.
And just like the infamous JFK incident, you can be sure there is more of this story to come.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.166 6 Aug 2018
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy was carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald on 22 November 1963 in Dallas, Texas. He fired shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository at the presidential motorcade. Many people dispute these facts
History Of The vinceunlimited Web Site
Cast your minds back to 2003. Cars were drawn along by horses, someone was working on the wheel design and nothing was ever any good because nobody had come up with the idea of sliced bread. Probably. However some steam powered computers were starting to be on the desks of ordinary decent folks. And this intrigued me. The content on this magical non-TV was relatively sparse and what was there seemed within my creative abilities and often well below. So, like an early pioneer I decided I wanted to stake my claim in the ever burgeoning wibbly, wobbly web. I was always writing stuff down, coming up with ideas, sketching down jokes and such but wanted an outlet for my creativity. I always fear that my body of work may never get out and would remain forever stagnant, in my drawers. The web seemed the latest place to publish stuff so I undertook to learn how to secure my bit of web-land.
I soon understood that it's not just a case of clicking on a blank bit of the internet and typing away. Plus this was way before a modern world of helpful Apps and YouTube guides. In those days everything was hand coded to order in a strange new programming language called HTML. I had to buy a book [ask your great-grandfather] to learn about this new fangled HTML gobbledygook. I had tried a bit of code writing in the earliest days of computing, a touch of CP/M in the 1980s and a fragment of MS DOS Basic following this so I was already used to seeing such weird combinations of alphabet characters and rarely used symbols lurking on a screen display.
I undertook to code. And code. And code. I was relentless. It was relentlessly boring. But I was on a roll. Then a wrap and finally a Burrito just to sustain myself. I had a vision of what my site would be like. In those days the internet was usually accessed by a dial up modem through your local telephone land-line and it was miserably slow. If you started to download a sexy picture of a woman one morning it would slowly build one line at a time from the top of the picture and by midday you may be able to tell what colour eyes she had. No idea if she was naked. The dial-tone, in the style of Murray Walker, would interrupt itself long before that. So I determined that my site had to rely on written content and not be peppered by irritating images failing to render.
vinceunlimited Version 1
Screenshot of the Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 1
Coding began in earnest around August 2003 and by October of that year the site was ready to be published. I had hand-coded 166 pages of wordy musings all interlinked and spattered with hyper-links to other relevant sites.
As can be seen from the accompanying screenshot the site was based on a theme of black text on a silver-grey background with the eponymous title in green. I used underlining for links. It had no graphics.
The four basic navigation sectors remain to this day being the major sub-sections of Ideas, Opinions, Personal and Writing.
During the course of the next two years various version 1 versions and updates were released adding new content, correcting spelling errors and de-bugging any failing links.
Version 1.01 [Yes, I anticipated up to 99 version variants, or at least possibly more than 9] was published in January 2004 and indeed one of the first changes was a versions page, which was helpful for all my stalkers. I modified the Home Page to work on more machines, changed all the poor quality links, an unfortunate side effect of hand coding all the HTML script which ran the pages and surmised that now that I could test the links in a real world situation the number of mis-links would minimise. I invited readers to be my eyes and ears out there (or should I say eyes and thumbs).
Version 1.01 also included new page additions. The major change undoubtably being the publication of the sitcom episode Site for Sore Eyes. A major publication from me taking ages to convert to HTML from the original Sanskrit.
The second version of the first version followed almost as if fate had determined it, in March 2004. Version 1.02 added some sketches plus I released a tantalising start to a full stage-play, along with some extra ideas. After all, I didn't want to loose my reputation as an ideas man. Unless the change was to a ladies man, naturally. No, no. Not a ladyboy. That is entirely different.
You can see, even in these earliest incarnations one thing I wanted to do was get my pre-written content out there. Somewhere. Anywhere.
It was February 2005 before Version 1.03 sprouted legs and got going, boasting over 80 pages. However, the big news for me, as the web site author, was the fact that I had my first feedback, despite the fact that, at that time, I hadn't yet launched the site on the unsuspecting general public. Up to then most readers probably knew me, or knew someone who did. This prompted me to formally notify Google of my presence. No posters, email shots or TV advertising had yet occurred [as if].
I found it interesting to watch people browse the site. It was designed to be read so a user could logically pass from page to page. Readers, however I discovered, have their own agenda along with their own twisted minds so the hyperlinks were abused and ignored with the inevitable disarray that follows. What was wrong with the homepage? One wouldn't read a book by grabbing at random chapters but internet browsing had made us work in this fashion which was a nightmare for me as a web designer. And it is this disordered chaos that resulted in the first memorable quote about my site. A work colleague, upon being asked what he thought of my site said "...it is rather opinionated..." Admittedly, not the most complimentary of comments but a positive reaction at least. So I enquired further and asked which part of the site he had read. He replied "The opinions section." Ahem.
Pages that were new in v1.03 included My favourite TV and films, Road tests and Quotes.
The final iteration of version 1, Version 1.04, was never formally acknowledged as a separate version as it only re-published current pages. They were all crafted around March 2005.
vincepoynter Version 1
Screenshot of the Home Page of vincepoynter.co.uk version 1
In March 2005 vincepoynter.co.uk was launched to provide a formal personal web site and offer an on-line comprehensive curriculum vitae.
The first pages included the homepage, a CV, email, personal, version and webcredit. The personal page had no details and was published 'under construction'.
The site was hand-coded in HTML with an improved layout incorporating a sidebar, multiple colours and a nifty 3D surround effect.
The colours were toned down for the Apr 2005 Version 1.01 which also added some detail to the personal page incorporating some background about the Poynter name and listed paternal relatives from grandparents to great, great, great grandparents. Plus a link to a page list of self-employment contracts carried out between 1999 and 2005.
Version 1.02 was issued in Jun 2006 which updated the CV and self-employment details and added some facts about Poynters across the world.
Version 1.03 dated Sep 2006 added a link to the vinceunlimited web site.
Version 1.04 was published in Apr 2009 and updated the CV and self-employment details and included a link to IMPRECE, a self-employment limited company set up for formal tax purposes.
Nearly a year later in Mar 2010 Version 1.05 was published simplifying the URL of each page, also updating the CV and self-employment details and the FTP credit.
Then more than two years after that in Jul 2012 Version 1.06 was released as the final iteration of the vincepoynter web site. It again updated the CV and self-employment details, plus removed reference to IMPRECE and updated the hosting credit.
vinceunlimited Version 2
Screenshot of the Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 2
It took a couple of months after Version 1 before Version 2 of the vinceunlimited web site appeared on the internet in May 2005 with coding that took my site to the next level with a better layout to match the vincepoynter web site with a sidebar, dual colours and a nifty 3D surround effect as shown in the screen capture to the right. It also featured an animated, scrolling copyright notice relentlessly passing across the top of every screen. All this across nearly one hundred pages of wit, intellect and entertainment.
Because of the time taken to recode all the eighty plus pages of the site to the new layout I had not been as productive as I would have liked but did find time to add a major Political Section which could have resided under my Opinions section as it was a major opinion on the political system in Britain. Disillusioned with the incumbent political parties I decided that instead of claiming I could do better I'd offer my own alternative version.
I also added to my Ideas and Opinions sections. Plus more Road Tests including a test on a Bentley Arnage, no less. And Alphacar, an epic vehicle related poem that takes the reader on a journey through many car types.
Finally I gave a small obituary note for the loss of my previous obtuse links at the foot of each page. They had to go. The concept was just too ahead of it's time [read as: ...no one got it].
Version 2.01 was another tranche of uploads hoiked up to my web host in one go (Why are they always web hosts? I'd personally like a web hostess). This July 2005 subset was a mere updating and increasing of pages including a major new addition for this version, the publication of my stage play Perpetually. A long page in web site land translated to the screen from a 67-page printed version. Yes the whole lot on-line.
Plus a road test on my Honda CX500 and two chapters to my growing autobiography. I let loose on my earliest schooldays and a paragraph or two on my family. It was a big step and I couldn't tread those paths without mentioning people that are alive. I did note that if that might be you note that the blind never read ill of themselves. And wondered, is that a proverb? Which is where my next new feature came in.
I added a brand new page that I called webquotes. So named to distinguish it from my other quotations page.
Finally, I had so many ideas floating around that I posted not one, not two, not even indeed any number totalling four or above, but instead three new ideas, with an assurance that there was many more to come. Some just languishing around lazily on my hard drive just waiting to get electronically heart massaged into life.
During September 2005 version 2.02 added a new page within the Opinions section, plus a road test article on my Kwaker 750. I also added to my autobiography with an anecdote or two about water-skiing, within a section I entitled Action Vince.
As usual more of my zany ideas were included. Four newbies this time, taking the total to fifteen.
