A tribute to the Greenwich blister, written in 2003
An enormous carbuncle or visionary monument? That is the question
Many say that the cash should have been spent on the NHS instead? They questioned the extravagance of a structure built of a seemingly temporary design and only there for a year. And no one can see where the £800m and counting went. So why am I a supporter of this apparently whitest of elephants?
Let us consider some facts. The Dome was built in the UK, not a third world country riddled with debt and plagued by civil war. We are a first world power so shouldn’t we be able to afford a bit of luxury? The money is better spent on this plaything for a few than on another weapon of mass destruction.
And I do not believe that one hospital or nurse has been cancelled because of the project. I agree the National Health Service is currently under funded and would be happy to pay additional taxes if I could guarantee an efficient service but I do not confuse this issue with the Dome. That is the job of the British Press.
As for the contents I am not a believer of criticism without seeing things first hand. So I visited this monument in it’s heyday in early March 2000 and enjoyed the whole day. The content was generally of an excellent nature and there was more to see than I could in the day’s visit. In particular I noted that the Journey Zone was top draw stuff (Incidently, I could not find the actual top shelf stuff).
The only disappointment was the main show. Set on too grand a scale with things happening everywhere and a pretentious story line too far up its own tent-pole to make any sense.
I predict that the Dome will eventually be fondly remembered. The media in this country is controlling how we perceive the image of this stunning structure and up to now the press has been slagging it off. Its image is at a low point so the media-mongrels [deliberate misspelling] will soon decide it is time to re-launch it as a success story.
And as for the slogan ‘Only open for a year’. It will still be up and running in some form in 20 years – Mark my words.
Think about the publicity that we could get for our country if we had all got behind it – I believe it is big enough.
Author: Vince Poynter This is an extract from the vinceunlimited.co.uk/opinions.htm web site Version 5.013 dated 27 Oct 2017
This article was originally published in the first version of the vinceunlimited web site, Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome and was taken by the author in August 2003. It was added in Version 5.013 on 27 Oct 2017
Click, whirr, wait… Tah-Dah! You have arrived at the vinceunlimited Computers page.
This is the version you would have seen had you visited [my website] in October 2003, albeit without all the fancy HTML5 stuff all around the tops and edges.
So, welcome to the 2003 computer pages of vinceunlimited in the days of Pentium PCs and Windows 95/XP. Here you will find out all about my floppies, bits and ram.
There is a general computers section, one for hardware, one for software and one about the use of the web. It was all very up to date at the time.
Author: Vince Poynter
From my website Version 5.009 dated 19 Oct 2017
A section for the nerds – Details of my hard and soft ware
Hard section – My computers, printer etc. Technical details so you can swoon with envy or laugh helplessly at the sheer out-datedness of it all. It was all cutting edge once, now it couldn’t cut mustard
Soft section – Programmes I use and abuse, for work and play. Well, the licenced ones anyway. Doesn’t include tips on reconfiguring Lara Croft in topless mode. Pity
Web section – No, not a home for arachnids. Details of [the website]. The software which I used and which design house I employed (you believe that?)
The hard page of vinceunlimited – Computerspeak, I’m afraid
Welcome to the hard page, part of the computer section within vinceunlimited. Information provided for the purposes of cyberjerks and thieves.
Packard Bell Pulsar 23 tower case (taking up too much room on my desk) with Intel Pentium MMX233Mhz (slow now) running on 64Mb RAM (32Mb SDRAM plus 32Mb SIMM upgrade) and 2Mb standard video RAM boosted with an Orchid Righteous 3DII 12Mb ATI Rage II+ 3d acceleration card. Storage is a (used to be gigantic – but not any more) 4.3Gb hard drive (no room for those video files) and outside access is via a 56k modem through Freeserve (connecting at about 33k usually). I still run Microsoft Windows 95 (not 98, 98SE, 2000, ME or XP I hear you enquire) and display on my 17″ Taxan monitor (cost £500 new, now standard fare) with audio supplied through dual speakers and a Yamaha sub-woofer (booooom).
A custom Novatech Soprano laptop (heavy for a portable, more of a movable) with super fast 3.07GHz Intel Pentium 4 running on 512Mb RAM. Storage is a (gigantic – for now) 60Gb hard drive and the world is accessed via the built in 56k modem through Freeserve (25-44k, why the difference?). I run Microsoft XP Professional and display on the built-in 64Mb 15″ TFT LCD. Audio is supplied by two small shrill insects inside somewhere that like to go bleep very loudly at times.
