As you may or may not have noticed, I took some time off. A gap of four months
between Journal entries. I don't think that ever happened before in the five years
I've been keeping my Journal online (entries for 1999-2003 are currently on a
In fact, I have a load of images to add to the Journal, dating from the past
four months, and will put them up gradually in coming weeks. So, if you're reading
this at some time in the future, I may have filled in the gaps and you may be
wondering what the hell I'm talking about :-) But people often wonder that...!
I don't know how many times over the past weeks I sat down and couldn't write
anything. I guess I had a 'block'. Perhaps it was to do with events of a year
So, instead, I spent time on tasks that didn't involve writing. I continued
with the digitisation of the neverending number of negatives and slides in my
photo library. Along with my ongoing project to have a paperless office (about
which I'll write more in the near future).
But in a nutshell, I aim to have every word I've ever written, every photograph
I've taken and every video I've shot, all on DVD. Along with all the paperwork
for house and office, going back at least five years. There's a lot of stuff,
because I used to write for magazines.
Once this has been done (and I'm getting to the final stages now) I'll truly
be able to work from anywhere, with just a laptop and two 100-packs of DVDs, which
contain my content. I'll have everything I might need at my fingertips. Pretty
amazing... And it's only in the last couple of years that affordable, fast computer
equipment and storage has made this possible.
Another advantage is that, for the first time, I'll have a complete backup
copy of everything stored in another location.
I still have this crazy notion of travelling for a year or two. I don't know
if it'll ever happen...
Also I've spent a vast amount of time lately working on online video. Experimenting,
learning, tweaking, filtering stuff to get the best quality. This is something
I plan to apply across all the sites that I run. The short clips that have appeared
here in the Journal so far have been something of a test, to gauge the amount
of interest and iron out the technical bugs. I'm now onto my third method of presentation
for the clips here in the Journal.
Yahoo is currently testing its video search service. It's clear that video
is going to become a major part of many sites, although it's still way too complicated,
expensive and time-consuming for most people. Will that ever change? Currently
it's hard to see 'video blogs' expanding beyond a small niche. As far as my own
video content is concerned, to date I feel I've barely scratched the surface of
what is possible.
And yes I finally bought that laptop. The spec of even the cheapest laptop
has now reached the stage where I can do the Photoshop and video editing work
that I need to do. Which is great -- because I was tired of being tied to the
desk so much.
In fact I was more mobile fifteen years ago when I only needed a computer for
text and used to write my stuff on a Cambridge Z88. A review in Punch magazine
famously described the feel of the Z88's rubber keyboard as being like 'typing
on a dead body'.
Also I hoped that a 'new toy' might renew my enthusiasm for Journal writing
(it didn't). But then, about two weeks ago, the spark began to burn again :-)