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Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 27, 2012


I am taking an online class in Stanford University. The class is named Technology Entrepreneurship, and it is about how we can take an idea and develop it into a real venture. 
I am not good at new ideas, or to be more specific I am not good at entrepreneurial ideas, but for the purpose of the class I had to come up with a good idea.
So I came up with this portal, which it is now in Beta Version, (really a prototype), not fully functioning, but having some functionality.
It is called Web4Applications, and what it really does is to connect small business owners who have a need for an application running on the cloud for their business, with new applications developers who need their application to be promoted.
My first thought was that  every small businesses can have a great benefit and maximize their opportunities by the use of internet. Day to day operations can be facilitated by cloud applications, opportunities can be maximized by making new cooperations abroad, greater promotion of products and services can be achieved. But small businesses usually run by one or two persons, who may not have the time or even the knowledge to use internet for their benefit. Also the cost of hiring extra personnel for the internet is preventing. So I came up with a service doing just that, receiving a specific request from a customer, and through searching (googling) coming up with a proposal and eventually a solution. eg I want a list of companies in Texas that have the same product as our company has.
I want the appropriate for my business online application to keep my daily costs.
I want to renew my desks. Search for styles, prizes, etc.
This service will be paid by hour, and definetely it is cheaper than having permanent personnel, or using   your existing personel that they are hired for another position, to surf the net.
That was the first idea. However, I found out that it is not "difficult" to come up with an idea. The most difficult part is, as always, communication and promotion. Talk with people about your idea and get feedback. And of course give feedback ... to their feedback by taking action and making the neccessary changes to your initial thought. 
So if it is difficult for me to make my idea known, may be difficult to someone else too. If by "googling" someone does not get a good rank to their product, and stays behind, may be they need a boost. Many nice new web applications do not stand out from the crowd, because developers are not marketing persons and they do not know how to promote them. Also they may have not the money for google ads, to pay SEO people, etc. From a survey I run, most of developers use facebook, but is it the right environment for them?
There are of course many places to submit someone their work. But what if there was one main portal,  that web developers put their new product and someone can easily search and find what is needed?
So I came up with Web4Applications .

It is still a prototype and not fully fuctioning. What is mostly needed is a nice search. And of course a form where developers or other web professional can submit their products, which is not yet done. They can register though, and send us their web applications by mail, and so we can propose them to our clients who look for a relative application.
Developers have to pay nothing for registration and submition of their work. We will get our money from ads, when the portal become ... famous and we have many visitors who are searching. But until then, be patient!
And of course I would like to have your feedback.

Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 04, 2012

Βόλτα με ατμομηχανή| Haworth Station| Steam trains

To Haworth είναι ένα χωριό στoν μητροπολιτικό δήμο του Μπράντφορντ στο δυτικό Yorkshire της Αγγλίας. Βρίσκεται στα Πέννινα, 3 μίλια (4,8 χλμ.) νοτιοδυτικά του Keighley και 10 μίλια (16 χλμ) δυτικά από το Μπράντφορντ.
Το Haworth είναι τουριστικό μέρος γνωστό λόγω της σχέσης του με τις αδελφές Brontë, και τον διατηρητέο σιδηροδρομικό σταθμό του. 
Σχετικά με τις αδελφές Bronte, εκεί υπήρχε το πρεσβυτέριο όπου έζησαν τα περισσότερα χρόνια τους, και τώρα είναι μουσείο.
Στο μουσείο μπορούμε να δούμε τα προσωπικά αντικείμενα και τα έπιπλα των αδελφών όπως ήταν όταν ζούσαν εκεί.
Haworth - Steam train excursion
Όσον αφορά στον σιδηροδρομικό σταθμό, χρησιμοποιούνται ακόμα ατμομηχανές! Τουλάχιστον σαν ... ατραξιόν όπως την μέρα που τον επισκεφτήκαμε, τελείως τυχαία ομολογώ! Και ήταν μια χαριτωμένη εμπειρία.
Πήραμε το τρένο από το Haworth, πήγαμε μέχρι το  Keighley όπου έκανε τέρμα, και μετά πάλι πίσω! 
Haworth - Steam train excursion 
Αυτές οι βόλτες ήταν μέρος ενός φεστιβάλ μπύρας και μουσικής. Στο σταθμό του Keighley υπήρχαν κιόσκια με μπύρα 

Όμως και μέσα στο τρένο υπήρχε κανονικό real ale pub! Τέλειο; Εγώ πάντως το βρήκα μια γλύκα το όλο εγχείρημα.
Haworth - Steam train excursion

Στο βάθος camping area
Haworth - Steam train excursion
Η βροχούλα στο τζάμι
Φτάσαμε στο Haworth

City Park View from Dragon Thai

City Park View from Dragon Thai restaurant
Yesterday we had our lunch in Dragon Thai Restaurant in Centenary Square in City Park, Bradford. It is a buffet lunch and dinner, with chinese food, and very nice prices. The lunch is for 6.5pounds per person, from 12:00 to 6:00 pm and dinner starts after that time with 11.5 pounds per person. I do not know if the dinner buffet is bigger, because I just had lunch there. Some other time I shall go for dinner and I shall tell you. 
As I said earlier, it is chinese restaurant, but given from a Bradfordian point of view. Mixed with indian dishes, garlic potatoes and of course chips. It was a tasty food though.
More authentic is the personel, for the waiters/waitresses are indeed chinese, and I had a hard time to communicate properly. I mean I speak english the greek way, they speak chinese the bradfordian way, so we had a real nice talk! 
But all together was a nice experience and surely I shall visit Dragon Thai again!

