Restoring BBC iPlayer & 4OD after PS3 HD upgrade

Earlier this week I replaced the hard drive from my original (“fat”) Sony Playstation 3, upgrading from 40 to 250 GB of storage. The whole process took less than an hour and, in hindsight, I wish I had performed the upgrade a long time ago.

Once the new HD was installed, both BBC iPlayer and Channel 4 OD were missing from my Playstation dashboard. After a little bit of searching I managed to find a solution and have shared this, below.

How to upgrade your PS3’s HD / internal storage

Removing the old PS3 hard drive is easier than you think:

– copy your saved game data to a memory stick;
– open the HD cover on the side of your PS3;
– remove the retention screw & slide the HD cradle over to the right;
– slowly pull the HD cradle from your PS3;
– remove the 4 screws that hold the HD into the cradle;
– remove the old HD;
– place your new HD in the cradle and secure with the 4 screws mentioned above;
–  slide the HD cradle back inside your PS3;
– slide the  HD cradle back to the left and lock in place;
– replace the retention screw;
– replace the HD cover;
– boot up your PS3 and click “yes” when prompted to format your HD; and
– copy the game saves from your memory stick back to your PS3.

Should you require additional assistance, I suggest watching the video below:

Restoring BBC iPlayer & Channel 4OD

Sign into PSN and then go to account management > system activation > video > [activate].  Once done, you should see PS Home appear on your dashboard.

Navigate to PS Home and allow it to download/install the necessary files. From what I can work out, installing PS Home rebuilds the ‘TV/Video Services’ menu and, as you can see, restores the ‘My Channels’ option.

You can then install BBC iPlayer and 4OD from ‘My Channels’.

Restore BBC iPlayer & 4OD after PS3 HD upgrade
Restore BBC iPlayer & 4OD after PS3 HD upgrade

WordPress for iOS: it so nearly works

Please ignore any unusual formatting in this post: I am testing the latest version of WordPress for iOS.

As I type, it appears as though I have managed to log-in to my blog, create a new post and upload a couple of screen captures from my iPhone’s camera roll.

I first installed WordPress for iOS around the time the iPhone 3G was released. At the time, the app wouldn’t even let me log into my blog without churning out a load of errors.

When the 3G-S was released I tried again, only to find I was limited to reading, approving or rejecting comments. WordPress was no more stable on the iPhone 4, although that was on iOS 4.

I think I can say that (I haven’t pressed submit yet…) WordPress for iOS 5 actually works. Here goes…..

WordPress for iOS 5 test (update)

Unlike previous versions of WordPress for iOS, I was able to log-into my blog and begin editing a new post. Sadly, the good stuff ends there.

While the images have found their way onto my server, they were in the main ‘WP-Content’ folder. This wouldn’t be an issue except for the fact WordPress for iOS set the image location as WP-Content/2011/11/[File Name]. Consequently, the images appeared as broken links in the pre-edited version.

Other than that, WordPress for iOS 5 shows a misleading error message when you try to submit a new post. While it may tell you that the post has failed, it will actually be posted to your blog each and every time you hit submit. Thankfully I was able to remove the 9 duplicate copies relatively quickly this morning!

Maybe WordPress for iOS 5.x will be 100% functional, however I would advise against holding your breath.

Wordpress for iOS (still not quite right)
Wordpress for iOS (still not quite right)

Activating Google Plus (G+) on Google Apps

I must thank James Kimbley, founder of Kimbley Computer Services, for making me aware of the fact Google Plus has finally been made available to Google Apps customers.

Whilst I already have a G+ profile linked to my Gmail account, I find it frustrating having to log out of my @SmarterGroup.biz Google Apps account in order to use G+ on my laptop. As such, I tried to activate G+ on SmarterGroup.biz as soon as I heard the news.

