Web 2.0?

[embroidery exercise] basic
OK, so I must have missed the upgrade notification…but it would appear that we are all dealing with Web 2.0 these days…by the mere act of blogging this, I have added to the interactive and social aspect of the web (apparently).

I don’t understand the term to be honest..I mean, surely it is just Web with a natural evolution based on technological advances.  Do people consider themselves to be Monkey 3.0…or Neanderthal 2.0?  No, we developed and evolved based on what we needed.  So no…I refuse to use the term Web 2.0

That said, I do find myself using things that I said I didn’t see the point of.  Blogging wasn’t my kind of thing, Twitter was pointless and Facebook was just a waste of time.  I loved Outlook, had no need or desire to sync everything online and hated web based email…anything other than ICQ was a joke and not worth my time.  A mobile phone was for calling people and, possibly, texting…oh, and Webcams were for perverts (this hasn’t necessarily changed though)

Don’t forget, I have been in IT since I left school…so I am used to being on top of technology (so to speak).  KT always maintains that I am just stuck in my ways…and there may be some merit to that.  So let’s review The LaughingWolf technical report.

Mobile phones

Bought as soon as they became actually mobile..never used for anything beyond calls and SMS until 5 years ago when I got a PDA and used it for, well, calls and SMS…AND Sat Nav.  Over the last 2 years ago, I started to appreciate the built in camera..and even managed to use my Sony as a camera in preference to a dedicated camera for a while.

Towards the end of last year got a Blackberry which I would…and I quote myself here… “Never use properly in a million years for gods sake, what would I want one of those for”…now I have all of my emails and pretty much everything else running through it…and this is only my personal phone…no work stuff here.


I have owned 3 laptops in my life and been provided another 2 by work.  I have never travelled extensively for work (apart from driving to other offices) and still cannot ever imagine pulling the laptop out of its case on a train or plane.  Especially when my lovely Blackberry does everything that I want on the move :-) but even taking that into account, travelling time is my time.


Now, I will admit to spending the debt of a large 3rd world nation on my desktop pcs over the years.  I was a gamer (still am from time to time), so I always wanted a great graphics card, lots of RAM, a big screen, the best mouse…even the best mousemat.

My desktop does everything for me, it is my entertainment center (movies, tv, music) and my working from home station.  It has dual screens, more hard disk space than most small-medium size company server farms.  My desktop is everything to me when it comes to technology and yet, up until the end of last year, it was an isolated data hub for me.  Had that machine died (which it did a while ago, but I was able to salvage the data)…I would be pretty much lost.  All of my photos, documents, contacts, game configurations, applications….everything would be lost.


I was an early Geocities user and created my own brand of utter crap that noone wanted to read (a bit like this blog really)..I tinkered, messed with HTML and went on from there.  Got my own domain a year or so after creating my first page and have continued with them regularly ever since.  I ran LAN parties in the UK, was a member of a number of gaming teams…so dynamic content was important and thus PHP became a part of my normal website routine.  I have never been a full coder, choosing to take stuff that almost did what I wanted and butcher it until it did exactly what I wanted.

I use the BBC website for news (predominantly sports)..but this has always been because I am too much of a tightarse to buy a paper.

MP3 Players

I was a very late adopter.  These fell under the “What is the point” category for me.  I either lived close enough to work to barely get through 2 songs before arriving, or I was so far away that I had to drive to work..where my handy CD player (and god forbid…the radio) would provide me everything that I wanted.  I didn’t go running and certainly didn’t need one for the house.  When I flew, it was almost always with other people..and if I was alone  I would have a book.  3 years ago I got a ThaiPlayer…a cheap and nasty iPod clone that was supposed to do video…I am not sure why I got it, but I found myself using it more and more..until I realised that it wasn’t good enough and went for the iPod touch..which was great..until I realised I wanted to have access to all of my music, all of the time…and CW got me a 120gb iPod Classic for my birthday.  I use it on the way to work, walking into town, on flights…even on my lunch break at work from time to time.

Web Browsers

I stuck with IE longer than I wanted to, I stuck with IE longer than I should have done…I was stuck with IE.  Why?  Well, there was the internet standard and then there was the Microsoft standard..and the problem was that more often than not, people wrote their websites to look good with the Microsoft standard…so I stayed with that.  I didn’t need tabbed browsing…I much preferred to have a seperate copy of the application for each site I wanted.  Up until a few years ago, I could never see the benefit of tabbed browsing to my own internet experience.  Firefox was a nice product that suffered from hideous memory leaks.

