Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The British Government supported by the Tories have launched yet another band wagon, price the drunks out of the pubs! Having just changed the law so that they can get slaughtered 24 hrs a day they have decided that in an effort to reverse the adverse effects of such a rash change to our social habits, "binge drinking" by upping the duty on booze.

Do I get the feeling that this could be another money spinning scheme. Surely the British Government know that putting up the price of alcohol does not stop people getting drunk. Look at Scandinavia. A pint of beer in Oslo costs twice as much as in London and at least THREE times the price of a pint in Blackpool. Yet the pubs and clubs in Oslo are overflowing from Thursday to Saturday. If you think its only the rich and reckless that can afford the prices, a visit to any park in Oslo will reveal a thriving population of smelly unshaven, and that's just the women, characters getting well out of their tree on cheaper alternatives such as Red Spirit (Rubbing Alchohol), glue and other more imaginative concoctions.

The Aftenposten reported, " The Norwegians are drinking ever more alcohol and one in three are concerned about the consumption of those closest to them. According to the Directorate for Health and Social Affairs, Norwegians over the age of 15 drink 30 percent more alcohol today than ten years ago."

These binge drinking loud mouthed doorway urinating members of society will not deterred from enjoying themselves because the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Medical Officer of Health have conspired to up the price of a Bacardi and Coke by 10p or even 100p. You have to remember these upstanding members of society are living rent free, catered for by parents less well off than they are and have more disposable income than Gordon Brown. If they haven't got the pennies in their purses they resort to plastic. Did you not know that in the average night club and an increasing number of pubs you can buy a Bacardi and Coke on your Credit Card.

The Government will up the duty on alcohol, tell us they are going to spend it on resources to cope with the effects of binge drinking, which probably means they will employ a hapless A&E registrar fresh out of a third world medical school and is not quite sure of the difference between haemoglobin and heamohrroids! Let alone to be able to decipher the ranting of a Sauchiehall street raver after a skin full of White Lightning!

Friday, February 16, 2007

XDRIVE - Share and store files online

Sending large files, pictures etc. as email attachments can be a problem with some ISP's. This is usually because they put a cap on the file size you can upload. There can also be a problem uploading files with a forbidden extension such as "exe" because it could be something dodgy. Google Mail is clever enough to spot exe files even if you wrap them in a zip file.

One way around this is to use an on-line file storage and sharing facility. One I signed up to some time ago was XDRIVE which is now owned by AOL, ugh! But never fear you do not have to be an AOL user to use XDRIVE but you do need an AOL "Screen Name" which in AOL speak for an AOL email address. You get 5GB of on-line storage.

To sign up go to this XDRIVE link and follow the "sign up for free" link. We know that AOL never make things easy and true to form they don't. The form that appears is designed for USA residents only, I could not find a UK version, as a result to complete the form you will need a USA phone number and a legitimate USA Zip Code. Be warned your application will be rejected if you try to use UK numbers or Post Code, as I discovered after my 10th attempt. Try these:-
  • Phone - 3608344822
  • Zip - 35801
When you have finished the registration you just need to create a folder called "Share", you can call it what you like of course but I find it helps my Alzheimer's if I have a clue what the folder is for! You then add the email addresses of those you want to share files with. They will be sent an email inviting them to share your XDRIVE. Avoid the trap to make you sign up for AOL unless you want to of course, but who would want to.

XDRIVE is also a great facility for backing up files, particularly your image files. There is an Power Tool addon which enables you to drag and drop files and folders inside Windows Explorer. This is definitely worth downloading if you are going to get the best out of XDRIVE.

Oh yes and it's FREE.