I went to Dan O’connel’s for the session aptly titled “Piping heaven piping hell” that takes place at 4:30PM every Friday. It was started by Blacky O’Connell. (No relation I think). It is an incredible thing. There can be anything from 5 to 20 pipers all playing in tune for four hours! Brilliant stuff! If you aren’t a piper, you’re going to hate it! It’s fast, it’s generallyin the keys of D, G, A minor, E minor and sometimes A thrown in just for the craic. It’s also like the greatest hits of piping tunes! I just love it!
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I have been busy lately working on a new project that I’m finding very interesting. It’s called Ceol FM. It’s an Internet radio station like no other. It’s aim is to provide the highest quality Irish Traditional and Folk Music using the medium of Internet radio to listeners anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night.
What also sets this apart from any other service that might be similar is the growing choice of streams. Listen to back to back Traditional Irish and Folk Music in a randem order or choose to focus on a specific mood or category. For example, the first two new streams allow you to play Energetic or soothing music. More streams will be made available very shortly.
Ceol.FM was recently featured in the Drogheda Leader on the 5th of April 2017. The article is provided below. Please visit Ceol.FM and make it one of your regular sources of high quality Irish Traditional and Folk Music.
When Darragh Ó Héiligh decided to fuse his passion for traditional Irish music and technology to set up Ceol.FM – an Internet radio station featuring a diverse range of traditional styles and streaming them across the world, little did he know it would become so popular so quickly.
The thirty-four-year-old father of two is a highly-accomplished musician in his own right playing the Uilleann pipes and has travelled the world with his skill. He spoke to the Drogheda leader about the decision to set up the new radio site.
“It all started when I posted to my Facebook page asking if people would be interested in a new Internet radio site featuring solely traditional music and at the end of the day a hundred-people responded positively and by that weekend four hundred people had replied.”
“I work as a senior system administrator in Dublin City University and I have a passion for technology and music so I decided to create the radio site and start streaming music. There has been a great response to it, for example on St. Patrick’s Day there was three hundred and fifty unique listeners on the site from places like England, America and Holland!” Darragh explained.
While the site provides a non-stop music stream free of charge and without any interruptions, Darragh has bigger plans
“The site streams music at a higher rate than other radio sites so the sound quality is much better and I want to continue this. I am going to create more playlists to put up on the site so people can choose what type of traditional music they want to listen to. I am adding to it all of the time.”
“The good thing about Ceol.Fm is that when people visit the site they can go directly to the music stream and choose to listen to this rather than an interview that they might not want to hear – you can’t do this on regular streams,” he explained.
Creating the site was the easy part as Darragh explained while now it is a case of expanding on what the site has to offer and he is hoping to hear from people who may want to help or contribute to it.
“I do this out of my passion for traditional Irish music and I am taken aback at how many people have already visited and tuned in. I’m not looking for profit and it costs €150 per month to host the site so if people want to contribute that would be great. I would also welcome anyone who had an interest in broadcasting to get in touch with me,” he added.
To find out more go to www.ceol.fm.
A screen shot of the article follows:
We are christening our son Rían today.
Yes. We’re a bit late. He was born ten months ago.
IT’s not all our fault though. Since getting Méabh Christened two short years ago, our local church has created a maze of red tape to get through before they would let us finally arrange a date. Then, of course. With completing major work on the house back in December and January, we were a bit distracted at the start of the year.
Rían is coming along great though. He’s cruising around furniture and walking independently with anything he can push around the floor. Chairs, the dog, toys. He’s using everything to stay upright the cutest is when he props up against the dog food for large breeds bag and it towers over him!
Like with Méabh before her Christening, I took Rían out of the house this morning to have a word with him. It was the usual kind of thing. Try to be good today, don’t pull anyone’s eyes out, try not to scream too much. I think he understood. Well, I’ll assume that’s what the repeated head-butts meant.
So to everyone reading this blog who is coming, I hope you have a very enjoyable day.
I was working from home today so I wasn’t up and out so early.
The coffee with the Coconut milk is ok but it’s not great. It makes the coffee taste very strong. I usually like a good strong coffee but this was different. It’s tolerable but not great.
This afternoon I tried Almond milk instead. This makes the coffee as smooth as with normal milk. I’d definitely recommend it.
Of course I started with my normal bowl of Weetabix. I made My daughter Méabh’s first using normal milk but she has her eye on the coconut milk. I’ll probably work from home again for a day or two this week so I must let her try it. Again, it’s fine. No major difference. I find that the Weetabix goes a bit dry faster than with normal milk but that’s a minor annoyance.
This afternoons dinner was late. Sometimes schedules just can’t be met. I had a lot of work on that wasn’t being very accommodating to my need to have sustenance around 1PM so I waited until about 4.
Today’s dinner was a Vegan shepherds pi. The recipe is below. Please believe me that it was one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted. It was just fantastic. That’s definitely one we’ll do again.
I’ll hold my hands up and say that because we are using fresh produce for everything I’m absolutely useless when it comes to cooking this stuff so as one of Emma’s aunts pointed out, Emma has taken an on a lot of the challenge of this week. This isn’t lost on me and I really appreciate it. I wouldn’t have a clue where to start with a lot of these new dishes.