Finally, conscious of the changing nature of personal web site activity, I embarked on a new web blog. Which, by it's sporadic nature started to affect my neat version numbering system. The purpose of the blog was to float little ideas and opinions that may not justify a whole new page. But one entry did became so absorbing that I decided to transmutate it into a whole page.
It wasn't until June 2006 that Version 2.03 arrived including a ten most hated list along with another list for my top ten artists and a couple more ideas.
Plus a new invention of mine providing neat little thought provoking rhymes and a pitch. Not to mention some quote and blog updates. Which I have now done.
It was another six months before I updated again. Version 2.04 was released in December 2006 and notably included some radio scripts I had previously submitted to the BBC. Plus I fingered my keyboard to spill the beans on a few future concepts within my fiction and TV Shows pages. Along with a few more jokes and quotes.
Finally, I was as proud as pudding to announce that my site had now received actual feedback so my points of view page was born.
vinceunlimited Version 3
The original sketch laying out version 3 of the vinceunlimited web site
In HTML coding I always struggled with word wrapping, getting the text to set and hug neatly around images. I also struggled with graphic based links and couldn't find the time and way to code version three which was planned to look like the image on the right.
Also, although the concept of HTML coupled with CSS was initially released in 1996 it didn't really appear on my radar and be understood by me until much later. Despite much standard HTML testing it never quite looked like I wanted it to look on a Mac and PC but a potential saviour was waiting on my desktop.
In January 2006 Apple had launched a seemingly perfect tool for me. The introduction of their colourful and simple to use Mac OS iWeb Application appeared to offer a solution. It was generally six or so months between major updates of my web site due to work and mortgage paying requirements. I enjoyed the writing but the coding was a bit arduous. Every page seemed to need an HTML update at each major iteration. But iWeb promised drag and drop images and simple WYSIWYG text updating.
I decided to go with it and embarked on a long process of selecting a layout, then transferring my 120 pages or so of HTML coding back into standard text and then into iWeb, along with adding some carefully selected pictures with graphic touches to suit the site look.
Screenshot of the Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 3
iWeb became the basis for version 3 of my web site but it took until March 2010 until it was ready for publication. Are you paying attention to these dates? A quiz will follow.
One issue was the abandonment of my version variants. iWeb was designed to be a living, breathing application. I could have opted for formal version updates or theme changes but the concept seemed to suit a live update process, leaving the home-page to be a set look and updates added as required to various sections. This would assist in me maintaining a consistent web site look, which is important to regular readers. However, the downside is that each time a visitor came to the site it would look unaltered, unless they delved deeper into the sub-sections.
Most article updates started in my blog section. It was becoming a trend of personal web sites. FaceBook, Twitter and WordPress was encouraging the process of regular, daily, even hourly updates. And everyone was moving away from the concept of personal web sites. Ease of use for the masses meant that peoples' personal webspace was being absorbed into the major players.
I too had embraced these new concepts. Around October 2007 I had joined FaceBook and in January 2009 Twitter. Although I tended to keep my various on-line identities as separate entities.
Various blog entries were added to my iWeb site between the launch date and March 2011, including transcripts from the best of my own Twitter feeds.
In the end Apple had other ideas about keeping this iWeb pet project alive and it's last iteration was in July 2011. It became clear that I had to find another way to maintain my web presence.
vinceunlimited Version 4
Screenshot of the Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 4
With the continued growth of FaceBook, Twitter and WordPress personal web sites appeared to have become a bit passé. The era of the common blog had really taken root. For one thing this solved the issue of static front home pages as the blog style content kept the front page looking fresh. So this bandwagon was truly seized upon when I clambered aboard a WordPress site, in July 2012, effectively making this the fourth version of vinceunlimited.co.uk
Over the next couple of years I persisted with my WordPress site, trying one or two pre-determined layouts as I went. WordPress is mostly about piggy-backing on other people's hard worked designs and I always felt that trying to disguise this plagiarism with a bit of personal customisation awkward and unsatisfactory.
Another nail in this coffin was the increasing charges made for using this service. Admittedly someone has to host a web site and it is right and correct that this service should be paid for. The provider has to hold your site contents and feed it out to those that request it. I was always a tiny, minor player, considering the traffic that went to some sites so I always opted for the most basic of services and WordPress provided this sort of service free. However, when I wanted to add audio files in August 2014 a use charge was levied. Not based on actual number of downloads but on an assumption I was the BBC. This affected my view of the service.
Additionally, I missed the days where I could feel pride in the fact that I hand-coded my own web site. Anybody could put out a blog, not many knew how to write the background stuff. Plus converting standard WordPress pages to include additional sections and getting the articles in them to be searchable is really difficult. At least, I never discovered a way.
Furthermore the promise of riding with a pack like WordPress is that one can expect a bit of cross fertilisation to help with getting my thoughts and words out there. Go to the .com page and there are countless adverts showing off the sites' wonderful users' content. But I saw very little evidence of such subtle advertisement and what interest I did received could have just as easily arrived randomly.
vinceunlimited Version 5
Screenshot of the first Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 5
Innovations in version 5 include a three column layout with blog style front page featuring text wrapped images with each article to have a release date as well as first published information. Also one click access to a mobile view version with every page replicated in a mobile format, clickable photo icons, vSearch, opportunities to advertise with vAdvert plus a vType drop down menu and 'Random Page Generator' links, along with a mini live Twitter feed. Other than all that just the same as always.
So what will the future bring? Well firstly I need to re-establish my web site presence, flying solo again as vinceunlimited and not via a third party. I need to rebuild the approximately 200 plus pages of site content once more so there is a great library of my stuff and re-establish links where possible. And I need to find space for all the previously written blog articles to nestle, fully searchable by date, title and theme. And I need to get all those brand new blog ideas which are currently festering on my hard drive out into the big old webosphere.
And when all this is done I will no doubt settle back, have a quick ponder then immediately look to version 6, which will be much more Web 2.0 with live floating graphics, interactivity, 4D content and maybe even touch and smell sensitive. All as an implantosite in your brain. Probably.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.151 13 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 5.001 30 Sep 2017
Outdated links removed: Version 5.070 13 Feb 2018
Version 5.081 13 Mar 2018 added vincepoynter.co.uk Version 1.00 details
Version 5 Phase 2 Completed
So, I’ve now completed phase two of the rebuilding of my version five web site.
Phase one was the preparation and initial launch back in September and this second phase was to add, page by page, an enhanced copy of the content originally published on my site in version 1.0 back in October 2003.
And it’s all done, bar the odd debugging and consistency fixing.
A total of nearly 100 pages now exist in both desktop and mobile formats. All told nearly 200 hand coded web pages.
If you have been following the uploads you will have already seen a truly eclectic mix of ideas, opinions, writing and information. Now all with added photography enhancement and detail notes. And this is just the start.
The new presentation allows you to either watch everything happen on the homepage or selectively choose to follow a style or theme.
For example follow a blog format or you can pick your type such as a geek or petrolhead and follow only the content that you have a specific interest in.
Or you can even randomly select a page, do a search for specific articles or select content based on a phrase or snippet that interests you.
So, is this all my original untouched content from version 1.00. Well, not quite. But it’s all you are getting. Things have moved on from 2003 and I have had to do just a tiny bit of editing.
Mostly it has been just grammar corrections and layout updating but I have also chosen to omit some silly links, plus those outside of the web site as many now no longer exist.
Plus I have had to temper some phrases used in one article which now read a touch insensitive and I chose to exclude a full idea I previously had about a screensaver based on a then popular but now discredited television personality.
So what about phases three and onward.
Well next up, commencing very early next year, will be the web site additions originally issued in subsequent versions of my site numbered 1.01 to 1.04.
Followed by selective and relevant vincepoynter.co.uk content to be added to the ‘About Me’ section.
Then I’ll be moving on to adding the 2005 onward web 2.xx versions, including my first referenced blogs from originally around 2006.
This will be followed by my 2010 onward iWeb content and then finally the 2012 to 2017 WordPress articles which include my 2014 podcasts.
Plus various interesting interim diary, Social Media content and even selective YouTube videos.
So, an awful lot to come, all to be added one bit at a time over the course of the next year and possibly beyond!
And then I can finally get around to really enhancing the site with brand new content from my extensive pending store of notes about writing and blog ideas, with more opinions, great inventions, ground breaking business plans and more planned superb content such as photography, audio and visual stuff to really make use of the new enhanced layout.
You can see I still have a raft of work ahead and I hope a few surprises along the way. So I would really appreciate you joining me on this journey to enjoy this ever growing, extensive online collection of my body of creative work.
And that should answer the question most asked of me. Why are you doing a web site?
Thanks for following.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.046 30 Dec 2017
Written and first published: Version 5.046 30 Dec 2017
P.S. Remember all pages can be interactive so please email me if you have any questions or thoughts.
Screenshot of the first Home Page of Version 5 of the vinceunlimited web site
Thanks for taking a look at my re-launched web site. It has taken many hours to get to this stage so your few minutes of viewing are really welcome
It wasn't until I got it all uploaded yesterday that I realised there were a few bugs, as I suppose there often are with projects of this scale.
