Time was before the days of "smart" phones when it was standard to be able to sync your contacts between your computer and your phone, and possibly even your SMS messages and calendar. Been doing this since my first digital Nokia in 1994.

It was always a bit flakey and dependent on having the right cable and on the phone manufacturer (usually) providing software to run on the computer (PC or Mac). There were some third party utilities that worked as well and were generally better than the phone makers' offerings which tended to be clunky at best.

Much time spent today grappling with the problem of applying a style to a file upload control on a website. The site application is ASPX pages with code behind in VB. The button controls on the rest of the site (whether asp controls or straight html) are styled with CSS. The new page I was adding as well as various other controls also needed to have the ability for the user client to upload a local file to the server, and then there would be some backend processing happening server-side.

It turns out that there is no simple way to apply a style to the button on an HTML Input type File tag - not surprising since the selection box and button are created client-side by the browser, and in fact different browsers implement it differently. The asp File Upload control is rendered on the client as a standard HTML Input tag with type=file, so even setting the CSSclass attribute doesn't really give you any flexibility. I wanted to be able to independently colour and position both the text box and the button.

Back in the workshop for a day this week doing some 'proper' technical work using screwdrivers and soldering irons.

The task was to take the Emotiv toy EEG headset which uses a wireless link back to the recording software and modify it so that a proper high quality EEG electrode cap could be used wirelessly, thus freeing the participant from being fixed to the chair by the umbilical cord of electrode wires.

When I were a lad...

By the time of 'O' level Maths we were using the old Four Figure Tables for looking up Sines, Tans, Logs etc. One thing it did teach you was an awareness of quantity and sanity checking of your answers - does it sound about the right size or have you slipped a decimal place or two.

For 'A' level in Maths and Physics something a bit more sophisticated was needed so for my 15th birthday my pride and joy was a Thornton slide rule, the double sided model with precision cursor in plastic. I also had an old one of my Dad's dating from when he was at college (Engineering at RNEC Manadon), also a Thornton but made of wood with engraved ivory (I think - might be fake) scales.

I still have them both - and they both still work (no batteries in these babies).