New Blog Feature: Ratings

I’ve just found and enabled a new feature on my blog. Post and comments ratings.

So if you find a post on my blog and find it interesting, or not, why not rate it after you’ve read it. And if you participate in comments on a particular post and like/dislike a comment why not rate it too.

This way I’ll get a better handle on whether or not you like what I’m sharing with you as well as what you think of other commenters comments on the various posts.

You can find the post rating at the top of the post just below the title.

post-rating

And each commenter has their own rating which looks like this:

comment-rating

Give it a try, please 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

choc-chip-cookiesI recieved an email from a friend yesterday, one of those that was sent to a whole bunch of people with the subject “Cookie Recipe from Woolies”. Most of these types of emails I can quickly see are just the usual spam being forwarded but something about this one intrigued me, a little – cookies!

It goes on about a woman who went to Woolies for lunch and tried their chocolate chip cookies as a dessert and enjoyed them so much that she asked for the recipe, at a price of course.

The recipe itself looks genuine enough but the two words that made me realise it was another one of those hoax emails were: “true story” – yeah I’m a little cynical but mostly with stuff I get sent/find on the Internet since I’ve seen most of it as I’ve been on the Internet for more than 16 years now.

I did a little digging on my favourite myth/legend busting website Snopes.com and found this. The interesting thing is that the myth supercedes the advent of the Internet. In fact the myth is more than 50 years old.

Though its present incarnation casts Neiman-Marcus as the bad guy, this legend has been around for at least 50 years, and it’s been told of various companies (and various confections) during its long history. Here’s a fine example from a 1948 cookbook, Massachusetts Cooking Rules, Old and New, which lists not only the recipe for “$25 Fudge Cake” but also gives the following explanation for the name:
This friend had to pay $25 upon the receipt of the recipe from the chef of one of the railroads. She had asked for the recipe while eating on a train. The chef gladly sent it to her, together with a bill for $25, which her attorney said she had to pay. She then gave the recipe to all her friends, hoping they would get some pleasure from it.

Though its present incarnation casts Neiman-Marcus as the bad guy, this legend has been around for at least 50 years, and it’s been told of various companies (and various confections) during its long history. Here’s a fine example from a 1948 cookbook, Massachusetts Cooking Rules, Old and New, which lists not only the recipe for “$25 Fudge Cake” but also gives the following explanation for the name:

This friend had to pay $25 upon the receipt of the recipe from the chef of one of the railroads. She had asked for the recipe while eating on a train. The chef gladly sent it to her, together with a bill for $25, which her attorney said she had to pay. She then gave the recipe to all her friends, hoping they would get some pleasure from it. – source Snopes.com

The American version of the myth states the recipe comes from Neiman Marcus. To put an end to the myth that it originated from them they published the recipe for their line of chocolate cookies for free on their website for everyone to take home and try out for themselves.

I’ve not tried the recipe myself yet but I’m keen to try it out. Have you or know someone that has? What are the cookies like – let me know.

D7 Live – In Concert

d7live-mj-posterLast month I told you about an up and coming group of seven guys who sing a’capella called D7 Live. You’ve probably heard some of their clips on their site and seen the video I posted.

You know when you go to a live music concert and many times the live performance doesn’t come close to the recorded versions. Well this is the opposite with this group. You have to see and hear D7 Live in person to appreciate the talent that these seven guys posess. They entertained us for about two hours with their musical talents, introducing the band members and sharing a little about themselves with us in between their numbers. And with every passing song these guys got better and better.

Do yourself a favour, go and see these guys in concert. You will not be dissapointed. Check out the gig guide on their website for more details.

Their next gig will be on the 8th August 2009 at Conference, Kronenburg in Paarl.

Pat, thanks for the discounted tickets mate (you guys are definitely worth it, and then some!). You guys rocked and you’re all definitely a talent to be reckoned with. I can see D7 Live going places – just watch this space!

Another new toy: Dell Vostro Laptop

Finally, after waiting for two weeks due to stock shortages and shipping, I got my latest toy. My very own Dell Vostro 1510 laptop.

