My First Guest Post

For some time I’ve been reading the St Albans Blog and have loved the way it’s brought me new information about the city I live in. I appreciated the honest posts and so, following a visit to one of the local pubs, I sent a review to the blog admin. The rest, as they say, is history… and now my review is posted up there too.

The St Albans blog does not just publish reviews on pubs and eateries but also covers local events, has some wonderful photos and even has an extremely useful guide to establishments which offer free wifi.

Please, follow the link and have a poke around 🙂

Government Gateway Update

Following on an ealier rant I had about the unusable Government Gateway I mailed my local MP (Mrs. Anne Main – Conservative) and various email addresses I could find for the operators of the site stating my frustrations. To be fair to all who I contacted I had quick responses from everyone… none however could supply me with a resolution to my issue.

Houses of_Parliament
Houses of_Parliament

Those involved in the site have told me that they hope to have the functionality where a user can un-enrol and then re-enrol sometime next year. Anne replied (be letter… how old SkOol) mentioning that she has “written to the Government” on my behalf and says she’ll get back to me when she has a response.

So, no real progression for me and my VAT return… looks like I’ll be filling it in by hand this year. I will, of course, post any update on this.

Government Gateway or Government Barrier

For me the Government Gateway is more like a Government Barrier since there is no way at all that I can use the online services that it’s meant to offer… seriously NO WAY. And to boot I’ve been told that this might be the case forever.

No way in
No way in

Basically I’d forgotten my password and so went to look for a “reset button”. This actually isn’t on the main page but instead linked to from a deeper page (I infact had to pretend that I was wanting to apply for a new driving license!!!). Once I’d found the link I had to enter some basic personal information and was then prompted for 3 (yes 3) pieces of memorable information… these were a name a place and a date. Now maybe it’s just me (I hope it’s not) but there are a few choices available to me for all these items. I’ve tried all the combinations I can think of but to no avail.

Hope was not lost at first though as there’s a telephone number to call if you’ve forgotten all the information. I called that I got through to a lovely understanding lady who sadly told me that they cannot reset my password either unless I gave them the same information… they have no greater power (i.e. telling me which pieces I might have got right) than the website! I asked what I could do next and was told “nothing”, “there’s no more that you can do”. The lady did mention that there was talk of a “fix” being put in place to fill this ‘gap’ but that proabably won’t be in place until next year at the earliest and that’s if they do anything at all.

I can’t believe I’m the only one in this boat so please please fill in the feedback form on their site asking for this feature to be added.

Photo in Schmap Guide

Wowzers… I’m pleased to say that a photo I took whilst in Brighton of the “giant doughnut” (locally know as The Seasick Doughnut) down on the sea front has been chosen to represent the landmark in Schmap’s online guide to Brigthon.

The Brighton Doughnut
The Brighton Doughnut

The sculpture was a gift from the Mayor of Naples, officially called The Big Green Bagel. In this particluar photo you can just make out Badja’s face in the centre.

Schmap is an online resource of worldwide guides.

Got to be in it to win it

Whoop whoop… just a quick post to mention that my recent mail to the .net magazine was selected as their mail of the month. The email I’d send was only very brief and was simple about the difficulty I’ve had reading some of their recent articles due to the lack of contrast between the colours of some of the text and backgrounds.

.net Magazine
.net Magazine

Apparently I’ve won a free .co.uk domain and hosting with Heart Internet. I presume this is for a year and I’ve no idea what the quality of their hosting is like but hey… free stuff is cool right?