Friday, 9 December 2011

BBC Radio 1 - Chart Update (9th December 2011) Kevin Rowland

Whilst listening to Greg James (BBC Radio 1) - he amusingly points out a mistake in the albums chart on the BBC Radio 1 site.

This did make me chuckle - nice spot Greg !

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hey Jude - Beatles

A great easy tip to help remember the lyrics of the classic song from the Beatles!

Revo VAGCOM Butt Dyno dynoplot6 dynoplot4

I've jsut come across a spreadhseet created by the guys over at Ross-Tech

The spreadsheet plots theoretical horse power (hp) and torque (tq)

A link to their spreadsheet - often referred to as the "Butt Dyno" is:

Butt Dyno,

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Public Sector Strikes in Liverpool 2011

Pictures, and images of the public sector strike march in Liverpool.

The images were taken as the march proceeded past the Fenwick Street, and Lord Street junction in Liverpool, and on the corner of Lord Street, and North John Street.

Fenwick Street, and Lord Street junction in Liverpool

Lord Street, and North John Street in Liverpool

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Sensible Soccer Nostalgia - A great game from the past, not forgotten

A friend of mine mentioned a football computer game that we used to play from our younger days, Sensible Soccer on the Amiga.

The sense of nostalgia, and fond memories that even the name brings back are immense.

I can't remember playing any other football game that comes close to the balance of simplicity, intuitive controls, and un-capped levels of fun and laughter when playing against your friends when they all join in for the impromptu "world cup tournaments" that we'd host in each of our homes.

Fantastic memories !

And to top it all off - it looks like you can play it online ?!?? !
Sensible Soccer

Sensible Soccer

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Transmedia Storytelling 101

Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Transmedia Storytelling 101

I've just read a Henry Jenkins article, as suggested by PHONAR, discussing Transmedia.
A very interesting and insightful article, mentioning how the art of story telling and involving the reader in more than one way through different entry points in media.

It mentions Star Wars and The Matrix as fine examples of transmedia.

Excellent !!!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Luke Schneider Photography: Head shots: What I've Learned (A long post,but wor...

Link back to

Head shots, while seemingly simple, can be quite difficult depending on the person being photographed.

Head shots have the power to get people very interested in what someone has to say or offer, or quickly turn someone away based on the quality of this one "simple" photograph. If you haven't seen truly amazing headshot work, do your self a favour and take a look at Peter Hurley's Portfolio.

Luke Schneider Photography: Head shots: What I've Learned (A long post,but wor...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Capital cities of the world

I've been playing Google's app "Beat The Buzz", and one of the challenges is to type as fast as possible, the Capital Cities of the World.

I've googled and found via a list of 200.

