Peter and Pauline Curtis's Information Service
Welcome to our site. Pauline is an author, consultant, lectures in the Open University and is researching into innovation policy and Total Quality. Pauline's is also completing the dissertation for an LL.M (Master of Laws) to keep busy. Peter was in the Space game - Earth Observation and Satellite Meteorology and now writes some Open-source software. Our background includes research, government service and small firms.
We enjoy problem solving, proposal writing and working as consultants or in partnership to offer practical advice on policy, strategy and tactical approaches, especially in support of Small Firms.
Our home is in England, alongside the River Thames. Our pastimes include Travel, photography (Still and Video), music, Winemaking, Watercolour Painting, Writing, IT, Fitness and much time restoring our listed house. We have a Narrowboat called Corinna and had a Birman cat called Tigger.
- Updated - News Flashes with the latest news, information and changes of interest to the regular visitor.
- Updated - First visit - why we have a web site and a basic guide to the site
- Updated - Pauline's Pages - of interest to Artists, Authors, OU Students and Tutors.
- Uniquely New Zealand - A Touring and Camping Guide to the places a "Package" can not reach.
- Travel Highlights - some of our more recent trips of interest to those who want to travel the world.
- New - Christmas on the Queen Victory This was actually two cruises booked separately but as we realised the Christmas cruise alone was rather short. The first cruise took us into the Mediterranean and the second down to the Canaries where we had our best Christmas ever. Between the two cruises we visited La Coruna, Gibraltar, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Madeira, Tenerife, La Palma and La Coruna for a second time.
- New - French Riviera and Adriatic Wonders was a last minute bargain taking fly cruise for 14 days on the Queen Elizabeth from heathrow to Rome, Pisa, Monte Carlo which we did not make through bad weather, Toulon, Barcelona, Rome, Corfu, Kotor Dubrovnik and a whole day and overnight in Venice before flying home to Gatwick. Toulon in France and Kotor in Montenegro were both new to us.
- New - Wonders of the Mediterranean was an Autumn cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary. It was 17 days long taking us from Southampton to Cadiz for Seville, Catania in Sicily, Corfu the Greece Island, Dubrovnik an old favourite in Croatia, our first visit to Korcula in Croatia on to the Highlight of Venice in Italy and back via Gibraltar to Southampton.
- Recent - A Christmas Cruise from Tilbury to the Canary Islands & Madeira 2013 - A Cruise on the Marco Polo A 14 day cruise with the major objective of seeing the spectacular New Year's Eve Firework Display in Madeira. We had some interesting times in Bay of Biscay during some of the worst storms for years.
- Recent - Mediterranean Discovery 2013 - a cruise on the Queen Victoria A12 days cruise to the Mediterranean in December. The main attraction was the itinerary which took us to new places (Cadiz, Valencia and La Coruna) and favourites we wanted to visit again such as Barcelona where we wished to see Gaudi's famous Basilica of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) which we had been unable to get tickets for the last time we went to Barcelona. This cruise was opportunistic and booked only 5 weeks before as we were returning from the Black Sea. The route was Cadiz, Malaga, Valencia, Barcelona, Gibraltar and La Coruna.
- Black Sea and Turkish Splendours 2013 - a cruise on the Queen Victoria A 24 day cruise to the far end of the Mediterranean which featured the best of our last three Mediterranean cruises. The routing took us first to Lisbon which we had not visited for many years then a long passage to a favourite of ours, Malta. It was then on to Ephesus which had been an unexpected highlight of the Ancient Wonders Cruise in 2012 followed by Istanbul, the highlight of the Black Sea and Turkish Splendours cruise in 2012. Yalta and Odessa followed and certainly Yalta merited a second visit before we went to Piraeus, the port of Athens, where we wanted to visit the nearby Corinth Canal. The return took us through very familiar places, Palma in Mallorca and then finally Vigo in Spain which is good for last minute stocking up on Cheese and Wine being EU.