Κυριακή, Οκτωβρίου 28, 2012

City Vaults - The best pub in town

 City Vaults is definetely the best pub in town! 
This pub was our choice for our Friday evening unwinding, and it was a successful one. We arrived there about half past seven and the pub was full of people who geniunly had a good time. 

The age range of people is from 20 to 60 or 70, but all of them have one thing in mind: To have fun. 

The decoration of the pub is a classic decoration, with modern highlights, that gives warmth and joy in the atmosphere. In Sunday and Saturday there are live jazz performances.
We had a mature stella artois (black) and it was just perfect!
I loved the styling of the lady: She was wearing a party hat and flip flops in a definitely cold night of mid autumn.
This is a more secluded corner of the public house, very friendly and cozy. Made for chit chat and maybe hugs.
There is also an "upstairs" part!
I had a nice evening in City Vaults, and I shall come again soon. I recommend it as the best pub I have been since my arrival in Bradford.

Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 26, 2012

The New Beehive Inn

Someone who does not know a city very well, gets more of the information from internet. Google becomes their best friend. Google maps their second nature. Yellow pages the same. And there is a tendency to believe what they read. This pub "The New Beehive Inn"  had a few nice reviews and we decided to visit it!
What I loved to read was that the lights are gas light, and that there are more than one bars. Five of them! Also that is an old building and very traditional. It is the best pub in town with fantastic atmosphere, according to a review!
As you can see in the photos, the lamps give a strange light, so it may be gaslit.
Also the decoration is old and traditional. No objection to it!
But I do not know where the five bars are! I found just one where I sat. Maybe a second one, but I could not see the entrance to go there.  I could ask the barman of course, but I hesitated. Though he was not bad, he was a fairly helpful guy, he was not very happy. Probably he was not happy with his customers.
 The clients were just a few for a Friday evening...and all of them quite strange! I mean completely!
Deaf people speaking with sign language and inarticulate cries, a paranoid who was swearing, some drug addicts, a depressed guy who was looking at his bottle all the time, another one quite happy who was reciting lyrics, a strange girl who wanted to be happy and social with some boring people...So that was what the review meant by great atmosphere.
Myself I did the mistake and I bought a very nice Strongbow that I could not drink! What a disgusting thing!  So I asked for a Guinness! Much better!
To be honest, I do not like the support I get from internet in "studying" my new city. I suppose that the best way to get to know a city is to go everywhere, and to judge by your own taste and with your own mind what you like and what not, what worth a visit and what does not!

Κυριακή, Οκτωβρίου 07, 2012

The Dog & Gun

 The "The Dog & Gun" is a very nice and cosy little old pub in Harrogate Road, Apperley Bridge in Bradford. I found it on my try to discover a pub that is a bit more cute and relaxing than the "Shoulder of Mutton" in Kirgate Market.
 As we do not know anyone in town to suggest us the nice parts, we have to drive around and detect the interesting bits.  And this small place is quite charming and I would characterize it also as "girlish", although its name denotes the contrary. I felt a tenderness in the atmosphere and that feeling gave me the impression that one can have a good time whether they visit the place for a romantic date, a friendly gathering or a business meeting, as long as they want to share and communicate things.

The place consists of three different areas, lounges let us say, each one having its unique characteristics. Two  rooms are in front, and the third is at the rear.  
Lovely window decoration.  
 Here is the back room with a fireplace. 
And here is the front area, with bigger tables more appropriate for dinning room. Although we just had beers, food must also be great, as I read in a review, the only one I found in the internet for this place. I must emphasize here, that this pub should not be confused with another bigger place having the same name and being mainly a restaurant.

Δευτέρα, Οκτωβρίου 01, 2012

This is Bradford

I have never prayed for this, although it was always deep in my heart since I first came in England in 1971: I wanted to live in this country. I believed that UK is the right place for me. And God who knows people's heart, gave this to me. It took 41 years to happen, but now I am here to stay. 

Today we went for a drive to find a hill to take some pictures of the town. Bradford, may not be a dream town, but I did not specify the city to God. I told you, I never prayed for it, because it is not a good thing to want to leave your country, is it? But God knows! 

 On the other hand, me personally I do not find anything wrong with Bradford. I like it, it is so dark in every aspect, that it is a mysterious place to my eyes. So here are some pictures from above. 

Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 28, 2012

Traditional pub|Παραδοσιακή μπυραρία

Είναι δέκα μέρες κιόλας που το ζευγάρι εγκαταστάθηκε σε αυτή την πόλη, και κάθε μέρα που περνάει οι ρυθμοί της ζωής τους γίνονται πιο κανονικοί. Τείνουν να γίνουν απόλυτα ... ρυθμικοί και επαναλαμβανόμενοι, δηλαδή να εγκατασταθούν ρουτίνες οι οποίες τρέχουν στον κανονικό χρόνο χωρίς να διακόπτονται από διάφορα errors και bugs. Βαρετό; Όχι δεν θα το έλεγα. Όταν κάποιος έχει ολόκληρη "νέα" χώρα να εξερευνήσει τίποτα δεν είναι βαρετό. 
Την έκτη μέρα από την εγκατάσταση στην νέα πόλη λοιπόν, θέλησαν να πάνε σε ένα pub. Ένα traditional pub, με ales, stouts, beers και lagers. Τα μπέρδεψα λίγο, αλλά νομίζω όλα είναι μπίρες. Οι οποίες χωρίζονται σε ales και lagers. Και οι ales μπορεί να είναι από ξανθές έως μαύρες που είναι οι stout. Οι lager είναι γερμανικής καταγωγής, είναι συνήθως ξανθές και κρύες. Μέχρι εδώ οι γνώσεις μου, και μάλλον και αυτά λάθος τα λέω. 
Τέλος πάντων, εκείνο που ζητούσαν τα πλάσματα ήταν ένα τοπικό παραδοσιακό pub. Έψαξαν λοιπόν στο internet. Και τι ανακάλυψαν; Ότι σε αυτή την πόλη τα pubs είχαν μετατραπεί είτε σε ροκ κλαμπς όπου γινόταν ο χαμός, είτε σε φαγάδικα. Λίγα, ελάχιστα αυθεντικά pubs υπάρχουν στο κέντρο της πόλης. Τέλος πάντων, από τα ελάχιστα βρέθηκε το ένα, μέσα στην αγορά. Ονόματι "The Shoulder of Mutton". Δηλαδή O Ώμος του Προβάτου! Μπεεεε!
Πήραν λοιπόν ένα ταξί, εξήγησαν στον ταξιτζή που ήταν ο Ώμος του Προβάτου, διότι ο ταξιτζής δεν ήξερε, λες και δούλευε ταξί στον Πειραιά και όχι στο Bradford, και έφτασαν εκείνη την βροχερή και μαύρη νύχτα στο pub. Αργά, οχτώ ή ώρα! 

Το σοκ ήταν όταν μπήκαν μέσα. Άλλης εποχής άνθρωποι βρίσκονταν μέσα στο μαγαζί. Σχεδόν ακούνητοι, μερικοί γύρω από το μπαρ, και πιο λίγοι στα τραπέζια. Και βέβαια όλοι άντρες και κυρίως ηλικιωμένοι. Και κάτι φατσούλες, απίστευτες! Η χαρά του φωτογράφου πορτρέτων! Πως να τους το πω να ποζάρουν για φωτογράφιση; 
Κοιτώντας αυτή την φωτογραφία, ο ψηλός με την χαρακτηριστική καραφλίτσα είναι ο ... επισκέπτης. Το ξένο σώμα. Κινδύνεψε η ομοιόσταση του συστήματος με την παρουσία των ξένων. Όμως σύντομα και ανέλπιστα όλα πήραν το δρόμο τους. 
 Οι μπύρες ήρθαν στο τραπέζι, αν και όχι ακριβώς αυτές που έπρεπε, καθώς και τα πατατάκια.

  Γρήγορα άδειασαν τα ποτήρια, τα πατατάκια φαγώθηκαν.

Και οι θαμώνες στο μπαρ άρχισαν να κινούνται και να μιλάνε. Η ισορροπία αποκαταστάθηκε, η θερμοκρασία ανέβηκε. Όλα έγιναν φυσιολογικά.
 Και τώρα η ώρα για μια δεύτερη μπύρα. Αυτήν ακριβώς που λέει το σουβέρ, αυτήν θέλουμε.
Νάτη! Είναι ακριβώς όπως την περιγράφει. Toffee tasting, creamy και bitter. Περίεργη ιδιαίτερη γεύση.

Σαν μια γενική κριτική, το παμπ είναι ωραίο. Είναι ακριβώς αυτό που είναι. Παραδοσιακό, παλιό, και με παραδοσιακούς θαμώνες. Φαίνονται παράξενοι αλλά είναι άκακοι. Το σέρβις είναι καλό. Στο μπαρ σερβίρουν νέα παιδιά, κοπέλες νόστιμες με ολόλευκο δέρμα και με μοντέρνα χτενίσματα που μιλούν άνετα με τους πελάτες. Τελικά για μια μπύρα, ή και για δυο, είναι ότι πρέπει!