All posts by Stephen Brennan

About Stephen Brennan

Computer Scientist, Network and Communications Engineer and former Professional Photographer, located near Cardiff, South Wales.

Goodbye 2020 you certainly won’t be missed!

It has been an unprecedented year, many of us have lost relatives and friends and have seen many of our normal activities curtailed.

I had intended to undertake some more postgraduate work this year but I put those plans on hold.

My mother had been very frail for some time and did catch Covid in the spring and very surprisingly she recovered. She continued to be very frail and following an extended hospital stay she returned to her care home for her final days. I was fortunate to be able to spend several days at her bedside.

At the end of the first lockdown I was diagnosed with an occular tumour and had surgery at The Royal Liverpool Hospital to insert tantulum markers and a session of proton beam therapy at Clatterbridge on the Wirral. Unfortunately due to the Covid pressures I haven’t had a post operative check up with my local consultant or any MRI scans.

We’re all hoping that there will be a successful roll out of vaccinations that may allow a more normal existence later in 2021.

We also left the EU during the last hour of 2020 which will result in significant changes to the way we interact and trade with our neighbouring countries. The end of freedom of movement and the Erasmus scheme are two areas that will have a significant impact.

I would still like to move to Ireland but there are currently more pressing issues to be resolved.

Repairing Windows 10

A little while ago numerous updates started to fail to install. I like to keep my operating systems up to date so decided to tackle the issue. Always have a backup of your system before attempting any repairs.

The first technique was to run sfc /scannow which checks systems files and generally replaces any problem files. Unfortunately it did find problem files but was unable to correct all of the problems.

The second technique was to mount a Windows 10 iso image and then attempt a reinstallation with the option of retaining personal files and applications, this also failed to complete.

The third technique was to run dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth this ran successfully and I then ran sfc /scannow which also ran successfully. I then booted into safe mode and deleted the SoftwareDistribution folder within the Windows folder to remove all the previous failed updates. I then rebooted and installed the latest Windows updates. So far so good.

Alma Guitar Trio Concert

I attended a concert in Cardiff last night given by the Alma Guitar Trio (Heather Woollacott, Jonnie Cumming and Rowan McConkey).  Classical guitar trios are rarer than hens’ teeth as are arrangements for three guitars.

It was a superb concert with works by Leo Brouwer, Handel, Holst, Carlo Domeniconi, Astor Piazzolla and Paulo Bellinati, the majority of the arrangements were created by the trio.

A terrific evening.

New website

Following the recent changes implemented by Google that means websites need to be mobile friendly (viewable on mobile phones and tablets) I’ve just completed a major update to my website.  I still have a little work to complete to improve the look of the site but so far so good!

I really need to keep my blog up to date!

It really has been quite some time since I last posted on my blog.

I’ve been quite busy recently mainly with commercial photography assignments around South Wales.

I’ve also managed to regularly attend Rotary meetings and we have a fairly active programme of events planned for the current Rotary year.

It’s also been good meeting up with my many Welsh speaking friends over the summer at the regular meetings at Cafe Rana in Ton-teg.

I’ve just had my Land Rover back following some work at Promec the local Land Rover specialists, unfortunately whoever recently changed the clutch on it for the previous owner caused some damage when they reassembled it, thanks to Ian Handford, Adrian and the rest of the team for an excellent job as always.  It’s great to have everything properly sorted now.  I just need to take my Mum’s Polo down to Chris Babbage in Cardiff next week for its MOT.