Hello World

After several years of being a blogger, off and on, I’ve decided to start something new. My previous posts are over at adrianj.co.uk though some of the things I’ve posted there may not apply now.

This is where I will share what’s going on in my life, and the adventures I’m hoping to have in programming.

As an introduction, I’m Adrian, I live in Nottingham with my wife Mandy, and I work as a web developer.

I love programming and discovering what’s happening in the world of technology. Unlike most programmers, I don’t have an affinity to one particular platform. Most people are pro-Apple, anti-Microsoft, pro-Google etc. whereas I see the good and bad in all. I have Macs which also run Windows. I use tablets running all the major platforms (Android, iOS and Windows). I program in PHP for the web and also dabble in Microsoft .Net and Objective-C depending on my mood. I prefer it when things just work.

Mandy and I are both Christians and members of Grace Church in Nottingham. We both have a heart for serving the city and helping people reach their potential.

I also like architecture and things related to design. I prefer visiting cities rather than the country and don’t have any interest in sport.

That’s pretty much it about me. I hope you enjoy my blog.

myJohnLewis Loyalty Card

John Lewis, the UK based department store, was one of the last few remaining retailers yet to launch a loyalty card. In one sense, that’s what set them apart from everyone else – knowing whenever I purchased something from there I wouldn’t be asked for a card or fooled into thinking I had to spend more to get benefits I didn’t really need.

Anyway, recently, (ok October 2013, which proves how often I shop there), John Lewis have succumbed and launched their own loyalty card. Called myJohnLewis, it operates in much the same way as other loyalty cards in that you gain points when you spend, and hopefully you’ll gain enough points to buy something else you want. One difference though is that you get a free drink every month (using vouchers that came through the post).

However, as with all things from John Lewis, the branding and packaging of the card matches the whole John Lewis experience – this “experience” being “someone cares”. When you wander around the store, you sense that people have taken time and effort to arrange everything to help you browse and buy. Items are set out neatly, and you are invited to try things out to see if you like it. The overall branding of John Lewis is very clean and clear – you want to read the little booklet that comes with the card because it’s inviting you to.

Time will tell whether I will use the card or not, yet I want to because of the packaging it came in.

Weekend Links 2

More links for the weekend now, starting with…

Nightwalk in Marseille

I appreciate this site more having been to Marseille last year, but even if I hadn”t have been, I would have liked it because of it”s concept and how it works.

The site combines Google Maps and Street View with other web niceness to enable you to walk round the city of Marseille at night experiencing the sites and sounds. You check your progress in the map in the lower left corner, and along the way items appear in the main screen for you to click and view.

To get the best experience, put your headphones on…

https://nightwalk.withgoogle.com/en/

night-walk-marseillenight-walk-marseille-2

World of Swiss

I”m not sure if you would class this as a mini-site or micro site, but either way it”s a very clever site for Swiss Air.

To navigate through the site, you just scroll. To begin with, there are the sales-y bits for Swiss Air, but then you”re taken to details of the aircraft they use, and finally a live map of where their planes are in the air. Selecting a plane on the map gives you the flight details.

http://www.world-of-swiss.com/en

Nott Just a City 2014

Yesterday I took a look at a pop up exhibition that is located within the former Dwell store on Fletcher Gate, Nottingham. Called Nott Just a City, and organised by Nottingham & Derby Society of Architects, it features work by students and architecture practices, within the Nottingham and Derby area as well as further afield.

Besides the exhibition pieces, there are also some demonstrations and fun things for children to do, related to architecture and building, as well as talks by architects. On the day I visited, the demo was brick making, and looking at the website there is also a feature to build a Nottingham landmark out of Lego. If I had known about it earlier, and maybe had more information about the talks, I might have tried to attend one.

I found the exhibition interesting, and not too over whelming. I wasn’t sure how many of the exhibits were of buildings that are planned or which are projects from students, however, there were some very intriguing looking buildings.

The exhibition is open daily 12pm to 8pm at The Pod on Fletcher Gate, Nottingham until 19th April. You can follow Nott Just a City on twitter @Nott_Justacity.

Nottingham Train Station

After months of refurbishment, and partial closure, the concourse to Nottingham Train Station has finally re-opened. During the refurbishment, access to platforms and purchasing tickets was done at a temporary station, so it was great to see the work completed in the main building.

Outside, the brickwork has been treated and cleaned. On the day I visited, it did look clean and well presented, although I”m sure some sunshine would have made it look even better.

Inside, it”s a major transformation. The old taxi rank and drop-off points are closed off to traffic and pigeons, and are now passenger friendly. It”s very spacious, bright and airy, a very welcome change to the fume filled space it was before. The roof has been opened up to let in plenty of sunlight, which will add to the overall ambience of the place. Shops will take the place of the large white enclosures dotted around the place, which I expect will get busier when the tram stop moves closer sometime during 2014 (I expect people will get off the tram at the stop and walk through the station to get to Carrington Street).

Further inside, what used to be the main waiting area has been cleaned and it seems as the space is less busy it”s easier to spot the art-deco features. Where this space used to contain a food outlet, lots of information boards, and was generally busy, most of these have moved which enabled me to appreciate the features even more. Again, the roof has been opened up, and sections repainted to make it stand out more. It”s one of the few train stations I”ve been in where I would want to look up, rather than get to my train quickly.

The newsagents have gone and the space is now taken by the ticket office, although these days are less important as people buy online or at the ticket machines in the station. The old ticket office is closed off, awaiting occupation. Whoever takes over will have a gem of location space.

When the trams roll across the bridge at the back of the station, the shop units inside are occupied, and Carrington Street has the facelift it needs, the station will be a very welcoming place for people arriving in Nottingham.

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