The main problem encountered was my coding. All links were shown as [typical] /linkname but in the uploading process they were saved as /linkname.htm I quickly got around this problem by renaming them all via my FTP client back to /linkname This got the site up and running. A cheeky fix but it worked.
However, as I am a perfectionist at heart and I wanted ease of use in future uploads I decided to re-code all the pages, all 107 odd desktop and mobile, to suit. I'm not sure what you did today.
Now, I shall start the actual process of updating my files so the site is properly fully populated. Watch this space.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.002 1 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 5.002 1 Oct 2017
vinceunlimited Web Site Version 5 Launched
The original sketch laying out version 3 of the vinceunlimited web site, now finally achieved at version 5
Dan, dan, delah! Der, der, der, derrh! Tah Da! And however you might spell a drumroll. vinceunlimited.co.uk has roared into stage 5!
And it's a return to the original vinceunlimited concept idea. I have gone back to basics and have elected, once more, to learn how to and then do all the web-coding myself. And appropriately, the latest standard for web coding is HTML 5. So I've had to learn a whole bunch of updated rules.
My original vinceunlimited site, forseeingly known as version 1, was catipulted onto the main stage in October 2003. It was hand coded in a contemporaneous version of HTML.
Version 2, appeared on the internet in May 2005 with coding that took my site to the next level with a better layout, a sidebar and dual colours.
I always struggled with getting HTML coding to set and wrap around images and with image links and couldn't find the time and way to code version three which was planned to look like the image above but I was saved all this effort by the introduction of Apple's colouful WYSIWYG iWeb App so this became the basis for actual version 3, in March 2010. Are you paying attention to these dates. A quiz will follow. But Apple had other ideas about keeping this iWeb pet project alive and I had to find another way to maintain my web presence.
In 2012, July to be a bit more precise, with the development of FaceBook and Twitter, personal web sites seemed to be going out of fashion. The era of the common blog had really started. And this bandwagon was truly seized upon when I clambered aboard a WordPress site, effectively making this the fourth version of vinceunlimited.co.uk
But WordPress is mostly about piggy-backing on other people's hard worked designs and trying to disguise this plagiarism with a bit of personal customisation. I always found this awkward and unsatisfactory so decided to go back to first principles and code the thing again myself, hence this version 5.
Have I bucked the trend? Am I just showing off? Or am I just avoiding the sheeple? These questions and less will be answered in the next few years.
For the full vinceunlimited story check out the Versions link at the top right side of this site.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.001 30 Sep 2017
First Published: Version 5.001 30 Sep 2017
As you may have noticed I've been fiddling with my format again, but don't worry it will be all white.
I felt I needed to freshen things up a little and in line with modern design have decided to forgo the previous skeuomorphism in favour of a neater, simpler look.
I'm not alone. This sanitisation has been happening all over the place from interior design to computer operating systems.
Ironically, with their new, less fussy environment designer's minds have been freed to experiment more radically and along with the availability of cheaper and simpler manufacturing, general designs have become more ambitious. Less simple. Take a look at some modern upmarket watches or maybe car headlight design for instance.
I'm hoping this new approach will help me as well. So look forward to more exciting content soon.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.206 8 Oct 2018
First published: WordPress 4 Aug 2014
The Ups and Downs
Ladles and gentlepens. Apologies if you have been checking my WordPress site recently and have been seeing strange things. That is, stranger than my normal posts.
You see, I used to have a full web site full of words, ideas, opinions, thoughts, writing, quotes and stuff all of which I hand coded. Clever me. However it was all a bit texty and pre-2005 so I transferred it all to Apple's own Web publisher some time ago and added some pretty images to lessen the impact.
Unfortunately Apple never moved on with iWeb so it too became out of date and not very Web two point zero. Plus no other site wanted to talk with it. Its life had come to an end and following an unrelated falling out with my hoster it all passed away.
Determined not to let my public down I started WordPressing. Particularly as the blog model was overtaking the personal site in internetland.
However, I still harboured an underlying desire to return to full sitery. I cherish my historic content and further I have a growing interest in podcasting and you need a base from which to launch your voice onto an unsuspecting public.
So I have been investigating the possibility of using this WordPress pad to base my online empire. But have hit a wall.
If you have been getting auto-updates from this site you may have seen some pages come and now go. This is because I have experimented with uploading sheaves of historic content here. But it all failed at the fourth picture upload. So it's clearly not the way for me to go.
Looks like I am going to have to find a proper text editor, update my HTML5 skills and do a crash course in CSS.
I'll let you know when it's ready. Expect my call in 2017.
I would be interested in learning how others do it. I am aiming for a Web 2.0 site with clickable icons, multi-paged, commonly themed web site with photo and audio uploads. It needs to be created by an iOS device (iPad or iPhone) as I am aiming to move away from the desktop/laptop model. It must be future proofed, so not some fly-by-night App. I own my domain, have coded in HTML and have sorted hosting so only need a web developer tool or decent text editor. Any help will be appreciated. By which you are not to assume recompensed.
And I won't fiddle with my WordPress again.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.200 27 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 4 Aug 2013
Minnie's Mini's Mini
It would take more than the skills of Jony Ive to fit an iPad in here
The two subjects that most interest me at the moment are cars and computers and they do so for much the same reason.
Both technologies are full of shiny new things promising thrilling, interactive experiences barely limited by previous experience. And integration of the two is becoming closer. Or more specifically, the computery stuff is getting more and more wedged in the cars, as I've yet to see anyone promising actual reality travel on a mobile phone chassis.
The self-park, auto-cruise, blind-spot, iPod-connected, SatNav world of our auto-world is coming along nicely. However whilst a new phone, laptop or operating system is muted a few months ahead of release new cars take much longer to develop, possibly years. The cost of getting a chassis wrong is much greater than accidentally releasing a heavy, spiky edged laptop in purple that fails to attract an audience. If your latest hatchback is a dog the whole breed can suffer and we do not forgive easily [do we poor Lancia?].
But cars are increasingly having to differentiate themselves by their included technology, perhaps because they find it so difficult to distinguish themselves in the homogenous world of exterior automotive design.
As an example, my car, a year 2000 Jaguar, could be an all time classic because the dials and gauges on display look like they developed glacially from a WWII Spitfire but the simple green-LED trip computer, inbuilt text only SatNav and multi-CD changer date it, by sheer coincidence, to around the year 2000. No Bluetoothing, WiFi enabled MP3s here. Electro-technology develops at a vastly different speed than mechanical stuff.
So my first thought was why not combine the two. It's happening a little bit with iPod connections in almost every new car, allowing a feed of your latest downloaded beats into the built in car speakers. But this cable connector dangles the device on the seat next to you so when the new MapApp is opened it's hardly conducive to safe viewing.
As I've said, some now incorporate all that SatNavery, iPoddery and SeatAdjustery into their colourful, dash mounted, fingerprinty, widescreen displays but in a decade or less won't they seem just a little bit, say, 2012ish.
The answer lies in an updatable colourful, dash mounted, fingerprinty, widescreen display that can move with the times. And the computer world is conveniently supplying these already.
Initially the iPad seemed the answer. A popular and current, ever customisable device that has secured a solid foothold in the market. But few cars could afford the dash space for a plug-in behemoth the size of a small plate of kippers. Then Apple released the Mini. All the adaptability of a full sized tablet almost designed to fit in a reasonable dash opening.
If you were currently launching your latest Sports Utility GTi 4 x 4 convertible Sportwagon hatch wouldn't it make sense to let Apple or even others such as Samsung do the flatscreen bit for you so you can concentrate on the important things like finding ever more inventive ways to incorporate cup-holders?
Your new dash-tablet could be programmed to interact with your car in ever more cunning ways, such as service/sensor monitoring, lap timing and cheap fuel finding. And there are a host of third parties that will do the awkward development bit of this for you. Just charge a fee for your API integration. Simples.
OK you will have to allow some small flexibility over choice of device that will fit in, in case your Audi owner went for Android, your Mercedes customer wanted a Mac or your Westfield's chap wanted a Windows device if they choose to. OK silly point, no one who buys a car with the intention of wearing a flat cap will want a screen that does more than show the oil pressure warning lamp.
Just one caveat. When I specified my Jaguar I could have been at the forefront of this technology/car interfacing. But right now my car would be fitted with a great big plug-in Motorola StarTAC flip-phone. And who wants one of those today?
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.196 23 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 24 Dec 2012
Apple's Car Play, their software integration within existing vehicle display screens, was first introduced two years after this article was written in Mar 2014 and Google's Android Auto followed a year later in March 2015
Sooner than you can say head up display we'll all be meandering around pointing our mobile devices at the world and immediately knowing that the shop to your left is offering 50% discount on crop tops, the restaurant to your right has a bean soup salad special for just £6.73 and the bus about to run you over for not actually paying attention to the road is going to Tottenham via Purley Green.