We weren’t in the mood for anything substantial later today so Emma made these small biscuit things. Again, they were really good and apart from the bit of jam on the top, they were very healthy. Unfortunately, Emma didn’t particularly like them but I thought they were fine. Again, the recipe is below.
Thanks for following along and thanks for the comments.
I’ve had problems updating my iPhone from IOS9.1.1 to IOS9.2 since it was released in the middle of December.
I’ve tried the usual fixes:
- Updating from the iPhone as normal. This fails just after verifying the update.
- Updating from iTunes. This fails trying to create a backup. IT always says there isn’t enough space on my 2TB hard drive that’s about 50% free.
- I even resorted to resetting to factory defaults and installing the update before restoring from an iCloud backup. This gave the same errors as before.
- Obviously this is after various resets and trying from different wireless and wired networks on different Internet connections.
- I’ve even tried changing my regional settings to see if it was something related to my connectivity to an Irish update repository.
Today I’m trying something different. I’ve downloaded the firmware for IOS9.2 and I’ve restored using that IPSW file using iTunes.
Of course this is going to wipe the iPhone again but restoring from an iCloud backup using Doulci activator will get everything back as it was. Excluding WiFi, Email and social network passwords for some reason.
This is the first time in about six years that I’ve had problems with an IOS upgrade. It’s quite frustrating and disappointing.
Why use bridging.
Consider a situation where you have a bog standard modem / router provided by your Internet Service Provider.
You’ve just upgraded to the latest and greatest Fibre, EFibre or as it is technically named VDSL connection.
You are getting fantastic speeds but you have a better router there sitting in a box that isn’t VDSL compatible.
This is a perfect reason to use bridging. You use the modem functionality of the modem / router that the Internet Service Provider has given you but you get all the great features of the more expensive router that you already have.
However, let’s say you have a VDSL compatible modem sitting there. You can use this instead of the modem supplied to you by your internet service provider. There are valid arguments that this is actually a more secure solution. However, keep in mind that if you go down this route, your internet Service Provider may not support you if you encounter problems with your Internet connection if you do not have your standard modem to hand.
I’m a terrible blogger. Day 3 and 4 of my Apple Watch review have been amalgamated into this. Day 5. Please forgive me.
On the plus side, I have a bit more of interest to tell you hopefully.
On Friday I was in Dublin for the day so the Apple watch was used quite extensively. I tried not to reach for my phone as much and in fairness, the Apple Watch saved me some time. Or…. Did it? Yes. The apple Watch is always on your wrist but the interface isn’t always intuitive. Specifically from the perspective of a Voiceover user. When I raise my wrist for example. I want Voiceover to always speak the time automatically. It’s quite good at that but it’s not 100% consistent. Likewise when I get a notification. I want to raise my wrist and hear the notification. I don’t want to have to tap and feel around the screen. That’s not efficient at all! So, yes. At times I wonder if it’s not just easier and faster to read these notifications directly from my phone. Certainly the responsiveness of Voiceover has a lot to do with this frustration. It’s only about a half a second but if any other screen reader had this kind of lag I’d have thrown it out ages ago. The apple Watch will be no exception if I don’t see signs of improvement very shortly.
I said in my previous post that I’d try using the Apple Watch with a Bluetooth headset. This certainly feels more natural than holding a watch up to my ear but it’s yet another component to carry around. I use a headset very regularly so it’s not a big deal but I choose when to bring it. With the Apple Watch I may need to bring it all the time.
That aside, I left the house on Friday morning and as I usually do, I started to catch up with customers, suppliers and colleagues while walking. I had the Bluetooth headset paired to the watch so I could hear Voiceover however when I made a call the Bluetooth headset was useless! The watch speaker was used instead! This to me is almost a deal breaker. Why oh why can’t the Apple Watch use my Bluetooth headset to take a call. It seems like the most obvious feature. Especially considering the Apple Watch supports music playback through the Bluetooth headset. That by the way seems like a stupid feature to me. But if it’s going to support music playback, why can’t it support calling over the Bluetooth headset?
I can get over the need to use a Bluetooth headset for the watch if it allows me to make and receive calls directly from that device using the same headset but this half implemented solution really annoys me.
One thing I really like about the Apple watch is the exercise, movement and stand reminders. These would be irritating to most people but I am actively trying to become more physically active so I’m liking the regular reminders at the moment. Of course, when I don’t want them, I can just disable that feature. On Saturday, I cycled for almost three hours so I achieved over 420% of my exercise goal, 226% of my activity goal but sadly only 87% of my stand goal. How I only achieved 87% of my stand goal is completely beyond me but anyway. I’m’ not particularly worried. By Saturday night I was just ever so slightly tired. It was nice to know that I had a tangible notification and record of my efforts. It’s important to acknowledge the work that Apple have done on making the Apple Watch accessible to people who are blind. Although in many ways I think the product isn’t quite ready for most users of Voiceover, I highly respect Apple’s intentions and the work they have put in to this. It’s also not lost on me that before the Apple Watch, much of this technology was inaccessible to us. In fact, this is the first wearable technology to be fully accessible to Blind people. That’s something that I probably haven’t praised enough. However, the bottom line is important. As a consumer and as a user. Can I justify continuing to use a device with so many flaws?
