Monday, 31 December 2007

New years resolution

With Christmas passed I can now think ahead to the New Year and what it brings for me.
First thing is to return to college and finish were I left off. That means, keep up the good attendance, pass assessments and return in September for the HNC in either software or Web development.

So my new years resolution is to be on a HNC course this time next year.

Anyway Happy New Year when I comes!!!

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Christmas day wonder

Taking a walk after Christmas lunch yesterday.

A nice view ahead

Somewhere to hide

What’s in the distance?

The long dirt track ahead

The day draws to a close judging by the sunset

Monday, 24 December 2007


As Christmas is here I would like to wish all my blog readers a merry Christmas.

Friday, 21 December 2007

College round up

Well I have reached the Christmas holiday and all has gone well with college so far, web development assessments have been submitted to the tutor and software development write ups have been completed. Completing all my assessments to date gives me a huge sense of relief, knowing I will find the last three weeks of block one a whole lot easier.

So my task for the next two weeks is revising for assessments after Christmas.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Good blogging

The use of Microsoft Word is very common when I write my blog entry as it is equipped with a spell checker, meaning I can pretty much guarantee my blog is at its best. I try to vary my subjects in order to make my blog more appealing to the whole blogging community, and not to just a small area.

Below is a run down of how I blog and the process I taking in doing it.


Sitting back and thinking of ideas of what I can blog about.

Going out with my camera and taking photos of the landscape and things I feel people may find interesting. Then taking my experiences home and blog about them, so the readers can see how my college went the day the post was published.


Finding sources of interesting information so I can keep my blog up to date in order to pass the practical assessment.


Arriving home and writing about my college day, for example my assessments, how my classes went, did I learn anything new?

Writing about college tasks.

For example:

Publishing and writing about images I have taken with either my mobile or digital camera.


Often I revisit my blog entries to see whether they can be expanded further, do they inspire me to blog about something similar? For example the North East of Scotland water stream entry helped me write the Fast flowing river entry.

My conclusion is to have a blog that is:

fit for the purpose

show entries of information people enjoy reading

And most of all pass the assessment.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Edinburgh castle

Think these pictures speak for themselves

Edinburgh castle as seen from Princes Street Gardens

Robert The Bruce statue, situated at the castle entrance

The stained glass in the great hall

Edinburgh castle with nor loch in foreground, around 1780

Monday, 17 December 2007

Computer hardware and Spreadsheets return

In the computer hardware class today I removed and installed a floppy drive, although floppy drives is something not important, you need to know about floppy drives. Next was to remove and install the CD Rom drive, next was to check they both worked correctly. Then went down to the college IT centre and wrote up some of the tasks I have completed since starting college, things like the operating system, ram, printers. After computer hardware was the spreadsheets assessment, different to what I first thought it would be. Had to create a spreadsheet design in Microsoft word, then transfer the information wrote in word to excel. Then fill in the necessary data we needed to create a spreadsheet with the correct formulas, all went well though.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

College and landscape

End of the weekend and back to college the morning, Last college week of 2007!! My first task will be to write up my practical tasks in computer hardware. Then move onto spreadsheets and complete the two parts assessment, the assessment is combined with the databases. So will involve things like IF function, embedded IF function, absolute cell reference and database stuff. Databases have come very easy now, so shouldn’t have any bother with the assessment. The remainder of the day involves assessments too, first of the afternoon will be the Internet and general pc stuff like email and peripherals of computing. Last is the communications listening assessment.
Other than college I have a few more photos.

Photo of Aberdeen taken from the 6th floor of college.

On the odd Sunday morning you here the tractors or cattle from the farm.

Countryside is so peaceful and relaxing.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Submitted Assessment

Have now submitted the Aberdeen College assessment to my web development tutor with the 700 hundred word report on how I designed the page, and what inspired me to use the relevant techniques to action my design? For example I used lists, photographic pictures, not forgetting the Meta tags so when it goes on the web you can locate is easier.

The beauty therapy assessment is going to plan and nearing completion for the deadline next week. Have to get pictures in the picture gallery, then it will look more like a website with all the pages functioning correctly with links.

