Robbie Williams, Etihad Stadium, Manchester – 22nd June 2013

Robbie Williams - 22 June 2013
Robbie Williams – 22 June 2013 – Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Like many people I bought the tickets an age ago – around December last year, and so the night arrived and we were not disappointed. Having seen Robbie Williams in 2006 @ MK Bowl (see old review) he did have a lot to live up to as that was a great concert. And I always go on record by saying I will not usually listen to him at home or anything, but his live performances have always been great. Continue reading

Review: Hugh Laurie (and the Copper Bottom Band), Birmingham Symphony Hall – 18th June 2013

I’ve always liked Hugh Laurie from the days of Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder, House (of course) and his occasional foray into film.

It’s not often you do get to see people like Hugh, and so, when tickets to see him with the Copper Bottom Band were announced I had to get some.

He did take a while to come on-stage and did blame nerves when he finally cam on, but when he started he couldn’t stop… We were treated to two encores and the audience was still asking for more, and I think he would have done if allowed!

He and his music was/is infectious and indeed we carried on listening on the drive home!

Hugh’s singing itself is pretty decent, but it was the strong vocals, and exceptional band to back him up that really made the whole thing shine.

Laurie is clearly an accomplished pianist but the piano never took centre stage and for the majority of the show he let the talents of his fellow musicians on the trombone, saxophone, guitars and drums lead the way.

In between the  music he interacted with the crowd with comic banter – almost as if we were in a pub somewhere, and even treated the crowd to a tango.

Bill Bailey, Wolverhampton Civic Hall – 15th June 2013

Bill Bailey - Qualmpedler 2013
Bill Bailey – Qualmpedler 2013

I’ve always liked watching Bill Bailey on TV, mainly for the musical humour as well as briefly watching him on QI etc. and obviously Blacks Books.

So it was for my birthday that I was presented with tickets to see him on the 15th June 2013 at Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Being honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from the comedy part of it. Continue reading

Bon Jovi, Villa Park, Birmingham – 9th June 2013

Bon Jovi, Villa Park, Birmingham - 9th June 2013
Bon Jovi, Villa Park, Birmingham – 9th June 2013

The set was amazing, before a single guitar had been strummed it was looking like it would be an amazing Bon Jovi show!

After an amazing 3 hour set we were not disappointed.

Opening with That’s What the Water Made Me (a track from the new album What About Now) instead of one of their stable old classics. It was clear not all were yet familiar but it was a bold decision non-the-less. This was followed by a slightly more well known song – You give Love a Bad Name… and as soon as the opening chords were played the stadium became alive.

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PHP Shorthand If Notation or the Ternary Operator

Why should I care about PHP Shorthand If Notation or the Ternary Operator

Programming would be a bit useless without being able to evaluate conditions using if/end and switch statements. If/Else statements is obviously a great tool, but they aren’t optimal (or necessary) in all situations. And so I introduce you to … PHP Shorthand If Notation or the Ternary Operator.

Ternary operator takes the form “(condition) ? (true return value) : (false return value)” to shorten your if/else structures.
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Hawaiian Cruise (and visit to Los Angeles) on the Golden Princess

Our Hawaiian Cruise (and visit to Los Angeles) on board the Golden Princess Cruise November-December 2011.

During this trip we visited the Hawaiian Islands and spent a few nights in Los Angeles on the way back.

OK, it’s taken me over a year to finish writing this up – keep not finding time to do it! I will add some photos in the next few days.

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jQuery – Scroll page to position of an element/div

When you’re working with a complex page that has a load of areas on-screen, making use of this small function below to scroll to the location will enhance you’re user experience by saving them needing to scroll… take them straight to it!

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Rocking in Hyde Park with Jon Bon Jovi at Hard Rock Calling – 25th June 2011

Having booked tickets a lifetime ago (or felt like it), the day finally came.

We were in the queue around 10/10:30PM and so we were about the first people in… so picnic rug in hand set up fort middle center just 2 or 3 rows from the front of the pleb partition. while  the queues for entrance stretch through Hyde Park on a glorious day unlike the damp start to the weekend. But we did visit the Park while The Killers were on, crowd was nowhere near as big as Saturday but nonetheless sounded like a good show from what I heard under my tree from the rain. And ‘wet’ our appetite for Jon Bon Jovi on the Saturday…

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Hints to help optimise the performance of a PHP website (LAMP)

Over time, the websites I have been involved in have became more and more complex (and indeed carry more and more traffic).

And so the ever increasing need to optimise and increase the performance of your website (or web-application) becomes more crucial.

As you will appreciate this is a HUGE subject, so I aim to simply put you on the path to devising a better architecture and design. But I will attempt to introduce some ideas to assist…

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Working with Dates & Timestamps in PHP

Working with Dates and Timestamps is always trying, but using UNIX timestamps can save you a lot of time and hassle!
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Calibrate HTC Desire battery – help improve your battery life!

Need to stabalise the battery life on your HTC Desire? This will help a little… Read on…

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Get element with CSS class name or id with jQuery

Get element with CSS class name or id with jQuery, jQuery is extremley powerful and a time (and even life) saver, using jQuery, you can get elements with CSS class name and id easily without too much blood and tears!

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Why does php not show errors? – How to display PHP errors when display_errors is disabled

OK, a simple thing I know. But one that always occurs.

When using shared hosting (or even your own dedicated servers), those managing those servers do their utmost to make them secure. Among many things this usually includes turning off ‘display_errors’ in the php.ini file.

However, when you’re trying to develop things it is usefull to display errors and warnings, but if ‘display_errors’ is off, you will be scratching your head wondering what’s going on and whats going wrong!
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Watch your battery!

Having had the HTC for over a week now, I am beginning to get to grips with how to get he most out of it… especially when it comes to battery life.

  • DO NOT let it run too dry! Seems to have trouble charging (from USB) if you’d managed to let it get too low!
  • Be carefull what apps you install… soem apps seem to drain power wven if not in use!

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Beginning your journey in Object-Oriented Programming using PHP

Object-Orientated programming is not a new idea! It’s been around and available for a long time in many languages.

With each new version of PHP, new features appear, while existing features are improved. PHP’s object support has been hugley improved since it’s introduction in PHP3 (yes it has had it all this time!). And so with PHP’s object support maturing, the reasons developers might not take an object orientated approach are getting smaller. More recently PHP5′s take on objects is much more powerfull and usable than it ever has been for PHP users – but still not without it’s faults.

A common problem that experienced (and new) PHP developers have when embarking on their object-orientated (OOP) journey is thet they don’t know WHEN to use it properly! As with all things there is a time and place for everything.

For those who do not know about OOP I am not even going to attempt to explain what it is! But fact you have found this article means you probably do, but incase not Wikipedia has good general background info on OOP.

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Brian M McGarvie talks about … life and experiences in IT … and personal adventures and experiences and other odd things!

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