Operating Systems and Backups

I have been using Linux for almost ten years now. I was a loyal Ubuntu fan until a few years ago when it started changing more than I liked. At that point I switched to Mint, a derivative distribution which kept everything I liked about Ubuntu and cleared out everything that irritated me about it. Lately, however, I was beginning to get frustrated with Mint, so I searched for an alternative.

After reading up on various different options, I decided Mint really was the right distro for me, but I didn’t want to have to keep upgrading every six months. This involved backing up my files, formatting my hard drive and installing the newest version from scratch. I like to be up to date, but I don’t like the hassle. I decided to try Linux Mint Debian Edition, or LMDE. Read more

New ECommerce Platform

My very talented fiance has just released a new eCommerce platform called Egg Basket and I’d like to tell you about it.

Egg Basket began a couple of years ago as I struggled to find an eCommerce platform that I could use to run Strawberry Moonbeam. I tried a few existing platforms but I wasn’t happy with any of them. A wordpress plugin I used broke when I tried to update it. Magento and a few others I looked into had such complicated admin panels that it was difficult to add new products. Read more

Vibram FiveFingers Update

Back in March I posted a review of my toe shoes. Since then, I discovered that the shoes I had purchased were in fact not genuine Vibrams.

I was very disappointed when after only 3 months, a hole started to appear on the sole under the ball of my foot. I soldiered on with the shoes for another month until they were unwearable, and struggled to decide what to do next. If the Vibram shoes wore out this quickly, then they were not worth the expense. On the other hand, I did really like them. They were comfortable and felt so much better to walk in than regular shoes that I wasn’t ready to give them up. Read more

Shoes with Toes!

For my birthday about a month ago my other half said I could finally get those shoes I had been going on about for the last year or two. Ever since I first read about them on the internet I really wanted a pair but they were out of our budget.

I normally spend around £20-30 on a pair of shoes that I expect to last me 9-12 months ish. The shoes I had my eye on were around the £80 mark and I didn’t have much idea how long they would last me.

The reason I wanted to get such a pricey pair of shoes wasn’t because they looked cool or they would go with anything I wear or any stereotypical girly reason to buy an expensive pair of shoes. I wanted these because they’re good for you. Read more

Sewing machines

I have owned three sewing machines during my life. The first was an old hand wound Singer that my grandma gave me. I didn’t know a lot about sewing back then. I attempted to make myself a pair of trousers with a wrap-around-skirt-style tie closure instead of learning how to insert a zip. I made a wonky patchwork curtain out of scraps of denim, which I sewed together haphazardly, following the edges of the roughly cut fabric instead of making straight lines. I’ve grown up since then and learnt a lot about sewing properly. Read more

Five useful Android apps

I have just got a shiny new phone and I spent most of my evening last night going through the Android marketplace installing some of the apps I had on my previous phone, and finding some new ones to try out. Here are some that I find useful which you may not have come across.

Open Picasa Wallpaper is a new one for me, but it might just be my favourite. I have a folder on my computer where I save images that I would like to use as my desktop background, and I have a program running that chooses a random one every so often. I thought it would be cool to have a similar set up on my phone too, using the same photos if possible so I only have to add images to a single folder. Read more

Recipe Organiser

I previously described a system I had created to decide what to cook for dinner. I was using a combination of a recipe managing software and a rather clunky spreadsheet, which functioned reasonably well but was tedious to use. I suggested to my other half that he build me a web based tool to replace the two bits of software I was using and combine the functionality of both into one easy to use solution.

He reluctantly coded up a very basic web tool for me to use. Initially he thought of it as just another one of my crazy organising systems that would take up a lot of his time and not be very useful, but as he started to understand why I wanted him to make it for me, he began to see it’s potential. He has started working on creating a website that others will be able to use to help them decide what to eat, encourage them to cook from scratch using recipes and help them to eat a more varied diet. Read more


I have been using Linux as my operating system for several years now. I started with Ubuntu way back when they called it Hoary Hedgehog. By the time it got to Intrepid Ibis I was getting frustrated with it. It was changing a lot and becoming less and less my kind of thing. I started using its cousin, Linux Mint. I started with version 9 and upgraded to version 10. I prefered Mint’s simpler interface over Ubuntu’s sluggish but pretty one. Mint also fit much better on my 10″ netbook screen, even in comparison to Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix edition. Read more