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User profile service failed the logon User profile cannot be loaded

Just received an error where I was unable to log in to my Windows account on my VM. The error was

“User profile service failed the logon”
“User profile cannot be loaded”

The solution involves booting to safe mode and switching to a backup of your profile using RegEdit.

I found this helpful video takes you through the step

iPhone 6

The iPhone 6. Apple following the crowd

Part of the reason Apple are Apple is because they do not feel the need to follow the crowd. But with the iPhone 6, that’s exactly what they’ve done, followed the recent trend to increase the size of phones. Is that a good thing? Sales will no doubt show it is. But here’s my perspective.

I’m a heavy user of my iPhone. I spend a lot of time standing around at gigs and sitting on trains. So I’m always using it for viewing websites and updating Facebook and Twitter. I do use my phone to take photographs. But as I usually have a camera with me, I tend to use it for quick captures and for days when I feel like ‘filter photography’.

Last year I lost my iPhone on Old Street. Luckily it was found and returned to me a few days later. But in the few days without it, I realised how much time I spend using the phone but also how little I use it to make phone calls. Probably like many, it has become my main mobile computer.

This, I think, is why there’s been a race to increased screen sizes. The larger screen makes consuming videos and viewing web pages and for many, it’s their only device.

However, in my case, it’s not my only device as I have a notebook, iPad and Nexus 7 and if I want to read something on the train I have an old Kindle. As I’m often carrying a camera bag, I can easily throw in one of these devices. For me the phone should be a convenient pocket size for when I’ve traveling light.

But first, let’s start with what’s good – and it is a very good phone.

Before purchasing, I had a chance to try the iPhone 6 and 6+. The 6 Plus has an amazing screen. But it is big. In fact it barely fitted into my pocket. So I opted for the ‘small’ iPhone 6. Opting for the white model, a change from the black models I’ve owned since the first iPhone.

As with all Apple products. It’s a lovely piece of design. The thin machined aluminium case and curve-edged glass screen is really comfortable to hold.

iPhone 6

Buttons seem to have been upgraded from earlier phones with much more tactile response and the home button seems to have been significantly improved from by iPhone 5 with a much more positive ‘click’.

This is my first iPhone to come with Touch ID. I have to admit, I haven’t been convinced by Touch ID. I couldn’t see the point and I assumed it didn’t work very well. But I’ve found that I’m opting to use it all the time and for me works flawlessly. I have to admit, I’m a convert.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6

The new screen is beautiful to look at. Everything is colourful and bright. Even at half brightness, it seems brighter and more vivid than my iPhone 5.

The camera is also a significant upgrade from the iPhone 5. The noise levels have been improved. The higher ISO are still noisy compared to my full cameras, but they could be used at a push.

On Saturday, I decide to test the camera, using it in preference to the Sony RX100 and Sony A7 I had in my bag and I processed the photographs in Lightroom in exactly the same way I would with my other cameras.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms in Borough Market – Macro shot. Not particularly sharp. Needed contrast boosting.

My first impressions was that there’s a decent amount of detail in the photographs. They’re reasonably sharp and more than adequate for web. But the images aren’t ‘punchy’ and seemed to lack contrast. But this can easily be corrected in Lightroom.

Boro vs Charlton
Boro vs Charlton – decent detail in this crowd shot

Autofocus was quick for relatively static targets. But not particularly good for moving targets, or at least compared to my other cameras.

Buskers
Buskers on the Southbank – decent amount of detail to produce nice B&W photos.

Clouds
Clouds – needed contrast and colour boosting.

Gemma Ray at the Lexington
Higher ISO (1000) shot in a dark stairwell

Pink Floyd
Decent detail but needed contrast boosting

British Museum
Average wite balance for this photo was way off and had to be corrected in Lightroom.

The other thing the new phone now supports is a new slow-mo option that captures video at 240 fps. I’ve only briefly payed with it but I was impressed with the capability and I think it’s something I’ll play with a lot.

But here we come to our first negative. The camera. Technically it’s a great camera but the physical form leaves a lot to be desired.