Now I am a full Firefox user, with a number of plugins, about 20 tabs at a time and only go back to IE when I absolutely have to.  That said, Chrome isn’t worth the change over to me :-P

Wireless Stuff

Here is where I still have a few issues.  I have a wireless router..which gets used for CWs laptop and for some of the people I know in the bar..but I never actually use it myself.   I could connect my phone to it…but I have mobile internet service bought and paid for with the Blackberry, and if I am at home….why would I surf the web on my phone.  Also, I have a real aversion to wireless mice and keyboards though, which I think are a hangover to my gaming days where the slightest lag would cause issues…of course, this is largely non-existent these days, but I am also a tightarse and can never be bothered to remember to charge things and/or swap batteries about.

Internet Access

I have been connected since day 1.  I was connecting to bulletin board systems at 1200 baud and stepped up through all of the modem levels until broadband began making headway.  Until it was freely available, I even paid for ISDN and then again to run it in 128k mode for the extra juice.  Since then I have been with the maximum available speed until recently..when I could get 50mb by switching to another company…I can’t be arsed and have stayed at 16mb


This is a topic close to my heart…I was always relatively quick on the uptake with chat technologies.  I started on IRC and ICQ (my number is 7 digits long and I still have it…) I derided MSN as not necessary and insisted on people bouncing over to ICQ.  MSN is a joke said I…why on earth would I want that crap…ICQ is the future.

Fast forward a few years and I am scrabbling to remember my ICQ password after being solely on MSN for so long…and then people want to start adding me to GoogleTalk.  Pah! says I, I have no need for this, MSN is perfect for me….and now I have Google.

I don’t get on IRC anymore these days, which is a shame as I had some good fun on there…when I wasn’t being asked to idle in a million Quakenet channels…


I mentioned Outlook earlier and I stuck with this until as late as last year.  I have emails in my archive from 1998…and it would have been longer if not for the catastrophic hard disk failure of 98.  I have never seen the merit in having access to my archived stuff other than on my own PC.  I setup my own webmail client on one of my websites that allows me to get access to new stuff when I am not at home, and of course now my Blackberry means I can always stay in touch.  Over the last couple of weeks though, I have started to contemplate moving to web based only…although I am currently on Thunderbird and loving it.

The “Cloud”

I have never been interested in online storage of any description.  I sometimes uploaded important things via FTP to my website as a kind of storage, but this was rare and never used properly.  I have always been perfectly happy with having my home machine as the center of my computing universe.  It certainly wasn’t fear of security…it was need, I didn’t need to access any of this stuff anywhere other than at home…and of course control.  I am used to working a certain way and have never seen a “single” service that would do what I wanted, how I wanted.

Well, that said, over the last few months, I have started seeing the benefits to the cloud and storing a lot of my information online and securely.  After swapping numerous phones and devices and getting seriously narked off with managing all of my contacts separately on everything..I finally took the plunge and have all of my information neatly organised and stored in Gmail…I am also considering uploading everything I have to Gmail (or an alternative) so that I am fully sync’d everywhere.  I link Facebook, Gmail and Gmail Calendar with Thunderbird and the Blackberry…I sync my Firefox bookmarks and saved passwords with a central server so that I can get to my regular sites (and non-regular ones) without having to search or remember.  I have a web gallery on my site with almost all of my photos.  Facebook holds a substantial amount of my photos too.  I even tried to use Google Docs, but to be honest it still isn’t advanced enough for me and I do like my MS Office…although hey..based on the rest of this post…give it time :D

Social Networking

Here comes the crunch for a lot of people when Web 2.0 is being bandied around.  Facebook, Myspace, Beebo, Twitter, Linked In and all of the others…pointless (even Linked In, especially now it has gone all Facebooky).  Completely pointless…which in most cases is the point.  Facebook did allow me to get in touch with one of the two people from school that I actually wanted to get in contact with…so I guess that helped.  I am on it all the time and posting as much inane crapola as anyone else (although hopefully with better spelling).  Myspace never has and never will interest me…when every site you visit is shockingly bright white text on a scrolling black starfield background with some crap music hammering along that you can’t turn off, I am not interested.  Beebo I never passed so much as a cursory glance at and so Facebook it was.  I am still at a loss as to the point of Twitter…I tweet my blog posts (automatically) when I occasionally remember to post something…I send the odd message to my daughter and I read some interesting celebrity information…beyond that, it offers me zero value to my day, and in fact there are days when I forget to check it.

