Nov 182012

10 weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about my diet progress.

I am now 16 weeks into my diet and have made great progress.

I have continued to use the myFitnessPal Android application which I can’t say enough good things about – it has let me monitor how many calories I am eating each day and how many calories I’m burning through exercise. It also lets me compare foods so I can decide what to eat each day. I don’t feel like I’m skimping on food – last night, I went out for a meal with my girlfriend and had a delicious ribeye steak and a dessert. As long as you balance what you are eating, you don’t need to skimp or only eat rabbit food…

I decided to try to get fit as well as losing weight, so I enrolled in the Couch to 5k (C25K) programme which is a structured training program which takes you from doing no exercise to running 5km (30 minutes) in 9 weeks doing 3 runs per week. I’m currently at the start of Week 6 and did a 4km (20 minute) run a couple of nights ago – that’s the furthest I’ve run since high school. To help with the training, I have been using the Rundouble Android application which has been excellent – it tells you when to run and when to walk, it tracks your speed and distance via GPS and gives you a map of your run and statistics about your pace and distance at the end. While the NHS podcasts are good, I prefer the extra features offered by Rundouble. I also bought myself a Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Sportswatch with Heart Rate Monitor which gives me more information including my heartrate – this satisfies my inner geek. You can see how I’m doing on my Garmin Connect profile.

I’m so confident that I will be running 5k soon, I have signed up for the Bupa Great Winter Run on January 5th 2013. This is a 5km run through Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, around the base of Arthur’s Seat. Although it’s not a long run, it is hilly and it’ll be very cold!

To give my self more incentive to keep training, I’m asking for sponsorship from friends and family at JustGiving – all the money I raise will go to Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland who do some great work.

So, in the past 16 weeks, I’ve lost 19kg (42lbs) – exactly 20% of my original bodyweight and it’s been easy!

If you doubt you can lose weight and get fit, don’t – get out there and do something about it – it’s not hard. If you’re not going to do that, ease your conscience by sponsoring me  at JustGiving *g*

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

Nov 172012

On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Microsoft released 6 security bulletins in their regular ‘Patch Tuesdy’. After installing the bulletins and rebooting my Acer V3-571 laptop which is running Windows 8 Pro (64-bit) I found that I no longer had a wireless connection to my network. The Wireless Network Adapter in this laptop is an  Atheros AR5BWB222.

The device manager showed that the device was having a problem:

Device Manager

The Windows 8 Device manager showing an exclamation mark against the wireless adapter.

Further, the properties of the device showed that the device was unable to start. Attempting to update the driver reported that the latest driver was already installed – even connecting to a wired network and allowing the Device Manger to search the internet for a better driver was unsuccessful.

The solution is to visit the Acer website at, go to the  support section and choose driver downloads. Enter either your computer model number (in my case V3-571), or the serial number from the sticker which you will find on your machine.

Choose the ‘drivers’ tab and locate the driver for the Atheros Wireless LAN  (see the screenshot below)

Acer driver download

The driver download page on the Acer website,

Device properties

The properties of the wireless device show that it is unable to start.










The driver is 37Mb in size and comes as a zip file. Save it to your hard drive and, once the download is complete, extract the zip file to a folder.

(It may be a good idea to download all the drivers for your computer and store them in case you need them when you don’t have access to the internet)

Back in the device properties window, choose the ‘Driver’ tab and click the ‘Update Driver’ button.

When you are prompted ‘How do you want to search for driver software?’choose ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ and navigate to the folder into which you extracted the zip file. Follow the wizard to completion and the driver will be installed.

Check the device manager and you should now no longer see the exclamation mark against the wireless adapter.

Open up the network connections screen and enable the wireless device if necessary. Reconnect to the wireless network as normal (you will need to enter your wireless password when prompted).

You should now have wireless access to your network and the internet.

I hope this helps you get back online – let me know in the comments how you get on!

Nov 112012

When you’re running, it’s really easy to lose enthusiasm and run out of energy. I’ve put together some tunes which help me stay motivated – most of the running albums are full of techno music which is fine, but gets a bit boring. I think these tunes are good for running to – there’s a mix of tempos and styles. Be aware though that some of the songs feature explicit lyrics.

Let me know in the comments what you think of these choices – and let me know if you have any suggestions – what music do you run to?

 Posted by at 8:51 pm