Canon Bubblejet (say no more).
The Soft Page of vinceunlimited – The underbelly of my computer
Welcome to the soft page, not that this page is softer than any of the others – flexiscreeens haven’t yet hit the streets – unless you know better.
As with the ‘hard’ page this is designed for all the nerds to discover what I like to use to ease me through the exciting world of computing, software wise.
Willy Gates has my vote as far as usable programmes go. His pricing policy is questionable, as is the constant redevelopment of ideas. I have no problem with him making trillions as his products have revolutionised the way we work together but he could be fairer to legitimate users.
And the policy of constantly re-inventing basic necessities (Yes, I’m talking Windows here) seems a touch greedy. No wonder so many turn to piracy. Why do the class leading products, with their international markets, sold in hundreds of thousands of units sell for the highest prices? Ship ’em out cheaper Billy Boy and we’ll all buy legitimately in their millions and so make you even richer. I know you could do with the extra cash.
The operating systems I use is good old Microsoft Windows 95 on my home desktop and XP on my work laptop. This conveniently hides the OS in the background and I rarely venture into white on black screens these days. The 450mB ramquirement and 10 minutes to start up are a pain.
The big M (no, not McDonalds) also do well on applications. I learnt spreadsheets on Lotus 123 and early on supported this application along with the other excellent programmes they produced, particularly Organiser. The Lotus look is generally superior to Microtosh but the mighty Gates stronghold is more and more eclipsing the user base. In all I don’t think this will be a problem as compatibility is paramount in the new technology of computing. Make it work, make it compatible – backwards and forwards and make it cheap. That’s all we ask for.
And improve email programmes too. I’ve not yet used one that isn’t total pants.
As for Apple Macintosh? What’s the point? I thought their skins were waterproof. On a more serious note though, congratulations must go to Apple for pushing the boundaries of technology design.
Now what about PC software? When will we see true user friendliness in GUI’s guys? And I don’t necessarily mean a virtual office layout with a point and click ‘photo facsimile’ of an office desk. That’s the real world. We’re in an exciting new electronic medium here. Let’s use new technology to work in a new world. Lose the Qwerty keyboard and references to files. This is electronic media. Voice inputs, multi-dimensional applications, 3D visuals and neural partition storage is the way to go. If you guys don’t come up with the quantum leap then I warn you, I will.
Finally, why do games recreate what we do in life? I agree with top class simulation programmes but let’s stretch the imagination and create wonderful new multi-dimensional worlds of true beauty – aurally and visually. Let’s not go mad on nasal simulation though. I fear this strand of technology may be abused!
The Web Page of vinceunlimited – Home Spun Facts
You have reached the web page of vinceunlimited. The details of the software used to create and uplift this web page to the great World Wide Web and onto your screen.
As this is my first effort at designing and producing a web site I decided to keep it simple using a widely available programme which would produce a product that was readable on the majority of the world’s computers, using minimum facilities.
From the outset I decided that content was far more important than fancy graphics and fonts although I hope to improve the general look and content in future releases and when more users have faster internet access.
A standard look is vital in creating visual consistency and will aid the reader in remembering the site. And it saves me having to constantly invent styles.
If you like what you see, or can imagine what I could achieve with better facilities and want me to help you design your site – contact me. My services are available.
Website Creation Software
I have used a standard version of Microsoft FrontPage Express, version 2.0 Although most has been code checked through HTML (ask your son) using Microsoft Notepad. No other software was used. Does it show?
I use Smart FTP. Because it can be loaded free for private users. And I’m not loaded.
I use Freeserve as an Internet Service Provider. Free. So give them a big hand.
Web server – Where this is stored
I use Web-Mania as an Web Server provider. The price is reasonable so they come well recommended.
Web site conceived, designed, produced, checked and sent to you, by Vince. So that’s me then.
Note about using MS Notepad originally added in Version 1.03 in Feb 2005
My ISP provider Freeserve were bought by Wanadoo in 2000 although I never knew this at the time of the article and was still using ‘Freeserve’ and my Freeserve email at the time of posting. Orange purchased Wanadoo in 2006 and I noted the change to Wanadoo then Orange in my formal website vincepoynter.co.uk Version 1.02 in Jun 2006. This was confirmed within Version 2.04 of vinceunlimited.co.uk/web around Dec 2006 where I noted that I had moved from Freeserve/Wanadoo/Orange to BT and now had 6mB of capacity [also noted in vincepoynter.co.uk/webcredit]
Version 1.04 Apr 2009 of vincepoynter.co.uk/webcredit noted that I changed FTP supplier from Smart FTP to another free service by Cyberduck
Crystal ball time
Welcome to the future. Check out my computer specification of the future. My guess [in October 2003] for year 148AV (anno. vincy).