Capital City Country
Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
Abuja Nigeria
Accra Ghana
Addis Ababa Ethiopia
Algiers Algeria
Amman Jordan
Andorra la Vella Andorra
Ankara Turkey
Antananarivo Madagascar
Apia Samoa
Ashgabat Turkmenistan
Asmara Eritrea
Astana Kazakhstan
Asuncion Paraguay
Athens Greece
Baku Azerbaijan
Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
Baghdad Iraq
Bamako Mali
Bangkok Thailand
Bangui Central African Republic
Banjul Gambia
Basseterre Saint Kitts and Nevis
Beijing China
Beirut Lebanon
Belgrade Serbia
Belmopan Belize
Belfast Northern Ireland
Berlin Germany
Bern Switzerland
Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
Bissau Guinea-Bissau
Bogota Colombia
Brasilia Brazil
Bratislava Slovakia
Brazzaville Congo, Republic of the
Bridgetown Barbados
Brussels Belgium
Budapest Hungary
Bucharest Romania
Buenos Aires Argentina
Bujumbura Burundi
Cairo Egypt
Canberra Australia
Caracas Venezuela
Cardiff Wales
Castries Saint Lucia
Cayenne French Guiana
Chisinau Moldova
Colombo Sri Lanka
Conakry Guinea
Copenhagen Denmark
Dakar Senegal
Damascus Syria
Dhaka Bangladesh
Dar es Salaam Tanzania
Dili East Timor
Djibouti Djibouti
Doha Qatar
Dublin Ireland
Dushanbe Tajikistan
Edinburgh Scotland
Freetown Sierra Leone
Gaborone Botswana
Georgetown Guyana
Guatemala City Guatemala
Hanoi Vietnam
Harare Zimbabwe
Havana Cuba
Helsinki Finland
Honiara Solomon Islands
Islamabad Pakistan
Jakarta Indonesia
Juba South Sudan
Kabul Afghanistan
Kathmandu Nepal
Kampala Uganda
Khartoum Sudan
Kiev Ukraine
Kigali Rwanda
Kingston Jamaica
Kingstown Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Kinshasa Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Kuwait City Kuwait
La Paz Bolivia
Libreville Gabon
Lilongwe Malawi
Lima Peru
Lisbon Portugal
Ljubljana Slovenia
Lome Togo
London England
London United Kingdom
Luanda Angola
Lusaka Zambia
Luxembourg Luxembourg
Madrid Spain
Majuro Marshall Islands
Malabo Equatorial Guinea
Male Maldives
Managua Nicaragua
Manama Bahrain
Manila Philippines
Maputo Mozambique
Maseru Lesotho
Mbabana Swaziland
Melekeok Palau
Mexico City Mexico
Minsk Belarus
Mogadishu Somalia
Monaco Monaco
Monrovia Liberia
Montevideo Uruguay
Moroni Comoros
Moscow Russia
Muscat Oman
Nairobi Kenya
Nassau Bahamas
N'Djamena Chad
New Delhi India
Niamey Niger
Nicosia Cyprus
Nouakchott Mauritania
Nuku'alofa Tonga
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
Oslo Norway
Ottawa Canada
Palikir Federated States of Micronesia
Panama City Panama
Paramaribo Suriname
Paris France
Phnom Penh Cambodia
Podgorica Montenegro
Port au Prince Haiti
Port Louis Mauritius
Port Moresby Papua New Guinea
Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago
Port Vila Vanuatu
Porto Novo Benin
Prague Czech Republic
Praia Cape Verde
Pretoria South Africa
Pristina Kosovo
Pyongyang North Korea
Quito Ecuador
Rabat Morocco
Rangoon (Yangon) Myanmar (Burma)
Reykjavik Iceland
Riga Latvia
Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Rome Italy
Roseau Dominica
Saint George's Grenada
Saint John's Antigua and Barbuda
San Jose Costa Rica
San Marino San Marino
San Salvador El Salvador
Sanaa Yemen
Santiago Chile
Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
Sao Tome Sao Tome and Principe
Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina
Seoul South Korea
Singapore Singapore
Skopje Macedonia
Sofia Bulgaria
Stockholm Sweden
Suva Fiji
Taipei Taiwan
Tallinn Estonia
Tarawa Atoll Kiribati
Tashkent Uzbekistan
Tbilisi Georgia
Tegucigalpa Honduras
Tehran Iran
Tel Aviv Israel
Amsterdam Netherlands
Thimphu Bhutan
Tirane Albania
Tokyo Japan
Tripoli Libya
Tunis Tunisia
Ulaanbaatar Mongolia
Vaduz Liechtenstein
Vaiaku village Tuvalu
Valletta Malta
Vatican City Vatican City
Victoria Seychelles
Vienna Austria
Vientiane Laos
Vilnius Lithuania
Warsaw Poland
Washington D.C. United States
Wellington New Zealand
Windhoek Namibia
Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire
Yaounde Cameroon
Yerevan Armenia
No official capital Nauru
Zagreb Croatia

To type out a few cities the quickest, it's probably best to type cities with the fewest number of letters...

Capital City Country
DiliEast Timor
JubaSouth Sudan

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Amusing YouTube video featuring Canon vs Nikon

Amusing YouTube video featuring Canon vs Nikon

Actually, the video is titled "Nikon Girl - Music Video : The Photo Club"

I think it's pretty funny.

"oh ah - polish my lens girl"

Friday, 17 June 2011

My old ride - Seat Ibiza GTI Cupra Sport 2ltr 8v

My old favourite car : Seat Ibiza GTI Cupra Sport 2ltr 8v
  • FK sports suspension
  • Momo wheels
  • Custom exhaust
  • Modded' air-filter box (pikey mod + drilled holes)

    Free Image Hosting at
  • Thursday, 16 June 2011

    SSRS Date format expressions

    Information gleamed from

    The Format function is locale aware and can be used as follows [not the case senstivity]
    Set Language=User!language in the Report properties and use the Format function with the following codes:

    Standard Format Specifiers for Dates and Times:
    The table below shows the standard date and time formatters.
    d Short Date
    D Long date
    f long date & short time
    F long date and long time
    g short date and short time
    G short date and long time
    M or m month and day
    Y or y year and month
    t short time
    T long time
    s displays in ISO 8601 format using local time
    u displays in ISO 8601 format using universal time
    U date and time in unversal time
    R or r displays in RFC 1123 format

    Custom formatting sequences:
    There are also specific character sequences that can be used to achieve custom formatting of dates and times.

    Format Description
    d day of month (1 or 2 digits as required)
    dd day of month (always 2 digits, with a leading 0 if needed)
    ddd day of week (3 letter abbreviation)
    dddd day of week (full name)
    M month number (1 or 2 digits as required)
    MM month number (always 2 digits, with a leading 0 if needed)
    MMM month name (3 letter abbreviation)
    MMMM month name (full name)
    y year ( last 1 or 2 digits, no leading 0)
    yy year (last 2 digits)
    yyyy year (4 digits)
    H hour in 24-hour format (1 or 2 digits as required)
    HH hour in 24-hour format (always 2 digits, with a leading 0 if needed)
    h hour in 12-hour format (1 or 2 digits as required)
    hh hour in 12 hour format
    m minutes (1 or 2 digits as required)
    mm minutes (always 2 digits, with a leading 0 if needed)
    s seconds (1 or 2 digits as required)
    ss seconds
    t first character in the am/pm designator
    tt am/pm designator
    z time zone offset, hour only (1 or 2 digits as required)
    zz time zone offset, hour only (always 2 digits, with a leading 0 if needed)
    zzz time zone offset, hour and minute
    / default date separator
    : default time separator
    \ escape characters

    Tuesday, 14 June 2011

    SSIS : connection to ssis service failed. access denied

    SSIS : connection to ssis service failed. access denied

    A few things to check:

    If you have a firewall between the developer and the sql server:

  • open a port for SSIS on the firewall (3882 and an additional port for the return traffic)
  • switch from using a dynamic return port to a static port:

    1. hkey_classes_root\appid\{F38B7F09-979B-4241-80D9-2EADED02954F}
    2. new reg_mutlistring
    3. Key=Endpoints
    4. Value=ncacn_ip_tcp,0,port#

      (port# is the port you have open on your firewall for SSIS)

    Check MsDtsServer in Component Services:

    1. add all permissions for msdtsserver for the developer account
    2. component services > My computer properties > MSDTC > Security Configuration > Network DTC Access > Allow Remote clients
    3. COM Security > Access permissions > Edit Limits
    4. add all permissions for msdtsserver for the developer account
    5. COM Security > Launch and activation permissions > Edit Limits
    6. add all permissions for msdtsserver for the developer account
    7. Allow inbound
    8. allow outbound
    9. restart MSDTC
    10. restart SSIS
    If this does not fix the problem, make sure you have build 2153:
    select @@version
    Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - 9.00.2153.00

    If you do not have that build, apply SP1 and then the post SP1 rollup in the correct order (apply all six patches in the order listed in the aticle below):

    SP1 -
    rollup -

    If you still can't connect to SSIS, you need to check other things like DNS and account permissions.

    Or - as per the forum thread, try
    "The user's Windows account needed to be in the Distributed COM Users group on the server."
  • Thursday, 2 June 2011

    SQL Setting Up Windows Service Accounts

    Setting Up Windows Service Accounts

    Each service in SQL Server represents a process or a set of processes to manage authentication of SQL Server operations with Windows. This topic describes the default configuration of services in this release of SQL Server, and configuration options for SQL Server services that you can set during SQL Server installation.

    Depending on the components that you decide to install, SQL Server Setup installs the following services:

  • SQL Server Database Services - The service for the SQL Server relational Database Engine.

  • SQL Server Agent - Executes jobs, monitors SQL Server, fires alerts, and enables automation of some administrative tasks.

