Thanks for dropping by. There is a variety of stuff on my website mainly because my life has been a mixture of IT and Walking. Walking is the latter bit as I had been stuck in an office for 18 years and did little adventuring over the weekends. That has now changed and I get out as often as I can, there is so much to discover. This website is quite new so please pop by again soon for updates. Thanks.
A new path ahead
I am close now to finishing University, three years have gone quickly. It has been an amazing journey, lots of hard work and lots of fun, I’ve met some great people too. What I do next is not certain but I want to gain experience in a subject I feel most passionate about, grasses, plant science and the ecology surrounding that, with a little entomology thrown in. After May and in between work I will be out there somewhere studying something from the ground up, measuring and photographing. I will be creating mini projects and will share some of that information here.
A current project I am working on is that of purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea). There is a lot of it around and its ecology is very interesting. More later.
Windows 11 – An introduction
Windows 10 has been with us since 2015, and at that time I’m almost certain that Microsoft announced it would be the last ‘numbered’ Windows edition and would be improved through major updates annually. These major updates in both spring and autumn were interspersed with many other, smaller monthly updates. This also heralded a change in the way updates were delivered.
Many users of Windows 10 have had a rough ride, it has got better but it’s far from perfect. Microsoft has done well over the past few years with strong growth of its cloud services and Office 365 however, Google has stolen some thunder by making excellent Chromebooks – fast laptops that get everyday tasks done at a budget price.
In response Microsoft has brought out many low-cost laptops with 32 and 64Gb capacities, the 32Gb versions being a complete disaster in my opinion with regard to storage and updates. Later offerings have 64Gb/120Gb storage and Windows S (designed to only use aps from the Microsoft Store) – this can be changed. So what comes next?
A new experience
New things are on the horizon and Microsoft have announced plans for the next version of Windows, a complete redesign, read more here. Support for Windows 10 Home and Pro versions will end on 14th October 2025. It seems current Windows 10 users will be able to upgrade for free, a little later in 2021.
The latest version of Windows 10 – 21H1 focuses on security and multi-camera support and installs more efficiently, here’s how to get it. Updating Windows 10 is an important part of staying current and secure whilst also getting the latest features.
Let’s hope that Windows 11 will be delivered as a finished, polished product that actually works well.
Best and Cheapest Internet Security
If you are looking for the cheapest and best security for your computer or Mac then you may just have found it here. Why do I personally recommend Sophos? Well I have used it for about four years now and there are, in my opinion, sound reasons for doing so.
Sophos just gets on with protecting your on line world without constantly offering you another level of protection that you didn’t know you needed and don’t understand. Once one has bought the Sophos home product there is nothing else to purchase.
Pricing is very keen and in my view excellent value with a one year subscription generally under £50 – compare that to others that are £80 a year or more. My own subscription has for 2020 and 2021 been under £40 on renewal – I have Sophos Home Premium that covers 10 computers.
So, go ahead and click the banner above for what I think is a really robust internet security product.
Email: Encrypted and not tracked
We may all be using instant messaging and texts these days but email is still important. Email is very important especially when you need to refer to something and have conversations with multiple people, without it vanishing in a conveyor belt of crap.
Two such email providers spring to mind for what I think, are the perfect solution. Fastmail and Protonmail. Protonmail offers a free account as well as paid plans. Fastmail offers only paid plans. Both, in my opinion offer a superb email experience.
Stay Safe Online
Read this first. If you are confronted with a website online or a pop up message telling you that your computer is infected or in danger – Do Not call the number given, it is a scam. You can try closing your web browser using the method below or just shut down your computer. Seek help.
Staying safe online and keeping your identity and money out of reach of cyber crime can seem a little daunting. Now, I’m no expert on this but I have developed a set of rules that are in place to help keep me safe, so here I will show you those same rules and strategies.
Ideally, you will need:
A second email address : A mobile phone : Two-Factor Authentication : PayPal
A second email address will serve you well simply to keep for all the important stuff and, if you are ever locked out of your regular email then that second email address will come in very handy, not only as an email address but to help you recover the one that’s locked out.
A mobile phone is almost essential for authentication and changing your password.
Your computer will need:
To be up-to-date and clean of any infections
For more information on ‘what you will need’ – please read my cyber security guide.
Also worth a read is my post on internet security software here.
Finally, passwords. Please consider using a password manager, watch this excellent video from Steve at Dotto Tech for more information.
A view from the Teign Valley
This was taken on 1st October 2018. I had taken a trip to Fingle Bridge with intention of getting up Wooston Hill fort as well as walking to Clifford Bridge. I never did make it to Clifford bridge because I found an old Land Rover (I think that’s was it is) in the woods off the left side of the main path, it’s well overgrown and I don’t think one would see it unless you were down there. Still, not much beats the sight of a valley of trees and the silence of nature. It was worth the climb. Bigger image here.
Bluebells at Blackbury Camp East Devon
A lovely place to walk and take in the wonderful bluebells at this time of year. Due to the Covid-19 I have not been walking much other than around town so this year I have not seen this. It’s nice just to see a picture and have a reminder. English Heritage has more information and how to get there.
Aquilegia vulgaris L. Saw this in the garden and couldn’t resist a photo.
River Otter to Mutters Moor
I did this walk on 27th August 2018. During this lockdown I thought it would be something nice to see. The walk starts at South Farm Road, White bridge on the river Otter. It continues up alongside the river and up to Otterton Mill, then continuing from the other side of the bridge following the river Otter to Colaton Raleigh before heading up to Passaford Lane and Mutters Moor, this takes us to Peak Hill Sidmouth where one can walk the SW Coast path to Ladram Bay & Otterton and return to the car. 9.94 miles.Enjoy.
Keble’s Seat on Mutters Moor Sidmouth
Mutters Moor at Sidmouth offers stunning views over the Otter Valley and Dartmoor. It is a favourite walking spot for many as it s free car park offers a central place, an ideal location to start or finish a circular walk – and there are many to choose from. You can walk just around the moor itself or, plan something bigger to Sidmouth, Otterton and Ladram Bay or Colaton Raleigh, East Budleigh or Budleigh Salterton. There are plenty of hills and quite a few uneven footpaths, many of which get very muddy at certain times of the year. It is however, a fabulous place to walk around.
Towards the back of Mutters Moor there is a park bench where one can sit and enjoy stunning views over the Otter Valley and beyond. The sign beside the bench reads ‘Keble’s Seat’ In memory of John Keble – Anglican priest, theologian and poet. He was born April 25th 1792 and died March 29th 1866. Here are some of his poems and there is also a memorial bust commemorating him in the poets corner of Westminster Abbey In 2014 there was a tree planting ceremony in his memory at this, his favourite spot on Mutters moor – info here.