As I tend to carry quiet a lot around with me in my pockets, I prefer to put my phone in my pocket without a case. Unfortunately with my iPhone 4, I found that after a year of rubbing against keys and coins the lens got scratched and the camera became useless. With my iPhone 5, I decided to use a case. This seemed to stop the lens from getting scratched. But for the last six months I’ve been carrying it around without a case and there’s no sign of scratching. So I had considered carrying the new phone round without one. However, the new iPhone has a raised camera increasing the likelihood of it coming into contact with other things in the pocket. So I think it’s too much of a risk to use without a case – therefore negating the thinness of the new iPhone.

iPhone 6
Protruding camera

iPhone 6
Protruding camera

268/365 - iPhone 6
Protruding camera

The next negative is the position of the power button. It’s now on the opposite side to the volume buttons. I found that it’s nearly impossible to use the volume keys to take photos as I kept putting the camera into lock mode so went back to using the on-screen shutter button.

iPhone 6

I prefer to use my phone single handedly. I don’t have particularly big hands and the iPhone 5 was just about the right size for me. If the power button was at the top, it’s unlikely to be unreachable in one-handed use. So it’s been moved to the side and in doing so, overall functionality. It seems to me that whole phone experience has been compromised simply by making the phone larger. This just seems to me to be so ‘un-Apple’. Apple didn’t compromise their products simply because of other manufacturers’ products. The user experience always came first. So although it’s technically the best phone I’ve owned, unfortunately it’s not the best phone I’ve owned. For me, the iPhone 5 is still a better phone.

Thames Path – Woolwich to Greenwich

For the last year I’ve been regularly walking around London. The river usually plays a part in most walks as I love the Southbank. It’s a great way of walking through London without having to worry about traffic or polution. The Southbank is actually a section of something called the Thames Path which runs from it’s source up to the Thames Barrier. Earlier in the year I walked a section of the Thames Path from Richmond to Hammersmith Bridge and found it a good way of seeing new bits of London.

This weekend a Tall Ships festival was taking place in Greenwich. This is the first time the ‘Tall Ships’ have been to London for 30 years. The focus of the festival was Greenwich but there were also going to be ships moored at Woolwich. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to walk another new section of the Thames Path, the Woolwich to Greenwich section and a section that couldn’t be more different from the Richmond section.

The walk started at Woolwich Arsenal where there’s a museum detailing the factory’s history and holds some of the big guns developed at the factory. I briefly visited the museum last year and if you like military history it’s a great little museum. Unfortunately, I’ve heard it’s under threat as they are finance their current budget.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Section of the Iraqi super gun.

The Arsenal was buzzing with lots of visitors, stalls and entertainers

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Lindy hoppers

The path starts on the riverfront in front of the museum where there’s a collection of Andrew Gormley sculptures that are well worth investigating.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

The Tall Ships were moored alongside Woolwich pier. Unfortunately there were only two ships which was disappointing.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

The first part of the path is relatively uninteresting as the path leads along the Woolwich waterfront, past the old Woolwich dockyard to the Woolwich ferry.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Old dockyard

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Fishing in a dirty pool formed out of the old docks

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Woolwich ferry

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
New developments on the riverside.

As you continue along the path, you reach a point opposite the Tate and Lyle sugar plant where the path stops and you have to take a detour into Woolwich. It’s worth turning when the sign tells you, otherwise you’ll end up retracing your steps.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
The Tate and Lyle plant

Once you’re on the main road, it’s just a short walk until you see the signs for the Thames Barrier.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Walk past the Clancy’s along the main road.

Turn when you see the signs for the Thames Barrier.

The Thames Barrier is a magnificent structure. Although designed in the 1970s and opened in the 80s. It still looks futuristic.
Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

London was covered in a mist all day which is a pity as the barrier looks fantastic when it’s reflecting strong sunlight.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Luckily as I reached the barrier a number of the ships where sailing out into the Thames estuary taking people on day trips.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

As you walk past the barrier it’s worth taking some time to look at the wall which depicts the Thames’s path from it’s source to the barrier.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

The next bit of the route takes you through the working Thames with a big Tarmac plant that appears to manufacture concrete. It’s easy to forget when walking through the centre of London where the old wharves have gone or have been converted to homes, shops and restaurants that the Thames is still a working river and I found I really liked this section of the Thames path.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
The Tarmac plant

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
The Tarmac plant

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
A Tall ship heading past the Tarmac plant

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Trolley graveyard

As you move on past the Tarmac plant you next come to the Greenwich Yacht club with its interesting club sitting on stilts in the Thames. At low tide, you can get easy access to the Thames shore via the yacht club’s slipway.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Greenwich Yacht Club

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Greenwich Yacht Club

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Boat at low tide

Next to the club is the Greenwich Ecology Park. This is an area of recovered industrial wasteland that’s been restored back to the original wetland habitat.

