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)

Office and personal productivity applications

Wednesday and all seems to be going fine so far, currently in the office and personal productivity applications class working on reports. Looks very interesting how you give a simple page with columns a contents and index. Next I have software development and I will be doing a little more work on my small program, gearing me up for the mock assessment. Very helpful in getting me ready for the real assessment itself and one step closer to the HNC.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

No borders is neater

Have been putting more time into working on my web pages. Finally have one of the pages created in a table, so when you remove the borders it looks much neater. The pictures are perfectly placed, and the text is looking much better where it is situated on the page. Next task is to create another external style sheet for the text colours.etc.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Hardware and communications

Well the day is coming to an end, sat here thinking of how I have done in the spreadsheets assessment. Think my assessment was easy enough, as for the rest of the day, couldn’t have gone better. My hardware class involved troubleshooting problems on the computer, from monitor to hard drive. Then I had to answer questions on how you could resolve problems with the different elements of the computer. This afternoon in communications the class had to create a poster about our course or something you like, we then had to go round the class and choose the most informing poster which stood out the most. Finally we got started on the writing side of communications, this involved creating a four page leaflet about computer viruses.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Another month without snow

Four days into November, and to my absolute amazement we still haven’t seen the snow in the north east of Scotland. Not that I’m missing it in this case. Generally when we see the snow up here, everything grinds to a holt. In very serious cases they have to close the local roads to traffic, because they are either impassable or just to dangerous.

When the photo above was taken it began to make me think of the importance of having a 4x4 vehicle, not the best terrain for family cars. Then saying that if you had a set of skies you would have great fun.

Well you can’t see much ahead, this photo was taken when the drifts had formed across the road, meaning there wasn’t even a way ahead for the 4x4. Trying to walk to the top of the road was a task in itself, cold and wet, all I wanted to do was sit in front of the open fire and watch telly.

The eve of the spreadsheets assessment

The time has finally come to undertake the spreadsheets assessment; this has to be one of the easier assessments. So in this case I am looking forward to the assessment tomorrow morning, very confident I’m going to pass, and get it out the way.

Other than the assessment I must nearly be at the stage of installing the operating system onto a computer in the hardware class, sounds really fun to find out how to install operating systems properly. Then there is a new topic to look forward to in communications, the writing side I believe the tutor said last week, designing a poster about my course.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Perfecting my blog

Having been searching about for a picture to put with the Braemar witch project entry, so it resulted in me having a look through the photos I have on the computer. Lucky enough I came across a photo of trees and the mile long bridge in Calgary, Canada. So I edited the photo in photoshop to add a small amount of light in the background to give a lasting impression of what the text was saying in picture form.
Photo above is the one I started off with before it was edited in photoshop.

Above is the edited photo, I made it a little darker and added a small amount of light in the background.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Old farm tools

When I was out taking pictures last week with the digital camera, I came across this old looking piece of farm equipment, my first thought was?, it’s a plough and was pulled by cattle or horses years ago.

It’s very interesting to see things of the past still going about, these days you expect it just to rout, but the owner of this seems to of kept it well looked after and maintained.

Career in computing

At college studying computing and Information technology, when I finish this course I want to continue to the HNC and study either Web development or Software development. Possibly games development, not very sure at this moment as it’s too early to say. In 5 years time I see myself in the computer Industry making use of the skills I have developed from the courses, not to forget the skills I am going to learn in future studies.

To be Continued.

Web development update

Dull and overcast in Aberdeen today, what you would expect on the first day in November. Halloween has past for another year, can all look forward to guy forks night.

Got the chance to take a couple of pictures and place them on my webpage, really does make the difference. We had to put all the information into a table, this is so when you remove the border it looks much tidier.

College Holiday

Started my college holiday by posting some new pictures on my blog to make it more interesting, the pictures have made my page look much better. Then I did some revision for my communications assessment, started to play Tomb Raider Anniversary, good game. As it was the October break I wasn’t going to be getting a sun tan in the garden, so I went shopping and bought some new clothes, watched Hostel part 2, was a good movie.

Courtesy of Susan and Stephan. The Beach House