Other than the design I cant wait to see it live, then I will get a good sense of achievement and one step closer to next years HNC.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

The fate of some college students

The task was to take a trip round the college and take pictures of interesting things.

The air didn’t smell right, I had a bad feeling in my stomach about this one.

Soon as we stepped out of the class room the camera jumped into life and created a photo of the corridor.

As we walked down the corridor we started to see strange things like this writing on the wall.

What was our fate going to be?

Walking a little further we heard a sound, as we turned me were faced with a lift.

Not sure what to do at this point, we figured we walk a little further towards the stairs, feeling the stairs would be a safer way down.

As we started to walk down the stairs I still had the small feeling in my stomach, as if somebody was following us down the stairs.

Making it down the stairs, we went through the door.

I heard a sound, so I looked left.

Then right!!

The fate of the others lay in these links

Steve Dean Darren Amber

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

The Beatles part 1

The Beatles were one of the great English bands from Liverpool, with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

Below I have listed just a few of the many songs John Lennon and Paul McCarty wrote.

Some of there hits included:

Love me do

Please Please me

From me to you

She loves you

I want to hold your hand

Can’t buy me love

The Beatles is one the greatest legendary bands of the 1960s.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Fast flowing river

Last week I wanted to post a couple of photos of the river Deveron, but as it was late afternoon they were too dark. So I went back this afternoon and took these two below.

The river flows towards the bridge at speed.

The river flows under the bridge.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Coal mines

The late 18th century was the start of deep coal mining in the UK, with rapid expansion across the Uk. Northumberland and Durham were the biggest coal producers with their pits being a huge 300 ft deep.

Small groups of miners were working part time using shovels and other equipment to remove the coal, before the 1800s coal was left around the pillars to support the mine. This meant a huge amount of coal was left to prevent cave ins. Wood props were introduced to support the roof, the most important part of safety was the control of fresh air and explosive gases.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Broadband and web development

Finally back up and running, broadband went on strike this weekend. Resulted in no Internet access, other than the small problem my weekend has been mostly studying and working on my web development assessment. Looking impressive, Html is easy enough when you get used to it.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

College times

Thursday has come and I have just finished college for the day as there was no guidance, web development was filled with working on the health and beauty assessment. Have nearly completed the second page, now planning the third.

Positive I’m going to pass the assessment with flying colours and move onto block 2 with my head up high.

In the blogs class I was working away at the assessment sheets on reviewing blogs.

So now I am in the process of finishing the write ups for my software development programs, only have 2 to do. Means it will be a quick and easy job, as now I understand the documenting of programs.

Other than this I had another quick look at the Google analytics to see who has been visiting, fairy chuffed with the number of people who have taken interest.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


While walking to the car I decided to have another bash with the mobile phone camera, really interested to see how my pictures looked when it was dark.

There is a lot of potential in Aberdeen at night, especially at its nearly Christmas and the lights are on. So I came up with these too photos. The first one is a little blurred, but well, aren’t bad for using a mobile in the cold and wind.

This first one was taken beside the bridge on Union Street, Aberdeen.

Taken on Belmont Street, Aberdeen

Monday, 3 December 2007

Learning new things

With the Christmas holidays nearly approaching all the assessments are too. With one next week and one the week after, the course seems to be going very quickly. Found myself flying through the course book in the spreadsheets class today, mastered the IF function. Easy when you get the hang of it. One day closer to the HNC I say.

Some new things I know of which I would like to point out

  • Absolute cell reference

  • IF functions (Normal and nested)

  • Database relationships

  • HTML (Web development)

  • Creating small programs using Borland Delphi 7

  • Have to say I am enjoying the course and learning new things in each class.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

One unique fact

Anzac Biscuit

Anzac biscuits were named after the Gallipoi landings. The biscuits were first called ‘soldier biscuits’ before being renamed Anzac, (Anzac biscuit, Australian and New Zealand army corps) Anzac biscuits were made because of the concerns about the nutritional value in the food being supplied to the soldiers. The biscuit were sent by ship but most naval ships had no refrigeration. A small amount of women came up with the idea to create a biscuit with a long shelf life based on Scottish oats.

