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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Thursday, 9 February 2006

courses, dinnerbells and content filtering

I keep thinking of things to write about, but either the opportunity is missed, or I don't think it's worthy of bloggage.

Take, for example, the second day of the course I'm on this week. I got off the coach a stop earlier, because I saw a Waitrose nearby and wanted to look for some special chocolate to which I had been introduced (at surprisingly, the last course I was on), before walking, with the help of my lovely GPS thing - I maintain that Milton Keynes is almost impossible to navigate without it (certainly on foot), to the training centre.

This took me past McDonalds which, I have to admit, tempted me because I do enjoy a sausage McMuffin or Big Breakfast - until I realised that what was attracting me to it, causing my mouth to water, was simply the brand trigger- that big yellow "m" that can be seen from some distance. Obviously, if you can't stand McDonalds (I know far too many people who refuse to darken their doors, and in a lot of respects I can understand why), you would probably walk on without a second thought. I, however, having spent three years on the road, and regularly given myself that little rush of endorphins to send me on my way, am now subject to this subconscious message. But now, at least, I'm aware of it, and can resist; how many people don't realise, though, and, like Pavlov's dogs, find themselves munching away at, well, OK, so it's not petfood...? To be honest, I wasn't even hungry.

(Asda is another fine example - with their in-store bakery aromas, and Christmassy smells)

The lecturer we've got on this course is easily distracted - which is not necessarily such a good thing). One of the things he does - often when we're trying to concentrate on a practical example - is to tell us about an interesting or useful website.

However, to his credit, I have found one that might be quite useful for normal family life. Now Christopher's getting older, he could easily inadvertently click on something he shouldn't, while he's playing on the internet. To counter this, someone has written an application called Dan's Guardian - a content analyser and blocker that sits between the local network and the internet. It will, I think, be the next thing to be piled onto my Linux box, and I'll let you know how I get on. Fortunately, there's a fairly straightforward How-To guide available, so that should make life easier.

(as a footnote, it's interesting to note that the Fedora Core 4 RPM is maintained by a Catholic priest... now that's what I call a sideline!)

Link of the day:

  • www.worstcasescenarios.com : How to cope in almost every emergency. Probably. (Another recommendation from Lecturer Of Irrelevance)

Posted by james at February 9, 2006 12:58 PM

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