Sunday, 22 February 2015

Old matchbox and matchbook covers

Vintage Matchbox and Matchbook Covers 

I bought an old scrapbook from a flea market in Bridport, Dorset several years ago. According to the inside cover it was a schoolboy's collection from 1967. It has a few hundred matchbook and matchbox covers from the UK, USA, Russia, Spain and other countries. I just took some photos of a few of them. Some of the images are great.
The images below are from:

Fox Brand Oriental Match Works, Pudusuranggudi;
Tiger Brand, The Perak Match Factory;
Hotelli Valtakulma;
Carlsberg Pilsner, The East Asiatic Co., Ltd;
Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant;
Teckchand Tillumal Pilibhit;
Assorted other covers

Fox Brand Oriental Matchworks
Tiger Brand The Perak Match Factory
Hotelli Valtakulma
Carlsberg Pilsner The East Asiatic Co., Ltd
Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant
Teckchand Tillumal Pilibhit
assorted matchbook and matchbox covers

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Interest grows in Internet of Things

Interested to see that the phrase, Internet of Things, is growing in popularity as a search term at the expense of Pervasive Computing and Ubiquitous Computing. I guess it is a catchier term.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Falling cost of data storage

One of my colleagues was throwing out an old iomega 250 MB Zip drive yesterday which took me back to the days when storing digital data was expensive and often complicated. Until the mid-1990s there were few options beyond the 1.44MB floppy disc if you wanted to move data between non-networked computers. This wasn't normally a problem as we did not have digital images or video or MP3s to worry about. Loading software was another matter and often required the use of multiple floppies until writable CDs came along. My first laptop in 1997 had a 1GB hard drive which was more storage space than I thought I'd ever need. Happy days.

Anyway, I did a bit of digging around and found some historical data on the falling cost of computer storage and this table shows the dramatic reductions since 1980. (

falling data storage costs

The iomega Zip 250MB was launched in 2001 and approx. cost £150 (about £220 in today's money) with discs costing £10 (£15 today) each. You can buy a 32 GB USB 3.0 32GB today for around £12 which equates to about 10 pence per 250 MB and without having to pay £220 for the drive. Nothing we didn't already know but its sometimes worth thinking about how technology has changed in such a short time.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Iberica Delights - the best of Spanish food online

One of my ex-students, Oscar Blazquez Sanchez, runs a Spanish food import business. He sources the food directly from producers in Spain and sells it at markets around Sussex as well as via his website.
Having tasted some of the excellent food he sells, I can vouch for its quality and taste. The cheeses, chorizos and serrano hams are like nothing I've tasted from supermarkets here. His company, Iberica Delights, can also cater for private parties and functions and provide Flamenco dancers and musicians as well as authentic Spanish food and drink.
Iberica Delights Serrano Ham

If you want to try the best of what Spain has to offer without leaving the UK then I recommend you give Iberica Delights a try.

If you want to meet Oscar at one of the farmers' markets in Sussex he sells at then click HERE for the dates.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Not all SERPs are created equally

search engine results page SERP
Interesting article from Moz on how Google's search engine results pages (SERPs) can vary depending on who is searching and where they are searching from. We all know that Google will tailor results pages for the same search terms based on user characteristics but I had not realised the extent to which this could happen.  Peter Meyers at Moz has done a good job of putting all the permutations on to one fictional results page.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Excellent mind mapping software

I spent several hours looking at mind mapping software a few weeks ago to help with the development of a book proposal.  I finally settled on XMind for the following reasons:

  • it's free (there are paid versions but the free one seems to meet enough of my needs);
  • easy to use;
  • ability to link files, URLs, images and comments to nodes ( I know most mind mapping software does this but the way it visually represents this data works well).
I've been using it for a couple of weeks and it has really helped me organise my thoughts, make links between concepts and the key themes I want to address in the book. Overall, I feel that I am capturing my thoughts as I progress the proposal.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Digital business tranformation

Interesting discussion organised by the MIT Sloan Management Review on the how businesses are adapting to a range of new digital technologies.

The panel seemed to agree that the most important technologies for businesses at the moment are social, mobile, analytics and embedded devices.  

Some quotes which stood out for me:

"we're only at the very beginning of this next generation of computing and every industry leader will be the one that transforms first"  Kim Stevenson, Intel’s Chief Information Officer;

" a critical skill is to have someone at the top of the company who can keep scanning the technology landscape and explain it to the rest of the management team" Andy McAfee, Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Busines;

"the transformative bit comes from weaving them (technologies) together into an experience for consumers that's way better than we have seen up to now." Didier Bonnet, Senior Vice President and Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting.