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2015 in review

By pcurd

A big year! 2014 was one of the biggest of my life (but I didn’t write a blog post about it!) so 2015 felt like it would be simpler, well let’s talk about it.
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SWDevelopments Website launched

By pcurd

For the last few months I have been rebranding my personal projects and side work to “SW Developments” and today I have launched a website for this venture –

I will be developing this website and the venture with more details in the coming months.

SW Developments will consider any project and can produce cost effective, modern Content Management System driven websites, and more powerful custom development driven websites or any IT consultancy services for local companies.



NaNoWriMo – my failure and my thoughts

By pcurd

Last month I attempted to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I didn’t do very well (as can be seen here), barely managing 4,000 words.

I had hoped this would be my chance to actually write a decent amount of prose and possibly actually articulate a few ideas and characters I’ve had knocking around.

As it turns out, it wasn’t. I have fleshed out part of one character, but nothing more. The back story was unbelievable and even I did care what happened to him. I clearly have some work to do on my style.

I had hoped having “Writing Buddies” would spur me on but even carocat and amykate didn’t finish. In fact, I wrote more than either of them (at least, that they logged on the website).

So what went wrong?

Well, Dragon Age: Origins came out – I have invested 16 hours or so in that so far, that’s valuable writing time lost. I could have been using my Starbucks time to work on it but.. I didn’t. I think the primary reason I stopped writing was I got fixated on the word count. Against better advise I began to measure my progress based on 1,666 words a day, and this wasn’t feasible. By day 3 I was far behind and even a brief splurge on day 4 couldn’t bring it back up.

Why did the word count matter? It didn’t, not at all. But it was symbolic of my failure to give NaNoWriMo the care and attention it needed. Perhaps if I had pushed myself harder I would have gotten into the story, that alone might have kept me going. Perhaps if I had been challenged to keep up with some other target rather than words, although what that might have been is beyond me.

All told though, it was an enjoyable few evenings – even if I was a little too presumptuous, declaring the book a triumph by the second day…

Maybe next year, maybe some other time but I feel there is a book in me somewhere.

Amykate herself explains her own failure in a eloquence most becoming an author on her blog here.

Carocat .. well perhaps trails off is the best way to explain, I’ll let her cover the basics in her last NaNoWriMo post too.



My Website

By pcurd

As part of my coordinated online presence I have put together a website at

Please enjoy. Applause optional.



The Hoff

By pcurd

Recently my ISP’s holding company, “Pipex Internet Ltd”, has been using David Hasselhoff as their mascot/front man for what I can only imagine is comedy reasons.

For example:

Me and The Hoff

(Me and The Hoff in a publicity Web2.0 tool generated picture)

If you have managed to live in sufficiently large holes for the last 55 years, David Hasslehoff is a legend of television and film acting. He was of course the star of Knight Rider, a superb piece of early 80’s entertainment and financier/star of Baywatch – according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Baywatch is the most watched TV show in the world, with over 1.1 billion viewers.

Now it had occurred to me that someone is paying for this and that it might be me. Surely some percentage of my monthly subscription is going to Pipex rather than my own ISP so some percentage of that money must be going to The Hoff… Whilst advertising is important, and what with The Hoff being a meme at the moment I have no problem with that. I for one welcome our hair chested overlord. However the story gets complicated once you realise that Pipex has been sold to Tiscali.. now Tiscali has no mascot that I am aware of, no media attention beyond their own advertising and so I began to fear – is The Hoff still receiving my pennies? Only one way to find out – email accounts!

My Email:

Good evening,

I notice from recent media coverage that elements of the Pipex Group, owners of Freedom2Surf, have been sold to Tiscali.

As a long standing customer I would be interested in knowing how the distribution of my monthly subscription will be effected by this change in ownership. Particularly if a proportion of my fee will still be going directly to The Hoff as I imagine it has since Pipex recruited their legendary mascot?

I appreciate you taking the time to respond to this request, it may well be a deciding factor in whether I remain a customer of Freedom2Surf in the coming months.


Peter Curd

Now Freedom2Surf have excellent support staff, very helpful and knowledgeable but I was not expecting as full a reply as I received.

Their Reply: (names changed to protect the innocent)

Hi Peter

We can confirm that Pipex Internet Ltd including Freedom2Surf has been sold to Tiscali UK.

Your monthly subscription will continue to be paid directly to Freedom2Surf as it always has been and there will be no change to this.

Unfortunately at this time we can not confirm what if any proportion of this subscription will be paid towards ‘The Hoff’.

I am sorry we could not fully answer your query at this time.

If you have any further queries please reply to this email or alternatively telephone the billing team on the number shown below.

Kind regards

Freedom2Surf Billing Team

Sadly my question remains unanswered, but perhaps it is best left that way.



Open Source in DDD5 Podcast

By pcurd

A few weeks ago, after Developer Developer Developer 5, I was getting drunk in the Novotel Hotel bar in Reading when I (and this may have been because of the aforementioned beer) began rambling about Open Source to a guy I’d just met. Well he was Craig Murphy, one of the organisers of Developer Developer Developer, a .Net community event where presentations and short ramblings (Grok Talks mentioned in the Podcast) regarding aspects of programming or development are made.

Well, Craig has put together a Podcast of a small part of this chat and there is a link to it from his blog –

I think a round of applause are in order for my not quite falling off the chair drunk but whatever you do don’t move too quickly because I might throw up moment of fame.

Oh, and my good friend Alex Sanchez was there too… I would like to include him in my Oscar speech…