Posted by: cehwitham | March 4, 2008

BBC Homepage – My comments…

My first reaction to the Beta test of the page and also this morning when I realised it had gone live was something like, “My life! What is this Web 2.0 monstrosity that has taken over the BBC?!” It doesn’t reflect anything of the image of how I picture the BBC, slightly old fashioned, cosy, a bit fusty but very friendly and British.  That’s how I like my BBC and this just seemed to fresh and modern, like your Granddad wearing your kid’s new fashionable clothes.

However on reflection, the web designer within me really likes the design.  It’s clean cut, modern, fresh, and stylish.  It is a great piece of design and it’s grown on me very quickly.  It’s easy to find what you need and draws on the familiar customisable homepage I am used to on iGoogle.  Great job people, great job.

At least the analogue clock keeps a small link back to the good old days of fustiness.

Posted by: cehwitham | January 11, 2008

Mac OSX Mercury

It’s seemed like a very long week back at work so I’ve not had much time to write posts but I have had a good look around the large proportion of the internet that I never visit.  On my travels I found Mac OS X Mercury.

Built mainly using JavaScript by Marcus Strehlow it shows just how far this technology can be pushed to create a very unusable but incredibly interesting web interface.  Marcus has released the source code and encourages others to look into using the framework for their own personal blogs to provide content in the enlightened way he saw information presented in OS X Tiger.

I can not decide if I like it more as a piece of art or as a functional website.  It is a very fresh idea for a use of the well established concept of the desktop environment.  Either way it is an incredible achievement  and a wonderful product made  even better by Marcus’ generosity in keeping it Open Source.

Now it is even easier to share the love of the Mac, Mercury runs in most web browsers on both Mac and PC.

Posted by: cehwitham | January 4, 2008

Looking back…

This time last year I made a few predictions about what 2007 might have in store for us. It seems a little more than 5 minutes since then but not too much longer. So here is a recap of 2007.

Google has kept my custom, unlike MySpace. The Google team seem to be doing to the web what Tesco are doing to the real world. I use Google apps more every day. Especially now their free IMAP service pushes my email out to my iPhone as soon as it is sent to me. Docs, Spreadsheets and Calendar all play their part in my day to day life not to mention Google Maps (Also an iPhone favourite!), Translate and Code. The list goes on.

I questioned in my first post of last year whether it would be the year I finally jumped of the Microsoft Ship. Well I didn’t make it out of January before I jumped ship to Apple and sailed off to freedom, only looking back to laugh at Vista! Apple continue to serve me well, I haven’t had a single crash all year and Mac OSX has just made life so much easier. Did I mention I bought an iPhone?! Or should I say, my fiancée bought me an iPhone.

I have heard a lot of negative comments about the iPhone, mostly from envious people who can’t see art when it is poking them in the eye. It is truly a great tool and a must have for anyone, not just the geek. The main missing component that people laugh at is its inability to Media Message. But this is an old technology, cut loose from support like Netscape Navigator. It is time to move on people, and mobile email is the way forward. The iPhone only SMS’s because so many people haven’t caught up with the new mobile possibilities.

Well I certainly got involved this past year, I have done a lot of web development as part of my job and also away from the office. I was even coerced into Facebook! As I previously said my MySpace account has been deleted, there is only space for one so called Social Networking application in my life and Facebook just has so much more to offer.

I all most forgot to mention amongst my techy ramblings, congrats to the New England Patriots, 16-0! A perfect season, lets just make sure we win in Arizona, roll on Bowl party!

Before I can think about 2008 and what I plan to do tomorrow I need some sleep. So I’ll look forward to your comments and retire for the night.

Best regards


Posted by: cehwitham | January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

They say start as you mean to go on, well on that basis I won’t be drinking a lot of champagne this year. 20 mins after Big Ben had chimed in 2008 I was still stood in my garden shaking the bottle of bubbly trying to get the cork out! A far cry from my engagement party where I nearly gave my bestman a black eye when I fired the cork straight at his head!

2008 is set to be an exciting year not least because I’m getting married!

I’m planning a review of last year an a look forward at 2008 but DVD Cluedo and the family are waiting for me.

Well look out for more when I’m back to my computer but as for now from my iPhone have a very happy new year!

Thanks for reading.

Posted by: cehwitham | July 5, 2007

Chris Witham is…

…A Celebrity!

Yes I have joined the ranks of Stephen Fry, Sir Patrick Moore and Brent Hoberman.  Someone thinks I am worth being so much, they have decided to pretend to be me on Facebook.  Who would have thought it hey.  From the quiet streets of Newbold to the Red Carpet without lifting a finger!