AOF-serve Brooklyn 2020, carbon fibre micro case with AMD (touchy) ZZR series 38.9THz quadbus bio-platform, still running through 56k Dos, on 93Gb TAM (total access memory) and 222Mb standard video RAM boosted with a 4D-VR 12Gb acceleration card giving graphics from a 6789 x 2212 screen utilising 32 million and one colours. They found another one! Hurrah!
Storage is a bio-neural vector imaging carbofile store with immeasurable capacity pseudo-hard drive utilising aluminium organospheres. Unfortunately, still no room for those video files. Outside access is via a 4649M video-modem through we-will-actually-pay-YOU-fifty-eurodollars-serve.com Still connecting at about 33k usually.
Software is Aircon, which is much better than Windows.
Audio is supplied through multi-phase ver. 6.947.34a displayed on a widescreen 73″ plasma projector SCD with Dolbyson Pro-logisense sensurround implant mini-speakers with built in giga-woofer (boooooooooooooooooooooooom!).
RolexPro Diamonte with Applechip processor and superlite mini-screen, glued to inside of contact lens. Thought activated inputs. Solar powered, with 11-month backup battery, developed by the Norwegians, unsurprisingly.
Still got my Canon Bubblejet, although I have now changed the ink cartridge.
Author: Vince Poynter
This is an extract from the vinceunlimited.co.uk/computer.htm website Version 5.009 dated 19 Oct 2017
These details were first published in the first version of the vinceunlimited website, Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The images were first added in Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017
Where can you find me? Only at the centre of the universe. That’s where.
It is a brave statement indeed to make a claim that I can be found at the centre of the universe. Even more foolhardy to state that I can prove it. But I am and I can.
Firstly you need to understand and accept the concept of infinity. It is quite easy this bit. Infinity in terms of distance is a very long way away, then a bit more. Kind of like further than that beer on the coffee table when you are slumped in front of the TV. Even further away than your chances of dating a Hollywood megastar, unless you are another Hollywood megastar of course. Or a film producer. Or a thousand dollar hooker of course. Anyway, you get the picture. Infinity is such a huge number that when applied to distances I wouldn’t like to drive it – Not without a comfort stop.
Now, if I were to move forward, as far as possible, to the edge of infinity it would take me…? Let’s see, about the same time as it would if I were to move backwards at the same rate to the edge of infinity. I shall call that time X. No, I won’t, I’ll call it Gerald, other people always call it X.
Anyway, in Gerald, travelling at a constant speed I could reach the edge of infinity from any direction I please. Infinity is the same distance, up, down, front, back or even sideways. Whether you are on a pushbike, in a sidecar or a space shuttle travelling at twenty six times the speed of Gerald.
If this is the case I must surely be right slap-bang in the centre – Of the Universe. Point proved.
Now, all I have to do is prove that I’m also immortal. That one could take some time.
Author: Vince Poynter
From the vinceunlimited.co.uk web site Version 5.008 dated dated 18 Oct 2017
Article first published in Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The text is reproduced, unedited, as published in Oct 2003
The image depicts the author’s wife not being able to point out the centre of the universe [hint: It’s taking the photograph]. The image was added in Version 5.008 on 18 Oct 2017
When I was a child and through to a teenager I, like most of my peers, had a desire to own a bicycle. It was like a right of passage. Part of life development. It seemed natural and ordinary. It represented growth, freedom and independence. It was after all the status symbol of a generation. A chance to explore wider boundaries and meet new friends.
Bicycles were certainly an expensive thing. In my world at the time it had serious financial implications for parents. As one of three children getting expensive gifts was an extremely rare thing. In those days toys were reserved for special occasions like Birthdays or Christmases and the cost of bikes were probably more than treble that were spent on those days combined.
Plus there was an element of danger. Children, bikes and traffic didn’t mix well with the former usually coming off worst.
It was for the above reason my father steadfastly refused to buy his children a bike. And of the three of us I was the most upset by this. Very upset. Extraordinarily upset. Boundary tantrum upset.
I reasoned that bicycle ownership would help me develop. I was a timid child, small compared to most school colleagues, a pacifist in an angry world, scared with insecurities about being considered part of it. I struggled to have close friends at school and was further alienated by being unable to be part of the cycling gangs developing. With no bike I appeared to be a loner. A loser.