    For SQL Server and SQL Server Agent to run as services in Windows, SQL Server and SQL Server Agent must be assigned a Windows user account. For more information about how to customize account information for each service, see How to: Install SQL Server 2008 R2 (Setup).

  • Analysis Services - Provides online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining functionality for business intelligence applications.

  • Reporting Services - Manages, executes, creates, schedules, and delivers reports.

    Integration Services - Provides management support for Integration Services package storage and execution.

    SQL Server Browser - The name resolution service that provides SQL Server connection information for client computers.

    Full-text search - Quickly creates full-text indexes on content and properties of structured and semistructured data to provide document filtering and word-breaking for SQL Server.

    SQL Server Active Directory Helper - Publishes and manages SQL Server services in Active Directory.

    SQL Writer - Allows backup and restore applications to operate in the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) framework.

    Always use SQL Server tools such as SQL Server Configuration Manager to change the account used by the SQL Server or SQL Server Agent services, or to change the password for the account. In addition to changing the account name, SQL Server Configuration Manager performs additional configuration such as setting permissions in the Windows Registry so that the new account can read the SQL Server settings. Other tools such as the Windows Services Control Manager can change the account name but do not change associated settings. If the service cannot access the SQL Server portion of the registry, the service may not start properly.

    For Analysis Services instances that you deploy in a SharePoint farm, always use SharePoint Central Administration to change the server accounts for PowerPivot service applications and the Analysis Services service. Associated settings and permissions are updated to use the new account information when you use Central Administration.
  • Wednesday, 25 May 2011

    How to Share Data Between Stored Procedures

    How to Share Data Between Stored Procedures

  • Using OUTPUT Parameters
  • Table-valued User-defined Functions
  • Using a Table
  • Insert-Exec
  • Table Parameters, and Table Types
  • Using the CLR
  • Using XML
  • Using Cursor Variables

    A must read.
  • SELECT @@spid

    SELECT @@spid

    Using @@SPID to return the SessionID of the T-SQL session that the statements are currently in.

    HTML PRE Tag

    Definition and Usage

    The PRE tag defines preformatted text.

    Text in a PRE element is displayed in a fixed-width font (usually Courier), and it preserves both spaces and line breaks.

    Monday, 23 May 2011

    Using CROSS APPLY (t-sql)

    Using CROSS APPLY (t-sql)

    CREATE FUNCTION dbo.fn_GetTopOrders(@custid AS int, @n AS INT)
    SELECT TOP(@n) *
    FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader
    WHERE CustomerID = @custid
    ORDER BY TotalDue DESC

    which returns the top n orders per customerID

    SELECT C.CustomerID,
    AdventureWorks.Sales.Customer AS C
    AdventureWorks.dbo.fn_GetTopOrders(C.CustomerID, 3) AS O
    CustomerID ASC, TotalDue DESC

    results in this...

    CustomerID SalesOrderID TotalDue
    ----------- ------------ ---------------------
    1 45283 37643.1378
    1 46042 34722.9906
    1 44501 26128.8674
    2 46976 10184.0774
    2 47997 5469.5941
    2 57044 4537.8484
    3 53616 92196.9738
    3 47439 78578.9054
    3 48378 56574.3871
    4 47658 132199.8023
    . . .

    The APPLY clause acts like a JOIN without the ON clause comes in two flavors: CROSS and OUTER.
    The OUTER APPLY clause returns all the rows on the left side (Customers)
    whether they return any rows in the table-valued-function or not (the "LEFT JOIN" table).

    The columns that the table-valued-function returns are null if no rows are returned.

    The CROSS APPLY only returns rows from the left side (Customers)
    if the table-valued-function returns rows.

    Notice that I'm just passing in the CustomerID to the function.
    It returns the TOP 3 rows based on the amount of the order.

    Since I'm using CROSS APPLY a customer without orders won't appear in the list.
    I can also pass in a number other than 3 to easily return a different number of orders per customer.

    Even better I can pass in a different number of orders for each customer.
    So I could list the top 5 orders for one type of customer but the top 10 for another type of customer.

    How cool is that?!?

    And it gets even better.
    Remember the function has an ORDER BY in it.
    It will always return the top orders based on the amount.
    However you can change the ORDER BY clause in the query that calls the function to display those rows in whatever order you want.
    You could easily display the top 3 orders in ascending order instead.

