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When I was first e-mailed about the ’25 things’ I decided I did not want to do it as I could not see my self having the time. I must thank the colleague who told me that I had to do it(!) because I have enjoyed all of it. I will miss the excitement of a Monday morning looking to see what the next tasks are, and spending the following Saturday afternoon (some times Sunday afternoon as well) at my PC trying to complete the tasks.

Over the past 3 months I have been introduced to many things I have never heard of before or have just heard of in passing from our students.

I can now set up my own blog and add graphics, pictures and text to it.  I enjoyed the ‘arty’ things the most such as mashups and Image Generators. The  more work related things such as RSS feeds and Google Documents I was less enthusiastic about, probably because I could not find an immediate reason to use them at work.  Although now I have the knowledge I may use them in the future.

The problems I encounted included the lack of time to spend on this at work, and the security restriction on my home computer.  At times it was a puzzle figuring out how to proceed on some of the tasks. Some of the services were not overflowing with help on the screen. It was a case of hit and miss and just going for it! 

Now that this first course has come to an end I would not like to miss out on learning about any different ‘things’ that are included in subsequent courses. It would be great if past ’25 Thingers’ could be notified when there are any new ‘things’ to explore.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn about these interesting things.

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I have used YouTube before, and like the unusual/rare clips you can find on there. There  is a  mix of amateur clips that take off  things you know from off the TV to clips from broadcasts off the TV and ‘camcorder’ footage. I thought I would select an item that was associated with my blog. I had to have help to get the link in a picture format rather than a web address. I hope you like it.

I’ve wanted to learn more about Podcasts for a while. I found them listed on iTunes but the files took too long to down load and I could not see an RSS fee to attach to my blog! I changed tact and tried some of the Podcast sites listed in 25Things. I was disappointed with the search facilities, as I got results I did not expect. It took a while to find a Podcast that I had some interest in. See below.

http://podcast.com/show/25850/Doctor-Who-Podshock/

The link below is to a recording of my experience of Gabcast, as you will hear, at first it was not straight forward, but I got there in the end! Episode 1 is a short test message, episode 2 relates to my Gabcast experience.

GABCAST

I tried to add a single Gabcast recording into my blog but realised that my blog would not accept the ‘mp3’ file format. I found out that when using WordPress, to add ‘mp3’ files you have to first purchase a ‘space upgrade’. I decided not to do this and instead just inserted the web address to my Gabcast page.

I had so much fun with this weeks first ‘thing’.  On-line Image Generators are amazing. I opted for the Happy Face Generator,  and clicked on the Logo option. I decided to try out the options and decided not to use the ‘happy face’ letter converter but the ‘chocolate covered’ one. This is what I created:

chocolate-covered

Continued the creative theme by checking out Image Chef. This site provided templates for you to personalize, I liked several of them including the Wanted Poster one. For an example though I chose the football shirt:

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     It will be interesting to see what the other ’25 ‘Thinger’s’ have choosen as I did not have time to look at them all.

    

 

 

 

 

Google Documents – Again had a problem of logging into Google.mail as my password was still not recognised. Had to use someone elses instead! I uploaded a list of my favourite movie stars from my PC and sent it to a collaborator.  Again the e-mail link had to be cut and pasted in to the browser as the pop-up blocker was working over-time! Eventually I got the document back with the list extended. If I use this though I have to remember to update the original document on my PC.  The website did not give any warnings about security problems as I expected, especially with Dave’s good comment about not using it for University documents. 

I’m lucky if I find time to read one book a year, so ‘Library Thing’ didn’t seem that interesting. I did register though and can see the benefit for book lovers. I could not find anyone with similar reading tastes as me, maybe my book list was too short!

I had heard of facebook but did not really know what it was. I eventually set up an account on Facebook. I had a problem with pop-up’s being blocked on my PC. The link in the facebook e-mail was blocked so I had to cut and paste the link into my browser. I found a few friends and invited them. I looked up the Groups that were associated with the University and found one I was interested in but it wouldn’t let me in as it was a ‘closed’ group. So I decided to check out the ‘fan’ option instead. I thought it would be benefificial to join a group with lot of members,  but I had a problem joining the Guinness group which had over 3,000 members. My PC at work crashed 3 times, so instead I had to select another Guinness group that had less members.  I  must thank Bryony for warning me about the details I had made visible, I had turned into a typical student and made my date of birth visable!  I can understand why a lot of students use Facebook  as it is a good way of keeping in contact with friends and finding old ones. Personally it’s not really for me as it seems quite time consuming , this is probably why I liked Twitter more.

I set up a Twitter account and made my self add an entry each day. You are restricted to the number of characters you can input,  which is a good thing, as it makes you get to the point. Unfortunately no one could find my entries on Twitter!

It was fun using Google Maps.  I used the postcode options to see what the house look like were I used to live although I was disappointed to see that the maps were several years old! I then put in the post code of the address of a member of my favourite pop group and found his house! (see link below) His house is the one with two cars in the drive way and the swimming pool at the bottom of the garden.  It took ages to get the picture into my blog and then it suddenly appeared, how weird!

 http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=rg9+3bp&sll=53.645118,-1.784876&sspn=0.168104,0.458679&g=+huddersfield&ie=UTF8&ll=51.546951,-0.921309&spn=0.001298,0.003583&t=h&z=18

 I liked the facility of finding hotels and restaurants near to a specified location, but I do worry about the information being out of date.  I used the ‘Get Directions’ facility to find how to get from Huddersfield to Madrid – by car – it is 20 hrs 14 mins and 1268 miles.  I looked at Google Moon and Google Mars. I was impressed at the photos and the extended information option when you click on an area.

I watched the video clip on Google Earth, the 3D images of cities were amazing. You can see all the tourist bits of a place without stepping foot there! It took a while to download Google Earth on to my PC. I was disappointed as I redid the previous address searches and found the same out of date images.

The present resolution of maps I believe means there is not a major issue about privacy as they are ‘grainy’ at max magnification. If higher resolution images do come available via these services then yes I think there will be privacy issues (although may be not with images on the Moon or Mars!)

After a good Christmas and New Year I thought it was about time I caught up with the 25 Things!

I just has a look at Wikipedia ‘Random article’ option. I ploughed through many pages, but nothing really interested me so I slightly cheated and looked up Liverpool Football Club instead! Where I found lots of comments. The ones from fans were the most interesting and I liked the way comments were worded like a conversation.

I found an interesting entry on the Wikipedia ‘Current events’ – Slovakia adopts the euro, replacing the koruna, and becomes the 16th member of the Eurozone – not good news for coin collectors like my self!

Having  accepted the invitation to join the ’25 Things’ Wiki on the Wetpaint web site, I looked through the local things listed on the Guide to Huddersfield. Living in Netherton the article about the discontinued train lines/tunnels under Netherton was interesting. Thinking of a fact to add was not easy though as what I know was already listed although I did post a short comment on the alpacas at the Farm.

 

Now I realise why tagging entries (which are put on the web) are so important! I’ve  always wondered how a search on the web can be performed so quickly, and also why sometimes you get results that you don’t expect!

Del.icio.us is brilliant! I use bookmarks a lot, but the ones on my home P.C. are different to those on my work PC.  So I set up my self with a Del.icio.us account and organised all my bookmarks into one easily accessible place. Fab!

I had mixed success with Technorati. Not all the search types brought back the same number of results, I suppose it depends on how the items have been tagged. It did make me think though about how this can be used for keeping up to date with the latest going’s on’s. I can imagine the MI5 or CIA  agents logged on constantly searching these blogs to see were the hot spots are around the world!

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