The basic ingredients were

Rolled oats
Plain flour
Golden syrup
Bi carbonate of soda
Boiling water

(Picture from the Gallipoli Landing)

The Anzac biscuit

(picture courtsy of

Friday, 30 November 2007

The calm sunset

A photo of sunset in the distance.

The sun starts to creep through to reveal the light of day.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

How are my web development assessments going?

More news on my web development assessments, there has been a change to the schedule, it now appears my one page assessment is to be on the Internet at some point so we can test it. This goes for the five page assessment too.

With the schedule changing, it meant the one page assessment wasn’t due yesterday as I thought. So it now means I can add more to improve my one page assessment, as well as work on my five page website assessment.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Course update

All seems to being going fine today. With my assessment for Office and personal productivity applications just been done I feel it went better than I thought. Using columns and heading seems easy enough now. Next I have software development and will concentrate on writing up more documentation I would imagine, who knows what the tutor has install for use.

This afternoon I will learning more about the operating system and nearing the assessment I would think. Databases are getting easier too. To be honest I can’t wait till block 2.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Old buildings

With the weather getting colder and the light getting shorter I managed to get take these to pictures when taking a drive. My plan at first was to take a look about for old derelict buildings, this is when I came across this building with a strange looking tree in front of it. Have a look and see what you think.

Monday, 26 November 2007

The Great Escape

The Great Escape had to of been one of the most audacious stunts to this day, 200 crew men attempting to escape Stalag Lult III ( a German prison camp) back in March 1944. The escape had involved many months of careful planning, this included digging the 330 foot in length tunnel for the escape. Wing commander Rees was one of the sole tunnellers who prepared the tunnel for the great escape. After the escape of 76 men, he proceeded to escape himself. But to his horror the tunnel was found.

For the tunnel to be successful and be undetected it had to be constructed roughly 9 metres under ground. The tunnel itself was very small, about 2 feet wide.
Larger areas were dug to house the air pumps for ventilation, workshop and staging post. The ventilation was designed using klim tins, hockey sticks and knapsacks. Each wall had been kept up with wood salvaged from the yard.

The biggest source for wood was from their beds, believe it or not. Tin milk cans supplied by the Red Cross were transformed into candle holders and shovels for scoping away the soil in the tunnel, the candles were made by skimming the fat from soup served in the prison camp, wicks made from old clothing. Very useful that would have been.

Electric lights were installed and fitted using the camps electric grid, small rails were installed so they could transport sand and materials more quickly. Most of these operations were used in old mining operations. There method for dumping sand was an old sock in their trousers, this meant the prisoner could walk about disposing of the sand.

Later on it got too dangerous to dump sand, so they started to dispose of it in their store room where they stored passports, compasses and maps for the escape. Not to forget the German and civilian uniforms.

With the tunnel complete they waited for a moonless night in March 1944, a night so they could escape under the cover of darkness. The escape began only to reveal a flaw, the tunnel was too short, It didn’t reach the forest as first planned. Although they weren’t discovered till the 77th man, when he was seen by a guard.

Following the escape the German guards found out how daring and extensive the escape was.

4000 bed board were missing
Disappearance of 90 beds
52 tables
34 chairs
1700 blankets
1400 Kilm cans

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Photoshop editing

Another adventure into the countryside made me take this photograph of a field and large trees in the background. When I returned home I transferred the single image to the computer, since there was only one photo I didn’t want to post it alone. So to make it more interesting I transferred it to Photoshop and applied a few effect to see what effects I could apply, and how it affected the photograph. Below is the first photo before editing.

The next photo I applied the effect of pastel.

You would think it was a pastel drawing and not edited in photoshop.

Keeping it simple at the moment with the editing. I applied some watercolour effects to the next photo.

Photoshop can be so handy at times, gives you the chance to change the way images can look altogether

Friday, 23 November 2007

Oliver Cromwell Interview

Welcome to this weeks edition of Hot interview.

Hot interview is provided to you by Hot Magazine and their very own reporter.