    [SQL] @@Identity, SCOPE_IDENTITY

    [SQL] @@Identity, SCOPE_IDENTITY()
    msdn link

    SCOPE_IDENTITY, IDENT_CURRENT, and @@IDENTITY are similar functions because they return values that are inserted into identity columns.

    IDENT_CURRENT is not limited by scope and session; it is limited to a specified table. IDENT_CURRENT returns the value generated for a specific table in any session and any scope. For more information, see IDENT_CURRENT (Transact-SQL).

    SCOPE_IDENTITY and @@IDENTITY return the last identity values that are generated in any table in the current session. However, SCOPE_IDENTITY returns values inserted only within the current scope; @@IDENTITY is not limited to a specific scope.

    For example, there are two tables, T1 and T2, and an INSERT trigger is defined on T1. When a row is inserted to T1, the trigger fires and inserts a row in T2. This scenario illustrates two scopes: the insert on T1, and the insert on T2 by the trigger.

    Assuming that both T1 and T2 have identity columns, @@IDENTITY and SCOPE_IDENTITY will return different values at the end of an INSERT statement on T1. @@IDENTITY will return the last identity column value inserted across any scope in the current session. This is the value inserted in T2. SCOPE_IDENTITY() will return the IDENTITY value inserted in T1. This was the last insert that occurred in the same scope. The SCOPE_IDENTITY() function will return the null value if the function is invoked before any INSERT statements into an identity column occur in the scope.

    Failed statements and transactions can change the current identity for a table and create gaps in the identity column values. The identity value is never rolled back even though the transaction that tried to insert the value into the table is not committed. For example, if an INSERT statement fails because of an IGNORE_DUP_KEY violation, the current identity value for the table is still incremented.

    Thursday, 19 May 2011

    SQL Server Logins and Users

    Gleamed from

    SQL Server Logins and Users
    Although the terms login and user are often used interchangeably, they are very different.
  • A login is used for user authentication
  • A database user account is used for database access and permissions validation.

    Logins are associated to users by the security identifier (SID).
    A login is required for access to the SQL Server server. The process of verifying that a particular login is valid is called "authentication". This login must be associated to a SQL Server database user. You use the user account to control activities performed in the database. If no user account exists in a database for a specific login, the user that is using that login cannot access the database even though the user may be able to connect to SQL Server. The single exception to this situation is when the database contains the "guest" user account. A login that does not have an associated user account is mapped to the guest user. Conversely, if a database user exists but there is no login associated, the user is not able to log into SQL Server server.

    When a database is restored to a different server it contains a set of users and permissions but there may not be any corresponding logins or the logins may not be associated with the same users. This condition is known as having "orphaned users."

    Troubleshooting Orphaned Users
    When you restore a database backup to another server, you may experience a problem with orphaned users. The following scenario illustrates the problem and shows how to resolve it.
    Use master
    sp_addlogin 'test', 'password', 'Northwind'

    SELECT sid FROM dbo.sysxlogins WHERE name = 'test'

    Grant access to the user you just created
    Use Northwind
    sp_grantdbaccess 'test'
    SELECT sid FROM dbo.sysusers WHERE name = 'test'


    As you can see, both SID's are identical.

    Backup the database
    Use master
    TO DISK = 'C:\Northwind.bak'

    Copy the Backupfile to another Maschine and SQL Server and restore it as follows:
    FROM DISK = 'C:\Users\Zahn\Work\Northwind.bak'


    FROM DISK = 'C:\Users\Zahn\Work\Northwind.bak'
     MOVE 'Northwind' TO 'D:\DataMSSQL\Data\northwnd.mdf',
     MOVE 'Northwind_log' TO 'D:\DataMSSQL\Data\northwnd.ldf'

    The restored database contains a user named "test" without a corresponding login, which results in "test" being orphaned.

    Check the SID's
    Use master
    SELECT sid FROM dbo.sysxlogins WHERE name = 'test'


    Use TestDB
    SELECT sid FROM dbo.sysusers WHERE name ='test'


    Now, to detect orphaned users, run this code
    Use TestDB
    sp_change_users_login 'report'

    test 0xE5EFF2DB1688C246855B013148882E75

    The output lists all the logins, which have a mismatch between the entries in the sysusers system table, of the TestDB database, and the sysxlogins system table in the master database.

