Hot Air Balloon


We booked to go on a Virgin hot air balloon, we have had 3 attempts, and this was on fourth on Saturday and we very nearly did it.

After waiting around all day at home, we eventually left at 4:15 to travel about 45mins away to Knutsford. TomTom, got us their no problem.

When we arrived my Auntie Doe asked if we had out Tickets and yes we had forgotten them.

So 10 minutes later, after I stopped laughing, my Uncle John arrived with all the required paperwork, there were 17 of us in all.

The guy from Virgin arrived with the paperwork and it seemed as we didn’t require our tickets any how.

So we were then taken to the launch site and there was the Balloon siting their waiting to be inflated.

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We had to wait a further 30mins or so, until they decided that it was not to windy and we could go up, so the inflection began…..

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Yes that’s me holding up the mouth of the Balloon to allow the air from the fans to get into the Balloon, it didn’t take that long to inflate it, around 20mins. It was huge, much bigger than I thought it would of been.

So the next step was them getting some hot air into it. Which that starting doing, just before they started doing this, four people had to get into the basket to help weigh it down, so they all jumped in.

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Shortly after this, the rest of us were told to jump in or board! Which we did.

What followed next was 10 minutes of entertainment, as the pilot tried to get enough hot air into the balloon, we were all told to sit, which we all did, but the Balloon was getting push to one site, as you can see the basket above is tilted a great deal, it did worse than this while we were in it! Very funny!

Unfortunately the pilot decided that it wasn’t going to take off and called the flight off…. hope fully next time we will get to go up!

You can see all the images from the evening here.

I don’t know why I find blogging so difficult


I don’t blog as much as I should. I’ve just installed the latest Windows Live Writer Beta, which is why I’m blogging now.

The interesting thing is, I feel like I’m talking to myself. As I don’t feel people are reading my blog.

Live writer has a link icon to the status of your blog which I’ve just clicked. People are reading! Even thou it looks to me as if there trying to find info out, but that’s fine by me.

So maybe I will blog more in the future.

Cool! It updates the post rather than creating a new one. đŸ™‚

Now a MCP

I passed my first Microsoft Exam, on Friday. I’ve been working with computers since I was 13+ (I’m 30 now). As I worked in a single company for 9+ years, applying for a Microsoft exam never seem to happen. I think it was a combination of me not wanting to fail and the company I worked for not pushing me and others hard enough, no encouragement, no offers of paying for training courses or books.

The other underlying fact, which I still believe is the case today, is there are allot of people out there who can study then sit and exam pass and think they can do the job, I know this not to be the case. I really would like Microsoft to have some exams where you had to prove that you have been working in the IT world of at least 2 years, therefore it would show some real world experience.

The exam itself was 42 questions, which took me approx 50mins to do, I spent another 20 mins or so reviewing my questions, then I finished and I had pass, this wasn’t my first attempt, I tried last year and failed, the pass mark was the same then as it was on Friday, 700. Last year I scored 670 and on Friday I scored 752, both times I didn’t revise, so I’m quite happy with that.

This now means that my company (Total ICT Limited) is now a Microsoft Small Business Specialist, which proves to Small Businesses that we are selling to that we do know what we are doing. This was another major reason for taking the exam; I didn’t to enhance my companies reputation and credibility.

Lastly, sorry for not posting very often, I will try and get this nailed down.

T-SQL Queries

I was trying to figure out how to get a T-SQL to allow a user to enter part of a name to query on, for example the user could enter ML, click a search button which would return all companies with the letters ML in.

I Googled this and looked on MSDN, to no avail, I knew I had achieve the desired result using access a while back, but I was pretty sure I didn’t have a company so I could check the syntax, then I recalled where a may have a copy which I did, I cracked it open and found the following:

SELECT IngramPriceList.*
FROM IngramPriceList
WHERE IMPartNumber Like ‘*’+[?]+’*’ Or ManufacturersPartNumber Like ‘*’+[?]+’*’ Or VendorName Like ‘*’+[?]+’*’;

After entering this syntax into Visual Studio 2005 Express, thinking it work it didn’t, so after reading the required syntax for LIKE in the SQL Express 2005, I came up with this working solution.

SELECT CustomerID, LoginName, [Company Name], StreetAddress, townName, countyName, postcode, ContractType, StartDate, FinishDate, Notes, Active

FROM Customers
WHERE([Company Name] LIKE ‘%’ + @SearchText + ‘%’)

Were as Access uses ‘*’ SQL Server uses ‘%’ instead…. Problem fixed. ?

Found myself wanting to blog again…

I haven’t blogged in a while, but have thought a few times lately that it would be useful to blog that… I’ll try my best to blog at least once a day. I’m Blogging this from Word 2007 final release.

OK here come a loads of blogs in one hit…….

Windows Vista RC (Build 5600)

Installed this last night and I’m playing around with it this morning. Noticed you could create a backup for your password to floppy disk! Is not the age were most people have USB pen drives, XD, SD, Compact Flash Drives in there PC’s…. Yes leave the option to select a floppy disk but give us the option to select a different destination.



BA using images from Google Earth

I was working down the street yesterday there was a poster on the side of a bus stop, which was using a image from Google Earth, the ad was advertising BA flight costs to new york, I didn’t have a camera with so did get a chance to take a picture, I’ll see if I can get one..

Vista Public Download

I was a bit slow on this one, but the Public Download of Vista RC1 is now available here.

It will be interesting to play about with after the great press/reviews this release has been receiving of late.