Unfortunately last Wednesday, MS (n)OOXML was fast-tracked to becoming an ISO standard.  There's alot of controversy in the geek-world about this decision (and rightly so) - but it's something we're all probably going to have to live with.  Check out Zeth's Article for a succinct and simple analysis of the issues.

Birmingham Bloggers

In what started out as an offer of some free hosting, I've now helped shockhead (Pete Lewis) set up a few Brummie related IT 'solutions'.   The biggest one is currently up at http://dev.zrmt.com.  Thanks to Paul Bradshaw, we shall soon be setting up a permanent home @ http://planet.birminghambloggers.com.

There's alot of Brummie stuff I've been made aware of this week, thanks to the repercussions from a Bloggers Meeting earlier in the week.

We also have an IRC chatroom @ ##brum on irc.freenode.net.. and a nice non-geeky web-frontend at http://dev.zrmt.com/brumspace.html.  For non-geeks, this is basically a 90's style chatroom.  My nickname (handle) is andylockran... I bet you wouldn't have guessed.


In tragic circumstances in December 2006, a good friend's mother was killed in a freak horde-riding accident.  However, so that her memory may live on, a fund was set up in her name, and a number of fantastic projects have been run in order to build a boarding chool in Bidar Province, India.  I've set up a WebSite to keep people up to date about what's happening with the project, and it's coming very close to completion.  It works well in firefox and opera (and IE7).. but I've had some issues with IE6 and Safari.  Please check it out (and pass me feedback on how it works in your browser to [email protected]).

Make IT Modular 

I've been doing a bit of charity work recently, and wanted to share a bit of advice that I think is pretty generic to Charities and Small to Medium Business.  One things I am passionate about (with my geek hat on) is Open Standards.  I hopefully aim the articles at a more general end-user.

The article is part of an ongoing collection of blog-style articles that are presented in a more professional way than this blog.  I often find I'm repeating the same message in lots of emails - so it'll hopefully become a useful resource that I can point clients/charities to.


Now that this blog is reaching a bigger demographic - I urge the new readers to take 5 minutes out of their day to have a look at the Ingots.  If you thought that the ECDL was the only computer qualification worth having - this one could be right up your street.  The INGOTs stand for InterNational Grades in Office Technology - and are the brainchild of a Tamworth based company.  Big up the West Midlands!


Twitters proven to be a nice way of breaking up the day.  It's nice to see some random stuff pop up now and again.  It's amusing to see the ramblings of loudmouthman and his Humphrey Littleton-esque style departings.  Also the collaborative book review by paulbradshaw et al. I though to be a neat little idea.


I've been working on lots of documentation this week and my head hurts.  I need sympathy.