    Resolve Orphaned Users

    Use TestDB
    sp_change_users_login 'update_one', 'test', 'test'

    SELECT sid FROM dbo.sysusers WHERE name = 'test'

    use master
    SELECT sid FROM dbo.sysxlogins WHERE name ='test'


    This relinks the server login "test" with the the TestDB database user "test".
    The sp_change_users_login stored procedure can also perform an update of all orphaned users with the "auto_fix" parameter but this is not recommended because SQL Server attempts to match logins and users by name.
    For most cases this works; however, if the wrong login is associated with a user, a user may have incorrect permissions.

    Gleamed from MSDN library


    SQL Server 2000 Controls the default transaction locking behavior for all Microsoft® SQL Server™ SELECT statements issued by a connection.


    Specifies that shared locks are held while the data is being read to avoid dirty reads, but the data can be changed before the end of the transaction, resulting in nonrepeatable reads or phantom data. This option is the SQL Server default.

    Implements dirty read, or isolation level 0 locking, which means that no shared locks are issued and no exclusive locks are honored. When this option is set, it is possible to read uncommitted or dirty data; values in the data can be changed and rows can appear or disappear in the data set before the end of the transaction. This option has the same effect as setting NOLOCK on all tables in all SELECT statements in a transaction. This is the least restrictive of the four isolation levels.

    Locks are placed on all data that is used in a query, preventing other users from updating the data, but new phantom rows can be inserted into the data set by another user and are included in later reads in the current transaction. Because concurrency is lower than the default isolation level, use this option only when necessary.

    Places a range lock on the data set, preventing other users from updating or inserting rows into the data set until the transaction is complete. This is the most restrictive of the four isolation levels. Because concurrency is lower, use this option only when necessary. This option has the same effect as setting HOLDLOCK on all tables in all SELECT statements in a transaction.

    Only one of the options can be set at a time, and it remains set for that connection until it is explicitly changed. This becomes the default behavior unless an optimization option is specified at the table level in the FROM clause of the statement.

    The setting of SET TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL is set at execute or run time and not at parse time.

    This example sets the TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL for the session. For each Transact-SQL statement that follows, SQL Server holds all of the shared locks until the end of the transaction.

    SELECT * FROM publishers
    SELECT * FROM authors
  • Tuesday, 26 April 2011

    How to Create a Custom Windows Installation DVD or USB Install

    Article lifted from LifeHacker.!5793427/how-to-create-a-custom-windows-installation-dvd-or-usb-install

  • rt7lite

    If you're looking to integrate Windows 7's Service Pack into your disc, you'll want to scroll down to the beta releases. That service pack includes all the patches, security fixes, and other updates from its first year and a half of existence, so I'd recommend snagging the beta. Download the appropriate 32-bit or 64-bit dowload for your system (the system you're working on, not the Windows disc you intend to create), install RT7Lite, and launch it.

    The beta release for RT7Lite that includes Windows 7 with SP1 is :
    Download RT Se7en Lite - Beta (build 2.6.0) for windows 7, windows Vista x64 now!


    UPDATE - still having issues with usb installation - resorting to:

    xcopy c:\ d:\ /h/i/c/k/e/r/y

  • Friday, 22 April 2011

    Reset SERVICE indicator on VAG cars

    From my SKODA service Manual


    1. Switch off the ignition, press the reset button of the trip counter for distance driven, and hold it down.
      Switching the ignition on causes a service interval to appear on the display.
    2. Holding the reset button down for 10 seconds will cause the counter to be reset (the display shows "---" and then the trip counter readout).

      The readout "OIL" will appear in the display after resetting the indicator "INSP", and releasing the reset button when both service intervals (INSP and OIL) were reached together.

    3. Repress the reset button and hold it down for 10 seconds to also reset this interval



    1. Switch off the ignition, press the reset button of the trip counter for "distance driven" and hold it down.
    2. Switch the ignition ON, and release the reset button.
    3. Now turn the reset button to the RIGHT.


      All counters will be reset to 0.