Yes the future is just about here and it is going to be augmented reality mad.
This is a great technological advancement and will enrich our lives like nothing else. Soon you will never be caught not knowing your neighbour's dog's name or how late the six fifteen to Manchester Piccadilly will actually arrive. Our computers will overlay street names, ingredients on tins and localised weather forecasts as if we couldn't live without such information.
And when the tech really gets going it won't be a mobile phone held aloft but a pair of high tech glasses. Google have already broken ground on this one. Soon it will be so uncool not to wear glasses.
The only downside will be the inevitable viruses. Not the predictable blank screen version although that won't be pleasant over your whole vision of course. No, fear the augmented pranksters.
Oh, it will start very friendly, perhaps with odd additions such as the next bus is due in 316,928 years, size 10 - you've got to be joking madam or this bacon is suitable for Jewish vegetarians.
Then it will move on to projecting strange images. UFOs will appear up in the sky, Zebra crossings will appear to have actual Zebras crossing and irksome gnomes will pop up all over the place being positively irksome.
Finally like all things it will eventually follow the more sinister route. Lord Lucan will be sat on park benches all over town, brick walls will suddenly appear in the central lane of the M25 and eight foot scorpions will be lurking in every Fried Chicken doorway, even in Kentucky.
Who cares that the building society is lending at 0.03% over base rate if the Troll behind it is eating a goat?
You have seen the future here. If you have those glasses of course.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.191 10 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 17 Jul 2012
Also published with permission on The British Tech Network Blog on 2 Apr 2013
Oh Yea! Oh Yea!
So the site [Version 3] is finally up and running. A few teething troubles getting iWeb to publish it on the Apple Server farm in the correct way then republish it in the proper place at the www.vinceunlimited.co.uk URL but it’s there and raring to go.
I did some tests on the formatting both on my Apple machines via Safari and then on my Dell notebook on both IE8 and Firefox. Firefox handled the layout well but IE8 seemed to want to put the photo captions below the photos, pushing the whole page down and off the end. Frankly this is the result of using a MS Windows browser and serves you right. It may be an XP issue so I’ll wait for the comments to filter through.
Regarding comments, the Apple version at [Apple link no longer available] should provide an easy way to add comments to these blogs. Go via the www.vinceunlimited.co.uk URL and the facility isn’t repeated. However the mail link can be used to send comments to me.
Also, the process of adding to the www.vinceunlimited.co.uk URL from iWeb converts the site address to an unnecessarily complex www.vinceunlimited.co.uk/vinceunlimited/Home.html which could be altered by complex HTML reprogramming but Version 3 was meant to eliminate all that.
For any way you visit the experience should be similar and finally I can announce that vinceunlimited is back where it belongs and I duly did that at some of my various SM sites.
Posted on my Facebook site
Hi All, just to let you all know the spammers have been defeated, the moat refilled and the drawbridge raised so I can formally announce that www.vinceunlimited.co.uk is up and running again.
I have redesigned it completely using a preformed skin and uploaded some photos to enhance the many and increased words.
Let me know how your browser deals with it as it was composed on a Mac and so far only quickly tested on that and a Windows notebook.
I found that Firefox handled the layout better than IE8 but then again if you are using IE8 then you deserve no better!
If you visit via [Apple link no longer available] then you should get the full experience including ability to post comments on my blog, although why I'm telling you lot that I've no idea.
Any feedback will be most welcome.
Keep FaceBooking, Vince
Posted on my MySpace site
Just a quickie to let you all know that the vinceunlimited web site is back up and running. Get your browser to show you www.vinceunlimited.co.uk and you'll see what I mean. Revamped, new content, pictorially enhanced and continuing its theme of idling away the time for any reader. Makes you wanna go all [smiley]
You will have to wait until the end of the year to see what I twittered, unless you go to www.twitter.com/vinceunlimited. Still you have all year now to read the site.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.179 23 Aug 18
First Published: Version 3.0 on 1 Apr 2010
Screenshot of the Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 3
Finally, at last and thank Poodles, all the toiling is done and I finally release Version 3 of my revamped vinceunlimited web site onto the world wide web.
As you can see it is finally a colourful affair, containing all the previous wordy goodness and supplemented from my photo-montage of relevant imagery all dressed up in a stock Apple cloak.
The content from previous versions of the site is shoehorned into the new sections and a bit of new writing is also included just to make you read the whole lot all over again. Highlights include new Jokes in the Comedy section, geek data in the Computers section, new Writing and the inclusion of previously written, selected, journal entries which can be found nestling in the archive section of the Weblog.
As I write this last piece of the jigsaw I am not entirely sure that the final button press will send this to where it needs to go but if you are reading this then my work is done. Only not quite, because this is Version 3.0. I’m not about to promise Version 4 as you and I have waited long enough for this but this new format allows me to update things much quicker and will encourage me to prise all the old articles from my baggage, write brand new words to further enhance your enjoyment of my site and savage my iPhoto content for more piccy wizardry.
You may also note that the site is much more personalised. You should see much more of the Vince in the vinceunlimited coming through the ether. My online persona has finally got a face and with that face comes eyes. Two of them to be precise. And those eyes like to read and so I invite you to send more feedback to satisfy said eyes. For instance, let me know if this new format formats on your machine, whether it takes too long to download, perhaps gets strangled by your puritanical office web-nanny, if an important bit is missing or if any of the words are like that young female fur-trapper - Miss Pelt. Or even comment if all is just hunky-dory. Email me if you like stuff, or don’t, or want something developed. By which I mean writing development as I cannot offer a photo-negative developing service.
So get the fanfare trumpets at the ready. Prepare the dancing bears. Send the message to the jugglers. Light the pyrotechnics. Let’s rock…
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.178 22 Aug 18
First Published: Version 3.0 on 29 Mar 2010
The image is a screenshot of the Home page of vinceunlimited.co.uk Version 3
Computer Hardware March 2010
My rather comfortable home office setup in 2008 with little work being carried out
Stop Maccing About
A recent but enthusiastic convert to the Macintosh stable I am now using my ninth Apple product [excluding accessories] and each has been truly Golden Delicious.
Initially, like many, I was sceptical about plunging headlong into the orchard but chance brought me into the core and I have now nibbled away since 2007 on many wondrous devices.
It all started when I was redoing my office, as shown in the photograph. A bedroom was converted to accommodate my electronic needs and desires both personally and officially and the centrepiece was to be a good looking computer.
Previous PC setups had included various CPUs and screens and experience had taught me that the CPU and displays became obsolete at differing times. This reinforced the notion that PC separates were the way to go. So a search was on to find a compact CPU and great looking screen.
The screen was the stumbling block. All were dull, black and uninteresting but then I saw the light. It came shining in when Apple opened my local Apple Store and nestling within was this magnificent looking 23" widescreen Cinema Display.
It clearly had my name on it so I grabbed copies of all the Mac publications I was able to carry and became convinced I could become one of the enlightened.
I wasn’t quite brave enough to go for the full all-in-one iMac and to be honest wasn’t keen on the over-square design at the time.
I considered a Mac Pro but chose a Mac Mini as a 'starter' kit, just in case I was actually a PC.
Since then more AM products have followed including an iPod, a replacement Mac Mini, an Apple TV and a MacBook plus countless leads, docks, accessories and software. So far...
And that’s not mentioning the phenomenally successful iPhone with sales so high there is no more space off the chart. I've played my part and had three iterations of these.
Mac Versus The Opposition?
Being such a new found fan of Apple products I have been musing a way of describing how a Mac computer differs from a industry-standard PC and I think the answer lies in a car washing analogy.
The PC - This is the jet wash - It takes an awful lot of effort and skill is needed to get a satisfactory result. It is best if you can get constant assistance from someone who knows what they are doing. Unfortunately it will cause damage unless care is taken all the time.
The Mac - This is the car wash - It is simple to use but more expensive. It does all the work for you using simple logical commands. It is only likely to cause damage if the basics like putting your aerial down are ignored. You come away thinking that the car wash has actually been the clever one, as opposed to yourself.
The Linux - The bucket and sponge option. Far too much effort and I'm not that poor any more.
Mini Mark 1
Like all Austin, BMW and Mac people I am rather fond of my little Mini. It’s cute dimensions, uncluttered look, surprisingly good for its size performance and its 'actually runs a full Macintosh OS' qualifications compel you to love it.
I chose the Intel Core 2 Duo driven 2.0GHz stock model with 2Gb 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM and a 160Gb hard disk. Disappointingly it shipped with the new Leopard software as I am rather fond of Tigers but it also sported the full Mac iLife 08 Suite which I bolstered with an 08 version of iWork to reinforce the official view that it was a real business purchase.
Being bereft of all accessories I coupled it to the 23" Apple Cinema Display that initiated the purchase and allowed me to see what was going on and a wireless keyboard and mouse to actually do some going on.