So does all this mean that I am LaughingWolf Upgraded?  Will Keanu Reeves turn up and start offering me pills of the red and/or blue variety?  Am I really Web2.0 enabled?

Am I hell…the web, like printed media, television, films, computers, game consoles, mobile phones and everything else in this world has adapted and gotten better to suit what people want from it.  Sure, sometimes we don’t know what we want until someone develops it and throws it in front of us, but this is a natural progression people…so can we please ditch the media induced bollocks and stop inventing terms for things that already exist.

Right, I don’t know what all that was about, but I better go and tweet that I blogged and update my facebook/linked in and MSN status to show that I tweeted about a blog which is about my tweeting and blogging facebooked In status

Or something

Better late than never

Happy New Year
Now, before you go saying anything..I know, I know..I have been remiss.  I completely failed to take advantage of the perfect opportunity to start the year as I mean to go on.  Namely, I didn’t make the (seemingly) obligatory “Year In Review/Happy New Year” post.

I did plan on writing one…then got busy and put it off for a while..then work was crazy and I never seemed to get beyond the title and intro.  The thing is, 2009 is a year that, well, happened…or at least that’s how it seems from reading a lot of other blogs and talking to friends and family.  Most people I know couldn’t wait for it to end and get a new year started..on a personal level though I seem to have bucked the trend.

Sure, it had it’s difficulties..or at least what appeared to be difficulties to start with.  I was out of work early on, which was really strange as I found myself recovering from levels of stress that I didn’t even realise I had.  What should have been a stressful and worrying time for a Brit living in Germany whilst unemployed, was actually a lot of fun and very cathartic.  I mean, I met CW, had a decent break from working..reconnected with friends and family and then took a job that I didn’t expect anything from except to pay the bills.

As I sit here now, I am still with CW and loving every minute of it, am in regular contact with my kids and my job is going fantastically well.  Life.  Is.  Good.

So for me, 2009 could have carried on as long as it wanted, but equally I am looking forward to what 2010 will bring.

I had the best time over Christmas and New Year.  I went over to the UK just after Christmas Day to spend a week or so with all four of my kids.  It was fantastic..all four, together..I can’t describe how great it felt.  They are all growing up so fast..and growing into great people.

You know how when you meet someone new, and it seems to be heading in the right direction,  and you introduce this person to your family..normally on a relatively slow and steady basis?  Maybe you meet your Mum for a coffee with them..possibly Mum and Dad at the same time for a get together or meal?  It’s kind of exciting and nice and new all at the same time..but you get time to adjust and get used to them all.

Well, that’s how it happened with me and CWs family.  We went for a beer with her Dad, then coffee with her Mum..then I was invited to her Dads birthday, where I got to meet the other members of the family.  It was a slow, steady and very nice introduction.

Fast forward to December 2009 and CW has yet to meet any of my family..trips where one or some of them were planning a visit never quite happened.  We spend a nice Christmas together with her family and then head to Blighty…where she gets to meet my Dad first..at the airport for the 2(ish) hour drive to my parents place..where she then meets my Mum for an hour or so before all of the kids turn up along with the rest of my family.

That’s the same right??


How was your year and start of 2010?

What in the blue hell??!??

Me, heading to workOK, I know I have been away a while…and I do have a number of blogs in “I should probably finish” mode…but I feel compelled to write a blog’ette this morning.

CW just called and recommended that I look out of the window.  Which I duly did (I am nothing if not good at following orders) and was greeted by a certain whiteness.  Whiteness…SNOW!!! AGAIN!!  This can’t be happening.  I realise I made the largest mistake that a person can make last week, when I commented on how I was glad that the temperature was rising and that the snow had finally cleared….which I guess makes it my fault.

Christ, when I looked out this morning I swear I saw an angry Santa..in his pyjamas, bouncing around and trying to hang on to the sleigh for dear life, screaming at Rudolph about how it’s NOT FUCKING CHRISTMAS!

Right..I better head off to work now, with any luck I will be able to catch a lift with sleepy Santa.