    Tuesday, 19 April 2011

    Car – check your engine oil via

    Castol's "What's the right oil for my car?"

    The CASTROL.COM website, has a handy function that lets you check what specification oil is ideal or recommended for your motor.

    My Skoda Fabia vRS needs the following VW PD 505.01 or higher CASTROL oil specification (Castol EDGE)

    The various Castrol Magnatec oil range details can be found here.

    Monday, 14 March 2011

    PD Engine Oil details, and a funny EuroCarParts site error...

    It's that time of year again, where I have to get the service parts in – usually from EuroCarParts, and Ebay.


    To my surprise, when I was looking for some PD (Pumpe-Düse) engine oil, EuroCarParts had a site error (well, that's what I hope it is...)


    Yep – that's right, £1,993.48.


    Cheap as Chips.


    Anyway – onto something more relevant.

    The specification of oil needed for various PD engines, has been politely referred to in a forum thread on the ever helpful

    The link to the thread is here.


    However – to summaries:

    TD / SDI / TDI diesel

    505 00 / 505 01 / 506 01/ 507 00

    TDI P.D.:

    505 01 / 506 01 / 507 00

    TDI-PD (1.9l BPX and BUK) diesel

    506 01 / 507 00

    TDI with particle filter

    507 00


    My particular car – as the ASZ engine code, and should run fine with 505.01 specification or higher.

    My huge Bejeweled score

    My Fai Ho Fu - and his massive jewels.
    My biggest ever score on Facebook's Bejeweled - of 533,700
    Bejeweled Score

    Click to see the video

    Saturday, 12 March 2011

    ITIL Foundation Level Certificate – I’ve PASSED !!!! (82%)

    After a manic three day training for the ITIL Foundation Level course, I've passed with 82% pass mark, and here's my certificate !



    Friday, 11 March 2011

    Energy Map of the Earthquake / Tsunami off the East Coast of Japan

    From : BBC News Feed of the Earthquake

    1949: An "energy map" provided by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the intensity of the tsunami caused by the earthquake which struck Japan.

    Wednesday, 9 March 2011

    TopCashBack - basically free money, or a nice way to earn a discount

    If you need to shop online, why not get some discount to help towards to cost of your purchases.

    Register, and use TopCashBack when purchasing your goods, and you'll soon be saving a tidy amount.

    To start earning CashBack, you'll need to follow these very simple steps:
    1. Register an account with TopCashBack.
    2. Search TopCashBack for the website that has the goods that you want to buy.
    3. Click on the link in the results of your search on TopCashBack, which should land you on the "shopping" site.

      Depending on the relationship between TopCashBack and the shopping site, you will earn CashBack by completing a transaction, or just for the visit to the shopping site, or for performing a search on the shopping site. There's a few different ways that results in a valid CashBack generating transaction.
    Using TopCashBack doesn't cost you any money, and once set-up, you'll start to earn CashBack in no time !

    Thursday, 3 March 2011

    Applying for a Vehicle Tax Disc

    To check and purchase your vehicle tax disc online, visit the following link:

    You'll need either

    1. The reference number shown on the TAX DISC reminder document that's sent in the post


    1. The registration number of the vehicle
    2. And the V5C document reference number shown on the logbook

    Tesco Law - Quality Solicitors


    Sunday, 27 February 2011

    Skoda Fabia – Boot Strut fitment guide

    (credit to :

    How to Fit & Remove Tailgate Struts

    Band Type Ball Sockets

    Removing and installing gas struts on your car is often a quick and simple job which does not require a mechanic.
    If your gas struts have a ball and socket fittings then the only tools required are flat blade screwdriver and someone to hold the boot for you.

    Look at the end of the gas strut for a rectangular plastic block with a metal band running around the back.
    Some struts use metal fittings but the band will be in a similar position.

    • Slide a flat head screwdriver down the groove along the back of the fitting and under the metal band.
    • Lever the band back and pull on the gas strut to remove it from the car. You do not need to remove the band to do this – just lever it back.
    • Your new gas struts will simply push fit back onto the ball studs.

    Replacing car tailgate struts is a two person job.
    Do not remove one strut and rely on the other to hold the tailgate.


