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So following a theme ‘power usage’ which keeps inline with my post about my current cost; which is great by the way. I have another related website to talk about today. If any of you know anything about energy production, consumption, storage etc you will know its a very interesting field to look into. There has been a shift through the year over how the UK has produced it power; from the image below you can see we have lent towards natural gas in recent years.

The worrying thing for me is that alternative sources of energy are contained with in the green 2% marked other. Not only is the UK not producing by alternative sources at the scale of other countries but it is also importing a large amount of its fuel. The cart below shows UK energy production (dotted line) and consumption (red line) 1970 to 2008.

While the UK does not have the luxury of large hills and rivers for hydro or masses of open space for wind farms or the level of day time sunshine to make solar worthwhile. We do still have options. This is a large subject and not one I could do justice to in one post so I want to focus in on one option for alternative ernergy production called Micro Generation.

There has been allot of talk the last few years as micro generation has been brought to the masses or maybe to the average household. Even through the technology has been around in one form or another for some years it has not really been picked up by many people due to the large cost of setup and the possibility that it would not pay itself back or new technology would come out that was more efficient and cheaper. So yes the technology has moved on slowly and with use of geverment grants a number of families and businesses have started to produce their own power. But the figures are very low not lest because energy sold back to the national grid pays a pittance.

So on to the reason for writing this post in the first place. If you are interested in generating energy at home but are not sure if its for you (you are not alone) then you will be interested in the power predictor sold on the better generation website. This cleaver little bit of kit allows you to take data for wind and solar at your property. They also have a website which allows you to upload the data you have captured on an SD card and upload it to compare with other power prediction users.

I won’t go into more detail now as this post is getting long enough but what a what of the video which explain the product. Remember to bookmark so you can find me again in the future.

So I have just received my new toy. It is a electric monitor buy CurrentCost, I selected this monitor over the others on the market as it out puts an XML data stream. I am hopping to capture this data and publish it to the web.

First impressions of the monitor and the packaging it comes in are very good. It looks like a nice piece of kit. In the box you have the clamp, transmitter, monitor unit and power pack. I also got an extra clamp and a USB data cable.

This video by current cost will give you a better idea of the product (note this is the first generation I have the new cc128):-

So I will be setting up the unit and plugin into my CP with the hope of getting all that lovely data. I will update you to how it goes.

I have given the blog a new look, working on is quite limiting with regards to design. But I have not got the time at the moment to design a blog (no point in using templates if you are using .org). So for now I am still on and have gone for the ‘ChaosTheory’ template.

Let me know your thoughts on this template, I think it is cleaner than the old one. Also I big plus is the extra width of the main column.


I have added to blogCatalog so you can find and follow there if you like.

Technology Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

So every time I start a new development I grab the standard templates and resets and get going. Now the other day I was out and about without my flashdrive and so had to hunt around for some templates rather then code up from scratch. In the end it took me 15 minutes to find what I was looking for and so saved me every little time if any.

So I thought for future reference I would add some basic templates to my blog so I can find them easily if I am caught short in the future. Hope you can make some good use of them.

Generic XHTML template

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> <head> <title></title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" /> <link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css" type="text/css" media="screen" /> <script src="" type="text/javascript"></script> <!-- google hosted --> <script type="text/javascript" src="common.js"></script> </head> <body> <div id="container"> <div id="header"> </div> <div id="wrapper"> <div id="main"> </div> </div> <div id="footer"> </div> </div> </body> </html>