So lets get down to business and introduce this weeks guest, Oliver Cromwell .
So sit back, relax and read on to enjoy the one and only interview with Oliver Cromwell.

You are a very well known Englishman who was born in 1599 in Huntingdon , a county town near London. I believe this is a very nice town to live, would you agree?

That is correct, I was born in Huntingdon and later baptized at St Johns church

How is your marriage to Sir Robert Bourchier daughter developing?

I got married just after my 21st birthday to Elizabeth Bourchier in summer 1620, my wife is a year older than me. Elizabeth’s father is a very successful businessman who inherited land from his father.

You are very well educated I believe?

My father wanted me to be very well educated; this is when my education started with Rev Long. Then I got the chance to attend the local grammar school, and then Sidney Sussex College, when my father died I didn’t want to study my degree any more.

What happened to the family home after your fathers death?

When my father died I came back from London to manage the house and estate my father owned in Huntingdon, I farmed the small amount of land. Other than farming, I looked after my widowed mother. Not forgetting my sisters needed looked after to.

What is your political status these days?

As I am a member of parliament I represent my hometown of Huntingdon.

There is word going about you are neglecting your parliamentary duties, is this true?

I saw the article about me neglecting the country in the paper, it’s wrong that people should be allowed to say such things about me.

You had a meeting yesterday with parliament on who should lead the army, what happened. Is there anything the public should know?

I have been promoted to Lieutenant general and informed that I should lead the army due to my leadership qualities.

There is rumour that Charles in planning a Scottish uprising, how do you feel about that?

At my age I don’t worry about such matters.

I should let you get on Mr Cromwell. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and give good information to the children of Huntingdon school.

Oliver Cromwell

Born April 25th 1599 in Huntingdon, Oliver Cromwell was the son of Robert Cromwell. Robert Cromwell was the younger son of a knight, this meant he had little property and explains why Cromwell lived in poverty. His father was not yet a nobleman of wealth. Cromwell later married Elizabeth Bourchier.

Cromwell was made to make ends meet from the little he was given after his fathers death. He moved to St Ives in 1630 after the collapse of his business, things did pick up when his mothers brother died in 1637. He inherited some income and property.

Oliver Cromwell had the chance to socialise with powerful figures of court, due to his grandfather who lived a stately lifestyle. Cromwell made contact with London merchants and important figures through Sir James Bourchier.

Later Cromwell joined the parliament as the representative for his hometown of Huntingdon, he attended parliament of 1628-1629. He was the poorest MP and was so hyped up because of this status that he hardly made any contribution to the parliament. Mentioning this, Cromwell returned as the MP for Cambridge in 1640. He had a lot to say against royal policies and the Anglican Church. He wanted to increase the power of the parliament and he later called for parliament sessions to be held each year and to be able to decide whom the army generals would be.

The fighting started in 1642 when Cromwell was a minor cavalry commander. With Cromwell’s leadership qualities becoming stronger he became a Lieutenant general.

1645 brought all the parliamentary parties together, they couldn’t agree on who should lead the new army. Cromwell became temporary commander for 40 days, until 1647 brought full appointment of leader to the army. Meanwhile Cromwell was involved in some of the most important battles of the English civil war, this included his horsemen fighting at Marton Moor and Naseby.

Cromwell severely reprimanded other leaders who negotiated settlements with king Charles. In 1647 he was tested when Charles put a Scottish rising forward. He felt betrayed after he had defeated royal allies from Preston and Yorkshire. After Cromwell’s trial it was suggested Charles step aside to make way for one of this sons. Charles refused making Cromwell a very strong-minded speaker.

Charles later died, with people rebelling in favour of a new king. Charles II appeared in Ireland and Scotland, something Cromwell didn’t like. So Cromwell’s first port of call was to defeat Ireland, his reputation changed as Cromwell defeated Scotland. Charles II was defeated 1651 at the battle of Worcester.

With Cromwell growing sick and tired of the arguing and lack of reforming, he tried his luck with religious leaders as he was trying to push forward a blueprint for a Commonwealth. This didn’t go through because the other parties didn’t want to reform and work together.

