Author Archives: David Hollingworth

Photo Blogging

Thanks to my new Sony Ericsson K770i I’ve just discovered the delights of photo blogging.

What is photo blogging? My definition is: ‘the ability to upload and publish online a series of seemingly unconnected and probably meaningless photographs’.

OK, that’s a bit cynical I know. More sensibly; as a blog is a written online journal so a photo blog is an online journal created with photographs. My new K770i has a really neat feature that allows me to publish a photo taken on the phone straight to a blog. Unfortunately it doesn’t support WordPress at present so I can’t publish direct to this blog. I’ve created a completely separate photo blog over at blogspot.


Networking West Cork

Much of my business time these days seems to be taken up with discussing networks. Questions like:

Should I use CAT5 or CAT6 cable?

What’s the difference between a LAN and a WAN?

Should I go for Wifi or mobile broadband?

Amongst all this technology small businesses often loose site of one form of network that is essential to their survival, and that is the small business network.

These are opportunities for business people to get together once a month to swap ideas, pass on information, make new contacts and just get out and meet other business people. For entrepreneurs like myself, running their business from home in a rural location, business networking forms a vital part of my marketing.

Here in West Cork we have an excellent networking service provided by the SOHO SOLO organization. I know the name sounds a bit like a dating agency; but the SOHO is an acronym for Small Office Home Office and so applies to anyone running a small business or working from home. Locally the group runs very informal meetings usually in the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.

So if you’re running a small business or working from home in West Cork why not some along to one of our meetings and start expanding your network of contacts. The next meeting is provisionally booked for Wednesday September 17th and will probably be a lunch meeting. To get more details why not check out the SOHO SOLO website today.

(By the way, if you’re looking for wired or wireless networking services of the computer variety please see my business Computer Troubleshooters – West Cork)

Goalpro 2008 Reviewed

A face lift, but no new functionality to speak of, doesn’t warrant the hefty upgrade fee for this goal tracking software.

Review of Goalpro 2008
Rated as 2/5 on Dec 30 2007 by David Hollingworth


It was some time ago that I stopped using Goalpro 6 in favour of MyLifeOrganized (MLO) for organizing my goals and getting things done. At the time I felt that Goalpro had an outdated user interface and lacked certain functions that GTD requires such as contexts. Whilst Goalpro has some nice features, like the scratch pad, it just didn’t cut it for me as a tool for day to day use.

I was interested to try out the new Goalpro 2008 version released recently to see if there was any new functionality that would tempt me back to Goalpro. I have to say that I was very disappointed with what I found. Sure there’s a new set of icons that give the tired user interface a bit of a face lift; but really that’s where it ends. The “what’s new” list give a few other items that have changed like the ‘completely revised journal’; but when I looked at the journal it looked exactly the same as the previous version. Other examples include new Calendar and Success Tree options; but it fails to say what those options are and again the Success Tree and Calendar look exactly the same as in Goalpro 6 with the exception on new icons.

Then you come to the price. A purchase isn’t cheap at $89.95; but if this software fits your requirements then it’s worth paying the price. It’s the upgrade price that gets me; a whopping $59.95 for no new functionality. That is nothing short of a rip off and is certainly very, very poor value for money. I, for one, won’t be upgrading.

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Review: The Brick Oven Restaurant

The Brick Oven is an excellent place to eat serving generous portions of well prepared food with a touch of the unusual.

Review of The Brick Oven Restaurant, Main Street, Bantry, West Cork, Ireland
Rated as 5/5 on Jul 26 2007 by David Hollingworth


I’ve only eaten in The Brick Oven at lunch times so I can’t comment on the evening menu. However if the lunch menu is anything to go by I can’t see there being any problems.

The menu is fairly standard for a bistro restaurant with a range of pizzas, in two sizes, plus hot baguettes, salads and some pasta and fish dishes. The most unusual item is the Quesilladas which is a tortilla that’s been heated, the ingredients (cheese, smoked chicken etc) placed on top and then folded to seal it all in. Finally it’s turned over to cook on the other side; delicious! The pizzas too are very good having been prepared on a nice thin base and then, like everything else, cooked in the brick oven. You can watch the chef preparing the food from the eating area and the logs burning at the back of the oven make a nice feature.

The Brick Oven restaurant is situated at the Cork end of the main square in Bantry just next to the Garda Sation and is an excellent place to eat.