CSS template with Eric Meyer’s Reset

/* index -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */ /* * Filename: style.css * Description: global CSS (master) * Version: 1.0.0 (YYYY-MM-DD) * Website: website-url * Author: authorname == STRUCTURE ============================================================================ * Page width: 990 px * Number of columns: 1 */ /* colorscheme --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */ /* white (bg): #fff grey (intro text): #333 grey (h3 headlines +contact bg) #a3a3a3 black (text): #000 red (link active): #670001 dark red (link hover + visited): #431611 */ /* Browser CSS-Reset --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */ /* Eric Meyer's Reset Reloaded */ /* */ html, body, div, span, applet, object, iframe, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, p, blockquote, pre, a, abbr, acronym, address, big, cite, code, del, dfn, em, font, img, ins, kbd, q, s, samp, small, strike, strong, sub, sup, tt, var, dl, dt, dd, ol, ul, li, fieldset, form, label, legend, table, caption, tbody, tfoot, thead, tr, th, td { margin: 0; padding: 0; border: 0; outline: 0; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 100%; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; } /* remember to define focus styles! */ :focus {outline: 0;} body { line-height: 1; color: white; background: black; } ol, ul {list-style: none;} /* tables still need 'cellspacing="0"' in the markup */ table {border-collapse: separate; border-spacing: 0;} caption, th, td {text-align: left; font-weight: normal;} blockquote:before, blockquote:after, q:before, q:after {content: "";} blockquote, q {quotes: "" "";} /* images and linked images without border */ img, a img {border: 0;} /* globals --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */ html {background: #fff;} body { background: #fff url(image.jpg) no-repeat left top; color: #000; display: table; font-size: 100%; /* reduces the body text from the 16px default (common to most browsers and OS set-ups) down to the 12px. */ width: 100%; /* This rule is primarily there for Internet Explorer 6 and below on Windows */ } html>body { font-size: 16px; /* sets the text size specifically and is ignored by IE6, but used by Firefox, Safari, IE7, Opera */ } a { border-bottom: 1px solid #670001; padding-bottom: 1px; text-decoration: none; } a:link, a:visited {color: #670001;} a:hover { background: #431611; border-bottom: 0; color: #fff; } /* Typography --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */ p { font: 1em/1.75em Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; margin: 0; text-indent:0; } p+p {text-indent:2em;} .first {text-indent: 0;} h1 { border-bottom: 1px dotted #a3a3a3; font: 3em/1em "Baskerville", "Linotype Palatino", Times, Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 80px; margin-left: 310px; margin-bottom: 1em; padding:0 30px 30px 20px; } h2 { font: 2.5em/1.75em Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; margin-top: 1em; margin-bottom: 0em; } h3 { color: #a3a3a3; font: 1.88em/0.934em Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; margin-top: 1.068em; margin-bottom: 0em; } h4 { color: #fff; font: 2em/1.5em "Baskerville", "Linotype Palatino", Times, Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; font-style: italic; } h5 {color: #ccc; font: 1.25em/1.75em Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif;} .amp { font: 1em/1em "Baskerville", "Linotype Palatino", Times, Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; font-style: italic; } /* use the best Ampersand */ /* layout elements --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */ /* wrapper */ /* nav */ /* content */ /* footer */ /* end of this stylesheet -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */


Two years back I was at Adobe live in a lecture about the changing internet. During what was an excellent talk I was introduced to the idea of heatmaps. They are a way of showing traffic trends via mouse movement and clicks. For me they are clearly a great tool for showing hotspots.

Recently I was reading a blog on a similar subject and it reminded me of heatmaps. I have been doing some searching and found an interesting article here which talks about how times are changing with regards to how people use google, they use a heatmap very interesting have a read.

How to use them

So I thought how do I use a heatmap, they are so handy I want to use one for my blogs. Searching around I have found some solutions:-

these guys work on the first 5000 clicks being free and then you pay £2.50 – £1000 depending on the quality of clicks required.

Crazyegg offer more than just heatmaps they do full stats. They charge from $9 to $99 depending on the quality of clicks needed.

I found this add-on which is now out of date but maybe it will get updated.

Feng-GUI creates a heatmap of your website of an image and delineates which areas get the maximum attention. You can either enter your web page address or upload an image and make a heatmap in a few seconds.

this site has a DIY solution to heatmaps.

Another solution for the coders out there.

Bellow are some examples of heat maps I found on the web.

I will look to test some of the service above and repost when I can give you more info on the subject.




So I have been using an .ai tempalte when desiging banners and buttons. It saves me time thinking about sizes and drawing out the shapes. Thought I would make it available for you to download.

So hotmail stopped popping to thunderbird the other day. The solution I found is:-

1. Ask thunderbird to create a new email account (not a web mail just a basic email account)

2. Put in your hotmail address, set the pop3 to

3. In the server settings go to security settings and click the SSL box (make use the use secure auth box is NOT clicked). This will game the portto 995.

4. Restart thunderbird

Just about everybody these days has more than one email account, usually more than can be counted on one hand. Personally, I have 5+ accounts with different email service providers, including Yahoo, Gmail, Cox, my office email address, my website email, etc, etc. Currently, I use Outlook to check all of my accounts from one client application since it makes it easier to manage.

If you’re ok with Outlook, then there’s not a problem. However, if you prefer to use Gmail for everything since it’s web-based and therefore not tied down to one computer like Outlook, then you might be interested in knowing how to setup all of your email accounts in Gmail so you can receive all emails via your Google Inbox. Read More »

So I thought we would have a little poll, hate em or love em you need them so which OS is your fav?