It didn’t help that my circumstances took me away to a remote school at twelve years old and getting there was a pain. Bus rides, long walks and being miles from friends when socialising was unbearable. It is even probably the reason I never became a rock star.
I argued long and passionately about these points with my dad but he was unrepentant. I pointed out that I, more than other children, would treat riding with respect and care to avoid becoming the jam in a car sandwich. I reasoned that by restricting this activity he was cruel, stunting my development and curtailing any after school activities. I even offered to have nothing else if only I could have a bike. But to no effect. There was no way he’ll change his mind.
As a result of this I wrote a song. A duet, coupled with chorus elements served to suggest a West End musical style because that is exactly what it was intended to be. This passionate episode in my life was written to be part of a plan for a musical of my life that I was considering and working on in the 1980s. The lyrics were penned in 1989. The musical has yet to be completed.
The unedited original lyrics are reproduced in full in my website. In the ‘Songs’ section click on the bit labelled ‘Bike’. The link is vinceunlimited.co.uk/bike.htm or vinceunlimited.co.uk/bikem.htm if you are viewing this on a smartphone.
Despite the apparent complexity the song does not yet have any musical accompaniment. I will eventually get around to doing this but will first need to learn how to write music. This was a serious flaw in my plan to write that musical. So, can you help?
If the tune is great and it becomes a success I may buy you a bike. Providing you don’t bloody well go on about it all the time.
Author: Vince Poynter
This is an extract from the re-launched, hand coded vinceunlimited.co.uk web site Version 5.006 dated dated 16 Oct 2017 and is an explanation of a song originally written in 1989 and published in Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts the author sat on one of his first bicycles.
One of the big issues facing mankind today is the moral question of whether we should be allowed to grow animals purely for use as spare parts for humans. Technological advancement is reaching the point where soon we will be able to grow compatible human parts within live animals.
And in 2017 the UK issued plans to make organ donor presumed consent a thing. If we have to go to the trouble of opting out then so can the mammals. Unless they fill out a form on the internet.
Imagine, a man’s spare spleen, if you can, grown by a dog. Or a newborn baby’s amputated lower arm being re-grown by a monkey. Or an arse transplanted from a horse onto a woman (I’m sure I’ve seen her already).
The issue centres on whether it is moral to do this. I believe it may be immoral not to do it. I would argue that mankind is no more than a species, albeit a very successful one and one which we are lucky to be a part of. And like all other species humans have developed the best way to survive and prosper. Being able to harvest parts from other species is just another development in the clear superiority of humans. All species use the resources available to them and just as our food farming is a clever extension of this ability so is improving this to include repair of damaged or old body parts. It is a natural extension. Nature.
And who wouldn’t choose to live longer, providing the quality of their life through use of renewable, healthier parts was assured.
The only concerns I would personally have is to impose controls on the supply. I couldn’t accept that the system was open to be abused by undesirable people. And I’m not scaremongering about a dozen cloned dictators. That just couldn’t occur. No, I would worry about persistent drunks using surrogates to grow banks of spare livers. And I would have concerns about stinking smokers using animals to constantly transplant their lungs. Transplanting their brains might be a better idea.
My own view is that I would be happy for a pig to grow a heart for me, then for me to have it transplanted when mine is worn out. And I could enjoy a good bacon sandwich afterwards. Long live technology.
Author: Vince Poynter
From the vinceunlimited.co.uk web site Version 5.003 dated dated 6 Oct 2017. Article first published in Version 1.00 in Oct 2003. The text is reproduced, unedited, as published in Oct 2003. The image depicts the author in Gibraltar getting close up and personal with one of the famous Barbary Macaques. The image was added in Version 5.003 on 6 Oct 2017
It wasn’t until I got my revamped web site all uploaded yesterday that I realised there were a few bugs, as I suppose there often are with projects of this scale.
The main problem encountered was my coding. All links were shown as [typical] /linkname but in the uploading process they were saved as /linkname.htm I quickly got around this problem by renaming them all via my FTP client back to /linkname This got the site up and running. A cheeky fix but it worked.
However, as I am a perfectionist at heart and I wanted ease of use in future uploads I decided to re-code all the pages, all 107 odd desktop and mobile, to suit.
I’m not sure what you did today.
Now, I shall start the actual process of updating my files so the site is properly fully populated.
To get the full site experience go to vinceunlimited.co.uk