Backup is as important to a Mac-Man as it is to a lowly PCer so I accompanied my Mini with a matching Iomega MiniMax MMHD, a 500GB USB/Firewire 400 back-up drive. The inbuilt Time Machine software does all the difficult bits of coordination between the two.
Becoming A User
Transgressing from the dark side of PC usering to become an Apple Fan-Boy is not all plain sailing.
For instance the Mini does not have a built in camera and Apple had discontinued it's sideline in accessory visionary devices by dumping the popular iSight Camera. However I had a smart looking Logitech QuickCam Fusion which had temporarily sat atop my crusty old laptop and once allowed me to Skype my friend in Australia.
Unfortunately the model was shown as incompatible with fruit based CPUs so I had to butcher a way round this, which actually proved to be pretty easy using a software application called Macam, even if the fancy zoom and lets pretend I’m a dinosaur effects won’t work.
I also had to learn the Mac way of doing things and I called on many a magazine article and user book to work out how to download, mount applications and find out how to do basic spreadsheet stuff with all the pretty and ultimately logical software. In fact if anyone ever asks the most compelling reason to switch to Macs I now answer; "Apart from the fact that I never have to use anti-virus programmes, ever, I also have never downloaded a driver. If my Mac links to a printer it will just work."
I have also become accustomed to upgrading to the latest software as it comes out. This is a Mac user trait and thankfully Apple, unlike Microsoft, do not feel the need to totally fleece their customers each time this happens.
Not that it is all cheap. No Apple products are. Quality comes at a cost and you don't enter the world without generous pockatage. However, the process all feels more silk than fleece.
The new Mac Mini. Seen here sat atop the Iomega drive and behind the invisible USB device
Mini Mark 2
In time I decided that I wanted a speedier, faster Mac. My original Mini had proved I could be an Apple user but the speed limitations hindered use of some of the more powerful software, particularly the inbuilt music creator, Garageband.
I chose the simple option of buying a replacement model from the new 2009 range Apple conveniently launched for me and traded up to a Intel Core 2 Duo driven 2.26GHz stock model with 4Gb 1067MHz DDR3 SDRAM and a 320Gb hard disk. With twice the RAM, twice the disk and 1.599700149925037 times the speed I am now a well content Leporidae.
But the road to change wasn’t as smooth as the sales pitch might think.
Apple make migration from one machine to another a pretty simple step. It’s all handled pretty automatically, like most Apple stuff, using easy to use software. All I had to do was connect old and new, press a couple of buttons and hey presto, a new Mac looking somewhat disappointedly exactly the same as the old one.
What the instructions failed to foresee though was each machine had to be attached to something to allow said buttons to be pressed. I only invested in a new Mini [CPU] and therefore only had the one keyboard. My misses clears extraneous clutter like a supercharged Wall-E and all spare keyboards had been long been filed away in the big grey receptacle. However, Apple was at hand and my new cutsey box lost it’s virginity to the Time-Machine backup from the MiniMax.
In deference to security concerns I needed to get to the hard drive, and duly destroyed the old Mini...
Having an Intel engine allows me to run [spit] Windows on my Mac and my preferred method of doing this is via Sun's VirtualBox and XP.
This allows me to emulate the wondrous old habits of virus protection, Windows security updates and Internet Explorer whenever I get the need.
For a long time I waited impatiently for Apple to release their much anticipated iPad tablet. I figured that such a device was the answer to pitter pattering away whilst watching TV.
However in frustration of their delay and with need to get on with this web site before Alzheimers set in I decided to get a MacBook instead.
The MacBook joins the fray. Note the little Dell Mini 10 getting it’s latest Windows Update
Purchased in December 2009 it is a factory-standard unibody white unit boasting an Intel 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo and has 2GB of 1067MHz DDR3 RAM, close to its 250GB drive, whilst glistening through a 13" glossy screen.
If you are reading this it clearly works.
Non Fruit Based Electronica
Many PC based computers have passed before my hands but only a few remain, partly because of the needs of friends and family, partly because of the calling of eBay but mostly because, as discussed above, the misses doesn’t like keeping clutter.
Not that any of these outdated machines were rare enough to be worthwhile now, even the very first ex-work behemoth running CP/M on a green-black screen. These were the days of command lines, 5.25" floppies and frustration.
My first real PC was a metal cased, custom built desktop of dubious heritage containing both 5.25" and [new] 3.5" floppy drives.
This was superseded by a much more powerful [in the sense that a beetle is more powerful than an ant] Packard Bell tower case which along with the CRT monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer and Yamaha speakers filled my desk space completely.
In between times I discovered the joy of laptop computing and my first foray into this was in 1999 when I invested in a Dell Inspiron 15" primarily for work use. This was superseded by the Novatech [see below], which I still own.
I also recently purchased a Dell Mini Netbook, primarily to ensure I had a reliable Windows based machine because some stupid outlets still insist on good old XP [also, see below, but this time a bit further down].
My now outdated Windows based laptop is a Novatech Soprano.
It is very heavy for a portable, more of a movable unit boasting super fast 3.07GHz HT Intel Pentium 4 running on 512Mb RAM. Although now slow compared to the multi-core processor machines. Storage is a [not nearly as gigantic as it used to feel] 60Gb hard drive and the world is accessed via the built in 56k modem.
I run Micro-pathetic XP Professional and display on the built in 64Mb 15" TFT LCD. Audio is supplied by two small shrill insects inside somewhere that like to go bleep very loudly at times.
You can see a photo of this by looking at my article about my system in 2003.
A tiny Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Notebook all ready to link to my massive HiFi Processor
The Dell Mini 10 was, as alluded to earlier, purchased as an insurance against the failure of the Novatech.
In particular I have a computer based HiFi processor which insists on getting its updates via an XP interface. The quality of the processor is such that it warranted such an acquisition but the Mini is a useful tool for quick and dirty Internet Explorer [spit] web use such as insisted by certain work clients [after the obligatory updates and virus protection refreshing].
The Mini 10 sports, if that is not over-egging the cake, an Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz motor driving a 1Gb RAM with 160Gb HD on tap.
A Hewlett [I will take over your system if it’s the last thing I do] Puckhard HP Photosmart C6180 All-in-One, which is a basic lie as there are absolutely loads of things it doesn’t do.
It does do however boast WiFi operation, full colour printing based on the usual sell your mortgage ink supplies, photocopying, after a fuss and only via the website remote scanning and hope it works facsimile functions.
It was chosen as it was the least looking like, but still quite like a, bread bin model.
BT provide my WiFi needs via a snazzy HomeHub 2. This dust collecting device spits out up to N grade WiFi and acts as a router as well.
It could cope with up to 8Mb but BT tell me that my home is only worth 6Mb. Which would be OK if the speed tests showed more than the usual 3000 to 4000 kbits/s down and about 250-300 kbits/s up.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.165 3 Aug 2018
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The first image is of the author's converted bedroom Apple Mac set up showing the matching wallpaper and curtains, the dark wood office style furniture complimenting the wardrobe doors, the black leather executive swivel chair and the neat rows of lever arch file boxes. The computer set up is dominated by the 23 inch Apple Cinema display, with a MacMini on top of a matching back-up drive sat to the right and a Hewlett Packard all-in-one printer to the left. Also seen is an optical mouse, small stereo speakers, an iPod Classic a BT Homehub and an underdesk bass sub-woofer. The image was taken by the author, in summer 2008 and was added in Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The second image is of the author's second MacMini, the MacMini 2, sat on top of a matching Iomega back up drive. The attached Firewire connector cable was removed but still held its original position. It was taken by the author in Jul 2009 and first added in the web site in Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The third image shows a composite of photographs taken by the author in 2009 when my original MacMini was taken apart to be destroyed. The montage was first added to the web site in Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The fourth image is of the author's two home laptops, a MacBook and Dell Mini 10 Notebook, taken in Mar 2010 and first added to the web site, Version 3.0, during the same month
The final image is of the author's Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Notebook, taken in May 2011, first added in Version 5.165 3 Aug 2018
Computer Software March 2010
A 2010 update to my 2003 article
Leaning Towards The Apple
Willy Gates supremacy has been usurped by Steve Jobs so now he has my vote as far as usable programmes go.
The operating system I mostly use when I have the choice is now Apple’s Macintosh in the latest feline variant.
Work still requires that I use good old MS applications which have as much attraction to me as another MS does and the start up times are still a pain.
Big M still does well on Excel but the now mighty Gates user base is gradually being eroded by the superior Fruit named alternative.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.167 7 Aug 2018
Adapted from extracts from Version 3.0 in Mar 2010
Computers Web 2010
Screenshot of the Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 3
Wibbly, Wobbly, Webbly - An update at March 2010
No, not a home for arachnids but details of this site. The software which I used and which design house I employed [Do you really think this is professionally made?].
Here are details of the software used to create and uplift this webpage to the great World Wide Web and onto your screen.