    Pin Type Ball Sockets

    If your gas struts have a dome end fitting with a small metal pin -

    • Unclip the pin from around the base of the fitting and totally remove it from the fitting.
    • Once the pin is removed the gas strut can be pulled off, leaving the ball attached to the vehicle.
    • To fit your new struts remove the pin, push fit them onto the ball stud and replace the pin.

    Skoda Fabia – Boot Strut

    Model: Skoda Fabia Hatchback Gas Strut
    Body: Hatchback
    Year: 1999 - 2007
    Part#: 6Y0827550A 7969MW






    Other suppliers: SGS Engineering £13.99

    Thursday, 17 February 2011

    SQL – Simple way to return messages at runtime instead of using PRINT

    Care of David Poole of SQLServerCentral:



    RAISERROR ( 'DATA DICTIONARY: %i tables & %i fields added', 10, 1,

        @TableCount, @FieldCount ) WITH NOWAIT

    The "10" parameter is the SEVERITY of the error message raised.

    10 : this is more of a notice message, or minor alert

    16 : this is reserved for true error messages

    You can find more via:

    Friday, 11 February 2011

    Word of the Day - Antiquated

  • IPA: /ˈæntɪˌkweɪtɪd/, SAMPA: /"{ntI%kweItId/

    antiquated (comparative more antiquated, superlative most antiquated)
    1. old-fashioned, out of date  [quotations ▼]
  • Internet Explorer IE Shortcut Keys

    Care of

    How to View and Explore Web Pages Shortcut Keys

    To view and explore Web pages with shortcut keys:

    do this

    Press this key

    Internet Explorer Help or to

    display context Help about an item in

    a dialog box


    between full-screen and other

    views in the browser


    forward through the items on a

    Web page, the Address box, or the

    Links box


    through the items on a Web page,

    the Address box, or the Links box


    to your Home page


    to the next page


    to the previous page


    a shortcut menu for a link


    forward between frames

    CTRL+TAB or F6

    back between frames


    toward the beginning of a




    toward the end of a document


    toward the beginning of a



    toward the beginning of a

    document in larger increments


    to the beginning of a document


    to the end of a document


    on this page


    the current Web page

    F5 or CTRL+R

    the current Web page, even if

    the time stamp for the Web version and

    your locally stored version are the same


    downloading a page


    to a new location

    CTRL+O or CTRL+L

    a new window


    the current window


    the current page


    the current page or active frame


    a selected link


    the Search box


    the Favorites box


    the History box


    the History or Favorites boxes,

    open multiple folders


    How to Print Preview With Shortcut Keys

    To Print Preview Web pages with shortcut keys:

    To do this

    Press this key

    Set printing
    options and print the page


    Change paper,
    headers and footers,

    orientation, and margins for this page


    Display the first
    page to be printed


    Display the previous
    page to be printed


    Type the number of
    the page that you

    want displayed


    Display the next
    page to be printed


    Display the last
    page to be printed


    Zoom out


    Zoom in


    Display a list of
    zoom percentages


    Close Print Preview


    How to Use the Address Box Shortcut Keys

    To use the Address box with shortcut keys:

    To do this

    Press this key

    Select the text in
    the Address box


    Display a list of
    addresses that you

    have typed


    When in the Address
    box, move the cursor

    left to the next logical break in the

    address (period or slash)


    When in the Address
    box, move the cursor

    right to the next logical break in the

    address (period or slash)


    "www." to the beginning and ".com"

    to the end of the text that you type in

    the Address box


    Move forward
    through the list of

    AutoComplete matches


    Move back through
    the list of

    AutoComplete matches


    How to Work With Favorites By Using Shortcut Keys

    To work with Favorites by using shortcut keys:

    To do this

    Press this key

    Add the current
    page to your favorites


    Open the Organize Favorites dialog box


    Move selected item
    up in the Favorites

    list in the Organize Favorites

    dialog box


    Move selected item
    down in the

    Favorites list in the Organize Favorites

    dialog box


    How to Edit With Shortcut Keys

    To edit with shortcut keys:

    To do this

    Press this key

    Remove the selected
    items and copy them

    to the Clipboard


    Copy the selected
    items to the Clipboard


    Insert the contents
    of the Clipboard at

    the selected location


    Select all items on
    the current Web page