Skype is actually rather good…

I downloaded Skype the other day. Ooooooh congrats Phil I hear you sarcastically cheer, welcome to the 21st century! Well the reason I was hesitant was two fold. a) I didn’t feel I needed it and b) it was developed by the same people who bought us Kazaa which was a file sharing program loaded with Spyware, malware, adware and even tupperware. But I digress…

Nice quick install and a good interface and I was making calls very easily. The call quality is top notch and I was very impressed by the fact that I can call the US free on their toll free numbers and just over 1p/min on normal lines. A lot of my suppliers are overseas so kerching is in order methinks…

Worlds oldest domain name…

I was curious today, don’t ask me why just one of those moods, what the world’s oldest domain name was. I thought it would be interesting to see who actually got in there first. After a bit of googling I came across this top 100 list that showed the registration dates of the 100 oldest domains in terms of length of time they had been registered.

What surprised me was that in the top ten, there was only six domains I had actually heard of…

Rank Create date Domain name
1. 15-Mar-1985 SYMBOLICS.COM
2. 24-Apr-1985 BBN.COM
3. 24-May-1985 THINK.COM
4. 11-Jul-1985 MCC.COM
5. 30-Sep-1985 DEC.COM
6. 07-Nov-1985 NORTHROP.COM
7. 09-Jan-1986 XEROX.COM
8. 17-Jan-1986 SRI.COM
9. 03-Mar-1986 HP.COM
10. 05-Mar-1986 BELLCORE.COM
11. 19-Mar-1986 IBM.COM
11. 19-Mar-1986 SUN.COM
13. 25-Mar-1986 INTEL.COM
13. 25-Mar-1986 TI.COM
15. 25-Apr-1986 ATT.COM

You can see the full list here..

The jump…

As some of you may know, I recently did a parachute jump for Marie Cure Cancer Care. It was quite possibly one of the most surreal and exhilarating experiences I have ever had! What follows is a blow-by-blow account of the jump, looking back I still cant quite believe i did it!

Steady Billy!And so it begins…
After an early start (7am) I arrive at the Peterlee parachute centre for the jump. It’s already been put off twice due to bad weather but now there’s no escape as the weather is spot on.

My instructor Billy straps me into the torture harness which makes you walk like a duck with a broom up it’s backside and assures me there’s nothing to worry about. Yeh right Billy, I’m throwing myself out of a perfectly good airplane at 10,000 feet, nothing to worry about at all…

At this point I’m seriously considering backing out but how can I? I mean loads of people have donated money, some even promising to double up if I forget the chute!

Tom cruise makes his weight to the jet/CessnaAs we walk towards our plane I can feel the harness starting to constrict blood to various parts of my anatomy already, my legs are wobbling and I keep grinning like an idiot to avoid the fear.

It’s seriously nerve wracking simply as you know that you are placing your life in the hands of these guys…

The plane starts up with seven of us crammed into a space the size of my shed. Two tandem jumpers, two cameramen and one loony who has done thousands of jumps and is enjoying telling us about the time his chute didn’t open. Yeh thanks mate, just what my brain/guts/nerves don’t need.

Out of the plane… Down there… You’re kidding right?It takes a good 35/40 minutes to get to 10K feet, at this point we’re about 2 minutes from the drop. Looking out of the window I can see Sunderland Football stadium, the north east coast and most of Durham. It’s totally different to any other plane journey as we are bouncing all over and the windows are huge, you really can’t miss a thing.

The door opens and the first set of jumpers chuck themselves out, and then it’s my turn. Billy shuffles us over and tells me to hang out the door. My pulse is up to about 200bpm and I’m quite literally terrified. Eyes screwed shut (me that is), Billy leans forward and throws us out of the plane.

Clouds, ground and 120 mph wind whistling through my head…Within seconds we’re doing 120mph+ and I’m screaming like a big pansy but having the time of my life! The fear has evaporated and been replaced with total exhilaration. The sound of wind screaming past you and the ground rushing up is quite indescribable.

Now unless you’ve shoved your head out a plane or a train doing that sort of speed before, you won’t know what it feels like. Basically every inch of you is being pummelled by air, your face is doing an impression of having 1,000 slugs under your skin, you can only just about breathe because of the air rushing into your mouth and the whole thing just completely overpowers your senses.Gotta say that Billy snatched victory in the gurning competition with this last ditch attempt.

I mean look at the picture on the left. Does this look like the face of a man in complete control?

Before I knew it though we had dropped to about 5,000 feet and it was time to open the chute. Going from 120mph to about 10mph in such a short space of time exerts up to 5G on your body and hell do you feel it!

It’s like being kicked in the guts and having you stomach pop out of your ear. Once the shock is over you float down thinking “Where’s the ground” and it honestly does feel like you’re flying.

Back on Terra Firma, the daft grin hides the tears of reliefAnd before you know it, you’re back on solid ground thinking Damn that was fun, can I do it again?! Would I do it again? Hell yes. I’m chuffed to bits not just about the sponsorship money which was the key to this exercise but also that I had the nerve to actually go through with it.

For more pics, take a look at our Flickr site and if you would like to donate, I’m not sure how long the page will stay up, the Justgiving site is your next port of call.

Right I give up…

I just cannot find a decent image gallery plugin for the latest version of WordPress.

All I want t to do is create the thumbnails and link to the main images using Lightbox. Not too much to ask is it? If you find one, tell me before I punch the server.

That probably won’t help but it would make me feel better…


Got the Vista style sorted and it looks flipping brilliant!

Just click any of the thumbnails up there ^^^^^^^^ under the title to change the wallpaper.

Now lets see if I can break this sucker 😉

Lovely jubbly

To coin a phrase from Del boy…

Just upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and it just keeps getting better and better. The upgrade instructions and procedure are flawless and the old blog was quite an old version so I was twitching a little…

Software manufacturers could learn a lot from these guys.

And what better to complement the upgrade than a new theme! Took my time over this and I really do like the current one although this Vista stylee theme caught my eye, the zip file just wouldn’t download so this will stay for a while now…