This is the third generation layout of my first effort at designing and producing a web site and I have finally surrendered to time and used a web-creation package, namely Apple’s iWeb.
O.K. I can’t boast of programming in HTML any more but content is King so at least now that it’s out I can make pretty updates quicker.
I now use the inbuilt web creation FTP supplied with iWeb and if I feel the need to go all manual I get in touch with my FileZilla side.
I use BT as a broadband Internet Service Provider. And in return they give me a whopping 6mB of the 8mB they promise. I am also a signed up member of the MobileMe family so Grannie Smith also does a spot of hosting on my behalf.
I use Web-Mania as a Web Server provider. The price is reasonable so naturally they let someone into my account once. Nerds.
I would add it onto the Apple servers but would lose an element of personalisation.
Web Site conceived, designed, produced, checked and sent to you by Vince. So that's me then.
*E-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you can't read this site
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.188 5 Sep 18
First Published: Version 3.0 in Mar 2010
I confirmed that I was using Filezilla as a FTP programme and hosting via UK2 as confirmed in my now superseded vincepoynter.co.uk site ver 1.06 dated Jul 2012
The image is a screenshot from the upper section of the Version 3.0 web site, first seen in Mar 2010 and added to this article in Version 5.168 8 Aug 2018
Future Computer Considered in 2010
In truth desktop systems probably wouldn’t exist, being far too cumbersome so this system will actually all fit inside a clock on your mantlepiece. Except mantlepieces will be considered so passe that the clock will have to sit on the floor. Here the clock will gather far too much dust so will be moved back onto a desk. Hence, the replacement desktop system.
A Brooklyn [yes, as in Beckham] 2030, carbon fibre micro case with AMD [touchy] ZZR series 38.9THz triple-quad-bus bio-platform, running through 56k DOS, on 93Gb TAM [total access memory] and 22,222Mb standard video RAM boosted with a 4D-VR 39Gb acceleration card giving graphics from a 16377 x 9212 DLP4 screen utilising 32 million and one colours. They found another one - Hurrah!.
Storage is a bio-neural vector imaging carbofile with immeasurable capacity pseudo-hard drive utilising aluminium organospheres but still no room for those ultra HD3D video files. Outside access is via a 4649M video-modem through we-will-actually-pay-YOU-fifty-Eurodollars-serve.com. Still uploading at about 33k usually.
Software is Air-con [which is proving much better than Windows] whilst audio is supplied through a multi-phase version 6.947.34a amp with graphics displayed on a widescreen 73" plasma projector SCD with Dolbyson Pro-logisense sensurround implant flat mini-speakers with three separate built-in giga-woofers. Boooooooooooooooooooooooom!.
RolexPro Diamonte with Apple-chip processor and superlite mini-screen, glued to inside of contact lens with thought activated inputs. Solar powered, with 11-month backup battery, developed by the Norwegians, unsurprisingly.
Having finally run out of every single combination of words starting with i Jonny Ives has finally allowed Steve Jobs to use the j moniker. However the now Lord Ives had his design workshop reconfigured so perfectly that he cannot find the door handle and hasn’t been seen for years. As a result the now US President Jobs had to head up the design for the jMac and it looks like a pair of old jeans with a black turtleneck top for a screen. Shares in Apple have fallen and may drop as low as $50m dollars each.
Resorted to using my original Canon Bubble-jet, although I have now changed the ink cartridge.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.169 9 Aug 2018
First Published: Version 3.0 in Mar 2010
It is interesting to note that in 2018 a 22 or 39Gb video acceleration cards, a 16377 x 9212 screen, 73" projector and Apple-chip processors [or very similar in each case] are already manufactured
The @vinceunlimited Twitternovel Story
Exploring limitations of a new Social Medium
A radical new concept devised by Vince, published in twitter.com/vinceunlimited during March 2009.
I started using the short format, public posting service Twitter in January 2009. During my initial explorations of the service I noticed that no one I knew was using the service to publish a story. I presumed established authors considered the format lightweight, limiting or offered no opportunity for monetisation. These were no barriers to me so I commenced a Twitternovel in March 2009 which ran alongside my other Tweets at that time.
I called the story one25 which was the amount of characters I had to use each time allowing for a hash tag search identifier [#one25], chapter number, message and continuation mark to fill the entire 140 character limitation set by the service.
I also planned to do exactly 125 entries over 125 days but this would be only realised by the reader at the end. I only had a vague idea of the story, preferring to make it up as I went along, although I did plan some internal Twitter references. The introduction was posted at 8:46 p.m. on 1 March 2009...
#one25 A new way to enjoy Twitter. A Novel in 140 character Tweets by @vinceunlimited. For comments or discussion please use #one25note
And the story began...
#one25 001 Normally waking up in a giant cage in a laboratory would be a concern but after what Jo had just been through it was a relief tbc
#one25 002 Jo looked around. It was dark but the shadow ahead looked suspiciously like a huge rat. And what were those things? Whiskers? tbc
#one25 003 Jo twitched & the whiskers moved. She was a rat. But having four foot whiskers had to wait. The other rat was heading her way tbc
#one25 004 A huge rat with piercing eyes running at Jo wasn't actually the most frightening thing. What was that shadow chasing the rat? tbc
#one25 005 The rat coming at Jo was scooped up by a mighty hand then whisked away. Was Jo next? She noticed the cage door was left open tbc
#one25 006 Jo scurried to the door. She looked around the room. Two men were preparing the inject the other rat. Was this now Jo's fate? tbc
#one25 007 Jo looked down. The drop looked 50' but someone had left a towel on the floor. She took her chance and launched into the air. tbc
#one25 008 As Jo fell she worried about the landing and experienced flashing red lights with a piercing scream. Then she hit the ground tbc
#one25 009 She crashed heavily into the towel. Jo rolled back upright and saw one of the men leaving the lab. The door was closing shut tbc
#one25 010 Jo raced across the room. She thought she just got through the closing gap but the door slammed shut, on the end of her tail. tbc
#one25 011 The door closing on Jo was excruciatingly painful. But she could see someone coming. Would she have to gnaw off her own tail? tbc
#one25 012 Without choice, Jo braced herself and bit hard into her tail, her sharp teeth cutting clean through. Then she heard a scream. tbc
#one25 013 The shrieking woman would draw attention. Jo had to act fast. People are scared of rats so Jo ran at her and leapt in the air tbc
#one25 014 Jo flew headlong at the giant girl. The girl turned & batted Jo to the side, tumbling her against the wall, knocking her out. tbc
#one25 015 Thankfully Jo recovered senses quickly. She saw an outside door & ran for it. Her momentum took her straight into a busy road tbc
#one25 016 In the road Jo was confronted by a speeding truck nearly 200' high coming straight towards her. She braced herself for impact tbc
#one25 017 The lorry driver saw Jo the rat in the road and steered towards her. Thankfully Jo fell in a pothole so survived the impact. tbc
#one25 018 Jo scurried to the pavement and ran into an alley, wondering how rats survived. Then came face to face with a twenty foot cat tbc
#one25 019 The cat leapt onto Jo grabbing her by it’s giant jaw. As teeth dug into Jo’s neck she experienced more red lights and screams tbc
#one25 020 The many red lights & piercing screams subsided as Jo realised there was no more danger. But she did have a rat in her mouth tbc
#one25 021 Jo's jaw dropped open with surprise & the rat fell to the ground. As it ran off Jo noticed it had the end of the tail missing tbc
#one25 022 Jo looked down and saw she had cats legs & paws. First a rat, now a cat. What was going on? And what was that growling sound? tbc
#one25 023 Jo turned to see a huge dog nearly three times her size, barking furiously. As she backed away she noticed it was salivating. tbc
#one25 024 The rabid dog made a scary lunge. The flashing red lights & screams returned. After subsiding Jo was looking at a scared cat. tbc
#one25 025 Strange. Whenever Jo got scared she experienced flashing red lights & screams, then transferred bodies. Could she force this? tbc
#one25 026 Experimenting, Jo cornered the cat, growling gently. As predicted it lashed out across Jo's nose, causing lights and screams tbc
#one25 027 Immediately Jo was again looking at the dog. Still rabid, but this time with a bleeding nose. Jo figured it was time to exit. tbc
#one25 028 Jo slipped by the dog, bounding out the alley, feeling lithe as the cat she was. She had to find a place to sort herself out tbc
#one25 029 Jo crept along the pavement avoiding the people. It was then she realised she wasn't in a giant world. She was just cat sized tbc
#one25 030 Jo climbed onto a pile of boxes to get a view. She looked around. Where was she? A big city. American. How did she get there? tbc
#one25 031 She could still read the shop names but she failed to read the warning sign on the door behind the boxes. And it opened up. tbc
I temporarily suspended the service at the beginning of April 2009. I wondered whether the story was being followed as enthusiastically as I was posting it. I also became aware of difficulties in posting updates amongst my other entries and wondered how it may be seen. Were my new followers confused about the strange Tweets? Were my oldest followers tolerating a story they had no intention of following? I waited for a comment or three on the suspension and received nothing.