How to activate Google Plus via Google Apps

Now I suspect my frustration may be due to the fact I was trying to activate G+ from an iPhone whilst half asleep. However, so that you don’t end up messing around as I did, here is a quick guide to activating G+ for Google Apps customers:

Activating Google Plus via Google Apps
Activating Google Plus via Google Apps

1. Sign into your Google Apps account;
2. Click “Organization & Users” from the top menu bar;
3. Click on the “Services” tab;
4. Scroll down to Google Plus. Click to move the switch from off > on;
5. Log-in to your Google Account and go to Google.com/+;
6. Ignore the warning message; and
7. That’s it! Your Google Plus account is now active!

Obviously, I now have two Google Accounts: gplus.to/AdamArnold and gplus.to/SmarterCEO. For the time being, people are directed to the former via the latter. As I understand it, Google are releasing a tool in the near future which will allow people in the same situation to merge their profiles – I just hope it doesn’t take as long as the Google Apps release!

Call of Duty: MW3 stock levels (and cash back)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - now available on pre-order
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – now available on pre-order

There is talk that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is completely sold out. I have absolutely no idea how this rumour started as I have managed to locate copies on several different websites:

Edit: the following list is accurate as of 15:00 GMT, 3rd November 2011. Please leave a comment if you have more up to date information.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Pre-Order Availability (UK)

Amazon.co.uk are still taking pre-orders for the standard edition of Modern Warfare 3 on PS3, XBOX, Nintendo Wii, PC.

Game.co.uk have all variants of MW3 available for pre-order. Alongside Hardened Editions for PS3 & XBOX (£79.99), you can also get the standard edition on PS3, XBOX, PC, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DSi & Nintendo DS Lite.

Orders from Game.co.uk are eligible for 4% cash back via QuidCo.

Tesco.com are selling the standard edition of COD: MW3 for PS3, XBOX, PC and Nintendo Wii.

Orders from Tesco.com are eligible for 10% cash back via QuidCo.

If you are looking for the ‘experience’ of a midnight launch, then I suggest you head over to Game.co.uk and reserve a copy for in-store collection. However, I can tell you this is not the fastest way to get your hands on Modern Warfare 3.

Last year, I pre-ordered Call of Duty: Black Ops from the Wolverhampton branch of GAME, on the assumption I could nip in at midnight, grab my copy and be home for 12:15 am. Oh, how I was mistaken! I spent the best part of 2.5 hours stood in the pouring rain with several hundred hardcore FPS fans.

This time around, I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon. Assuming the postal service don’t go on strike, this should provide the most cost effective and hassle free means of obtaining COD: MW3.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Pre-Order Availability (US, Canada & Europe)

Amazon.com is now showing stock for [easyazon-link asin=”B005K8LNZI”]Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Hardened Edition) on PS3[/easyazon-link] and [easyazon-link asin=”B005K8LOA2″]XBOX[/easyazon-link], alongside all versions of the standard edition: [easyazon-link asin=”B00503E9FY”]PS3[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”B00503E8S2″]XBOX[/easyazon-link], PC, [easyazon-link asin=”B00503E9UO”]Nintendo Wii[/easyazon-link], Nintendo DSi & Nintendo DS Lite.

 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has already broken pre-order records
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has already broken pre-order records

Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide (by Google)

If you haven’t seen it already, I would highly recommend that you watch this interview with Matt Cutts, who is in charge of Google’s Web Spam team.

Unless I am mistaken, the point of the video was to clear the air between Google and SEO professional, following Google’s decision to remove certain keyword data from Google Analytics. Aside from pointing out that Google needs people to practice good SEO to help them find and index the best content, Matt Cutts also mentioned a free guide to search engine optimisation.

Download Google’s Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide

SEO starter guide by Google
Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide (by Google)

I took the earliest opportunity to read through Google’s SEO Starter Guide and I’m pleased to note they emphasise the same points as I do in SEO is easy (when you get the hang of it). While I covered the issues of on-site content, on-site signposting and off-site link building in a few paragraphs, Google have churned out 32 pages: talk about detailed guidance!

Whether you are new to SEO or do this for a living, Google’s Search Engine Optimisation Guide is  well worth reading. You can download it using the link above, or simply Google “SEO starter guide”.

