Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Alan Sugar

I bought a copy of 'What you see is what you get' Alan Sugar's autobiography...

This is a fascinating read, especially if you worked as an electronic engineer with televisions, hi-fi and me!

He talks about shops like 'Lasky's' and other shops on the Edgeware Rd in London. Places that I ordered stuff from in the 1970's. His mate the TV engineer that mended and modified old TV's and sold them on as a business. (sound familiar!) The 'valve pusher' and later the 'panel pusher'...I never got into this routine...fault find down to the component was my way! (Alan would have been proud of me!) Later, the famous Amstrad hi-fi (pretend) stack unit that took over our workshop like faulty daleks! The Amstrad TV...OMG...I hated them...when they went faulty, they took most of the switched mode power supply and line output altogether...I wouldn't touch one of these with a bargepole unless I had to!

Now the Amstrad 464 computer was ahead of it's time, but also had to compete with Sinclair...the Amstrad was quite reliable, I don't remember having to fix one (apart from cleaning the audio heads in the tape player) It had a wonderful proper keyboard and colourful as well! Then came the dedicated office word processor machine, which I didn't understand...tooo complicated, had a dedicated operating system and not flexible at all.

Now this one was good...PC arcitecture, full colour and software. I remember playing with this in the late 80's drawing colour pictures on screen. Twin disc drives and software to go with it...but expensive. I fixed a few of these at the time, mainly hard drives that were not yet reliable!

It's fantastic thinking back at the growth of technology in the 80's with Alan Sugar, Clive Sinclair and a few other guys (aka Acorn)

Alan Sugar - a shrewd business man, not a technical genious, but insiring!

Clive Sinclair - a technical genious, but not a shrewd business man and a bit ahead of his time!

I wonder who would be The Apprentice... Alan or Clive?
What you see is what get!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rockin' Robin

Snow, snow, snow.... and it's not Christmas yet!

I have a very shy Robin that visits my garden every day, but flies away everytime I try to take a photo. Today I lay in wait and managed to take some photos of this festive beast without it knowing....

It's Christmas time and time to hibernate until Spring!

See how the snowflakes are falling
Falling so gentle and white
Coming from God in his beauty
All through the days and the night.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


This is a photo that I took last Sunday at Leverhulme Park. It was about 3.00pm and all day we had freezing fog, temperature down to -6 degrees. The sun was just going down and the view was spooky!
I sent this photo to The Bolton News and they published it the next day!

The weather is crazy, snow in November and temperatures as low as -15 at night. Last night the temperature rose to +7 and all the snow!