I mentioned that I was cycling on Saturday. We had gone about 3KM when I remembered to start tracking the trip. I had everything ready on the Apple watch so I pressed the digital crown, used force touch to bring up the start screen then tried to swipe left and right to find the start button. The problem is, I was also trying to peddle etc. It was very difficult. Unfortunately, I thought I double tapped on start but it mustn’t have worked because it didn’t track the cycle. I was more than a little disappointed by it. The point I’m making is the interface isn’t consistent enough to use without giving it more than a little bit of your attention. For example, on the iPhone the surface are of the screen is bigger so you can touch the area you think a button might be and you will probably find it very quickly. The Apple watch is very small so you would think finding the buttons would be easier. No! The buttons are smaller so it’s actually often much more difficult. The lag between when you put your finger on the screen to when Voiceover starts speaking is actually so pronounced in my opinion that sometimes you may actually have been on the right control but because Voiceover didn’t speak fast enough you’ve already moved on to where you think the control might be in error.
Echoing what others have said about the Apple Watch, the battery life is fantastic and because I’m not checking notifications as often on the phone the battery on my iPhone seems to last a little longer as well.
I post to Audioboom an dsound cloud when ideas come into my head so I’ve decided that to revive this site a little, I’d link the other services I post to so that when I record a podcast in Audioboom for example you see it as a new blog post here.
Any thought’s? The first podcast is here: By the way, you can also subscribe through the iTunes podcast service if you like.
2014 is almost finished and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the end of a year.
Usually, I’ll try to see the good in things but this year the bad took over the good.
On the 23rd of May my granny died. Coming to terms with this hasn’t been easy. I’m probably not through grieving yet either. There’s rarely a day when I don’t think of her.
I’ve also been handed way more than I can handle in work. I’m managing the support team, implementing new solutions like the SMS gateway and the new backup solution, managing a few contractors, implementing and monitoring security and maintaining the entire production, test and office environments. As well as this, I’m also the escalation point for support so just as I’m about to really focus on a problem, someone will stand at my desk expecting an immediate answer. Managing people is very difficult. Managing people and also doing another full time job is next to impossible. The balls that I’m juggling regularly fall so when I’m focused on managerial, something in the environment goes pear shaped. When I’m focused on the environment or a new system, work doesn’t get done and I have to go back to management again.
This year has been great in other ways. We rented an apartment in Spain for a month in June. That was a fantastic experience. Living in a completely different climate was refreshing and relaxing. I worked over there for a few weeks and then took a few weeks off at the end.
I also travelled to Canada with Comhaltas for the Echoes of Erin tour. I blogged about it at the time so take a look if you’re interested. That was an absolutely incredible two weeks. I loved Canada and the Canadian people. The people I travelled with were lovely and great musicians as well so all round I couldn’t have been happier with the experience.
This is also our second year of marriage. Without Emma I wouldn’t have handled my granny’s passing and all the stresses of work. She has both picked me up and given me a kick in the ass when I’ve needed it. One of the best things I ever did was propose to Emma. I continue to admire and appreciate her determination, kindness, patients, humour and thoughtfulness. She is also the reason why Méabh our daughter continues to thrive. I just hope Méabh doesn’t talk as much…
Speaking of Méabh she is just brilliant. A month ago she progressed from trying to walk to actually getting up and going where ever she wanted. It was in the most unlikely place as well. We were visiting Mick O’Brian and his daughter Aoife when they finished a performance in Drogheda. We let Méabh down for a second and she just got onto her feet and walked away. It was really that quick. She saw something she wanted and she walked to it. Actually, I think it was another person but she decided it was more convenient to walk over. Apart from walking Méabh is getting on really well. She’s forming a lot of different sounds and occasionally she correctly replicates something that we’ve said. For example, on Sunday Emma said Ouch. Méabh thought this was hilarious so said outzz. It wasn’t completely accurate but it was a great first try. I also get called Daddy first thing in the morning or when she gets excited. Any other time I get called Dada. She’s trying to say Nama’s name too but that usually comes out as Nana or Nananananana. I don’t expect any real words from her for a good six months or so and even then they will be very simple but it’s really interesting to hear her start to explore the different sounds.
Again, moving on, I mentioned Nama my guide dog in the last paragraph. I have him two years now. He’s been better than I could have anticipated. I’m convinced he’s bullet proof. No situation seems to put him off. When I need him he’s an absolute rock and when it’s time to unwind he’s a big pup.
So there you have it. 2014 has been very good but unfortunately because of two bad things the good has been over shadowed. Bring on 2015.
I would like to finish by wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a rewarding, fulfilling and prosperous new year. My sincerest thanks for continuing to visit this website. My special thanks to those who have left comments and who have contacted me through the site. It has been a pleasure to contine the DigitalDArragh.com website for an eleventh year.