Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Must try harder

Yes, another apology for not blogging enough – something I’ll put down to having to balance a near-full-time job with a fledgling World of Warcraft addiction and a relationship with Hari. In particular, the last of those led me to spending another weekend in Hari’s home town near Birmingham, but we’re now both back in Bradford.

Coming back wasn’t so eventful, but I made the mistake of travelling down on Friday, when some of Virgin Train’s staff were on strike over, um, something. Consequently some other trains had been cancelled and so my train was carrying two train-loads of people. I ended up spending two hours stood up in a (thankfully air-conditioned) carriage with lots of other people – and this was First Class. I felt especially sorry for the woman who had paid £350 for a First Class seat – only to have to stand for her entire journey.

So other than spending lots of time sitting (or standing) on trains, here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Installing Office 2007 Beta

I have a copy of the beta of Office 2007, and, to quote Anil Dash it is certainly “ballsy”. The new interface does take some getting used to but I imagine with some practice it could certainly boost my productivity. I’ve just installed Word, Excel and PowerPoint – I don’t use Outlook or Publisher at all so there’s no point in trying to beta test them. I also really, really like the new look – it’s nice and colourful without being too tellytubbyish.

Getting confused by Skype

And I’m not the only one. Skype released two non-final versions of Skype for Mac OS X last week – one was a beta of Skype 1.5 and the other a ‘preview’ of Skype with video calling. The former is available quite easily on but the more interesting preview is at this more hidden URL – as such, I’ve only tried the first one. The new interface is nice though and far more Mac-like; it also makes much better use of space in the main window. My one complaint would be the “exclusive Mac-only features”, of which I’ve so far found Skype over Bonjour. As the previous entry on this blog demonstrates, Bonjour isn’t a Mac-only technology and in fact Apple have opened the standard up, so why can’t this be supported on other platforms? Sure, it’s nice to see Mac users getting attention but there’s little technical reason why everyone can’t join the party.

Playing World of Warcraft

Yes, the addiction continues, although now that Hari is back in Bradford she’ll be monopolising the WoW-capable computers so I won’t be on it so much. Our guild has brought down Onyxia a few times now and they’re attempting to bring down Ragnaros tonight hopefully. I haven’t personally managed anything particularly notable, other than completing The Missing Diplomat quest chain and getting to level 35.
Tomorrow should be my next driving lesson, and I have an eye test on Wednesday. Other than going shopping, I’m not planning anything for the weekend – it’d be nice to have a weekend where I don’t have to do lots of travelling for once.


  1. Neil,
    The details of that ‘umm, something’ strike are easily found on BBC news, or the RMT site itself. Ah the internet is a wonderful resource is it not.
    Strikes and having to stand up on a train journey are real hassles, but not as much as the cause of the strikes. has details on this and lots of other campaigns you may not have heard.
    “The more than 300 guards involved in the dispute began taking strike action on New Year’s Day after the Virgin board vetoed a settlement negotiated with Cross Country management.
    The company’s latest offer was rejected by 135 votes to 33.
    It would cost £6 per Sunday shift to settle the dispute.
    Stagecoach, which owns 49 per cent of the Virgin rail group, has this year paid its directors pay, bonus and shares packages worth £15 million.”

  2. your really boring you need to talk about something that people will actually want to read i hope your life really isen’t this boring i feel sorry for you then sweetheart!