Exasperation made Cromwell become Lord Protector, with Cromwell’s resistance Charles wasn’t to be made king, as Cromwell’s rule was with rigid social and religious laws.

Cromwell died on September 3 1658

North east of Scotland water stream

Have been completing the Oliver Cromwell task, so I decided to take a break and go for a walk with the dog. Thought it would be a good idea to take my camera with me, hearing the sound of water I investigated to come across this small stream of water. So I have taken a couple of photos to show you what I was looking at.

The photo below was taken from the top, where the water started to travel downwards into the trees.

These two photos below were taken at close range, so you can see the water colliding as it travels over the rocks and down the stream.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Finished that assessment

Have finally finished the one page assessment, looks great with all the pictures, colours etc. Next task is writing the five hundred word report on the elements I used to create my master piece I am proud of. We did last weeks task again in web blogs, but this time I had to choose someone who died before 1977, I choose Oliver Cromwell. Fine tuning the text for the Oliver Cromwell interview. So it wont be long before it is posted.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

College going well

All seems to have gone well today at college, finding the databases easy now. Feel a lot more confident in creating databases in design view, and making queries and reports. Did the mock assessment for office and personal productivity, gave me the chance to brush up on a few thing before the real assessment next week. Started to write the documentation for one of my programs I wrote in software development. Certainly gives me a better understanding of how software developers work in every day life.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Huntly Castle

Here stands Huntly castle, built where the Rivers Deveron and Bogie meet. Built in the late 12th century by Duncan, earl of Fife.

The first structure was wooden and built on a mound, in 1314 the castle changed hand and it was given to Sir Adam Gordon of Huntly. The handover was a forfeit due to breach of loyalties to the crown, it wasn’t until the early 15th century when the first stone tower was built. This was to replace the wooden structure burnt in 1452 by the Black Douglas family, while this was being repaired they constructed a palace on the south side.

By the 16th century, the 4th earl of Huntly, George Gordon, became one of the wealthiest men in the north east of Scotland.

Marie of Guise visited the castle in 1556. Marie of Guise was so impressed by the work on the castle, she felt he needed tamed to prevent threat. Later in 1562 at the battle of Corrichie, he lost the battle to Mary Queen of Scots. His castle was looted and further damage inflicted in 1594 when James VI blew up the old tower house

In 1597 earl the 6th was rewarded the title of Marques of Huntly, his aim was to rebuild the castle to make it fit for living.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Installing Microsoft xp

Finally had the chance to install Microsoft xp onto the computer at college, at first you would think it was a big task. In fact it was very simple, put the disk into your cd drive and follow the instructions on screen. Next I started a new element of the spreadsheets, using absolute reference again. But it’s a little more advanced this time round.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Mobile Pictures

Have had my new mobile phone for over a month now and have hardly used the camera on it, till now. Coming home yesterday morning from my nightshift job, the sun was starting to peer through the clouds, this was half seven. So I took these pictures of the sun starting to come through the clouds.

Although these pictures were only taken with my mobile phone, thought they looked ok, as you get a good contrast with the silhouette of the trees against the approaching daylight.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Soon be the 500 word report

My one webpage for my assessment is coming along fine and quicker than I thought, had a small change of mind and used the classes tag so I could have each paragraph a different colour, size and font. Although I still haven’t decided weather to keep the background plain using one colour, or take a photo and use it as the background. Other than the font etc, I have chosen some of the important places of Aberdeen college. Still need to think of a couple more, soon be approaching the 500 word report, will be plenty to write about.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Assessment update

Had a great day at college, first class was web development. We had to create a storyboard for the assessment involving health and beauty, easy enough, have just about completed the first page. Took a little of experimenting till I got the right background colour, have to say the five page website is looking great so far. Now needing to do a bit of research and arrange another meeting with my client to discuss weather my first page is ok.

Interview with George Stephenson

Hello I am Michael and I have this opportunity to interview a master mechanical engineer who thought of and built the first permanent steam locomotive public railway.
How did you get to where you are now?

High Pit in Killingworth had a faulty colliery engine, so I offered to fix it. This was the way I became an expert in my field of steam driven machines.

What is you main job?