Let me be the first to admit I always said I wouldn’t get a laptop but when it’s made your work machine for years on end you get used to it and having had a laptop with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for about 10 months and have to give the laptop back, you tend to miss the convenience of being mobile and being able to work anywhere around the house.

So I bit the bullet and invested in a business-level laptop. It’s quiet sexy on the outside and the specs don’t look too bad either.

DellVostro1510

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 (2.1Ghz)
  • 2GB DDRII 667MHz
  • 1.3mp Web Cam
  • 160 GB 5400rpm
  • DVD+/- RW  X 8 SuperMulti
  • 15.4 WXGA+ with Truelife
  • 256 MB Nvidia Geforce 8400M GS Graphic Card
  • Gigabit LAN
  • Wireless + Bluetooth
  • 4 x USB2.0 ports
  • Firewire and PCMCIA slot
  • SD/MMC slot for memory cards

The keyboard is water-proof and the whole laptop (with battey) weighs roughly 2.5 kg. The web cam is only 1.3MP so it’s not suited to taking video or great photos but will suffices for the odd video call. The capacitative button panel at the top of the keyboard, below the screen has a few multimedia controls on it for and an eject button for the ROM drive. The ROM drive has a front-loading slot since it is built into the chassis.

While most laptop chassis have a smooth finish only the lid has a glossy smooth finish. The rest of the chassis is in a matt black but not too smooth finish, it takes a little getting used to but I think I prefer it to the smooth surface of the Lattitude I had before.

My main gripe so far is the missing home and end keys on the top right. I’m still not used to it yet and keep on pressing the pause/break key while typing expecting to go either to the beginning or end of the line. Oh well, that’s what external keyboards are for if I can’t find myself getting used to it. Although you can use the Fn key and the left and right arrows for the home and end functionality, which I think will take a little getting used to.

I’ve not tested the video out through game-play yet, only full screen vidoes so it’ll be interesting to see how it handles some of the games I play now and again (you know, stress relievers).

June wrap-up

I know, things have been a little on the slow side over here my blog. I’ve been trying, I really have – thing is I’ve just been very busy this month. But it’s been a good month, let me tell you that.

First month completed at the new company has gone really well. Been working hard on an internal project that I demo’ed to the directors and then ran a series of load tests on. Got very positive feedback with a few bugs and feature requests which I’ve got most out of the way already, so things are looking up!

I moved my mobile phone contract  from one provider to another and got myself a new phone. I call it my iPhoney.

lg-kp500-0

Actually to give LG props, it’s actually a pretty good touchscreen smartphone. It’s the first LG phone I’ve owned – after not being impressed by Nokia’s range a few years ago I opted to try out Samsung and I enjoyed their phones (D500 and my previous phone the D900). I wanted to get a nice Samsung Jet or S8300 but they’re not too expensive packages right now and purchasing the phone without a contract just isn’t an option for me right now. So I settled on the runner-up, LG’s KP500.

It’s not a multi-touch screen like the iPhone but it works well, it’s responsive and pretty quick. The big bonus for me is finally having a phone that’s smart enough to run multiple applications and allowing you to easily switch between them. For example checking your email, browsing my news feeds on Google Reader, sending an SMS and taking a call – multitasking WIN! It has a built-in accellerometer so that you can rotate it for viewing web sites and photos, etc in landscape view instead of portrait. It does have a few drawbacks, like not having 3G or WiFi capabilities but I’ve been using 2G/GPRS/Edge for a while now and I’ve gotten used to it (also its data cost is much cheaper than 3G).

It does have Bluetooth though and is USB 2.0 compatible which makes transferring stuff a breeze actually. In fact, I used Bluetooth just the otherday to pull all my data from my Samsung D900 to my PC and then imported all that data, again with Bluetooth to my LG KP500 and voila all my needed data on my new phone. It also has a MicroSD slot for memory cards and came pre-installed with a 1GB card.

Another toy I also got this week is my Vantec NexStar portable 2.5″ drive enclosure with a 320GB Seagate drive – going to make transferring stuff to and from work a breeze now.

Coming soon (on order) is my personal Dell Voxtro laptop – more on that soon.

Otherwise, looking forward to a weekend away with friends in Yzerfontein. Till next time!