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Auckland, New Zealand
Smurf sized geeky person with a penchant for IT, gaming, music and books. Half of industrial duo 'the craze jones'. Loves data, learning new things, teaching new things and being enthusiastic.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Google Lab

If you're one of those people who uses Google for email, searching for internet stuffs and looking at their house on Google Earth, then it's time to do a bit more wandering around the Google site. Did you know that there are LOADS of other things going on with Google? Have a bit of a browse around their site one evening whilst you're having a surf and you could find all sorts of cool little gadgets.

Google have made their code easy and freely available which means there are lots of people are out there creating cool gadgets and applications just for the fun of it, for example, the following:

- Kick it old school with a game of snake in Gmail by using a certain ctrl key function.

- Move the chat box to the right side of the Gmail inbox

- See an email time in the sender's time zone

- Enable Mail Goggles to stop you from drunken emailing

- Send an SMS using the chat gadget - which I need to test to see if it works in NZ as this could be quite useful dontchaknow

All these and more can be found here:

The citytours map app looks pretty useful as well, especially if you like walking and want to investigate a new area.

There you have it, a few liddle things for peeps to play with to get you using Google a bit more. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Some much needed sleep

I’ve been feeling pretty tired recently, well, for about 10 years. Various trips to the doctor have resulted in all manner of weird diagnosis’ for this, including when I was 30 the wonderful medical opinion of “it’s just because you’re older now, it’s normal, of course you won’t feel as energetic as you did in your 20’s” erm…. I’m not an expert or anything but I’m pretty sure that’s not right.

Over the past 10 years I’ve been to a few different doctors to complain about tiredness, and I’m not talking feeling a little bit snoozy, I’m talking the fighting to keep your eyes open sleepiness. During this time my weight has been slowly climbing and this has been making the sleep issue worse and the lack of sleep in turn makes my weight worse – it’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.

Eventually I got fed up with doctors and being the geek that I am (though a somewhat tardy geek in this situation) took matters into my own hands.

Google is your friend. After a bit of Googling I found a symptom called EDS, or excessive daytime sleepiness. Bingo! I booked myself in at a sleep clinic to get this investigated and it turns out I’m waking myself up around 120 times a night, now if only someone had checked for this 10 years ago. The cure? A CPAP machine or surgery. Day 1 of the CPAP machine and I slept through the night. It’s going to take more than a few weeks to catch up on 10 years lack of sleep, but I’m already feeling a million times better than I have in years.

The surgery is a somewhat scary option. The normal surgery for obstructive sleep apnoea is an operation on your throat that is only 50% successful and may affect the pitch and frequency of your voice along with lots of other equally concerning side effects, whereas bariatric surgery will fix the problem in around ooh… 100% of cases. Wonder which I’d prefer? Being a singer there is no way on earth I am going to let someone mess around with my throat, especially when the success rate is so low.

The surgery I’ve opted for and am having next Monday will fix the sleep problem permanently - yay! I’m completely terrified as it will be a very major change in my life, but I’m also looking forward to finally getting some quality sleep again. So everyone raise a glass to sleep, getting my energy back, thinking without cotton wool and exercising without the feeling of jogging through treacle.