Google & free SEO advice

This isn’t the first time Google has published free help relating to Search Engine Optimisation and I doubt it will be the last. However, it did remind me of the following video, in which Matt Cutts uses several examples to demonstrate what constitutes good and bad SEO:

Matt Cutts – Google on Search Engine Optimisation

In my post Google Analytics – Keywords (Not Provided), I said Google’s SSL update has caused an uproar in the search engine community, with some fearing that the end is near for SEO professionals. I went on:

Despite this, I remain optimistic about the future of search engine optimisation, as a means of generating enquiries for your products or services, and conversion rate optimisation (CRO), as a means of monetising said interest.

Consequently, I was delighted when I saw the following video by Matt Cutts, who heads up Google’s Web Spam team:

Matt begins by clarifying Google does not consider SEO to be spam. On the contrary, Google actively encourages SEO as a means of ensuring your web pages are well represented in search engines.

It is made clear that Google needs individuals to practice SEO to help them find and index the best content. Some examples of how to do this include:

– good site structure (including use of URLs, folders and categories);
– make sure pages can be crawled and indexed by search engines;
– correct use of keywords (avoid complex jargon); and
– site loading times (faster is better).

For further reading on these, please feel free to check out my post SEO is easy (when you get the hang of it).

While he doesn’t go into much detail, Matt makes reference to CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation – and encourages website owners to experiment with different forms of content to see what converts the highest percentage of site visitors into sales.

Finally, Matt differentiates between White Hat and Black Hat SEO. In a nutshell, White Hat is good and Black Hat is bad: if you get caught doing the latter don’t expect to see your website in the search engines any time soon. If you don’t believe me, check out this article on BBC News: BMW given Google death penalty.

Maximuscle PROGAIN & PROMAX

For reasons I still haven’t really talked about, I took a 24 month break from just about everything. This includes work (hence the demise of Smarter Housing), play and everything inbetween.

Learn how to get the best deal on MaxiMuscle products – Maximuscle vs Tesco & ASDA

In a nutshell, I lost the plot as a result of hugely restricted access to my son after getting divorced. Whilst I never got to the point of hiring a Spiderman suit and climbing Big Ben, I can see why people are pushed to such extremes. The law in this country is frankly ridiculous when it comes to protecting a Father’s right to see his children.  Anyway, that rant will have to wait for another day.

When Smarter Housing ceased trading last year it made me realise what is important in life and this prompted a much needed turnaround in my state of mind. Since then, I have been getting my life back to where it was a few years ago – enjoying success in the business world and having a load of fun in the process.

So, to the subject of this post – I have started using the gym again as I try to rebuild at least 2 and a half stone of muscle that has vanished in the past few years. It would be wrong for me to claim I was ever “built” but I certainly wasn’t skinny 🙂

Maximuscle Size & Strength PROGAIN / Maximuscle High Protein PROMAX

Maximuscle PROGAIN (size & strength) + Maximuscle PROMAX (high protein)
Maximuscle PROGAIN & PROMAX @ Tesco

I’m not going to get into the science behind either of these products, however it is safe to say they compliment a weights programme. For the time being, I am limiting myself to 2 protein shakes per day (morning and night) and 2 servings of creatine (1 before & 1 after the gym).

The last time I bought this stuff, it was just under £40 for the smallest tub. Not cheap, when you consider it’s only supposed to last a week! I’d heard that my local Tesco had started selling supplements so I went to take a look.

Hidden upstairs along with all of the electronics is a small “fitness” aisle. I was pretty chuffed to find the large Maximuscle size & strength PROGAIN available for under £40. I’m going to guess this one will last me 3 weeks, maybe 4 if I’m lucky.

I did a quick check to make sure the deal was as good as I thought – and yes – Tesco is cheaper than other suppliers, even ASDA.

UPDATE: I now buy all of my MaxiMuscle directly, via Maxi Shop. At the time of this update (January 2013) I am using a combination of ProMAX, Cyclone, MaxiPower & RecoverMax.