Probably due to the normal low interaction level by Twitterers, as it is a fundamentally passive experience, coupled with my low following numbers and the fact that for all they knew the story was finished I now have an abandoned, unfinished project.
I may re-ignite the interest again. Maybe on the second anniversary. Maybe when I have thousands of followers. Maybe under a separate Twitter account. Maybe never.
I am sure the concept is sound. In fact on 3 March 2009 a Radio 4 presenter commented that she suspected someone had devised the format. I immediately posted the following...
R4 presenter then added that she suspected someone, somewhere was probably writing a Twitternovel. Yes that would be me - next one25 follow
If you want this resurrected, let me know.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.174 16 Aug 2018
The Twitternovel was first published in twitter.com/vinceunlimited during Mar 2009
This narrative first published in this web site Version 3.0 Mar 2010
Yesterday Apple finally launched their much anticipated iPad and I have been lapping up every Tweet, blog and story about the thing.
One reason for the interest, other than my confirmed fanboy status, is that for months I seriously considered that such a product may well be the answer to my personal electronic needs. However, I recently saw sense and avoided waiting for a 1.0 version of an untried, theoretical device, with no known cost and purchased instead a MacBook. I think my decision may be correct.
The iPad is gorgeous, but not available for six months, still uncertain in UK price and may not actually do all I want it to do. No one has mentioned working with iWeb yet, my primary reason for a hand held device.
However, as Tweeted today, I think there is a market for this that is as yet untapped. The elderly.
Or rather the non-tech, reasonably wealthy elderly who have yet to get a computer or on line. I'm thinking my in-laws here.
This product is designed for my father-in-law. The standalone design meaning no awkward telephone connections. The user friendly intuitive GUI meaning no keyboard/mouse learning. The inbuilt simple bookstore. The scalable text for failing eyesight. I'm convinced. He has admired my iPhone for some time and I am going to recommend this iPad to him.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.163 31 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 28 Jan 2010
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
I did buy an iPad, but not until the second version, the iPad 2 3G and WiFi 64Gb model in Nov 2011
My father-in-law did eventually get an iPad, having never owned a computer. I gave him my second iPad, the Air 2 WiFi only 128Gb model, in Sep 2016. He was then 90 years old and still uses it so my original thoughts in 2010 about suitability for this sector are fully validated
Web Site update.
Decided to completely remove my old vinceunlimited web site content due to the malware infections and replace it with a temporary message.
If for any reason you have bookmarked my site or any content pages I suggest you delete the links, particularly as these will never be used in that format again.
I'll keep you informed when the proper version is ready.
My vincepoynter site is unaffected
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.159 24 Jul 2018
First Published: FaceBook 10 Dec 2009
The Fun Of All Smears
Well I've had no response to my 14 September entry so I figure I'm all alone out here in MSLand.
Not that this will discourage me from posting a warning to anyone inquisitive enough to check out my web site.
Unfortunately, due to some scandalous spanners Google has slapped a Fear All Ye Who Enter Here sign on the door.
I'll get it fixed by the end of the year and simultaneously launch the exciting v3.
I would venture to suggest you may not be able to wait but as no one is there I guess you can!
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.158 23 Jul 2018
First Published: MySpace 9 Dec 2009
Web Site Fail News
00:33 - Hi guys. Just a quick note to warn you all not to head for my web site at the moment as some shady spammers have attempted a Somalian Pirate move on it prompting Google to ward off visitors. I have hoovered out the culprits and reset settings but you will still get the Nuclear melt-down messages for now. This could be my incentive to get on with finalising version 3.0
19:32 - Can anyone recommend a great web hoster? Primary ability must be to have a closed front door
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.157 20 Jul 2018
First Published: FaceBook 8 Dec 2009
At the time the Web Host I was using was Web-Mania
Today I am working from home. No, really, I’m at home and working. I’m not just messing about on my computer. It’s real work.
I know it’s work because I have to open an Excel spreadsheet. As usual, it is a complex, multi-formatted workbook with SUBTOTAL functions and my Mac’s pretty little spreadsheet, Numbers, does not seem to support these professional tools.
As a result I have had to install Sun's VirtualBox which will allow me to load in my copy of Windows XP and the MS Office package on to my Mac.
I really do not want to do this, other than for the fascination, as it will be like fitting a Kia sunroof with ill fitting lock into my Jaguar.
The process involves adding Sun’s VirtualBox, Microsoft’s XP, the XP SP2 disc, MS Office 97 Suite [I can’t afford the extortionately priced upgrade, alright], adding AVG virus protection, then running several dozen Windows Updates, each of which wants to have its very own restart.
I will then be able to fire up the Excel sheet.
All of which is very time consuming and will mean I won’t be finishing early today.
Despite working from home.
Which I am.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.156 19 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 27 Nov 2009
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
Jet Wash[ing Up]
A Red Arrows display begins in August 2009. No idea of how many pilots were wearing make up
I'm in the process of readying the next update to my vinceunlimited web site.
To be honest I've been in this process for some time.
I recently made a decision to abandon the plan to hand code a replacement and instead rely on the built in iWeb application that came with my Apple software, despite all it's limitations such as lack of meta tagging, inability to child page and inability to include the basic widgets on non-Apple standard servers etc.
I deduced that it really is content that matters.
Thankfully, I have now discovered I can quickly copy paste content from my current version so I do not need to retype all the 120 pages of content.
However, having the site on the operating table and not up and running means that days like today frustrate me as a great story came out about the first female Red Arrows pilot.
The scope for a playful blog was hardly satisfied by my Tweet entry suggesting all displays would now run at precisely five past three to allow for a quick lipstick fix.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.155 18 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 12 Nov 2009
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The photograph shows the arrival of a nine-plane Red Arrows display over Bournemouth in August 2009. I took the picture timed to show the exact time of arrival as my wife waited patiently for the start of the display
Mac In The Firing Line
Wherein I discover Apple Products
This is the screen that turned me into a Mac user. Most just get there from using their iPhone
I'm in the long process of converting one of my bedrooms into a home office and central to this new environment will be a shiny new PC.
I have been looking for a machine that hits the right aesthetic notes as well as performing magnificently.
My major problem area was finding a decent screen and I stumbled into a corker in the new Apple Store that someone kindly set up in my nearest town.
This got me thinking all Mac and I've decided that I would suit a quirky set up.
Now, whilst I await latest product news, I am getting all keen and buying up all the Mac magazines and trawling the web site constantly.
As a result I'm very familiar with the Mac adverts [both US and UK versions].
Naturally, being me, I immediately turned my attention to thinking up a new ad. As with all the other ads it opens with the familiar 'PC' and 'Mac' characters.
PC: "Hello, I'm PC and I'm very popular, though I sometimes don't get on with everyone."
Mac: "Hi, I'm Mac and although not as commonplace as you PC, I get on with anyone. Straight out of the box. This makes me smugly better."
A third party joins.
PC: "But, who is this Mac? I can't seem to make it out. You're so cleverly compatible Mac, tell me who it is."
Mac: "No. Sorry. At a loss there for once." [To third party] "Who are you?"
Third party: "Hello, I'm Amstrad emailer."
PC: "Does not compute."
PC/Mac [together]: "You're fired!"
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.147 6 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 14 May 2007
The advertising campaign for Apple at the time was the "Get a Mac" campaign and used two contrasting characters. The informally dressed Mac character, performed by Justin Long, appeared cool and composed and usually got the better of the more stuffy, formal performance of John Hodgman as the PC character. The campaign was created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab. A UK version of many of the ads were re-shot using Robert Webb and David Mitchell
The image is of the author's first converted bedroom Apple Mac set up showing the MacMini on top of a matching back-up drive powering a 23" Mac monitor displaying many photo icons, coupled to an optical mouse, printer and small Bose stereo speakers. An iPod Classic and webcam are on one of the shelves. The image was taken by the author, in Jul 2008 and was added in Version 5.147 6 Jul 2018
Not So Free
This is what a proper happy bunny should look like
Not a happy bunny today.
I have been thinking about an email that my illustrious ISP sent me last week.
From now on there is to be a 'small change' in the way that the account is charged.
Online time will now attract a nominal one pence or so per minute.
This may be relatively small beer but it is a huge principle.
Rising prices by one pee a minute is marginal but introducing a new charge from a previously free service is a fundamental sea-change.
I am powerless to stop it so will now be looking for an alternative. Any ideas?