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Blog Posts I Avoid

Maybe it’s just me; but I really dislike those blog posts that start:

x Number Of Ways To…..

There seems to be a proliferation of these posts offering an ‘easy fix’ solution in any number of steps. Here’s a small selection from my news reader this morning:

  • 21 more riddles to train lateral thinking
  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Read History More Than News
  • 10 Tips for Razor Sharp Concentration
  • 18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule
  • 50 Frugal Blogs
  • 7 Habits To Improve Posture

(Actually that last one is quite a good posting).

There’s something about these posts I don’t like that I can’t quite put my finger on. To me they lack substance – I don’t want my life reduced to a series of lists.

Maybe you like that type of posting, or maybe you prefer a post that’s more of a discussion than a list. Let me know your preferences and I can adapt my style appropriately.

Challenging Goals

When we set a goal it has to be a challenge. A goal that’s set too easy has little motivational impact; there’s little reward from achieving something that’s very easy and so there’s not much to motivate us.

On the other hand setting a goal that’s too hard is also demotivating. If we don’t believe we can achieve a goal then we won’t put any determination into getting them done.

Setting a goal is therefore a balance between setting it too easy and setting it too hard. This is where the A (Attainable) in SMART goals comes into play. We have to believe we can attain a goal and yet not set that goal too easy; it has to be a challenge.

How do you know when you’ve set a goal that’s too easy or too hard? Leave a comment and share your experiences.

Reviewed: The Ballymun Plaza Hotel

The Ballymun Plaza – just one more tenement building that should be knocked down!

Review of Ballymun Plaza Hotel, Ballymun, Dublin, Ireland
Rated as 1/5 on Jul 26 2007 by David Hollingworth


I would not normally have chosen to stay in the Ballymun Plaza; but a combination of a conference at Dublin Airport and a weekend break deal from Supervalu swayed me in the direction of this hotel.

Initial impressions were far from encouraging; the ground floor retail units weren’t completed giving the hotel a half finished look; but these were not as discouraging as the completely run down surroundings the hotel has been built in. Ballymun was renowned for its poor social housing and whilst the tower blocks have been demolished the hotel is surrounded by large tenement blocks, some of which are still occupied and some boarded up; and the whole area speaks of decline and deprivation.

Having seen the area then only thing that persuaded me not to look for somewhere else was the provision of a secure underground car park.

Check in was very slow, despite having emailed the hotel a few weeks before to ensure we’d have a family room we still had to wait in reception while the house keeper searched empty rooms for one with a single and double bed. The room itself was clean; but very basic. There were complimentary tea / coffee facilities in the room; but the kettle was mounted half way up a wall in a very inconvenient position to use. The furnishings in the room had to have been the most basic of any hotel I’ve been in.

We’d booked a table for dinner when we checked in; but when we went down to the restaurant we were asked to take dinner in the bar – something that I refused to do as I didn’t want my seven year old daughter in the bar that that hour of the evening. Having insisted on a table in the restaurant we were shown to a table for two (there’s three of us in case you’d forgotten), perhaps the waiter couldn’t count. Anyway there were plenty of tables for four available so I selected one and we sat down to eat.

The food was quite reasonable, and if anything this was the one redeeming feature of the hotel. Nothing exciting, I ordered Chicken Supreme and got Chicken Kiev; but it was well cooked and nicely presented. The breakfasts too where very tasty.

Noise at night was also a problem. Being a hotel I always expect some noise with guests coming and going. However both nights we stayed were punctuated by both guests and staff yelling up and down the corridors and guests repeatedly slamming doors. Desperate.

One final thing; I wondered why the fire alarm sensor in our room was covered in a plastic bag thus rendering it useless.

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Why Not Get Hassled?

If you’re like me then you need a gentle prod every so often to remind you to work on the targets you’ve set for yourself. If this is the case then the Hassle Me site might be good for you.

A very simple idea, you provide the frequency you want to be hassled in days, the text of the hassle, like “Go for a ride on your bike”; and a number of email addresses. HassleMe then emails you a reminder at roughly (not exactly) the number of days you’ve asked to be hassled. The slight randomness helps to prevent the hassle just becoming part of the routine “select / delete” part of email processing.

Try out the service (it’s free). If it works for you then great, if not then simply put it back on the shelf.