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Things that make the internet great…

Google Search Auto-complete.

Nuff said!



Mark Ferguson: I (almost) didn’t recognize you with your clothes off…

On Sunday evenings I usually pop over to see some mates. Jodey fills me in on the latest gossip, while Steve tries to convince me that vitamin C can cure every problem know to mankind. We do some yoga, then watch whatever they’ve got on series link before I go home. At the moment, we are watching Spartacus: Vengeance. We watched the previous series together, so we knew what to expect. Last night we decided to play “body-part bingo”, which involved deciding on a quota of various human body-parts we expected to see during the episode and trying to keep count to see if we guessed right. :)

Business: Honesty is pretty important to your customers!

My hosting company (Fasthosts) has got on my tits this morning. This is not about a service issue or anything like that. It is because they have started a new campaign promoting, amongst other things, their excellent support service…

I’ve been with the company for over 11 years. In that time their technical support has been consistently terrible for a number of reasons, including:

  • Lack of technical knowledge in first level support staff and no access to “real” technical support staff, when the first level support staff prove themselves to be complete Muppets.
  • Providing misleading, or downright wrong information.
  • Never giving a followup once issue are resolved. All you get is, “It’s working now, your ticket is closed!”
  • Excessive times before answering phones/emails when you are trying to log a ticket.

These are just the highlights, so to speak…

Website Downtime…

My website was down for the best part of an hour yesterday, between 15:30 and 16:30 UK time.

I contacted the hosting provider, but each time they looked at the site it was up, so they close the ticket. The fact that 30 seconds later it was down again does not seem to worry them. I asked for something a little more substantial than, “It’s working now. Your ticket has been closed”, but unfortunately it was not forthcoming.

Since that incident it seems to have been stable. Fingers crossed, whatever it was will not happen again.



Captain Support: Not to the rescue…

This morning, the display on one of my computers was a bit odd. I rebooted the machine and when it came up I got no output on the monitor. I plugged my laptop into the monitor and that worked fine, so it looked like the graphics card had died. I popped down to a local PC store and had the choice of remortgaging my house for new graphics card, or buying a cheap and cheerful one. I did the latter. Even so, the new card was much flasher than the old one.

I put the card in the machine and it booted up and I had a display again. Trouble was, GNOME shell had failed to start and I was knocked back into fallback mode, that looks a bit like GNOME2. Sigh. Forgot to check the the card against support for the ever-so-picky GNOME shell.

I now have a choice to make:

Google Connect is dead, long live the Google+ badge…

The Google Friend Connect badge I’ve been displaying on my website homepage and this blog is no more. Google have canned that widget.  Instead it’s been replaced by a Google+ badge. Unfortunately, the G+ badges currently only support Google+ pages, so I can’t connect it to my regular G+ profile, only the G+ page. Not ideal, but that’s the way it goes. :)

Currently, the G+ badge options are not particularly WordPress widget friendly. Even the small option is a bit wider than the width of the sidebar on my blog theme.

Website Updates: Cleanup Complete…

I wrote last month about some issues with my website as a result of an issue with my hosting provider. It’s been a very long and arduous process, but I think I’ve finally finished the last of the cleanup. It’s certainly not something I would like to repeat again. Having said that, there are lots of positives about the process.

Funny Cloud Computing Video…

If you loved this,

And you loved this,

Then you will probably love this,



(Orthodox) New Years Resolutions…

I’ve not become all religious. I’m just using this variant on new year to start my new year in earnest. The start of this year has been a little shaky for me. The first couple of days I was a little under the weather and I kinda decided to break all my planned new years resolutions to make myself feel better. Seeing as now we are half way through January, that process lasted a little longer than I expected. :)

I don’t really take new years resolutions very seriously, so instead I’m going to list a few things I am going to focus on in the coming year. Kinda like a mission statement to try and live up to.


Amazon Kindle…

One of my justifications for buying the iPad was I would use the Kindle App on it and save lots of money on buying paper books. That didn’t happen because the iPad is a really crappy reading device for novels. It’s way to big and heavy and has a nasty glossy screen that it totally crap for reading unless the light is perfect…

Using the same price justification again, I finally got round to buying myself an Kindle from Amazon. I bought the lowest spec one, which should be fine for me. My first impressions are it’s really cool. It’s very small and lite and most importantly the screen is great for reading novels.