Other than suggesting a small beer must be a good thing for an unhappy bunny.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.134 14 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 29 Mar 2006
Do you remember when it was common to pay for online time by the minute? I was particularly miffed because the free to use ISP service that I was using at the time was branded as Freeserve and I thought that per minute charging was not exactly as 'labelled on the tin'. In fact Freeserve were bought by Wanadoo in 2000 and then by Orange in 2006. I never knew this at the time and was still using 'Freeserve' and my Freeserve email at the time of posting. I soon noticed the change to Wanadoo and Orange, as noted in my formal web site vincepoynter.co.uk version 1.02 in Jun 2006. The future it seemed was indeed, as the advertising stated, Orange
Computers October 2003
A section for the nerds - Details of my hard and soft ware
My early computer setup circa 2003. A vision in beige
Click here to go hard - Hard section - My computers, printer etc. Technical details so you can swoon with envy or laugh helplessly at the sheer out-datedness of it all. It was all cutting edge once, now it couldn't cut mustard
Click here to go soft - Soft section - Programmes I use and abuse, for work and play. Well, the licenced ones anyway. Doesn't include tips on reconfiguring Lara Croft in topless mode. Pity
You can work this one out yourself - Web section - No, not a home for arachnids. Details of this site. The software which I used and which design house I employed (you believe that?)
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.151 13 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Image added in Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017
Computer Hardware October 2003
Computerspeak, I'm afraid
Welcome to the hard page, part of the computer section within vinceunlimited. Information provided for the purposes of cyberjerks and thieves.
My early computer setup circa 2003. A vision in beigeDesktop system
Packard Bell Pulsar 23 tower case (taking up too much room on my desk) with Intel Pentium MMX233Mhz (slow now) running on 64Mb RAM (32Mb SDRAM plus 32Mb SIMM upgrade) and 2Mb standard video RAM boosted with an Orchid Righteous 3DII 12Mb ATI Rage II+ 3d acceleration card. Storage is a (used to be gigantic - but not any more) 4.3Gb hard drive (no room for those video files) and outside access is via a 56k modem through Freeserve (connecting at about 33k usually). I still run Microsoft Windows 95 (not 98, 98SE, 2000, ME or XP I hear you enquire) and display on my 17" Taxan monitor (cost £500 new, now standard fare) with audio supplied through dual speakers and a Yamaha sub-woofer (booooom).
My Novatech Soprano. In those days laps were much biggerLaptop
A custom Novatech Soprano laptop (heavy for a portable, more of a movable) with super fast 3.07GHz Intel Pentium 4 running on 512Mb RAM. Storage is a (gigantic - for now) 60Gb hard drive and the world is accessed via the built in 56k modem through Freeserve (25-44k, why the difference?). I run Microsoft XP Professional and display on the built-in 64Mb 15" TFT LCD. Audio is supplied by two small shrill insects inside somewhere that like to go bleep very loudly at times.
Adam Sanz emailed me to ask if I still had the Packard Bell or anything remaining from it.
Unfortunately Adam didn't leave a working email to respond to so I have replied here.
The answer is no. I am not a collector of outdated tech or anything else and tend to sell my equipment on or pass it to someone in my family, when superseded by new stuff, usually whilst it still has value. In the case of the Packard Bell it was given to a family member.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.151 13 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Images added in Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017
Computer Software October 2003
The underbelly of my computer
Welcome to the soft page, not that this page is softer than any of the others - flexiscreens haven't yet hit the streets - unless you know better.
As with the 'hard' page this is designed for all the nerds to discover what I like to use to ease me through the exciting world of computing, software wise.
Willy Gates has my vote as far as usable programmes go. His pricing policy is questionable, as is the constant redevelopment of ideas. I have no problem with him making trillions as his products have revolutionised the way we work together but he could be fairer to legitimate users.
And the policy of constantly re-inventing basic necessities (Yes, I'm talking Windows here) seems a touch greedy. No wonder so many turn to piracy. Why do the class leading products, with their international markets, sold in hundreds of thousands of units sell for the highest prices? Ship 'em out cheaper Billy Boy and we'll all buy legitimately in their millions and so make you even richer. I know you could do with the extra cash.
A mess of windows spill all over the screen courtesy of Windows XP
The operating systems I use is good old Microsoft Windows 95 on my home desktop and XP on my work laptop. This conveniently hides the OS in the background and I rarely venture into white on black screens these days. The 450mB ramquirement and 10 minutes to start up are a pain.
The big M (no, not McDonalds) also does well on applications. I learnt spreadsheets on Lotus 123 and early on supported this application along with the other excellent programmes they produced, particularly Organiser. The Lotus look is generally superior to Microtosh but the mighty Gates stronghold is more and more eclipsing the user base. In all I don't think this will be a problem as compatibility is paramount in the new technology of computing. Make it work, make it compatible - backwards and forwards and make it cheap. That's all we ask for.
And improve email programmes too. I've not yet used one that isn't total pants.
As for Apple Macintosh? What's the point? I thought their skins were waterproof. On a more serious note though, congratulations must go to Apple for pushing the boundaries of technology design.
Now what about PC software. When will we see true user friendliness in GUI's guys? And I don't necessarily mean a virtual office layout with a point and click 'photo facsimile' of an office desk. That's the real world. We're in an exciting new electronic medium here. Let's use new technology to work in a new world. Lose the Qwerty keyboard and references to files. This is electronic media. Voice inputs, multi-dimensional applications, 3D visuals and neural partition storage is the way to go. If you guys don't come up with the quantum leap then I warn you, I will.
Finally, why do games recreate what we do in life? I agree with top class simulation programmes but let's stretch the imagination and create wonderful new multi-dimensional worlds of true beauty - aurally and visually. Let's not go mad on nasal simulation though. I fear this strand of technology may be abused!
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.151 13 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Image added with minor editing in Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017
Computers Web 2003
Home Spun Facts
Screenshot of some sample HTML coding for version 1.00
You have reached the web page of vinceunlimited. The details of the software used to create and uplift this webpage to the great World Wide Web and onto your screen.
As this is my first effort at designing and producing a web site I decided to keep it simple using a widely available programme which would produce a product that was readable on the majority of the world's computers, using minimum facilities.
From the outset I decided that content was far more important than fancy graphics and fonts although I hope to improve the general look and content in future releases and when more users have faster internet access.
A standard look is vital in creating visual consistency and will aid the reader in remembering the site. And it saves me having to constantly invent styles.
If you like what you see, or can imagine what I could achieve with better facilities and want me to help you design your site - contact me. My services are available.
Web Site Creation Software
Originally I used a standard version of Microsoft FrontPage Express, version 2.0. Although from version 1.03 the code was hand written in HTML (ask your son) using Microsoft Notepad. No other software was used. Does it show?
I use Smart FTP. Because it can be loaded free for private users. And I'm not loaded.
I use Freeserve as an Internet Service Provider. Free. So give them a big hand.
Web server - Where this is stored
I use Web-Mania as an Web Server provider. The price is reasonable so they come well recommended.
Web Site conceived, designed, produced, checked and sent to you, by Vince. So that's me then.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.151 13 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Version 1.03 Feb 2005 included note about using MS Notepad
My ISP provider Freeserve were bought by Wanadoo in 2000 although I never knew this at the time of the article and was still using 'Freeserve' and my Freeserve email at the time of posting. Orange purchased Wanadoo in 2006 and I noted the change to Wanadoo then Orange in my formal web site vincepoynter.co.uk Version 1.02 in Jun 2006. This was confirmed within Version 2.04 of vinceunlimited.co.uk/web around Dec 2006 where I noted that I had moved from Freeserve/Wanadoo/Orange to BT and now had 6mB of capacity [also noted in vincepoynter.co.uk/webcredit]
Version 1.04 Apr 2009 of vincepoynter.co.uk/webcredit noted that I changed FTP supplier from Smart FTP to another free service by Cyberduck
Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017 added image
Future Computer Considered in 2003
AOF-serve Brooklyn 2020, carbon fibre micro case with AMD [touchy] ZZR series 38.9THz quadbus bio-platform, still running through 56k Dos, on 93Gb TAM [total access memory] and 222Mb standard video RAM boosted with a 4D-VR 12Gb acceleration card giving graphics from a 6789 x 2212 screen utilising 32 million and one colours. They found another one! Hurrah!
Storage is a bio-neural vector imaging carbofile store with immeasurable capacity pseudo-hard drive utilising aluminium organospheres. Unfortunately, still no room for those video files. Outside access is via a 4649M video-modem through we-will-actually-pay-YOU-fifty-eurodollars-serve.com Still connecting at about 33k usually.
Software is Aircon, which is much better than Windows.
Audio is supplied through multi-phase ver. 6.947.34a displayed on a widescreen 73" plasma projector SCD with Dolbyson Pro-logisense sensurround implant mini-speakers with built in giga-woofer Boooooooooooooooooooooooom!.
RolexPro Diamonte with Applechip processor and superlite mini-screen, glued to inside of contact lens. Thought activated inputs. Solar powered, with 11-month backup battery, developed by the Norwegians, unsurprisingly.
Still got my Canon Bubblejet, although I have now changed the ink cartridge.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003