- Return from the Antipodes on the Queen Mary 2 - a 46 day section of the 2013 World Cruise taking us from Auckland round New Zealand to Wellington, the Akoroa Peninsula and Fjordland before crossing the Tasman to Australia to visit Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth followed by a long passage across the Indian Ocean to Mauritius. It was then on to Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town in South Africa and the the passage north to Namibia. We crossed the equator and on to the Canaries, Madeira and finally Vigo in Spain before home to Southampton.
- A Magical Mystery Tour - a cruise on the Cunard Queen Victoria in 2012 taking us from Southampton to see the Ancient Wonders of the World. The itinerary was changed several times both due to bad weather and the problems in Egypt so we did not go to Port Said or Alexandria in Egypt for the Pyramids and gales prevented use entering Rhodes but we did go to Cyprus where we met up with a college friend and to Ephesus which was the highlight of the trip. Other ports were Vigo in Spain, Palma in Mallorca, Valletta in Malta, Piraeus or Athens in Greece, Katakolon (for Olympia) Greece and Malaga in Spain. It was the Queen Victoria's 5 th birthday at the end of the 21 day cruise.
- Updated - Technical “How to” Articles - of interest to those setting up and supporting systems. Some of our most popular or recent articles include:
- New - Fun with Android - My first look at Android Phones, Tablets and Media boxes and their integration with Linux machines and Global Computing and Communications in general
- Updated - Fun with Ubuntu Linux - Actually my first serious look at migrating from Windows to Linux to give security and economy in data use whilst traveling. I am convinced and rarely use anything else on my dual-booted desktop or laptop. Now the entry point to a series covering specialised aspects of Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
- Updated - Adding Spice to Ubuntu - Cinnamon and Mint - Cinnamon is the new Desktop Manager developed for Mint which can also be used with Ubuntu in place of Unity and with Lubuntu and Xubuntu. It provides a very sophisticated conventional desktop which has been very well received and once more makes Ubuntu a sensible proposition. We have shifted all our more powerful machines to Mint and the older machines to Lubuntu.
- Updated - The Chillblast Defiant Optimus Mini Laptop and Linux - a guide to getting the latest Core i7 machines with Optimus NVidia dual Graphics laptops working under Linux (Mint 17 Qiana) - light enough for travel - powerful enough for editing Full HD video.
- Updated - The MSI Wind U100 Netbook and Linux - the story of getting Ubuntu and Linux Mint to work on our Wind U100 netbooks to give the ultimate in mobile communications.
- Extended - Global Computing and Communications - of interest to those who need to keep in touch round the world
- Small Firms Section - of interest to small enterprises that need a presence on the Internet including:
- Site Search - of use to anyone looking for specific places or information on our sites.
- Newsletters: 1996 , 1997 , 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 , 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and our New 2014 Newsletter
- Peter's Resume and Pauline's Full Resume and her Open University Lecturing and Consultancy Experience - of interest to potential employers and customers. (Currently restricted access, email us for a password using the message link below)
- Diary of the creation of a home page -a technical Diary of how it all started in 1996 when the Internet was young - of historic interest to those creating a web site. The series of pages also documents the work leading to our technical 'Howto' Articles. Now on Part 25.
- Technical Blog and Diary - we are starting to put our Technical Diary onto a Wordpress blog, all at a very early stage starting with the articles on our Wind U100 netbook. We get a lot of feedback and hoped this would allow more discussion and interaction but that did not take place and it is little more than a proof of concept.
- Our Poster Collection covering 1895 to 1915 - Vintage Prints, Bovril Prints by C W Faulkner and Co of London, Pears Posters and Vintage Calendars of Melksham, Bristol and Calne - of interest to collectors
- Fitness Peter's attempts to bring a scientific and objective approach into a world of hype - of interest to all wanting to extend their life.
- Watercolour Painting - Pauline's diary of progress since she restarted painting on a recent cruise - just admire or buy a print.
- Diary of an Author - Pauline's experiences in succeeding in getting a book written and published - of interest to others either contemplating or already starting to write seriously.
- Peter's Home Winemaking page - of interest to all who get this far!
Before You Leave
I would be very pleased if visitors could spare a little time to give us some feedback - it is the only way we know who has visited the site, if it is useful and how we should develop it's content and the techniques used. I would be delighted if you could send comments or just let me know you have visited by sending a quick Message.
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