It looks like this area is an area targeted for redevelopment with several large flats being built and what looks like a fairly recent development called the Greenwich Millennium Village

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Ugly building in the Greenwich Millennium Village

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Decent modern designed flats in Greenwich Millennium Village

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

As you continue along the path, the O2 now looms large in the distance as you follow the path around a big loop in the Thames.

The new Emirates Cable Car is the next notable sight. The pillars holding the cable car are lovely. Rising out of the Thames like the twisted roots of a slender tree. But you do have to question the point of the cable car. You can’t realistically use it for commuting and it’s not like it’s providing a picturesque view. As you can see from my photos, it’s hardly the most visually stimulating section of the Thames.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Emirates Cable Car

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Emirates Cable Car

You’re now on top of the O2. Here you’ve got two options. You can continue to follow the path around the loop or take a short cut through O2. I decided to follow the path around, as I usually visit the O2 at least once a year for gigs. It’s amazing how much this place has developed over the last decade with the area around the O2 now hosting restaurants and hotels and the O2.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
The O2

If you decide to continue along the path the O2 is relatively hidden by a high fence. But you’ll be greeted by the wide curve of a bend in the river and the sight of Canary Wharf.

Sitting alongside the O2 is Slice of Reality, a sculpture by the artist Richard Wilson commissioned as part of the Millennium celebrations and never removed. Apparently it’s still owned by the artist who’s paid for the mooring rights and so can’t be removed. I quiet liked it. It reminds us that this part of the Thames used to be a major working port.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Slice of Reality

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Slice of Reality

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Slice of Reality

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Slipway with the Canary Wharf on the opposite bank

The next bit from the O2 to Greenwich consists of old jetties and industrial plants. However, a number of the Tall Ships had been moored along this section so fences had been placed along the entire length of the path hiding these plants from view.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Ships moored along section

At the O2 end of the path, a small food park had been opened. But if you’re walking this section on a normal weekend. I suspect there’s little around here. So it might be worth visiting the O2 to grab food, drink and to take a toilet break as there’s nothing but industrial units for the next mile or so.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Festival Entertainers

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Festival Entertainers

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Industrial plants along the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Industrial plants along the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Old piers

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Another tall ship

One thing that was obvious as I walked along the path was that this section of the Thames is changing. There was a serious amount of Riverside building work going on, with new flats and hotels being built at Woolwich, Greenwich Millennium village, the O2 and new flats being built on this last section near to Greenwich. It would be interesting to do this walk again a few years time to see how these changes effect the feeling of this section of the Thames and how it will change local communities. As I’ve said, there’s an ‘honesty’ to this section of the Thames. I’m sure once City workers start to move out to these riverside properties this will be compromised and for me that’s not necessarily a good thing. It may not be the prettiest bit of the Thames, but it’s less likely to put the country into massive dept unlike the big buildings on the other side of the Thames.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
More new developments

The final section leads you into historical Greenwich past the Old Greenwich Naval College and the Cutty Sark. Greenwich has managed to retain much of it’s character. So if you’ve never visited the place before, it’s worth spending some time exploring as there’s a lot to do here.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames
Trinity Hospital and almshouse

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Most of the Tall Ship Festival activity was centred around the old college where a small festival village had been created offering the usual combination of food drink, and entertainment.

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

Tall Ships Festival on the Thames

I had originally intended to continue the walk towards Tower Bridge. But I decide to call it quits here. I’d started my walk far later than I meant to and had kept stopping to take photos of the Tall Ships and had been dragging my heavy camera bag so didn’t feel like I wanted to make up the time on the next section. Maybe I’ll do that section on another day.