Maintaining and repairing all the colliery engines.

Now you are an expert, what was the first railway you designed?

I was hired to build a railway line to cover the 8 miles from Sunderland to Hetton Colliery, the finished line used trains to pull carriages on the flat bits and too go up hill, and gravity to go down hill.

What gave you the idea to build the first railway?

I built the news railway because the new locomotives were to heavy for the wooden rails, so I felt there was need for a new design of rail way.
There is a little completion now, how do you feel with the competition?

Inspires me to build more railways like the Liverpool to Manchester railway and Stockton to Darlington.

How did you improve the railways then?

Well I noticed when building a railway a couple of years ago that locomotives run slower on uneven tracks, so I researched this and came up with some idea. This is where I designed them to use stone viaducts, this smoothes the route the locomotives take.

Well I think I have asked enough questions, so I would like to take this moment to thank Goerge for joing me here for my exclusive interview.
(George Stephenson at wikipedia)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Web development assessment and country pictures

Have been doing my web development assessment most of the night, so far I have managed to create the table with a heading and sub headings, have assigned the heading and sub headings with my preferred colours, fonts and font sizes.

Will keep you updated on my progress.

Other than my wed development assessment, I thought I would post a couple more pictures. Nothing more relaxing than the Scottish countryside.

Bright blue skies

The local farm in the distance

First meeting

Have had a good day, this morning I was meeting my client from the health and beauty department. I have to create a page to the clients specifications, discussed what sort of colours and fonts I was to use, and picture requirements. Went ok for the first meeting, other than my small meeting I had another afternoon of computer systems. Was given a small presentation about the operating system, other than this, I completed more tasks on databases, seem to be getting the hang of databases now.

Monday, 12 November 2007


Got the results of my spreadsheets assessment today, and to my relief I passed. One less assessment to think about now, so this afternoon was revising for the next assessment in two weeks time. Basically answering questions about internet, 20 questions and I have to get 12 right. Other than finishing my leaflet in communications, I started my web page assessment. Got a basic outline of what I need and where I plan to place it, so all is fine.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Wood carved figure

Doesn’t this figure look great, shows the skill and good workmanship of the carver? Would dread to think how much work and time went into creating this wood carved figure, hours I would imagine. I would assume the man is a miner, most likely down a coal mine, on closer inspection of the lantern, it goes to show how very little light they would of had back in the days of mining. They wouldn’t of had the tools and machinery we have now in the 21st century.

Must have been difficult to use the rope to lower yourself down and keep hold of the lantern, my luck would be dropping the lantern and being in complete darkness.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Completed the three pages, now the assessment

The end of the week has finally come and I have just completed my last webpage. Had three in total to do, not all that difficult putting the contents into a table when you know how. All I have to do now is create the external style sheet to command the colours and fonts.etc. Then wait till my tutor gives the next step to me, until then I will spend the next 3 weeks doing assessment of creating one page. The one webpage has to include certain things like, lists, meta tags, headings and pictures. Has to be about the important places in college for students.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Shambala Page 11

You have come to a very large room full of tourists, the room is fairly dark with a long shine of light coming from the sealing. Other than this you can hear the clicks of cameras and a shout from a man the other side of the room, it’s a dutch man offering you vague directions towards a couple of doors. The doors are very large with cast iron handles, as you open the door it squeaks.
you can choose the left door?
or you can choose the right door?

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Software development troubleshooting

Things were different in software development, we were given a program printed on a sheet of paper. Our task was to find twelve mistakes on the page that prevented the program from working, found out the mistakes, then had to write the program to make sure it worked. To my luck I was successful after a couple of problems. This afternoon we had databases and systems where we had a little brain storming session to remember the important facts about reports and queries.

Other than college I was scrolling through a website I visited before and came across this fantastic picture, have to admire the landscape. Wouldn’t mind taking a small trip to the small hut for a chill out, would imagine it would be nice in the summer with the bright blue skies.

(Courtesy of Paul Stanbury and naturetrek)

The photo below shows a very cold looking Antarctica Peninsula scenario.

(Courtesy of Paul Stanbury and naturetrek)