Now this story begins a few weeks ago.  A number of people had being pestering me to join Facebook, apparently the latest craze to be in on.  Now I have in the past jumped on such band wagons, MySpace and Blogger to name a few.  However I decided this time I was too busy and what precious little time I did have I needed to spend on my own blog.

I finally agreed for my friend Steve to set up a Facebook group called the “Make Chris Witham a Facebook member group” and said that if the group got 1500 members I would join Facebook.  The group seemed to take off well and I had almost decided to give in and sign up when I discovered someone had beaten me to it!  Chris Witham with my picture and details is already tagging the walls of Facebook with Graffiti.  So despite my friends best efforts I’m sorry but no can do.

So here I am, spending my precious little time on my own blog!

Posted by: cehwitham | March 17, 2007

Lock In

Last Thursday, Steve, Jake and myself took a trip to our local Apple store.  We were running tight on time having picked Jake up from work but reckoned it was worth the trip for half an hour in store and would allow Steve to pick up a few bits he needed.

Sure enough we arrived with 30 minutes till closing time and set about finding what we needed.  While Steve and myself went in search of some adapters Jake got talking to an assistant about Apple Care.

After adapters had been sourced Steve and I join Jake and an in depth conversation about Apple Care and varying discounts available.  The store was pretty much empty by this point and it wasn’t long before we decided to head off.  On the way out however I decided to check with the Genius abut ADSL compatability and the new AirPort Extreme base station.  He went out back to check up on an ethernet modem but returned empty handed.

The conversation then shifted to Apple TV and the options for connecting various sources of media.  Discussion about the iPhone and the 8 core Mac Pro processors followed but we’ll save those details for another day, not wanting anyone to loose their job!  Eventually it was time to leave but as we approached the main door we realised it was 9:20 and another assistant was having to remove all of the safety locks from the door in order to let us out.  A true lock in at the Genius Bar!

Well thank you to Steve, Jake and the guys at Apple for an interesting evening.

On the subject of cool stuff, check out my latest screen saver find,

Also I hope you’ve all seen the Leopard Spaces!  Should be a rather cool addition, although Linux have been doing it for years!

Posted by: cehwitham | February 11, 2007

All Widgeted Out

I have eventually managed to find some time to sit down and have a really good play with my new mac.  I have especially tried a lot of widgets over the last few days.

Including Poker, Su Doku, tag references, system monitors and everything in between.  My favourite however must be the CallWave widget.  This very easy to use widget allows you to send text messages for free from your dashboard so long as you are connected to the internet.  I couldn’t believe it was offering free text messages so  had to give it a try.  And sure enough t sent a text message to my mobile insantly and free of charge.

Is this to god to be true?  Do you have experience of this widget?  If s drop me your comments.

Posted by: cehwitham | January 31, 2007

Horray for Hammond

I finally got to watch the first episode of the new series of Top Gear this week.  The long wait due to Hammond’s incredible recovery to fitness was well worth it.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it and loved every minute of it.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the road resurfacing saga and Jamie Olivers lap was incredible.  If Hammond’s insanely huge crash wasn’t enough to put you off speeding for life, I don’t know what will.

I can’t wait for the rest of the series, if the first was anything to go by it’ll be edge of your seat all the way.

Well done to all who worked so hard to get Hammond back to good health.

Posted by: cehwitham | January 28, 2007

The Pro of Mac

Hello all, once again it has been over a week since my last post.  The excuse this time has been a lot better for me.  Away from a hectic but nether the less successful OFSTED inspection I have taken receipt of my new MacBook Pro.  You may recall in my first post of this new year I contemplated switching to Linux this year or whether I would suffer under another Microsoft Operating System.  Just over three weeks in and I have decided enough is enough and joining the ranks of many of my sensible friends, I have decided Mac OS X is the way forward! And I must say, I am very impressed.  Apple definitely live up to their reputation.  So I’m now crash free and running free.  Now I’m used to the American positioning of the @ key and have learnt a few new keyboard shortcuts there is no looking back!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, but I can definitely recommend one to anyone!

Posted by: cehwitham | January 16, 2007

Checking In…

Hi all,

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet on the blog this week.  I’ve been rather busy.  I’m currently setting another two blogs up and working on a site along with preparing for OfSTED visiting the school I work for.

Hopefully things will settle down again next week and I can get back to posting.

Just to say well done to The Pats!  It was a nail biter but we made it.  Still it’ll be tough next week at Indianapolis.

If any of you web minded people have some spare time on your hands check out

Thanks also to Jake for introducing me to iRotate, a neat little piece of software for running monitors in portrait or upside down.

Thanks for reading.

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